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Anti-virus software

Computer viruses cause serious damage to your computer. They may delete important files, steal sensitive information or even stop your computer from working altogether. Because new viruses appear every day, it’s vital that you have effective anti-virus software.

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What to look for

FAQs

Jargon explained

Anti-virus software comparison chart for 2022

Displaying 1 to 10 of 13        Previous | Next

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Avira Antivirus Pro
Bitdefender AntiVirus Plus
ESET NOD32 Antivirus
F-Secure Anti-Virus
G Data Antivirus
Kaspersky Anti-Virus
Norton AntiVirus Plus
Panda Dome Essential
Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security
Excellent
Five stars means excellent
Very good
Four stars means very good
Good
Three stars means good
Average
Two stars means average /
Poor
One star means poor
Avira Antivirus Pro has been awarded best buy Product image of avira antivirus pro Product image of bitdefender antivirus plus Product image of eset nod32 antivirus Product image of f-secure anti-virus Product image of g data antivirus Product image of kaspersky anti-virus Product image of norton antivirus plus Product image of panda dome essential Product image of total defense essential anti-virus Product image of trend micro antivirus+ security
 
 

*$59.99
$36 off

*$39.95
$10 off

*$59.99
$30 off

*$34.99
$8.75 off

*$49.99
$20 off

*$39.95
$10 off
Ratings
Overall
avira antivirus pro has a rating of four  overall bitdefender antivirus plus has a rating of five  overall eset nod32 antivirus has a rating of four  overall f-secure anti-virus has a rating of four  overall g data antivirus has a rating of four  overall kaspersky anti-virus has a rating of five  overall norton antivirus plus has a rating of four  overall panda dome essential has a rating of three  overall total defense essential anti-virus has a rating of three  overall trend micro antivirus+ security has a rating of four  overall
Setup
avira antivirus pro has a rating of four for setup bitdefender antivirus plus has a rating of five for setup eset nod32 antivirus has a rating of four for setup f-secure anti-virus has a rating of four for setup g data antivirus has a rating of four for setup kaspersky anti-virus has a rating of five for setup norton antivirus plus has a rating of five for setup panda dome essential has a rating of three for setup total defense essential anti-virus has a rating of three for setup trend micro antivirus+ security has a rating of four for setup
Protection
avira antivirus pro has a rating of one for protection bitdefender antivirus plus has a rating of five for protection eset nod32 antivirus has a rating of three for protection f-secure anti-virus has a rating of four for protection g data antivirus has a rating of four for protection kaspersky anti-virus has a rating of five for protection norton antivirus plus has a rating of four for protection panda dome essential has a rating of one for protection total defense essential anti-virus has a rating of five for protection trend micro antivirus+ security has a rating of four for protection
Effectiveness
avira antivirus pro has a rating of four for effectiveness bitdefender antivirus plus has a rating of five for effectiveness eset nod32 antivirus has a rating of four for effectiveness f-secure anti-virus has a rating of four for effectiveness g data antivirus has a rating of four for effectiveness kaspersky anti-virus has a rating of five for effectiveness norton antivirus plus has a rating of four for effectiveness panda dome essential has a rating of four for effectiveness total defense essential anti-virus has a rating of three for effectiveness trend micro antivirus+ security has a rating of four for effectiveness
Scans & updates
avira antivirus pro has a rating of four for scans & updates bitdefender antivirus plus has a rating of five for scans & updates eset nod32 antivirus has a rating of four for scans & updates f-secure anti-virus has a rating of four for scans & updates g data antivirus has a rating of four for scans & updates kaspersky anti-virus has a rating of five for scans & updates norton antivirus plus has a rating of five for scans & updates panda dome essential has a rating of three for scans & updates total defense essential anti-virus has a rating of three for scans & updates trend micro antivirus+ security has a rating of three for scans & updates
Features
avira antivirus pro has a rating of five for features bitdefender antivirus plus has a rating of five for features eset nod32 antivirus has a rating of five for features f-secure anti-virus has a rating of four for features g data antivirus has a rating of four for features kaspersky anti-virus has a rating of five for features norton antivirus plus has a rating of five for features panda dome essential has a rating of four for features total defense essential anti-virus has a rating of three for features trend micro antivirus+ security has a rating of four for features
Ease of use
avira antivirus pro has a rating of five for ease of use bitdefender antivirus plus has a rating of five for ease of use eset nod32 antivirus has a rating of four for ease of use f-secure anti-virus has a rating of three for ease of use g data antivirus has a rating of five for ease of use kaspersky anti-virus has a rating of five for ease of use norton antivirus plus has a rating of five for ease of use panda dome essential has a rating of three for ease of use total defense essential anti-virus has a rating of three for ease of use trend micro antivirus+ security has a rating of four for ease of use
