In 2020, there are dozens of leading antivirus solutions available at a fair price. But how do you find the one that fits your current needs? While most antivirus programs focus on dealing with common types of malware, others focus on zero-day attacks. Some products are best equipped for desktop devices; the rest are a good pick for mobile devices.
And then there are the “all-in-one” types of antivirus suites that include anti-malware engines, optimization tools, cleanup features, and more. As you’ll learn from the ZoneAlarm, Webroot, Vipre, and PC Matic reviews, these solutions are becoming very popular and have their own worth. In this post, we’ll take a look at the most important aspects of a good antivirus, including pricing, malware protection, ease of use, and more.
This should always be your #1 concern. Trojans, viruses, and rootkit threats mostly target desktop computers (especially the Windows OS). On the other hand, ransomware, spyware, phishing, and keyloggers also attack mobile devices, including Smartphones and tablets. Most leading antivirus software is well-equipped to detect and eliminate every single type of online threats.
And the best way to check how a certain product performs in the real world is to take a look at various third-party lab tests. AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, and MRG Effitas are the most respected testers, and it would be a good idea to read their reports before committing to any antivirus solution.
For the majority of potential clients, the price-tag is the most important factor when shopping for an antivirus. The good news is – this is a highly competitive industry, and the developers are doing everything in their power to attract new users. Discounts, incentives, and exclusive deals will allow you to save a significant amount of money. For example, if you subscribe for a year or two, that will also save you money in the long run.
Now, there are many free anti-malware solutions out there, but we strongly recommend against using them. First of all, there are no 100% free products; secondly, they usually spy on their customers and share personal information with third parties. Besides, they can’t compete with the paid alternatives.
And don’t forget about the MBG (money-back guarantee) and the free trials. The MBG usually gives you 30 days to use a product and request a full refund. A free trial, in turn, doesn’t charge you anything but still gives access to every single feature. This is an excellent opportunity to test an antivirus on your device and see whether you like it or not.
A good UI (user interface) should be intuitive, easy to navigate, and straightforward. Luckily, that’s the case with almost every single leading antivirus. A regular user wants to download, install, launch the software, and forget about it. Scheduled scans, automatic updates, and various modes (like the gamer mode) add to the user’s comfort.
When you launch Kaspersky, Avast, Bitdefender, or Norton, you’ll immediately see the Status on the main screen. If it’s green, that means the OS is free of viruses. And if it’s red, well, you probably should launch a full system scan. All the frequently-used menus are always within reach, including privacy, protection, and other settings.
This is another important factor, especially for the owners of outdated devices. We use this term to describe the amount of computing resources the software needs to run and how big of a negative effect it has on performance. For example, the Norton antivirus doesn’t affect the OS while working in the background. However, it does slow it down quite a bit during a scan.
Last but not least, let us talk about the most common and the most important extras that serve as an additional layer of defense. Depending on the antivirus, these may be sold as stand-alone apps/tools or be included with the most expensive packages. Here’s the list: