(Last updated on January 30th, 2021)
Avira or Avast, which antivirus software is a better option in 2021?
Read this ultimate Avira versus Avast comparison to make a wise decision.
These days, malware attacks are insidious and everywhere on the internet, which is why having a robust antivirus program for all your internet-capable devices is a great idea.
According to new research, a record high of 10.5 billion malware attacks occurred last year. Ransomware, which is one of the most dangerous types of malware, grew by 120% over the previous year. Mobile malware attacks also doubled during the same period.
And it’s not just the volume of malware that’s increasing, the methods and tactics employed by hackers are also evolving and becoming more complex with time.
So, it’s clear that you need solid antivirus protection for all your devices, including Macs and smartphones.
But which antivirus software is right for you? We’ll help you with that!
Most free or low-end antivirus software out there aren’t capable of protecting you against sophisticated digital threats; their defenses aren’t strong enough, and their definitions aren’t updated regularly. Also, all security companies reserve their best features and utilities for their top-tier security packages.
So, investing in a premium security solution is the way to go if you want complete anti-malware protection and peace of mind.
Best Antivirus Suite for 2020
Overall Score: 9.9/10
60-day money-back guarantee
Right now, we think that Norton is the best antivirus software your money can buy. It regularly earns perfect or near-perfect scores from independent labs and has the least impact on system performance compared to rival products. Its products combine top-notch security with an array of excellent security features and, best of all, offer exceptional value for money.
Overall, Norton 360 Deluxe (currently at 70% off) is our pick for the best antivirus suite in 2020. It is competitively priced and comes with almost everything you could possibly ask for, such as a firewall, a fully integrated VPN, dark web monitoring, cloud backup storage (50GB), a password manager, and parental controls. You can cover up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets with this suite.
If you want full-on identity protection and don’t mind paying more, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select (currently at 35% off) gives those in the US a full range of identity protection features, more backup space (100GB), as well as all the above.
In this guide, we’ll compare two top dogs in the antivirus market, Avira and Avast, in a head-to-head battle. We’ll show you where both software excel and where they falter so you can determine the best software for your needs.
In a hurry? Check out the quick rundown below that shows you the winner in each category.
A Quick Rundown of Winners in Each Category
Winner: Avast. Avast offers a comprehensive, more diverse feature-set as part of its premium security suites.
2. Malware Protection
Winner: Tie. Overall, both software are good in this category.
3. System Performance
Winner: Avast. Avast fared better than Avira in both independent performance tests we considered.
Winner: Avast. Avast’s user interface is simpler and more intuitive than Avira’s.
Winner: Avira. You can protect more devices for less money through Avira than through Avast.
6. Customer Satisfaction
Winner: Avast. Avast has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), while Avira has a C.
Avast is a clear winner as it offers more security-enhancing features and extra utilities in its security suites than Avira. Also, independent tests show that Avast is better than Avira in terms of both malware detection and system performance.
Best Antivirus for 2021
- Robust feature-set
- Excellent anti-malware security
- Minimal system impact
- Easy-to-use interface
- Automatic updates
- Trusted by 50 million users
- 100% virus protection promise
- 60-day money-back guarantee
#2 (Very Good)
- Exceptional malware protection
- Little impact on performance
- Trusted by millions of users
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- User-friendly interface
#3 (Very Good)
- Good malware protection
- Trusted by big corporations
- Minimal impact on performance
- Good value for money
- 30-day risk-free guarantee
Now, let’s dig into the details.
The features of an antivirus software suite help dictate its overall value for money. The best antivirus software suite won’t just protect you; it will also have several advanced security-related features and tools that bolster your digital security and provide extra utility.
First, let’s see what Avast offers in terms of features.
Avast Free Antivirus is the company’s freemium offering for PCs. It only has basic anti-malware defenses and doesn’t offer much value in terms of advanced features. It’s better than having no protection at all, but Avast’s paid offerings are much better.
Next up is Avast Internet Security, the company’s entry-level premium offering. It’s a much better pick right off the bat. Besides offering top-notch protection against all kinds of malware, this software boasts several advanced features such as a comprehensive two-way firewall that defends your network against attacks, a junk email filter that keeps your inbox clean, and the WiFi Inspector; this tool finds weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your network.
The Sandbox feature is also part of the suite; it lets you separate a small portion of your computer to run suspicious programs or potentially dangerous files, so the rest of your computer remains unaffected by malware. It’s a handy feature if you receive a lot of files or run different programs.
