Besides AVG AntiVirus FREE, another solid free security option for Windows is Avira Free Antivirus (sometimes also misspelled as Advira) from Germany. How does it compare to Avast Free Antivirus? Both products are very similar with great sets of features. However Avira is scoring lately as #1 antivirus in the independent tests, especially in the virus and malware detection and low number of false positives.

On the other hand Avira is much more aggressive in terms of up-selling to paid versions and the pop-up offers are extremely annoying. Of course Avast is using them too, but not that frequently. Anyway let’s take a closer look on both products and see which one is the best.

Avira has also recently started pushing a new product called Avira Free Security Suite which combines all Avira free products – Antivirus, Phantom VPN (500 MB/month), Password Manager, System Speedup, Scout (browser) and Software Updater. Obviously the whole free suite requires much more system resources, so we recommend staying with the basic Free Antivirus and adding components you need.

Feature Comparison Table – Does Avira Offer More Than Avast?

Avast definitely offers more in terms of advanced features and tools like Home Network Security for scanning router vulnerabilities, Browser Cleanup for scanning browser extensions, or Software Updater for scanning outdated software in your system. Avira is purely an antivirus, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Both products offers an option to create a bootable disc with the latest antivirus version to clean your system when it doesn’t start.

Avast Free Antivirus 2017Avast
Free Antivirus 2017
Avira Free Antivirus 2017Avira
Free Antivirus 2017
Anti-Virus & Anti-Spyware & Anti-Malware & Anti-Rootkityesyes
Bootable Rescue Discyesyes
Web Browsing Protectionyesyes (via extension)
E-mail Client Protectionyesno
Silent/Gaming Modeyesno
Home Network and Router Securityyesno
Unwanted Browser Plugins Cleanupyesno
Outdated Software Scanneryesno
Windows Firewall Managementnoyes
Free To Use Without Personal Registrationnoyes
Windows Boot-time30 sec.28 sec.
Performance Test Score2,138 pts.2,147 pts.
Installer Size5 MB5 MB
PriceFree ($0.00)Free ($0.00)

The only feature which has Avira on top of Avast is the Firewall management. It’s not a built-in Firewall, it’s just providing front-end management for the default Windows Firewall. What is nice about Avira is that it doesn’t require user to register/activate the product (as Avast does). So you can install and use the product for free forever.

Impact on the System Resources – Which Product is Lighter?

We have measured the impact on the system resources using two ways:

  1. How long does the computer to boot into Windows desktop while the Avira or Avast is installed
  2. How does the computer performs in various areas (CPU, Graphics, Memory and Disk operations) while the Avira or Avast is installed

In the boot time test where less is better, it took only 28 seconds (in average) to load Windows desktop when Avira Free Antivirus was installed. Same operation took 30 seconds (in average) when Avast Free Antivirus was installed. Default boot-time without any antivirus solution in place took 28 seconds. So according to our testing, Windows loads faster with Avira. Actually Avira has no delay or impact on the system start up.

Avast vs. Avira – Performance Test ResultsAvast vs. Avira – Performance Test Results

In the second area we have tested computer performance in various areas and impact of the Avira or Avast on the results. Avast scored 2,138 points and Avira got even slightly more  2,147 points. The default performance without any antivirus installed was 2,156 points. So the overall impact on the system performance is really low for both products, but again Avira is the winner here.

Final performance test results are highlighted on the chart below. You can clearly see the difference between no antivirus and Avast or Avira present. Please note the vertical axis ‘Performance Score‘ is not starting from 0, but from 2,116 to clearly show the small differences.

You can find more details about how we tested in the ‘Additional Notes‘ section at the end of the article.

User Interface – Is Avast Easier to use Than Avira?

Avast user interface is really nice and clear. There is only one main action leading to Smart Scan, which runs all seven Avast scans: compatibility, viruses, outdated software, browser add-ons, router issues, performance and weak passwords. The green button ‘UPGRADE‘ (or ‘ACTIVATE‘) leads to comparison table of Avast Free Antivirus and Avast premium product (Avast Internet Security).

