Avast vs Avira: Which free antivirus is better in 2023?


author: Jeremy Roderick

Fact-checked by Ruben Olav

UPDATED: July 29, 2023

Avast Free Antivirus, renowned for its intelligent antivirus system, protects millions of users worldwide from threats such as viruses, malware, and phishing attacks. It provides a comprehensive range of features even in its free version, making it a popular choice.

On the other hand, Avira Free Antivirus is recognized for its cloud-based scanning technology. This approach ensures real-time protection without bogging down your system resources, a key advantage particularly for devices with limited hardware capabilities.

This article aims to compare Avast and Avira on several parameters. Let’s delve deeper to understand the differences and evaluate which one might be more suited to your needs.

Key Features and Benefits

The key features and benefits of an antivirus software play a significant role in its effectiveness. Let’s compare the key features offered by Avast and Avira.

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast provides multiple layers of security to protect you from different types of cyber threats. Some of the key features include:

  1. Intelligent Antivirus: Uses smart analytics to stop threats before they affect you.
  2. CyberCapture: Automatically sends suspicious files to the cloud for analysis.
  3. Wi-Fi Inspector: Detects weaknesses in your home Wi-Fi network to prevent unauthorized access.
  4. Smart Scan: Finds and removes various types of security risks with just one click.

Avira Free Antivirus

Avira also offers a comprehensive suite of features to safeguard your digital activities. Its key features include:

  1. Real-Time Protection: Monitors non-stop for viruses, worms, Trojans and more.
  2. Anti-Ad/Spyware: Shuts out online spies and annoying adware.
  3. Browser Tracking Blocker: Prevents web tracking and ensures your privacy.
  4. Safe Browsing: Blocks harmful websites before they load.

Here is a table summarizing the key features comparison:

Key FeaturesAvast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Intelligent/Real-Time AntivirusYesYes
CyberCapture/Ad SpywareYesYes
Wi-Fi InspectorYesNo
Smart ScanYesNo
Browser Tracking BlockerNoYes
Safe BrowsingNoYes

Considering the key features and benefits, both Avast and Avira provide robust protection. However, Avast takes a slight edge with features like Wi-Fi Inspector and Smart Scan, specifically designed for comprehensive network security and ease of use. Avira, meanwhile, focuses more on web-based activities with features like Browser Tracking Blocker and Safe Browsing. The final choice between Avast and Avira would ultimately depend on your specific requirements and the types of threats you’re most concerned about.

NOTE: This comparison is based on the free versions of both antivirus software. Features might vary with paid versions. It’s also important to regularly update your antivirus software to benefit from the latest features and threat detections.

User Interface and Navigation

The user interface and ease of navigation significantly impact the user experience. Let’s compare how Avast and Avira fare on these aspects.

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast boasts a sleek, intuitive interface that’s easy to navigate, even for beginners. The main dashboard clearly displays your protection status, along with a “Run Smart Scan” button for quick access. The left panel houses tabs for Protection, Privacy, and Performance, each providing various options for managing your antivirus settings.

Features like Wi-Fi Inspector and Real Site (a tool for preventing DNS hijacking) are readily accessible. Also, the user-friendly settings menu allows you to customize Avast’s functionality according to your needs.

Avira Free Antivirus

Avira offers a clean, minimalistic interface. The status of your system’s security is indicated upfront with a prominent green checkmark for ‘secure’ or a red alert symbol for ‘action required’. The left-hand menu provides options like Security, Privacy, and Performance.

Avira’s user interface might seem basic, but it’s straightforward and to the point. It’s designed with user-friendliness in mind, making it easy to run scans or adjust settings.

Here is a table summarizing the User Interface and Navigation comparison:

User Interface FeaturesAvast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Dashboard SummaryYesYes
Easy Access to Key FeaturesYesYes
User-Friendly Settings MenuYesYes

After comparing the user interfaces of both Avast and Avira, it’s clear that both companies have invested in creating user-friendly designs. Avast’s interface is a bit more colorful and detailed, while Avira’s is minimalistic and straightforward. Depending on your personal preference, you might favor one over the other.

Core Protection Features

When it comes to antivirus software, core protection features are paramount. These features are responsible for detecting and neutralizing threats, thereby safeguarding your system.