Help & support
avira antivirus pro has a rating of four for help & support bitdefender antivirus plus has a rating of five for help & support eset nod32 antivirus has a rating of four for help & support f-secure anti-virus has a rating of three for help & support g data antivirus has a rating of four for help & support kaspersky anti-virus has a rating of five for help & support norton antivirus plus has a rating of five for help & support panda dome essential has a rating of three for help & support total defense essential anti-virus has a rating of three for help & support trend micro antivirus+ security has a rating of four for help & support
Protection
Anti-virus
avira antivirus pro includes anti-virus bitdefender antivirus plus includes anti-virus eset nod32 antivirus includes anti-virus f-secure anti-virus includes anti-virus g data antivirus includes anti-virus kaspersky anti-virus includes anti-virus norton antivirus plus includes anti-virus panda dome essential includes anti-virus total defense essential anti-virus includes anti-virus trend micro antivirus+ security includes anti-virus
Anti-spyware
avira antivirus pro includes anti-spyware bitdefender antivirus plus includes anti-spyware eset nod32 antivirus includes anti-spyware f-secure anti-virus includes anti-spyware g data antivirus includes anti-spyware kaspersky anti-virus includes anti-spyware norton antivirus plus includes anti-spyware panda dome essential includes anti-spyware total defense essential anti-virus includes anti-spyware trend micro antivirus+ security includes anti-spyware
Anti-spam
avira antivirus pro includes anti-spam bitdefender antivirus plus includes anti-spam eset nod32 antivirus includes anti-spam f-secure anti-virus includes anti-spam g data antivirus includes anti-spam kaspersky anti-virus includes anti-spam norton antivirus plus includes anti-spam panda dome essential includes anti-spam total defense essential anti-virus includes anti-spam trend micro antivirus+ security includes anti-spam
Anti-phishing
avira antivirus pro  anti-phishing bitdefender antivirus plus  anti-phishing eset nod32 antivirus  anti-phishing f-secure anti-virus  anti-phishing g data antivirus  anti-phishing kaspersky anti-virus  anti-phishing norton antivirus plus  anti-phishing panda dome essential  anti-phishing total defense essential anti-virus  anti-phishing trend micro antivirus+ security  anti-phishing
Anti-ransomware
avira antivirus pro  anti-ransomware bitdefender antivirus plus  anti-ransomware eset nod32 antivirus  anti-ransomware f-secure anti-virus  anti-ransomware g data antivirus  anti-ransomware kaspersky anti-virus  anti-ransomware norton antivirus plus  anti-ransomware panda dome essential  anti-ransomware total defense essential anti-virus  anti-ransomware trend micro antivirus+ security  anti-ransomware
Webcam & Microphone blocking
avira antivirus pro  webcam & microphone blocking bitdefender antivirus plus  webcam & microphone blocking eset nod32 antivirus  webcam & microphone blocking f-secure anti-virus  webcam & microphone blocking g data antivirus  webcam & microphone blocking kaspersky anti-virus  webcam & microphone blocking norton antivirus plus  webcam & microphone blocking panda dome essential  webcam & microphone blocking total defense essential anti-virus  webcam & microphone blocking trend micro antivirus+ security  webcam & microphone blocking
Independent lab results
AV-Comparatives
avira antivirus pro  av-comparatives bitdefender antivirus plus  av-comparatives eset nod32 antivirus  av-comparatives f-secure anti-virus  av-comparatives g data antivirus  av-comparatives kaspersky anti-virus  av-comparatives norton antivirus plus  av-comparatives panda dome essential  av-comparatives total defense essential anti-virus  av-comparatives trend micro antivirus+ security  av-comparatives
AV-TEST
avira antivirus pro  av-test bitdefender antivirus plus  av-test eset nod32 antivirus  av-test f-secure anti-virus  av-test g data antivirus  av-test kaspersky anti-virus  av-test norton antivirus plus  av-test panda dome essential  av-test total defense essential anti-virus  av-test trend micro antivirus+ security  av-test
Detection & removal
ActiveX
avira antivirus pro detects activex bitdefender antivirus plus detects activex eset nod32 antivirus detects activex f-secure anti-virus detects activex g data antivirus detects activex kaspersky anti-virus detects activex norton antivirus plus detects activex panda dome essential detects activex total defense essential anti-virus detects activex trend micro antivirus+ security detects activex
Adware
avira antivirus pro detects adware bitdefender antivirus plus detects adware eset nod32 antivirus detects adware f-secure anti-virus detects adware g data antivirus detects adware kaspersky anti-virus detects adware norton antivirus plus detects adware panda dome essential detects adware total defense essential anti-virus detects adware trend micro antivirus+ security detects adware
Browser exploits
avira antivirus pro detects browser exploits bitdefender antivirus plus detects browser exploits eset nod32 antivirus detects browser exploits f-secure anti-virus detects browser exploits g data antivirus detects browser exploits kaspersky anti-virus detects browser exploits norton antivirus plus detects browser exploits panda dome essential detects browser exploits total defense essential anti-virus detects browser exploits trend micro antivirus+ security detects browser exploits
