The internet is filled with malware, adware, and other unwanted programs that you can easily download and install without even knowing it. That’s why it’s imperative to take measures to protect your system so that your files remain private and your computer keeps running great.
Is Windows Defender Enough?
If you want added protection other than Windows Defender, there are a lot of free and paid options out there to pick from. Antivirus software comparison tests have shown Windows Defender to fall short of several other major providers. It received a 3.5 out of 6 from AV-TEST. That being said, Windows Defender does have some advantages. It’s free, built-in, and won’t annoy you with pop up requests to upgrade or anything like that. If you keep it up to date, it is functional, but not comprehensive.
What are Zero Day Attacks?
Zero day attacks are types of viral threats that are so new that anti-virus software isn’t yet familiar with them. They are new viruses basically. A very good anti-virus application will be able to block them from installing or accessing files on your computer anyway, but their unfamiliar nature makes some of them difficult to detect.
What’s the Difference Between Free and Paid Software?
Tests have shown that both free and paid antivirus programs function just the same. Think of free antivirus as a trial version. You can’t access 100% of the features, but it generally does the same thing. The paid software has extra features that are not necessarily needed to protect your machine, like parental controls and identity theft protection. Unless you’d really like to have the additional options, maybe to protect your computer from children or people who may not be as careful as they should when browsing the web, free antivirus will provide you with everything you need.
What is the Best Overall Antivirus Software?
According to AV-Test, BitDefender Internet Security is the best all around anti-virus you can get. It got full credit in all categories including 100% protection for zero day attacks, and 99.9% detection of widespread malware compared to the industry average of 99%.
There are several other anti-virus applications that are only marginally less comprehensive. The best runners up are Norton, Avira, Kapersky Lab, and Trend Micro. Here are the top ten listed in order:
- BitDefender Internet Security
- Norton Security 2016
- Avira Antivirus Pro 2016
- Kaspersky Lab Internet Security
- Trend Micro Internet Security
- F-Secure Safe 2016
- AVG Internet Security 2016
- BullGuard Internet Security
- Avast Free Antivirus 2016
- AhnLab V3 Internet Security