Avira AntiVir Personal 10 – Is It The Best Free Antivirus Available?


If you were building a wish list of the features that you would like to see in a free anti-virus program, I’m sure you would include the following:

An easy to use and understand, yet comprehensive, user interface.

An on demand scanner to seek out viruses, Trojans, backdoor programs, hoaxes, worms, dialers and other malicious programs.

And, perhaps most important, the ability to stop a detected malicious program  dead in its tracks.

The ability to repair, delete, rename and quarantine programs, or files.

Well you’re in luck. Avira AntiVir Personal will meet, and even exceed, all of your wishes. This anti-virus program offers comprehensive protection, driven by an easy to use interface.

Avira AntiVir Personal is not just another free AV solution. Avira may just be the best free AV solution available. It’s certainly the most popular in its class, and with good reason, in my view.

I’ve been using Avira, in one release or another for years on a Windows XP Professional machine, and I have never had to deal with an infection on that particular computer.

I’m not suggesting that Avira is the only reason this machine has never been infected, but – it is the foundation on which all of the other security solutions, specific to that machine, are built. Regular readers are well aware, that I faithfully follow the Three Commandments of Safe Surfing:

Stop – consider where you’re action might lead.

Think – consider the consequences to your security.

Click – only after making an educated decision to proceed.

If you’re a typical, or an average user, you should find that Avira AntiVir Personal will meet, and even exceed, all of your requirements.

As an indication of this programs popularity, Download.com reports 100+ MILLION total downloads – 665,000 last week alone.


Fast facts:

Highly Configurable

Protection from viruses, worms and Trojans

Includes anti-spyware and anti-adware features

Protection against expensive dialers

Protection from hidden rootkits

Protection from phishing

Extensive malware Recognition

Monitors every action executed by the user or the operating system

Reacts promptly when a malicious program is detected.

Automatic updates of antivirus signatures, engine and software – I have to admit, I love this feature

Now in Version (updated April 22, 2010)

Quick Summary:

Easy to download, easy to install, easy to configure, easy to use, and very effective.

System requirements: Windows 7, XP, Vista (32-bit and 64-bit).

Download at: Download.com

Note: Free for home-users only.

If you find the nag screen annoying, take a look at “Remove Avira Notifier – Here’s How”, on this site. If you’re running a 64 bit system, then checkout my buddy G’s site –Disable Avira Notifier in Windows 7.

Note: Since we’re talking about Avira, you should be aware that Avira offers a free Avira AntiVir Rescue System, “which is a Linux-based application that allows accessing computers that cannot be booted anymore. Thus it is possible to repair a damaged system, rescue data, and scan the system for virus infections”.

If you are an active computer user, you should consider adding this application to your antimalware tool box.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Software, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

25 responses to “Avira AntiVir Personal 10 – Is It The Best Free Antivirus Available?

  1. Lynne

    I have used this Freebie AV for a while now and just love the ease of use and the resources it uses are minimal!

  2. g

    I used avira rescue cd a few months ago and it worked awesome!

    • Hey G,

      I hear ya!. I wouldn’t be without this tool. A few months back I used it to save a friend’s machine, when *nothing* else would do it.

      BTW, I had a few private emails wondering how to remove Avira on x64 systems, so I linked back to you on that. I’d forgotten you’d already covered it. Good that you did.


  3. Hi Bill,
    I use to use Avira but switched to Microsoft’s free Security Essentials program early this year. Frankly I think both are excellent, do you have a feeling about which is more resource friendly?
    I’m also experimenting with Comodo’s free AV, while it runs pretty well on a netbook it has a lot of pop-ups to deal with, but its sandbox technology make it a good choice for virus prone types.

    • Hi Mark,

      In fact, I use MSE as a standalone, on my principal Win 7 system. It totally blows me away – can’t recommend it highly enough.

      On my XP system Avira uses about 7 MB in guard mode, and MSE in the same mode on Win 7, uses about 3 MB.

      I’ve been looking at Comodo, and the main issue seems to be the one you mention – lots of pop-ups. I’ve also heard that while it’s terrific at recognizing threats, it’s not particularly good at removing them. I think I’d like to find that out for myself though.



      • g

        I recently switched from Avira to MSE. It is my humble opinion MSE is better at detecting the nefarious antibodies.