Avast Free Antivirus 2017 User Interface

Avast Free Antivirus 2017 User Interface

The status is also indicated by color, when green obviously means ‘You’re protected’. The left menu is easy to navigate and structured in four groups – Status (home screen), Protection, Privacy and Performance. At the bottom part there is usually an up-sell banner which is quite soft and does blend nicely within the Avast interface.

The whole Avast interface is quite large (1010 x 674 pixels) and will not work on 800 x 600 pixel screens. On 1024 x 768 pixel screens it takes almost whole monitor space.

Avira user interface looks like a typical Windows application with the default window style and top menu. On the first sight the interface is much more busier with lots of buttons and settings. Looks like the main action on the status screen is ‘Upgrade Now‘ which leads to up-sell page. Also it’s not properly aligned as each box has a different height and box ‘Looking for Tech Support?‘ is sort of a flying around the interface.

Avira Free Antivirus 2017 User Interface

Avira Free Antivirus 2017 User Interface

Similar to Avast the status is also indicated by green colors and the message ‘Your computer is secure‘. The components ‘Web Protection‘, ‘Mail Protection‘ and ‘Game Mode‘ are available only in the paid versions. What is nice about the interface is that there is no up-sell banner in the whole user interface. The only way to up-sell within the interface is the green ‘Upgrade Now‘ button.

You can start system scan or update directly from the main page although it’s not much visible. Settings are accessible through the cog wheel next to each item or quite unusual from the menu under ‘Extras‘.

Localizations/Translations – Is The Product Available in my Language?

Both Avast and Avira are available in plenty of languages, of course for free. But Avast offers many more.

Avast languages (46): Arabic, Belorussian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (United States/United Kingdom), Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian, Persian, Pirate talk, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil/Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese

Avira languages (12): English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Turkish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional)

What is really annoying is that you can’t change language manually within the Avira product. It’s somehow automatically detected based on the system settings.

Popularity – Which is the Most Popular Free Antivirus? Avast or Avira?

The better product is, the most users it has. It’s simple as that. However it’s not easy to say which is most popular antivirus, if Avast or Avira. For expressing popularity we are using several, publicly accessible methods: official websites, OPSWAT reports, CNET Download.com ratings and social media.

1. Official Sources

According to official website, Avast is protecting more than 400 million users worldwide, but that also includes AVG products. Last publicly available number was 230 million users before the AVG acquisition. Avira is not stating user numbers publicly anymore, before they usually claimed to have over 100 million users. In the recent tweet Avira stated over 500 million users are protected by their technology. Based on these reliable claims, Avast has at least twice more users than Avira.

2. Antivirus Vendor Market Share by OPSWAT

OPSWAT is regularly releasing reports about the antivirus market share. Data are based on the OPSWAT GEARS software installed on the client machines. According to the latest report from June 2017Avast is dominating the worldwide market with 20.48%. Followed by ESET with 13.14% and McAfee with 9.42%. Avira is at the fourth position with 7.73%. It is also important to mention Microsoft for some reason is not included at all.

Avast vs. Avira – Market Share Report June 2017 by OPSWAT

Avast vs. Avira – Market Share Report June 2017 by OPSWAT

3. CNET Download.com Ranking

Download.com by CNET is the World’s most popular download portal. According to its popularity rankings, Avast has more total downloads – more than 406 million, while Avira has ‘only’ 147 million. Avast is also leading the the most popular downloads list for the recent week, while Avira is not even in the top 20.

However these stats are influenced by each vendor download model. Avast is sending visitors from Avast.com to Download.com while Avira is downloaded from their own internal servers which are not counted to Download.com statistics.

Avast vs. Avira – Number of Downloads & Rating on CNET Download.com June 2017

Avast vs. Avira – Number of Downloads & Rating on CNET Download.com June 2017

Both vendors have great editor’s rating of 4 stars (meaning excellent), but Avast has better user/community rating of 4.5 stars versus Avira’s 4 stars.

4. Number of Fans on Social Media Networks

Another way how to measure product/company popularity is by the number of fans/followers on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Avast is leading on Facebook with 4.1 million fans vs. Avira’s only 1.2 million. On Twitter the difference is even bigger. Avast has 181 thousand followers and Avira only 19 thousand.

