Antivirus

Avast vs. Avira - Comparing Two of the Most Popular Antivirus Programs

Janis von Bleichert
Author
Last update

Viruses, hackers, and Trojans: Danger seems to lie around every corner of the net, and, what's worse, it's up to you to protect your virtual identity. Antivirus suites are popular all-in-one solutions to most of these problems, since they guard against viruses and other kinds of malware, removing any that they encounter, all the while proactively defending you and your system. But which program is the best?

To answer that question, we analyzed 16 top antivirus programs from head to toe in our comprehensive antivirus software evaluation with Bitdefender coming in first owing to its excellent security standards, easy-to-use interface, and wide range of features.

The formidable antivirus programs Avast and Avira might have missed out on the winners' podium, but they're still widely popular and have dedicated user bases. On top of that, they're also part of NortonLifeLock, which makes comparing and contrasting them even more important. In this head-to-head duel, we'll show you which of the two edges out the other.

Avast Antivirus vs. Avira Antivirus

Avast Antivirus Test
Avast Antivirus
(6,966,251)
many features
easy to use
functional free version
excellent support area
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
1
Avast Free
$0.00
Visit Website »
Download for Free
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good
Avira Antivirus Test
Avira Antivirus
(670,098)
free version with basic protection
freely configurable scans
easy to use
weak performance in test lab
no ransomware protection for free users
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
0
Avira Free
$0.00
Visit Website »
Download for Free
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
1.

Installation & Usage

Avast Antivirus sets the bar relatively high owing to its ease of use, well-thought-out interface, and bags of conveniently packaged features. The last of these don't require much searching to find, with the end result being that all of the most important features and information are just a click away. The menu's practical search function makes an already simple process even easier. We also didn't have any bloatware issues with Avast.

Avast's features are divided between "Protection", "Privacy", and "Performance".

We found earlier versions of Avira's user interface to be overloaded and too interested in promoting the rest of the developer's software portfolio. Avira seems to have taken our criticism to heart: Its new antivirus dashboard is sleek and intuitive, with all important features logically arranged and accessible with just a few clicks.

We like Avira's new look much more.

Since Avira overhauled its user interface, it's become difficult for us to name a winner in this category. Both antivirus programs now offer elegant dashboards that are intuitive to use.

Winner: Draw

2.

Features

Both Avira and Avast offer good protection, whereby, most advanced security features are reserved for paying customers. Alongside scans and real-time protection, both programs include a firewall, ransomware protection, and Web protection.

Webcam protection is only offered by Avast, however, Avira offsets this with a password manager (Avast's password manager has been discontinued). Both serve up VPNs to their higher-level subscribers, however, neither of these can really compete with the stand-alone services we assessed. Avast comes with a firewall of its own, while Avira provides a control center for Windows firewall. Beyond that, in Avast, you can open questionable files or apps in a secure environment, without jeopardizing your system using the software's "Sandbox" tool.

Both programs offer a lot more than just antivirus tools.

The mobile versions of both programs are centered on anti-theft measures, alongside their standard role as antivirus platforms. Using either of the two, users can remotely control their devices or GPS locate them. Here too, a number of features are reserved for premium subscribers: For Avira, these include camera and microphone protection; for Avast the very practical 'App Lock', which makes it possible to enhance the security of specific apps (by enabling access only following input of a PIN, pattern, or fingerprint).

You can protect your smartphone against theft with either of the two providers' mobile apps.

In sum, the features offered by each provider are fairly similar, whereby Avast has a slight advantage since it provides a few for which Avira has no analog.

Winner: Avast Antivirus

3.

Security & Performance

To assess the performance and security of all antivirus programs featured in our sample, we relied on results from two independent testing labs, AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

Avira Antivirus received the following scores:

SecurityPerformance

83% (5 / 6)

92% (5.5 / 6)

33% (1 / 3)

80%

OVERALL

58%

86%

The testing labs scored Avast Antivirus as follows:

SecurityPerformance

100% (6 / 6)

100% (6 / 6)

66% (2 / 3)

90%

OVERALL

83%

95%

As can be seen, Avast outscored Avira with the testing labs in both security and performance. Particularly in the first area, we hope that Avira quickly rectifies the security issues which the testing labs uncovered.

Winner: Avast Antivirus

Note: January 2020 Controversy surrounding the sale of user data

An investigative report published jointly by Motherboard (Vice) and PCmag in January 2020 revealed that Avast, through its subsidiary, Jumpshot, had, on a massive scale, sold user data to third parties, including Google, Microsoft, McKinsey, Pepsi, and Yelp. According to the authors, this data refers to "Google searches, GPS coordinates used in Google Maps, LinkedIn site history, YouTube videos, and porn browsing history, including the entered search terms and the videos watched." Even though no personal data was sold, it would not have been difficult for the purchasing companies to identify individual user IDs on the basis of movement data and device numbers. In the interim, Avast's CEO Ondrej Vlcek apologized for the incident and closed Jumpshot.

