- Multilayer protection
- Free VPN
- Free password manager
- Customizable interface
- Advanced protection
- Only for home PCs
- Some features have to be downloaded
Today’s e-threats have evolved. There is malware, spyware, phishing websites, viruses, and much more lurking out there on the World Wide Web. As such, finding a solution to defend your system against them is important, ideally as part of a wide umbrella of numerous antivirus features and options to protect your browsing, passwords, and private information. Avira Free Antivirus is able to provide all these, and much more. It is able to detect viruses, adware, and spyware as well as repair compromised files, block infected and phishing websites, and keep known malware at bay. But it comes with a great deal of additional tools, too, from a free VPN to a browser extension and password manager, all in the name of securing your PC. There is an upgrade available, Avira Antivirus Pro, with which even more features such as are added for protection against evolving ransomware threats, which comes at a price of $35.99 per year for one device.
This package goes far beyond just antivirus protection, bundling in extras like a firewall manager and browser extension. The latter is especially interesting, able to rate the websites being visited based on their reputation and providing defense against other unwanted extensions. This is possible because of the software’s ability to scan websites by using cloud technology in real time, and letting the user know which are infected from the search results.
Avira Free Antivirus can also install a password manager, a system optimizer, and a VPN service, though they each need to be downloaded and some are only available as trials that must be paid for to unlock permanently. The software has many options that can be customized, even though some of them are a bit difficult for the average user to find. It works outside of browsers, too, since it can scan emails to notify you if there are any infected ones.
Avira Free Antivirus provides a three-layer security antivirus protection, with the customary malware scanner comparing files with a store of identified threats and heuristic monitoring that analyses code and looks for indications of infections. After being set up, the software enables you to do a full, quick, or custom scan, and can also have the scans scheduled.
Full scans are impressive since the speed of the process is quick and the procedure requires little interaction from the user once it’s started. But by selecting a custom scan, Avira Free Antivirus enables a lot of flexibility when it comes to scan options. There are local drive scans, rootkit ones, or even a complete Windows system scan, all handled smoothly without affecting the performance of the device. It can scan and block any detected malicious software, though concerningly email attachments are verified whenever the user opens them rather than upon being received.
The antivirus protection provided by this software uses defense cloud technology, which is able to scan files in real time for exploits and malware. However, if you require security against evolving threats, you’ll have to upgrade to its paid version to enable Avira’s antivirus to perform automatic updates.
This antivirus is compatible with the Windows 7/8/10 operating systems but can only be used on one device from the same account. If you need protection for Mac, Android, or iOS, then there are also the free downloads for these platforms, too.
Avira Free Antivirus presents an option named Avira Phantom VPN, which enables you to utilize a network anonymously and securely. The small downside with this feature is that it has to be installed and used manually. Not only that, but the free version of this tool only offers 500MB of secured traffic monthly, too. Like much of the software, the VPN can be customized however you wish, however the kill switch function is limited to the paid upgrade.
There’s also a free software updater included in the software, which is very important when it comes to keeping your device running smoothly and its security. It enables you to keep your PC up to date with minimal input yourself.
The software also has a password manager, which is able to avoid data theft caused by stolen or weak passwords. This feature will save any passwords entered while surfing the internet into a secure vault, allows you to create notes for certain logins, and protects everything behind military-grade encryption. The feature eases your internet use, too, since it can automatically fill in data for you and will even generate unhackable passwords, which is the most attractive part of it.
Avira Free Antivirus has only one upgrade, Antivirus Pro for Windows, which brings even more features such as protection against evolving ransomware threats, scanning email attachments, downloads, and USBs for malware, priority scanning of files stored in the cloud, and unlimited customer support. This paid upgrade comes at quite a reasonable price of only $35.99 per year for one device. Payment options include PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB credit card payments or direct debit via bank transfers.
Avira bundles all of its customer service functions into its website support page, where you’ll find an FAQ page, videos, and tutorials, though there is also support via Twitter or Facebook. On the same page further support can be found containing short videos on installation procedures and how-to tutorials. There are free downloads available too, from antivirus programs to device optimization tools, as well as more information on viruses and other types of malware.
The company also provides direct contact through an email address and a telephone number, where more specific questions can be asked. The website is very easily navigated, with clear and organized pages. When we contacted Avira via its Facebook page, we received concise answers rapidly and courteously.
Avira Free Antivirus provides complete protection with numerous features to make it one of the most complex antivirus suites available at the moment. Not only does it offer three-layer security with a traditional malware scanner and heuristic monitoring and automatic, manual, and custom scans, but it also includes a whole range of extended protection features like a limited VPN, a password manager, and a software updater.
Even though it has a customizable interface, the software can sometimes be a little difficult to make use of for the average user since some of the extended features have to be downloaded separately and the options are complex and only really for advanced users. As a free solution for home users only, Avira Free Antivirus offers great protection that can assure you that the device you are using is entirely safe.
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