Alternatives to Avira Free Antivirus for all platforms with any license

  • avast! Free Antivirus icon

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Avira Free Antivirus Comments

Not thought through

Negative Comment by Anamon
about Avira Free Antivirus Feb 2016

I'm not going to post this as a full review, because I didn't test Avira deeply enough for a comprehensive judgement. However, I wanted to post my experiences anyway, because I think they speak a lot to the overall quality of the software.

I just want to relate a particular instance of me wanting to download and install a freeware application which, unfortunately, comes bundled with the OpenCandy installer. Avira treats this as potentially unwanted software, which I think is fine. An OpenCandy-infested installer will by default be quarantined (encrypted and moved to a quarantine folder so as to make it unharmful). I also support this behaviour – maybe it will get some of the developers who use these bundling services to reconsider their choice. Installers being removed on sight from a user's system can't be good for trust and reputation.

However, I'm well aware of what OpenCandy is and does, and feel confident that I can prevent it from installing anything unwanted. I need to use the software it is bundled with. I might also want to extract the installer manually in order to circumvent OpenCandy. Luckily, Avira upon its detection asks me whether I want to "Deny access" or "Ignore" the file. That would be very well, if the result wasn't the same in either case. Even when I choose to "Ignore" the detection, the file gets quarantined and disappears from the download location.

So off to the Quarantine tab of Avira, to select the freshly quarantined file and opt to "Restore" it. Avira asks for confirmation and then promptly does this – for all of a fraction of a second, before immediately another pop-up notifies me that it has detected the very same file as malware again, and gives it a .VIR extension. That's not really the point of choosing to restore the file now, is it?

I can keep doing this in a loop forever, the renamed file shows up in the Quarantine section again, and upon a restore, the file gets duplicated again and again with consecutive numbers after the .VIR. Renaming it back to .EXE doesn't do any good, Avira will immediately quarantine it again. At one point, Avira got itself so confused that it seems to have locked the file somehow. The .EXE copy remained there, but couldn't be accessed anymore. Try to just select it in Windows Explorer, and Windows Explorer will crash. Try to redownload from Firefox and overwrite the .EXE, and Firefox will crash. Try to unquarantine it from Avira, and the Avira interface will crash!

True, you could manually add exceptions for every file that you don't want to trap Avira in an endless quarantine loop. Or you could temporarily disable real-time protection altogether, which however isn't really the point of an anti-virus software. Unfortunately, both weren't possible in my case because I didn't set up the system myself, and AntiVir's configuration password, which was unknown to me, didn't let me change any of those settings. How did I end up installing the software I needed? I rebooted Windows into safe mode, re-downloaded and installed the software while AntiVir wasn't looking (i.e. running), and deleted the Avira-locked copies, too.

The fact that a feature as central as the quarantine and restore are so badly thought through and implemented, to the point of being unusable for the purpose they're supposed to fulfill, doesn't bode well for the quality of the rest of the software, so be aware of this. The fact that there is even a feature request asking AntiVir to not immediately re-detect files manually marked as false positives, tells me that I didn't encounter some freak misconfiguration, but this malfunction is actually as the program was designed.


End testing of 4 most popular free antivirus

Negative Comment by realnabarl
about Avira Free Antivirus and AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition, Microsoft Security Essentials, avast! Free Antivirus Sep 2015


I once used Avira Free Antivirus (AFA below) a few years ago. The program is ugly and stupid. But now in 2015 things seems to get better, the program looks cleverer than it was. I tried it a few days but finally uninstalled it.

The Avira Launcher is really annoying, you must open it first, then open AFA. It shows some other Avira products icon with grey color, it drops a hint that "you have not install our other products yet". I really don't need them, but I must bear it every time I want to config the antivirus, this is not friendly, really.

The antivirus keeps remind me Windows Firewall is not active. Well. But I don't like Windows Firewall, it just give a few more windows waiting for my permission. AFA can active my Windows Firewall automatically if I let it go. For some unknown reason it would shut down again at next system reboot, then AFA would tell me I'm not under full protection again... But why are they like Windows Firewall so much? It's a good chance to advertise their internet secure product I think, and it would not get people annoying like that Avira Launcher.

The real reason makes me to uninstall it is it bugs. Today I unplugged my keyboard and plugged it again while system was working, pressed many random keys while fixing my keyboard, and some other things I can't recall clearly. At next reboot my system became extremely slow, and it reproduced with one more reboot. I once wanted to reinstall my system but just before that I tried uninstalling AFA. Oh yes everything back to normal!