Dialers
avira antivirus pro detects dialers bitdefender antivirus plus detects dialers eset nod32 antivirus detects dialers f-secure anti-virus detects dialers g data antivirus detects dialers kaspersky anti-virus detects dialers norton antivirus plus detects dialers panda dome essential detects dialers total defense essential anti-virus detects dialers trend micro antivirus+ security detects dialers
Keyloggers
avira antivirus pro detects keyloggers bitdefender antivirus plus detects keyloggers eset nod32 antivirus detects keyloggers f-secure anti-virus detects keyloggers g data antivirus detects keyloggers kaspersky anti-virus detects keyloggers norton antivirus plus detects keyloggers panda dome essential detects keyloggers total defense essential anti-virus detects keyloggers trend micro antivirus+ security detects keyloggers
Phishing
avira antivirus pro detects phishing bitdefender antivirus plus detects phishing eset nod32 antivirus detects phishing f-secure anti-virus detects phishing g data antivirus detects phishing kaspersky anti-virus detects phishing norton antivirus plus detects phishing panda dome essential detects phishing total defense essential anti-virus detects phishing trend micro antivirus+ security detects phishing
Rootkits
avira antivirus pro detects rootkits bitdefender antivirus plus detects rootkits eset nod32 antivirus detects rootkits f-secure anti-virus detects rootkits g data antivirus detects rootkits kaspersky anti-virus detects rootkits norton antivirus plus detects rootkits panda dome essential detects rootkits total defense essential anti-virus detects rootkits trend micro antivirus+ security detects rootkits
Script blocking
avira antivirus pro detects script blocking bitdefender antivirus plus detects script blocking eset nod32 antivirus detects script blocking f-secure anti-virus detects script blocking g data antivirus detects script blocking kaspersky anti-virus detects script blocking norton antivirus plus detects script blocking panda dome essential detects script blocking total defense essential anti-virus detects script blocking trend micro antivirus+ security detects script blocking
Spam
avira antivirus pro detects spam bitdefender antivirus plus detects spam eset nod32 antivirus detects spam f-secure anti-virus detects spam g data antivirus detects spam kaspersky anti-virus detects spam norton antivirus plus detects spam panda dome essential detects spam total defense essential anti-virus detects spam trend micro antivirus+ security detects spam
Spyware
avira antivirus pro detects spyware bitdefender antivirus plus detects spyware eset nod32 antivirus detects spyware f-secure anti-virus detects spyware g data antivirus detects spyware kaspersky anti-virus detects spyware norton antivirus plus detects spyware panda dome essential detects spyware total defense essential anti-virus detects spyware trend micro antivirus+ security detects spyware
Trojans
avira antivirus pro detects trojans bitdefender antivirus plus detects trojans eset nod32 antivirus detects trojans f-secure anti-virus detects trojans g data antivirus detects trojans kaspersky anti-virus detects trojans norton antivirus plus detects trojans panda dome essential detects trojans total defense essential anti-virus detects trojans trend micro antivirus+ security detects trojans
Viruses
avira antivirus pro detects viruses bitdefender antivirus plus detects viruses eset nod32 antivirus detects viruses f-secure anti-virus detects viruses g data antivirus detects viruses kaspersky anti-virus detects viruses norton antivirus plus detects viruses panda dome essential detects viruses total defense essential anti-virus detects viruses trend micro antivirus+ security detects viruses
Detection technology
Signatures
avira antivirus pro uses signatures bitdefender antivirus plus uses signatures eset nod32 antivirus uses signatures f-secure anti-virus uses signatures g data antivirus uses signatures kaspersky anti-virus uses signatures norton antivirus plus uses signatures panda dome essential uses signatures total defense essential anti-virus uses signatures trend micro antivirus+ security uses signatures
Heuristics
avira antivirus pro uses heuristics bitdefender antivirus plus uses heuristics eset nod32 antivirus uses heuristics f-secure anti-virus uses heuristics g data antivirus uses heuristics kaspersky anti-virus uses heuristics norton antivirus plus uses heuristics panda dome essential uses heuristics total defense essential anti-virus uses heuristics trend micro antivirus+ security uses heuristics
Scans
On-access scans
avira antivirus pro offers on-access scans bitdefender antivirus plus offers on-access scans eset nod32 antivirus offers on-access scans f-secure anti-virus offers on-access scans g data antivirus offers on-access scans kaspersky anti-virus offers on-access scans norton antivirus plus offers on-access scans panda dome essential offers on-access scans total defense essential anti-virus offers on-access scans trend micro antivirus+ security offers on-access scans
On-demand scans
avira antivirus pro offers on-demand scans bitdefender antivirus plus offers on-demand scans eset nod32 antivirus offers on-demand scans f-secure anti-virus offers on-demand scans g data antivirus does not offer on-demand scans kaspersky anti-virus offers on-demand scans norton antivirus plus offers on-demand scans panda dome essential offers on-demand scans total defense essential anti-virus offers on-demand scans trend micro antivirus+ security offers on-demand scans
