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A big button to launch a quick scan dominates the center of the window. View All 10 Photos in Gallery Clicking Modules from the menu reveals a list that includes the four components that have status buttons, plus Protection Cloud Plus a feature that prioritizes analysis of unknown files for Pro users and Firewall. In truth, Avira doesn’t offer a personal firewall ; it just includes settings to help manage Windows Firewall.
Many security products flip through a series of informational slides during installation, extolling the virtues of the product itself or advertising companion products. Avira takes the concept a step further. Each of its informational pages both describes a companion product and offers to install that product. Even if you don’t install other products at this time, the Avira Connect launcher lets you install or run any of the companion products at will.
I’ll report on the posse of companion products after covering the core antivirus features. Scan Choices Clicking the Scan menu item gives you the expected choices of full, quick, and custom scans.
A full scan on my standard clean test system took 90 minutes, not quite twice the current average of 49 minutes but much better than the last time I tested this product. Sophos Home Free ran a little quicker than the average, and Kaspersky Free completed its scan in 36 minutes. The scan window retains the antique appearance and oddball window caption “Luke Filewalker,” which makes it seem seriously dated. With most products, a custom scan simply scans the folders you select. Avira offers a dizzying array of choices, among them scanning active processes, removable drives, and the Documents folder.
Of course, you can still choose to scan any folder you wish. By default, Avira schedules a weekly quick scan. You can schedule other scans of various types on a daily or weekly basis. Very Good Lab Results In most cases, antivirus companies must pay to be included in testing by the independent labs.
A few of the labs actively help them achieve certification—if the product fails, the vendor gets a punch list of things that need fixing. More interesting to me are the tests that put a group of products through the exact same evaluation and report how well they did.
I follow four such labs, and Avira participates with all of them. When the experts at AV-Comparatives determine that a product does everything it should, they certify it at the Standard level. Avira participates in all four of the tests that I follow from this lab. Lab Test Results Chart To cover all facets of antivirus functionality, AV-Test Institute rates products on how well they protect against malware, how little they interfere with performance, and how carefully they avoid flagging valid programs or websites as malware, with 6 possible points in each area.
Avira earned a perfect 18 points in this test, along with Kaspersky and McAfee. The techs at SE Labs search the web for real-world malicious websites and use a capture and replay system to hit multiple antivirus utilities with the exact same attack. Products can earn certification at five levels: Scoring of tests from MRG-Effitas is a bit different from the rest.
If products don’t achieve near-perfect protection, they simply fail. And fail is just what Avira did in this lab’s banking Trojans test, along with more than half of the other tested products. This lab’s other main test evaluates protection against a spectrum of malware types, offering Level 1 certification to products that completely prevent all the attacks, and Level 2 to those that remediate the effects of an attack within 24 hours.
I use an algorithm to map all the scores onto a point scale and come up with an aggregate result. Tested by all four labs, Avira scored 9. Avast Free Antivirus also managed 9.
At the top, Bitdefender’s aggregate score was 9. Hands-On Malware Protection Testing Those impressive lab test scores mean that Avira can resist against malware attack.
Even so, I still run my hands-on malware protection tests, to get a feel for how the product does its job. When I last evaluated Avira, it made quite a fuss during my first test, which simply involves opening a folder containing malware samples that I’ve analyzed by hand. It popped up warnings about having detected one, or three, or 15 samples, and cluttered the desktop with small floating windows labeled “Luke Filewalker” and other captioned “System is being scanned.
This time around the process was much calmer. It did pop up a couple of those small floating windows, but they finished and vanished quickly. It didn’t request a reboot. And it eliminated 83 percent of the samples at this stage, just by looking at them. As a further test of this simple on-access scanning, I use a second set of samples, created by modifying each of the originals. Specifically, I change the filename, append zeroes to change the length of the file, and tweak a few non-executable bytes.
Avira detected all but one of the same samples from this hand-modified set, suggesting that its signature-based malware detection isn’t too rigid. To complete the test, I launched each sample that survived the initial massacre. Avira detected some, but not all, of those. The threats it detected still managed to plant some executable files on the test system.
