What is the best antivirus software?
It is a gross misconception that only Windows computers can catch a virus or get infected with malware. However, most infections are found on computers using Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
It’s simple economy of scale and how Apple built the macOS system. There are many more Windows computers than MacBooks or iMacs, and the operating system is easier to break into. This is because Apple strictly enforces which apps you can install.
But regardless of your operating system, you need to get a great antivirus to protect your personal information and files. One of the best is Norton 360 Deluxewhich offers real-time protection and works on multiple devices.
What to know before buying antivirus software
It’s not a silver bullet
Criminals can hack almost any device that connects to the internet and constantly update their hacking tools to make detection more difficult. anti-virus Manufacturers protect you from all known threats, but some will slip through the cracks as new ones are developed.
It’s basically a game of cat and mouse between cyberattacks and preventing them from happening. Even if you have the latest version, updated with a list of the latest threats, there is no guarantee that you will always be protected. However, installing an antivirus greatly reduces the chances of malware intruding on your computer.
It can be complex
Antivirus software can be quite complex depending on your technical knowledge and understanding of cyber threats. You will need to familiarize yourself with industry jargon and the various processes and methods of scanning your computer.
For example, an antivirus blocks all internet traffic when installed, so you can’t browse or check email. Only after enabling a specific setting will you be able to access the Internet again. And few users know where to find this configuration.
Free antivirus is never really free
There are several free antivirus applications, but this is not a risk worth considering. For the most part, they deliver what they promise, but that often comes with a caveat. For example, the free version may only protect you from certain threats and you have to pay for additional protection.
And since the software is free, others offer you advertising, either through the computer program or directly on your desktop with pop-ups. Many users see this as an invasion of privacy or unsolicited marketing.
What to Look for in Quality Antivirus Software
Devices you want to protect
Whether you have a Windows or Apple computer, you need to consider the devices you want to protect. The initial purchase of most antivirus programs includes a license for one device. However, a good quality antivirus protects multiple devices using the same license key. This often includes a program for your PC and access to a mobile app for your phone.
Built-in virtual private network
When you want to browse the internet anonymously, you need to use a VPN. The technology hides your geographic location, allowing you to access websites that may not be available in your area.
It also adds another layer of security. A VPN makes it much harder for cybercriminals and hackers to locate your computer’s address, preventing them from breaching your system and stealing your files. So look for a good quality antivirus that provides a VPN.
Personal Information Monitoring
Your life may be stored on a computer, but much of your information is also online. Every website or service you sign up for contains your name, email address, and phone number. If this is a paid service, you probably also provided your credit card information.
If hackers break into the service’s data center, your information could be sold on the infamous dark web. However, while a good quality antivirus can’t prevent this, it can monitor the dark web and alert you to any personal information it finds.
How much you can expect to spend on antivirus software
The price depends on the developer, the level of protection and the number of devices covered. For basic protection, a device costs between $15 and $20 per year, but several devices with full antivirus cost between $30 and $40 per year.
Antivirus Software FAQs
Is there an upfront cost?
A. Antivirus works on a software-as-a-service model, where you have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription. There are rare cases where you can purchase the software for a one-time fee, but most of it is a monthly subscription. Some developers offer a discount if you pay an annual rather than a monthly subscription.
How to update the software?
A. It depends on the software, as it can be configured to update automatically or to notify you whenever an update or new software version is available.
What is the best antivirus software to buy?
The best anti-virus software
What do you want to know: This pack protects up to five Windows computers, mobile phones and Apple products.
What you will love: The antivirus scans your computer in real time to block all incoming threats. It has a built-in VPN to protect you and monitors the dark web for personal information. It comes with 50 gigabytes of cloud storage for secure backups.
What you should consider: It comes with LifeLock Select, which monitors only one credit bureau instead of all three.
Best antivirus software for the money
What do you want to know: A three-year subscription to protect three devices is all you need.
What you will love: Along with the typical virus and malware protection, it also ensures that you are on legitimate websites while shopping. It has a kid-friendly setting, so kids can only browse the internet on approved sites.
What you should consider: Some users said the setup can be tricky.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What do you want to know: This bundle allows you to install malware and virus protection on up to five devices for two years.
What you will love: This antivirus software has a built-in secure browser for online banking and comes with a built-in VPN. It provides real-time protection against malware, ransomware, social media threats, and identity theft.
What you should consider: It only lets you use 200 megabytes of data for the VPN.
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Charlie Fripp written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
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