Avira Free AntiVirus is a reliable antivirus engine which does a great job of keeping your PC malware-free.

Installation is simple and straightforward. Unlike the competition, there are no demands to remove competing products: we had Norton Internet Security installed on the test PC, and were able to run 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.

The 2015 release adds new installation options. Avira Browser Safety keeps you safe online, Avira SafeSearch prevents you from reaching malicious sites, and there's a chance to install Dropbox, too (all can be bypassed if you're not interested).

If this isn't enough power for you, Avira provides a couple of alternative solutions.

Avira Antivirus Pro 2015 has everything in the free edition, and adds identity/ credit card theft protection, blocking of email threats, and free technical support.

Avira Internet Security 2015 takes all these features and extends them with encryption tools, PC maintenance options (free hard drive space, increase performance), and more.

What's new in "update 27"? New features:

- The exception list for Scanner and Guard has been unified.
- Give the user the option to add files to exclusion list when restoring from quarantine.
- Reduced installation time by minimum 15% for all products.
- Adjusted handling of detection's if configured action is unknown for right-click scan scenarios.
- Enabled Cloud access for right-click scan scenarios.
- Reboot behavior for updates can be configured for Antivirus-Server.

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Avira Free AntiVirus is distinctly short on new features, but the core engine is still excellent, and it's probably the best free tool around.