I would go avast free with comodo firewall, since I've used it in the past!
Avira taps on to enhance windows firewall so if you are using anything but the windows firewall, Avira would say that firewall protection is down and would ask you to fix it. Very irritating IMO.
I also thought that, but if in the installation uncheck the option of firewall, Avira never give alerts for this item ... cost me a reinstall
Here, @silversurfer explains it perfectly in the post 9: http://malwaretips.com/threads/choose-a-good-free-av-so-easy-and-so-difficult.45483/
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