Avira Free Antivirus - Free download and software reviews The free antivirus category is a crowded one with well- entrenched products, but Avira distinguishes itself with a low- key approach, a clean and compact interface, and a wide variety of optional settings. Pros. A professional- grade interface: Free programs and utilities often look kludgy and dated and have confusing or cryptic navigation.
Avira, however, feels like software that you would ordinarily pay for. It almost looks like something built into the operating system, and you can navigate using either the left- hand pane or the drop- down menus along the top. Lots of optional configuration: Avira works just fine out of the box, capable of running system scans without slowing down other tasks, like loading webpages or editing a document. But if you want, you can change settings like the number of days before Avira warns you that its definition file (basically, a book of virus mug shots) is out of date. You can also specify what types of compressed files you want to be scanned or ignored, ignore specific files or processes, target specific file extensions, and search for root kits before scanning. It's unusual to find this many options in a free antivirus app - - and you must have administrator privileges to change anything, so secondary accounts can't log in and tamper with it.
No hard sell: Unlike many free antivirus apps, Avira Antivirus Free is mostly content to run in the background and quietly do its thing. You'll get the occasional pop- up window, but it's not distracting.
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Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition has been engineered to enable you to enjoy your computer to the max, without having to worry about viruses and.
Cons. Safe. Search Plus has issues: Avira offers the Safe. Search Plus browser add- on during installation. It puts a button in your browser that you click to enter a Web search, and the results are sanitized by Avira to reduce the chance of you being led to a malicious page. It looks very much like Google and even plugs into Google Maps, but the add- on will pop up a window urging you to change how your New Tab page works - - every single time you open a new tab.
It also doesn't appear to work in Firefox - - the change never takes effect, and you just keep getting the pop up every time you open a new tab. It works fine in Chrome, but in this browser it also redirects you to its own search engine instead of Google when you use Chrome's address bar to search for things, which is a bit further than we'd like to go.
Thankfully, you can skip installing Safe. Search Plus. Not quite as good as a premium antivirus app: According to security software tests from AV- Test, one thing never changes: you get what you pay for.
Avira Antivirus Free might be the all- around best antivirus app that you don't have to pay for, in terms of speed, quality of scanning, and usability, but paid programs from Kaspersky, Bitdefender, and Mc. Afee consistently edge it out. You can get some of these for pretty cheap if you shop around. And there can be fringe benefits as well to paid software - - for example, your version of Norton is always the latest one as long as you have a subscription, and Mc. Afee suites can now be used on an unlimited number of devices. Bottom Line If you're tight on cash, Avira Free is a compelling option, as long as you skip Safe. Search Plus during installation.
But a little extra insurance can go a long way, so we'd prefer to stick to the big guns from the major vendors.