H

hjlbx

Guest
#1
Hello,

This is a mini-review of both Avira Pro and Free.

Avira Pro

Pros:
  • Very good performance against malware from MT's Malware Hub; up-to-date signatures.
  • Resource impact on my W8.1 system was low (not while scan running).
  • GUI is clear and easy to use.
  • User can easily figure out actions taken by Avira to protect/clean system.
  • Logging is clear and easy to interpret/understand; the best I have seen.
  • Highly configurable scanner.
  • Integrates Windows Firewall into its own GUI enabling easier access to Windows FW GUIs.
Cons:
  • Really expensive for the features and overall protection provided.
  • No firewall (for all Avira products including Internet Security Suite).
  • Only signature-based protection/malicious URL filtering with limited heuristics; no file rating/Behavior Blocker/anti-executable.
  • Cloud Scanner requires many active network connections (bandwidth).
Avira Free

Pros:
  • Identical to Avira Pro, but free (some built-in ads that can be circumvented).
Cons:
  • No web protections.

Impressions:

Avira is definitely Germanic ... and like all fine German products it is over-engineered.

It is also an anachronism - a signature-based dinosaur. It's protection model may be a relic, but Avira nevertheless has taken it to the ultimate expression.

Avira is essentially a super turbo-charged signature-based scanner with other features built around it.

Real-time protection (which is essentially a file guard for on-access/mapped-to-memory detection with heuristics) works like a charm. Malicious URL filtering is there as well (in the paid versions only), but that is, unfortunately, about it protection wise.

What this means is that if Avira does not detect malware via signature, then the entire system is exposed. In my opinion Avira definitely needs to be bolstered with other security products... free, paid, or otherwise.

On the other hand, if all I wanted was a super scanner, then Avira is definitely it.

I like using Avira despite its limited protections. Maybe its that signature red color they use ... hypnotic red. Maybe the cute umbrella ?

I really like Avira's GUI. Clear, intuitive ... easy to use. And I enjoyed using it ... I definitely think it's the red now ... it does what it was designed to do (sig-based detection) remarkably well.

That it integrates Windows Firewall into its own GUI is also a really useful feature for those that use WFW. It's a sweet spot for me.

Only Avira Free is worthwhile due to the relatively high cost of the paid versions.

Bandwith consumption was not an issue on my system. Plus it was stable and played well with other software. I experienced no bugs. One warning however... the deepest scans should not be performed only at idle; up to 100 % CPU usage for hours... yes, hours.

Bottom line: Avira protection is like Teutonic Swiss cheese.

Use Avira Free as "core" protection and create your digital bunker by adding the best freeware protections around it... a tweaking geek's dream.

Suggestion:

Combine Avira Free with BiniSoft's Windows Firewall Control to monitor all outbound connections; Total Cost for the combo $10 for unlimited licenses and installs !

Add web-filtering capability at the browser level (e.g. Privoxy, uMatrix, etc).

Add EMET or MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit.

Add NVT ERP.

Add Anti-Keylogger, Screen/web-cam capture ... maybe Oxynger KeyShield.
 
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H

hjlbx

Guest
#4
Pro for both:
  • The registry protection module is DAMN STRONG, it outshined SpShelter
I am not so sure on this. Cyber Raiden (Cyber Review) shows that with Avira installed, malwares can disable Windows Firewall, Security Center, Task Manager, IE settings.

Those are all done via the registry.

That test was performed within previous 6 months though ... maybe Avira fixed?
 

Atlas147

Level 30
Content Creator
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Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
1,916
Operating System
Windows 10
Antivirus
Kaspersky
#6
I think one of the downfalls for Avira is that if you want the AV to deal with threats automatically then it wouldn't inform you of the threat, if you want to deal with the threat by manually selecting the action for it then it would inform you, however the down side to manually selecting the action is that if you encounter multiple threats at the same time (eg unzipping a malware pack onto your desktop) it might not detect all the malware at the same time, therefore you have to go through the process of clicking the action over and over again and waiting for the "quick scan" after each action to complete before another notification would pop up again. I think this can be easily fixed by allowing notifications even when the threat has been handled automatically. It's something that almost all AVs do except Avira and it drives me insane.
 
H

hjlbx

Guest
#8
I think one of the downfalls for Avira is that if you want the AV to deal with threats automatically then it wouldn't inform you of the threat, if you want to deal with the threat by manually selecting the action for it then it would inform you, however the down side to manually selecting the action is that if you encounter multiple threats at the same time (eg unzipping a malware pack onto your desktop) it might not detect all the malware at the same time, therefore you have to go through the process of clicking the action over and over again and waiting for the "quick scan" after each action to complete before another notification would pop up again. I think this can be easily fixed by allowing notifications even when the threat has been handled automatically. It's something that almost all AVs do except Avira and it drives me insane.
No alert when Avira set to auto-quarantine. Needs improvement.

Individual alerts for each and every file on manual settings... Yes, you are correct. Drive user crazy. Imagine extracting 500 malicious files!

Not a good idea to test Avira against large malware packs when user interaction settings are enabled.

This is a problem many AV do not handle too well.... sometimes multiple alerts causes alerts/notifications to freeze/hang or even worse, AppHang.

To Avira's credit, from my testing it is very stable with many alerts, but the process of responding to each individual alerts is time consuming because Luke Filewalker does that mini-scan after selecting "Remove." It is precisely because of the one-by-one pop-up alert process that makes Avira notifications so stable.

Thanxx.
Looking forward to the review.
There is so much going-on with ESET Smart Security 8 that it is going to take me a little while to form an accurate impression.
 