        The reason I say better is I did a full system scan with Avira, downloaded MSE, removed Avira, installed MSE and ran a full system scan with MSE and it found a few bad things that Avira failed to find.

  4. Jose

    Hi Bill.

    Things move a bit fast in the AV world.
    Avira used to be my favorite (with good reason).
    But lately Avira has come down the league; AVG has gone up; Avast stays where it deserves (average).
    I’ll stick with MSE (compatible) and a good FW/HIPS.

    Talking about “hard core” protection: can you do an article about Comodo/Online Armor/Outpost (not one of my favorites)/Others…
    Or is it to much to ask? I know you’re busy.

    Thanks for another enlightening article (yes, Avira is still a very good free app).


    • Hi Jose,

      Yes, your right – blindingly fast. Sort of like “what have you done for me lately?”

      I’ve always maintained that AV performance is a one shot “snapshot”, and not to be overly relied on. Avira, on the other hand, has been a solid performer for many years, and while I agree it has slipped a bit lately, personally I’d rank it ahead of AVG.

      I find it interesting, that the more computer knowledge a person has, the more likely he/she is to rely on MSE. MSE is the best security application I’ve used to date – backed up of course by your suggestions (a good FW/HIPS). That’s a combinations that’s hard to beat.

      Thanks for the article suggestions – I’ve made a note.



  5. John

    Hi Bill,

    Mark has just asked my question for me. I’m running Avira on the wife’s pc and was considering dumping that and going to MS Security Essentials,
    what do you reckon Bill? And yes I do agree about that pesky nag screen.


    • Hi John,

      As I said to Jose – MSE is the best security application I’ve ever used (backed up of course by a good FW/HIPS, as Jose recommends). Your wife might find MSE a little easier to deal with, since it really is a “silent” application. As well, you’re there to take care of the tough stuff. 🙂



  6. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    Avira is at the top of its class, no doubt about it. I used it for quite a while, tried out Eset NOD (also at the top of its class, but not free) and then settled on MSE, which is number one in my opinion. It’s also simple to understand and use, so no reason newbies can’t install it for its great protection.

    I can’t understand why AVG is going up, it’s pretty crap these days.


    • Hi Mal,

      I agree with your points. Especially on MSE. You and I have been been running with it for quite a while, and if problems were going to show up, I think we’d have seen them by now.

      AVG has been rated fairly highly recently by some of the guys over at CNET, and a few other places. But for now, I’ll stay with what I know about AVG over a considerable time frame – not good.



  7. Pingback: Avira AntiVir Personal 10 – Is It The Best Free Antivirus Available? « Jerry620′s Blog

  8. Hey bill its nice but you know well that free av doesnt detect all the viruses so better to use a paid one and if one cant purchase there are so many offers going on over internet one can get the paid one for free


    • Hey Neeraj,

      I couldn’t disagree more. There is no evidence that the “paid” version of an AV performs any better than the “free” version of the same AV in detection abilities. In fact, from a business perspective, to reduce the effectiveness of a “free” version would be a marketing blunder. I doubt that many companies could regain their reputation after having committed such a blunder. It just isn’t done.

      There are differences of course, between free and paid. But those differences are generally in available features – not in detection rates.


  9. Jose

    Bill is right.
    The core protection is the same in both free and paid versions.
    What you get when you pay are bells and whistles.
    But those you can get for free like WOT, KeyScrambler, Sandboxie, WinPatrol… etc.

  10. Georg

    Hi Bill,

    why not use a trio (more will slow down the machine) of some of the best security available? I use MSE, ThreatFire and Avira, all in their free versions, and concurrently, on my WIN 7 (64 bit) machine. My significant other essentially uses the same combination on her WIN XP (32 bit) istallation, with the only difference that she prefers the paid version of Avira. The contest to find out who has the better combination is still open. I’ll report who will have won and why.

    All the best


  11. Fred

    If Windows Defender is already installed on one’s computer (VISTA) what happens with MSE? Does MSE shut down the Defender or do they coexist?

    Is MSE like AVG, i.e. an in real time Anti-virus?

    Bill you used: FW/HIPS
    what does that stand for?

    Fred, the voice of the dial-up, innocent