Whenever you have a concern about installation, it’s always sensible to cancel and do a little research.
Avira is actually an anti-virus product. These days, they seem to be adding things to the utility to make it more like an anti-spyware product. I suspect that that’s why the installation asked you to uninstall the other programs.
Still, your scenario is interesting and there is a lot going on behind the scenes. Let’s talk about why Avira wants you to uninstall the other programs and what your options are.
Multiple anti-malware tools
There are definitely potential issues when you install multiple products of the same type of program, like two anti-virus or two anti-spyware programs, on your machine.
Both of these types of programs typically have real-time scanning ability, which would be turned on by default when you installed them. The result is that it’s likely that two anti-virus products scanning in real-time at the same time might bump into each other and cause some problems. The same goes for anti-spyware tools.
Both Trusteer and Spybot are anti-spyware products. I’m not as familiar with Trusteer, but Spybot is very reputable.
As I said in the beginning of this article, Avira is primarily an anti-virus tool that has apparently added anti-spyware functionality as well. As a result it could now come into conflict with not only other anti-virus programs, but anti-spyware tools as well.
If Avira provides anti-spyware functionality, you simply may not need Trusteer or Spybot. On the other hand, you’ve been using Trusteer and Spybot for some time. Do you really need Avira to provide that same functionality?
Why Avira wants you to uninstall Spybot and Trusteer
For whatever reason, let’s say that the answer to that last question is yes. That brings us to the problem that you’re having with installation.
Now, some set-up programs are just overcautious. Avira’s set-up program may be able to detect anti-spyware tools already on your machine and simply direct you to uninstall them just in case there is a conflict.
But once everything is installed, it’s possible that Avira might not conflict with Trusteer or Spybot. It might work fine. We just don’t know.
Why would Avira want you to uninstall? They may have very good reasons for it. Avira might just be saying this in case you actually do have multiple products installed. If something goes wrong, they can blame the problem on the other product or the fact that you installed multiple products on your machine.
Options with multiple anti-malware tools
This may sound complex or confusing, but now that we’ve looked at the reasons why this is happening, let’s talk about your options moving forward. It really boils down to three possible approaches that you could take from this point.
The first is you could do as Avira suggests; you uninstall Spybot and Trusteer and simply rely on Avira to provide both your anti-virus and your anti-spyware functionality.
I don’t have a lot of information on Avira’s anti-spyware capabilities, but the product has been around for a long time and they are recommended by other folks that I do trust. I don’t really have too much concern leaving it that way.
Another approach is to do what you suggested. Uninstall those two programs, install Avira, and then reinstall Spybot and Trusteer. Again, it may cause problems, but it may not. You’ll have to watch out for issues, like programs reporting false positives (like viruses when there are none) or crashing, once everything is installed.
And finally, the bottom line is to switch from Avira to a dedicated anti-virus program. That way, you could leave your existing anti-spyware tools in place. It’s an option, but I don’t know that this is necessary.
If you do end up going down with this third route, I’d send you to my article, “What security software do you recommend?” If you read that, you’ll find that Avira is listed there as well.
So, those are the options in your scenario. Like I said, it’s fairly confusing. If I were in your shoes right now, my advice is to do as they suggest and see how it goes.