Everyone knows that antivirus is a must today. No matter what operating system you have or what device you use – if you don’t have protection from viruses, you’re exposed to the potential threat. Most computers are connected to the internet all the time, and there is malware for any platform. Therefore, it’s vital to take care of the security of our devices.
But there are so many different options, even from the same provider. So what is the best antivirus software and what is important when choosing one? Is there a difference between antivirus and anti-malware? Should you pay for such software, or a free option is fine?
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Each user who decides to get the protection for their computer or mobile gadget faces these questions. And since every provider claims to have the best product in the world – no wonder users get confused. In this article, we will provide you with clear guideline you can use while choosing the solution that will be right for you.
Main Things to Consider
Of course, there are a lot of nuances that impact our choice. But first of all, you should think of several most important things that will become the base of your decision.
What Threats Can an Antivirus Detect?
It’s not only about some “virus”. There are many ways hackers can harm your device and data stored on it. Online threats include but are not limited to:
A good solution should cover all these threats. Otherwise, your device will have significant vulnerabilities and the security of it will be compromised.
How Many Resources Does the Software Need?
Ideally, the antivirus should monitor your system on the background all the time. But if it loads your device doing it, using it becomes a nightmare. That’s why you should look for professional and customer reviews. Usually, you can find out if the antivirus is resource-demanding while reading them.
Are There any Extra Features?
Most providers pack their antiviruses with additional features like scheduled check-ups, game modes, and many more. Also, there often are tools that help you improve the performance of your device. So try to understand whether you need these extra instruments. And if yes, look for providers that offer them. Having a multifunctional antivirus totally pays out.
How Many Devices Does the License Cover?
It’s a safe bet that you have at least two devices included in the license. For instance, your computer and a smartphone. And it’s better to have the same solution for all of them, rather than looking for separate best internet security. Also, if you want to share the protection with your family or friends, you definitely can use a license that covers multiple devices.
Which Operating Systems Does the Software Support?
Again, most likely you’d want to protect several different devices. So make sure the provider you’re going to choose is compatible with all operating systems you’re using. Additionally, check how good is the software for the mobile device. It’s not rare when the antivirus excels computer protection but fails to secure the smartphone or tablet.
How Easy is the Solution to Use?
You don’t need to be a tech pro to use the antivirus. That’s why it should be simple and easy to interact. So look at interface screenshots to check how intuitive the software is. Reviews usually cover usability, too.
A Few More Tips
Now, when we know the ground rules of choosing the best antivirus software, it’s time to move to more advanced criteria. Considering them, you will undoubtedly get the perfect solution.
The Default Antivirus is not Always the Best One
Windows PCs, for example, comes with pre-installed software. Usually, you will get a free trial period to test it out, but later you’ll have to pay for the service. While the default antivirus can be somewhat decent, there might be better options. So, better do your research before getting a paid subscription for the pre-installed protection.
Pay Only for What You Need
Some providers offer a broad variety of different tools included in the antivirus software. While you might not need them, you will pay a higher price for such a solution. That’s why you should compare the costs and understand why does one provider ask a higher price than another. Maybe you don’t need an offer that expensive.
Also, many popular brands would ask for more just because they’re well-known. Of course, you are free to pay for the name and some kind of guarantee of good service (since the provider is popular). But you should still check alternatives out.
The Trial is a Must
You shouldn’t buy the software without trying it first. Even if you found some accurate reviews and everything seems to be fine, there is always a chance that you won’t feel like it’s the right fit for you once you use the antivirus. So look for providers that offer a trial period.
Firewall is not Necessary Anymore
Modern operating systems have decent firewalls. That’s why providers don’t implement those into their antiviruses now. So don’t worry about the firewall when choosing the solution. Focus on the malware detection rate and additional features of the software.
Anti-Malware and Antivirus are not the Same
We’ve already mentioned above that there are numerous kinds of cyber threats. Anti-malware will only clean your device from malware. While antivirus is designed to defend you from attacks, prevent infection, and heal the system if needed.
Do I Need to Buy Antivirus Software?
Obviously, not using an antivirus at all you are risking a lot. Hackers can easily get access to your system and corrupt or steal sensitive data – passwords, credit card details, and much more. Therefore, you should always think about the security of your device.
Talking about free antiviruses, there are some pretty decent options. Of course, they might be limited and not as flexible as some users might want them to be. But many popular brands offer essential protection for free.
It’s always up to you whether you want to pay for your safety or not, but you definitely need an antivirus. You can’t expose your data to the potential threat because malware doesn’t only slow the system down but can harm the information stored on your device.