4.

Support

Avast makes a good showing in support owing to its DIY resources: These are provided in an informative support center, which also features a helpful Academy for Online Threats and a forum. For direct contact, the provider is a bit more stingy: Free users aren't afforded any possibility to file a support ticket, and even paying customers can only discuss issues with the support staff via email. During testing, we waited around nine hours for an answer to our query.

Avast only offers direct support via email.

Avira finally edges out Avast: Only paying customers can directly contact support, however, if you're a subscriber, you can do so by email or phone. Using the latter, we quickly got in contact with a staffer and didn't have to wait several hours for a typed answer. The service's support center is also well-stocked, featuring FAQs, video guides, and a virus lab in which you can read up on current and past threats.

Winner: Avira Antivirus

5.

Pricing

The basic versions of both programs are free, with paid subscriptions required to unlock all features.

These are: Avira Antivirus ProAvira Internet Security, and Avira Prime. With Avast, these are: Premium and Ultimate.

Overall, Avira's packages are cheaper, however, to get access to all features, you'll pay more than with Avast.

Winner: Draw

A detailed price list for both providers can be found below:

Prices for Avast Antivirus

FreePremium SecurityUltimate
Pricing
Set-up fee $0.00 - -
Price per year $0.00 from $79.98 from $139.98
Contract period (months) 0 12 12
Software
OS
Windows
macOS
Android
Windows
macOS
Android
Windows
macOS
Android
Max. Number of devices unlimited 10 1
Special Protection Features
Real-time Protection
Internet Security
Email Protection
Ransomware Protection
Webcam Protection
Premium Features
Firewall
Password Manager
VPN Access
Adblocker
Cloud Backup
File Shredder
Parental Control
Performance Tuning
Mobile Features
App Lock
Location Tracking
Remote Lock
Camera Trap

Prices for Avira Antivirus

FreeProInternet Security
Pricing
Set-up fee $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Price per year $0.00 from $89.98 from $115.98
Contract period (months) 0 12 12
Software
OS
Windows
macOS
Android
Windows
macOS
Android
Windows
macOS
Android
Max. Number of devices unlimited 5 5
Special Protection Features
Real-time Protection
Internet Security
Email Protection
Ransomware Protection
Webcam Protection
Premium Features
Firewall
Password Manager
VPN Access
Adblocker
Cloud Backup
File Shredder
Parental Control
Performance Tuning
Mobile Features
App Lock
Location Tracking
Remote Lock
Camera Trap
6.

Customer Ratings

In terms of customer ratings, Avast again asserts its dominance. Many users commend its ease of use, whereby, especially on Trustpilot, a number of issues with payment and billing were highlighted. Avira's users also praise the program's user-friendliness, however, its support is often criticized.

Winner: Avast Antivirus

Customer Ratings for Avast Antivirus

Customer Rating
4.7 / 5
6,966,251 Ratings
excellent
We analyzed the reviews and ratings from various portals and found 6,966,251 ratings with an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 .
Show sources

Customer Ratings for Avira Antivirus

Customer Rating
4.6 / 5
670,098 Ratings
excellent
We analyzed the reviews and ratings from various portals and found 670,098 ratings with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 .
Show sources

Conclusion

Avast Antivirus won three of the six rounds thanks to its high degree of user-friendliness, the slightly more well-rounded package of features, better security & performance scores, and more positive user reviews.

Avira took one round owing to its superior support. In terms of pricing and user-friendliness, there was simply too little separating the two, somewhat similarly named services.

As a result, Avast Antivirus is the clear winner, with its victory in security & performance reason enough to choose the service over Avira. You can check out full reviews of all other 14 programs from our sample in our comprehensive antivirus software evaluation.

Avast Antivirus Test
Avast Antivirus
(6,966,251)
many features
easy to use
functional free version
excellent support area
Avast überzeugt mit einer Gratis-Version, die bereits die wichtigsten Funktionen abdeckt. Lediglich bei der Performance gibt es leichte Abzüge.
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
1
Avast Free
$0.00
Visit Website »
Download for Free
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good
Review Score
4.3 / 5
09/2021
good
Visit Website
Installation & Usage
4.7 / 5
Features
4.7 / 5
Support
4.0 / 5
Security & Performance
4.0 / 5
Author: Janis von Bleichert
Janis von Bleichert studied business informatics at the TU Munich and computer science at the TU Berlin, Germany. He has been self-employed since 2006 and is the founder of EXPERTE.com. He writes about hosting, software and IT security.
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