What product do you recommend among the ones mentioned?

  • Avast Free Antivirus 2016

    Votes: 39 45.9%
  • Avira Free Antivirus 2016

    Votes: 46 54.1%
  • Total voters
    85
List of apps to compare
Avast Free Antivirus 2016, Avira Free Antivirus 2016
What I am most interested about
Exclusive Features & Functionality
Why I want to compare these apps
I've tried many free antivirus over the years, but these two have always consistently been the ones I liked the most. After some issues with Windows 10 last year, I had to briefly switch to Avira but after the issues were fixed I got back to Avast because it was the one I had learned to rely upon in the last few years. However, I'm open to reassess my position between these two excellent products.
I've tried many free antivirus over the years, but these two have always consistently been the ones I liked the most.

After some issues with Windows 10 last year, I had to briefly switch to Avira but after the issues were fixed I got back to Avast because it was the one I had learned to rely upon in the last few years. However, I'm open to reassess my position between these two excellent products. Something that has also spurred me to reassess the situation was the fact that LifeHacker has recently changed their recommendation from Avast to Avira as the "The Best (Free) Antivirus App for Windows".

On one hand Avast offers a more complete feature set:
  • File System Shield
  • Web Shield
  • Mail Shield
  • Behavior Blocker (DeepScreen)
Still, I disable the E-mail blocker because I solely use Web mail. I also disable the Web shield because:
  1. It seems to slightly slow down my browsing
  2. I don't like to have all my HTTP traffic analyzed by the AV or any other program
  3. Sometimes it doesn't play well with HTTPS because it internally to scan the encrypted traffic which changes the original website's certificate (I know I can selectively disable the Web Shield for HTTPS only)
So, in practice, I have been using the File System Shield and the Behavior Blocker with most of the default settings (e.g., PUP enabled, but no Hardened Mode) to avoid too many False Positives and issues with less known software. I've had no problems with this set up for a long time.

Regarding Avira, it lacks Mail and Web Shield (it only has a File System Shield) and as far as I'm aware they don't have a Behavior Blocking technology like Avast. They rely entirely upon signatures and heuristics. More recently they also have the Avira Protection Cloud which sends file signatures to the cloud in order to provide better protection (does it really improve upon the local signatures and heuristics or is it just a fad?).

The lack of Behavior Blocking is what concerns me in terms of how well protected I am with Avira compared to Avast. Is it really better to have Avira, with its better "traditional engine", or is it better to stick with Avast which sports a slightly worse "traditional engine", but that possesses advanced Behavior Blocking technology (DeepScreen)?

I'm also interested in other aspects besides protection, namely:
  • Resource Usage: I'm mainly concerned with CPU usage. I'd also like to keep disk access to a minimum because I don't have an SSD, which means I don't want my AV to slow the disk access even further.
  • Performance Impact: On daily usage (only with real-time protection enabled) which one has less impact on overall system performance.
  • Ads, Popups and Nagging in general: How is the upgrade nagging on the two products? I mean, with Avast I've had no problems recently. The only popups I usually see are related to the real status of my system, or Software Updater notices to update a given program (e.g., Skype). I may very rarely see a popup that talks about some paid Avast product but they are pretty rare I believe. How is this on Avira? Does it still show you a popup on every update/every day? What kind of advertisements can I expect?
P.S.: Last time I used Avira it had a slightly annoying behavior. Every time it would detect some infected file it would then force me to automatically run a Quick Scan on the system. This was a bit annoying and time consuming at times. Is this still happening today?

I hope you guys can help me by sharing your experiences and opinions about both products.
I'll update this post if needed.
 
Last edited:

dJim

Level 4
Verified
I vote for avast free more options more tweaks u can do in any option, and good deleting " dangers ". ofc software updater desactivate.
avira is anoying when detect some " infecction". run quick scan then many times ask fot reset pc not really good deleting real "dangers".
another thing is " the cloud " based.. oh common without internet cant do nothing really ?..
Abouth resources 50/50 both are good in this, ofc more " shields " u active and more " grade of detection " u activate more cpu/ram uses.
 

TheMalwareMaster

Level 19
Trusted
Verified
Web-shield is provided by avira browser safety extension, if you are using avira free. In Avira there is no kind of behavioural blocked (some heuristics though, called APC). There is no real need of any behavioural blocker, considering all new suspicious executables are uploaded to the cloud for an instant analysis. The problem comes if avira doesn't recognise a new file as suspicious (it won't upload it), or if protection cloud is unable to recognise malicious code in the sample uploaded (rare though). This antivirus can be rarely bypassed by malware (though, some time ago a new tester in the HUB bypassed it with cryptolocker), but you can get adware. However, I trust more avira because they are really fast at detecting new malware via the protection cloud. Avira is really good at default settings, no need to tweak it. Avast is a good product, but you have to enable PUP detection, which is disabled by default and hardened mode (can cause some false positives) for better protection. In my opinion, Avast shows too many ads. Considering you are using windows 10, you can also take a look at windows defender, which is good and has no system impact
 

Reethu

New Member
Avira doesn't show any ads, and has a clean installer. It's not the product it used to be in the past. It is really good with it's signature's, arguably the best. Avast is a good choice too. It's simply a matter of preference. :)

Having either of them will keep you safe, unless you decide to venture upon unchartered territories when problems actually starts creeping out. :p
 
T

TheSuperGeek

I used it for some time and sometimes it shows an ad that say something like "A new variant of ransomware is out, upgrade to avira pro"
I had this type of ads too. At computer startup : every time I log on my session, it shows me an ad.
I switched to Panda free.
 