Another level up is the more advanced Avast Premier. It comes with everything that we previously mentioned, plus the Data Shredder utility that lets you securely delete your sensitive data and the Automatic Software Updater tool that keeps your apps and software up to date, making you less vulnerable to malware infections.
Protection against webcam spying is also incorporated into the Premier suite.
Next up is Avast Ultimate, the company’s full-fledged bundled offering. This package has everything that’s found in the Premier suite, plus you get a full suite of performance optimization tools that improve the overall health of your computer.
The SecureLine VPN utility is also jammed into the suite; you can use it to anonymously browse the internet and access content that isn’t available in your region.
For macOS, there’s Avast Security for Mac. The Premium version of this suite offers excellent anti-malware security along with several advanced security-enhancing features and tools, such as WiFi Inspector, while the freeware only offers “essential protection.”
Interested in Avast’s business security solutions? Click here for more information.
Now, let’s see what Avira offers in terms of features.
Avira Free Antivirus (works on PCs only) is the first offering from the company. You can use it for free, forever, but it offers little to no value in terms of advanced features and utilities. However, it does protect against different types of common malware threats.
Next up is the company’s entry-level premium package, called Avira Pro Antivirus (which works on both PCs and Macs). Apart from top-notch anti-malware security, the package includes a bunch of advanced features and tools such as the HomeGuard utility (identifies problems and checks for vulnerabilities in your network), an email filter to stop junk/phishing emails, and a smart firewall that protects against a variety of digital threats
Advanced ransomware protection and web protection features are also jammed into the suite.
Another level up is Avira Internet Security, another product that works on both PCs and Macs. In addition to everything that’s part of the previous product, this suite offers a full-blown password manager and an automatic software/driver updater tool.
Finally, there’s Avira Prime, the company’s top-of-the-line, all-inclusive security product. The Prime offers all the features and utilities that are found in the previous suites, along with a full suite of optimization tools and an advanced VPN utility.
The Prime subscription grants you the ability to use Avira’s mobile apps, as well as all the upcoming Avira products.
Winner: Avast. Avast has a slight edge in this category as it offers a more advanced feature-set with its premium products, especially the high-end ones.
2. Malware Protection
Malware defense is one of the most important factors you should consider when purchasing antivirus software. After all, the primary job of any security product is to protect your computer against all sorts of digital threats.
To find out which software has better anti-malware capabilities, let’s see how both Avira and Avast performed in the recent lab evaluations conducted by AV-Test and AV-Comparatives – two well-known independent laboratories with a reputation for excellence.
AV-Test’s most recent evaluations were conducted in April 2019. In the Protection category of these evaluations, Avira successfully detected all almost all kinds of malware it encountered, earning a perfect 6 out of 6 score.
Avast got a 5.5 out of 6 in these evaluations, due to its imperfect malware detection rates during the examinations.
Now, let’s see how both products fared in AV-Comparatives’ evaluations.
The recent Real-World Protection test report released by AV-Comparatives shows summarized results five comprehensive real-world anti-malware tests that were conducted between July and November last year. Overall, both Avira and Avast got the highest ADVANCED+ award in these evaluations, showing excellent anti-malware capabilities.
Winner: Avira. It’s a close call, but Avira wins this round of comparison as it got a better score in the AV-Test examinations.
3. System Performance
Let’s also take a look at the performance impact that both Avira and Avast put on systems while they run in the background.
In the Performance category of AV-Test’s recent evaluations, Avast scored a perfect 6 out of 6, showing it puts a minimal (almost negligible) impact on system performance.
Avira got a 5.5 out of 6 in terms of system performance, which is still a good score but could be improved.
The experts at AV-Comparatives also conduct a similar examination, called Performance Test. In the April 2019 version of this test, Avast earned the highest ADVANCED+ award with an excellent impact score 6.2, which is almost perfect. Avira, on the other hand, received the second-best ADVANCED award in the study, due to its heavier impact score rating.
Winner: Avast. Independent evaluations prove that Avast is better than Avira in terms of system performance.
The user interface of antivirus software is another important factor that has to be considered. After all, you have to be able to understand and use your software effectively for it to be worthwhile.
Let’s see which of these two software is more user-friendly.
Avast comes with a dark and modern-styled user interface. When you open the interface, you’ll probably see a large green checkmark in the center, which means your system is secure. The status will change if there’s an issue. Right beneath this icon is a quick scan button that you can use to begin a scan of your computer immediately.
