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Avira AntiVir Personal 10 review

Avira AntiVir Personal 10
Our Rating :

Avira's free AntiVir Personal has improved on its performance of last year, but still can't match the performance of free rival AVG.

AntiVir Personal 10.0 is the latest edition of Avira’s popular free anti-virus software, with a slick interface and integrated protection against spyware, phishing and rootkits. AntiVir Personal is very popular in Germany, even though its performance in some of our previous tests has left a lot to be desired.

At some points during testing, we had to download virus signature library updates manually from Avira’s website because the automatic update server wasn’t responding – users of the free suite appear to get lower priority access to the server then their paying counterparts, and also only receive one update a day. However, we generally experienced far fewer issues with updates than we did last time we tested it.

Avira AntiVir Personal 10

Something we can’t fault is the interface, which is clear, simple and easy to use. The main interface window lets you start scans and displays the status of AntiVir Guard, a resident anti-virus engine that constantly monitors your system, along with the dates of your last scan and update. The Events and Reports tabs provide a simple interface to view and export the program’s log files.

An Administration tab provides access to quarantined files and the scan scheduler. There’s also a more advanced Configuration menu behind a text link here, which allows you to alter the behaviour of the scanner and guard by instructing them to scan archive files, scan only files with specific extensions or block other kinds of unwanted software like games or applications from suspicious sources. The free version of AntiVir doesn’t have any browser or drive-by download protection. It also lacks an integrated email scanner, but every file moved to your PC will be scanned anyway, including email attachments.

The software detected and either entirely blocked or neutralised 84 per cent of the malware threats we exposed it to and didn’t falsely identify any of our benign files as threats. It only managed to remove all traces of our test malware in 48 per cent of cases. This is still an improvement on the performance of version 9.0 in last year’s test, but Antivir Free is nonetheless a rather pale shadow of its paid-for sibling. Even for free, there’s no point in using it when AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011 provides such comprehensive protection.


Price £0
Rating ****