Avira Antivirus solutions review

Avira's free antivirus is good, but it's just the start

Avira antivirus security tools dashboard

TechRadar Verdict

Avira Antivirus Pro has a lengthy feature list and fair detection rates, but there's not quite enough extra power to justify the cost. If you're an Avira fan, either stick with the free version or choose one of the suites.


  • +

    Good malicious URL and anti-phishing protections

  • +

    Highly configurable

  • +

    Nice free option available


  • -

    Noticeable slowdown when installed

  • -

    Set up is required before using

  • -

    Not recommended for mobile

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Please note

This is our all-in-one roundup reviewing every Avira consumer security solution for 2023, one of our favorite free antivirus apps. On this page you’ll find:

(a) a quick look at Avira Free

(b) a full evaluation of the entry-level Avira Antivirus Pro, along with our reviews of the additional features incorporated with the rest of the range: 

(c) Avira Internet Security, and

(d) the top-end package Avira Prime.

You can jump to the reviews of those individual products by clicking on the links in the navigation bar to the left.

Avira antivirus software has been around for a while and has consistently don't well in protecting against many types of malware including ransomware. It has a good free antivirus program to get you started, but its true value lies in the advanced security tools included with its paid subscription option.

Some of the add-on features included with higher-tiered Avria offerings include a firewall to protect your network connection, a password manager to hide your online credentials, external drives and USB device scanning, and unlimited access to a VPN. All of the antivirus software from Avira includes a clean interface that's easy to find the tools you need, but there are some usability issues depending on the version.

The biggest question when it comes to choosing an Avira antivirus solution is which one is best for you. We break down each of the different subscriptions, what's included, and how well they work. We'll let you know of any issues we've discovered during testing so you can be aware of these issues, too.

Plans and pricing

Each of the four products offered by Avira builds on the tools and features of each other. All have the same level of security and use real-time protections to keep malware from infecting your computer. There are good differences between them all, so it's worth looking closely at what's offered to make sure the Avira antivirus solution you choose has what you need.

Avira Free Security doesn't have much beyond malware blocking. This is done in real-time so that online threats are stopped before they have a chance to infect your computer. You can only protect a single device, but you can choose which device to download Avira Free to. It has Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS versions. Of course, the best part is Avira Free Security doesn't cost you anything.

Avira Antivirus Pro is what we consider its basic antivirus solution. It doesn't do much more than the free version in terms of overall protection, but it does include a firewall. This is worth the cost since a firewall helps prevent malware attacks from coming through your network or internet connections. Avira Antivirus Pro has 1-month, 1-year, and 2-year subscription options. The best deal, though, is the 1-year subscription. This starts at $26.99 for a single device, though a five-device option is available. The cost of the month-to-month option starts at $4.99, and $77.99 for 2 years.

Avira Internet Security starts at $34.99/ year for a single device. It, too, has a monthly subscription of $5.99, and a 2-year option for $102.99. You can pay a little more a protect up to 5 devices on any of these plans.  Internet Security comes with a few more tools than Antivirus Pro, and in my opinion, is the best deal of the Avira offerings. The balance between good security and overall value is met at this price point.

The biggest difference between Avira Prime and Internet Security is the number of minimum devices its lowest-priced subscription covered (5 total), its compatibility with mobile devices, and the inclusion of unlimited VPN access. You can choose between its monthly offering of $9.99, $59.99 for a single-year subscription, or $189.99 for 2 years. You do have the option to cover up to 25 devices, but there isn't an in-between offering. You jump from 5 devices straight to 25 with Prime.

Compare Avira subscriptions

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Avira Free SecurityAvira Antivirus ProAvira Internet SecurityAvira Prime
Operating systemWindows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, macOSWindows. macOSWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
Max no of devices15525
Starting priceFREE$26.99/yr$34.99/yr$59.99/yr
Vulnerability scan✔️✔️✔️✔️
Password manager✔️✔️
PC Cleaner✔️

Antivirus Free Security

Screenshot of Avira's first deep scan captured during testing

Getting started with Avirs Free Security is easy. It prompts you through the entire download and installation process. It does have a few steps to follow once it's installed in order to have the right tools enabled. If you're tech-savvy, think is pretty intuitive, and if you're new to antivirus software, Avira has prompts to help you find the files and tools you need to turn on. Real-time protection will be on already, so you'll be protected the moment Avira is installed.

