Avira Premium trial - My experience

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by luciddream, Jul 16, 2011.

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  1. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    The good, the bad, and the ugly.

    I discovered the ugly before I started my trial of the Premium version, when I tried to uninstall Personal. I'm anal about running a clean system. Whenever I make a major upgrade I always uninstall old versions first, clean up leftover junk files/folders/keys, and defrag before installing the new version. As such it's been over 5 years since I've had such a problem. That streak ended.

    After finally getting it off and cleaning up, I installed the Premium version without the Proactive or Mail Guard modules. It ran just as light as Personal, with no noticeable slowdown with the Web Guard. Right now the memory usage is at roughly 8,000 K in Task Manager. I unchecked the exceptions in Web Guard for Video & Audio files & steams, just to see what impact it would have. Youtube videos were streaming at about half the speed they were previously. I downloaded a movie (avi) from a site and the speed was at about 60% what it normally would be. This isn't a critique, to be clear, I realize it's inevitable. I just wanted to point it out to others who may consider removing those exceptions. Since I run sandboxed and right-click scan everything before moving it to my data anyway, I leave them checked, and add archives to the exceptions list as well.

    I wanted to see how Premium ran with just Web Guard first, then try it with the Proactive module afterward to compare, and see if it ran heavier. I decided to try the "Modify" method in Add/Remove programs to add the module, and my computer froze. After a cold reboot I expected Avira to be crippled, closed umbrella, ect... but it was fine. So I elected then to do a clean uninstall/reinstall. Again it wouldn't uninstall cleanly. At least through these trials & tribulations I discovered another good program, Revo Uninstaller. It uninstalled Avira where Add/Remove programs failed me, and cleaned up most of the leftover junk as well (it did miss a few keys). Good program that's been added to my repertoire.

    So after doing a clean install with all modules (except) the Mail Guard, I realized that with the Proactive module memory usage of avguard.exe was up about 25-30% from what it was previously (without it). System cache usage was also up slightly, a negligible amount. But in reality, my system doesn't "feel" any heavier than it did without it. I notice no difference at all, and that's what really matters. And I run XP Pro SP3 with 1 GB of ram (dual channel), and a 2.4 ghz CPU. So I notice when things are bloated. Avira Premium certainly is not. So if I decide to purchase it I will add these modules, as they have no noticeable negative impact.

    And I personally saw the Proactive module work too. It flagged a suspicious file that was part of a game I have (Pod Racer). It was one of those files that automatically launches your browser after installing to ask you to "register" online. I guess technically it's a FP, but in reality I think it's doing people a favor flagging things like this, so I didn't report it. I don't want things launching my browser without my say-so. I like a product that will shoot first and ask questions later, and seeing this painted the module in a favorable light to me. The game works just fine without the file, btw.

    So my only complaint is the way Avira uninstalls, or perhaps more accurately, "doesn't" uninstall. But no other AV runs with my setup the way Avira does, and having Revo at my side eliminates the problem. In all likelihood I'll be purchasing this when the trial end date draws near.

    If anyone sees any discounts for it, I'd be much obliged if you could give me a heads up in this thread.

    Just wanted to post my personal experience since I think a lot of people are deciding whether to stick with Personal, upgrade to Premium, or go in a different direction right now. I hope the information might help some to make a more informed decision. But as always, individual results may vary, so give it a try yourself.
     
  2. mhl6493

    mhl6493 Registered Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I've been thinking of trying Avira, and it's good to read how others feel about it.

    One quick question. Am I remembering correctly that Proactive only works on 32-bit systems? Seems like I remember reading that somewhere, but I'm not sure.
     
  3. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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    Nice to see an objective review like this luciddream. It may prompt some people to rethink their plans to change Av's as there has been a perception by some, myself included, that Avira's development has been stuck in neutral for awhile.

    The Hammer.
     
  4. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I think the fact that the GUI has gone relatively unchanged over the years can create that impression, because the first thing people notice is cosmetics. But to me this is a pro, not a con. When you become familiar with something you don't want it to change on you. As for what's under the hood... I'm oblivious to that, but the detection has been top rate over the years. I would personally prefer them to focus most of their attention on continuing to improve the guts of the program (Guard) instead of adding a bunch of other features that are sometimes more redundant than they are practical. It could also bloat the product, and to me the lightness of Avira is the biggest attraction.

    One person's "stuck in neutral" can be another's "don't fix what aint broken" ;)

    I hope that any "improvements"/additions will add real, marked benefits instead of just throwing in more "Guards" to create a placebo effect of improved protection, and add unnecessary bloat.
     
  5. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    It is nice to read about Avira without the pandemonium created by its latest development! I just wanted to mention that from the Avira website a dedicated registry cleaner can be downloaded for situations similar to yours:

    "Normally the Avira RegistryCleaner removes all entries that were created by AntiVir. In this way, it prepares your system for the installation of a new AntiVir version."

    http://www.avira.com/en/support-download-avira-registrycleaner

    @mhl6493. Yes, ProActiv only works on 32 bit systems.
     
  6. mhl6493

    mhl6493 Registered Member

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    Thanks!
     
  7. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    I'm on XP-sp3, 1g RAM, 3gHz CPU, similar to yours.
    Premium runs great here. Past two or three years, no problems. I do not have ProActive installed (not yet sure how it would play with the small HIPS in the firewall or serious HIPS such as SSM, so that's what holds me up). All other modules are installed and active. edit: Mail module is inactive.

