New Avira AntiVir 9 – free version now includes anti-spyware/adware!

Those who have read my list of top 6 security applications know that I recommend Avira as the free anti-virus of choice. Well today Avira has released v9 of their awarding winning protection software. The best part of it all: Avira Free now includes the ability to detect spyware and adware were as it did not before:

Anti-spyware detection and removal is now available for the free version of AntiVir as well as the paid upgrades. There’s new scanning tech that can crack open “locked” files and verify that they’re not malicious, along with improved internal security to prevent AntiVir’s files from being maliciously altered. AntiVir 9 also offers a rebuilt heuristic detection engine, and according to Tony Anscombe, director of consumer products for Avira, reader comments have been the impetus for the new one-click threat removal option–no more baby-sitting the scans.

The one-click threat removal is a nifty quarantining feature that logs and sets aside all detected threats so you can deal with them individually or as a group at the end of the scan. It’s simple, but means that you can run a scan at night and not worry about the scan pausing and waiting for user input before it continues.

[via CNET]

If you have Avira 8 Free installed (i.e. the version available before today), upgrading to Avira 9 Free will be a little pain. You have to manually uninstall Avira 8 Free, download Avira 9 Free and then install it again. However the new features are well worth it.

Update: Avira has now added Avira 9 Free to Therefore you should be able to automatically upgrade from Avira 8 -> Avira 9 from within Avira 8. However, keep in mind that you will still be uninstalling Avira 8 first – it will just be a little bit more automated then if you did it manually.

Lastly, recall in my article about recommended security software that I recommend Threatfire to supplement Avira Free because Avira Free was unable to detect spyware. Now, if you want, you can uninstall Threatfire since Avira 9 Free has the ability to detect spyware and adware. Avira has excellent detection rates of spyware/adware so you don’t have to worry about a thing. However if you would like to keep Threatfire installed, you can. Just note that while there shouldn’t be any conflicts, since there are new features for Avira 9 no one can guarantee Threatfire and Avira 9 will not conflict  because Avira 9 is new so not much testing done with it and other software yet (I will update if I know of any conflicts).

Ready to upgrade to Avira 9? Click here to download it.

NOTE: Because Avira AntiVir 9 was rebuilt in some areas, such as the heuristic detection engine, if you are not comfortable upgrading until more tests are done with the new features that is OK – just stick to Avira 8 Free + Threatfire for now and I will update when I find out more information on actual tests done. However, personally, I am upgrading from Avira 8 -> Avira 9 right now. I trust Avira enough to know they did not screw up like AVG =).

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  • Ashraf

    @Guy: Of course AVG is going to list Avira 9 as a trojan – it is competition lol. Don’t worry Avira 9 is as clean as it gets.

  • Guy

    Tried 3 different downloads Avira 9, AVG (free version) reports Trojan threat all 3 times from different download sites. AVG unable to heal file so it gets deleted. Any thoughts? Your work is greatly appreciated BTW.

  • I have 2 six year old XP machines, and I tried ’em all, beginning with a full version of Symantec. So far the one that drags the system down the least is Panda Cloud Antivirus. It’s simple, and I don’t have to download updates. A clever idea. You have to stay connected to the ‘net, but…that’s where you get viruses, duh!

  • raj

    this is very good working for any other antivirus .

  • If you are not running McAfee’s live protection then you should be fine. However there is absolute no need for McAfee if you have Avira and ZoneAlarm Pro.

  • All three. McAfee isn’t working with it’s on access scan, basically…
    hogging resources and being a mediocre on-demand scan, and I now use Avira for on-access (or “Guard”) scanning, while ZoneAlarm Pro is my firewall/anti-spyware program.
    I also use Malwarebyte’s AntiMalware for… anti malware.
    I also use SiteAdvisor for… advising not to go to certain sites. Unlike a certain Web of Trust, SiteAdvisor is:
    1. Not updated as frequently as it should be, some argue (new owner may put malware on, SA doesn’t notice, for example)
    2. Doesn’t take into consideration many of the comments/ratings/
    1. Isn’t politically motivated (not refering to your old domain), for example, Barack Obama’s site isn’t filled with republicans rating it badly (sorry about the bad example, please don’t take offense anyone)
    2. Has some professionals reviewing the sites (though mostly automated)

    I consider myself covered

  • Wait are you using ZoneAlarm and Avira at the same time or Avira nad McAfee? ZoneAlarm + Avira is ok. Avira + McAfee is not.

  • Yeah, but see, ZoneAlarm is blocking the real-time functions. Avira is easier than finding out how to fix it.

  • I second what Liam said. You should not be using both McAfee and Avira at the same time.

  • Jean-Luc Picard: It is a well-known fact that you should never use two real-time antivirus programs. The same goes for firewalls.

  • by “keep the McAfee”, I meant use both. I am doing that right now, and it is fine.

  • Yes Avira is better than Avast.

  • Asaalamu alaikum Ashraf,

    I use avast 4.8 do you recommend I change to avira 9. I used avira in the past and the nag screens annoyed me.

  • Jean,

    That question is an absolute no brainier. Avira >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> McAfee.

  • Hi Ashraf!
    Sorry to bug you, but would this be a good replacement for McAfee?
    ZoneAlarm blocks it from running right,>.<, and I don’t trust McAfee anyway. Or would it be better to keep the McAfee?

  • Yes I got it. I am sort of busy at the moment…I will reply when I can.

  • giovanni

    Hey man,

    have you got my email concerning AVIRA 9?? If not I’ll try to make it shorter so as to post it here…ok?