Avast vs. Avira – Number of Fans/Followers on Facebook and Twitter

Avast vs. Avira – Number of Fans/Followers on Facebook and Twitter

Independent Labs Test Results – Will Avira Protect You Better Than Avast?

If you are looking for more advanced comparison of antivirus protection, the best resources are the independent test labs. These labs are regularly performing various tests like how many viruses will get through the antivirus software, or which vendor offers better performance.

In most of the independence tests the winner is Avira, whether it’s the Real Word Protection Test or Performance Test. Avast is usually in the top 3. However Avira usually sends their paid product (Avira Antivirus Pro) for testing while Avast is being tested on the free version.

Selection of the most important and relevant test results is below:

Respected computer magazine PCMag gave Avast rating of 4,5 stars and Editor’s Pick award in their comprehensive comparison of free antivirus solutions written by security expert Neil J. Rubenking. Avira got only 3,5 stars.

Our current Editors’ Choice products for free antivirus utility are Avast Free Antivirus and AVG AntiVirus Free. Both get very good scores from the independent labs, and in our own tests as well. Both include some useful bonus features.

Neil J. Rubenking for PCMag

System Requirements & Compatibility – Will the Product Run on my Computer?

Both products will run on majority of today’s computers as there are no special requirements. The major difference is that Avira is not supporting older versions of Windows (XP or Vista), but it will probably run there too. Both Avast and Avira are also fully compatible with the latest Windows 10.

System Requirements for Avast Free Antivirus 2017

  • Supported operating systems: Microsoft Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1 or higher / Vista / XP SP2 or higher (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 or above
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM or above
  • Space: 2 GB of free hard disk space
  • Please note that Avast Free Antivirus 2017 won’t work on Microsoft Windows 95 / 98 / ME / 2000 / Server, or any other operating system which isn’t specified above

System Requirements for Avira Free Antivirus 2017

  • Supported operating systems: Microsoft Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 (any Edition, 32-bit or 64-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 / AMD Athlon 64 or above
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Space: 2 GB of free hard disk space
  • Please note that Avira Free Antivirus 2017 is not officially supported on Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 95 / 98 / ME / 2000 / Server, or any other operating system which isn’t specified above

Test Conclusion – Both Avast and Avira are Worth of Trying!

Both products have their pros and cons. Avira is definitely more straightforward product with simple features but better level of protection. Avast offers great protection and lots of extra features on top.

We don’t want to recommend only one of them, instead we would like to encourage you to try both, and see if Avast or Avira will suit you better. Even they are offered completely for free, the level of protection you will get is comparable with the paid-for antivirus solutions. The download links are below.

If you are looking for a premium protection, check out our Internet Security suites comparison including Avast, AVG, Avira, ESET and Norton (Symantec).

Additional Notes

Information about the product features have been obtained from the official websites of each vendor. If you believe we have stated something not correct, please let us know, and we’ll fix it immediately. Our intention is to offer the fair and fact-based comparison of each product.

For measuring the boot time we have used a free tool called BootRacer. We have tested Avira Free Antivirus 2016 (2016.0.7163) and Avast Free Antivirus 2016 (2016.11.1.2253) released on February 3, 2016. Both tests were performed on a Windows 7 Professional x64 computer with CPU Intel Core i7 @ 2.70GHz and 8 GB RAM.

For measuring the overall PC performance we have used a free tool called PassMark PerformanceTest which tests various areas including CPU, graphics, disk and memory.

Written by Paul B.

My name is Paul and I love Avast since the Home Edition v4.8 (2008). I am recommending it to all my friends, but I realized they don't know how to use it. So I started this site in order to help others getting maximum from this awesome antivirus. Feel free to contact me via Facebook, comments below or this form.

This article has 15 comments | Did we miss anything? Just let us know in the comments!

  1. Decopi Reply

    I quote from AVAST’ homepage: “We’re proud to be called the Antivirus with the lowest impact on PC performance”.

    So I ask: Which one is the Antivirus with the lowest impact?

  2. Aj Reply

    Avast deletes all my apps after the rootkit scan….avira is safer.

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