The software will start a deep scan of your system right away. This looks for any existing malware lurking on your computer, and potential weak points. The full report will show you outdated software, old junk files, and other bits of remaining deleted apps that can be removed so your computer runs faster. However, specific details and the ability to have Avira fix them aren't available unless you upgrade to one of its paid subscriptions.

To be better protected, you'll need to enable the Avira browser extension in the browsers you use. When you open a browser for the first time after installing Avira, you will see a prompt encouraging you to enable the extension. This helps stop malware files from downloading onto your computer. It also blocks you from visiting dangerous websites known to harbor threats including phishing schemes.

Avira Free Security allows you to protect only one device, but you do get to decide which device to use. it has a single download for each of the main operating systems, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.


Both AV-Comparatives and AV-Test give Avira the highest marks for detecting and blocking malware. It was just as effective in stopping brand-new malware that hadn't been formally classified or added to malware databases. This is because Avira uses learning technology to recognize familiar patterns of a new threat based on what it's seen from old malware and stops it.

In our own testing, we saw how well Avira stops malware during the download process, so the threat can't infect your computer. Captures malware is placed in the Quarantine folder. This gives you a chance to look at the file in a secured, safe place and decide if it's okay to allow it to install, or if it really is a threat. From here you can manually ask Avira to scrub the threat clean or leave it until Avira does it for you, usually within 14 days from the time the file is placed in quarantine.

AV-Comparatives May 2023 Avira malware protection results

Every so often Avira will tag a legitimate file as malware. However, its overall rate of miss identifying safe files is only 0.2%. Neither of the independent antivirus labs nor our own testers have seen Avira let a real threat through thinking it is okay. Overall, you're secured from online threats when using Avira Free Security.

Avira Free Security lets you run basic or deeper scans of your system. These look for viruses and vulnerabilities that open you up to other types of threats. You're given a good report of what Avira finds, but it won't fix most of these for you unless you opt to upgrade to a paid version. You can find these issues on your own and manually fix them. You will see enough details to know where the files are located to delete them, or which software apps need updating to the most current version.

Avira Free Security doesn't have any advanced security tools. There isn't a firewall, though the icon link is available on the dashboard. There also isn't a password manager or software updater. All these features, and many more, are available when you upgrade to a paid option.

Screen shot of Avira scan results captured during testing


This free antivirus software is clean and clutter-free. It feels natural to navigate through it, and the dark mode is easy on the eyes. It uses icons to help direct you to the functions and tools you need. However, just because there is an icon link doesn't mean you can actually use that feature in full, if at all.

While running Aivra on our test and home machines, we did notice some slowdown. It took longer for browsers to open and other apps to launch. We also noticed websites loaded slower. Sometimes the lag was enough to freeze our computer and cause brief moments of panic. Once the apps were open or the site loaded, we didn't have the same drag issues.

Both AV-Test and AV-Comparatives saw similar performance issues. Both logged slowdown while Avira was installed. The slowdown can be frustrating, though it isn't a big issue if you're online for causal browsing, or sending email. We don't recommend Avira if you're a gamer since the lag could cause buffering and interrupt gameplay.

Final verdict

Avira Free Security is very basic in what it offers, but this overall protection against online threats is impressive. We feel comfortable using it, though it does cause some slowdown while running. We got a little impatient waiting for a browser to open and websites to load, but the slowdown wasn't too extreme. 

It's a good place to start if you're new to antivirus because of its easy interface. Once you feel comfortable upgrading to one of Avira's paid subscriptions will feel natural while giving you additional security benefits.

Avira Antivirus Pro

Screenshot of Avira Antivirus Pro dashboard

Avira has revamped its interface since our last review and now features a dark-themed and simplified dashboard with little more than a status indicator and a Smart Scan button to run some instant system checks.

There's still plenty of functionality, though, and choosing Security, Privacy, or Performance on the left-hand sidebar gives you access to everything you need: scans, firewall, the Software Updater, VPN, optimization tools, and more. As with its Free version, if there are tools you're not allowed to use on this level, you won't be able to click through and access them.

We tapped the Smart Scan button on the dashboard. This looks for malware, network issues, privacy, and performance problems (tracking cookies, junk files, startup apps, orphaned Registry entries), yet still took less than a minute on our test system.

