Avira Protection Cloud is a simple new tool which makes it easy to detect malicious files on your PC.

The program installs in seconds. It runs on-demand scans only, so shouldn't conflict with any other security tools. And it's very straightforward to operate: there are no menus, no toolbars, no options or anything else, all you have to do is click "Cloud scan" and wait.

Next, Protection Cloud scans running processes, startup programs, Windows services and other likely targets of infection, calculating a hash (a digital fingerprint) for each one and sending it to Avira's server. If this matches any known malware you'll be warned in the program's report.

If the scan comes across any executable files it doesn't recognise then these will be uploaded to the server for analysis, and again you'll be told of the results.

Protection Cloud is decidedly short on features. There are no virus removal tools here, for instance, so if the program does uncover something nasty then you'll need to install something else to get rid of it.

And there are no configuration options, either. You can't stop the program from uploading files, for example, other than by closing it down. There are no real privacy implications for this (Protection Cloud only uploads executable files, while documents are left alone), but on the first scan at least you may have to wait for quite some time as they're all sent to Avira.

Otherwise, though, Avira Protection Cloud seems a reliable and straightforward tool which could help you to identify malicious files that your regular antivirus package has missed.


It's a little short on features, but Avira Protection Cloud could still prove very useful for tracking down obscure malware on your PC