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My HORRIBLE experience with AVIRA GmbH

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#1 by Darkstar2 » Fri Jan 07, 2022 16:51

I have been a loyal PAYING customer for so many years with AVIRA, what was at the time a highly rated antivirus software with very good detection rates, it has remained consistent over the years, although it is quite expensive as you have to pay a yearly subscription, and extra if you have more than one computer. I would always wait until near the end of the year to snag some good discounts. Then they started being a bit more expensive for my taste, because they offer 1 license for a price and the next tier is 3 license, I have 2 PCs, so I am forced to buy a 3 license plan. So I finally found a solution, buy from an authorised reseller. For some time I have purchased the keys from ITFactory, it is a Canadian company, and they sell keys for some software - of course it is legit and the keys are authorised, never had an issue activating those keys through my AVIRA dashboard. It works the same way as buying AVIRA from a 3rd party retail shop and using the key. No problem so far. Here is when things get complicated with AVIRA.

My complaints pretty much mirror those many complaints on their community forum. I am a user of Avira Pro, only the anti-virus portion not the rest of their products. For some reason AVIRA DECIDED it was a good idea to FORCE us to isntall their entire internet protection suite and bloat - even though I only use Avira Pro, it's now policy, I have to download AVIRA Security Suite, which automatically isntalls Phantom VPN and other components without my bloody permission !!! Strike #1. No big deal I guess, I can learn to live with that, can even manually uninstall Phantom VPN, but some other components remain, no problem, it's still far better than AVG's intrusive spyware and adware ridden garbage, paying and non paying users are getting flooded with ad pop-ups. Then, AVIRA decides to take up a notch, new changes to their software, you can no longer activate your license key through the software - you must buy directly from AVIRA and they activate your subscription through your online account - you must be online at all times, strike #2 !!!! they did this change without advanced notice.......now here's the problem, this year I had already purchased a license key from ITFactory, but shocked to find out there is nowhere in AVIRA Pro where I can activate that ******* license key, so after doing some research I found out posts on their forum where they stated that we can no longer activate keys this way - gee thanks a lot AVIRA for letting us know beforehand, STRIKE #3 !!!!, so I ended up contacting ITFactory and requesting a refund for the key.........Meanwhile I got a good deal from AVIRA to purchase Prime with 60% off, so I paid AVIRA directly and subscribed to 1 year 3 devices Avira Prime for $45 CAD VAT included,
great deal, whilst I wait for the refund from ITFactory.

Next morning, I receive a reply from ITFactory stating that they activated my license key for me through a special redemption link they had, they told me they were not even aware of AVIRA's change and not being able to activate offline, so much for bad communication from AVIRA, I was LIVID.........Because I was not aware of that special web link to activate licenses, this is likely a link used when you buy the boxed version at other retail shops, but never did AVIRA warn me to use this link nor did ITFACTORY, so NOW, I have 2 bloody subscriptions for the same year in my AVIRA dashboard !!!! Brilliant -

SO, I guess the only thing for me to do was request a full refund from AVIRA, for the purchased Avira Prime subscription, since I already have another active Avira Pro license that was activated by ITFactory without checking with me first when I asked for a refund ! I am entitled to a refund, it says so in AVIRA's site, 30 days.........
But here is the problem - AVIRA's support is GARBAGE - people who complain on their forum are told to contact support, but yet support rarely replies to tickets, and refund requests are often ignored, and I am not the only one, I have not written on their forum yet. Coming from a German company I am surprised that AVIRA has become so horrible. I still believe their software still has a competitive detection rate for VIRUSES, alongside Malwarebytes Premium which I use as well, but their support has gone downhill, and being forced to install sh*t you don't use is unacceptable.

So now I am stuck having paid twice for a 2022 subscription and AVIRA ignoring my refund request, I mean hopefully they will reply to me soon and not wait after the 30 days has passed only to tell me I am not entitled to a refund.

