Aura Antivirus 2024: Review Summary
Aura is ranked #22 of the 28 best antivirus of 2024.
Aura is a solid antivirus solution with good malware detection capabilities, and identity theft safeguards for US customers. Sadly, Aura doesn’t offer a firewall or parental controls. And both the VPN and password manager can’t match those of the best antivirus software.
Even more critical, Aura does not participate in the independent tests by AV-Test, which is not a good sign. Without these tests, we have no verifiable benchmark to compare it against. Therefore, we would stick to one of the proven winners, like Norton 360 Deluxe.
If you want the best protection, we recommend Norton.
|#22 of 28
|Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Aura Antivirus 2024: Full Review
We tested Aura and found it to be a solid choice for identity theft protection, especially for US users. It caught most malware in our tests but falls short on scan customization. Aura excels in monitoring things like bank accounts and credit reports, alerting you if your identity is at risk.
However, we were unimpressed with Aura’s VPN and password manager. It also misses key features like a firewall and parental controls, which you can find in cheaper alternatives like Norton and Bitdefender.
We tested Aura’s anti-malware capabilities and found it fairly robust, detecting about 96% of various malware types including spyware and ransomware. It offers Quick, Full, and Custom Scans, but it lacks the advanced heuristic analysis and machine learning features you’d find in Norton and Bitdefender.
Our experience on Mac was similar in terms of detection, but its real-time protection was less impressive. If you’re a Mac user, Intego might be a better choice for you.
A big downside for us was the absence of scan scheduling and logs, making it harder to manage security trends and performance impact. This is something most top competitors offer. Overall, Aura’s good for basic malware protection, but it could do better in offering a complete, user-friendly package.
We tried out Aura’s password manager and found it quite basic. It lets you store usernames and passwords, but that’s pretty much it. Unlike top standalone options like 1Password and Dashlane, it lacks auto-fill, password sharing, biometric login, and 2-factor authentication (2FA).
We also tested Aura’s browser extension and mobile apps but were unimpressed, as they offer no additional features like auto-filling. In comparison, even free alternatives like Avira’s Password Manager offer more functionality. Overall, Aura’s password manager is quite limited and not as user-friendly or secure as we’d like.
We put Aura’s VPN through its paces and found it offers basic encryption and privacy features. It performed well in speed tests, with only a minor 2% drop in connection speeds, allowing for smooth 4K streaming and quick downloads.
However, it lacks essential features like location options and a kill switch, which are standard in top-tier VPNs. It did well for domestic streaming but fell short for international content and isn’t ideal for torrenting due to the absence of a kill switch.
For a basic layer of encryption, Aura’s VPN works, but if you’re after more advanced features and functionalities, you’ll want to consider other options on the market.
Identity theft protection
We explored Aura’s identity theft protection suite and found it to be one of its strongest features, although it’s only available for US customers. The dashboard is user-friendly and offers a broad range of services from credit and bank monitoring to dark web and Social Security surveillance.
We were particularly impressed by the insurance policy, covering up to $5 million for expenses like lost wages and legal fees in case of identity theft. Dedicated agents are also on hand to assist with fraud resolution.
However, top competitors like Norton offer similar comprehensive protection at a lower cost. If you’re US-based and looking for a robust identity theft protection service, Aura is a strong contender but do compare it with other cost-effective options.
We tested Aura’s mobile apps and found them straightforward but lacking in features compared to rivals like Norton and McAfee. The Android version does include an antivirus scanner that did a decent job but didn’t reach the 100% detection rates of leading competitors. On the iOS front, the app offers minimal features, making it less appealing for iPhone users.
We also assessed Aura’s customer support and were only impressed with their phone service, available 24/7 in English. Their email support was slow and unhelpful, recommending we call instead of addressing our queries. Unlike top competitors, Aura also lacks 24/7 live chat and has a less comprehensive FAQ section.
Plans and pricing
We examined Aura’s plans and pricing and here’s the lowdown. Aura offers three main plans: Individual, Couple, and Family. All plans include antivirus, VPN, and a password manager. The key differences lie in the number of covered devices and people, plus insurance payouts for identity theft—though this feature is US-only.
The Individual Plan costs $120/year and is suitable if you want basic coverage for up to 10 devices and a $1 million insurance policy. However, Norton offers more features at a lower cost.
The Couple Plan, at $216/year, extends coverage to 20 devices and two people, with a $2 million insurance limit. It’s a generous offer, but we think most couples won’t need protection on 20 devices.
Lastly, the Family Plan costs $348/year and covers up to 50 devices for five users. It also offers up to $5 million in identity theft insurance. Compared to Norton’s LifeLock family plan, it’s pricier, but it does cover more devices.
