This comprehensive guide was created based on the research of our seasoned experts and the top independent labs in the world so that you could make an informed decision.

We follow the work of four labs that regularly release detailed reports: AV-Test Institute based in Germany, MRG-Effitas, and SE Labs found in the UK as well as AV-Comparatives based in Austria.

AV-Test Institute discovered 144.91 million new malware samples in 2019 and a record of 38.48 million new samples in the first quarter of 2020. Malicious hackers are now attacking computers and networks at a rate of one attack every 39 seconds.

Research shows that ransomware is involved in 24 percent of malware security incidents. A ransomware attack in early 2020 on the New Orleans city government cost the city upwards of $7 million.

As you can see, high-grade protection is more critical than ever before.

In this comparison, you’ll see the security products, features, and tools both companies offer. We look at how they stack up against each other regarding malware protection, system performance, user interface, cost, and more.

Here are the most important factors that we’ve compared:

  • Protection
  • Performance
  • Usability
  • Features
  • Pricing

You need to be able to protect yourself against hackers and digital threats, so your identity, files, and photos would always be safe.

So let’s dive right in.

A quick overview of the results

If you’re in a rush or just not too interested in all the statistics, we have compiled a handy overview of the results.

  • Protection

    One of the labs shows that Bitdefender protects a bit better, while the other shows that Avira protects a bit better. There is no clear winner in this category.

  • Performance

    Bitdefender may cause some slow-down while launching popular websites. Avira, on the other hand, shows some of the best test results in the industry.

  • Usability

    Both products offer simple and straightforward to use interfaces. There were some problems with false reporting while using Bitdefender, though.

  • Features

    Bitdefender and Avira offer entry-level products with main features as well as complete bundles with everything you'll ever need.

  • Pricing

    Both Bitdefender and Avira are very reasonably priced. Still, you can get entry-level products a bit cheaper from Bitdefender. Mid- and top-level bundles are priced about the same, though.

A short verdict

Avira is a better option than Bitdefender if you have to live with it daily. It performs better and doesn’t have problems with false reports. You are equally protected with either option.

  1. Overall winner
    Avira Antivirus logo

    Avira

    Avira offers an excellent level of protection while having little to none impact on your computer's performance. It's an excellent choice for antivirus software that keeps you safe both offline and online.

    Starting at $34,95 from Avira
  2. A close second
    Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender

    Since 2001, Bitdefender innovation has consistently delivered award-winning security products and threat intelligence for people, homes, businesses, devices, networks, and cloud services.

    Starting at $19,99 from Bitdefender

Detailed results

If you love to get to know the product in detail, before you buy them, you’ve come to the right place. We would be happy to dive into the details that were uncovered during our research. Let’s see everything we learned when we put Bitdefender and Norton head-to-head. The contenders were compared in 5 categories using data gathered by our experts and test results of top independent testing facilities.

So let’s see what we found out.

Protection

The main reason for installing antivirus software must be the security it offers against malware. The last tests don’t yield any apparent results. See for yourself.

Let’s compare the test results of two labs, AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, so that you can see for yourself.

AV-Test put both software up against 402 samples of 0-day malware attacks and 20606 samples of malware in four weeks.

Bitdefender is known for the high-grade security it offers. Tests show that the software protected against 100% of malware attacks and detected all the samples used in the lab.

Avira didn’t get a clean result but still protected against 99,5% of threats – an above industry average result. When they tested its detection ability, Avira got a 99,9% result.

Industry average Bitdefender Avira
Protection against 0-day malware attacks, inclusive of web and email threats

402 samples used

Detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks

20606 samples used

Source: av-test.org

AV-Comparatives also put both software to the test and found that Bitdefender blocked 99,3% of threats, and Avira blocked 99,6% of threats. The results are based on the test set of 754 live test cases (malicious URLs found in the field), consisting of working exploits (i.e., drive-by downloads) and URLs pointing directly to malware.

