Avira Free Antivirus 2013
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Full user review
"a once respectable company goes to the dark side"
-very good signatures, probably THE BEST amongst real time free protection
-decent web blocking
-light, doesn't get in the way
-set it and forget it. No silly yearly registration like Avast requires.
-poor at removing malware
-not the best performer. Avast!, Panda cloud, MSE are all significantly lighter on the system.
-Installs ASK bar which upon uninstallation results in minimal web protection.
Very competent, effective anti-virus against widespread and known malware. Good for senior citizens who don't browse the seedier parts of the internet, don't do much P2P, don't want additional complications and don't mind the ASK bar.I also want to mention that shortly after my review, I gave Avira another chance and installed the ASK bar as well. Guess what? The web blocking was off. I searched google and stumbled upon the Avira forums where I learned that I had to run cmd prompt as an admin, enter some commands, restart the computer in safe mode, click on run and make changes to Avira web blocking. Even after diligently following the instructions, the web blocking didn't work. Also, the ASK bar installed itself on IE but not on FF and Avira didn't offer web blocking on either.
For years AVG got slammed by free AV users for its toolbar. For the last two years at least, AVG has been offering to *not install the toolbar. Having the toolbar or not doesn't affect the suite's security capabilities. In stark contrast, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Avira. Removing the toolbar results in web browsing security holes.
Why did Avira forge this relationship with ASK? Couldn't they just offer a superb free product and hope that some would actually pay for their premium services? many security suites designate toolbars as PUPs(potentially unwanted program). Avast! actually has PUP detection options in its file guard section.
rating criteria -
5/5 in malicious file detection
4.5/5 in web blocking
3/5 in malware removal
3/5 in interface that's barely changed over the years
2/5 in configurability
3/5 in features
0/5 in consumer trust (installing PUP aka toolbar)
3/5 in performance
overall rating - 2.9/5 rounded up to 3/5.
This isn't a personal attack against Avira. I do feel I have been fair and unbiased. The reason in bringing up Avast! all the time is that in every way, they've knocked the ball out of the park.
I don't work for them nor am I a blind fanboy. please go to my past reviews and you'll see I gave AVG a 5/5 in september, 2012 and wasn't all that impressed with Avast 7! until much later which I gave a 3/5 in Aug, 2012.
For most of last year, I championed AVG. Now Avast! is number 1.
If Avira regains my trust and ups its game, I hope to give it a 5/5 and rate it THE BEST. It's still in the top 4 free.
Updated on Apr 8, 2013