Overall Score 77%

Avira Box
Avira Security Software

The Case for Avira

  • Same virus protection as Avira Antivirus plus extra features
  • In business 29 years (1986)
  • Poor malware protection
  • Lightweight software
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Made in the Germany
  • Germany phone tech support
(1-PC / 1-Year)
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by Josh Christofferson, Co-Editor
Virus & Spyware Protection: 68%

Avira Internet Security didn't do as well as we'd hoped during our virus and malware protection tests, but we have to give them some credit for a moderate score, given the difficulty of our tests.

Approximately 70% of all malware we infected our testing PCs with was correctly identified and removed by Avira. The remaining malware was mostly in the form of foreign adware.

One annoying thing Avira does during scanning is to deliver multiple popup-warnings for nearly everything it catches. We're glad Avira is letting us know it blocked something, but we shouldn't need to constantly click "ok" during the scan.

  • Avira Internet Security
    Avira Box
  • SCORE: 77%
Most antivirus and Internet Security suites will give one final results page with a list of infected items. It's much more manageable that way; we wish Avira did things similarly.

Avira's real-time protection did better but not much. With a fresh, updated version of Avira on our test PCs, we attempted to download and install multiple forms of malware (viruses, adware, trojans, etc.) to see how well Avira would do.

Nearly 80% of threats were correctly blocked; about 20%, mostly pesky adware, got through. After a reboot, nothing much remained except for some active desktop items.

Avira's antiphishing was lousy. Nearly 50% of our phishing attempts were missed, making it not much better than the protection that's already built into browsers.

Considering Avira's average malware cleanup, moderate real-time protection, and terrible antiphishing, it earned an overall score of just 68% for PC protection.

Firewall Protection: 71%

A firewall is your best and first line of defense against hackers, worms, and other malware. Think of a firewall as a moat around your castle, i.e. your PC. With a firewall, the only way in or out is over the drawbridge and past a guard checking everyone's id.

Unfortunately, Avira has chosen not to include a dedicated firewall in their Internet Security suite this year. Instead, their software relies on the Windows firewall, which is both only marginally effective and difficult to manage.

Avira seems to think the default Windows firewall is adequate protection against todays serious threats. (It's not.)

Resource Usage: 90%

Avira did well in our resource usage tests. When running full-system scans, Avira Internet Security only drained about 4% of total resources. You'll still be able to surf the web, use multiple tabs and multiple browsers, and download large files with no problem.

PC boot-up time was slower, but we're only talking a few extra seconds that most people will hardly notice.

User Interface: 69%

Click images to enlarge

We're not big fans of the Avira user interface. The text is cramped and small, making everything hard to read.

Deeper sections are mostly a series of small check boxes and hard to read table structures. Plus, this is essentially the same user interface design Avira has been using for a few years now.

Some sections are not at all clear as to what actions you need to take (if any), leaving us with little confidence that the settings are going to give us the best protection we need.

Technical Support: 67%

Avira's technical support is average but acceptable. There's a searchable knowledgebase, along with instructional videos, and a contact form plus free phone support based out of Germany and Romania.

If you get a virus while protected under Avira, their tech support team will help you remove it with no hidden charges.

Unfortunately, getting to the support is more difficult than it needs to be. The most annoying part: you have to enter the correct email address you purchased Avira with to even see the phone number or email contact form. C'mon.

The goods news: The support staff itself was knowledgable, friendly, and effective each time we contacted them.

Conclusion - Overall Score: 77%

  • Avira Internet Security
    Avira Box
  • SCORE: 77%
  • Mid pack virus/malware removal and protection.
  • Lousy antiphishing
  • Low resource usage
  • No firewall
Avira Internet Security doesn't really bring anything new—and certainly nothing extraordinary—to the table this year.

In fact, this Internet Security suite only offers marginally more protection than their basic antivirus software.

Since they've discontinued their own dedicated firewall, and their antiphishing protection doesn't work very well, we can't see any real benefit to this software at all.

With Avira's only high points being low resource usage and good support personnel, there's just not enough there for it to make our short list of best Internet Security suites of the year.

Software Version 2016
Supported Operating System (OS) Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7
Minimum RAM Required 1024 MB
Minimum Space Required 800 MB
Required Processor Speed 1 GHz
Money-back Guarantee 30 Days
Software Manufacturer Avira
Click images to enlarge
Real-time Protection
Web Protection
Mail Protection
Social Networks
Android Security
File encryption Encrypts sensitive files on your PC. Helps prevent hackers from viewing your files, even if they steal them.
Junk file remover Removes old and unnecessary files from your computer.

Antivirus Software Comparison

Rank Winner 2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place 5th Place 6th Place 7th Place 8th Place 9th Place 10th Place
Score 97%94%91%89%86%83%77%77%73%69%
Antivirus Software

All Software Available for Instant Download
SAVE 29%

(no discount)
Bitdefender Box
SAVE 56%
Avast Box

(no discount)
SAVE 20%
Norton Box
SAVE 44%
Avira Box

(no discount)
Panda Box
SAVE 25%
Kaspersky Box
SAVE 31%
McAfee Box
SAVE 50%
Works with
Win 10
Works with
Win 8x
Works with
Win 7
Works with
Win Vista
Works with
Win XP
Malware Protection
Low Resource Usage
Social Network Protection
USB Scanning
Email Scanning
Easy to Use
Tech Support Based In
Costa Rica
Support Fee for Virus Removal $0 $0/$50* $99.99 $119.00 $119.00 $19.99 $0 $59.94 $99.99 $89.95
*Fees for virus removal may apply in some cases.

Explanation of Features

  • Malware Protection: Viruses, spyware, and trojans are all considered "malware" these days. Which software offers maximum protection against all forms of malware?
  • Low Resource Usage: Protecting a PC is important. Doing it while using as little CPU and memory is just as important.
  • Social Network Protection: There are just as many threats on Facebook and Twitter as well as other social sites. Good social network scanning is important.
  • USB Scanning: USB and other portable drives are one of the most dangerous and neglected points of entry for viruses and other malware. Good USB scanning is vital.
  • Email Scanning: Email has a long history of being an easy entry point for malware. Being able to detect and block threats to your PC is important.
  • Easy to Use: Is the software easy to use? Do the settings make sense? Is the software well organized? How well does the software compare?
  • Tech Support: No one wants to call tech support. Ever. If you do need to contact support, are they helpful, responsive, and accountable?