I have come this close to switching to another AV, but apparently they are no better, AVG has gone downhill too big time, bad support and spyware / adware ridden software.

and then software companies wonder why they have to deal with piracy ? At this point in time I would not think twice, if there was a working pirated version of Avira Pro, with the level of disrespect AVIRA has for its PAYING customers.
So to curb piracy they removed the ability to activate through keys, BUT at the same time, they are causing a lot of trouble for PAYING customers.

That said, AVIRA has pretty much saved me a few times, but their software and support over the years has gone down, when you charge a lot of money for your software and expect people to pay for it and not steal it, then you better offer stellar support otherwise you are giving me a good excuse for piracy. This is the same scenario that happens with videogames with heavy DRM that has caused issues with some people, PAYING CUSTOMERS, who have been forced to install cracks in order to play the game they PAID for - that's pathetic.
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#2 by suraraj » Sat Jan 08, 2022 08:51

I always use Kaspersky internet security with a three years license. It is also very good at giving protection. Here most people use K7 and Quickheal.
Last edited by suraraj » Sat Jan 08, 2022 08:58 » edited 2 times in total
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#3 by Darkstar2 » Sat Jan 08, 2022 09:03

suraraj wrote: I always use Kaspersky internet security with a three years license. It is also very good at giving protection. Here most people use K7 and Quickheal.

They have been facing a lot of controversy - their products were banned from government use in 2017, there were other instances where they used spyware and tracked stuff without your knowledge. Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaspersky_Lab

Of course, it's Russian - they have some of the best hackers in the world, would you trust them to make an antivirus software without sneaking in some stuff ? I'll stick with Avira for now until my license expires, then I'll hunt for another one, AVIRA has gone from a well respected company to a crummy one at best for their business practices, though their detection rates are still decent though, not much in the malware department, but for viruses in the wild they have excellent protection - for malware I use Malwarebytes Premium, it's one of the best and never had issues with them.
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#4 by Nikorj » Sat Jan 08, 2022 15:12

Back in the days Kaspersky had a very good reputation, Don't know if this is still the case as i am rarely using paid real-time scanners anymore.

As long as you're cautious and scan your pc regularly there's not so much to be worried off as many off the security holes have been patched tightly on windows 7 and even more with windows 10, Even windows security are starting to annoy me as hell when browsing the net.

The good old days with severely virus infected operating system is (Unless you turn the protection off yourself or if you are my Father) long gone, The new virus we have to fear is called Microsoft and their telemetry services. If it wasn't for gaming, I had switched to Linux long ago.

BTW Darkstar!!, If there is some crap you can't find an uninstaller for, I can recommend "Revo uninstaller" Free and much better than Windows own.

You can also run a virtual machine to prevent infections on your real OS, Good for shady sites like!! um you know what i am talking about :lol:
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#5 by suraraj » Sat Jan 08, 2022 19:18

Darkstar2 wrote:
suraraj wrote: I always use Kaspersky internet security with a three years license. It is also very good at giving protection. Here most people use K7 and Quickheal.

They have been facing a lot of controversy - their products were banned from government use in 2017, there were other instances where they used spyware and tracked stuff without your knowledge. Read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaspersky_Lab

Of course, it's Russian - they have some of the best hackers in the world, would you trust them to make an antivirus software without sneaking in some stuff ? I'll stick with Avira for now until my license expires, then I'll hunt for another one, AVIRA has gone from a well respected company to a crummy one at best for their business practices, though their detection rates are still decent though, not much in the malware department, but for viruses in the wild they have excellent protection - for malware I use Malwarebytes Premium, it's one of the best and never had issues with them.