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jamescv7

Level 61
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Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
12,603
Operating System
Windows 10
Antivirus
Windows Defender
#9
There is a feature before for Avira so called BB but seems for some reason the development stage is likely discontinued and relying in signatures is really a hard time though, sometimes HIPS/BB or Application Privilege control may help balance for such purely signature.

In my view point, Avira may have incorporate something Cloud engine but seems another component will make it optimize at overall detection/prevention capabilities.
 

marzametal

Level 7
Verified
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
317
Operating System
Windows 7
#10
I am not so sure on this. Cyber Raiden (Cyber Review) shows that with Avira installed, malwares can disable Windows Firewall, Security Center, Task Manager, IE settings.

Those are all done via the registry.

That test was performed within previous 6 months though ... maybe Avira fixed?
I had dramas installing/updating/removing software while registry protection was active. It even out-muscled SpyShelter which is starting to make me laugh out loud how these ripper hardcore apps are getting pwned on my system by tickboxes in other apps...

I cannot comment about the malware side of things...

What they really need to fix is their uninstall methodology. The whole point of uninstalling is to uninstall... not to leave stuff behind. It doesn't help that their cleaner file from their website is no longer supported (sorta' like Emsisoft Clean).

EDIT: it seems like all I do is harp on about Avira... is anything going to improve on their side at all?
 

Piteko21

Level 18
Verified
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
855
Operating System
Windows 10
Antivirus
Kaspersky
#11
when Avira detects something in automatic mode it does not emit any alert just quarantine the threat, you can confirm this?
I already tested and only in interactive mode it emits warning to remove the threat.
 
H

hjlbx

Guest
#12
I had dramas installing/updating/removing software while registry protection was active. It even out-muscled SpyShelter which is starting to make me laugh out loud how these ripper hardcore apps are getting pwned on my system by tickboxes in other apps...
Do you mean registry remnants left over after uninstallation ... or ... do you mean Avira's self-protection?

If I recall correctly, Avira has no registry protection option, but it supposedly has built-in self-protection.

Maybe post screen-shot of registry protection setting...if that's what you mean?

when Avira detects something in automatic mode it does not emit any alert just quarantine the threat, you can confirm this?
I already tested and only in interactive mode it emits warning to remove the threat.
Automatic mode should generate no alerts. It quarantines without notification.

Interactive mode generates all those pop-up file detection notifications and the Luke Filewalker mini-scans.
 
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marzametal

Level 7
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Jun 10, 2014
Messages
317
Operating System
Windows 7
#13
Do you mean registry remnants left over after uninstallation ... or ... do you mean Avira's self-protection?

If I recall correctly, Avira has no registry protection option, but it supposedly has built-in self-protection.

Maybe post screen-shot of registry protection setting...if that's what you mean?
It did have registry protection, on the same page as the self protection. It was a simple tick box.
In relation to remnants left over, they included both registry and file/folder, more on the registry side...
 
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H

hjlbx

Guest
#14
It did have registry protection, on the same page as the self protection. It was a simple tick box.
In relation to remnants left over, they included both registry and file/folder, more on the registry side...
You are absolutely correct... see photo. Protect registry changes under Avira self-protection.

 
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Spawn

Administrator
MalwareTips Team
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Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
17,408
Operating System
Windows 10
Antivirus
Windows Defender
#15
Avira Free
Cons:

  • No web protections.
It may not be offered upon first installation, but may still be available from altering the installation.

Could you check if Web Protection is still offered in Avira Free? Open the Control Panel, Programs and Features, Change installation for Avira Free Antivirus.

Avira Browser Safety.
-avira.com/en/avira-browser-safety

A major pitfall is the inclusion of Deal Finder. Avast had a similar extension, but they fortunately removed it from the Online Security extension, as per Google policy. Avira on the other hand have not, please read:
http://malwaretips.com/threads/avast-antivirus-was-spying-on-you-with-adware-until-this-week.35704/
 
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H

hjlbx

Guest
#16
It may not be offered upon first installation, but may still be available from altering the installation.

Could you check if Web Protection is still offered in Avira Free? Open the Control Panel, Programs and Features, Change installation for Avira Free Antivirus.

Avira Browser Safety.
-avira.com/en/avira-browser-safety
Web Protection is disabled/grayed-out:



Browser Protection only for FF and Chrome. I use IE11.
 

Spawn

Administrator
MalwareTips Team
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Jan 8, 2011
Messages
17,408
Operating System
Windows 10
Antivirus
Windows Defender
#17
I now remember that Avira completely removed the Web Protection (Ask) Toolbar upon the release of Avira 2014. You are correct, there is not any integrated Web Protection with Avira Free Antivirus.
However, Avira Online Essentials -which automatically installs with Web/Offline installer- will offer Browser Safety for Chrome, Firefox and Opera. With ABS for Internet Explorer currently in Beta, http://malwaretips.com/threads/avira-browser-safety-beta-for-internet-explorer.37994/ . This could be reviewed at a future date.
 

securon

New Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
2
#18
Good Afternoon! Been using Avira for a long time! But I have a Major Gripe with them in regards to providing Shortened Scan Times. I placed this on their Ideas Forum over a Year ago...and although it received acknowledgement from Avira and forum members still zero action taken. Still Mystified...that's why I migrated back to Eset! This as follows is the recommendation...Hopefully Avira will implement Cacheing to cut back on Lenghty Scan Times. Currently it takes a tick over two hours for a Full System Scan...again in this day and age unacceptable...since Avira's competitors take anywhere from forty minutes to one hour...for the same Full System Scan...Avira needs to stick to Basic Engineering...instead of providing features of a Dubious nature.Features that have nothing to do with Steamlining and Efficiency for the user. C'mon Avira where's that German Rock Solid Engineering! Hopefully things will improve in the Update. Sincerely...Securon