Antivirus software is critical for every PC. You always have the risk of losing your data and personal information without it. The data includes all your files and even the cash from your bank account.
Antivirus software is a program or set of programs that are designed to prevent, search for, detect and remove software viruses and other malicious software.
Why do you need antivirus software?
These tools are critical for users to have installed and up-to-date. This is because a computer without antivirus software protection will be infected within minutes of connecting to the internet.
The bombardment is constant which means antivirus companies have to update their detection tools regularly.
Viruses can be programmed to cause damage to your device, prevent a user from accessing data and to take control of your computer.
What does antivirus software do?
Several different companies build software and what each offer can vary but all perform some basic functions:
1) Scans specific files for any malware or trojans
2) It allows you to schedule scans to automatically run for you.
3) Allows you to initiate a scan of a particular file or your PC at any time
4) Removes any malicious code when detected
5) shows you the health condition of your computer
You should ensure that you have the best and up-to-date security software installed to protect your computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
How does antivirus software work?
Many antivirus software programs still download malware definitions straight to your device and scan your files in search of matches. Most malware regularly morphs in appearance to avoid detection.
It stores malware definitions in Cloud instead of storing examples of recognized malware on your device. This allows us to take up less space, scan faster and maintain a more robust threat library.
Advantages of using antivirus software
1) Protection from viruses and their transmission
The software mainly performs a prophylactic function. It detects any potential virus and then works to remove it. Any antivirus may combat many viruses in a single day without your knowledge.
2) Block spam and ads
Pop-up ads and spam websites are one of the most used gateways by the viruses to infect your computer and then damage your files.
3) Defense against hackers and data thieves
Hackers usually use a malware to access their victim’s computer. They install malware into the computer without the knowledge of victim.
Hackers do so by sending malicious emails to the victims. The hacker can easily hack into their desired files and programs.
4) Ensures protection from removable devices
Sometimes your USB device can serve as a transmission device for a virus. So you should scan all the files in the device before using it with the help of antivirus.
5) Protect your data and files
The software keeps an eye on all the files that enter your system. All those files are put under a scan to check for any peculiarity or maliciousness.
Viruses can easily be transmitted to your network via infected files and can harm data and files. You may even lose your precious data.
We have tested many utilities to help you pick the best antivirus protection for your computers.
1) Bitdefender antivirus plus
- top scores from independent labs
- has best score in our hands-on anti-phishing test
- very good malicious URL blocking
- ransomware protection
- hardened browser
- many relevant bonus features
- has not so much good score on malware blocking test
The labs give Bitdefender antivirus plus top marks and it aces some of our own hand-on tests. Beyond that, it adds a wealth of security features that almost qualify it as a security suite.
- excellent scores from independent testing labs
- security watcher behavioral detection component enhances malware protection
- has good score in our phishing protection test
- uselful special features
- Has not so much good scores in hands-on testing of malware protection.
The independent antivirus testing labs consistently rank Kaspersky antivirus at the top. It remains an Editors’ Choice among paid antivirus utilities.
- multi-device protection
- has good scores in hands-on tests
- includes fire-wall and file shredder with many other bonus features
- has better scores from independent labs
- WebAdvisor’s site report didn’t work consistently in testing
A single subscription for McAfee antivirus plus lets you protect every Windows, Android, macOS and iOS device.
4) Symantec Norton basic
- has excellent scores in independent lab tests
- data protector defends against ransomware
- includes online backup
- exploit protection
- password manager with other bonus features
- data protector fared poorly in testing
- no multi-license pricing
Norton Antivirus Plus gets impressive scores in independent lab tests and hand-on tests. It offers a wealth of uselful features. However, it is expensive and doesn’t offer deals for multiple computer households.
5) Trend Micro antivirus plus security
- has excellent scores in our anti-phishing and malicious URL blocking tests
- multi-layered ransomware protection
- pay guard protects online transactions with bonus features
- has poor score in hands-on malware protection test
- banking protection doesn’t kick in automatically
- spam filter works only with Outlook
- no multi-device volume licensing
Trend Micro antivirus plus security offers layered protection against ransomware and a firewall booster, protection for online banking and more.
6) F-Secure Antivirus
- has good score in hands-on malware blocking test.
- speedy full scan
- behavioral-based DeepGuard detects brand new malware
- Advanced network protection
- streamlined and simple interface
- failed to block disk-encrypting ransomware and ransomware launched at startup
- no antiphishing URL blocking
- lab tests score good
F-secure antivirus’s fast full scan and DeepGuard behavior-based detection system make it a powerful malware fighter. But it failed some of our ransomware protection tests.
7) Malwarebytes Premium
- includes exploit protection
- ransomware protection
- behavioral-based detection
- can work in conjunction with traditional antivirus
- works well with windows defender
- advanced protection systems are difficult to test
- scores poorly in tests designed for traditional antivirus
Malwarebytes Premium has so many advanced protection layers that the company deems it an antivirus replacement. However, we still advise using it conjuction with a dedicated antivirus utility.
8) Sophos Home Premium
- has excellent antiphishing score
- very good malicious URL blocking score
- protects against ransomware, keybloggers, and exploits
- remote management for up to 10 PCs or Macs
- not so expensive
- lab test results not current
- advanced features require uncommon tech expertise
- limited parental control and webcam protection
The new Sophos Home Premium security suite brings consumers powerful protection technology forged in the company’s enterprise-level products. It includes ransomware protection, keylogger blocking, exploit mitigation and more.
It is not good to think that ransomware might encrypt your personal documents. You won’t appreciate getting burned by a Trojan that steals hundreds of dollars from your bank account.
Malware these days is about making money and there is no easy way to cash in on spreading a virus. Ransomware and data-stealing Trojans are much more common now.
These commercial products offer protection beyond the antivirus built into Windows 10. However, Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center is looking better and better lately.
The combination of good lab scores and a great score in hands-on malware protection test. It doesn’t appear in this roundup of commercial antivirus products.
Multi-layered Malware Protection
Antivirus products distinguish themselves by going beyond the basics of on-demand scanning and real-time malware protection.
Some rate URLs that you visit or that show up in search results using a red-yellow-green color-coding system. Some actively block processes on your system from connecting with known malware-hosting URLs or with fraudulent pages.
The software has flaws and sometimes those flaws affect your security. Prudent users keep windows and all programs patched, fixing those flaws as soon as possible.
The vulnerability scan offered by some antivirus products can verify that all necessary patches are present and even apply any that are missing.
Beyond Antivirus: VPN
Your antivirus utility works in the background to keep out any faint possibility of infestation by malware. But its abilities don’t extend beyond the bounds of your computer.
Sticking to https websites when possible can help. But for full protection of your data in transit you should install a Virtual Private Network or VPN.
This component is important enough that we are starting to see it as a bonus feature in some antivirus tools.
What is the best malware protection?
You have a wealth of options. Kaspersky antivirus and Bitdefender antivirus plus routinely take perfect scores from the independent antivirus testing labs.
A single subscription for McAfee antivirus plus lets you install protection on all your windows, android, mac os and ios devices.
And it is unusual behavior-based detection technology means Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is the tiniest antivirus around.
Is your computer better off without antivirus software?
A virus attack inflicts as much damage as forcing you to buy a new computer because your old computer has been damaged beyond repair.
Not having a protective mechanism for your computer system is like inviting viruses to your computer by providing them with a clear and accessible entrance.
I don’t think you will ever want to damage your own computer with your hands or your will. If I am right then get an antivirus software as soon as possible. Then you can use your computer without the constant fear of falling prey to a virus attack.