Bitdefender Avira
Blocked
Compromised
Protection rate

Source: av-comparatives.org

AV-Test shows that Bitdefender did better; AV-Comparatives shows that Avira did better. As there is no clear winner, it seems like we have to call this one a tie.

Winner: It’s a tie

Performance

If you choose to secure your digital life, it’s crucial for the solution to trouble your everyday tasks as little as possible. Trying to load websites or open applications when the computer keeps slowing down, can get quite infuriating.

Let’s see how the two competitors hold up against each other in that regard so that you can avoid any problems.

AV-Test lab research shows that Bitdefender performs quite nicely while installing frequently used applications, but may cause some slow-down while launching popular websites. Avira, on the other hand, knocks it out of the park with one of the best results in the industry.

Industry average Bitdefender Avira
Slowing-down when launcing popular websites

50 websites visited

Slower download of frequently-used applications

20 downloaded files

Slower launch of standard software

12 test cases applied

Slower installation of frequently-used applications

19 installed applications

Slower copying of files (locally and in a network)

7388 files copied

Source: av-test.org

There is no competition here – Avira wins this category with a big lead over Bitdefender. If you’re looking for an option that doesn’t affect your computer’s performance, then it is undoubtedly Avira

Winner: Avira

Usability

Two factors affect the usability of antivirus software. The first is its interface and how easy it is to use. The second is the software’s false reporting. If false reports keep popping up left and right, you can’t properly use your computer. That’s why we put the products head-to-head in both aspects.

First, let’s compare the interfaces.

Bitdefender offers a modern and easy to understand application with an intuitive design. Compared to some of the competitors, it has a bit more information on the home screen. Still, the important things stand out, and everything can be found in a heartbeat.

On the left side of the window, you can find a menu for different modules.

The first is the dashboard that is basically the home screen and gives you an overview of everything that is going on. There’s a big status message on the top, letting you know if your computer is safe. You can also start a quick scan there, open the VPN, safepay, and add other devices you wish to keep safe. There’s also an option to add a customized quick action.

If you check back to the right, you’ll find the protection module, where you can see if your device is protected and if the program is up to date. You are also able to start a quick scan or a vulnerability scan from there.

If you go through the options on the left, you are presented with privacy, utilities, notifications, your account, setting, and support.

Bitdefender User Interface

Avira’s user interface also has a bit darker design, easy on the eyes. A well-thought-through layout is straightforward to navigate.

On the top of the screen, you’ll find the status of your computer. When everything is alright, you’ll see a green ring with a tick in the middle. It indicates that your antivirus protection is on.

You can start a smart scan with just one click from the same screen. An easy way to let the software do its thing.

On the left of the window, you’ll find four options – status, security, privacy, and performance.

The button “My account” on top of the window gives you access to your settings.

Avira User Interface Screenshot

Now let’s dive into false reporting.

AV-Test also conducts usability tests that show if any false reports show up. Results indicate that Bitdefender had some problems with false reporting, while Avira didn’t show any notifications that weren’t malware.

Industry average Bitdefender Avira
False warnings or blockages when visiting websites

500 samples used

False detections of legimate software as malware during a system scan

1 515 716 samples used

False warnings concerning certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

40 samples used

False blockages of certain actions carried out whilst installing and using legitimate software

40 samples used

Source: av-test.org

As both products have an easy-to-use interface, it all comes down to false reporting. Once again, Avira performed better than the competition, showing the best result anyone could.

Winner: Avira

Features

Bitdefender and Avira both come with all the necessary features for you to protect your digital life. There are entry-level products and big bundles available as well. Something for every need.

Let’s first see what Bitdefender has to offer.

Bitdefender offers a wide variety of security products for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS users. They also can provide multiple services for their clients, ranging from install and setup to computer tune-up.

Bitdefender’s entry-level product for PCs is called Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and it offers essential antivirus protection. The Mac version of the same product is called Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. It promises absolute antivirus protection against all Mac-related threats.