Overall, it scored 89 percent detection and 8. It’s worth noting that Norton and Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus managed percent detection and a perfect 10 points when tested against my previous collection of malware samples.
The scores aren’t directly comparable, but perfection is impressive. As a sanity check against false positive detections, I keep about 20 old PCMag utilities in the same folder as the malware samples. In almost every case, the antivirus correctly leaves these programs alone.
Avira, however, identified three of them as malware. That’s a bit disturbing. Malware Protection Results Chart I also test each app with a sampling of the latest malware. For each valid URL, I record whether the antivirus kept the browser from connecting, wiped out the payload during or just after download, or just fecklessly allowed the download.
The exact URLs differ in each test, but they’re always the very latest. I keep the test going until I’ve collected at least data points. Impressively, Avira blocked all access to 94 percent of the malware-hosting sites; detection of malware payloads brought its total up to 96 percent.
Weak Phishing Detection That same Browser Safety extension that fends off malicious URLs also serves to keep users from being fooled by phishing sites, fraud sites that try to steal login credentials by posing as, say, PayPal, or a bank website. These URLs don’t last long, because they quickly get blacklisted. As soon as the fraudsters have conned a few saps, they close up shop and re-open with a different URL.
For testing purposes, I scrape phish-watching sites to get the very latest reported fraudulent URLs, especially those that haven’t been around long enough to get blacklisted. I launch each simultaneously in four browsers, one protected by the product under test, and one apiece by the protection built into Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
It only detected 66 percent of the verified fraudulent pages. Chrome and Firefox alone did significantly better, with 88 percent protection. I tested phishing protection on the Mac alongside my Windows test; the results not surprisingly were exactly the same.
You might as well install all those that are truly free. The Avira Connect app manages all your other Avira products and serves as a launch pad to start any of them. Avira Connect also lets you review all the devices that you’ve associated with your Avira account online. Clicking the Manage Device button opens the Avira dashboard online. Here you can see each device, with icons showing all the installed Avira tools.
You can also dig in to view system details, or details for each installed product. And you can even trigger an email with instructions on how to install missing products.
At the top of the product list is the antivirus itself, followed by Browser Safety and Identity Scanner. Identity Scanner is an online service, not a locally installed product. At least, that’s what should happen. When I tried it, clicking for results just sent me back to fill in my email again. Avira Phantom VPN is a full-featured virtual private network with servers in 20 countries around the world.
The list of countries is weighted toward North America and Europe, though it does include China and Singapore. Using it is a snap; just select the country you want and click the big green Secure my connection button. This is a free installation of Phantom VPN, which means it lacks some advanced features, doesn’t offer tech support, and caps your bandwidth at MB per month. Exploit attacks take advantage of unpatched security vulnerabilities.
Avira Software Updater scans your system and lists any software with missing security patches. Clicking Download All gets all the updates; you can also download updates one by one, or remove products from being monitored. Upgrading to Avira Software Updater Pro gets you automated installation of updates. You can scan with Avira Home Guard to get a view of every computer, smartphone, and Internet of Things device that connects to your network.
It also aims to report on network security problems, but its reporting isn’t nearly as clear and accurate as Bitdefender Home Scanner.
Do you have your system configured properly to protect your privacy? Avira Privacy Pal checks more than privacy settings, and corrects any that are leaky. It also clears pesky traces of your computer and browser use. Other available free tools include a password manager and a Safe Shopping browser extension that helps you find bargains.
They can be downloaded for use independent of Avira Antivirus. Avira System Speedup is a bit different. You get a free trial that’s good for exactly one use. Its basic scan seeks junk files, Registry problems, and system traces of your private activity. Additional features include boot time optimization, power management, file encryption, secure deletion, backup, and more.
Arquivos de instalação do produto. Avira Connect Client Windows, Windows, 25/ 03/, EXE, 6 MB. Avira Antivirus, Windows, 12/03/, EXE, MB. Download Avira antivirus software, including free day trials with full access to all product functions.
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