How To Select A Good Antivirus Software
What shall I pay attention to by selecting an antivirus solution
Nowadays, having a computer is a necessity more than a luxury, and having a good antivirus is becoming more and more essential to protect your software, hardware, and all kind of data. Here we will check how to choose a good antivirus for a PC, what are the features, that a good antivirus software has to have, and on what to pay primary attention while selecting a security product that shall protect your system, depending on what kind of activities you perform on your lap and what you usually use your computer for.
First of all, you shall decide, which security level you need. If something average is enough, say just for checking your friends, typing some documents, which aren’t really anything important, and so on, it means, if you don’t the computer for any special activity that is really vital, but for entertainment, and you don’t care too much about torrents and freeshare things, then you can consider a free antivirus product. Though, you shall understand, that most likely, it will not provide for you a comprehensive protection, the speed of your system will be compromised, and well, maybe you still will come to a conclusion, that a paid one would still be better. Moreover, nowadays an antivirus product isn’t something that one cannot afford. The price can vary from about 19 USD per year and higher. They are quite efficient, do not influence the performance speed. But still, if you more often use your computer for work than for entertainment, it is better to consider a proper protection, it means, a good antivirus system, that includes antimalware protection, too.
Why this combination?
Well, most antiviruses were developed in times when computer viruses were just coming to existence. And well, they were created mostly for fighting off viruses. But with time, threats were advancing, and malware appeared. Malware is not a virus, it belongs to rather a different category of threats.
But to this point we will turn back little bit later.
Then, to keep your computer safe, one needs to update the antivirus system constantly. Best of all is to turn on the automatic update, then you will not worry that you forgot about the update. New threats appear constantly, they are more and more advanced and possess features that they did not have earlier. If the security is not updated, the system will not be able to detect new threats.
And, try to keep your antivirus product safe, too. Not many know about the option of setting up a password to protect the antivirus software. It sounds ridiculous, but some malware and viruses are able to destroy the antivirus system or to deactivate some vital functions of it. That is why, if you set up a password, you can be at least sure, that nobody will deinstall it or make any changes in it without your authorization.
In order to select the best antivirus, you shall check the following:
• Feedback of the users. Of course, software developers are trying their best to develop a good product, able to compete in the market. And of course, they will advertise it in the best possible way. But users are those who define, whether the product succeeded or not. To save time and possibly money, check feedback, that is available for the software;
• Start with a free trial. Most antiviruses offer a trial version, so, do not hesitate to use exactly this very comfortable option. Like this, you will check, if this product is suitable for your system and for your needs, how it performs and so on. After the trial time is over, you have a choice of whether to purchase the product or simply stop using it.
• Check the results of independent labs testing. They are normally available in the internet. Also, be prepared that the most efficient products will be, most likely, the most expensive ones.
• Check the compatibility of the antivirus solution with all programs installed in your computer. If it is incompatible even with one only program, the program can deter the functioning of the antivirus solution and leave you vulnerable.
• The antivirus product shall be usable enough. It means, it shall be easy to use, even by a non-specialist. Just imagine, that every time to perform a scan or other action with the antivirus software, you have to consult a manual or the web. That is not just extremely uncomfortable, but also influences on the security level.
• Complete protection. It means, that your security solution ideally shall protect your system from all threats, such as viruses, even the newest ones, any kind of worms, Trojans, malware and other ware that can get access to the system and cause damage. It shall protect your computer in all aspects, all its channels, such as mail, the internet, FTP and so on.
• Protection quality. Any antivirus program works in a highly aggressive environment, fighting with viruses, threats, malware, that come constantly and they are advancing with every second, using new earlier unknown technologies and trying to cause a damage to your system.
Here, about the quality protection, we would like to go little bit in-depth, because this aspect is extremely complex and important.Quality depends on how efficient the software processes of malware detection.
Even a simple antivirus software is supposed to do:
1. Detect most of the existing malware;
2. As we know, new modifications of viruses appear very often, and no software is able to follow all. That is why, it is very important to choose a software that is able, based on behavioural analysis, to detect new modifications of already known viruses and Trojans.