I know that it is an Russian company.But the quality is good and I am having a very good experience. Even a small security mismatch is alerted and I am very satisfied. They are also economical that Norton.
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#6 by tasman1 » Sat Jan 08, 2022 20:03

Kaspersky internet security is still one of the best in the world in my opinion , for me I use now only internet free solution, , changing every year different one ....... heck to many bills to pay , you go and pay one bill and you come back home you find another one in letter box
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#7 by Darkstar2 » Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:16

Nikorj wrote: Back in the days Kaspersky had a very good reputation, Don't know if this is still the case as i am rarely using paid real-time scanners anymore.

Well in 2017, the US government discontinued use of Kaspersky products. Apparently it came to light that they were allegedly involved with the Russian intelligence or something, but whatever it is, something happened and it pushed the US government to stop using it, so this suggests to me that the software could hide spyware or do things in the background without your permission, maybe mining, spying, sending data back, who knows, either way there are other sites that have reported issues with the software too, so nope, I'm OK with Google and Microsoft using aggregated data, because they tell you they are doing so, if only people read the fine print :mrgreen: but if I am to be used by Russian intelligence, they better pay me for it :mrgreen:

Quote:
As long as you're cautious and scan your pc regularly there's not so much to be worried off as many off the security holes have been patched tightly on windows 7 and even more with windows 10, Even windows security are starting to annoy me as hell when browsing the net.

This is a misconception you are never too safe, and yes Windows has been patched mainly for vulnerabilities, but that's not the whole story. BTW, I'm on Windows 11 Pro now and much of its security features will still not be enough, it will for windows vulnerabilities, and defender AV whilst better than they used to be is still not up to par with other antivirus software - it's highly recommended to have a good malware and antivirus software for maximum protection. It is a misconception that only people visiting porn and piracy sites need them, I have seen malicious ads and malware on legit sites - don't look far, these wall offers are full of them :D I've once purchased a hardware in a local store, Best Buy, some years ago, and the original installation disc was infected with a virus - and no it was NOT a false positive, luckily the antivirus caught it - this was a known issue and after searching the web I read that the product was removed from shelves - you are never protected enough. Unfortunately I see malicious content posted in many legit sites - even on social media - or ANY site that uses ads from 3rd party providers are vulnerable.

Quote:
The good old days with severely virus infected operating system is (Unless you turn the protection off yourself or if you are my Father) long gone, The new virus we have to fear is called Microsoft and their telemetry services. If it wasn't for gaming, I had switched to Linux long ago.

The whole thing with Windows and telemetry is blown out of proportion - I'm an advanced user, I've never used Windows out of the box, I have always made my own tweaks and trimming of fat, and you if you are proficient in writing powershell scripts, registry, etc, you can do lots, and if you aren't, there are many free tools to turn that stuff off, and for more advanced users they can turn all of it off. I have never had an issue with Windows telemetry, Microsoft does not HIDE it from you, it's just that people do not read. Those same people who complain of windows, are also using web e-mail, google and voice assistants, which are all ridden with telemetry :lol: Google tracks your searches and other stuff, yahoo e-mail tracks keywords in your e-mail to send you relevant ads, voice assistants save your voice requests on their servers, even smart toilets have telemetry :mrgreen: Luckily there are tools to tweak windows to get rid of that. I'm a Windows Insiders member so in my case I cannot disable telemetry, full telemetry is a requirement to receive insiders updates, and believe me, if you are using windows 11, you want to be enrolled in that, to receive the bug fixes and not have to wait for preview or semi annual releases :D So people do not like being tracked, what sites they visit, etc, much of this can be turned of in windows, though through windows itself you cannot fully turn off ALL telemetry, only with 3rd party tools - the data collected is aggregate anyway, it's not like Microsoft knows your real name and where you live, and besides, unless you are a fugitive or doing criminal activities online, you should not be concerned about telemetry in windows, because all your online activity is being tracked anyway by 1) your internet provider 2) Google 3) Yahoo, 4) most sites and software you use :D If you are not a windows insiders member just use 3rd party tools and turn it off and don't worry about the stuff you can't, it's aggregate. There's far more data collected about you doing surveys here than all windows versions :lol:

So the point of this is, any software company that HIDES its telemetry is something to run away from. Microsoft does not hide it, it's just that most people just install windows and F the rest :D the telemetry options are just there if you look for them under settings and when you install windows you even have the option to use FULL or just required (minimal) telemetry. So if you are a serial killer, escaped prison, fugitive, you might wanna consider turning off telemetry right now :lol:

Quote:
BTW Darkstar!!, If there is some crap you can't find an uninstaller for, I can recommend "Revo uninstaller" Free and much better than Windows own.

