PROS / Avira Antivirus Pro achieved top ratings in rigorous performance and usability tests conducted by AV-Test.
CONS / Live chat support is not available for this software.
VERDICT / Avira Antivirus Pro is good at accurately preventing malware attacks and recognizing the difference between an internet threat and a legitimate website.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews uses test results from the independent laboratory AV-Test as part of our review process for the best antivirus software. AV-Test looks specifically at protection, performance and usability on multiple versions of Windows operating systems, and it performs these evaluations several times throughout the year. We use the most current AV-Test scores available at the time of our review. It is possible that new AV-Test scores will be released after our review goes live on the site. We will consider these scores during our next review of the best antivirus software.
Competition among the top antivirus applications is fierce because of the millions of PC users who require protection from internet threats. It's common to purchase antivirus software rather than settle for Windows Defender, which is part of Windows 10, because most third-party programs plug the holes Defender leaves open. One virus scanner well worth considering is Avira Antivirus Pro.
Blocking attacks, going lightly on your system resources, and accurately detecting threats without confusing good files for bad ones are the most important factors in antivirus software's effectiveness. Added features are secondary to good performance. AV-Test, an independent test lab, ran 22 antivirus protection products that are compatible with Windows 10 through two months of continuous testing in March and April of 2016. Avira competes well with the best antivirus software in our review and placed higher than Windows Defender in all AV-Test areas.
The most impressive results for Avira came from the performance and usability tests. Avira made few mistakes in identifying between malware threats and legitimate content. It also received a perfect score in performance for not lagging down Windows 10 computer systems while it runs. This means your system will complete security scans and block threats without you noticing the antivirus protection software is running.
In the area of protection, Avira scored 5.5 out of 6. It detected and protected against most of the 164 known malware samples and over 22,000 newly discovered threats. This is the second-highest score a program can receive in this test area.
Avira Antivirus Pro goes beyond antivirus protection to include ransomware protection and antiphishing tools. It also scans both USB removable drives and incoming email, so threats are blocked regardless of where they originate. It also has a gamer mode, which suspends security scans while you are playing so as not to disrupt your fun.
Avira Antivirus for Windows 8
When reviewing antivirus software for Windows 8, we found that Avira ranked very well with this operating system. It received a perfect score for performance, meaning it didn't significantly slow down the test computer while running. Additionally, it scored slightly higher than average in both protection and usability, meaning it correctly identified between a true threat and a legitimate file more often than not and consistently blocked the malware.
Avira for Windows 8 has the capability to also protect your mobile phone, although you have to pay more than the basic antivirus price to have this feature. It also includes protection against ransomware, a newly emerging internet threat that freezes your computer, preventing you from accessing it, until you pay a heavy fee.
Although Avira is not among the top three in our Windows 8 antivirus ranking, it's still excellent software that provides great protection against both existing and new malware threats.
Avira Antivirus for Windows 7
Avira didn't rank in our review of the best Windows 7 antivirus software. However, it received top marks for protection and usability. This means is it able to identify the difference between internet threats and legitimate content and only block the malware. During the latest testing results from AV-Test, Avira was able to identify over 20,000 different known and unknown malware threats. It slipped lightly for performance, but still doesn’t slow down your computer as much as most antivirus software for Windows 7.
Avira Antivirus for Windows Vista & XP
Avira is included in our antivirus software for Windows Vista lineup. It yielded poor results from AV-Test, scoring well below average in all areas. Avira did well in protecting against widespread malware, but it struggled to recognize threats coming in through email and other outside sources. It did very well at detecting and protecting against rootkits and spyware threats.
Avira did have a strong showing as an antivirus for Windows XP. As with most other versions of Windows, Avira did very well on Windows XP. AV-Test gave it 100 percent for both protection and usability. With Avira, you can safely surf the internet and avoid malware delivered via attached drives, memory storage devices and email attachments.
Help & Support
Avira's support site contains video tutorials and information about viruses and other sorts of malware. You can email or call 24/7 for help from a customer service agent as well. Avira does not offer live chat support, even though most other companies in our review do. The software does not require a computer restart during installation, which allows it to protect your computer quicker than those that do.
Avira Antivirus Pro is a stronger antivirus than most of the competitors in our review, and it is compatible with Windows 10, 8 and 7. Older versions are still supported for Windows Vista and XP. In a market where most companies provide live chat technical support, Avira does not. However, its AV-Test results make it worth your consideration as you look for the best antivirus protection for your needs.