Which Anti-Virus Software is the Best?
As we enter the "colds and flu" season we naturally think about viruses and the ailments that attend as we try to ward off the unwanted effects of sickness. Many of us prepare for this by getting "flu shots" or taking other preventative measures. But unlike us humans, its "virus season" every day of the year for our laptops and desktop computers.
At Fix My Laptop we are constantly asked "Which Anti-Virus is the Best" and I will give you my views. Best is a subjective word, so first of I'll describe what I think constitutes a good anti-virus program. Here are the features I look for in order of importance; high success in detection and removal of viruses, second, does not slow down my computer or impact me in daily use, third, easy to update and use. For me the "best" anti-virus software is able to do all three of these things very well.
We therefore eliminate from our consideration of anti-virus software the "suites" such as Norton, McAfee, Trend Micro, etc that constitute "bloatware" . These suites are effective in detection and removal of viruses but fail badly on the second criteria of slowing down use of the computer and impacting on daily use. Norton Internet Security for example, can slow a computer down by 25-40% and this happens 100% of the time so in many respects is more troublesome than the viruses it seeks to remove.
My father used to say "If millions of people drink milk, you can't tell me its bad for you" and applying his logic, lets look at the most popular anti-virus software in the world to see how users are voting with their "download".
In the June 2010 OPSWAT Report on Worldwide Antivirus Application Market Share it reports the top 3 companies with respect to worldwide market share were:
• Avast - 12.37%
• AVG - 12.37%
• Avira - 12.29%
and the heavily marketed brands such as Norton (Symantec) 8.77% McAfee 4.5% and Kaspersky 7.98%.
Lets talk about the top two; AVG and Avast. AVG leads the world as the most downloaded anti-virus program with an estimated 375 million users worldwide, with 1.5 million downloads per month. Avast has similar numbers of users with about 1 million downloads a month. I use AVG as the standard anti-virus software within Fix My Laptop and the AVG Free edition is placed on thousands of laptops each year by us. It is the one we use and recommend. I also have Avast on my own personal laptop and am very happy with that. I found that AVG had issues with scanning Outlook mail with my older Outlook 2003 so I switched to Avast. So how does AVG and Avast score on my "best" criteria? Firstly they have superior detection capabilities, they are lean and do not slow you down, and lastly they are "automatic" to use and do most thinks without any hassle.
You can go to the Fix My Laptop website and click on the Downloads tab to obtain copies of the free versions of AVG and Avast, and if you do have viruses, spyware, fakeware, malware, etc we can remove these for you.
As with everything knowledge is power, 10 minutes researching, reading user reviews, etc will help you form your own opinion on what will suit your individual needs.
Stay well this winter. Phillip Heibloem. June 22 2011.