Antivirus software is often considered by Internet users as something unnecessary and even excessive. People still tend to believe that if they don’t visit dubious sites and don’t download files from unknown sources, they are protected. Unfortunately, this belief is air-built. Experts all over the globe say time and again that a good antivirus app is a must-have for every Internet user, irrespective of the device used, the user’s experience, and his or her actions on the web. The bitter truth is that viruses and other threats can wait for us virtually everywhere. Moreover, often they look absolutely innocent, and the truth is revealed when it’s too late. What dangers can an unprotected user face? Keep on reading to know everything about viruses and virus protection, as well as the best antivirus for PC and mobile devices.
Why do You Need Antivirus?
A computer virus in its pure initial form is not the only threat that modern users encounter. Nowadays, the range of digital threats is much broader. Traditionally, they are all categorized as malware, which is the acronym for malicious software. Modern malware is rather smart and sophisticated. It doesn’t just destroy your PC for no reason. Instead, it helps scammers and swindlers to make a profit on you.
- They steal your sensitive data, including passwords and numbers of credit cards.
- They use your computing resources, for example, for cryptocurrency mining.
- They get an access to your emails and social profiles and send spam to your friends.
Just imagine how expensive your carelessness can turn. Meanwhile, even entry-level antivirus programs can easily cope with the majority of these issues. By spending several dollars on virus removal software you can save thousands. This is especially true for everyone running an online business. But even regular users can avoid numerous problems by simply using an adequate Windows antivirus. With so many antivirus software reviews around, finding an effective and affordable solution is as easy as never before.
Types of Malware
Essentially, malware is any software created with the purpose to make harm to users of digital devices – computers, tablets, smartphones, and others. As of today, there are dozens of malware types. Here are some of them.
- Viruses. They are contained in files and start working as soon as the file is launched. Viruses tend to spread out quickly.
- Worms. Unlike viruses, they are not attached to other files, but run as separate programs. Worms usually destroy existing files. They are often sent from one user to another via e-mail and messengers.
- Trojans. Their main goal is to let swindlers access your computer and the data stored in it. Trojans are difficult to detect without special software, as they often masked as ordinary programs.
- Rootkits. A rootkit is a piece of malware that affects the entire system at the root. It opens an access to the system for other types of malware. Rootkits are extremely difficult to detect if they’ve already affected the computer and almost impossible to get rid of, even with the best malware removal tools.
- Ransomware. This annoying and extremely hard-to-remove malware blocks the whole computer or separate files and makes a user to pay a ransom for unlocking. This type of threats has gained the popularity in the era of cryptocurrencies.
- Adware and Spyware. Nobody likes pop-up advertisement, but it gets even more annoying when you can’t close it, and when it slows down your computer. Spyware is used to collect information about a user, and adware, in turn, shows relevant advertisement to him or her.
There are some other types of malware as well. Also, sometimes various undesired programs and apps that are installed on your device without your permission are also referred to as malware. Some of the viral products are just annoying while others impose a serious threat to your security. But most of these threats can be effectively detected and removed with a good modern antivirus. In our reviews, we are going to tell how to pick out the best antivirus software for different types of platforms.
How does Antivirus Software Work?
An essential task of any antivirus is a protection of your PC (or other device) from all the real and potential threat. The mechanism of anti-malware programs work is described in numerous antivirus reviews. Though the features offered by various top antivirus software providers can vary greatly, their basic tasks are always the same:
- scanning a computer for new threats;
- detecting threats and informing a user about them;
- blocking suspicious processes and files and/or isolating them;
- deleting malware;
- repairing affected files and programs.
Most top antivirus programs allow scanning for viruses in the background mode without slowing down a PC. They automatically check the incoming e-mails, downloaded files, and web-sites that a user visits. As soon as a potential threat is detected, the virus removal app blocks it and informs the user of it.
Features of Antivirus Products
The best antivirus software providers offer a whole range of features. On the top of the virus scan, most of them have features of a quick e-mail and attachments scanning, blocking phishing and fraudulent sites, blocking ransomware, and detecting undesired code. Extra features mentioned in many antivirus software reviews include:
- a built-in firewall;
- an ad blocker;
- an antispam feature;
- webcam protection;
- botnet protection;
- A Trojan remover;
- USB virus scanning;
- a game mode;
- parental control.
However, the number of features is not the only criterion used for antivirus comparison. Moreover, it may happen that you just don’t need all these tools. Read on to know how to pick out the best virus protection for your device.
How to Choose an Ideal Antivirus Software
You may have noticed that the authors of different reviews have different opinions on what the best antivirus for PC or Android is. The fact is that they use different criteria for antivirus software comparison. As a result, there are several antivirus software ratings, which can confuse a regular user. In fact, all you need to do is to decide what criteria are important for you, and which ones don’t matter much.
- Price. The best anti-malware tool is not always expensive. You don’t have to buy a premium option to provide the best virus protection. Moreover, some software developers offer great free products. Some of them are present in our list of top 10 antivirus programs. A shining example is Avast – a top rated antivirus with a strong free utility.
- Reliability & efficiency. You can find this information in expert antivirus reviews. The world’s major labs regularly conduct independent tests in order to assess the effectiveness of top antivirus programs in detecting different types of threats, including new and unknown (zero-day) threats, known threats, phishing and fraudulent websites and so on. Also, they check the percentage of false positives – incorrect reactions of the program to benign software. Based on the results, antivirus software ratings are compiled. The information is available in the open sources.
- Extras. Some additional features are really nice to have, while others seem to be excessive. It’s for you to decide what you need, and what is definitely unnecessary. That said, many best software providers offer several plans – from entry level to premium – with various feature sets. Some of them include in their packages additional tools, such as a password manager, a secure web-browser, and some others.
