The Top 10 Antivirus Software of 2014
Whether you're a light internet user or a heavy user, you need online security. Compare our top-rated antivirus software providers below and choose the best anti-virus software for your security needs.
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“Been using McAfee for probably around a decade now.” – Harry Clark, Toledo, Ohio Read All Reviews (19)
“This thing is seriously quick, it's like a formula one car.” – Irene Johnson, Birmingham, Alabama Read All Reviews (16)
“Still haven't had a virus through in almost a year.” – Carolyn Washington, Omaha, Nebraska Read All Reviews (15)
“Kaspersky alerts me every time it detects something awry.” – Marie Adams, Cleveland, Ohio Read All Reviews (15)
“Bitdefender does exactly what it says on the tin, it protects your data and your HDD.” – Gerald Stewart, Virginia Beach, Virginia Read All Reviews (17)
“Vipre is one of the finest antivirus software out there.” – Margaret Henderson, Mesa, Arizona Read All Reviews (18)
“My 5 year old Asus PC was performing like a DINOSAUR so I bought ESET.” – Charles Jones, Tulsa, Oklahoma Read All Reviews (16)
“Once it's in, it scans your computer and removes any nasty stuff from it.” – Julie Richardson, Cincinnati, Ohio Read All Reviews (15)
“I'm no IT gal, but I managed to install, configure and run AVG no problem.” – Rose Rivera, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Read All Reviews (16)
“Avira is great, there's nothing to it. It's cheap and easy to install.” – Angela Bryant, Durham, North Carolina Read All Reviews (15)
How to Choose Good Antivirus Software
With such a wide variety of Anti-Virus Software available on the market, it can be difficult to know what to look for. Even if you decide between Paid and Free Anti-Virus Software, there are still hundreds of features of each individual program which can be confusing to understand. Some brands are known to be better for their Internet Security, whilst some are better for E-Mail Protection and some for Malware Scanning. Understanding some of the more important features of modern Anti-Virus Software is essential to choosing the right program for your needs.
Types of Protection
There are two main types of Anti-Virus protection available on Anti-Virus software, Active and Passive. Active protection means that the program will be running in the background whenever the computer is on, providing real-time defence and treatment of any computer viruses. Passive protection means that you will be able to scan your computer at intervals, or schedule full computer scans for a deeper search of viruses which may have bypassed your Active protection.
Protection against Different Types of Virus
Whilst the phrase ‘Computer Virus’ is often used as an umbrella term to cover all potential threats, there are a number of very different types of virus which require individual protection. Common threats to computers include Viruses, Trojans, Spyware, Malware, Worms, Rootkit, Phishing and Spam. All of these issues can be covered by Anti-Virus Software and should be checked for when purchasing a product.
Originally developed for those using their computers to play video games, Gamer Mode has now become a common feature which reduces the amount of processing power Anti-Virus Software uses whilst running. Some products can require significant system resources and can affect the gameplay of video games, media consumption and battery life on laptops. Gamer Mode can also disable any pop-ups and notifications from the Anti-Virus Software to avoid interrupting games or videos.
With viruses being so dynamic and changing so quickly, a good customer support system is necessary with Anti-Virus Software. Help & Support can commonly be found through three main channels; Live Chat, E-Mail and Phone Support. These are required not only for assistance with the product itself, but also serve as a port of call to update virus databases against new releases of threats.
Operating System Compatibility
Choosing which Anti-Virus Software to purchase will depend upon a number of things, but the first thing to check is the compatibility with your operating system. The most popular modern operating systems are Windows XP, Vista, 7 & 8 and also Mac’s OS X. Other operating systems on Linux and Ubuntu systems also exist but are less common. Software is specifically designed for a certain operating system and will fail to run on an unsuitable version, so always check this first.
Channels of Protection
Whilst internet downloads are certainly the most common channel of virus infiltration, a good Anti-Virus Software will protect your system against a number of methods. These can include, but are not limited to, web browsing, e-mail, social media, instant messaging, external storage devices and local networks.
Each type of Anti-Virus Software is different and there are certainly more features to look out for. The above listed are the most common though you should always consult the documentation of the software to discover the full extent of its capabilities and how best to use them to make your computer usage a safer experience.