Everything is easily reachable and identifiable thanks to the left-hand rail, which organizes all of the functions into major categories like privacy, status, and protection. It’s a very intuitive design, and most people will be able to understand it within a few seconds.
You can also add a little customization to your experience if you’re a more advanced computer user. You can turn tools off and on or adjust their user settings with a few clicks. Also, you can schedule automatic scans based on your schedule and preferences. Overall, the interface is a good pick for both beginners and computer experts.
Avira’s user interface is bright and airy, in colors of green and gray. A checkmark at the top of it screen lets you know if everything is fine, and it’ll quickly change to red exclamation point if there’s something that requires your attention.
Most of the major operations and functions, like web and mail protections or firewall controls, can be turned on or off with a single click and can be accessed right from the main screen. You can also find records of previous scans within just a couple of clicks. You can organize or modify the software’s scanning behavior around your schedule.
Winner: Tie. Both Avira and Avast offer a simple, easy-to-use user interface.
The price of software will have a major impact on your decision.
Let’s compare Avast and Avira’s pricing plans directly.
Avast Free doesn’t cost anything, but it offers limited value. Avast Internet security, the first paid option from the company, costs $59.99 per year for 1 PC, with the option to add more devices. For $10 more, at $69.99 per year for 1 PC, comes Avast Premium.
Avast Ultimate, the highest tier from this company, covers 1 PC for a whopping $119.99 per year.
Finally, Avast Security for Mac, the company’s macOS product, protects 1 Mac for $59.99 per year.
|Avast Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Avast Internet Security||$47.99/year||Check here|
|Avast Premium Security (1 Device)||$69.99/year||Check here|
|Avast Premium Security (Multi-Device)||$89.99/year||Check here|
|Avast Ultimate||$99.99/year||Check here|
|Avast Business Antivirus||Varies||Check here|
Now, let’s see what Avira costs.
Avira’s free pick is free, but it offers limited value in return. Avira Antivirus Pro, the entry-level premium offering, costs $44.99 per year for 1 device. Avira Internet Security Suite, which works on both Windows and macOS, costs $57.99 per year.
Avira Prime, the company’s all-inclusive bundled offering, provides you with five universal licenses that can be used for PCs, Macs, and mobile devices, for $99.99 per year. This comes with all of the advanced features and functions, as well as Avira’s other products.
|Avira Products||Regular Price||Discounted Price|
|Avira Antivirus Pro||$44.99/year||No Discount|
|Avira Internet Security||$57.99/year||No Discount|
|Avira Optimization Suite||$57.99/year||No Discount|
|Avira Total Security Suite||$98.99/year||No Discount|
|Avira Prime||$99.99/year||No Discount|
|Avira Business Products||Varies||No Discount|
Winner: Avira. You can get more licenses for less money through Avira.
6. Customer Satisfaction
One final metric to examine is customer satisfaction. This will let us know what the actual customers of both companies think of their products.
Consumeraffairs.org takes all kinds of customer feedback and averages them out into a 1 to 5-star score for easy understanding. Avast only has a 3-star rating, which is an average score. Avira has a slightly better 3.5-star rating from the same source.
We can also look at the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is another review collection and user feedback site. Avast has an excellent A+ rating from the BBB, while Avira could only get a C rating.
Winner: Avast. It’s close, but Avast has an edge in this category because of its excellent BBB rating.
Our recommendations: If you want to get the highest level of security and performance, there's no better choice than Norton, which protects over 50 million users worldwide.
After reviewing dozens of antivirus products from some of the biggest names in the cybersecurity realm, we believe that Norton 360 Deluxe is the best antivirus suite available on the market. It provides flawless anti-malware protection without slowing you down. Plus, you get almost all the advanced features you could ever want.
If you're willing to pay more for advanced identity protection features, we recommend Norton 360 with LifeLock select (only available in the US). It's a bit pricey but worth the price.
Anas Baig is a consumer privacy advocate and cybersecurity journalist by profession. Has has more than 7 years of professional experience under his belt. Anas has been featured on numerous media publications including The Guardian, Lifehacker, The Next Web, Infosecurity Magazine, Security Boulevard, Hacker Noon, CMS Wire, IAPP, SC Magazine, and many others. His interest includes Digital Privacy Rights, Information Security, Networking, Privacy, and Data Protection.