Avira Free AntiVirus 13 is the new name for Avira's AntiVir Personal, a basic but capable antivirus engine which does its best to keep your PC malware-free.
Installation is faster and easier than ever in this version, and will now detect and alert you to the presence of other antivirus suites. Don't worry, though, it's not as picky as some of the competition: we had Microsoft Security Essentials installed on the test PC, and while Free AntiVirus 13 pointed this out, we were able to install both packages alongside each other without problems.
Once the program is running it provides all the features you'd expect: files you access are checked for threats in real time, you can carry out on-demand antivirus scans on any part of your system whenever you like, and a capable scheduler allows you to set up regular scans to run automatically and unattended.
And while there are no huge changes in this latest version of the program, a lengthy list of worthwhile tweaks may make it worthy of your consideration. Free AntiVirus 13 has been optimised to use less RAM and launch more quickly, for instance; it has better defences against malware which might try to close it down; there's built-in protection for the hosts file; scans can now be run at a low priority to avoid slowing down your PC; and the interface has been redesigned to make it easier to use than ever.
If that's still not enough, though, Avira also provides a couple of alternative solutions.
Avira Antivirus Premium 2013 is an antivirus package with many extras. Behaviour monitoring allows the program to detect even brand new and previously undiscovered threats, for example. An antiphishing module keeps you safe online. The program looks out for and blocks infected emails; the AntiDrive-by module protects you from unwanted downloads; and its Game Mode suspends notifications during games, movies and other full-screen applications.
And of course Avira Internet Security 2013 takes all these features and extends them with everything you'd expect from a security suite (and perhaps a little more): a spam filter, a powerful firewall (now updated with support for IPv6), parental controls, a backup tool, disaster recovery and more.