• 2015 Best Antivirus Software
    reviews & comparisons
    9.73
    10
    9.70
    10
    9.68
    10
    9.23
    10
    9.10
    10
    9.00
    10
    8.92
    10
    8.73
    10
    8.68
    10
    8.40
    10
    8.28
    10
    8.20
    10
    8.15
    10
    8.13
    10
    8.03
    10
    7.75
    10
    6.48
    10
    5.88
    10
    5.70
    10
    5.50
    10
    5.25
    10
    5.20
    10
    5.13
    10
    4.75
    10
    Windows 8.1 Performance
    Usability Score
    100%
    100%
    100%
    100%
    100%
    100%
    92%
    100%
    100%
    100%
    100%
    100%
    92%
    100%
    100%
    75%
    75%
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Performance
    92%
    100%
    92%
    67%
    83%
    92%
    83%
    58%
    75%
    75%
    58%
    50%
    75%
    83%
    83%
    50%
    58%
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Protection
    100%
    100%
    100%
    100%
    100%
    100%
    92%
    100%
    83%
    100%
    83%
    92%
    100%
    58%
    67%
    75%
    75%
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Not tested
    Features
    Anti-Malware
    Anti-Spyware
    Anti-Worm
    Anti-Rootkit
    Scans Incoming Email
     
     
    Bootable Rescue CD
     
     
     
     
    Auto-clean Infected Files
    Infected File Quarantine
    Instant Messaging Protection
     
     
    Anti-Phishing
     
     
     
     
     
    Auto USB Detect
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Gamer Mode
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Identity Safe
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Password Manager
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Help & Support
    Email Support
     
     
    Phone Support
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Live Chat
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    24/7
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Virus-Free Guarantee
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Platforms
    Devices Protected by One License For One Year
    3
    3
    1
    5
    1
    1
    1
    1
    3
    3
    1
    1
    3
    1
    1
    1
    1
    3
    3
    10
    1
    1
    5
    1
    Windows 8
    Windows 7
    Windows Vista
    Mac OS X
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    iOS
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Antivirus Software Review

    by

    Why pay for antivirus software when Microsoft includes a virus scanner in Windows? The answer is performance. Even though Microsoft continues to improve the security program built into the Windows operating system, its Windows Defender doesn’t register respectable scores in tests conducted by independent software test lab AV-Test. Microsoft’s intention with Windows Defender – the Windows 8 replacement for Microsoft Security Essentials – is to provide a baseline of protection for those who will never purchase commercial virus protection. For those of you who are looking to improve upon Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials, the best virus protection is provided by Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. We invite you to visit our Learning Center for more articles about the best antivirus software.

    Antivirus Software: What to Look For

    The most important factors that we consider in our antivirus reviews are performance, features, and help and support.

    Performance
    Antivirus software must do more than block malware that’s already been flagged as dangerous and listed as malicious in the software provider's threat database. It must also detect and block fresh threats too new to be in the database. Furthermore, it must identify and neutralize threats that manage to sneak by the filters and begin to behave maliciously.

    Performance is the most important consideration. In order to represent performance objectively, we refer to data from independent software test lab, AV-Test, which exposes dozens of competing antivirus software products to tens of millions of actual and potential threats. In tests that employ hundreds of workstations networked to dozens of servers, AV-Test reports how well various security software products protect and repair damage.

    Features
    With performance as the foundation, it is appropriate to also consider the features you need and the features that would be nice to have. Our review shows whether any particular product also protects from phishing, flags threats in email and instant messages, and recognizes when you insert a thumb drive so it can scan for threats.

    Help & Support
    After you identify the best antivirus software for you in terms of performance and features, consider the support included with the product. All the products on our review offer support through email and phone calls. However, not every software publisher provides 24/7 access to support; only the best antivirus publishers do.

    The antivirus protection included with Windows on your PC offers a measure of protection that is less than that provided by the best antivirus software. Given the many online threats aimed at your computer and eager to steal your identity, we recommend buying and installing the best antivirus for PC product to boost your protection.