Avira Free Antivirus 13 review
Poor test results and non-functional buttons make this version of Avira Antivirus a disappointment
Review Date: 15 Feb 2013
Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith
Price when reviewed: Free
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ease of Use
Avira’s latest interface is straightforward and usable – but in this free version, most of the features don’t actually work, and are there only to tempt you to upgrade to the paid-for suite.
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The package also ties its web protection into an Ask.com toolbar that’s installed by default for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Still, the suite no longer pops up a big advertisement when it updates, so overall it’s less intrusive than previous versions.
It’s nimble, too, adding a creditably low nine seconds to boot time and completing a quick system scan in 14 seconds. When we tried downloading a malicious file, the software warned us immediately – although, as well as removal options, the notification included a shameless link to paid-for support, which clearly wasn’t needed in this case.
Ultimately, though, it isn’t the advertising that lets Avira down, but the test results. AV-Test saw Avira achieve a low 84% detection rate against brand-new threats, and a similar overall repair rate of 85%. That puts its protection some way behind Avast Free Antivirus and AVG AntiVirus Free, making it an unattractive choice.
Author: Darien Graham-Smith
I hear this a lot and its fair comment that you really don't want popups trying to confuse mum and dad. But if MSE offers less protection is it really that big a problem? i'd rather deal with a simple question on the phone than an outbreak on their PC.
By jt1985 on 17 Feb 2013
Bugs and false positives
I used Avira on an old laptop that was crippled by McAfee.
Despite setting it to not scan passive files, it would scan files in the same directory as a file I was trying to open. It would then declare them as viruses and give me the option of deleting them or opening "Luke Filewalker" which immediately crashed. These faults had been reported by others over the years, and not fixed.
Personally I would not use a package that does things it is not set to do, provides no means of marking a file as safe, and which crashes repeatedly. A false positive should not require me to open up task manager to kill a misbehaving application.
By tirons1 on 17 Feb 2013
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