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

Viruses, hackers, and Trojans: Danger lies around every corner of the net, and it's up to you to protect your virtual identity. Antivirus suites are popular all-in-one solutions to 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 what program is the best?

To answer that question, we analyzed 11 top antivirus programs from head to toe in our comprehensive antivirus program evaluation. Only one program excelled in each of the four categories that we scored, Bitdefender, 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 highly popular and have dedicated user bases. We'll show you which of the two edges out the other in this head-to-head duel.

Avast Antivirus vs. Avira Antivirus

Avast Antivirus
(6,373,390)
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
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.1 / 5
good
Avira Antivirus
(587,634)
free version with basic protection
freely configurable scans
easy to use
very good protection
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
0
Avira Free
$0.00
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.9 / 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 a lot of searching, with the end result being that all 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, whereas Avira automatically installs Opera, which is then set as your default browser.

Similarly, Avira's user interface is somewhat cluttered and feels more like an advertising billboard for the rest of the company's products than a control center. Some of these, like Phantom VPN or System Speedup are always in the upper control panel, even if you don't use them. For users of these, this might be convenient, but we suspect that for most, this bundling will not be looked upon with a great deal of excitement.

On the plus side, Avira's client is easy-to-use, with all important antivirus features not too hard to find, however, in comparison to the minimalist and elegant interface of Avast, Avira doesn't stand a chance.

Winner: Avast Antivirus

2.

Features

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

Webcam protection is only offered by Avast Antivirus, as part of the "Ultimate" subscription that also includes a rudimentary password manager and a VPN. Avira doesn't include these features in its antivirus suite, however, it does offer stand-alone programs that provide these services, all of which can be viewed in the interface's upper menu.

The mobile versions of both programs are centered on anti-theft measures, alongside their standard role as antivirus services. Using either of the two, users can remotely control certain features of 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 allows users to enhance the security of specific apps (by enabling access only following input of a PIN, pattern, or fingerprint). Avira doesn't offer this feature, even for paying customers.

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 in our evaluation, we relied on results from two independent test labs AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.

Note: These test results are from September 2020 and can differ from those in the original reviews.

Avira Antivirus received the following scores:

SecurityPerformance

92% (5.5 / 6)

100% (6 / 6)

100% (3 / 3)

78%

70% (Note 2,5)

70% (Note 2,5)

TOTAL

96%

89%

The test labs scored Avast Antivirus as follows:

SecurityPerformance

100% (6 / 6)

92% (5.5 / 6)

100% (3 / 3)

80%

90% (Note 1,5)

68% (Note 2,6)

TOTAL

100%

86%

As can be seen, Avast has a 1% advantage over Avira, scoring somewhat lower in performance, but slightly higher in security. Since security is the most important aspect of any antivirus program, this round follows the pattern of the first two and sees Avast named winner, albeit by the tightest of margins.

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 sold user data on a massive scale 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 buying 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 presented 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.

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. This is where the similarities end though: Avira Antivirus is one of the most affordable antivirus providers on the market, whereas Avast Antivirus is one of the more expensive services. When comparing the two, you'll pay more than twice as much to access the same features using Avast as Avira.

Winner: Avira Antivirus

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

Prices for Avast Antivirus

FreePremium SecurityUltimate
Pricing
Set-up fee $0.00 - -
Price per year $0.00 from $39.99 from $65.88
Software
Operating system
Windows
macOS
Android
Windows
macOS
Android
Windows
macOS
Android
Max. Number of devices unlimited 10 10
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
Track Location
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 $44.99 from $57.99
Software
Operating system
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
Track Location
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 are highlighted. Avira users also praise the program's user friendliness, however, the bloatware that comes with the service appears to be almost universally loathed.

Winner: Avast Antivirus

Customer Ratings for Avast Antivirus

Customer Rating
4.7 / 5
6,373,390 Ratings
excellent
We analyzed the reviews and ratings from various portals and found 6,373,390 ratings with an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 .
Show sources

Customer Ratings for Avira Antivirus

Customer Rating
4.5 / 5
587,634 Ratings
excellent
We analyzed the reviews and ratings from various portals and found 587,634 ratings with an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 .
Show sources

Conclusion

Avast Antivirus won four of the six rounds, thanks to its high degree of user-friendliness, more rounded package of features, slight advantage in terms of security, and better user reviews.

That isn't to say that Avira Antivirus didn't put up a good fight: In contrast, it offers both slightly better support, and a markedly better price, which depending on the subscription, can be as little as half as expensive as Avast. Depending on the role that price plays in selecting an antivirus program, Avira's offer may be more attractive.

In terms of where it really matters, security, both programs are reliable, with the differences between the two relatively insignificant. Our complete set of antivirus program reviews can be found here.

Avast Antivirus
(6,373,390)
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
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.1 / 5
good
Review Score
4.1 / 5
01/2020
good
Visit Website
Installation & Usage
4.7 / 5
Features
4.3 / 5
Security & Performance
4.0 / 5
Customer Support
3.3 / 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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