A Quick Scan option runs a more conventional check on system files, running processes, and the Registry. It doesn't cover a lot, but it's likely to catch the most common threats, and it only took 60 seconds for us.

Screenshot of Avira antivirus scan results captured during testing

Choosing a custom scan in most antivirus apps results in a prompt asking you which drive or folder you'd like to check. Avira gives you many more options, with predefined scans to check your Documents folder, Windows folders, removable drives, active processes, and more. You can also save new custom scans to check specific drives and folders, making it easier to recall them later.

You're not able to define how these custom scans work (file types to check or ignore, detection methods to use, and so on), as you can with Avast and some others. Avira's approach is an improvement on what we usually see, though, and manages to give more scanning control to expert users while keeping everything very easy to use for everyone else.

You can also run a full system scan, or check selected items from Explorer's right-click menu. We found this took 28 minutes to scan 50GB of test data, a good mid-range time (Kaspersky took 29 minutes, but Bitdefender took 39.) But other apps make more effort to optimize subsequent scans, for example only checking new or changed files, and that makes a real difference. Avira's second scan of our test data took 24:41, for instance, while Bitdefender's was only 27 seconds.


As Avira Antivirus Pro claims to have top-quality ransomware detection, we decided to pit the program against our own custom ransomware simulator. This is very basic and doesn't use any stealthy malware tricks, but as we coded it ourselves, we knew it wouldn't be in Avira's signature database. The only way the package could detect our threat was by recognizing its behavior.

We launched our ransomware simulator, then watched as it successfully spidered through multiple folders in our test folder tree, encrypting more than 6,000 documents and data files, without Avira Antivirus Pro raising any alarm or making any attempt to spot it.

You can argue that this was the correct decision. After all, our simulator is malware-like, but not genuine malware, so letting it run makes sense. And we also know from test results that Avira does block the huge majority of real brand-new threats.

Still, we prefer the more cautious approach taken by Bitdefender and Trend Micro. In their last reviews, the apps not only managed to detect and kill our test software, but they also recovered the handful of files our simulator managed to encrypt.

Screenshot of Avira ransomware test captured during testing


Browse Avira's Modules list and you'll find an On/ Off switch for a firewall, but don't get your hopes up, this isn't how it looks. There's no extra network protection here, it's just an alternative interface for the Windows firewall.

This doesn't do very much, beyond making it fractionally easier to turn the firewall on or off and tweak a handful of settings for your network profiles. Accessing any of the more features - setting application rules, for instance - just opens the regular Windows firewall dialogs. If you really need to take control of the Windows firewall, you'd be better off learning to find your way around the standard interface.

The new interface integrates many of Avira's other free tools and makes them easier to try out than previously (no need to run each installer separately, for instance.)

Some of these are cut-down versions of other Avira products, and are available separately for free, whether you buy Avira Antivirus Pro or not. Still, many are genuinely useful. 

Avira's Software Updater finds needed updates and installs them automatically.

Screenshot of Avira antivirus software updater in action

Privacy tools include an ad and tracker-blocking extension for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera. A file shredder securely deletes confidential files; a simple password manager stores your logins and syncs them across your devices, and a Privacy Settings module helps you choose more secure Windows settings. There's also a 'secure browser', although this isn't some custom-built isolated browser like Bitdefender's SafePay: it's just a standard version of Opera.

There's also a surprisingly comprehensive Performance section, with tools to free up drive space, optimize boot times, find and remove broken Registry items, delete duplicate files, update drivers, and more.

As this is a free build, it only handles the most common cleanup and optimization tasks. That's enough to be useful and we're glad to see it here.  However, its System Speedup tool is more effective, but it's not included at this level.

Avira antivirus provacy tools listed on its dashboard

Final verdict

The new Avira Antivirus Pro interface does a great job of integrating its many features. You can install many of them separately for free, though, and current protection results from the labs are mid-range at best. 

Avira Internet Security

Screenshot of Avira Internet Security interface

Avira Internet Security is a bundle of products that includes Avira Antivirus Pro, Software Updater Pro, and Password Manager Pro.

Avira's Software Updater Pro is an easy-to-use patch manager which regularly checks for missing application updates, and can automatically install whatever it finds. There's nothing for you to download, and you won't see any installer apps.

Avira's Password Manager Pro generates secure passwords, automatically fills in login forms for you, and syncs new credentials across all your devices.

