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Avira Premium Security Suite 9 review

Verdict

A comprehensive, competent and configurable suite. We're very impressed.

Review Date: 24 Apr 2009

Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith

Price when reviewed: £20 (£23 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
6 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Avira Premium Security Suite earned its place atop our A List thanks to its excellent all-round protection - plus some nice additions including parental web controls and a local backup client. Version 9 adds a few new features without, thankfully, spoiling the overall formula.

The most significant change is enhanced web protection. Historically, Avira has already proved a very strong performer against web-based threats, coming second only to AVG in our last Labs. Now, as an extra layer of protection, it can intercept invisible or otherwise suspicious iframes even before they start serving dodgy files.

Those who run their own mail servers will also appreciate the fact that the mail module can now scan POP traffic on any number of custom ports, rather than just the default.

The rest of the changes are mostly minor usability points: icons gain tooltips, the scanning process has been streamlined and the interface has been compacted to fit better on small screens.

That last update is particularly smart, because Avira's low system requirements are well suited to netbooks. Installing it on our Vista PC added just 75MB to our total system footprint, and a very reasonable six seconds to boot time. That's very light by security suite standards.

And detection is excellent. In this month's test, Avira detected 93% of our malware with default settings, which rose to 97% when we enabled detection of "privacy risks" as well as harmful code. We did hit one slight concern, though: the program steadfastly refused to warn us about two commercial spy applications, Email Spy and MING keylogger, even when we installed and ran them right under its nose.

Another foible of Avira is that, even in this new version, the interface is a little wayward: it relies too much on unlabelled icons, and the front-end is divided confusingly into a front panel (pictured) and a separate configuration window. The firewall is, by default, quite talkative too. Still, if you know what you're doing it's easier to set it precisely to your liking than Norton 360.

And that's the big difference: while Norton is designed for non-technical types, Avira expects you'll want to tweak your firewall rules, set up complex scanning preferences and even manage modules via WMI. Clearly, then, it's not for everyone.

But if you want the most powerful and versatile protection, Avira Premium Security Suite 9.0 only builds on its predecessor's many strengths - while the price remains just as appealing. In all, it's a convincing defence of Avira's A-List crown.

Author: Darien Graham-Smith

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User comments

Operating system support: Windows 7?

With Windows 7 due for release next month, will you be adding it as an option to forthcoming review 'specs' section 'Operating system support' ?

By ckbridge1 on 9 Sep 2009

Cost

After doing some research into what secuirty suite to get for my new machine and my license expiring in January, i thought it would be worth sharing my thoughts. Avira although i would to run is simply too exepnsive, it currently runs at £54 on their website which is seemingly the only place to obtain it from for a 3 machine licence. Kaspersky 2010 (my current suite) is currently retailing for £23.99 on amazon for a 3 machine licence and Norton Internet Security 2010 for £32.99 unfortunately for me it comes down to price; is Avira really worth a £30 mark up from other leading vendors? with such high scores surely they should be pushing their product better than this?

By jt1985 on 17 Oct 2009

Windows 7 & Avira Premium Suite 2009

Hi there,
After having Avira running without any problems for about 10 months I have just installed W7HP and it seems to have disabled all of the Avira protection! Firewall, Malware the lot. Try as I might I cannot get Avira to run normally. Anyone any thoughts?
Many thanks
Neil

By Havoc57 on 19 Nov 2009

No Network drive scanning!!!!!!!!!

thanks goodness there's a trial for this. I gave up with Kaspersky hogging my CPU and thought I'd try Avira. Initial impressions were very good. Lightweight, fast, configurable. Turned up 17 trojans, viruses etc on the first scan. However I cannot beleive PC Pro didn't mention that the Premium suite won't let me scan my NAS!!! This is ridiculous and is a deliberate choice by Avira. Basically they say buy the Workstation version of Antivir. I looked up in their forums and it is abundantly clear tht they aren't going to add that feature. So I'll be moving to something else....

By arm45217 on 23 Nov 2009

Avira is pretty good except..

..it is causing Windows 7 to do a checkdisk at every reboot.

Not harmfull, but irritating.

By cheysuli on 1 Dec 2009

Works fine in Windows 7 for me

I have had no problems in WIndows 7 (64bit) with Avira 9 or 10. The 3 month free trial is a nice touch, but not being able to scan my NAS is irritating....I used to use NIS - an old version but got tired of it's sluggishness.

By arm45217 on 2 Apr 2010

"Latest reviews..."?

I'm reading this on 30th March 2012, an article dated 24th April 2009, and it's a "latest review"?
What's going on with PC Pro? What sort of image does it portray of a leading PC magazine in a cutting-edge sector where things move day by day and it's still showing on its front page menu a 3-year-old article as "latest"?
Unbelievable...

By dahawthorne on 30 Mar 2012

And again

This review is another 2 years older, and still appearing on the list of Latest Reviews.

Doesn't anyone bother to review the code of your site PC Pro?

By Stiggy on 11 Apr 2014

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