Avira Antivirus Pro Review
The providers of both the commercial and free antivirus versions have a tough decision choosing the features to include in their free and paid antivirus versions. If they happen to reserve virtually all excellent features for their paid versions, the users of the free version may feel a little snubbed. If they decide to pack almost everything in their free version, then there won’t be any need to upgrade. Avira is just in the latter status.
This is because the Avira Antivirus Pro has all the features of the free edition, plus a little more features. However, only the home users will benefit from the free version since Avira free edition cannot be used for commercial purposes. If you need to use it for business, then you are required to purchase the Pro version at a license of $44.99 a year for a single user. Three license use will cost you $64.99 while the five license package costs $90.99.
If you choose to commit to these Pro editions for more than a single year you can get an even more reduced prices. For instance, if you choose the 3 license pack for 5 years, it will cost you only twice the price for one year.
The shared features
In the collection of Avira line of antivirus products, Avira Antivirus Pro shares some features with the free edition. When a hand-on malicious URL testing is conducted with the Pro, it offered an unprecedented protection of 99% by blocking nearly all malicious URLs.
The Pro version also scores much higher than the free version in the ant- phishing test, though the latter also has a good score. Both the free and the Pro edition have the Avira Browser Safety feature which is simply an add-on for both Firefox and Chrome, though Internet Explorer doesn’t have this.
Pro version also adds the Web Protection feature which is missing in the free edition, which offers a good performance, below that of the browser. In a hands-on testing, Web Protection is able to detect a number of frauds that were not detected by Browser Safety. However, this was not strong enough to earn the Pro edition a good score since it lagged behind by 50% against the built in protection of both Chrome and Firefox.
Features of Pro only
There are features that can only be found in the Avira Antivirus Pro but lacking in the free edition, which is perhaps what makes the former better. However, they are only two features, the Web Protection just mentioned above, and Mail Protection.
Now Mail Protection does the task of scanning all the outgoing and incoming emails for both IMAP and POP3/SMTP. It scans for any malicious attachments after which it quarantines them on detection. But even without Mail Protection you are still covered to a greater part. As soon as an attachment is saved or a malicious attachment is executed, the normal real-time protection will scan the attachment.
As for the Web Protection, the biggest advantage that it comes with is that it isn’t an extension unlike Browser Safety in the free edition. That means whether you are using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer, Web Protection will filter out all fraudulent and malicious sites. But don’t be excited just yet.
When a malicious URL test is ran with the Browser Safety turned off, Web Protection is able to detect only 40% of malicious URLs. The real time protection picked an additional 42% of the malicious downloads, giving a total protection of 82%. That’s not bad as such, but way too low as compared to the 99% protection offered by Browser Safety.
Apart from the two mentioned features, Avira Antivirus Pro also offers free technical support from Avira’s support team. This means if you are having trouble getting rid of a threat or a virus from your PC using Pro, you can contact the tech support team for assistance. Support is readily available and this is also another great thing that makes Pro worth a try.
Moreover, you will also be able to get constant updates every time you get online. When connected to an internet connection, the Pro antivirus will run a background search for an update after which you may be prompted to download and install the updates, or you can set it to automatically download and install.
The malware signature database for the pro version is also regularly updated. If a new malicious threat appears that Pro cannot identify, it is sent as an update to the database. Next time your PC comes across such a threat it will be detected and quarantined.
One good feature with Avira Antivirus pro is that it can run on every Windows OS, from Windows XP, all the way to Windows 10. However, Avira has not stated officially that Windows XP is supported for some reasons.
Avira Antivirus Pro protection begins with its scanning engine running locally to match all the malicious software with its malware signature database. The antivirus will also try to identify any unusual behavior of installed programs.
Avira runs a Protection Cloud which is a network that gathers information regarding new malware from over 100 million PCs that run different ranges of Avira products. When you run any product of Avira, including the free version, you will be signed up automatically to participate in sharing information, but you get to choose if you want to opt out.
Update of the malware signature database is sent to every Pro edition and other paid version users after every two hours.
Do note though, that the Pro edition does not have any whitelisting feature which limits PCs from running unknown software. This is arguably unnecessary because it does not support Windows XP officially. The higher Windows versions have stronger safeguard methods of protection against any potentially harmful software. However, you can use the Pro edition to create a blacklist of known software that cannot be trusted.
When it comes to offering protection against threats, Pro blocks most potentially harmful programs such as counterfeit system optimizers or adware. It also scans instant messages as well as websites for presence of malware.
Additionally, there’s a Game Mode which keeps protection on without interrupting a game or a movie.