Quick scans
avira antivirus pro does not include quick scans bitdefender antivirus plus includes quick scans eset nod32 antivirus includes quick scans f-secure anti-virus includes quick scans g data antivirus includes quick scans kaspersky anti-virus includes quick scans norton antivirus plus includes quick scans panda dome essential includes quick scans total defense essential anti-virus includes quick scans trend micro antivirus+ security includes quick scans
Deep scans
avira antivirus pro does not include deep scans bitdefender antivirus plus includes deep scans eset nod32 antivirus includes deep scans f-secure anti-virus includes deep scans g data antivirus includes deep scans kaspersky anti-virus includes deep scans norton antivirus plus includes deep scans panda dome essential includes deep scans total defense essential anti-virus includes deep scans trend micro antivirus+ security includes deep scans
Selective scans
avira antivirus pro includes selective scans bitdefender antivirus plus includes selective scans eset nod32 antivirus includes selective scans f-secure anti-virus includes selective scans g data antivirus includes selective scans kaspersky anti-virus includes selective scans norton antivirus plus includes selective scans panda dome essential includes selective scans total defense essential anti-virus includes selective scans trend micro antivirus+ security includes selective scans
Scheduled scans
avira antivirus pro includes scheduled scans bitdefender antivirus plus includes scheduled scans eset nod32 antivirus includes scheduled scans f-secure anti-virus includes scheduled scans g data antivirus includes scheduled scans kaspersky anti-virus includes scheduled scans norton antivirus plus includes scheduled scans panda dome essential includes scheduled scans total defense essential anti-virus includes scheduled scans trend micro antivirus+ security includes scheduled scans
Compressed files
avira antivirus pro includes compressed files bitdefender antivirus plus includes compressed files eset nod32 antivirus includes compressed files f-secure anti-virus includes compressed files g data antivirus includes compressed files kaspersky anti-virus includes compressed files norton antivirus plus includes compressed files panda dome essential includes compressed files total defense essential anti-virus includes compressed files trend micro antivirus+ security includes compressed files
File exclusion
avira antivirus pro includes file exclusion bitdefender antivirus plus includes file exclusion eset nod32 antivirus includes file exclusion f-secure anti-virus includes file exclusion g data antivirus includes file exclusion kaspersky anti-virus includes file exclusion norton antivirus plus includes file exclusion panda dome essential includes file exclusion total defense essential anti-virus includes file exclusion trend micro antivirus+ security includes file exclusion
Updates
Automatic updates
avira antivirus pro includes automatic updates bitdefender antivirus plus includes automatic updates eset nod32 antivirus includes automatic updates f-secure anti-virus includes automatic updates g data antivirus includes automatic updates kaspersky anti-virus includes automatic updates norton antivirus plus includes automatic updates panda dome essential includes automatic updates total defense essential anti-virus includes automatic updates trend micro antivirus+ security includes automatic updates
Manual updates
avira antivirus pro includes manual updates bitdefender antivirus plus includes manual updates eset nod32 antivirus includes manual updates f-secure anti-virus includes manual updates g data antivirus includes manual updates kaspersky anti-virus includes manual updates norton antivirus plus includes manual updates panda dome essential includes manual updates total defense essential anti-virus includes manual updates trend micro antivirus+ security includes manual updates
Scheduled updates
avira antivirus pro includes scheduled updates bitdefender antivirus plus does not include scheduled updates eset nod32 antivirus includes scheduled updates f-secure anti-virus does not include scheduled updates g data antivirus includes scheduled updates kaspersky anti-virus includes scheduled updates norton antivirus plus includes scheduled updates panda dome essential does not include scheduled updates total defense essential anti-virus includes scheduled updates trend micro antivirus+ security includes scheduled updates
Reverse updates
avira antivirus pro does not include reverse updates bitdefender antivirus plus does not include reverse updates eset nod32 antivirus includes reverse updates f-secure anti-virus includes reverse updates g data antivirus does not include reverse updates kaspersky anti-virus includes reverse updates norton antivirus plus does not include reverse updates panda dome essential does not include reverse updates total defense essential anti-virus does not include reverse updates trend micro antivirus+ security includes reverse updates
Features
VPN
avira antivirus pro  vpn bitdefender antivirus plus  vpn eset nod32 antivirus  vpn f-secure anti-virus  vpn g data antivirus  vpn kaspersky anti-virus  vpn norton antivirus plus  vpn panda dome essential  vpn total defense essential anti-virus  vpn trend micro antivirus+ security  vpn
