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Avira Free Antivirus 2013

Download Editors' Rating:
3.5
Very good
Average User Rating:
4.0
out of 4209 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    13.0.0.2832
  • Total Downloads:
    146,522,208
  • Date Added:
    Nov. 26, 2012
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    4.55MB
  • Downloads Last Week:
    9,247
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:

Editors' Review

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Review:
Avira returns to the security field with a second major revamp in as many years of its flagship free antivirus and paid upgrades. Whereas last year's overhaul focused on a breezy new installation and modernizing its interface, the 2013 version is all about offering competitive and forward-thinking security features.

All that sounds well and good, and Avira has even killed off its obnoxious, interrupting pop-up in the free version. However, some aggressive components of those features gave us pause when using the suite.

Installation
Last year's improved, zippy install has been changed slightly, and that may cause problems for some people.

Getting into Avira has never been easier, and it still has a two-click install. The company says that it developed the two-click installation as part of its "less is more" strategy, where it offers the same level of protection as before without the hassle. Of course, that's a tacit acknowledgement of prior problems.

Anyway, the install is the simplest of the major free security suites. The two-click process will autodetect competing security components and remove them, so be warned if you think you're going to be more secure by running two overlapping AVs. Avira won't let you.

However, this is so aggressive that sometimes the program won't install properly. A conflict between Avira and a security suite previously installed on our test computer that left half a dozen registry keys behind caused the computer to crash and resulted in a "blue screen of death" on an otherwise stable computer. At the end of the day, whether it's the fault of Avira or the previous security suite is irrelevant. Nobody wants to be faced with a BSOD when installing a program, and most people will blame the new software.

Another click will take you past the Ask.com toolbar and search engine redirect, but at least Avira is polite: it's an opt-in, not opt-out, experience. The toolbar screen itself is a bit unclear: it's actually Avira's WebGuard feature, powered by an Ask.com search engine that's part of the toolbar. There's also an option to have Ask.com become your browser's default engine, although that's not checked by default.

We discuss the toolbar and the changes to it in the 2013 version in the Features section below.

At the end of the installation process, Avira will begin a quick scan. On our test machine, it took about 1 minute, 43 seconds to complete, a completely reasonable wait to endure before the suite is ready to go.

Interface
The interface is virtually unchanged from last year. It has been tweaked to include the new features, but it's the same look and feel as in the 2012 version. This is perfectly acceptable, as the interface is simple and mimics that of many competitors.

A left nav shows you your tools, while the center pane focuses on a deeper dive into your security. On-off buttons make it easy to toggle features, although it's noteworthy that the free version is still quite restricted when compared with the free competition.

A red banner with the program name serves as a wrapper to anchor the suite, with a Windows XP-style menu bar above it. It doesn't look bad in Windows 7, although it is definitely archaic. It looks even older in Windows 8. The only feature that you can't reach from any other part of the interface except the menu bar is the Help menu -- a little tweaking here could've made this more appealing.

The main interface is the Status window, with a green check box letting you know when you're safe. It turns to yellow when there are security tasks to perform or when you've turned off a feature, like real-time protection. It turns red when there's something mission-critical that requires your attention.

Below that, you've got two categories: PC protection, and Internet protection. What this really means is that the former protects you from threats locally, while the latter guards you against new threats from attacking you. Under PC protection, you can toggle your real-time protection, manually run a scan, start an update, or upgrade to a paid version of Avira. Use the gear icon next to each option to open the configuration window, which has its own slider in its upper-left corner to quickly change between the standard view and expert mode.

One hint about the system scanner option from the left nav: this is where you would go to initiate specific types of scans, or scans on specific parts of your computer, such as a rootkit scan in C:/Windows. For a generic scan, use the Scan System option from the Status window.

Under Internet protection, you only get one option in Avira Free: Web protection. If you chose to not install the toolbar, then this entire section will appear grayed out.

It doesn't sound like much, but that's the point. This is the easiest-to-use version of Avira yet.

