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This family-owned German company was founded in 1986 and now has over 500 employees and serves over 100 million customers. Avira provides IT-security protection to computers, smartphones, servers, and networks. They offer free security for Android, PC, and Mac, and also sell enhanced antivirus protection options for Windows, delivering both software and cloud-based services. Avira introduced real-time, cloud computing protection in 2013, which improved file detection and lessened the impact on system performance. 

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The Good

  • Number one in file detection test
  • Free cloud storage
  • Informative blog

In AV-Comparative's most recent file detection test (September 2013), Avira was number one in malicious file detection. This is a tremendous accomplishment for the company, as Avira was competing with several of the top computer security products in the world. Though IT tests aren't the only consideration to make when looking for computer protection, it sure helps to know that a product has been tested and proven effective.

Along with the option to download free antivirus products for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, Avira offers free cloud storage and a memory clean-up tool for anyone to download. Avira's Ultimate Protection suite comes with a whopping 200 GB of safe and secure online backup space, along with other extra protection features, like PC optimization and parental controls. It's also worth noting that paid Avira subscriptions don't just cover a single computer-a yearly subscription covers all of a user's devices. This is both convenient and cost-effective for customers.

Avira keeps their customers updated through their virus lab site as well as an informative blog that stays current about the latest problems and developments in the IT world. This resource not only gives insight into the company's product advancements but also common problems and solutions regarding the most popular technological devices.

The Bad

  • Social networking protection
  • Free antivirus download

Unfortunately, Avira does not offer comprehensive social networking protection at this time. The parental control feature does allow parents some access to their kids' social media sites, but the focus is less about dangerous viral links and more about dangerous social situations. Though the family protection package does have some unique alert settings for Facebook, Twitter, and chat rooms, the product could be improved if it scanned these same sites for dangerous links and scams.

Since Avira offers free antivirus downloads for a variety of operating systems-a major draw to the company website-the company does not offer customer service access for those with free versions. Currently, only those with paid subscriptions have access to technical phone support.

The Bottom Line

Aside from the lack of social network-specific protection, Avira products offer the features needed for computer protection. And depending on how many devices you want to cover, it may be extremely cost-effective, too.

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