The lightweight software also offers multi-layer ransomware protection, as well as blocks and removes annoying adware. The software prevents phishing and online fraud when shopping and browsing. You’ll also get a secure VPN for complete online privacy, including 200 MB of traffic a day.

The only thing the Mac version offers, that the PC version doesn’t, is the additional Time Machine protection for your backed-up files in case of a ransomware attack. If you compare the two products the other way, you can see that PC users get a lot more than the Mac users.

Here’s a list of all the features that are only available with the PC version:

  • Advanced Threat Defense that uses a technique called behavioral detection to closely monitor active apps. The moment it detects anything suspicious, it takes instant action to prevent infections.
  • A new cyber threat intelligence network threat prevention technologies that can analyze and identify suspicious network-level activities and block sophisticated exploits, malware, or botnet-related URLs, as well as brute force attacks.
  • Advanced aunty fraud filtering system warns you whenever you visit websites that may try to scam you.
  • Safe Files that can prevent unauthorized changes to your most important files. You can simply add folders to the watch list, and Bitdefender guards the files stored in them against ransomware and other types of malware. Only applications you explicitly trust are allowed to access your Safe Files.

These examples are only from the protection features. Bitdefender also offers performance features such as Global Protective Network, Battery Mode, as well as Game, Movie & Work Modes for PC. There is also safe online banking, WiFi security advisor, social network protection, vulnerability assessment, a Password manager, and a file shredder features available to PC users.

If you use more than one computer, the PC version is available for up to 10 devices. The Mac option can be purchased for only up to 3 devices. A 30-day free trial is available for both PC and Mac.

Bitdefender Internet Security is a mid-tier option available to only PC users. Its threat detection is designed to keep all Internet threats away.

It comes with a privacy firewall to block intrusions, filter your network traffic, and provides webcam and microphone protection to prevent eavesdropping.

A secure VPN with 200MB daily traffic is also included to protect your bank info, passwords, and downloads from hackers when you use public WiFi networks.

Bitdefender Internet Security also comes with parental control options so you can be sure that your children stay safe while browsing. Filter out inappropriate content and limit screen time. You can also log in remotely to Bitdefender Central to keep up with your kids.

Bitdefender also offers two different bundle options.

The first is Bitdefender Total Security and is available for PCs, Macs, Androids and iOS devices. You can choose between 5 and 10 device options.

The software bundle offers top-grade protection both off and online as well as a secure VPN for up to 200 MB of traffic a day and advanced parental controls.

It is basically everything Bitdefender has to offer to keep you safe.

There is also another bundle option available for people who are heavy computer users.

In addition to everything covered before, Bitdefender Premium Security offers you unlimited VPN traffic and priority support. So every time you have a question, you’ll get a quick answer. This bundle is only available for up to 10 devices.

View all Bitdefender products

Now let’s take a look at what Avira has to offer.

Avira has quite a long lineup of products for security, privacy, and performance. Some of these products are available for only PCs; others can be installed on Macs, Androids, and iOS devices.

Avira’s security department’s entry-level product is Avira Free Security, and you can get it free of charge. It’s available for all PCs, Macs, Androids and iOS devices. The free software offers protection against different forms of malware and threats – ransomware, adware, spyware, hacking, phishing, rootkits, trojans, and worms.

Unlike most security vendors, Avira doesn’t sell your data and never will. Nor do they share your data with 3rd parties such as government, Big Tech, or advertising networks.

Avira also offers Avira Antivirus Pro, which has new anti-ransomware stops, even unknown mutations before they attack. It also lets you bank, shop, pay, and email with complete confidence, while repairing files.

Avira’s mid-tier option is called Avira Internet Security, and it’s only available for PCs. It adds a layer of real-time identity and PC protection. As our lives are mostly online, it is a crucial part of staying safe.

In addition to everything the free option can do, Internet Security also automatically blocks online threats, generates and saves strong passwords for you, detects and fixes software vulnerabilities, and blocks annoying ads and web trackers.