Password manager
avira antivirus pro does not include password manager bitdefender antivirus plus does not include password manager eset nod32 antivirus does not include password manager f-secure anti-virus does not include password manager g data antivirus does not include password manager kaspersky anti-virus does not include password manager norton antivirus plus includes password manager panda dome essential does not include password manager total defense essential anti-virus does not include password manager trend micro antivirus+ security does not include password manager
Cloud backup
avira antivirus pro does not include cloud backup bitdefender antivirus plus does not include cloud backup eset nod32 antivirus does not include cloud backup f-secure anti-virus does not include cloud backup g data antivirus does not include cloud backup kaspersky anti-virus does not include cloud backup norton antivirus plus includes cloud backup panda dome essential does not include cloud backup total defense essential anti-virus does not include cloud backup trend micro antivirus+ security does not include cloud backup
Quarantine
avira antivirus pro includes quarantine bitdefender antivirus plus includes quarantine eset nod32 antivirus includes quarantine f-secure anti-virus includes quarantine g data antivirus includes quarantine kaspersky anti-virus includes quarantine norton antivirus plus includes quarantine panda dome essential includes quarantine total defense essential anti-virus includes quarantine trend micro antivirus+ security includes quarantine
Laptop mode
avira antivirus pro does not include laptop mode bitdefender antivirus plus includes laptop mode eset nod32 antivirus includes laptop mode f-secure anti-virus does not include laptop mode g data antivirus does not include laptop mode kaspersky anti-virus includes laptop mode norton antivirus plus includes laptop mode panda dome essential does not include laptop mode total defense essential anti-virus does not include laptop mode trend micro antivirus+ security does not include laptop mode
Gamer mode
avira antivirus pro does not include gamer mode bitdefender antivirus plus includes gamer mode eset nod32 antivirus includes gamer mode f-secure anti-virus does not include gamer mode g data antivirus does not include gamer mode kaspersky anti-virus includes gamer mode norton antivirus plus includes gamer mode panda dome essential includes gamer mode total defense essential anti-virus does not include gamer mode trend micro antivirus+ security does not include gamer mode
Extras
Email
avira antivirus pro protects email bitdefender antivirus plus protects email eset nod32 antivirus protects email f-secure anti-virus protects email g data antivirus protects email kaspersky anti-virus protects email norton antivirus plus protects email panda dome essential protects email total defense essential anti-virus protects email trend micro antivirus+ security protects email
IM
avira antivirus pro does not protect im bitdefender antivirus plus protects im eset nod32 antivirus does not protect im f-secure anti-virus protects im g data antivirus protects im kaspersky anti-virus protects im norton antivirus plus protects im panda dome essential protects im total defense essential anti-virus does not protect im trend micro antivirus+ security protects im
P2P
avira antivirus pro does not protect p2p bitdefender antivirus plus protects p2p eset nod32 antivirus does not protect p2p f-secure anti-virus protects p2p g data antivirus does not protect p2p kaspersky anti-virus protects p2p norton antivirus plus does not protect p2p panda dome essential protects p2p total defense essential anti-virus does not protect p2p trend micro antivirus+ security does not protect p2p
Registry
avira antivirus pro protects registry bitdefender antivirus plus protects registry eset nod32 antivirus protects registry f-secure anti-virus protects registry g data antivirus protects registry kaspersky anti-virus protects registry norton antivirus plus protects registry panda dome essential protects registry total defense essential anti-virus protects registry trend micro antivirus+ security protects registry
Devices
Auto USB detection
avira antivirus pro does not include auto usb detection bitdefender antivirus plus includes auto usb detection eset nod32 antivirus includes auto usb detection f-secure anti-virus does not include auto usb detection g data antivirus does not include auto usb detection kaspersky anti-virus includes auto usb detection norton antivirus plus includes auto usb detection panda dome essential includes auto usb detection total defense essential anti-virus does not include auto usb detection trend micro antivirus+ security includes auto usb detection
Scan USB (and other external drives)
avira antivirus pro includes scan usb (and other external drives) bitdefender antivirus plus includes scan usb (and other external drives) eset nod32 antivirus includes scan usb (and other external drives) f-secure anti-virus includes scan usb (and other external drives) g data antivirus includes scan usb (and other external drives) kaspersky anti-virus includes scan usb (and other external drives) norton antivirus plus includes scan usb (and other external drives) panda dome essential includes scan usb (and other external drives) total defense essential anti-virus does not include scan usb (and other external drives) trend micro antivirus+ security includes scan usb (and other external drives)