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast’s core protection features include its Intelligent Antivirus, CyberCapture, and Behavior Shield. The Intelligent Antivirus uses machine learning to recognize threats, while CyberCapture isolates potentially suspicious files for analysis in the cloud. The Behavior Shield monitors your applications for unusual behavior that might indicate malware.

Avira Free Antivirus

Avira’s protection is primarily based on its cloud-based scanner, Protection Cloud. This feature allows for real-time threat detection and lightweight operation, as files are scanned in the cloud rather than on your device. Avira also uses AI and machine learning technologies to identify and neutralize threats.

Let’s summarize these core protection features in the table below:

Core Protection FeaturesAvast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Machine Learning Based ProtectionYesYes
Real-time ProtectionYesYes
Behavior MonitoringYesNo
Cloud-Based ScanningYesYes

Both Avast and Avira provide strong core protection features, with each bringing a unique approach. Avast’s Behavior Shield adds an extra layer of protection by monitoring applications for suspicious behavior. Avira, on the other hand, offers cloud-based scanning, which helps in real-time threat detection without heavy resource usage on your device.

When choosing between Avast and Avira, consider which core protection features align best with your specific needs and the type of online activities you typically engage in. In the upcoming sections, we will delve into other crucial aspects such as performance and resource usage, advanced security features, and more.

Performance and Resource Usage

The performance of an antivirus software and its resource usage are critical aspects to consider. These factors determine how efficiently the software runs on your device and the impact it has on your system’s performance.

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus has been designed to operate smoothly without straining your device’s resources. The software runs seamlessly in the background, performing regular scans and updates without causing noticeable lag or slowdowns.

Furthermore, Avast’s CyberCapture feature provides real-time protection by isolating suspicious files in the cloud, ensuring your device’s performance is not compromised.

Avast also offers a Game Mode, which suspends notifications and uses minimal resources, providing uninterrupted gaming or multimedia experiences.

Avira Free Antivirus

One of the key strengths of Avira Free Antivirus is its minimal resource usage. Its cloud-based scanning technology, Protection Cloud, performs analysis in the cloud, relieving your system from the heavy lifting.

This cloud-based approach results in a lightweight antivirus solution that operates unobtrusively in the background, maintaining system performance while still offering real-time protection.

Avira also includes a Performance feature in its free suite, which helps optimize your device’s speed and boot time, contributing to an overall efficient performance.

Comparing both Avast and Avira, it is evident that both strive to deliver robust protection with minimal resource usage, maintaining your device’s performance. Both solutions ensure real-time protection doesn’t compromise your system’s speed and performance.

Performance FeaturesAvast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Low Resource UsageYesYes
Cloud-Based ScanningYesYes
Performance Optimization ToolsNoYes
Game ModeYesNo

Advanced Security Features

Beyond the basic protections, advanced security features are a great added benefit. They provide an extra layer of protection and often include tools to safeguard your privacy.

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus includes a variety of advanced features that provide comprehensive protection. One of its standout features is the Wi-Fi Inspector, which scans your network for vulnerabilities, helping to prevent unauthorized access.

In addition, Avast’s Passive Mode allows you to use it alongside another antivirus software. The Software Updater feature, although not directly related to virus protection, helps you keep your software up-to-date, reducing the risk of exploiting software vulnerabilities.

Avira Free Antivirus

Avira Free Antivirus also provides advanced features like the PUA Shield, which identifies potentially unwanted applications hidden within legitimate software. The Browser Tracking Blocker prevents online trackers from recording your activities, and the Safe Browsing feature blocks harmful websites before they load.

Avira also includes a built-in VPN in its free suite, although it is limited to 500MB of data per month.

Advanced Security FeaturesAvast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Network SecurityYesNo
Safe BrowsingNoYes
Built-In VPNNoYes
Software UpdaterYesNo

Both Avast and Avira offer unique advanced security features. Avast’s features are particularly helpful for securing your home network and keeping your software updated, while Avira focuses more on internet security and privacy.

Choosing between the two antivirus software will depend on which advanced security features you deem most important. For instance, if you are more concerned about your online privacy, Avira could be the better option with its built-in VPN and anti-tracking feature. However, if network security is your priority, Avast’s Wi-Fi Inspector might make it the more appealing choice.

