The High Tech Society

A Review of Avira Antivirus for Mac


A Review of Avira Antivirus for Mac

Avira is one of the best known of the free antivirus apps for Mac, and as a result, it’s also one of the most downloaded. But, how does it hold up against performance tests? We’re using data from our own test plus data from labs including AV Comparatives for this review.

What is Avira Free

Avira is a free downloadable app for Mac OS X users that scans for and prevents malware. Because it is free, it does not have mac cleaning functions, and is generally a more stripped down version of the premium. Features include scanning, quarantine, scan scheduling, and that’s it.

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Scanning – You can choose to do a quick scan or a whole system scan with Avira. The quick scan takes less than an hour, and the whole scan took upwards of 3 hours. This is on a Mac with only 200GB of data stored on it (albeit primarily document files, which are more difficult to scan).

Scheduler – You can schedule scans to run at any time when you leave your computer on. Therefore, if you always leave your computer after 8, you can set the scan to start every day after 8 PM. This is great if you want to regularly scan your computer but think you will forget.

Quarantine & Logs – See what you’ve put into quarantine, move files into a sandbox without deleting them, and go through your files to see if you want to keep things or delete them.

Scan for Threats – Another type of scan that allows you to select the type of threat you are looking for and scan for that.

Avira in Action

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I loaded 15 viruses onto my computer including a keylogger, a false positive password keygen generator, and 13 other random viruses that I acquired mostly on torrent sites for this purpose. Avira found three of them. It found an additional one in the following scan, catching the worst four, but leaving the keylogger and the other files. To test this, I later deleted Avira and ran the scan with another antivirus and it came up with all 15 (including the false positives).

Essentially, Avira isn’t great at removing existing malware on your computer.

However, it does perform very well at stopping you from installing malware, and when scanning downloads and other files. Most data shows it to catch about 99% of malware in scanned files, and AV-Test shows it to catch about 99% of 119 malware attacks used.

Tech Support

Avira’s tech support isn’t as good as you might hope. If you have to call support, you’re probably better off uninstalling it and installing something else.

Pros of Avira

We have just listed a lot of cons for Avira, and that is definitely something to consider. However, Avira has pros as well. The main considerations are that the Avira free antivirus software catches most viruses as you download them, is very light and shouldn’t slow down your system, and is very easy to use. Avira also has a really great privacy policy, which is good if you’re concerned about data.

Overall, Avira is a decent antivirus app for Mac, and it’s free. However, it’s not a best fit if you don’t know enough about your computer to recognize when it’s infected, or if you might already have malware on your Mac.