If you own a personal computer, you will require protection from viruses just to go about your regular activities.
It used to be that if you followed some basic good computer habits you could avoid getting your system infected with a virus or malware, but it's no longer so simple. Avoiding browsing, streaming and downloading content from unreliable sources can help you dodge some obvious threats but securing your computer doesn’t stop there.
This is where antivirus software comes into play because unfortunately, malicious code can be lurking anywhere. It could be hiding in your email, on an unsecured website, or inside of a USB given away for free. There is a wide variety of antivirus software out there, so our experts sift through the latest antivirus and malware protection software to bring you the best.
Antivirus software comes in two varieties, passive or active. Passive versions leave it up to you to decide when you want to check your computer for new threats. Active versions are constantly running in the background and will alert you when they find something suspicious.
The best antivirus software runs on your computer 24/7 and is connected to the company's live database of virus signatures. New viruses and exploits are being developed all the time, so the best antiviruses are constantly being updated with an ever-expanding catalog of viruses to look out for.
Should your antivirus find a potential virus in your system it will give you three options. The first and the best course of action in most cases is to delete the threat. Some viruses are built in a way that makes it impossible to delete them, in that case, the second-best option is to quarantine it. The last option is to have your antivirus ignore a file you know to be safe.
Whether it’s better to install a free antivirus or invest in a paid version depends on the type of activities you perform on your device and other circumstances like - whether or not you have children using your computer.
Most experts will urge you to get a paid version, but free versions are great for testing a product or trying out new features. However, in the long run, they will fail to provide substantial protection. Which might end up costing you more long-term.
With paid versions of antivirus software, you get total protection upfront, both online and offline, with highest-ranked detection and prevention rates. If you think your system might already be infected then a premium antivirus software is what you need for immediate virus removal and system cleanup. From then on it will also provide protection from future viruses and provide an additional layer of encryption for your sensitive data.
Protecting your computer is something you can expect from every antivirus software on the market, so here are some other features to consider.
Compatibility - You will need antivirus software that is compatible with your system. Many companies make versions for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.
Internet Security - Computers connected to the internet will need an antivirus with a built-in firewall to stop viruses from ever taking hold.
Email Security - Some antiviruses are capable of scanning your inbox for possible spyware, spam, and phishing scams.
Gaming Compatibility - If you’re a heavy gamer, software with “gaming mode” features will provide the most protection with the least interruption to your gaming experience.
Parental Control - If you have children then you'll want an antivirus that provides parental controls to keep your kids safe from online threats.
The number of antiviruses and their features can be overwhelming. This is why our expert reviews are here to help you make the choice that caters to all your needs.