Help & support
Telephone support
avira antivirus pro does not offer telephone support bitdefender antivirus plus offers telephone support eset nod32 antivirus offers telephone support f-secure anti-virus offers telephone support g data antivirus offers telephone support kaspersky anti-virus offers telephone support norton antivirus plus offers telephone support panda dome essential does not offer telephone support total defense essential anti-virus offers telephone support trend micro antivirus+ security offers telephone support
Email support
avira antivirus pro offers email support bitdefender antivirus plus offers email support eset nod32 antivirus offers email support f-secure anti-virus offers email support g data antivirus offers email support kaspersky anti-virus offers email support norton antivirus plus offers email support panda dome essential offers email support total defense essential anti-virus offers email support trend micro antivirus+ security offers email support
Live chat
avira antivirus pro does not offer live chat bitdefender antivirus plus offers live chat eset nod32 antivirus offers live chat f-secure anti-virus offers live chat g data antivirus does not offer live chat kaspersky anti-virus offers live chat norton antivirus plus does not offer live chat panda dome essential does not offer live chat total defense essential anti-virus offers live chat trend micro antivirus+ security offers live chat
Manual
avira antivirus pro offers manual bitdefender antivirus plus offers manual eset nod32 antivirus offers manual f-secure anti-virus offers manual g data antivirus offers manual kaspersky anti-virus offers manual norton antivirus plus offers manual panda dome essential offers manual total defense essential anti-virus offers manual trend micro antivirus+ security offers manual
Knowledge base
avira antivirus pro offers knowledge base bitdefender antivirus plus offers knowledge base eset nod32 antivirus offers knowledge base f-secure anti-virus offers knowledge base g data antivirus offers knowledge base kaspersky anti-virus offers knowledge base norton antivirus plus offers knowledge base panda dome essential offers knowledge base total defense essential anti-virus offers knowledge base trend micro antivirus+ security offers knowledge base
Forums
avira antivirus pro offers forums bitdefender antivirus plus offers forums eset nod32 antivirus offers forums f-secure anti-virus does not offer forums g data antivirus does not offer forums kaspersky anti-virus offers forums norton antivirus plus offers forums panda dome essential offers forums total defense essential anti-virus offers forums trend micro antivirus+ security does not offer forums
FAQs
avira antivirus pro offers faqs bitdefender antivirus plus offers faqs eset nod32 antivirus offers faqs f-secure anti-virus offers faqs g data antivirus offers faqs kaspersky anti-virus offers faqs norton antivirus plus offers faqs panda dome essential offers faqs total defense essential anti-virus offers faqs trend micro antivirus+ security offers faqs
Operating systems
Windows 11
avira antivirus pro is compatible with windows 11 bitdefender antivirus plus is compatible with windows 11 eset nod32 antivirus is not compatible with windows 11 f-secure anti-virus is not compatible with windows 11 g data antivirus is not compatible with windows 11 kaspersky anti-virus is not compatible with windows 11 norton antivirus plus is not compatible with windows 11 panda dome essential is not compatible with windows 11 total defense essential anti-virus is not compatible with windows 11 trend micro antivirus+ security is not compatible with windows 11
Windows 10
avira antivirus pro  windows 10 bitdefender antivirus plus  windows 10 eset nod32 antivirus  windows 10 f-secure anti-virus  windows 10 g data antivirus  windows 10 kaspersky anti-virus  windows 10 norton antivirus plus  windows 10 panda dome essential  windows 10 total defense essential anti-virus  windows 10 trend micro antivirus+ security  windows 10
Windows 8
avira antivirus pro  windows 8 bitdefender antivirus plus  windows 8 eset nod32 antivirus  windows 8 f-secure anti-virus  windows 8 g data antivirus  windows 8 kaspersky anti-virus  windows 8 norton antivirus plus  windows 8 panda dome essential  windows 8 total defense essential anti-virus  windows 8 trend micro antivirus+ security  windows 8
Windows 7
avira antivirus pro is compatible with windows 7 bitdefender antivirus plus is compatible with windows 7 eset nod32 antivirus is compatible with windows 7 f-secure anti-virus is compatible with windows 7 g data antivirus is compatible with windows 7 kaspersky anti-virus is compatible with windows 7 norton antivirus plus is compatible with windows 7 panda dome essential is compatible with windows 7 total defense essential anti-virus is compatible with windows 7 trend micro antivirus+ security is compatible with windows 7
Windows Vista
avira antivirus pro is compatible with windows vista bitdefender antivirus plus is not compatible with windows vista eset nod32 antivirus is compatible with windows vista f-secure anti-virus is compatible with windows vista g data antivirus is not compatible with windows vista kaspersky anti-virus is not compatible with windows vista norton antivirus plus is not compatible with windows vista panda dome essential is compatible with windows vista total defense essential anti-virus is compatible with windows vista trend micro antivirus+ security is compatible with windows vista