Reactions: j9ksf
Qihoo 360 is also an interesting option. I did test it sometime ago. I quite liked it, but I heard that it was a bit prone to give out false positives. Besides that, I kind of dislike the fact that it has multiple engines. I mean it's good, but it's hard to decide which ones to keep enabled, since more engines = more system impact, and for example, if the BitDefender engines gets (almost) everything that the Avira engine gets, it's (almost) pointless to have them running concurrently, thus wasting resources for little to no security gain.

Web-shield is provided by avira browser safety extension, if you are using avira free. In Avira there is no kind of behavioural blocked (some heuristics though, called APC). There is no real need of any behavioural blocker, considering all new suspicious executables are uploaded to the cloud for an instant analysis. The problem comes if avira doesn't recognise a new file as suspicious (it won't upload it), or if protection cloud is unable to recognise malicious code in the sample uploaded (rare though). This antivirus can be rarely bypassed by malware (though, some time ago a new tester in the HUB bypassed it with cryptolocker), but you can get adware. However, I trust more avira because they are really fast at detecting new malware via the protection cloud. Avira is really good at default settings, no need to tweak it. Avast is a good product, but you have to enable PUP detection, which is disabled by default and hardened mode (can cause some false positives) for better protection. In my opinion, Avast shows too many ads. Considering you are using windows 10, you can also take a look at windows defender, which is good and has no system impact
Yes, Web Shield is something that doesn't concern me a lot. That's something that I prefer to leave up to the browser (and extensions, like the one you mentioned from Avira). Regarding behavior blocking, the problem of not recognizing a new file as suspicious, and thus not uploading it to APC, can also happen on Avast. Instead of not uploading it to APC, it may not think that the file is dangerous and it may allow it to run without going through DeepScreen. The only advantage for Avast is that DeepScreen is local (it doesn't depend on your Internet connection) and it actually runs the executable. However, it may slow down your system more than if you just send a small file signature and waiting for the response.

AFAIK, the Avira Protection Cloud only receives file signatures, so unless the file is already known as malicious, it will come out as clean. Unless, APC is smart enough to ask for the whole file if this is the first time that it is seeing it. This way, it may run it on remote Cloud-based Sandbox to determine if it is malicious or not. This way, after a file is run for the first time for one user, all other users can check if it was marked as malicious without having to upload the whole file (only the signature is needed). I don't know if they have implemented it this way, but it seems the most safe and efficient way to do it.

Finally, still regarding Avast, I forgot to mention on the opening post but of course that I run it with PUP enabled :p
 
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Spawn

Administrator
Staff member
Verified
For Windows, Avast Free Antivirus with custom install and settings. See my config post via signature image.

For OS X, Avira Free Antivirus. It does not come bundled with Avira Launcher or other unwanted software. Avast for Mac may attempt to install SecureLine VPN, without giving user choice - experienced during a program update.
 

Spawn

Administrator
Staff member
Verified
So, in practice, I have been using the File System Shield and the Behavior Blocker with most of the default settings (e.g., PUP enabled, but no Hardened Mode) to avoid too many False Positives and issues with less known software. I've had no problems with this set up for a long time.
I use Avast Free Antivirus :
File Shield
Software Updater
Passwords (Premium)
Home Network Scan
 
I use Avast Free Antivirus :
File Shield
Software Updater
Passwords (Premium)
Home Network Scan
I use basically the same. I keep the File Shield (w/DeepScreen + PUP), Software Update and the Home Network Scan enabled. I disable/don't install the rest.

I've had no problems with this set up for many years. I mean, the only virus I got years was when I briefly decided to don't run an antivirus at all (I was very confident that I'd get no viruses since it had been so long since I really got one). Unfortunately, after a few months with no AV a nasty ransomware (which I still don't know I got it). The "good part" was that I had made a full backup of all my files the day before. So I just had to remove the ransomware and restore all my files. Otherwise I'd be in real trouble.

After this shocking episode I went back to Avast. Soon, after Windows 10 was released, and as I said there were a few problems with Avast on my computer with Windows 10 so I had to temporarily revert back to Avira (which I hadn't used in years). I felt it was Ok, but there always something "itchy" about it. So when Avast finally fixed the Windows 10 compatibility problem I went back to it.
 
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H

hjlbx

Avira free will serve you well if you do not do a lot of high-risk surfing and downloading.

Avast is OK too.
 
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Evjl's Rain

Level 40
Content Creator
Trusted
Malware Hunter
Verified
I choose avast
avira has memory leak issue so I had to remove it from my friend's laptop.
tweaked Avast would have a good result for normal users