- Free, unlimited syncing between devices
- Strong account security
- Built-in mobile authenticator
- 14-day money-back guarantee
- Storage for passwords only
- Pay-only core security features
- Expensive upgrades
Over the years, password managers have evolved significantly, providing various security features and storage options for virtually any kind of credential. Still, there are many people who want nothing more from a password manager than what the built-in solutions of internet browsers do, namely keeping logins safe by your side whenever they are needed. This is exactly what Avira Password Manager offers, it undoubtedly being one of the simplest password management solutions on the market. Despite only being capable of storing and recalling passwords, this password manager still has many features that showcase just why Avira has been considered one of the top internet security companies since 1986. In fact, the software’s security features are so strong that hacking the encrypted vault is virtually impossible. And to make the app an even more worthy choice, Avira has made cloud syncing between devices, usually a pay-only feature, free of charge.
Although learning the basics of any modern password manager isn’t a challenge at all, Avira’s online password manager has a ridiculously simple and straightforward interface. This is already a huge advantage, but what’s even more surprising is that unlike many of its competitors Avira doesn’t require a subscription to use cloud syncing. Even if you are on the free plan, your vault’s content will be shared across any devices that Avira Password Manager is used on.
Managing credentials is also a breeze with this password manager. Password entries can be created easily, but thanks to the built-in search bar, various sorting tabs, a favorites list, or the tagging option, finding the right login takes no effort, too. Additionally, these credentials can have notes added to them, as well, though these can be separated under the appropriately named “Notes” category.
Unfortunately, since there are no further categories beside passwords and secure notes, the “Notes” category is the only place where sensitive data like IDs and credit cards can be housed within Avira. Notes cannot be recalled with the browser extension, as is the case with passwords and logins, meaning that any data stored securely as a note has to be typed in manually, making tasks such as entering credit card details tedious and risky, too, due to the lack of the end-to-end protection when copying and pasting such details.
There is no separate password generator either, instead users can only generate a password – and customize its length and complexity – when a new entry is added into the vault or if an existing login is updated. Despite this lack of convenience, however, Avira’s solution properly evaluates the strength of new passwords using a traffic light color coding system and, interestingly, a suggestion of the time that it would require hackers to crack the credential in question. Passwords can be further evaluated under the “Security Status” tab, but note that this feature only works properly if you are a paying user.
Apps & Browser Extensions
Since it’s a pretty basic solution, the browser extension of Avira Password Manager isn’t too advanced, and it’s limited to only Chrome, Firefox, and Opera users. For starters, the add-on is incapable of importing passwords and other credentials from the chosen browser’s existing collection on its own, meaning that the vault has to be filled in manually either by typing your credentials in or waiting for Avira’s save prompt to appear. Thankfully, recalling passwords is a bit better since logins can easily be selected, but Avira can also log you into an account automatically, too.
The same autofilling feature is also present in the software’s iOS and Android app counterparts, which are the almost exact copies of the desktop program in everything but appearance. Still, there are some additional features not present in the desktop version. Firstly, not only can the app autofill passwords for third-party apps, but it can act as their authenticator, too, replacing other similar apps like Google Authenticator. In addition to that, the app has reinforced protection thanks to the fact that it supports fingerprint login.
Due to being fully cloud-based, Avira’s setup should be a hassle-free process for users. Sadly, it’s quite the contrary, as Avira Password Manager cannot be used without creating an Avira Connect account first. This means that in order to access the vault, users have to log into the Avira account and then provide the master password that locks the password manager itself. Admittedly, this adds an extra layer of security to your most sensitive data, but this login process is needlessly complicated. At least the mobile version simplifies things a bit by requiring the Avira credentials only once, after which the mobile vault can be simply accessed with either the master password or your fingerprint.
Importing credentials into the vault is torturous, too. Although the browser add-on can effortlessly recall passwords, it is incapable of fetching them from the browser’s own database. Instead, users have no choice but to add everything one by one, wait for Avira’s save prompt, or export the necessary data to a .CSV file and then upload it to the Avira Password Manager vault. Using the .CSV method is undoubtedly the fastest and most convenient option, which comes in handy when migrating from one password manager to another. However, be advised that Avira may not be able to properly recognize certain types of data, not to mention that it will temporarily make passwords visible during the importing process.
Security & Privacy
Despite many of its questionable choices, Avira’s password manager is definitely on par with its competitors when it comes to data protection, and from a company that is specialized in internet security that is a basic expectation. The vault can be reinforced by activating two-factor authentication, however in this case this is handled through SMS codes. This is a bit weird considering that the app version works perfectly fine as an authenticator and, as such, Avira should support third-party authenticators by default.
There are smaller yet equally important security features, too. For instance, Avira encrypts data locally despite the fact that it is fully cloud-based, which is a huge asset for those who use this password manager on multiple devices and want to have their data synced. Avira is also capable of automatically locking itself after a certain amount of time and will properly list all the devices that the vault was accessed from, too. And then there is the pay-only security status feature, which not only evaluates the strength of each password but also monitors websites for security breaches or whether they lack the secure HTTPS protocol.
One of the biggest advantages of Avira Password Manager is that despite being a rather primitive solution, it’s completely free of charge. What’s even better is that unlike many of its competitors that limit cloud syncing to paid subscriptions, Avira’s software provides syncing between devices by default. Sadly, core features like security monitoring and the password strength evaluator are all parts of the Pro version which costs $2.99 per month, a rather unfair price considering the app’s limited nature. The only way to reduce the price or to get rid of it completely is to either subscribe for at least a year and make use of Avira Password Manager’s ‘pro’ features for $2.66 a month, or opt for one of the two Avira paid internet security packs that come with all password management features for free.
It’s worth mentioning that although both password manager subscription plans can easily be cancelled before the end of the payment period, Avira also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee that entitles you to a refund, no questions asked.
Sadly, the customer service of Avira is kind of a letdown, mostly because it’s hard to reach the company’s staff. For starters, phone or email support is only available to Pro members, leaving free users with just the forums and the company’s Facebook and Twitter channels. Alternatively, there is the option to turn to Avira’s security experts, but such services require an additional payment, the amount of which may vary significantly.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other ways to get help, though. Avira Password Manager’s dedicated web page has an FAQ with answers related to the most important questions, whereas information about security news and the nature of threats can be obtained from the blog or the Security Wordbook.
It’s obvious that Avira’s password manager is mostly intended for those who are looking for nothing more than keeping logins safe. Although it is pretty basic compared to its competitors, security-wise it’s actually quite strong – but then nothing less can be expected from a company known for its internet security solutions.
What’s more surprising is that the app even comes with features like autologin, which is rare even in the most advanced password managers. This is why it’s such a shame that Avira Password Manager is limited in every other aspect. While focusing only on password protection is somewhat understandable, making core security features like the password evaluator or the breach alert pay-only may not convey the message of a trustworthy program to some users. But even if it isn’t as strong feature-wise as other password management software, Avira Password Manager is still a decent solution with lots of potential in it.