PROS / Avira Internet Security Suite achieved near-perfect scores in all areas of tests conducted by one of the most respected independent software test labs.
CONS / It does not include a password manager.
VERDICT / Avira Internet Security Suite is effective in preventing malware, phishing and other internet threats, though it lacks many features that comparable internet security programs include.
Avira Internet Security Suite is one of the best internet security software suites in terms of performance. It lacks many features that its competitors include, such as social network protection, a firewall, a password manager and parental controls. These features give added protection in the areas that are most susceptible to internet threats and are good differentiators between basic antivirus software and a true internet security suite. However, the features it does have, combined with great test results, make it a good internet protection program.
AV-Test, the internationally recognized independent software test lab, conducted its most recent evaluations of Avira and 21 other internet security programs in March and April of 2016. These tests showed that Avira correctly differentiates between good and bad files, only blocking the harmful ones. Additionally, it received a perfect score for performance, the test that looks at how much slower your computer runs with the program installed.
Avira scored 92 percent in its ability to recognize and block malware threats. Though it didn't do as well in this test as our top picks that received a perfect score, it is substantially better than Windows Defender, the security suite included with Windows 10.
Avira includes antiphishing in addition to antivirus protection. It also tracks sites known to be malicious and saves you from potential attacks by rating the safety of websites that appear in your internet search results.
One of the extra security features Avira includes in its internet security program is automatic scans of both email and USB drives, as threats can be transmitted to your computer through those channels. It also has a gamer mode that recognizes when you are playing online or even watching a video and suspends certain functions to allow you to continue without sending you pop-up reminders or slowing down your computer.
While this internet protection program has several powerful security tools, it still lacks several you'd find in higher-ranked internet security suites. For example, it doesn't have a firewall. This added protection makes it harder for hackers and malware to penetrate your computer system in the first place. It also doesn't have a password manager to keep your passwords to email, social media and online banking from being swiped by identity thieves.
Parental controls are not included either. These would let you set limits on when and what your children can access on the internet. These controls are important for not only shielding your children from inappropriate content, but also for prohibiting their access to enticing websites, such as online gaming forums, that often have malware attached to them.
Avira Premium Security Suite
In addition to the basic antivirus and the internet security suite, Avira has a premium security software package. Avira Total Security Suite includes all the features in its lower-tier programs as well as additional security tools. The most notable feature is access to online backup. This tool automatically backs up your computer system so that, if your computer is ever infected with malware, you can rescue and restore your files and applications as if the attack never happened.
Another feature in the premium security program is tune-up tools. These tools look for outdated programs and automatically install appropriate patches for any vulnerabilities on your computer. Avira Total Security Suite also includes a virtual private network, or VPN, which secures your connection and makes it more difficult for hackers to access your accounts, even when you're connected to public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Avira's support site has video tutorials, utilities, manuals and information about malware. You can email the company for help as necessary. You can also telephone for help any time of night or day, but you will be contacting a representative overseas, as Avira's tech support teams are located in Europe. Avira does partner with sales representatives throughout the world, though, including in the United States. These partners are listed on Avira's website with telephone contact information. Though focused more on sales, these partners may offer some assistance if you need to contact someone local.
Avira Internet Security Suite is better than many internet security software programs, including Microsoft's Windows Defender that comes as part of the Windows 10 package. It has the ability to stop attacks and not drain your computer of its resources while running. However, it doesn't include some of the features associated with internet security suites, such as a firewall, password manager or social network protection. It does extend 24/7 tech support to help with any issues you may encounter, though.