. Avira offers a dizzying array of choices, among them scanning active processes, removable drives, and the Documents folder. To complete the test, I launched each sample that survived the initial massacre. That's good, but Bitdefender, , and McAfee have all done better recently, with 99, 98, and 97 percent respectively. I keep the test going until I've collected at least 100 data points. When I last evaluated Avira, it made quite a fuss during my first test, which simply involves opening a folder containing malware samples that I've analyzed by hand. Avira participates in all four of the tests that I follow from this lab.
Impressively, Avira blocked all access to 94 percent of the malware-hosting sites; detection of malware payloads brought its total up to 96 percent. Avira takes the concept a step further. The techs at search the web for real-world malicious websites and use a capture and replay system to hit multiple antivirus utilities with the exact same attack. This product gets excellent scores from the independent labs, and it brings along a collection of related Avira products. Clicking Modules from the menu reveals a list that includes the four components that have status buttons, plus Protection Cloud Plus a feature that prioritizes analysis of unknown files for Pro users and Firewall. And you can even trigger an email with instructions on how to install missing products.
A product that goes beyond the minimum can earn Advanced certification, or even Advanced+. Founded in 1986, Avira protects hundreds of millions of users worldwide with its free Avira Antivirus. Its basic scan seeks junk files, Registry problems, and system traces of your private activity. A big button to launch a quick scan dominates the center of the window. I use an algorithm to map all the scores onto a 10-point scale and come up with an aggregate result.
Four big buttons reflect the status of Real-Time Protection, Ransomware Protection, Web Protection, and Mail Protection; all but the first are Pro-only features. They can be downloaded for use independent of Avira Antivirus. Identity Scanner is an online service, not a locally installed product. Avira earned a perfect 18 points in this test, along with Kaspersky and McAfee. Tested with these same samples, Cylance, , and McAfee managed 93 percent protection and 9. Here you can see each device, with icons showing all the installed Avira tools. Browser protection only for Chrome and Firefox.
Additional features include boot time optimization, power management, file encryption, secure deletion, backup, and more. And it eliminated 83 percent of the samples at this stage, just by looking at them. Well Worth a Look Avira Antivirus gets good ratings from the independent labs, though not as good as the best commercial products. You get a free trial that's good for exactly one use. Tested by all four labs, Avira scored 9.
Hands-On Malware Protection Testing Those impressive lab test scores mean that Avira can resist against malware attack. Specifically, I change the filename, append zeroes to change the length of the file, and tweak a few non-executable bytes. A few of the labs actively help them achieve certification—if the product fails, the vendor gets a punch list of things that need fixing. It's worth noting that Norton and managed 100 percent detection and a perfect 10 points when tested against my previous collection of malware samples. To cover all facets of antivirus functionality, rates products on how well they protect against malware, how little they interfere with performance, and how carefully they avoid flagging valid programs or websites as malware, with 6 possible points in each area. As a further test of this simple on-access scanning, I use a second set of samples, created by modifying each of the originals. When I tried it, clicking for results just sent me back to fill in my email again.
Upgrading to gets you automated installation of updates. Option to install many related Avira products. At the top, Bitdefender's aggregate score was 9. Chrome and Firefox alone did significantly better, with 88 percent protection. If products don't achieve near-perfect protection, they simply fail. Clicking Download All gets all the updates; you can also download updates one by one, or remove products from being monitored.
More interesting to me are the tests that put a group of products through the exact same evaluation and report how well they did. You can schedule other scans of various types on a daily or weekly basis. I tested phishing protection on the Mac alongside my Windows test; the results not surprisingly were exactly the same. Of course, you can still choose to scan any folder you wish. Along with Bitdefender, F-Secure, and , Avira managed Level 1 certification. Each of its informational pages both describes a companion product and offers to install that product.
A full scan on my standard clean test system took 90 minutes, not quite twice the current average of 49 minutes but much better than the last time I tested this product. Scan Choices Clicking the Scan menu item gives you the expected choices of full, quick, and custom scans. Even so, I still run my hands-on tests, to get a feel for how the product does its job. The scores aren't directly comparable, but perfection is impressive. Other available free tools include a password manager and a Safe Shopping browser extension that helps you find bargains. Both Kaspersky and recently earned 100 percent in this test, and Bitdefender is right up there with 99 percent. Everybody needs protection, even people on a limited budget.
The Avira Connect app manages all your other Avira products and serves as a launch pad to start any of them. Overall, it scored 89 percent detection and 8. It didn't request a reboot. This lab's other main test evaluates protection against a spectrum of malware types, offering Level 1 certification to products that completely prevent all the attacks, and Level 2 to those that remediate the effects of an attack within 24 hours. Many security products flip through a series of informational slides during installation, extolling the virtues of the product itself or advertising companion products.