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Free Avira AntiVir Personal Version 10 Download:

Avira AntiVir Personal Version 10

VERSION:  Windows 7 / Vista / XP / 2000, Single User

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Information Below:  Review, Screenshots

Review of Free Avira AntiVir Personal Version 10.0:

Avira Avira is a German security company which provides one of the most widely used free antivirus applications with over 100 million users worldwide. Despite its oddly named AntiVir software, it has consistently offered some of the best anti-malware protection in the industry and should be a name one investigates thoroughly - whether looking for a paid or free security solution.

1) Installation:  4/5

On our reference machine*, Avira AntiVir Personal installed in 84 seconds, with no reboots required. This compares favorably to both free and commercial antivirus packages. Avira displays about four or five pre-installation screens, including an optional user registration dialog.

Immediately after installation, Avira AntiVir updates its virus definitions to ensure that your system is running with the latest antivirus protection information. (See Installation Time Comparison Graph)

*Reference Computer: Windows 7 Home Premium running on a Toshiba Pentium Dual-Core T4200, with 3GB of RAM and a 210GB hard drive.

2) Features & Ease of Use:  6/10

Avira AntiVir Personal offers the same basic protections as most other free antivirus applications. The Overview window on the Dashboard displays your computer's current protection status, and offers hyperlink-style commands for initiating a new scan. You can also click on the ill-named Local protection tab to start a manual scan.

While usable, the interface isn't as clean and intuitive as that offered by some of Avira's competitors. The Local protection page itself is a little confusing. Rather than offer three simple scan options like many antivirus applications, Avira AntiVir Personal displays a list of 10 different scan types. The pre-configured list contains the typical options, such as Complete System Scan and Quick system scan, as well as more granular scan types such as Active processes and Scan for rootkits and other malware.

Avira Version 10 Dashboard:

View More Avira Screenshots

Some of Avira's features are less than intuitive for your average PC user. The Scanner page, for example, contains two Scan commands - one for scanning with regular permissions, and one for scanning as Administrator. The user interface provides no hint as to why you may want to use one over the other. Other features are completely obscured: most users won't notice that Avira supports drag-and-drop scanning of individual files unless they read the local help manual, or discover the feature by accident.

Nag Factor: Compared to other free antivirus packages, Avira AntiVir Personal has a low number of windows and pop-ups urging you to upgrade to the commercial version of the product. The application displays a single pop-up window touting the benefits of Avira AntiVir Premium. Fortunately, Avira AntiVir Personal doesn't display a permanent nag advertisement at the bottom of its Dashboard screen like AVG Free, nor a large banner like Avast! Free Antivirus.

Additional Features in Avira AntiVir Premium 10 (paid version):

      • AntiPhishing - proactive protection against phishing
      • AntiVir ProActiv - detects unknown viruses by their behavior patterns
      • WebGuard - protection against malicious websites
      • RescueSystem - creates a bootable rescue CD
      • AntiDrive-by - prevents against downloading viruses when surfing
      • MailGuard - enhanced email protection

Editor's Note: Version 10 was Avira's 2010 software release. Avira has stated they won't be releasing a Version 11 this year, and will only be offering a minor Service Pack 2 update in Q2 of 2011. However, Avira does expect to release their 2012 version (version 12) in Q3 of 2011. So unfortunately for its users, Avira has skipped its 2011 version altogether.

3) Virus Scanner:  4/5

Avira's scanning engine, appropriately named Luke Filewalker, offers 10 different scanning options including Full and Custom scanning - these options could probably be trimmed down to a more manageable and less confusing level. Its Guard feature scans files as they are created or modified, keeping your system safe between full virus scanning passes.

Avira Virus Scanner:

View More Avira Screenshots

Speed: Avira boasts an extremely fast virus scanner. On our reference machine (see above), Avira AntiVir Personal scanned 34.7MB of data per second. The application churned through our 1GB test file matrix in just over 29 seconds. This places Avira amongst the fastest free virus scanners on the market - 4th fastest overall. (See Scan Time Comparison Graph)

Updates: By default, Avira AntiVir Personal updates its virus definitions once every day - a marked difference from the commercial version, which downloads new definitions between four and six times every day. Users can add more frequent scheduled update checks on the Administration->Scheduler screen. (See Updates Per Day Comparison Graph)

4) Performance Testing:  8.5/10

A good antivirus program should not only prevent viruses and malware from infecting your computer but also not impact the Performance of your computer too much. We run each free antivirus program through a series of Performance Tests to see the impact it has on a standard computer. The results of our testing for Avira AntiVir are below:

Memory Use: Avira AntiVir Personal Version 10 uses 16.2 MB of system memory. #6 ranked program of the 12 antivirus programs we tested this year.

Reboot Time: Avira added 13.7 seconds to our test computer's reboot time. #4 ranked program.

Installation Size: Avira AntiVir requires 229 MB of hard-drive space for installation. #5 ranked program.

Initial Scan Speed: Avira scans files the first time at a speed of 34.7 MB/s. #4 ranked program.