    Are you sure about that 8000 K in Task Manager? I see this in Process Explorer at this moment:

    PE-memUse.png

    Pink and white belong to SYSTEM. Blue belongs to me. Perhaps your Task manager only shows user services and applications?

    Nice report, thank you, luciddream.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  8. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I'm just using the Windows Task Manager. Right now avwebgrd.exe is using 8,520K under the "memory usage" tab. avguard.exe seems to be fluctuating between nearly nothing (less than 1K) to 20,000K spikes at times. So not sure if P.E. measures it differently or what? But yeah, the truly relevant measure is "in the pudding" as they say. If I don't notice it's there with 1 GB of ram and a 2.4 Ghz, single core, Celeron CPU... it's light. In fact I notice no difference at all between Personal & Premium in terms of a footprint. The updates are certainly snappier. And I heard all these stories of the Web Guard and/or Proactive slowing down browsing. Just goes to show you have to try it yourself.

    I run Comodo FW+HIPS (configed for "Proactive Security") and there's no conflict. I had the same concern. The Proactive part of Avira is built into the "Guard", it's not it's own module, so calling it a "module" was kind of misleading by me. It seems to function more like an AV than a HIPS. It doesn't give application control, just flags suspicious files contained in these applications like an AV would, but maybe relies on raw heuristics instead of defs? Of course I'm not familiar with how SSM or other programs operate. And I'm no expert so I don't exactly know what makes Proactive tick. But it plays well with Comodo HIPS.
     
  9. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Memory use - Task Manager vs Process explorer discussion I just saw
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=170778
    Second table in the following M$ link explains few things for me about Task Manager display
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa965225(v=vs.85).aspx
    If I read the M$ correctlyI think you're reporting what PE calls Working set, in which case we're similar (8-20).

    Yup. The proof is in the pudding. I was, long ago, worried that WebGuard might interfere with my various settings in Opera. No such issues. And yes, the updates are snappy and I like the slideup and the umbrella, and that the GUI isn't changing every other day.

    Thanks for your observations about the HIPS vs Proactive. I think your description of Proactive is right.
     
  10. siberianwolf

    siberianwolf Registered Member

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    +1 :thumb:
    that's just the way i see it. i ain't no avira user but i love its looks.
    simple, plain pure av.
    plainer, the beter.
     
  11. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Agreed wolf. Fluff & features should be reserved for the all encompassing suites. People that use suites are looking for all-in-one protection. People that don't likely have dedicated apps to do these other things (i.e. Sandboxie), so they just want their AV's to be AV's.

    Sometimes when you try to do too many things you spread yourself thin, and other areas suffer. It'd be a shame to have the guts of the program (Guard) suffer because they're spending time on a Mail Guard that's useless to most end users, or a sandbox most people don't want because they use Sandboxie.

    Just my 2 cents
     
  12. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    In an earlier post I said all AV modules except Proactive are enabled.
    I was wrong. I forgot that long ago I disabled Mail. It did cause me problems. I use Outlook client. Outlook keeps good track of mails received from my ISP (there's a list of numbers, I saw it in wireshark). Avira changed the list somehow, so I was receiving duplicates of every mail. Wasn't a pretty sight till I narrowed it down to the list. So I zapped it and that's that. Surprised actually that the mail service is still running. I'll correct my message.

    Mail never interfered with webmail such as yahoo.
     
  13. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Maybe I'm not fully understanding how to set these Mail Guards/Shields, ect... up with email clients, but I don't see how they're useful. It doesn't seem to work with encryption. You have to disable encryption in order for it to scan the emails. To me that seems a bit like curing the disease by killing the patient.

    I'd rather have them encrypted and just rely on my resident web/file protection to catch any nasties. Seems to me those layers would kick in and take care of any infection anyway. Again, if I'm just not understanding how it works I apologize, and please enlighten me. But I never include mail protection in my installs for these reasons.

    And I mentioned earlier about people giving a heads-up if they see Avira Premium AV on sale... It would be really nice if there were a 2 license deal, as I have a friend interested as well. He's been a satisfied Personal user for years and I told him how light Premium is running for me. So now he wants it too.

    I think right now would be a great time to advertise deals on Premium, with a lot of people on the fence about whether to upgrade or look elsewhere. If they offered a year for $19.99, or 2 licenses for $29.99, people would be on it like white on rice, IMO.
     
  14. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

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    Check newegg.com http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006818 50013616&IsNodeId=1&name=Avira
     
  15. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    The way Avira works is they watch localhost:44110 and you specify the port(s) they should look at. So in firewalls you have to allow TCP out to local host port 44110 for instance.
    The way Avast! works is they watch localhost:12110, but if you use Outlook, they build some hook inside Outlook, so you don't have to fuss with that proxy. But I completely agree with you that leaving it to the resident protection should be sufficient. Also, you're correct. Any encrypted mail (gmail in my instance) is out of their watch anyway.
     
  16. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

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    Avira is still very good, and towards the end of this year a beta will get cranked up. One that should be exciting as 2012 will be the year they can get the taste of crow, out of their mouths.:cool:
     
  17. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Good lookin out Hammer :thumb:

    Jumped on it. Most people won't go combing through the net to find something like that though. I think it'd be good timing for them to advertise a sale on their home page. Maybe not that cheap, but $19.99 for 1 license or $29.99 for 2. Might help them secure some Personal users that were on the fence like me.

    Been running it about a week now without a reboot and it's still just as light, in other words... no apparent memory leaks. I've had products before that seemed really light at first, but then as the days passed the footprint grew.
     
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