Anti-virus software explained

Computer viruses can be picked up from many sources, including emails, websites and files from friends. Good anti-virus software will monitor all these areas and more, to prevent infection at the source.

Most viruses target computers running Microsoft Windows, but you should choose anti-virus software carefully no matter what kind of computer you have. It could save your files and help you avoid having to reload your computer from scratch.

The best anti-virus software will actually keep you protected from all threats which fall into the category of ‘computer viruses’.

They include:

  • Viruses. Installed onto your computer without you realizing, some may just display strange messages – but others will be much more harmful.
  • Spyware. You won’t know these malicious programs are present on your computer, but they send your private data to hackers online.
  • Spam. This junk email can cause havoc with your inbox, clogging it up with rubbish and preventing legitimate messages from getting through.

Many anti-virus packages integrate closely with other software on your computer. This helps them identify viruses earlier – for instance, by analyzing websites you visit to check they aren’t trying to place a virus on your computer.

Dealing with viruses

Anti-virus software monitors your computer for suspicious files and programs. Most packages compare what’s on your computer to a regularly-updated list of viruses. The best will also watch for unusual activity that could be a virus.

If it discovers a problem, anti-virus software will put affected files into quarantine, where they can’t cause harm. You may then be able to remove the virus without destroying the files it is attached to.

Because new viruses are discovered every day, it’s important you choose anti-virus software that downloads updated information about viruses (also called ‘virus definitions’) regularly over the internet.


What to look for in anti-virus software

Effectiveness

The single most important feature of any anti-virus program is that it must detect and stop virus attacks before they occur. If an infection has already occurred it must be able to contain, remove and possibly repair infected files. Plus, all of this should be accomplished without slowing your system to a crawl.

A good scanner should be able to detect zero day viruses as easily as it detects classics such as the 1999 'Melissa virus' and although this may seem obvious, it should effectively remove all traces of a virus from your computer.

Anti-virus software shouldn't be paranoid, flagging legitimate software as malware and otherwise interfering with your day to day use. A well designed program will keep your information safe without having a detrimental effect on system performance or interfering with day-to-day use.

Bear in mind that effectiveness can also be directly related to the frequency of virus definition updates. Software vendors that do multiple updates daily are more likely to catch the newest threats.

Performance

The biggest complaint that computer users have about anti-virus software is its potential to degrade overall system performance. However, an efficiently designed scanner shouldn't have any noticeable impact on your computer and should be able to scan files and folders quickly.

Protection levels

Effective anti-virus will use a number of different strategies to prevent and detect malware. Signature based detection is the most common, but heuristic-based detection is also used by the top anti-virus developers. The bottom line is that anti-virus software should protect you against viruses, worms and Trojans and if it can also protect you against spyware and rootkits even better.

Updates

In terms of updates, your anti-virus should give you the ability to set a scheduled automatic update as well as allow manual updates to ensure you always have the latest virus definitions installed. Some of the better security software vendors will also push updates to their anti-virus programs as new threats are identified.

Certifications

The most reliable way to gauge the effectiveness of any anti-virus program is to look for its certifications. These are awarded through independent testing and research organizations. These research companies regularly compare different software titles for speed, system impact and on-demand/on-access scanning performance.

Since certification testing is paid for by the vendor, it is important to remember that a lack of certification doesn't necessarily mean that the software has failed testing. It may mean that the developers never submitted the program for assessment. For example, in the case of a small new company, they may not have the budget to accommodate testing costs. Despite this caveat, certification remains one of the few ways to accurately measure how well anti-virus software works.

There are several established and respected anti-virus testing organizations. They are:

Anti-virus software carrying a seal of approval from these test organizations will undoubtedly do the job efficiently.

Ease of use

Since your anti-virus software will be used on a daily basis, it should be both easy to understand and operate whether you are a complete novice or seasoned expert. Walkthroughs, alerts and warnings should be straight forward and clear in their direction.

Help & support

Help and support are critical components in choosing an anti-virus program or full security system. Most companies will offer standard support such as FAQs or online manuals and some will have active user forums. However, these may not always answer the questions you have. Tougher problems may require telephone and/or email support which could incur additional fees. Apart from the limitations in features, one of the main differences between paid and free anti-virus tools is often the inclusion of technical support.


