You do realize, don’t you, that even though Microsoft includes antivirus features in Windows, you are still supposed to buy antivirus software from third-party vendors? That’s right, Microsoft never meant for you to make do with Windows Defender. The only reason Windows includes virus protection is to take care of those folks who will never get around to installing a top antivirus product. Even though Microsoft continues to improve the security native to Windows with every release, Defender has not been able to register respectable scores in a battery of tests conducted by software testing lab AV-Test. The best virus protection product that rises to the top during performance testing is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus. You are invited to our Learning Center to read articles about the best antivirus software.
The purpose of antivirus for PC products is to stop malware from entering and compromising your computer’s operating system. So one measure of success is how well your virus scanner can detect a threat in order to block it. A complicating factor, though, is that sometimes hackers send brand-new threats that have never been seen before and are unlike any family of threats whose genealogies are present in the best antivirus databases. So just because the best antivirus products sometimes cannot stop malware from coming through, it doesn’t mean they are ineffective. Just as important as detecting and blocking a threat before it can enter is the ability to detect an already infiltrated threat that gives itself away as malicious because of its guilty behavior. So antimalware software has two chances to protect you: once when the malware is attempting to gain entrance, and another time when it has a chance to quarantine and eradicate a threat that has successfully infiltrated the first line of defense. These, then, are the factors that contribute to whether any particular product will stand out in our antivirus reviews: Performance, features, and help and support.
There is an independent test lab named AV-Test that exposes antivirus software to malicious threat samples numbering in the tens of millions. Using a testbed consisting of hundreds of workstations networked to dozens of servers, AV-Test discovers how various security software products fare in terms of protection, repair and usability. These results are well-respected by the antivirus vendor community and by informed product users.
With performance as the foundation of any antimalware product evaluation, it is then appropriate to consider which features you require and which features would simply be nice to have. Our review makes it easy for you to figure out whether any particular contestant protects you from phishing, or flags threats in email and instant messages, or recognizes when you insert a thumb drive so it can scan for threats.
Help & Support
After you have a fix on the best antivirus software for you in terms of performance and features, then make yourself aware of how the software publisher supports its users. The best vendors are those that you can reach 24/7 via live online chat, telephone or email. There are vendors who are not reachable 24/7 and who don’t support online chat, so be aware of what you can live with before you purchase.
We delight in assisting you to identify the best antivirus software for your Windows computer. We want to be clear that the security that comes with Windows from Microsoft is not the best, and Microsoft itself has said over and over that it expects you to buy something better. When it comes to securing your computer and by extension your personal identity, the correct pre-emptive action is to buy antivirus software. Our fond hope is that our review quickly orients you toward something better than Defender.
At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don’t Have To.™