Would you agree to walk in the forest full of venomous spiders, snakes, mosquitoes, and mites without a protection suit? There is every reason to believe you wouldn’t just because it is dangerous. Browsing the web without an Internet security suite is equally dangerous, although instead of real snakes and spiders you are attacked by digital “worms” and viruses. Modern malware can damage, block, or completely destroy the information stored on your PC in a moment, and it will take many days to restore the lost files and heal the infected software. Sometimes, viruses affect the entire system, and the only way to get rid of them is to format the disk and reinstall the system. Fortunately, you can avoid the majority of problems by installing one of the best Internet security software suites.
What is Internet Security Software?
Nowadays, online dangers are more diverse and sophisticated than you can imagine. Even technically challenged people have probably heard the words “virus” and “antivirus”. However, modern malware includes not only viruses, but dozens of other threats: Trojans that stole your passwords, rootkits that affect the system at the root and open a “gate” to other malware forms, ransomware that blocks your files and makes you pay a ransom for unlocking, and many others. No surprise that the best Internet security suites are more than just antivirus apps. They are full-featured tools performing multiple functions. Thus, top Internet security tools effectively detect and destroy viruses, neutralize malware, including zero-day threats, ransomware and exploits, and offer a range of extra features – from secure web-browsers to password managers and VPN-clients.
Basic Features of Internet Security Software
Even the best Internet security software suites offered by different vendors differ greatly in terms of their capabilities. But their core features stay unchanged. They include scanning the system for viruses and malware, blocking malicious and suspicious files and links or quarantining them. Scanning can be continuous or “on demand only”. It can be launched automatically or manually. Advanced services are flexible enough: they offer an easy switching between the different scanning modes. Other basic features that best Internet security suites offer are anti-phishing and anti-spam features. In general, these basic features are enough for preventing most threats. However, software providers frequently pack their products with a range of extras, some of which are rather useful.
Extra Features of Internet Security Services
Each antivirus software vendor adds various tools and features to its Internet security suite. Moreover, even different versions of one product have different capabilities. Thus, free Internet security suites usually come with an entry-level set of features, while their paid options offer much more tools. The most common extras that one can get with the best Internet security software include the following ones.
- Remote control and network scanning. It’s convenient for those using multiple devices united into one network. For example, you may launch and stop scanning of a smartphone remotely, via an app on your desktop computer. With this feature it easy to control the current state of protection on all the devices connected.
- A web-browser for secure Internet surfing. Some providers supply their proprietary safe browser with the Incognito mode turned on by default, a safe banking feature, and a built-in VPN. Though not all the users will appreciate it, for some people, it can be nice to have a dedicated browser for performing certain actions.
- A system cleaner and/or optimizer. It helps to accelerate the speed of PC, optimize the system, clean up the register, and even detect and delete spyware. If you don’t want to install a dedicated cleaner, a complex Internet security suite can become a solution.
- A password manager. As the name implies, it manages user logins and passwords. You don’t need to keep numerous passwords in your memory anymore. The system will automatically fill the form every time you visit a credible site. Also, it helps to generate reliable passwords.
- A firewall. Free antivirus apps usually lack this feature while many top Internet security suites include a firewall option.
- A file shredder. It acts as a usual shredder, deleting the files without the possibility of their restoration. For whatever reason you want to eliminate a document or a file forever, with a feature of a file shredder you will do it without expert help.
- An anti-theft options. It is useful for both laptops and smartphones owners. If the device is lost or stolen, the feature can help to track its location.
On the top of this, the best Internet security software sometimes includes some more options, not related to Internet security directly. For example, some vendors offer proprietary cloud storage solutions.
How to Choose the Best Internet Security 2018
As you see, the features of top Internet security services are rather numerous and diverse, especially when it comes to premium versions. But do you really need all of them? To choose the best Internet security 2018 decide what is important for you and what doesn’t matter much and find out the best price/quality ratio. Basically, there are three major groups of security services for you to choose.
- Free apps. Some of them can become best Internet security solutions for those who need a bare anti-malware feature and nothing else. As a rule, these apps are simple and lightweight, but on the minus side, they can negatively impact the system’s performance. Examples of the best free Internet security tools are Avast, Avira, Bitdefender and others.
- Low- to mid-priced paid options. They often include a bunch of useful features, such as a firewall, network scanning, remote control, anti-phishing, anti-spam, and solutions for a stronger privacy. Also, they usually have the minimal impact on the system, which is important too. These entry-level paid options are provided by the majority of vendors – ESET, Kaspersky, Avast, Dr. Web, and many others.
- Premium solutions. They are the most expensive ones and packed with features. In premium security packs you’ll find anything – from the parental control to password managers. Examples of best Internet security suites in the premium category are Norton Security Premium and Kaspersky Total Security.
It’s all for you to decide what to opt for. For a basic protection, any free antivirus tool will do. But the most popular segment is entry-level paid solutions – affordable, reliable and quick.
How does the Choice of Security Software Depend on the Platform Used?
Generally, you need security software regardless of what type of device and what operating system you utilize. But the choice of a particular product depends on several variables, including the platform used. The most widely-used operating system is still Windows. Unfortunately, it is still one of the most vulnerable ones. The selection of security apps optimized for this platform is the widest, so picking out the best Internet security for windows 10 is usually not a problem. Choose the apps that don’t slow down the system severely and don’t offer excessive or unnecessary features.
When it comes to choosing software for Mac, one needs to take into account the fact that it is the most protected platform. It has powerful built-in tools for a basic antivirus protection. So, an ideal third-party Internet security suite for Mac must offer a robust anti-malware protection. In particular, it must be capable of detecting the most advanced and dangerous forms of rootkits, ransomware, etc. These features are typical for premium options, such as Norton for Mac.
If your device is running Android, you’ll find a lot of suitable solutions, as this operating system is rather flexible and allows easy integration of third-party apps. As for features, you’ll probably take advantage of mobile security solutions: calls blocking, blacklist and an anti-theft feature. Many vendors offer great free apps for Android, but even paid options are usually very affordable.
The Bottom Line
A rapid development of all spheres of online life advances new requirements to the quality of protection. Yesterday’s best Internet security methods and tools seem outdated today and will become completely inefficient tomorrow. If you want to feel as secure as possible, you need to be aware of the latest trends and pick out the products that are capable of building a robust protection from the most advanced threats. Speaking about the best Internet security 2018, we can single out the following distinctive features of an efficient tool in the present-day circumstances:
- protection from all types of malware, including rootkits, ransomware, spyware, and adware;
- an ability to detect potentially unwanted programs and notify a user about the threat;
- the feature of safe online banking;
- multiple methods of scanning, including network scanning, selective scanning, manual and automatic scanning.
However, keep in mind that even the most powerful security software sometimes can let you down. That is why cautiousness is crucial. Never download any unknown files from suspicious sources, don’t click pop-up windows and scan your computer regularly with the latest version of your anti-malware app. It will help to prevent many problems before they arise.