== About other antivirus I tried ==

avast Free Antivirus:
I used avast for the longest time. Its interface changes frequently, and not always be better than the previous. Quarantine became a little concealed from version 2014. The mainly problem I find recently is it slowed down my Kega Fusion performance after a long time system running without reboot. I can't always run my system and Kega Fusion such a long time to reproduce it so I can't even report. You must add your daily use apps to exclusions or else lags when the app starts (this really sucks IMO).

Troubles me after installing, wrong system language detected and hard to fix, and uninstalling troubles too. I searched on Internet, the problem found very early (2011?) and now it still remains. It also so much likes WIndows Firewall, and Windows Update, but can these products splitted?

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition:
Similar to Avast and does not look bad, it can add stuff to exceptions at report window at first but not later. Maybe what detected by that "Resident Sheild" can't be add to exceptions in the report window. Anyway, this confuses me. If you ignore it the program will keep alarms... Another problem, my internet connection had some problem during its installing, and the installation stalls. After a few minutes it still stalls. I find it impossible to roll back the installation, no close button, had to end the process manually. Ouch! Don't know how many trash left on my HDD... Another problem, the Chinese page is highly incomplete, it could misleading people, and the register access in the program is led to the local page, that means, Chinese version of antivirus will lead you to Chinese page, the problem is... Chinese page is incomplete, there is no way to register! They should not add Chinese page at all if they are not fully prepared IMO.

Really hope all the antivirus stop their stupidness.


Why is it so hard to uninstall?

Negative Comment by Kooie
about Avira Free Antivirus Jun 2014

I tried the product, now I want to uninstall so I went to Control Panel -> uninstall etc. but the program is still there, it even created a new icon in my desktop after uninstall (?). It appears no more in uninstall program list but it´s there, there are services working I can´t stop; when looking for info about uninstall it takes you to avira official website where you can download tools that will not remove the program ie. removaltool-win32-en it´s another trojan removal tool, not an uninstaller. I even downloaded additional uninstall software (revo uninstaller) but didn´t help.
I hate it when software developers do this. Before I tried to uninstall the program I was satisfied with it, now I´m angry, and I´m still looking for info on how to uninstall it.

It seems the solution to this is boot system in safe mode, manually delete forders and files and the run Avira´s registry cleaner.
[Edited by Kooie, June 28]

[Edited by Kooie, June 28]


Stupid Program

Negative Comment by OlaMohammad
about Avira Free Antivirus Mar 2014

Stupid Program with high false alarm


No more Pop-up ad

Positive Comment by lucasffg
about Avira Free Antivirus Nov 2013

New CEO, new direction. Avira Free Antivirus no longer has those annoying pop-ups and seems to be getting even better each day.


Used to be good

Negative Comment by Pietzki
about Avira Free Antivirus Mar 2012

Avira used to be the best antivirus company for years, but recently decided to partner with and uniblue, two dubious companies whose programs are detected as malware by most antivirus programs.


WARNING: it will push ad pop-ups in your face almost DAILY

Negative Comment by TimAustralia
about Avira Free Antivirus Feb 2012

And in the latest version these are impossible to get rid of,
even using the apps designed specifically to get rid of Avira pop-up ads,
and EVEN after deleting a number of files and DLLs.

This thing is NUISANCEWARE
and in fact,
it will cause you MORE inconvenience than 95% of viruses.


Piece of shit imo. Slows down some programs a lot. Interfac ...

Negative Comment by bjornhallberg
about Avira Free Antivirus Jun 2011

Piece of shit imo. Slows down some programs a lot. Interface is bad. Crap ad popups even while gaming in full screen. UNINSTALL!!!


Best Anti-Virus I've ever used.

Positive Comment by generalcinema
about Avira Free Antivirus Jun 2011

Best Anti-Virus I've ever used. My system is light on resources to begin with and love Avira. I most likely won't use anything else.


It has the highest detection rates according to AV-comparat ...

Positive Comment by gordita_de_lisoform
about Avira Free Antivirus Jun 2011

It has the highest detection rates according to AV-comparatives. I love it !


The lightest free antivirus

Positive Comment by Michel
about Avira Free Antivirus Jun 2011

Avira is the lightest free choice anti virus.
Excellent heuristic scanner.


AVG, Avast and Avira

Positive Comment by askj113
about Avira Free Antivirus and AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition, avast! Free Antivirus Jun 2011

Of the three A freeware's- AVG, avast and avira, I've liked avira the best. It seems the lightest, has the most features and the least nag screens, and has always worked well for me