Threats to electronic devices and personal information continue to increase as the Internet becomes more and more integrated into daily life. Finding the best antivirus software is not always easy, especially with a huge range of options to choose from. Here are three paid security solutions and two free alternatives.
Bitdefender Internet Security 2016
Bitdefender has been repeatedly called the best antivirus software in 2016, beating the competition in independent lab tests. Bitdefender offers many packages to cover a range of devices, including Windows, Mac OS, and Android.
PROS: This software is easy to use, effectively scans and removes viruses, and is considered best at preventing new malware.
CONS: Bitdefender is a paid service. It also may slow the system down while running, and occasional false detections have occurred.
Kaspersky Lab Internet Security 2017
Kaspersky excels at protecting against phishing threats and Internet scams, and effectively finds and removes malware. Kaspersky also offers packages to cover a range of devices, and specifically appeals to family households and users wanting to protect their children.
PROS: Kaspersky is easy to use and has a pleasant user interface. Unlike Bitdefender, it does not slow down the device. Kaspersky effectively scans and removes viruses, and is better at protecting against the newest forms of malware than most alternatives.
CONS: Kaspersky is a paid service and is more expensive than competitors. While it does not slow the system down, the scan speed itself is particularly slow. Kaspersky also bundles additional software which would require the user to spend additional money.
Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus 2016
Webroot’s SecureAnywhere is trusted by security professionals. Webroot offers three packages, the cheapest of which will provide protection to one device, either a PC with Windows or a MacBook with OS X. The next level of protection covers up to three devices, including PC and Mac, as well as most tablets and smartphones. Webroot maintains its databases in a cloud, so updates are done more frequently.
PROS: Webroot is compatible with a wide range of devices. It effectively scans and removes viruses, and databases are updated frequently via the cloud, so the user does not have to do any manual updates. Webroot also has remarkably fast scan speeds.
CONS: Webroot is a paid software, and does not work as well when the user is not connected to the Internet.
Avast! Free AntiVirus 2016
This free antivirus is extremely popular for those who do not want to pay for protection. Its large user base ensures the software will continue to best other competition in the freeware market. Avast! is available on most devices and operating systems.
PROS: Avast! is free, easy to install, and has good virus detection capability compared to other freeware.
CONS: Avast! includes lots of advertisements and pop-ups. Users have reported that the browser add-on is not very effective, leaving the browser itself more susceptible. The features and settings available for Avast! are not as easy to configure as its competitors, and the interface is less user-friendly.
AVG Internet Security 2016
Although extremely popular, AVG is only compatible with Windows users. Like most freeware, additional services cost money. However, for basic virus protection, AVG is effective.
PROS: AVG is free, easy to install, and has great virus detecting capability.
CONS: AVG is only supported for Windows, so is unavailable for Mac users or on other non-Windows devices, such as many smartphones and tablets. AVG also has poor Internet security options, and slows the device significantly while running.
All of these antivirus options will dramatically improve security and effectively protect the user and their device. Weighing the pros and cons of each option will help users decide which one best suits their specific needs.