3. Detect malware that comes in archives. As you may know, archive utilities modify the malware in a way, that complicates its detection by an antivirus software. That is why, this feature is very important for any antivirus software.
Frequency of updates. Malware and viruses are appearing every day, that is why, updating a software is vitally important for your computer. Moreover, it is great, when the software updates automatically, without interfering in your work.
The software has to be able to remove the virus or other malware from the system. It sounds rather evident, though it is not as evident as you may think. Many antivirus products are able to prevent the attack, or to detect, that the system is infected, but by the infection removal, the software either fails, or simply leaves the malware there where it was. Or, in another case, the malware already spread itself through the system, and after the removal of one copy, it will reproduce itself from an infected file. Or, after removal the malware leaves hidden files or traces behind, which will interfere your system. That is why, when you are selecting an antivirus product, pay attention to the fact, that it shall be able not only to prevent the attack, to detect the virus, but also to remove it efficiently and without the leftovers.
One more thing: your antivirus system shall be able to block the threats in real time mode. Once the threat gets into the system, it can cause significant harm even within seconds. If the security solution is not able to block the threats in real time mode, it is useless.
Of course, those simpler software products will provide some basics of security, but well, they are simple, that is why, you can easily use them. But those that are more complicated, are able to provide a more comprehensive protection level, even though you may find them at first rather bulky.
And you shall understand, that no one software is perfect. They may crash, may have technical issues, there may be viruses that will not be removed automatically – all kinds of issues may arise, and the software provider shall be available to deal with them. That is why, it is quite reasonable to select a solution, that offers free technical support, and whose team is available to solve any issue at any time, day and night.
An antivirus product shall be able to perform script blocking. Hackers often use script languages to execute a malicious code. The best antivirus shall be able to scan Java, Visual Basics and other scripts for the presence of a malicious code.
Mail protection is one more important feature, which cannot be under-evaluated. Many viruses infect the system through a mail attachment containing a virus. Once you open it, your computer gets infected. It was reported though, that in some cases even there is no need to open an attachment, even it is not needed to open an e-mail. It is enough just to preview it, to let a malware or a virus infect your computer. That is why, a good antivirus product shall be able to protect from such threats, moreover, we use mail more and more often.
And many of us use instant messengers, especially in social networks. More and more viruses are sent via instant messengers. For example, a message from your friend comes with a link and a request to open it, as it contains supposedly something incredibly funny, of asking to check out some photo. An antivirus product shall be able to handle such attachments and links. Moreover, it shall be able to eliminate the virus, even if you clicked on the sent link and downloaded it into your system.
Also, you shall consider the system, which you are using. If you are an advanced user, most likely, you would like to keep your system fully protected, online and offline, preventing viruses and malware from getting into the system and removing those that are already present. Moreover, you will definitely want to select a system that is able to make backups of the files, that you consider the most important, and to be able to recover the lost data.
But if you aren’t so advanced, or simply do not need something super fast and super cool, then you, most likely, have an older version of the computer and here important will be how much the software is influencing the system performance.
Also, you shall seriously consider which information you possess and how high the cost will be if that information is stolen or damaged. If you work with information that is highly confidential, if its loss will result in huge money losses or even threats to your business or family, of course, it is worth selecting something very reliable, even that solution will be not the cheapest one. And if a virus can propagate from your computer on other computers in the system, in which also something important is stored, then, most likely, a most comprehensive solution shall be considered. Normally, it is valid for companies.
If you are an experienced gamer, most likely, you will appreciate a software that supports the game -mode feature. In this mode, the antivirus software blocks popup windows, any notifications are put off, and even in some cases the computer vs. screen settings are modified in order to provide the best performance. And of course, in the game-mode, the software also shall be able to protect your system from the viruses, which are more than anywhere present in the games of such kind.
A firewall, and once more, a firewall. It can be included for free or you may have to pay for it, but it shall be present. No exceptions!
And free software – is it so useless? Not always, well, rather, not useless at all. Actually, some free products are much more efficient than those that cost god money.