Indeed, that's why I use it - it's something that should be included in all versions of windows, and it's not tied to the Russian mafia or have hidden spyware. I use the paid version of course, the Pro.

Quote:
You can also run a virtual machine to prevent infections on your real OS, Good for shady sites like!! um you know what i am talking about :lol:

You can say it, porn ? Well no, I do not visit shady sites, too busy for that and looking for some stable income now in addition to the survey insanity :D but like I said any site that hosts 3rd party content is not safe, you can be vulnerable to viruses anywhere, it's not limited to porn sites or torrents :lol:

I don't bother with VMs, that's old school - For safe testing what I do is have separate installations of windows through VHDx, basically only disk is virtualised, the rest is native, for 100% compatibility and performance. I use SSDs now, so my MAIN system install is a normal install, and for testing, I have a VHDx file, all I do is add the entry into the BCD store, and with my SSD all it takes is restarting and selecting the VHDx, and 7 seconds later I am booted to full desktop, ideally is to have a separate SSD drive for that stuff and a dedicated SSD for system drive. Same if you are a gamer, 1 SSD for your system and 1 for where your games get installed into.

The only time I would bother with a VM is if I want to use old software that are not compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, or for nostalgia :D
I don't know why Kaspersky would be involved with Russian intelligence or mafia allegedly, but I don't trust them.

I use AOMEI Backupper which is in my opinion one of the best, most user friendly backup software out there, it's made in China, and even that is not involved with the CCP or mafia, totally safe, and better than any of the plethora of garbage I have used before. It's not about the country, I have nothing against Russian software, but companies that hide affiliation, run stuff on your computer without your knowledge is shady at best, I avoid that like plague.
Windows is not one of them because they don't hide it - and most people should understand that a lot of software they use, has telemetry enabled by default, even your beloved browsers, though you can disable it for the most part but it's on by default.

I wouldn't be surprised if electric toothbrushes, and vibrators had telemetry, because after all you know that companies take our safety and well being to heart so they wanna know how we use our software and products to innovate and make it better :lol: (/end sarcasm :P)
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#8 by Darkstar2 » Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:24

tasman1 wrote: Kaspersky internet security is still one of the best in the world in my opinion , for me I use now only internet free solution, , changing every year different one ....... heck to many bills to pay , you go and pay one bill and you come back home you find another one in letter box

Well then why did the US ban its use at government level ? They didn't do so because it's made in Russia.
I'll pass on Kaspersky. I heard AVG has good comparative scores too, only problem with AVG is that many people are complaining of intrusive ads and pop-ups, even the paid version - people are livid on the forums, and many have uninstalled the software. It's kind of ironic to install a security suite that is supposed to protect your system against crap, and yet it contains its own crap. I might decide to use AVG and see for myself - there are ways to manually disable the adware, but it gets restored back each time you update the bloody software.

Hopefully AVIRA will respond to me and refund me for my dupe license, if not I will raise a storm - it's a shame that companies only react when you raise your tone or use social media.

So far AVIRA has been great for me int he detection rates. I used to be a big fan of F-PROT, which was a big thing at the time - what a shame that it became such a joke now, then after that I used Norton, another pile of bloated poo, I used McCaffee at some point, though it was for a short period, besides, I do not support software founded by criminal(s).
So I've been with AVIRA ever since :D
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