Avira's AntiVir Personal 8 comes highly rated by independent third-party antivirus experts, so we were eager to compare it with other antivirus products. While we can't complain about its high level of protection, there were several nitpicks about the application itself that set us back. For one thing, you pay more for AntiVir, in part because of the exchange rate. However, there's a decided lack of features and finesse to the product. AntiVir reminds us of early editions of, which had terrific test results, but poor user appeal. We were expecting a replacement, and found something less.
AntiVir Personal 8 is available for Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. The free version contains fewer features; the premium version for three users, however, is more expensive than competitive products (in part because of the U.S. dollar-euro exchange rates). There is also a surcharge--a donation to the Auerbach Foundation--that adds 5 euro to the final price and cannot be removed from the shopping cart.
For this review, we looked at the paid and free versions of AntiVir Personal 8. The free version can be downloaded from Download.com. Also, a limited-function 30-day trail of the paid version is available from Download.com.
Installation went smooth and did not require a reboot. We like the fact that AntiVir Personal Edition 8 lets you opt out of providing any personal details and register at a later time; some antivirus vendors do not allow this.
Should you decide to remove AntiVir, you'll need to use Microsoft Windows' Add and Remove Programs feature. After a reboot, we found no traces of the product left behind, which is good.
The interface in AntiVir Personal 8 leaves something to be desired. Unlike with , we were left with a feeling there is something missing. Part of the problem is that AntiVir gives the user not much to configure or monitor.
Additionally, we weren't crazy about the large dialogue boxes that informed us of the product's activity, or the large pop-up windows that attempted to sell us the security suite from the company. We could do without all the noise.
Perhaps the best features of AntiVir Personal 8 are its antivirus signature database and heuristics capabilities. The product consistently scores high marks in independent third-party malicious-software tests, and often leads the competition in producing updated signature files. AntiVir Personal also includes some antispyware and antiphishing protection as well.