Additional Tools and Utilities

Apart from the basic and advanced security features, antivirus software often come with additional tools and utilities that enhance your digital experience. Let’s compare the extra tools provided by Avast and Avira.

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast offers several additional tools in its free antivirus suite. One standout tool is the ‘Software Updater’, which checks and updates your software to avoid potential exploits. This feature ensures that your applications and systems are up-to-date, plugging any security loopholes that outdated software may present.

Another tool worth mentioning is the ‘Do Not Disturb Mode’. When enabled, this mode silences notifications from Avast and other applications, which can be quite useful during presentations, while watching movies, or during gaming sessions.

Avira Free Antivirus

Avira, on the other hand, includes a ‘System Speedup’ tool in its free antivirus suite. This tool optimizes your system’s performance by cleaning your computer’s registry, removing junk files, and clearing your browsing history.

Avira also includes a free VPN with a limit of 500MB of data per month. Although the data limit is quite small, it provides an extra layer of protection, especially when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks.

Additional Tools and UtilitiesAvast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Software UpdaterYesNo
Do Not Disturb ModeYesNo
System SpeedupNoYes
VPNNoYes (with data limit)

Each antivirus software offers unique additional tools and utilities. If system optimization and a basic VPN are essential to you, Avira might be your pick. However, if you want a tool that ensures all your software is updated and need a Do Not Disturb mode, Avast could be a better choice.

Packages and Pricing

While both Avast and Avira offer free versions of their antivirus software, they also provide premium packages with advanced features. It’s important to compare these options to understand the value they offer.

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus provides essential protection against viruses and malware. If you want more comprehensive protection, Avast offers three main premium packages:

  1. Avast Premium Security – This package provides advanced protection, including ransomware shield, webcam shield, and real site feature, among others.
  2. Avast Ultimate – This is an all-in-one package that includes Avast Premium Security, SecureLine VPN, Cleanup Premium, and Passwords Premium.
  3. Avast One – This package combines Avast’s most powerful protection, privacy, and performance tools.

Pricing varies depending on the number of devices and the duration of the subscription.

Avira Free Antivirus

Avira also offers its antivirus in a free version, providing basic protection. For more features, Avira offers two main premium packages:

  1. Avira Internet Security – This package includes all the features of the free antivirus, plus a password manager, software updater, and a system speedup tool.
  2. Avira Prime – This is the most comprehensive package that includes all Avira products, such as antivirus, Phantom VPN, Password Manager Pro, and many more.

Again, pricing depends on the number of devices and the subscription duration.

Packages and PricingAvast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Free Version AvailableYesYes
Number of Paid Packages32
Advanced Features in Paid PackagesYesYes

Both Avast and Avira offer a range of packages at varying price points, making them suitable for different user needs and budgets. The choice between Avast and Avira in terms of packages and pricing will depend on your specific needs and how much you are willing to invest in antivirus software.

User Reviews and Ratings

User reviews and ratings are a crucial part of the decision-making process when choosing between different antivirus software. They provide firsthand insights into the user experience, functionality, and overall performance of the software.

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus has generally received positive reviews from its user base. On the popular review platform Trustpilot, Avast has a rating of 3.8 out of 5, with users praising its user-friendly interface, robust protection features, and efficient system performance. Users have also appreciated the comprehensive protection offered by the free version.

Avast vs Avira comparison: Avast is rated 3.8 out of 5 on Trustpilot

However, some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the frequency of pop-up ads in the free version. Others have mentioned that the software can sometimes be too aggressive in flagging safe programs as threats.

Avira Free Antivirus

Avira Free Antivirus also enjoys positive reviews from its users. It has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 on Trustpilot. Users commend the software’s effective malware detection and removal capabilities, lightweight operation, and the range of features available in the free version.

Avast vs Avira comparison: Avira is rated 4.1 out of 5 on Trustpilot

Despite these positives, some users have voiced concerns over the software’s impact on system speed, stating that the software can sometimes slow down older systems. A few users also noted challenges with customer service responsiveness.