If you're used to security suites that come with parental controls and maybe a spam filter, this could seem a little underpowered. But if patch management and passwords are top of your priority list, it might be worth giving the suite a closer look.

Software Updater Pro

Avira's Software Updater Pro claims it automatically updates 'over 150 programs', which is less than many competitors. The freeware Patch My PC updates more than 300, others can handle many more. Software Updater's list is well chosen, though, and covers some very important apps and components: .NET, Acrobat Reader, CCleaner, Google Chrome, Firefox, IrfanView, Java, Opera, Paint.net, TeamViewer, VLC Media Player, and updates for Windows and assorted Windows components and layers.

The package mostly worked as advertised for us. We installed some old versions of supported apps, Software Updater found a decent 11 updates and silently downloaded and installed 10. It couldn't automatically update FileZilla, the same problem we saw in the last review. Still, just having an update alert was useful, and Software Updater also gave us a link to the FileZilla site where we could download and install it ourselves.

Avira's Software Updater Pro settings and details on its interface

Software Updater can check for driver updates, too, although that's much less useful. If it told you that your NVVHCI Enumerator driver was out of date, for instance, what would you think? Could that be causing problems, should you update it? Or is it the latest version that's compatible with some other part of your system, and updating it would break your PC to the point it wouldn't even boot?

It's okay, we don't have the faintest idea, either. Software Updater's driver side might still be useful in that it could highlight a missing update which you can manually explore further, but that's about it. The vast majority of people will be better off leaving driver support to Windows Update.

We have some issues with Software Updater, then, but it's better than the patch managers you'll get bundled with most security suites. Most users will get some value from it, and if that's not you, you're an expert who hates this kind of tool, no problem - you can use it for manual checks only (no automatic updates at all), or just uninstall the module and focus on the rest of the suite.

Avira Password Manager Pro

Password Manager Pro

(Image credit: Avira)

Avira Password Manager Pro is easy to set up just about anywhere. Install the Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS apps, or the Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Opera extensions, import any existing logins and you're ready to go.

The package includes a secure password generator, saves new credentials as they're entered, and can automatically complete login forms when you return.

The latest version supports logins and credit cards, but that's it. There's no support for saving names, addresses, or any other identity information.

Avira Password Manager Pro does have some advanced features. You can access your passwords with touch and face recognition, for instance, if they're supported on your device. Two-factor authentication enables logging in via a security code sent to your phone. And the app can alert you to weak or reused passwords, or raise a notification if one of your accounts might have been hacked.

If you don't have another password manager, Avira's offering will simplify your logins and could help make your accounts far more secure.

The service can't begin to match the best of the competition, though, and if you're after real password management power, you should probably look elsewhere.

Final verdict

Overall, Avira Internet Security is a lot like Antivirus Pro - it's a decent package, but just doesn't have enough functions or features for us to recommend it ahead of the competition.

If you're after a more traditional security suite, particularly with a firewall and extra layers of network protection, you'll be better off elsewhere.

But if you like Avira, and are just not so interested in Software Updater and Password Manager, keep reading. Avira's high-end Prime bundle gives you a lot of more general-purpose power for a very fair price.

Avira Prime

Avira Prime antivirus interface

At the top of Avira's consumer range is Avira Prime, a powerful bundle that comes crammed with essential functions and features. The key security benefits are access to Avira's premium Android and iOS apps, and a license covering up to five devices. You can increase this to an impressive 25 devices.

The most valuable extra is full access to Avira's Phantom VPN Pro. And we do mean full access, with none of the data limits or user restrictions you'll often get with other security suite VPNs. The license enables using the VPN as much as you like, on as many devices as you need, just as though you'd purchased it separately.

Avira mobile and Mac applications

Experienced Windows users will also appreciate Avira's System Speedup Pro, a very full-featured PC optimization tool. Forget the feeble apps you've seen in other suites, which often do less than Windows' own Disk Cleanup - this outperforms many stand-alone specialist PC optimizers.

The suite is great value at just $60 for a five-device, one-year license. If you'll make regular use of the VPN, that's one of the best deals you'll find anywhere, but even if you don't, Prime has more than enough power to justify a closer look. There's a 30-day trial available if you'd like to find out more, and optional monthly billing (just $9.99) means you can try the services for longer with no real commitment.

