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Avira Antivirus Pro

Avira Antivirus Pro (2021) review: Stops viruses, but doesn’t do much else

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
30
inc VAT

This lightweight suite provides strong protection and good performance, but the bonus features are disappointingly slim for the price

Pros 
Decent protection levels
Not too much of a drain on system resources
Scans quickly
Cons 
Extra features don't amount to much
Pricey
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Avira might not be as well known as Avast or AVG, but its free antivirus offering does a respectable job of blocking malware and online attacks. The company also offers the commercial Avira Security Suite and the all-inclusive Avira Prime bundle, which costs a rather steep £86 a year for five devices.

Antivirus Pro is the cheapest of the company’s paid-for products, making it the natural choice for those who aren’t looking to lay out big bucks but still want protection that goes further than a free antivirus tool.

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Avira Antivirus Pro review: What do you get for the money?

Avira Antivirus Pro includes all the basic antimalware features you’d hope for. It scans files on access, blocks exploits before they have a chance to run and also plugs into Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera to warn you away from dodgy downloads and websites. That’s all good, but it’s not a reason to spend money on this package, as those capabilities are shared by the free edition.

What Antivirus Pro adds are various privacy and performance tools. The former include a cut-down version of Avira’s Phantom VPN and a password manager, but these are both a bit of a swizz. The VPN is of very limited use as it only lets you transfer 1GB of data per month and doesn’t let you spoof your location – you’ll need to pay an extra £52 per year for the fully unlocked version. And, while the password manager is quite versatile, with no annoying limitations on stored items or devices, it’s only the same as the free edition, which anyone can download.

The performance side of things, meanwhile, is a real bait-and-switch. You can clear out junk files and update ageing device drivers, but clicking on almost any other function bounces you into a separate app called Avira System Speedup. Unlocking this requires a separate licence costing an extra £22 a year.

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Avira Antivirus Pro review: Does it keep you safe?

Avira does its core job perfectly well. Across the most recent tests by AV-Comparatives.org (March 2021) and AV-Test.org (February 2021) it averaged an overall protection rating of 99.8%, including perfect 100% scores against AV-Test’s set of malware samples.

That’s not the best protection rate in the business. Several other packages received 100% scores in the same tests, including security suites from Bitdefender, F-Secure, Kaspersky, McAfee and Norton. Avast’s Free Antivirus package achieved a perfect score, too.

Still, Avira’s results are good enough to reassure us, and its total of two false positives during those tests isn’t bad either. We’d have no hesitation in trusting Avira for everyday security.

READ NEXT: Our guide to the best antivirus software you can buy

Avira Antivirus Pro review: What’s it like to use?

Avira doesn’t slow down your PC too much. The independent testers found it incurred an average performance penalty of 7.2%. That’s pretty nimble; the fastest suite we’ve seen is F-Secure SAFE, which had an impact of 6.15%, while Windows’ built-in security measures added up to a much bigger 12.5% performance hit.

Avira works quickly, too, taking just 60 seconds to scan an external hard disk containing 55GB of assorted files. Many rivals took two or three times as long, and AVG Internet Security took more than 25 minutes.

This makes Antivirus Pro very easy to live with. It’s just disappointing you don’t get more hands-on opportunities to manage and enhance your privacy and performance, as the feature list would lead you to expect.

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Avira Antivirus Pro review: Should I buy it?

At the end of the day, what’s good about Avira Antivirus Pro is also good about its free sibling, while the extra tools frankly add very little value to the package.

Our regularly updated pick of the best antivirus products details plenty of alternatives that offer a richer, more useful feature set. Some of them are faster, and many of them are cheaper too, which makes it very hard to recommend paying £30 for Avira Antivirus Pro.