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Antivirus software reviews

# Product Overall Score Download
1 Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 4.8/5 Read more Download 39.99$
2 Avast Pro 4.8/5 Read more Download 39.99$
3 F-Secure Anti-Virus 4.5/5 Read more Download 35.99$
4 G Data AntiVirus 4.4/5 Read more Download 29.95$
5 Kaspersky Anti-Virus 4.3/5 Read more Download 24.95$
6 Panda Antivirus Pro 4.1/5 Read more Download 35.24$
7 Lavasoft Ad-Ware Pro Security 3.8/5 Read more Download 34.99$
9 PC Tools Spyware Doctor Read more Retired as of 2013-05-18

What is antivirus software and why is it so important?

It’s totally naive to think that installing antivirus is merely an option these days. Responding to dynamic propagation and continuously increasing sophistication of cyber threats at large, necessity of having an AV program at one’s disposal has definitely become an inalienable attribute of a modern user and is not up for discussion. Viruses are literally everywhere, thriving in the depths of the worldwide web and never abandoning the attempts to infect computers, which is actually what they are intended to do in the first place. Moreover, you don’t necessarily see obvious signs of their activity as they may reside latently in your system and gradually destroy it from the inside or stealthily harvest your private data. This is another relevant reason why it’s critical to have a reliable antivirus installed, because otherwise you cannot possibly spot and handle these infections. The present-day antivirus programs efficiently address some of the issues that used to make people doubt about reasonability of using them: they are no longer affecting PC performance nearly as much and can even contribute to optimizing and improving computer usability. The latest cutting-edge antivirus trends are about proactive defense, heuristic virus detection and cloud computing security.

Evaluation criteria

Whereas different antivirus clients may provide specific sets of functions, there still are the common ones that are mandatory for this sort of software. Along with high virus detection and removal scores, the best antivirus application should be intuitively simple to use and ‘light’ enough for the average computer. The most relevant criteria we take into account when rating antivirus software are as follows:

  • Usability: When installing an antivirus, you should be ideally just a few clicks away from setup completion and the first system scan as that’s where user experience starts. This procedure should as well take a reasonable amount of time. It’s preferable that further use of the product be just as comprehensive. Although modern antivirus software is technically sophisticated and complex by nature, it shouldn’t require advanced skills to use. A sensibly self-contained program demanding a minimum of user interference, consuming a sensible amount of system resources, and providing complete protection is the perfectly balanced one.
  • Features: It’s always a judicious idea to review the feature set of an antivirus application and see if it precisely matches your needs and meets your expectations. If you are using email a lot, you should probably be looking for inbound and outbound email protection and anti-phishing functions. In case you often connect external devices to your machine, it’s a good idea to install an antivirus that has the auto USB detect feature in store. Should it be in your interest to prevent sensitive information from getting retrieved by third parties, seek a secure file erase functionality and history cleaner. If you want to stay on the safe side when traveling, the netbook mode is what helps you save the battery resources. We deem the availability of these and similar features to be an additional advantage for this evaluation.
  • Efficiency: When it comes to analyzing a random antivirus program, the determinative measurement unit here is how good it is at coping with the task of detecting and removing the bad stuff. The better this particular objective is performed, the higher grade the app deserves. So the definition of reliable AV software incorporates the capability of combating different types of malicious objects, including stealthy and hard-to-spot rootkit infections, self-replicating worms, privacy-infringing keyloggers, rogue antispyware, etc.
  • Support: It should by no means be a problem seeking help when some issue or inquiry occurs related your antivirus software. The contact channels must be clearly stated and perfectly functional at any time. Availability of user manuals, frequently asked questions and other supplementary support components are also some of the significant criteria we take into account. Furthermore, a special focus is on whether or not direct support via the phone and live chat is part of the vendor’s help policy.