Best Antivirus Software

Rank  Rating 
1Norton sets the industry standard for home and business antivirus security – and it wasn’t invented by a guy most would consider questionably sane.5View
2Kaspersky hails from Russia and offers a versatile line of antivirus products, which can be installed on any OS and virtually any form of computer. Read full review4.5View
3McAfee probably came loaded on your PC when you bought it. Love it or hate it, it’s a software that works and affordable one too, as many of their products come with unlimited installs.4View
4Named #1 in Content Security for Small Businesses by Canalys Research, Trend Micro has been in the AV game for over 25 years.3.5View
5In 2013, Bitdefender was crowned the Best Antivirus Security Software on the market by no less than PCMagazine.3View
6Avira has been around for over 25 years and does offer a comprehensive security suite, however the software is a bit expensive and probably not the best solution for small business owners on a budget.2.5View
7Vipre stands out as one of the few AV’s which offers a free rescue application; however, this software has been known to give users issues during install.2View
8With a customer base of over 10.5 million and a 97% satisfaction rate, 23 year old Panda is an up and coming antivirus software that’s relatively unknown but still running strong.1.5View
9AVG places its emphasis on “antivirus evolution” and is dedicated to maintaining a relevant signature database carefully crafted to keep its users safe.1View
10Webroot is an unobtrusive antivirus software that works on PCs, Macs, Androids, and iPhones.0.5View

How to find the best antivirus software

Choosing the right software is important, because the reality of identity theft is that it can happen to anyone who uses a computer. All it takes is a shoddily protected system, and a hacker who’s determined enough to deploy a virus. Fortunately most individuals are immune to targeted attacks; however, small business owners are often singled out because they engage in quite a bit more eCommerce than most. On top of this, the hyper-connected nature of the Internet means that anyone can encounter a random virus at any random time.

Determining which antivirus software to use can be a difficult process. There are endless options, and for the average computer user most of them seem the same.

System Performance and Scan Time

Probably the most important aspect of any software, antivirus or not, is how it runs on your computer. You could have the most expensive and advanced security suite in the world, but it would be completely useless if it didn’t run well. A good antivirus software is unobtrusive. It should run in the background and not interfere with all of things you do with your computer. It should work to clean your computer up and make it operate faster – not slow it down.

On top of this, a good antivirus software should have a reasonable scan time. Running a system scan means checking all of the files on your computer for a virus. Because most computers contain thousands of files, it can take even the best antivirus software scanner quite some time to run to completion. Good software is comprehensive and should also give you the option to run a quick scan in the event you think you may have come across a suspicious file and need to know right away.

Virus Detection Capability

When an antivirus software scans your computer for a virus, it is comparing each file on your computer to the files it contains on its signature database. A signature database is a collection of signature markings associated with common viruses. Like a fingerprint, each virus has its own unique signature that identifies it. If one of your files has one of these signatures, a system scan will identify it as a virus. Good antivirus software has an extensive signature database that contains all the world’s most common threats, but the database must also be able to evolve as threats change.

Different Types of Internet Security Features

Almost all antivirus vendors sell their software in variety of flavors, or editions. What differentiates one edition from another is usually the extent to which the software includes additional features. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Antimalware – It’s important to understand that a virus is just one type of malware that can infect your computer. Calling it antivirus software is a marketing remnant from when viruses were the most common type of malware. Today, good antivirus software must be good antimalware software, which means it can protect you from every type of threat.
  • Antiphishing– These features will protect you from fraudulent websites that exist solely to “phish” for financial information.
  • Antispam – Blocking spam email protect you from fraudulent messages that, like phishing sites, are created with the intent to scam.
  • Firewall – A hardened connection that will keep your online financial transactions secure and is essential for any small business owner.
  • Parental Controls – These features are not necessarily required for a small business, but they can be helpful to anyone who has kids.

Supported Operating System

Not to be overlooked, one of the most important aspects of antivirus software is its ability to be installed on your computer! If you own a Mac, it’s no use to have a software than only works on the PC; and, with the world’s increasing reliance on smartphones, it’s important to choose a software package that work on yours as well. Good antivirus software allows users to install their copy on multiple machines regardless of OS, sometimes with unlimited installations with the purchase of 1 license.