Avira Free Antivirus review

Impressive free virus protection that can be tweaked and tailored to your needs

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Our Verdict

If you can ignore the ads and the slow scans, this is a high capable tool which will do a great job of protecting your computer.


  • Little impact on system performance
  • Great detection rates
  • Available for Windows, Mac and Android


  • Installer promotes other Avira products
  • Lots of popups when running
  • Scans can be very slow

You would think that software manufacturers would like to make a good impression right from the start, and on this front Avira Free Antivirus is an immediate disappointment. The installation of the antivirus tool not only takes an age, but it’s littered with advertisements for other Avira software. Sure, they're all free tools, but it's annoying to have to ensure the ads nonetheless.

Avira Free Antivirus

Where to download: https://package.avira.com/package/oeavira/win/int/avira_en_free0___rad.exe

Type: Antivirus

Developer: Avira Operations

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Version: 2017

Once you get past this, however, things start to pick up dramatically. Performing a full system scan can be slow – this can probably be put down to the fact that Avira doesn’t hog resources like some antivirus software – but lab tests show that detection rates are very high indeed.

For households with multiple systems, Avira Free Antivirus is available not only for Windows, but also Android and Mac, providing protection for all your devices.

Despite the name, there is not just protection against viruses on offer – the program can also be configured to look out of games, 'joke' programs and other potentially unwanted elements. There's a lot to like in Avira Free Antivirus, it won't be to everyone's liking.

User experience

Avira Free Antivirus's interface is like stepping back into the 90s, and you're constantly reminded that you're using the free version of the program thanks to the fact that there are greyed-out links to numerous settings that you're unable to use without upgrading to the premium version.

Outside of the virus protection side of things, Avira Free Antivirus provides handy access to Windows' own built in firewall, offering what many people will find an easier way to adjust settings. Virus scans are highly customizable, allowing you to choose the level of heuristic detection that's used, and opting to exclude certain files, file types and folders from scans.

If you're looking to tweak settings, however, be prepared to spend a while drilling down Avira's raft of options.

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