Subsequent Scan Speed: Avira performs subsequent scans at a speed of 35.4 MB/s. #7 ranked program.

Initial Application Launch: Avira AntiVir Personal Version 10 added 0.328s to launch a web browser for the first time after a reboot. #5 ranked program.

Subsequent Application Launch: Avira added 0.049s on average for subsequent web browser launches. #4 ranked program.

File Conversion Time: Avira added 0.35s on average to convert a MP3 file to four other file types. #6 ranked program.

System Impact Score: The "System Impact Score" is a comparative score tallied from the above 8 Antivirus tests. Avira AntiVir scored a total of 63 out of 96 points when compared to the other antivirus programs tested. This placed Avira as the #2 ranked overall free antivirus program we tested this year - very good performance, even if the program is a little outdated.

View graphs of the above Free Antivirus Performance Tests.

5) Effectiveness: (Virus/Malware Detection)  13/15

The most important function of an antivirus program is to keep your computer free from Viruses and other Malware. Below we'll take a look at some of the industry's top Virus/Malware Detection testing and certification.

a) AV Comparatives is an independent antivirus testing lab in Austria
providing some of the most trusted virus detection tests in the industry. They have 2 major virus/malware tests that they perform. In the most recent test in November, the Proactive Test, Avira received top marks and a score of 3 out of 3 Stars. In the 2nd test last August, the On Demand Detection Test, Avira also received a 3-Star rating. Avira not only received 3-Stars on both tests, but it did so in convincing fashion - finishing as the #2 rated program in both tests (just behind G Data). Impressive considering almost all the top names in the industry were involved in the testing.


b) AV-Test is another major antivirus testing lab which is located in Germany. In their recent antivirus testing in 2010, Avira received a 13.5 / 18 score on the Windows 7 platform. In the 2nd set of tests run on Windows XP, Avira received a 12 / 18 score. While on the 3rd test run on Windows Vista, Avira received a 13 / 18 score. All 3 of these scores were good enough to receive AV-Test's Certification level (12 points needed on each test for Certification). Avira performed well in these tests, but not top-notch marks as seen in the AV-Comparatives testing above. Despite these tests being run on Avira's Internet Security software, they are useful when evaluating Avira's more basic antivirus program since they test the software's Protection and Repair capabilities against Viruses and Malware.

Win 7: Win XP: Win Vista:
c) Virus Bulletin's VB 100% Certified. Avira passed the most recent VB100 test (April, 2011), and has passed 9 of the past 10 tests its been in dating back to October 2009. The VB 100% award is given to antivirus software that detects all viruses "in the wild."

6) Help & Support:  3.5/5

Avira has great local and online support options, but loses points for its sub-par on-screen assistance.

On-Screen Help: Avira has little on-screen help in the form of text labels and tooltips. What text it does offer varies from helpful to tautological. Mousing over Complete system scan on the Local protection tab, for example, displays a tooltip reading, "This profile carries out a complete system scan."

Local Help: The local help (.CHM) file available from the Help->Contents menu command is well written and organized. The section on the virus scanner is particularly excellent. It discusses "hidden" features not obvious when looking at the UI, such as the drag-and-drop on-demand scanning.

Online Help: The Help command contains several menu items, such as Knowledge database, that navigate you directly to Avira's online help portal. Unlike some anti-virus vendors, Avira maintains a site and content dedicated solely to the free version of their software. Avira does confuse the issue somewhat by offering separate "FAQ" and "Knowledge base" links. This content could probably be combined into a single Knowledge base, with the most frequent issues highlighted on the landing page.

»Quick Support Links:

     • Avira Support Home
     • Free Support Home
     • FAQs
     • Knowledgebase


Version 10 of Avira AntiVir Personal has a badly outdated and clunky interface, and almost no advanced features besides basic virus protection. But what you do get is an extremely fast virus scanner, and almost unparalleled Effectiveness and Performance ratings. So, if you want top-notch protection that won't hobble your computer, Avira is a good choice. If you prefer a pretty interface and advanced features read our other free antivirus software reviews for alternatives.

Overall Rating: Very Good    (Total Score: 39 / 50 = 4 Stars)

Misc Info:

    • Version Tested:
    • Release Date:
    • Review Date:
    • Last Updated:
May 30, 2011
    • Previous Version:
Avira AntiVir Personal 9
    • Other Avira Software:
Avira AntiVir Premium Version 10 (Commercial Version)

Useful Articles:

    • Free vs. Paid AntiVirus Software - Which is right for me?

    • Downloading Software? Follow These Precautions

    • What is a Computer Virus?

    • Viruses, Trojans, Worms, Adware, Spyware and Malware: What's the Difference?

Top 5 Free Antivirus Reviews:

  1) Avast! Free AntiVirus 6 Review - Rating:   Excellent
  2) Avira AntiVir Personal 10 Review - Rating:   Very Good
  3) AVG AntiVirus Free 2011 Review - Rating:   Good
  4) Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 Review - Rating:   Good
  5) Panda Cloud AntiVirus Free 1.4 Review - Rating:   Good

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