The Pro edition also has Network Protection which monitors all the activities within your home network. This acts as a firewall, blocking all unauthorized incoming connections. For a Windows Registry that is damaged, Avira Antivirus Pro has Avira Intelligent Repair System to facilitate registry repair.
For PC scan, there are multiple scanning options, though some can be quite difficult to find. For instance, Quick Scan is not present in the scan section of settings. However, you can scan certain drives, files, folders and active processes. You can configure the Real Time scanner to monitor all external drives except for cloud storage. It also allows you to choose how deeply the scanner should go such as scanning archived and compressed files.
Pro has a Direct Scan button, which you will have to click once more to allow a scan to run. There is the option of allowing the level of intrusion by the scanner; low recommended and high. To schedule a scan with the Pro can be a little intimidating, though you have several different options to choose from. It is possible to set an event to start at any time within your PC that lists the scheduled items.
The performance of Avira Antivirus Pro were recently tested by AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives in Germany and Austria respectively. AV-TEST tested Pro on Windows 7 32-bit, Windows 8.1 as well as Windows 10. AV-Comparatives on the other hand tested it on Windows 7 64-bit.
Under all the 4 platforms, Avira was able to identify and block almost all malware. In 3 of the evaluations by AV-TEST, the program was exposed to 1000 malware pieces. Pro was able to detect 100% unprecedented malware and stopped a much widespread of the already known malware by about 99.8% with no false positives.
In AV-Comparatives’ evaluation, Pro was exposed to 100 malicious sites and it was able to snag 98% of the malware in a single month’s test and 100% in the following month. It tied with Bitdefender but overpowered by Kaspersky. However, over the two months test, it generated 3 false positives.
Privacy and security features
Pro does not have any password manager, neither does the other Avira products. The Parental Control feature has also been removed as Avira claimed that most of their customers rarely use it.
As for the custom firewall feature, Avira also removed it because Windows built-in firewall between Windows XP and Vista has an extremely better performance than Avira’s. This perhaps explains why Avira does not support XP officially.
Moreover, Pro also does not have some of the latest antivirus innovations as such Webcam protection in Kaspersky, ransomware encryption defense in Bitdefender.
The performance impact of Avira Antivirus Pro on a PC is very minimal, reducing a PC’s performance by a slight 0.02 seconds.
When it comes to scanning a computer, a full system scan by Pro takes an average of 41 min, 12 secs and evaluated 651,269 files. Avira does not ignore files that were presumed to be safe during the first scan when a second scan is ran. This feature particularly makes the subsequent scans take much longer but is good as a threat that escaped evaluation during the first scan can be detected. Quick scan takes about 25 seconds to scan about 1,245 important files.
Avira Antivirus Pro does not have any performance optimizer. If you need this, you choose to make an upgrade to Avira Internet Security. Alternatively, you can purchase Avira’s System Speed Up program at $26 when making Pro installation.
Avira Antivirus Pro has a green and gray color for its main window, just like most of the Avira range of products. The window has a checkmark to indicate that no problems are present. Should there be any problem, the checkmark becomes an exclamation mark with red color.
There are on and off buttons for Real time protection, Web Protection, Firewall, Game Mode and Mail Protection. There’s also a scan button as well as malware signature database update button.
The administration section holds links that lead to the software’s quarantine cache, reports and scheduler.
There is also a link to an Android app, which is offered initially for free but have to pay $12 to get the premium features. The app can be separately downloaded to offer protection against all sorts of android malware, block texts or calls, find lost phone and control aps that can access personal data.
Support and Setup
Through their website, Avira provides free trials for their software that you can use and make payments later. You’ll be required to first make a download of a beachhead installer of 4.4MB which will first check for malware and load the main installer of 200MB.
Once you enter the activation code, you are good to go since no Avira account is needed for you to use a basic coverage. However, it is recommended to sign up for their account as you will get access to their Online Essentials, which allows you to monitor any system that is protected by any Avira’s product. You’ll also be able to change your password as well as add an Avira coverage using a link.
Should you need any help, Pro’s main window can link you to Avira’s community forum. You are also given email, web and phone support 24/7. This support is what is charged an extra cost by other antivirus software providers, but Avira gives it for free.
- Avira Antivirus has excellent ratings from its lab test results.
- Its Browser Safety add-on blocks malicious sites.
- It does not affect the performance of a PC so much.
- Its malware signature database is updated after an hour or two.
- Different types of support offered 24/7.
- A full scan takes a relatively shorter time.
- Offers different cheaper plans for extended use.
- Browser Safety add-on is not supported on Internet Explorer.
- Subsequent scans take relatively longer.
- Web Protection is less effective.