Not everything that security company Avira did in recent times has received a positive reception by the company's user base. Especially the bundling of the software with the Ask Toolbar has been criticized by users, even though it is completely optional.
The company has just released its 2013 lineup, including Avira Free Antivirus as well as the commercial alternatives Antvirus Premium, Internet Security and Internet Security Plus. You may have already noticed that the year has been removed as part of the product name.
The free version includes an offer to install Web Protection together with the Avira SearchFree Toolbar and the Avira SearchFree Updater, to make it the default search provider, and to make Avira SearchFree (search.avira.com) the browser homepage and the new tab page of the browser. If you do not want that, make sure to uncheck the option during installation. Make sure you select custom installation for that option.
The interface of Avira Free Antivirus looks like the one on the screenshot below. The light gray items are available in the free version, while the dark gray icons are reserved to the company's commercial offerings.
One of the new features of the Avira 2013 lineup is the new social networks feature under child protection. This is a parental controls software to monitor children on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+. To use the feature, you need to create an account with Avira's Social Network Protection, and then add your childs to the newly registered account and connect the social networking accounts of the childs to the application.
With the Social Networks feature, you can monitor your children‘s activities online.
The Social Networks technology checks their social network accounts for comments, photos etc. that may influence your child‘s reputation in a negative way or may indicate that your child is in danger.
The menu on the left side opens a page in the product which contains links to the SocialShield website. The links will open in the default browser of the system.
Android Security is another new feature. It is basically an app that you can install on Android devices to protect those devices from loss and theft.
Existing Avira users can update to the new version from within the program, or download the latest version from the Avira website. The full release notes for all Avira 2013 products is available here as a pdf document.