Avast vs. Avira – the ultimate battle of free protection

Avast Free Antivirus and  Avira Free Antivirus are often compared together. Both are free and offer great level of protection along with additional features. Which one will protect your PC better? Find out in this article.

Market share

The first thing we compare is the market-share. After Avast acquired AVG, it is protecting more than 400 million users worldwide and takes the lead as an antivirus software company. However to make it more fair we will compare solely market-share of Avast brand.

Market share of Avast and Avira compared

Avast vs. Avira - Marketshare

Avast’s market-share as of December 2016 was over 18%. At the same time, Avira was protecting over 7% of PCs worldwide, which is half of Avast’s market-share. Usually, popularity is a good indicator how much the users trust an antivirus.

If we include also AVG user-base Avast has market-share over 26% which makes it a global leader in terms of antivirus software. Usually with higher market-share users are getting also better protection as the company has more samples to analyze and include in virus-definitions.

System impact

Another important factor to consider is the impact of an antivirus on PC performance. Specially if your PC has limited resources, an antivirus which would slow it down even more is better to be avoided. If the difference is slow it might be neglected however as the difference increase, go for a lightweight option.

To find out the impact of Avast and Avira on system resources, we have measured boot-time of clean operating systems and boot-time installed antivirus. The time is measured from the moment when Windows logo appears to the moment when icons appear on desktop.

Boot-time of Avast and Avira compared

Avast vs. Avira - Boot-time

From the graph above you can see that clean OS on our testing computer running Windows 10 Pro Edition was able to boot-up in 16 seconds. With Avast Free Antivirus system started in 19 seconds, which is a very good result. With Avira Free Antivirus testing computer was able to boot-up in 25 seconds which is noticeably slower, however still a good results among antivirus software.

Installation process

Installation process of both Avast and Avira Free Antivirus is pretty easy. Once you download installation file from official website and execute it, you are lead through installation process in few simple steps. In this test we have measured three things – the size of installer, the size of antivirus after installation and also how much time does it take to install it with default settings.

Installation time of Avast vs. Avira compared

Avast vs. Avira - Installation

In our test Avira was fully installed in 4:39 min while Avast Free Antivirus displayed main UI in 2:49 minutes from execution of installer.

Size

Another important factor to consider is the size of install antivirus on your hard-drive. If your computer runs on low resources you have to consider how much space will it take to run antivirus on your PC. Besides of that, with slower internet connection it might be difficult to download large installation files.

Installer size of Avast and Avira compared

Avast vs Avira - size

In terms of installer size, both companies offer online installers. Avast Free Antivirus online installer has 6MB while Avira’s online installer takes only 4.4MB. The difference is getting even bigger after installation. Avast took almost 1.1 GB of hard-drive space. Avira’s size was only 395MB which is significantly lower compared to Avast. If you are limited by free space on hard-drive or if you have slow network connection, it is good to consider size also as a factor of an antivirus.

Detection rates

The most important aspect of any antivirus software is its ability to detect threats. Both Avast and Avira achieved fairly similar results when it comes to detection of threats. According latest test by AV-Comparatives Avast blocked 99.6% of threats while Avira was able to detect 99.9% of all threats in test.

Detection rates of Avast and Avira compared

Avast vs. Avira - detection rates

Although Avira blocked slightly more threats compared to Avast, both these results are great. Detection rate should be definitely an important factor when you are deciding, which antivirus to use for protection of your PC. However, in real world it is very unlikely that you would notice a difference between 99.6% and 99.9% of detected samples.

False positives

Along with detection rates, it is important to know, how many blocked threats were false positives. This is basically the case when an antivirus reports a file or a website as malicious, however it is clean. Basic user can’t distinguish between clean and malicious files. That’s why it is important to consider this factor as well.

False positives of Avast and Avira compared

Avast vs. Avira - False positives

In the latest real-world protection test conducted by AV-Comparatives, Avast reported 13 false positive which is little higher in comparison to industry average. Avira reported only 4 false positives.

Features

Another aspect to consider are the features integrated in the free option. These are the features which are included in a antivirus without any limitation for free. Usually, you will find a comparable set of features but sometimes, you might need a little extra. Take a look at comparison below.

Features of Avast Free Antivirus 2019 and Avira Free Antivirus 2019 compared

Avast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
AntivirusYesYes
Anti-spywareYesYes
Web-shieldYesYes
File-shieldYesYes
Email-shieldYesNo
Secure browserYesYes
Password manager   YesNo
Game ModeYesYes

Both brands offer very similar set of features. In Avast Free Antivirus, you can enjoy email-shield functionality and password manager which are missing in Avira Free Antivirus.

User interface

Although this is a bit more subjective factor to consider, user interface might be important specially for less advanced users. Both brands offer simple enough UI even for less tech-savvy users however our preference for this point would be for Avast. 

Summary

We have compared the top 8 important factors to consider when you are deciding between Avast Free Antivirus and Avira Free Antivirus. Both Avast and Avira offers great value for your PC and both options are free. Although there are small differences, both will do a great job protecting your Windows PC.

Avast Free Antivirus 2017Avast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Market share18%7%
Boot-time19s.25s.
Installation-time2:49 min.4:39 min.
Installer size6 MB4.4 MB
Size on hard-disk  1.1 GB0.4 GB
Detection rates99.6%99.9%
False positives134

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