Mobile apps

Avira's free Android and iOS apps cover the antivirus basics and more but upgrading to Avira Prime gets you the full commercial editions with some valuable extras.

The Android app gains automatic blocking of malicious websites, for instance, along with more frequent updates to protect you from the very latest threats.

Webcam and microphone protection ensure apps can't record you without authorization.

You're able to lock your most sensitive apps with a PIN code, and there's free customer support if you run into any problems.

Avira's iOS app is a bundle of more general security tools, including anti-theft, a call blocker, content backup, and a network scanner. You can use the VPN on your mobile devices, too.

This isn't the longest list of upgrade benefits we've seen, but it's still impressive with helpful tools that bring additional security benefits to your devices.

Avira Prime interface with list of VPN locations

Phantom VPN Pro

Avira Phantom VPN Pro doesn't have a market-leading feature list, but there's still a lot to like: 50+ locations including multiple US cities, P2P support, a kill switch (on Windows), malicious URL blocking, optional automatic connection when you access a wireless network, mobile and desktop apps (Windows, Android, iOS, Mac) and a Chrome extension, too.

Although the full Avira Prime package covers up to five devices, Phantom VPN Pro covers as many as you need, an unusually generous touch.

The Windows app delivers on the basics. It's easy to use (choose a location, click Connect), performance is reasonable, we couldn't find any DNS leaks, and the kill switch correctly blocked our internet connection when we forcibly dropped the VPN.

The service couldn't unblock BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime Video, but it got us into US Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, a better result than you'll get with many VPN providers.

Phantom VPN Pro doesn't offer much low-level control. You can't change or tweak its choice of protocol, for instance, and you can't manually set up the service on other devices.

It's still a decent service, though, which does everything most users will need, and adds a huge amount of value to the suite.

System Speedup Pro

Security suites often claim to include some kind of device optimization, but usually this means little more than deleting a few temporary files, something PC users can already do for free with Windows' own Disk Cleanup (often more effectively, too.)

Avira's System Speedup Pro is a rare exception, a tool with so many features and options that you might want to use it stand-alone.

Its cleanup tools check areas all across your PC, for instance: the Recycle bin, temporary files, browser junk, third-party leftovers, surplus reports and logs, even invalid Registry entries. This found more files to free up than CCleaner on our test system, a real achievement.

Then there's the Startup Optimizer. Most tools just display a list of programs configured to start when Windows loads and enables removing any you don't need. Speedup Pro comes with its own boot tracker which measures boot times and analyses apps to show you which has the most impact. And it goes further, with the ability to raise a notification if a system change increases your boot time or an automatic optimization feature that keeps your system running smoothly at all times.

Avira's System Speedup Pro benefit list

That's good, but Avira's just getting started. Browse the menus and you'll find a duplicate file finder, a software uninstaller, an undelete tool, a file shredder, disk wiping, file encryption, a Windows service manager, a disk doctor, a +Windows troubleshooting app, a game booster, Registry, and disk defraggers, a context menu optimizer, power management tools and more.

All system optimizers come with some risks, and non-technical users, or anyone looking for a quiet life, should probably leave System Speedup Pro alone.

If you've any Windows experience, though, and you appreciate the value of cleanup tools such as CCleaner, you'll find a huge amount to explore here. System Speedup Pro is an excellent PC maintenance tool that not only tramples all over the underpowered offerings in other security suites but outperforms many stand-alone PC optimizers, too.

Avira's System Speedup Pro tools and reports within the interface

Final verdict

In conclusion, Avira Prime leaves out many of the features you might expect in a security suite - there's no firewall, no spam filter, no parental controls, no backup - and if they're high on your priority list, that's going to be a problem.

The top-rated antivirus engine is a major plus, though, and if you'll use the bundled VPN, speedup suite, and other tools, Prime offers great value. Give it a try.

Mike Williams
Lead security reviewer

Mike is a lead security reviewer at Future, where he stress-tests VPNs, antivirus and more to find out which services are sure to keep you safe, and which are best avoided. Mike began his career as a lead software developer in the engineering world, where his creations were used by big-name companies from Rolls Royce to British Nuclear Fuels and British Aerospace. The early PC viruses caught Mike's attention, and he developed an interest in analyzing malware, and learning the low-level technical details of how Windows and network security work under the hood.

With contributions from