This is a guest post by Adam Ferraresi.
Web development has always been something Adam was passionate about, and it is from his passion that he’s making his living. Thanks to the vast knowledge of internet trends and its constant changes, Adam often writes popular articles for wefollowtech.com. He’s a born and raised Texan, with his residence in Dallas.
When you consider that there are over one million of new malware threats every day (according to data from Verizon and Symantec), you realize that there is no excuse for not having an antivirus in 2016. What’s more, if you know just how many free solutions are there on the market, you cannot even use the bad economy or lack of funds as an excuse. One of the good things of having a free product from one of the better IS companies, is that they always use the same antivirus engine as in their paid-plan products. Some of them also include additional features, like improved firewalls, password managers, and even support for mobile devices.
Now, as the years comes to a close, we need to start thinking about the next year, and the biggest question on our minds is – what are some of the best AV programs out there for 2017? So we are about to examine some of the AV products on the market today, and like any good top list of antivirus programs, we are going to talk about their features and distinctive functions. We should also mention that testing all of this software with actual viruses would take up a lot of our time, therefore, we are going to use test results from a number of respected, independent labs like AV-Test, SE Labs and AV Comparatives, just to name a few.
So, without further ado, let’s look at all of these programs one-by-one, and once we’re finish, we’ll hopefully help you make a definitive decision, which AV software will suit your needs and protect your computer in the next 12 months.
Antivirus #1: Avira
In the last couple of years, Avira has topped many lists of best AV softwares, and wouldn’t you know it – the software is still one of the strongest contenders for the best antivirus on the market. The interface has a great design, and it’s easy to use, even if you are a novice. The latest version of the software includes a couple of brand new features in the SearchFree Toolbar – a site safety advisor and an option to block marketing companies from installing cookies and tracking you online. At the first glance, you might think that you’ll have a new firewall, but once you install Avira, you’ll see that it’s actually an integrated Windows firewall.
Last year, AV-Test gave the software perfect scores all across the boards, and while this year the results weren’t so perfect, Avira still did great in recent tests. It got 5.5 for both the protection and performance, and it also got a perfect 6 for usability with no false positives whatsoever. AV Comparatives also gave it a perfect score for blocking 100% of possible threats. And when it’s all said and done, this AV still does a fine job, even when compared with some of the more pricey programs on the market.
Antivirus #2: Avast
Next up we have Avast – a company that doesn’t hide its free offering like some of the providers are known to. You can easily find the free download on the company’s homepage, without have to click on a ton of links and dig through a bunch of meaningless pages. In addition to basic virus protection, Avast offers protection from unknown malware and a nice password manager, which enables you log into website in your browser by just remembering one single password. Unfortunately, the free version doesn’t include an extension that warns the users of fake, phishing website, nor a spam filter.
However, there are some good news after all – the antivirus protection is better than ever. SE Labs gave Avast the highest score awarded to a free antivirus ever (94%). Furthermore, AV Comparatives discovered that it blocks almost 100% of threats (the exact number is 99.7%) in its test this September. And if you have a slow machine, look no further than Avast, because AVC also found out that it has the least impact on performance, partially thanks to the fact that the program runs a significant proportion of its operation in the cloud.
Antivirus #3: Bitdefender
If you’re not aware of it, BitDefender offers a paid Total Security package, and it’s one of the best paid AV bundles today. So it’s shouldn’t come as a surprise that the free version of the company’s software is doing very well, since it uses the same detection engine as the paid version. AV Comparatives even awarded the free version with a 100% rating, during the tests in September 2016. There were no false-positives in none of those tests – which means that BitDefender didn’t report any safe programs or files as being unsafe.
The antivirus also had a ton of praise from AV-Test, which gave it fill marks for everything from usability to protection and performance. On the other hand, we have to mention that BD didn’t do quite as well with SE Labs’ testings – the organization revealed that the program was compromised by a number of different threats, which is why they awarded it a protection rating of 73%. But overall, the program is lightweight, easy to implement and even easier to use and in general, it offers well-enough protection for your device.
Antivirus #4 AVG
Finally, we have come the probably the most talked-about and scandalous pick on our list – AVG Antivirus. Even though a lot of people on the internet don’t agree with the company’s policy about the privacy of their users, we all have to agree on one thing – in terms of protection, this isn’t a bad antivirus package at all. SE Labs gave AVG an 89% overall rating, and it missed out on an AA award only a single percent. Also, AV-Test rated its protection 5.5 out of 6, and it achieved same in the performance category, so you know for sure that AVG won’t slow your device down.
Anyone that has used this antivirus in the past 12 months can attest to the fact that AVG runs smoothly in the background while you’re doing something resource-heavy on your PC. And in reality, that is what anybody wants from an antivirus software. We also have to mention that AVG has a quite simple dashboards, so if you ever want to venture to it, and check if it is up to date, you’ll have no problems handling it. Last but not least, the free version warns all users if they are clicking on unsafe Internet links, and it block unsafe attachments in your mailbox.
With that being said, those were definitely the four best antiviruses on the market today. All security software is designed with one purpose in mind – preventing dangerous programs from infecting your machine, but some just do it better than others. If you want more protection and less advertisements, you should spend a little money and get the full-fledged programs all of these companies offer. And trust us when we say it – they are worth it.