Windows 7 came as such a welcome relief after the poor debut of Vista that it is bound to endure even longer than the revered XP. All computers expire, however, and need to be replaced at some point. That will mean switching over to Windows 8, and when that happens, you'll see how much of a leap forward Windows 8 is. The fact that this new Microsoft OS can run both desktops and mobile devices shows that Microsoft wants to revolutionize operating systems going forward.
Love it or hate it, if you are running Windows 8, you know that it incorporates the best security features native to any version of Windows thus far produced. Microsoft includes Windows Defender with Windows 8 to increase protection for those who will never get around to installing third-party antivirus for Windows 8. However, according to performance test results from respected independent software labs, Defender still can't match the best antivirus for Windows 8 products: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Norton AntiVirus. We will show you how to pick virus protection, and we encourage you to read our articles about antivirus software for Windows 8.
Choosing an anti-virus product for Windows 8 can feel overwhelming, but the process should actually be painless. If you focus on performance, features, and help and support, you can easily choose the right product for your needs. Here's how we evaluated Windows 8 anti-virus software:
The best-performing anti-virus products not only defend against known malware, they can also find new and potential threats. Look for software that can flag suspicious scripts, phishing campaigns and potentially risky websites.
To check the performance of antivirus software for Windows 8 products, we relied on the objective analysis of AV-Test, an independent IT security institute. This lab puts anti-virus software through a battery of challenges, including tens of millions of threats, both known and potential. The lab uses hundreds of workstations networked to dozens of servers to test how well anti-malware products detect and block malware, how thoroughly they repair already-infected computers, and whether they slow down system performance or falsely flag perfectly safe files as dangerous.
Basic anti-malware performance should be your main criteria when selecting anti-virus software for Windows 8. So, when considering features, think about necessary add-ons vs. those features it would simply be nice to have. In our reviews, we check for particularly useful features. For instance, some antivirus software for Windows 8 provides added value by protecting you from phishing attacks, and from threats contained in instant messages, email and removable memory devices, like thumb drives.
Help & Support
Security software publishers provide different levels of support for their products. Some companies offer 24/7 assistance, meaning you can always reach a representative via online chat or telephone, no matter when a problem arises. However, some companies limit their support hours, and some only provide support via email.
If you want to give your system the best protection from online threats, look beyond Windows Defender. Read performance tests from respected labs, visit product user forums to uncover issues, and decide what level of help and support is right for you. Our reviews summarize all that information in one place to help make your decision easier.
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