- Ease of use. No matter whether you are looking for the best antivirus for Windows 10, or the best mobile antivirus, it must have a simple uncluttered interface for the users not to get confused. Most top rated antivirus software products have clean intuitive interfaces where all the basic features can be accessed in one or two clicks.
- Support and community. The best antivirus providers usually have huge communities. It means that you can easier find answers to the questions regarding the features and capabilities of the product, read virus protection reviews of other users, and discuss all the issues and solutions with the community. The quality of the customer support service is another important indicator. The best providers of security software offer multiple channels of communication, including a toll-free phone and a live chat.
- Compatibility with different platforms. Not PC users alone need protection. More and more people use smartphones, tablets, phablets and other devices for web-surfing, chatting, gaming, etc. Of course, they need the best mobile antivirus. And in the case you use multiple devices, you will probably opt for the software that will work equally well for desktop and mobile devices. The best anti-malware providers usually offer solutions for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android within one package. Some of them offer software for smartphones for free.
These are the main criteria to rely on. But you may have some other preferences and requirements regarding the issue of the best security software choosing. The best way to pick out the product that will comply with your personal expectations is to read professional unbiased reviews and select the best computer virus protection relying on honest results of lab tests and a detailed description of pricing plans and features available.
Best Antivirus Reviews: Everything You Need to Know about Software Providers
We practice a comprehensive approach to writing of antivirus comparison reviews. We take information from trusted reliable sources, such as official websites of the largest independent labs. On the top of this, our specialists try and test every single product reviewed, assessing its usability, impact on the system, interface, extra features, and various modes. Finally, we check the quality of the support service, trying to contact the support team via various communication channels. When compiling antivirus ratings, we rely on all these criteria plus reviews of real customers. As a result, we try to make our reviews as unbiased as possible. All the titles included in our top 10 antivirus products are flexible, efficient, and reliable. On the pages of our site, one will find reviews of antivirus solutions for different platforms.
Top Antivirus Software for Windows
Despite a rapid development of the mobile sector of the digital market, Windows is still the most popular platform in the world. No surprise that all top 10 antivirus software providers offer solutions for computers running Windows operation system. With so many options available, choosing the best antivirus for Windows is quite a challenge. Check our antivirus ratings and compare prices, features and capabilities of various programs to choose the best one. For a basic protection, many users opt for free products, such as Avira or Avast. But for the best internet security level, you may want to choose a paid option, such as ESET, Dr.Web or the more premium Kaspersky.
Top Antivirus Software for Mac
Many Mac users tend to believe that their high-tech computers from Apple don’t need any antivirus software at all. However, experts strongly recommend using the best virus protection software on Macs. Just take it: there are no 100% protected devices. Scammers of all types are up-and-doing. Every day, newer and more advanced threats appear, and viruses are created. There are recorded cases when thousands of Apple devices were affected by viruses. You must be aware of the fact that Macs are difficult to repair, and the procedure is rather expensive. If you appreciate your online security and especially if you do any online payments or store sensitive data in your Mac laptop, the best antivirus is a must-have. Read our expert reviews and make a choice wisely.
Top Antivirus Software for Android
Owners of Android smartphones know that despite its numerous advantages, this operation system has at least one drawback – it is rather vulnerable to various types of malware. You must have heard of cases where hackers stole passwords for online banking apps with the help of trivial Trojans. If you use a smartphone running Android, you may catch a virus by downloading an infected app. Meanwhile, the majority of these problems can be avoided or prevented if you install the best security app for Android. In our reviews, you’ll find out what best antivirus providers offer free solutions for your device, and which of them are the most effective, lightweight, and intelligent.
Free vs Premium: What Security Suite Should I Choose?
If you have a closer look at the antivirus software comparison chart, you’ll see that the price for various suit vary substantially. More than that, some providers offer free of charge products. But is there really any difference? Are there any pitfalls in using free antivirus products? After all, why pay for the security if I can get it for free? Well, of course it depends on multiple variables.
Basically, the main task of any antivirus product is to detect and to destroy malicious software. All top 10 antivirus products do this job almost equally well. The thing is that all of them use similar algorithms for struggling malware. If the software is free, it doesn’t mean that the protection is weak. In general, it can be described as an entry-level solution that you can opt for in the following cases:
- You don’t need any features apart from occasional scanning for viruses.
- You are not an active Internet user and not an avid gamer.
- You don’t use a webcam for online chatting.
- You don’t need extra features, such as a password manager or a file shredder.
At the same time, there are some reasons to opt for paid antivirus solutions. While the price for most products is quite reasonable (something around $40), they add a lot of flexibility and convenience to basic free versions. Thus, buying a mid-priced security suite, you can get the following perks on the top of basic protection:
- Auto- and manual scanning modes.
- Webcam protection.
- Automatic scanning of all incoming emails and their attachments.
- A personal firewall.
- A VPN feature.
- A password manager and/or a file shredder (the latter provides permanent file deletion).
- A gaming mode.
Some premium packages include even more extra features, some of which are very nice to have. In our reviews of top-rated software providers, you’ll find detailed information about each of them. By the way, most providers offer a free trial period or a refunding period up to 30 days, so you have nothing to lose. Even if it turns out that the software acquired doesn’t suit you, you may claim refunding.
The issue of online security is crucial for everyone. Even if you use the Internet only for sending e-mails or social media activities, you are at a risk. And it goes without saying that everyone who has his own online business, deals with online payments or online banking must use a strong modern antivirus. There a lot of things to consider when choosing the best antivirus or the best malware removal tool, especially if you are not a specialist. We’ve done this job for you and prepared comprehensive unbiased reviews of top software providers. Choose your ideal protection hassle-free and feel safe and secure in any situation.