Antivirus software detects and disables or removes computer viruses and associated malware (this means anything that can cause problems for you e.g. password copiers). It is very important that everyone installs anti-virus software and keeps it up to date. There are a lot of these packages on the market and below is information to help you choose which is right for your needs.

The term ‘Internet Security’ is also used for these kinds of software packages and they offer a wider range of protection than just from viruses.

 

An independent security-software testing lab based in Germany. AV-Test rigorously tests AV products from a number of leading security companies. They look not only at how well an AV product can detect malware using traditional, that is, employing a database of known malware, but also at how well it can block brand-new, unknown malware. AV-Test also examines how well a security product can clean up after an infection in the event that a piece of malware does get through.

Any of the top packages will do the job and are well worth installing.

 

Below is a comparison of the most popular anti-virus packages and some details for each.

Basically any of them will do the job for you but BitDefender and Kapersky are generally the highest rated.

Comparison Table

(marks are out of 5 in each category)

 

Windows Defender

Avira

BitDefender

Kaspersky

McAfee

Norton

AVG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cost

FREE

FREE

£24.95

£31.99

£20.99

£29.99

Free / £55.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ease of Use

4

4

5

5

5

5

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Effectiveness

4

4

5

5

5

5

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Features

3

4

5

5

4

4

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support

3

3

5

5

3

4

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.      Windows Defender

This is free with Microsoft Windows and does a good job but doesn’t block adware and other undesirable elements.  Is also a cpu hog at times and can be very slow scanning the disk.

2.      Avira

Overall, this is one of the best free anti-virus packages. It has top scores from the tests, has good features and is easy to use

3.      Bitdefender Total Security

Bitdefender has a fine technical reputation. Is simple to use and effective.

4.      Kaspersky Total Security

A three-device, full protection suite for under £50 is good value and when that includes cover on all the major platforms, it should be flexible enough for most. Kaspersky Total Security 2015’s technical strength can’t be faulted, with only Avira Anti Virus Pro matching it in the AV-Test group.

5.      McAfee

Doesn’t have all the features of Kapersky and BitDefender but is good reliable protection.

6.      Symantec Norton Security

This is good value as you can protect all devices with the one licence.

7.      AVG

 

A good product but the constant attempts to get you to upgrade are annoying. 

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