FAQs

Q. What is a computer virus?

A. Computer virus is a tiny software program that is capable of replicating itself and spreading from one infected computer to other computers either via a network connection, website download or through email attachments.

Q. What harm can a virus do?

A. Once installed, a virus can do many things such as erase your entire hard drive, infect your email program and send itself to everyone in your address book or disable your computer security thereby opening your computer to even more opportunistic threats online.

Q. Who creates viruses?

A. Virus writers are often referred to as 'cyber-vandals'. These programmers are split into groups, each of which has different motivations for writing viruses. The most active group today use viruses to capture and steal personal data as well as financial information and passwords for identity theft and fraud purposes. However, there are still a number of cyber-vandals whose intent remains fixed on disruption and/or destruction of hard drive contents and internet service. One example of this would be a 'denial of service' attack that can cripple corporate websites.

Q. How did my computer become infected?

A. Though many infections occur from visiting compromised or hacked websites, the most common method of infection is through email attachments, often sent from people you know who are unaware that their computer is infected. Something as benign as a funny image, audio/video file and even a greeting card could actually be carrying a computer virus waiting to infect your system.

Q. How can I prevent a virus attack?

A. Despite their potential to do harm, there are several steps you can take to help protect yourself from infection such as:

  1. Avoid opening emails or attachments from people you don't know - and unless you are aware that someone is sending you an attachment, don't open one from a friend until you've confirmed that it is legitimate.
  2. Keep your computer up to date with all the latest security patches for your software and operating system.
  3. Install and use an anti-virus program or security suite. Scan all email attachments and downloads before opening.
  4. Stay informed about new security threats and try not to run your computer as administrator unless absolutely necessary.

The old adage that 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' certainly applies to dealing with viruses.

Q. Are the established anti-virus companies the best ones to use?

A. Programs such as BitDefender and Kaspersky have been around for a long time and with good reason. Their developers are experts in security threats and their knowledge translates into solid anti-virus scanners.

Q. What are updates?

In order to maintain the highest level of virus protection, regular signature updates must be installed.

Q. What are certifications?

You can also easily check which programs are effective by looking for certifications. Most of the major players will be certified by AV Comparatives and AV Test

Q. Do we need to have use both an anti-virus and anti-spyware scanner?

A. The answer to this really depends on your internet surfing habits as well as what programs you use. Some spyware is bundled with legitimate software titles, iTunes and Bonjour spring to mind. Plus some websites are more prone to malware infection, such as gaming and music sites. So, your risk of infection is highly individual. However, if you've had a problem with slow performance, pop-ups and other nuisance computer issues, it may be worth checking your system for spyware and protecting it from future infection. Running both an anti-virus solution and antispyware certainly couldn't hurt.

Q. Do I have to uninstall the existing anti-virus program before installing a new one?

A. The short answer is yes - uninstall the old anti-virus program and reboot your computer before you begin installing the new program.

Q. Why don't you review all anti-virus software on the market?

A. Though there are many anti-virus titles available on the market, we've focused on the top performers that we feel offer not only the best available scanning systems but also good value for money.


Jargon explained

On demand scan

Also known as a manual scan. This when a scan is initiated by the user and not the software. It is the opposite of a scheduled or automatic scan.

On access scan

On access scanning checks files and programs as they are 'accessed' or opened to identify potential security threats.

Heuristic scanning

Heuristic scanning performs piece-by-piece examinations of suspected malware files and identifies sequences that differentiate viruses from normal programs.

False positives

Sometime legitimate software is erroneously identified as a malware threat generating a 'false positive' result from your anti-virus. Since anti-virus programs rely heavily on signatures to identify malware, the method isn't completely foolproof. Some identified virus signatures can also exist in legitimate software titles.

False negatives

When a malware scanner fails to detect a virus, it is referred to as a 'false negative'. This can occur if the virus is either too new, has a faulty signature or a defective configuration setting.

Quarantine

Anti-virus quarantine works in much the same way as hospitals quarantine patients with infectious diseases, the program will isolate a potential threat and place it into a secure folder that is not easily accessible to other parts of the system.

Within the quarantine dialog of most anti-virus software, users can examine a log that identifies what file was initially infected and are given the option to either permanently delete the suspicious file or to reinstate it in the event of a false positive.

Virus signature

A virus signature is an algorithm, made up of digits, that uniquely identifies a specific malware threat or group of viruses known as a 'family'. Signatures can be either a calculated snippet of code or an identified behaviour, such as trying to access certain programs or parts of the operating system without user initiation or awareness.

Zero day virus

A newly created virus that doesn't have a previously identified signature.


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