All the products in the Desktop line (AntiVir Personal, AntiVir Premium, Premium Security Suite and AntiVir Professional) have been refreshed with a new interface that sports completely redesigned icons. Actually, all fresh GUI elements have been introduced based on the proven functionality of the old interface, so there is no negative impact with regard to ease of use.
As far as other modifications are concerned, Avira did not rush to introduce new and spectacular features (they are Germans, after all). Instead, it came up with essential improvements designed to further consolidate the product through more accurate detection.
A fresh host-based intrusion prevention system, Avira AntiVir ProActiv, which, unfortunately, is not available in the free edition (maybe things will change in Q2 2010), will monitor the system in real-time, looking for suspicious events. This newly introduced rule-based system can analyze and conclude if an event or combined conditions are indicative of an attack from an unknown form of malware. Avira AntiVir ProActiv is also community based, meaning users can submit samples of new malware to Avira labs, which feed the results back into the module. Upgraders from AntiVir Professional 9 to the latest edition of the product have to perform an additional installation in order to integrate the ProActiv component – a slide up will inform on the availability of the module.
Additional improvements refer to On-Access scanner turnaround, which now blocks detected malware automatically, thus eliminating all risk of system infection from accidental opening of the file. A very interesting point in the changelog of Avira’s desktop products is the generic disinfection that uses fresh methods for repairing the system and brings it to its former, healthy state. Besides the script-based repair routines, Avira can now do this even on systems lacking repair scripts for the matter at hand.
Specific changes for the professional version of the product that sells for €23.50 include a desktop firewall that helps you manage incoming and outgoing network traffic. Relying on rules that can be created by the user beforehand or upon recording suspicious activity, the firewall also counts with a list of trusted vendors whose apps are not monitored at all (to remove this privilege for a vendor, simply delete its entry).
Configuration profiles are on the list of modifications as well. In this case, the enhancement consists of the fact that the user can enter a rule that relies on the IP address and network mask. So, it will be enforced whenever the gateway has an IP and network mask that have been already defined.
Parental Control module in the Premium Security Suite has been extended in functionality by letting parents define the allowed Internet usage time by their kids. The schedule can be created on a monthly, weekly or daily basis; the last one permits different planning according to weekends or schooldays. The Avira desktop product line has not undergone an overhaul, instead enduring minor modifications designed to strengthen its features and bring them to new, higher standards. All these are designed to ensure better detection and protection of the user with as few flaws as possible.
As noted above, the free version keeps this aspect for personal use, while the paid editions have taken in the new features under the form of modules that need to be installed separately for those upgrading from the anterior edition. The latest Avira release looks better than ever, and promises enhanced detection and malware management.