The internet has always been a source of virus and malware. And with the prevalence of ransomware, the importance of an anti-virus cannot be emphasized enough. Not all antivirus software may be able to detect or even defend against ransomware but some newer improvements will alert you to possible infections.
The good news is there are plenty of antivirus software to choose from, some of which are free while others are free to start but comes with premium features when you upgrade to the paid version. The question is which product should you download now?
There are several factors that make an effective anti-virus software:
This refers to how well an antivirus responds to malware threats. Tests are usually carried out on a non-infected machine where several attack scenarios are simulated.
Performance is determined on how the antivirus affects a system’s speed, especially when copying files locally and downloading files from the internet.
This rates how intrusive software performs when a PC or laptop is running. Does it pop up a frequently? Does it offer an option to turn off notifications?
- Features, UI design, and Flaws
Some antivirus programs are more complex than others in terms of design, layout, and extra features. This may not sit well with some users, especially those who are not tech-savvy.
Most antivirus software is tested against these factors and then rated accordingly. This helps determine how well it performs and defends against an infection. How testing is carried out will vary from one tester to another, but the goal is the same – identify the most effective antivirus software.
This year, your best options are the following:
- Avast Free Antivirus 2017
- AVG AntiVirus Free (2017)
- Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (2017)
- Check Point ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus+ 2017
- Sophos Home
Aside from scoring high on the test criteria listed above, they also come with features that are vital to virus-free computing. These are on-demand malware scan, on-access malware scan, malicious URL blocking, phishing protection, behavior-based detection, and website rating.
Avast has all these features, plus an added vulnerability scan. This makes it the best antivirus to download today. AVG has a similar capacity as Avast but lacks the added feature. Bitdefender and Sophos Home also have everything else, except for the website rating. Check Point ZoneAlarm, on the other hand, is incapable of providing you with a website rating, blocking malicious URL, and protecting you against phishing scams.
Which of the 5 antivirus software is worth downloading and installing on your computer? Clearly, Avast takes the prize. But whether or not you should stick to the free edition or upgrade to a full security suite will depend on how your computers are used when accessing the internet and whether or not there are sensitive files involved.
Businesses and organizations, in particular, should get the paid edition, considering that a virus attack can be devastating to them, their reputation, and their clients. Before you install Avast, however, you should know the pros and cons of its free version. Being well-informed doesn’t hurt at all.