Avira Premium Security Suite adds a few new features to its A-Listed previous edition without, thankfully, spoiling the overall formula.
The most significant change is enhanced web protection. As an extra layer of protection to its traditionally strong performance against web-based threats, it can now intercept invisible or suspicious iframes even before they start serving dodgy files.
Those who run their own mail servers will also appreciate the fact that the mail module can now scan POP traffic on any number of custom ports.
The rest of the changes are mostly minor: icons gain tooltips, scanning has been streamlined, and the interface compacted to fit better on small screens.
|Low footrpint: Installing Avira on our Vista PC added just 75MB to our total system footprint, and a reasonable six seconds to boot-time
That last update is smart, because Avira's low system requirements are well suited to netbooks. Installing it on our Vista PC added just 75MB to our total system footprint, and a reasonable six seconds to boot-time.
And, of course, detection is excellent. In this month's test, Avira detected 93% of our malware with default settings, which rose to 97% when we enabled detection of "privacy risks" as well as harmful code. We did hit one slight concern: the program refused to warn us about two commercial spy applications, Email Spy and MING Keylogger, even when we installed and ran them right under its nose.
The interface is wayward, relying heavily on unlabelled icons, and the front-end is divided confusingly into a front panel and a separate configuration window. The firewall is, by default, quite talkative too. Still, if you know what you're doing, it's easier than Norton to set to your liking.
And that's the difference: while Norton is designed for non-techies, Avira expects you'll want to tweak your firewall rules, scanning preferences, and even manage modules via WMI. So Security Suite 9 isn't for everyone, but if you want power and versatility, Avira builds on its predecessor's strengths, and at a good price.