User Reviews and RatingsAvast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Trustpilot Rating3.84.1
Positive FeedbackUser-friendly interface, robust protection, efficient system performanceEffective malware detection and removal, lightweight, wide range of free features
Negative FeedbackFrequent pop-up ads, occasional false positivesImpact on system speed, customer service responsiveness

These user reviews and ratings provide valuable insights into the real-world performance of both Avast and Avira. It is important to consider these reviews but also remember that individual experiences can vary based on the specific systems and use cases.

Testimonials from Experts

Expert opinions are another important facet of understanding the efficiency and reliability of antivirus software. Let’s consider what industry experts have to say about Avast and Avira.

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast has received accolades from many industry experts for its comprehensive set of features, even in the free version. PCMag praises Avast for its “good scores from independent testing labs” and its “excellent protection against phishing.”

Tom’s Guide also commends Avast, noting its “very good, if not perfect, malware-detection scores” and appreciates the network security inspector.

However, experts also note that Avast’s performance can be resource-intensive, potentially causing slowdowns on lower-end systems.

Avira Free Antivirus

Avira, too, is well-regarded by experts in the antivirus industry. PCMag appreciates Avira’s “high scores from antivirus testing labs” and highlights its “user-friendly approach to malware scanning.”

Tom’s Guide praises Avira for its robust free version that “provides more tools than any other free antivirus app,” but also mentions that the software can sometimes show a high number of false positives.

It’s worth noting that expert opinions are based on rigorous testing and comparison criteria, which provide reliable, objective analysis.


After analyzing various aspects of both Avast Free Antivirus and Avira Free Antivirus, it’s clear that both options have their strengths and weaknesses, and offer unique features to their users. The choice ultimately boils down to your specific needs and preferences.

Recap of the Main Points of Comparison

Avast Free Antivirus shines with its superior user interface and navigation, which users find intuitive and easy to navigate. It also excels in offering additional tools and utilities such as the ‘Software Updater’ and ‘Do Not Disturb Mode’. In terms of core protection features, it is on par with Avira, providing reliable and robust defense mechanisms.

On the other hand, Avira Free Antivirus impresses with its range of key features and benefits that are inclusive even in the free version. Users and experts alike appreciate Avira’s effective malware detection and removal capabilities. Its performance and resource usage are commendable, and it offers an extra layer of protection with a free VPN, albeit with a data limit.

Overall Comparison Table (Avast Free Antivirus vs Avira Free Antivirus)

Comparison CriteriaAvast Free AntivirusAvira Free Antivirus
Key Features and BenefitsGoodExcellent
User Interface & NavigationExcellentGood
Core Protection FeaturesExcellentExcellent
Performance & Resource UsageGoodExcellent
Advanced Security FeaturesGoodExcellent
Additional Tools & UtilitiesExcellentGood
Packages & PricingGoodGood
User Reviews & Ratings4.7 (Trustpilot)4.5 (Trustpilot)
Expert OpinionsHighly PraisedHighly Praised

Final Thoughts on the Better Antivirus Software Based on the Analyzed Factors

It’s evident that both Avast and Avira are exceptional in their own ways. If user interface and navigation, along with additional tools and utilities, are a priority for you, Avast could be the better choice. If you value a wide range of free features, excellent performance, and advanced security features, you might lean towards Avira.

Remember, the perfect antivirus software for you should suit your individual needs, preferences, and the specific configuration of your system. It’s always recommended to try out the free versions of both Avast and Avira before deciding to invest in a premium package. Take your time to evaluate how each software performs on your system and meets your requirements.

Frequently asked questions

Do both Avast and Avira offer real-time protection in their free versions?

Yes, both Avast Free Antivirus and Avira Free Antivirus offer real-time protection against various types of malware.

Which antivirus software has less impact on system performance, Avast, or Avira?

According to both user reviews and expert testimonials, Avira is often noted for its less taxing operation on system resources when compared to Avast.

Can I use either Avast or Avira along with another antivirus software?

While it is technically possible to use either along with another antivirus software, it is generally not recommended as it can lead to conflicts and excessive system resource usage.

About the author

Jeremy is a cybersecurity author specializing in VPNs and privacy apps. With a passion for digital security, he educates individuals and organizations on safeguarding their online presence. Jeremy shares his expertise through conferences and workshops, making significant strides in raising awareness and fostering a safer digital environment.