Features and support
The new features in Avira are the best part of the 2013 update, but they do come at a price. The company has focused on expanding its security features to cover social networking, tracker blocking, and Web site verification, as well as a huge push into crowdsourced tech support. Longtime Avira Free users no doubt will be delighted that the daily upgrade pop-up will go away permanently if you install the Avira toolbar.

The toolbar has become a major focus for Avira, and the company is using it to provide multiple in-browser security features. The company has partnered with Abine to bolt its Do Not Track Plus tracking and ad blocker to the toolbar. Also in the toolbar is the new Web site reputation adviser, also on loan but from CallingID, and social networking protection courtesy SocialShield, a company Avira bought earlier this year.

A new "Experts Market" is also accessible only from the toolbar. It's crowdsourced tech support, where Avira fans can sell their expertise to others and set their own rates. The Experts Market is designed to connect tech experts to people who are looking to solve tech problems. These user-experts can then charge whatever sum they'd like for their services, and Avira will take a 10 percent commission.

The toolbar is a mixed blessing. If you install it, it grants you those security extras. But it also redirects your default search to Avira-branded Ask.com search. This is not insurmountable in Firefox, which has a dedicated search box, but it makes Chrome painful to use since that browser uses a unified location bar/search. Abine's Do Not Track Plus is available for free on its own, so if the search commandeering is intolerable to you, there are still other ways to get the protection it offers.

Avira has changed other parts of the suite, as well. The virus definition file and protection engine now checks for updates every six hours instead of once a day. Premium Avira makes the same check every two hours. There's also an Android app that provides anti-theft and device tracking features, but unlike competitors both free and paid, Avira's Android app lacks a security engine. Basically, it won't protect you against Android malware.

Avira's core security features remain intact. The scanner checks for virus, Trojans, rootkits, and adware. There's a generic threat removal engine, but Avira -- like many security suites -- is much better at preventing threats from infecting you, rather than removing ones you've already got.

The advanced options menu doesn't contain much that's new, either. It's quite easy for a savvy person to drill deep into security settings and either extract the information they want or set a very customized level of security. This includes scanning as Administrator from the main interface, a window showing real-time scan performance, configuring how to scan of archives, and a restart reminder in case you enjoy that kind of automated nagging.

The engine powering the scans protects your Hosts file by default, and resource usage remains low following last year's update. If a problem is discovered, a one-click Fix problems button appears at the top of the Status window. Click it, and even if the fix is something as simple as reactivating a deactivated module, the program will do it for you.

The WebGuard feature, available only if you install the Avira toolbar, takes a more aggressive approach to detecting sites that could be hosting malware before they load on your computer. This is not unlike Avira's competitors. However, for the performance cost to the browser for a toolbar, search result ratings would be a nice compensation. Too bad they're only available if you use the dedicated search box on the Ask toolbar.

Features-wise, the free version provides the kind of security that most people will be comfortable with. For people who want more, Avira Antivirus Premium 2013 ($29.99 for a one-year license) comes with malicious Web site blocking and live telephone support. Avira Internet Security 2013 ($59.99 for a one-year license) rolls in parental controls; an e-mail spam guard; antiphishing measures; Wi-Fi guard; and a firewall that I found to be obnoxiously chatty and intrusive. If you're obsessed with Avira, you can upgrade to Avira Internet Security Plus 2013 for $81.99, which gets you an additional system performance optimizer and file encryption.

Performance
Avira's performance in the past has been hit or miss, with strong detection rates but high false positives. Avira's been doing a lot of work in that area, though, and this is one of the best-performing versions of Avira that we've seen.

Avira Free Antivirus 2013 shares the same detection engine as its premium upgrade siblings, Avira Antivirus Premium 2013 and Avira Internet Security 2013, so all three are discussed here.