Aura’s annual plans include a 60-day money-back guarantee, but this isn’t offered for monthly subscriptions.
In summary, Aura’s plans offer good basic protection but can get expensive, especially if you don’t need coverage for that many devices. Norton and Bitdefender offer more features for less money, making them more cost-effective choices.
Test score comparison
Next to our own anti-malware tests, we analyze those by AV-Test. We’ve compared the results of the 10 most recent tests for Windows 10. The tests were performed by AV-Test, the German anti-malware test lab. They use three factors:
- Protection (1-6): Antivirus protection against malware attacks.
- Performance (1-6): System slowdown caused by the antivirus.
- Usability (1-6): Frequency of false alarms and disruptions.
We used their results, and this formula, to calculate the final score:
Final Score = 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.
Brands not listed in the table haven’t participated in the analysis by AV-Test. This is usually not a good sign. Because most reputable brands, except Panda, ESET, and Sophos, partake in the test.
We’ve compared the prices of the top antivirus products for Windows. To make it a fair comparison, we looked at what it would cost us, to protect a single Windows PC with the most essential features:
- Anti-phishing (web protection)
- Password manager
- Unlimited VPN (no data limit)
A few notes:
- Some brands are missing features, lowering their value for money.
- Prices are second-year prices in the USA, without first-year discounts.
- Prices are rounded up for readability (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).
Brands have different prices outside the USA. See those on their website.
We’ve compared the user reviews of all antivirus brands. We’ve used the scores and review count of TrustPilot, a leading user review platform. However, take these results with a grain of salt, as some brands actively attempt to increase their ratings.
Personally, we are wary of exceptionally high scores. Especially those by brands such as TotalAV, known for aggressive marketing and sales tactics.
We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 good and realistic. Higher scores are dubious, and lower scores indicate that the brand might have a poor product or customer service. McAfee’s scores, for instance, are worrying.
How we test antivirus software
Below we describe how we run our tests. For even more details, visit our blog posts on how we test antivirus software.
Anti-malware protection test
We analyze antivirus software’s capability to detect and eliminate known and unknown malware, using heuristic analysis for behavior monitoring.
We conduct in-house tests and analyze those from labs like AV-Test, SE Labs, and AV-Comparatives to determine the best malware protection.
Malware includes adware, keyloggers, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, trojans, viruses, worms, and more. Other cyber threats, usually not classified as malware, are (zero-day) exploits, hacks, identity theft, phishing attacks, scams, and social engineering.
False positives test
False positives occur when antivirus software misidentifies legitimate software, files, or websites as malicious. We rely on AV-Test’s large-scale analysis of false positives in its usability test to guide our evaluations.
System performance test
We measure the CPU load during antivirus software system scans and consider AV-Test’s performance results on the slowdown caused by antivirus software when opening websites and handling software.
We evaluate two-way firewalls that filter incoming and outgoing data and allow users to set rules to regulate data streams. We use the ShieldsUP! test to determine if the antivirus software blocks all ports.
Password manager test
We assess password managers’ ability to create, store, and autofill secure passwords, as well as additional features like two-factor authentication and biometric login.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) test
We evaluate built-in VPNs on their security, privacy, speed, compatibility with streaming services, unlimited data access, and support for peer-to-peer networks and torrent clients.
Parental control test
We examine parental control features, such as screen time rules, website/app blocking, and real-world location tracking. We test these features on a device and attempt to circumvent them, checking if the activity is accurately reported in the parental control admin.
Anti-phishing protection test
We evaluate antivirus browser extensions that block phishing sites by installing them and attempting to visit dangerous URLs.
Ransomware protection test
We assess security suites’ ability to prevent data encryption through exploit prevention and behavioral detection during ransomware attacks.
Bonus features test
We test any additional cybersecurity tools such as:
- Ad Blocker
- Dark web monitoring (identity protection)
- Email protection
- File encryption
- File shredder
- Gaming mode
- Microphone protection
- PC maintenance features
- Secure browser (hardened browser to protect your online banking)
- Secure cloud storage (cloud backup)
- Spam filter
- Startup optimizer
- Tune up tools
- Virtual keyboard
- Webcam protection
Ownership and reputation test
We analyze the trustworthiness of antivirus companies, especially concerning customer data. We read press releases, news articles, and privacy policies to determine their reputation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most frequently asked questions.
Is Aura a good antivirus program?
How do we test antivirus software?
We analyze the protection from malware, the performance impact on a PC, and the number of false positives. On top of that, we test various security features such as the firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.
Author: Tibor Moes
Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab