Best Antivirus for Windows

View the top Antivirus vendors for Windows. Learn who is best at detecting threats, viruses, spyware and malware.

Best Choice Award

#1 – AVG

AVG Visit Website
www.AVG.com

AVG Overview

AVG Premium Security 2013 is our number one pick due to its outstanding ability to detect and stop viruses, threats and malware. Browse the web safely when you have AVG Premium Security installed. AVG is a lightweight client that won’t bog your computer down like many other antivirus programs. AVG Premium Security 2013 will stop unsecure links when you are browsing the web, prevent online spam and scammer’s mail from arriving in your inbox and will keep your privacy by preventing spying and data theft. The all-around choice for the best antivirus for Windows goes to AVG Premium Security 2013.

Highlights

  • Real-time protection and updates
  • Safe browsing and downloads
  • Keeps your privacy by preventing spying and data theft
  • Stops spam from showing up in your inbox

2nd Place

#2 – Kaspersky

kaspersky Visit Website
www.Kaspersky.com

Kaspersky Overview

Kaspersky is excels at detecting zero-day or new attacks and preventing them from harming your computer. Kaspersky made our list of the best antivirus for Windows due to it’s world-class protection, anti-phishing (preventing fake sites from taking your information) capabilities and ease of use. Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 provides real-time protection, rollback of harmful malware and intelligient scanning and updates. There are many advanced features that come with the Kaspersky security suite of products which include application control that prevents suspicious activity and two-way firewalls the block hacker attacks.

Highlights

  • Real-time protection and Intelligent Scanning
  • Anti-Phishing
  • Two-way Firewall
  • Application Control from Suspicious Activity

3rd Place

#3 – eset

eset Visit Website
www.ESET.com

ESET Overview

ESET NOD32 Antivirus 6 offers comprehensive and fast detection of viruses, threats, Torjans, rootkits and malware. ESET NOD32 Antivirus has everything you need in a security package for your computer and has one of the highest detection rates with low fals positives out of all of their competition according to an independent study*. ESET security products are easy to use and which is great for the set and forget users.

Highlights

  • Real-time protection and Intelligent Scanning
  • Highest Detection with Lowest False Positives*
  • Proactive Threat Detection

Antivirus Buying Guide

Computer plays a big role in our everyday lives. It has a lot of purposes whether for personal or business use. Almost everything is being transacted with the use of computer that is why people should be aware of the possible problems that may be encountered using them. A lot of computer threats are being recognized nowadays which is commonly known as viruses. They can be acquired through connecting to the Internet network, downloading files, or from the devices that are being connected to the computer unit.

One way to avoid viruses from destroying the computer system is by installing a security software or antivirus upon purchasing the computer. Before, this security software is individually purchased by the consumers making it optional for them to install it. Since not all computer users know the advantages of getting one, they opt to disregard the recommendation of the experts. The lack of people’s knowledge with regards to viruses and what it can do made it possible for hackers to easily access any unprotected unit. Because of this, manufacturers are required to install security software before they can get a permit to sell their units to the public.

There is a lot of security software that is available these days and they vary according to its functions and ability. For those who do not have existing security software, this article will provide some guides in regards to choosing the right one to be purchased.

Things to Consider Before Any Purchase

  • Think of the activities where the computer is being used most of the time. If it is used for business purposes, transferring files with the use of flash drives is possible from time to time. Look for security software that has a USB detection feature where any device that will be connected in the computer will be automatically scanned for viruses before it allows the user to open the files. For gamers, look for those that has a gaming mode. Since the security software generally makes the performance of the computer’s speed slower, there is no wonder it will also affect the game. The gaming mode feature will temporarily deactivate pop-up notifications while the software is running.
  • It should have a good detection rate. There is different organization which conducts tests to check if the software is excellent with detecting malware. Look for an antivirus that has a certification from any testing company because it will determine how good the performance of the software is.
  • Determine if it is just security software or a security suite. The difference between the two is that security software is a stand-alone tool that detects viruses but do not come with additional tools such as firewall. Therefore, security suite is a package where security software is just a part of it.
  • Checking the system requirement should be done initially. We need to make sure that the security software is compatible with the specifications of our computer. This should be done to avoid wasting money from something that we cannot use.

Free vs. Paid Security Software

There are some companies that provides free downloads of security software. This is their way of introducing the product to the market and by allowing people to use it for free in a specific period of time (usually 30 days), the chances of gathering potential buyers are getting higher. One thing that we need to keep in mind is that trial versions only do basic stuff like virus detection and auto clean-up.

On the other hand, paid security software has additional features included in the package. This is the version that has monthly updates automatically initialized by the software manufacture. If problems and complications happen, there is a free telephone support that we can use which is also a part of what we paid for.

Physical Copies vs. Downloadable Versions

Physical copies are the ones that should be inserted to the computer’s ROM for the installation. This usually comes with a unique product code that will allow the user to successfully install the antivirus.

Downloadable versions work the same as the physical copy. This type is advisable for computer units that do not have a CD-Rom.

Technical Support

Just like any other technical products, security software manufacturers also have technical support department. Problems occur anytime and most people are not satisfied with reading troubleshooting guides. They prefer talking to a person to tell them what to do or if possible do a remote access in their computer to have the issue resolved. This is something that we need to check first before purchasing the software. Check if the company has a good customer support service feedbacks and reviews to make sure that in case of future problems, assistance will be given instantly.

Known Test Results and Organizations

Certifications and ratings can be found in the front cover of security software’s physical copy. There are four well-known programs that certifies a software if it is trusted by the experts or not.

  • ICSA Labs – this program certifies how effective the security software is.
  • AV Comparatives – this test happens quarterly. It tests the overall performance of the software as well the effectiveness of its removal tool.
  • Virus Bulletin VB 100% Certification – this title certifies that the security software is able to detect all viruses that are recognized by computer engineers.
  • West Coast Labs – this certifies the functionality and the required level of performance of the security software to make sure that it will provide the needed support and protection of the computer system.

Purchasing security software is always a good idea not only because it is needed for our personal benefit. We should also keep in mind that owning a computer system gives us the responsibility to take care of all the resources we share with people to avoid problems like spreading virus in our community. Technology is a very broad topic that not all people can understand. The assistance from the experts comes handy and all we need to do is look and avail for their services.

*Independent Study conducted by av-comparitives.org, March 2012