In a real-world test, Avira completed its initial scan during installation in 1 minute, 51 seconds, about 30 seconds slower than last year. The Full scan averaged 1 hour, 25 minutes over three installs, which is an appropriate benchmark for such a resource-intensive scan.

CNET Labs' benchmarks found that Avira benchmarked slower than most competitors in most cases, with room for improvement across the board. Boot time was much slower than average, as were scan times, iTunes decoding, and two of the three Cinebench tests. The only test that all three versions of Avira 2013 did well on was shutdown time, where they added only 2 to 3 seconds to the unprotected computer's marks.

1,142 405 125 343 17,390 14.9
Security program Boot time Shutdown time Wake from sleep Scan time MS Office performance iTunes decoding Media multitasking Cinebench
Unprotected system 47.5 7.8 11.5 n/a 412 124 344 17,116
Average of all tested systems (to date) 59.7 11.2 12.3 1,004 412 125 344 17,140
Avira Free Antivirus 2013 58.7 10.6 13.8 1,085 410 125 342 16,825
Avira Antivirus Premium 201354.3 11.3 14.9 1,142 405 125 343 17,390
Avira Internet Security 2013 60.3 10.2 11 1,081 408 127 343 16,985

*All tests measured in seconds, except for Cinebench. On the Cinebench test, the higher number is better.

Independent testing agency AV-Test.org has marked excellent scores for Avira Internet Security 2012 in a Windows XP test from September 2012. The suite hit 5.5 out of 6 on Protection, 5.5 out of 6 on Repair, and 4 out of 6 on Usability, for a total of 15 out of 18. That's an excellent score, especially on the notoriously Swiss cheese-esque Windows XP.

On a Windows 7 computer during June 2012, Avira Internet Security 2012 didn't fare as well. It scored 4.5 out of 6 on Protection, 4 out of 6 on Repair, and 4 out of 6 on Usability, for an overall score of 12.5 out of 18, just clearing the minimum of 11 for an AV-Test.org certificate.

Note that AV-Test.org defines its categories as follows: "The 'Protection' covers static and dynamic malware detection, including real-world zero-day attack testing. In case of 'Repair,' we check the system disinfection and rootkit removal in detail. The 'Usability' testing includes the system slowdown caused by the tools and the number of false positives."

The most recent AV-Comparatives.org Whole Product test, which looks at on-demand scanning, retroactive tests, and "real-world" guards including cloud-based protections, puts Avira Internet Security 2012 on less stable footing. The September 2012 test found that it blocked 97.3 percent of attacks and threats thrown at it, in the middle of a competitive field of 21 suites. Meanwhile, looking at Whole Product test results cumulatively from January 2012 to September 2012 found that Avira 2012 did a bit better, with its 98.1 percent success rate placing it about the same. The numbers are good, but not great.

It's fair to conclude that according to third-party tests, Avira 2012 tested this year better than average, but with room to get better. This is a far cry from where Avira 2011 had been, which struggled mightily when launched but gradually improving its scores over time. While not the indisputably safest suite around, Avira will in general protect you from most threats. However, be prepared for a not-insignificant system impact.

Conclusions
We really wanted to like Avira 2013. Its new features are innovative and forward-thinking, and innovation in the security suite world is hard to come by. It's extremely important to help educate people about broader security concerns like privacy that are not necessarily related to viruses.

However, it could leave a smaller footprint on your system. Combine that with our finding that its toolbar causes too much browser interference, and we're going to advise that you give Avira a skip this year unless you're a big fan of the product. If you're looking for free security, go for Avast, AVG, or Panda.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

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  • All Versions

    4.0

    out of 4209 votes

    • 5 star 1984
    • 4 star 1167
    • 3 star 394
    • 2 star 219
    • 1 star 445
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Results 1–10 of 3971

3 stars

"Getting WORSE with each new version"

July 14, 2015  |  By dbmalya

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 1.1.35.25717

Pros

Good protection, doesn't slow down computer, compatible with Comodo Firewall.

