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A Comparison of Avira vs Microsoft Security Essentials by the Spyshakers.com Team Editors

A custom antivirus comparison of Avira vs Microsoft Security Essentials by the
Spyshakers.com Team Editors (accurate as of September 2, 2014).


AviraMicrosoft Security Essentials
Versions:

Avira Free Antivirus 2014 - Avira provides a free edition of their antivirus available for download for Windows. It comes with a standard system scanner for viruses, worms, and trojans. AHeAD Technology is included in the free version which is a heuristic solution for recognizing suspicious code before it is a world wide recognized virus.

Avira Antivirus Premium 2014 - The premium version adds some features not found in the free version. The main feature found in the premium version is the Website Safety Advisor which alerts you in search engine results if a website is safe or dangerous. Premium also diffuses other websites from monitoring your internet browsing activities by killing tracking cookies.

Avira Internet Security 2014 - Internet Security includes all of the features found in premium but goes further in the protection. There are anti-phishing solutions and anti-spam solutions found in the Internet Security version as well as a public wi-fi hotspot protection firewall, a backup system, and parental controls.

Avira Internet Security Plus 2014 - Internet Security Plus comes with some nice features not found in the regular Internet Security. Security Plus comes with a file shredder and a file encryption environment. It also provides PC Optimization tools.
Versions:

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is a free antivirus download which works on Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Windows 8 has a feature called Windows Defender which is the same as Microsoft Security Essentials but you do not need to download it as it is built in. Microsoft Security Essentials is a plain solution which is better than nothing but in general is significantly outperformed by any of the commercial antivirus solutions reviewed on this website. MSE will detect some viruses but not near the success rate as other commercial solutions. We suggest Avira, Avast, AVG or ZoneAlarm free editions if you absolutely need free antivirus.
Strengths:

The PC Optimization tools that Avira provides are very robust. Most antivirus solutions only clean up unnecessary files. Avira does much more. It has a process manager which eliminates the annoying problem of too many programs running in the background. It has a smart defragmenter and it can fix broken files on the hard drive. It also has a thorough program uninstaller.
Avira ranks #4 out of 21 antivirus suites in not tripping false alarms (courtesy of AV Comparatives). It ranked a very respectable #5 in speed and performance in another AV Comparatives test.
If you ever want to completely erase your hard disk (for selling or re-installing windows) Avira has a nice option to do that.
Strengths:

Microsoft Security Essentials is free and provides some protection against viruses and spyware.
Security Essentials is very low maintenance. It basically runs in the background without interfering with your computer experience.
Security Essentials is very lightweight and it certainly doesn't bog down your system.
Virtual Sandbox:

Avira doesn't specifically have feature called a sandbox but they do provide "Advanced Web Protection" which intercepts malicious websites before they load.
Virtual Sandbox:

No. MSE does not include a sandbox browsing environment which can prevent malicious websites from running.
PC Optimization:

There is PC Optimization in the Plus 2014 version.
PC Optimization:

No. MSE does not include a PC Tuneup or any kind of PC optimization functionality.
Backups / Online Storage:

Internet Security version includes backup functionality.
Backups / Online Storage:

No. MSE does not back up your computer files in any way.
Parental Control:

Internet Security version includes extended parental controls.
Parental Control:

No. MSE does not include any kind of parental control functionality
Chat / IM Protection:

Avira provides a free social network protection suite, but we cannot find specific chat protection functionality.
Chat / IM Protection:

No. MSE does not protect instant messenger chats or social network chats such as facebook chat.
Customer Support:

Avira provides a forum, email support, phone support, and a contact web form.
Customer Support:

No. MSE does not come with some kind of customer support exclusive to the product.
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