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Avira Prime for Windows review: Comprehensive, user-friendly antivirus

Friday April 7, 2023. 04:30 PM , from PC World
At a GlanceExpert's Rating
ProsStrong security with a reasonable subscription price.Well designed and user-friendly.Offers a host of features in the areas of security, privacy, and performance. ConsNo subscription option for fewer than five devices.Our VerdictAvira Prime for Windows is an inclusive and effective security product offering protection against malware, outdated software and drivers, suspicious network traffic, weak passwords, browser-based tracking, and identity theft, among other risks.

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To provide thorough protection, today’s security products must do more than just scan for viruses and malware. They need to check for harmful internet traffic, intrusive browser tracking, privacy issues, outdated software, and weak passwords, among other items. One product providing all that and more is Avira Prime for Windows.

Designed for all supported versions of Windows, Avira Prime packs a lot into one program. Under the banner of security, the software includes the usual virus protection but throws in a software updater and a firewall. In the area of privacy, Avira Prime provides a file shredder, an identity-theft monitor, a password manager, and an online tracking blocker. And to help boost your PC’s performance, the program offers a driver updater, a battery saver, a duplicate file finder, a disk space optimizer, and a few other tricks.

Like most paid security products, Avira Prime charges a subscription rate based on the number of PCs and devices you want to protect and the length of the plan—$9.99 per month, $59.99 per year, or $189.99 for two years for five devices, and $12.99 per month, 129.99 per year, or $249.99 for two years for 25 devices. The devices protected under your chosen plan can include Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and web browsers. A free 30-day trial lets you check out the full program on up to five devices. 

Future reading: See our roundup of the best antivirus for Windows PCs to learn about competing products.

Avira Prime installation

Installing Avira Prime is quick and simple, with just a small status window showing you the progress. After the installation is done, the program prompts you to run a smart scan to look for a variety of potential problems, including viruses, privacy concerns, performance obstacles, and outdated apps. Upon checking your system, the scan alerts you to any issues. From here, you can view more details on the issues and select the ones you want automatically fixed.

Avira Prime features

The main dashboard is well designed, organizing its tools into three different categories—Security, Privacy, and Performance. Beyond running the smart scan, you can easily drill down to each category and tool.

Security options

Under Security, the virus protection offers a few different types of scans. A full scan checks your entire PC, either immediately or at a scheduled frequency—daily, weekly, or monthly. A quick scan checks only certain folders and vulnerable areas immediately or at a scheduled day and time. You can also create a custom scan in which you choose the folders and the frequency. With a full or custom scan, you’re able to specify whether malicious files should be quarantined, deleted, or ignored.

Beyond the full and quick scans, a custom scans lets you choose the location, frequency, and action in the hunt for malware.Avira

Naturally, Avira Prime offers real-time scanning with three options enabled by default. The virus protection prevents malware from trying to infect and modify files on your computer. The web-based protection tries to defend you from online threats. And the ransomware protection aims to prevent hackers from locking your device or encrypting your files.

Also under security is a software updater, which scans your PC for outdated applications and can automatically update them. Additionally, a firewall attempts to block malicious or suspicious apps and other activity coming through your network. You have full control over the firewall, so you can modify existing rules to allow or block specific processes, add new rules, or turn off the firewall completely.

The security area offers tools for virus protection, a software updater, and a firewall.Avira

Privacy options

In the area of privacy, the Avira Safe Shopping extension works with all the major browsers to keep you away from malicious sites and prevent tracking by ad networks. A built-in VPN lets you choose different locations around the world through which you can securely route web traffic. You’re able to keep the VPN on all the time or just for certain Wi-Fi networks. Next on the list is a file shredder that will permanently delete files, thus making it harder for anyone to recover them.

The built-in password manager requires that you set up an account and a master password with Avira and install the required extension in Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and/or Firefox. From there, Avira will suggest and save a strong password when you create a new account and automatically enter the credentials when you need to sign in. The password manager is also available as a mobile app for iOS/iPadOS and Android.

Another privacy tool is an identity assistant. If enabled, this one will monitor your email address for Dark Web activity and alert you if any of your personal data has been compromised. As the icing on the cake, a privacy settings tool gathers all the Windows privacy options in a single place so you can easily manage each one. You can even choose a predefined level of privacy, and the program will apply it for you.

In the privacy area are a web tracking blocker, VPN, password manger, file shredder, and identity assistant.Avira

Performance options

Finally, under the performance area is an optimizer that will free up space, clean cookies and broken Registry entries, and try to speed up your PC. The results identify junk files, downloads, and slow startup apps that you can opt to remove or fix. The battery saver displays your current battery status and lets you choose a specific power plan to better extend your battery charge. A driver updater scans for outdated drivers and offers to update any old ones.

A duplicate-file finder scours your PC for duplicate files and removes any you don’t need. A game booster aims to optimize your PC if you’re playing a full-screen game that needs more CPU, memory, and video resources. Further, the startup optimizer looks for apps and other items that can be removed from your startup routine, while a hyper-boost option analyzes and tries to shorten your startup time.

Under performance are a space optimizer, battery saver, driver updater, and more.Avira

To cap off all the features, Avira Prime provides a detailed Settings menu where you control key options for the three different categories. There’s also an online dashboard that shows you all the devices on which Avira Prime is installed along with access to the built-in tools, links to helpful tips and documents, and a page for customer support.

What is Avira Prime’s performance impact?

To gauge the impact of Avira Prime on PC performance, I ran before and after benchmarking tests using the PC Mark, 3D Mark, and Procyon benchmark programs. The results showed just a minor impact on performance with Avira Prime installed, indicating that the software doesn’t hog your system resources.

Trying to access the different test files from the EICAR testing site prompted the software to flag the files themselves as unsafe, preventing me from downloading them directly. I was able to download the two EICAR zip files, but when I tried to extract them, Avira blocked and quarantined them as potential threats.

AV-Test reviews throughout 2022 awarded Avira Internet Security top marks for protection, performance, and usability. Older reviews from 2020 and earlier gave Avira Antivirus Pro high grades in the same areas. Reports from AV Comparatives in 2022 awarded Avira Prime stellar grades for protection and performance.

Is Avira Prime worth it?

Avira Prime offers not only effective malware defenses but a host of other tools designed to protect you from both online and offline threats. In spite of all its features, the program is well designed and easy to use. For those reasons, Avira Prime is well worth the subscription price.

Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, our reviews are subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the services.

Personal Software, Security

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