Cons

Annoying popups asking me to upgrade EVERY single day.
Updates will fail if you're on a slow connection. If it fails, the software cannot resume update from the last state- example, you're installing a 100MB update, the update fails at 99MB for no apparent reason, you restart the updater, it starts downloading again from 0%.
I have upgraded my internet connection, and it's pretty fast now, there's NO buffering for youtube videos played in HD, but still Avira will occasionally fail updating, and start from 0% again, cannot resume from where it left.
And what's with the constant nagging to upgrade? This shouldn't be named "Freeware", it's a "Nagware".

Summary

Protection is good, if you can live with CONSTANT messages asking you to upgrade (pay them money), with strange tricks like "50% OFF on price, only for you".
Updates will occasionally fail as well.

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4 stars

"Good Antivirus"

July 09, 2015  |  By JoshD15

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 1.1.35.25717

Pros

Industry standard to slightly above detection, and does not slow down your computer.

Cons

I'm not sure why the system tray icon vanishes and then returns after a couple of reboots? then vanishes again and so on??. Avira should look into this bug issue. The launching of Avira's user interface from shortcuts and system icon tray is a bit sluggish, of which I find unusual as other antiviruses don't have that issue.

Summary

Good antivirus without a doubt, with slight bug issues of which Avira will hopefully look into ASAP.

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1 stars

"Slow, clumsy, annoying"

July 06, 2015  |  By akautz

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 1.1.35.25717

Pros

The only pro I can think of is it is free.

Cons

After my annual subscription of Bitdefender ran out I decided to try something free. I was highly disappointed with Avira.

1. In comparison to Bitdefender, Avira seemed to make my system unstable and regularly lock up and bog down.

2. It constantly has pop-ups wanting me to download something additional (like Avira Speedup)

3. It regularly has to reboot the computer after doing an update. I haven't had a program do this in many a year.

I am now using the free version of Avast. So far so good.

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3 stars

"its ok but not best"

June 28, 2015  |  By adrin.sc

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 1.1.35.25717

Pros

very well detection.
low systm usage

Cons

havnt game mode
havnt web and mail protection
only good for beginer home user

Summary

not good

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1 stars

"Terrible Can Not get rid of it"

June 02, 2015  |  By mustardkev

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 1.1.35.25717

Pros

Not too bad until you attempt to uninstall it

Cons

Will not uninstall even with REVO Uninstaller and Tech assistance from HP
Slows down computer
BLOCKS other anti virus from installing

Summary

I was wondering why my computer was so slow. I got on computer with HP Remote Assistance. The tech said I had 3 anti virus running. She did so with Revo. 1734 LEFTOVER files were cleaned from Avira. She worked on cleaning out my computer for the next hour There is no longer an icon and it no longer shows up in control panel put it is still there running three different anti virus in the background that can be seen on task master.
Under program files>Avira.AntiVir Desktop there are STILL 522 files left. This is after Revo removed 1734 leftover files.
I have to get rid of this awful thing. I want to have Windows defender become my Anti virus but Avira is blocking it. Even though the files are still there I don't even know if I have a working anti virus program. This has slowed my computer and if I ad another anti virus it will slow down even more.
Can anyone PLEASE help me to get rid of this dreadful thing. I have never hated a program so much. This is ruining my brand new computer!!
I would give this program Negative stars. It is awful.

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5 stars

"The Best Free Anti-Virus"

May 25, 2015  |  By abcd12367

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 1.1.35.25717

Pros

It has the same Real-time scanning and On-Demand Scanning as Avira Anti-Virus Pro.
It has the same Web protection as Avira Anti-Virus Pro if you install Avira Browser Safety.

Cons

Has no mail protection or identity protection although this is not a problem as a Custom Install of Avast Frree 2015 without the File Shield, Securline VPN and Grimefighter would add protection to Avira Free 2015.