    Look forward to your reply!!

    Good night

  • Zone Alarm Pro and Avira 9 Free should play along just fine.

  • Abbasgirl

    How is the Avira with the Zone Alarm that we got from you?

  • Mario,

    You actually can upate from within Avira 8 (at least for Premium) – I did it myself. There should be a pop up telling you there is a new version of Avira out and all you have to do is click “Update”.

    Secondely, v9 is out for Premium. As I said I updated my Premium to v9. Mario I suggest you check to make sure your computer does not have any viruses/malware (run online scanners from like Nod32, Trend Micro, Norton, etc. or use bootdisks). It seems you have been having problems installating a few programs the rest of us can install just fine.

  • Mario

    automatic update does not update to v9 but to v8.2.0.382.
    And Ashraf, after uninstaling previous version tried to install the downloaded v9 to no avail. It extracts the files to the temp folder, starts preparing the installation and suddenly quits. I downloaded it from here :

    where it says it is the Version dated 16/03/2009 with 30.909 Kb. Is it possible that there is not an v9 for the premium version yet?
    mario from Brasil

  • J.L.

    I did notice that, all I’m saying is that I think a manual uninstall is unnecessary. Anyways, I still do appreciate the work you do here, and of course I trust you.

  • Brian Gaede


    Thanks for all your software reviews and your recommendation to use Avira Antivirus. Also the heads up on the new version!


  • Trust me – you may not know it, but you uninstall the older version in the process of installing the newer one :).

    Screw it. Don’t trust me; trust Avira:

    The new version 9 provides new and enhanced features for Avira AntiVir Windows desktop products and for Avira AntiVir Windows Server. In most cases you don’t need to do anything to migrate to AV9 – just a few mouse-clicks.

    Everything you need to know for migration

    What does migration mean?
    Unlike an update, where the program version is updated without requiring an installation, migration or upgrade means that a previously installed version of the program needs to be uninstalled before the new version can be installed.

    Which products are affected by the migration?
    The following Avira AntiVir products for Windows: Avira AntiVir Personal, Avira AntiVir Premium, Avira Premium Security Suite, Avira AntiVir Professional and Avira AntiVir Server (Windows) are affected by the migration. Migration to version 9 is necessary if you have one of these products.

    Why do you have to migrate?
    Migration is required when the basic structure of the program has changed to such an extent that they are no longer consistent with the structures of the prior version and it is not possible to take over these old structures to the new version.

    Preparing the migration
    You don’t need to migrate immediately to version 9! Avira will support version 8 of the affected products until 31 March 2010. Up to then Avira will continue to provide updates of the engine, the detection sample database and the program. You can decide when to migrate within this period of 12 months.

    Different migration or upgrade scenarios
    Avira AntiVir desktop products for Windows are used for a variety of scenarios: for single workstation and multiple-workstation scenarios or for centrally administered implementations. In all scenarios migration can be performed nearly automatically, but there are differences in the migration process.

  • J.L.

    I did the automated process, and didn’t uninstall the previous version, yet everything seems fine. Although I had to reboot twice (2nd time, because the computer just went weird with ghost processes, avira update not showing, explorer unresponsiveness, etc… most likely my hardware problem), it isn’t showing any abnormal signs at the moment.

  • Whenever there is a “big change” with Avira you always have to uninstall previous versions. However if you do the update via Avira instead of manually, the upgrade will be a little bit more automated.

  • Is that just this version? I don’t remember ever having to do that before.

  • Liam,

    Regardless of how you do it, you have to uninstall Avira 8 first. However when I posted the above, did not have Avira 9 up. It does now.

  • You don’t have to manually update it. You can right click on the icon and click Start AntiVir, then go to Update > Start product update. Voila :)

    I’ve tried many different antivirus programs, but Avira AntiVir continues to be my favorite <33

  • Finally, I was waiting for this! Thanks for pointing this out, Ashraf, much appreciated.

  • Mario,

    All upgrades are free with Avira. I am upgrading my Avira Premium as we speak. Go for the upgrade – you will not lose the 6 months free promotion (if you do the upgrade properly). Just in case something goes wrong, before you upgrade, go into your Avira folder and copy the “hbedv.key” file and place it in a safe location (I just place it on my desktop). That way if you accidently delete your whole folder you can still reactivate it.

    Also, MailGuard seems to be working fine for me.

  • Mario

    another thing
    for some reason, current Avira Premium is not being able to enable the Antivir Mailguard service. Any known problem or it’s just me as usual?

  • Mario

    HI Ashraf,
    on January we had this promotion : Free 6 month Avira Premium AntiVirus!!! (Update: now 1 month only.)
    [11 Jan 2009 | 34 Comments | 5,146 views] .
    now, when computer is turned on, Avira asks if I want to update to v9. Should we go for it? will we loose the 6 month free promotion with the update?
    mario from Brasil

  • Avira Free still protects you against bad files from emails though. The live protection will detect and block any files that contain malware if you download them.

  • jumbi

    Great choice for the free antivirus programs.

    The only limitation in the free version, compared to avg free, is (still?) the disabled pop email checking. But if you dont need this and just use web email (gmail, hotmail etc), Avira is the best free choice!

    There are some annoying advertisements but its very strong in detecting viruses, has a great simple interface,
    (the rename file feature is not found in most other antiviruses, even commercial! which is very convenient when u dont want to delete a working key generator and can run it in a safe protected environment eg sandboxie)
    extemely light on resources and overall best value for money!

    Now with the free antispyware ability, its even better!