Its password manager can also log you in automatically to safe sites, and synchronize passwords and account details across all devices. A unique feature is its master password, which lets you in all the sites you need, but sites actually all have distinct passwords.

The software update feature keeps all your software and drivers safely up to date, covering more than 150 applications. It can identify and install the latest updates with just one click. At the same time, it automatically patches your security holes and optimizes hardware performance.

Browser safety options include a discrete add-on for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera that blocks annoying ads and video commercials, prevents ad networks from tracking you, and stops millions of infected and phishing websites from loading.

Avira also offers a separate VPN called Avira Phantom VPN, that lets you quickly access all the sites and services you love with complete privacy and security. It is available on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

If you’re looking for the ultimate security suite for all your devices, then Avira has a top of the line product called Avira Prime. It’s basically every product they have to offer and then some.

You’ll get antivirus protection, secure browsing options, and security for your smartphones. It also keeps your software and drivers up to date and comes with a secure price comparison tool that finds money-saving deals and coupons when you’re shopping.

An unlimited VPN usage is included as well with a password management option. You can optimize over 200 privacy settings with just one click. Prime also has a PC cleaner that cleans junk files, speeds up your boot time, and reduces lags.

If you’re ever in need of assistance, Avira Prime gets you VIP customer support, so you’ll always be in the front of the queue.

View all Avira products

The list of extra features seems long for both Bitdefender and Avira. Both software options have anti-malware and VPN abilities. That is why we have to call it a tie.

Winner: It’s a tie

Pricing

When deciding which option to go with, price is always an important part. You have to take all the details into account to make the best decision. When investing in antivirus software, you are not purchasing an application but rather an ease-of-mind that your digital life is in safe hands.

So let’s see which price points are offered by both products. Here are the prices of both Bitdefender and Avira products.

Bitdefender offers four different levels of protection for you with its products. You can buy its antivirus and privacy products separately or as a bundle.

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

    A lightweight antivirus that offers essential protection for 1 to 10 PCs.

    Starting at $19,99
  2. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac

    A lightweight antivirus that offers essential protection 1 to 3 Macs.

    Starting at $19,99
  1. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Internet Security

    An Internet security suite that protects your Windows PC against all online threats.

    Starting at $29,99
  2. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Total Security

    Complete protection for all your devices that goes beyond antivirus & anti-malware software. For up to 10 devices.

    Starting at $44,99
  3. Bitdefender Antivirus logo

    Bitdefender Premium Security

    Premium security and privacy pack for absolute digital freedom – protection, unlimited VPN traffic, and priority support. For 10 devices.

    Starting at $89,99

As described in the features section, Avira has three-tiers of protection worth considering.

  1. Avira Antivirus logo

    Avira Antivirus Pro

    Antivirus with new anti-ransomware that stops even unknown mutations before they attack. Available for up to 5 devices.

    Starting at $34,95
  2. Avira Antivirus logo

    Avira Internet Security

    Antivirus suite with a much-needed layer of real-time identity and PC protection. Available for up to 5 devices

    Starting at $44,95
  3. Avira Antivirus logo

    Avira Prime

    The ultimate security suite for all your devices. The best Avira has to offer from 5 up to 25 devices.

    Starting at $99,95

Both Bitdefender and Avira are very reasonably priced. Still, you can get entry-level products a bit cheaper from Bitdefender. Mid- and top-level bundles are priced about the same, though.

Winner: Bitdefender

Final Thoughts

In the most crucial category, Protection, Bitdefender, and Avira are equal. That is why we have to take a look at other aspects. With little to no impact on the computer’s ability to perform, Avira takes the win of this head-to-head battle. It’s performance figures are among the best in the industry. With zero false reports, it’s a perfect addition to your computer.

Keep in mind that we give our best to get you all the facts so you can make an informed decision about the best option. After all, you are the one that is going to use the software. We hope this review has been helpful to you.