Summary

http://chart.av-comparatives.org/chart1.php?chart=chart2&year=2015&month=4&sort=1&zoom=0
http://chart.av-comparatives.org/chart1.php?chart=chart1&year=2015&month=3&sort=1&zoom=0

Updated on Aug 7, 2015

I have switched to 360 Total Security and my boot time halved!!! It is very lightweight, has lots of features and probably has the best detection rate of any Anti-Virus. Unfortunately it hasn't recently been tested in any large scale tests.

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1 stars

"An insidious program..."

May 07, 2015

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 1.1.35.25717

Pros

Some good privacy protection features.

Cons

If you decide to uninstall - incredibly difficult due to its insidious nature of permeating whole computer. You have to have specialised uninstall program to remove it.

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1 stars

"I used this for four years,but no more."

April 28, 2015  |  By mikoyangurevich15

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 1.1.35.25717

Pros

It has been rendered useless by NOT BEING ABLE TO UPDATE!

Cons

After a total of four reinstalls I still cannot get to update.I tested Avast,Panda and AVG and had no problems.There is no malware on my pc.I even reinstalled Windows & and had no luck.I was instructed to download a manual update program!What the hell?They obviously have encountered this "glich" before.While proven in the past to be extremely effective it has now been rendered useless,What a shame.

Summary

I wonder if the paid version does this.

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5 stars

"Excellent Free Antivirus"

March 29, 2015  |  By Mr. Bill3918

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 14.0.7.342

Pros

Fast and easy installation; easy to configure, including scheduled scans; much lighter on system resources than other AVs, both free and premium.

Cons

None so far.

Summary

Switched to Avira after reading that it beat the "more popular" AV I was using with 100% detection and zero false positives, and couldn't be happier. I'm a gamer, so easy configuration, along with faster boots and better system performance are always a plus.

Updated on Mar 29, 2015

Just want to add that the editors should consider filtering reviews a little more diligently. False claims are easy enough to recognize, and are a mark against the host site as well as the software package in the eyes of their believers.
JMHO

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5 stars

"Programmer says is CLEARLY THE #1 av today"

March 28, 2015  |  By 10commandments

 |  Version: Avira Free Antivirus 14.0.7.342

Pros

to many to list... The best one is multiswitched

Cons

license is free, but, for how long? I do mean, when someone says its free, it should be 4 ever right? especially since the email feature and web protect are not enabled. WE hate and do not use Microsofts Firewall. So, the installer gets mad at you telling you that your third party firewalls may conflict with it. So what. Turn them off on the install so they are not present. Has a red dot on the status page later. But then again, I dont expect avira to chase all the firewalls in the world to see which ones it conflicts with, and which ones it does nt. I would prefer they spend time fighting viruses and trojans anyway. I only wished they would shut down the nazi firewalls, that block IP addresses using bogus spam law nonsense as excuse. Guess we just have to shoot them.. The computer ran out of the 12 digit identifier way back in the early 90s. But do you think the fcc would order them shut down those nazi bastar ds....? really, NO CONS. IS the best....

Summary

Have used all kinds of virus detector including McaFee, AVG, Norton, and none of them, can compete with Avira, they are all junk. Very unorganized. Avira is very well in order and the one above that complained, is a a ss, that did not remove his firewall left it running in the install. Thats why, he came up with the story of the trojan, thing. IF you dont do it right, it will not run right, and thats a fact jack.... Become a programmer, then you will know about computers.

Updated on Mar 28, 2015

have used avira for many years. I always throw the other ones away... They just do not cut the simple mustard, but are like a child at sense who programmed them... The kind with no brains....

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Full Specifications

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General
Publisher Avira
Publisher web site http://www.avira.com
Release Date November 26, 2012
Date Added November 26, 2012
Version 13.0.0.2832
Category
Category Security Software
Subcategory Antivirus Software
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows XP/Vista/7
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size 4.55MB
File Name avira_en_av___dlc.exe
Popularity
Total Downloads 146,522,208
Downloads Last Week 9,247
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

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