Antivirus Software: What to Look for

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Antivirus software products block malware from entering your computer system. When security software is unsuccessful at preventing attacks, it is then supposed to detect and remove the malware that gets through the defenses. If you begin to analyze all of the forms of malware and all of the potential entry points, it quickly becomes quite complicated and confusing. You can reduce the complexity of shopping for virus protection by asking a few key questions. How does the antivirus software perform in third-party tests? What features does it have that pertain to my needs? Does it provide support during the times I will need it?
To get some answers, let’s discuss these one by one.


The best way to verify vendor claims about performance is to learn how products perform in tests at independent labs. One of the best antivirus researchers is AV-Test, with laboratories in Germany. AV-Test has a lot of credibility within the industry. AV-Test’s labs have two dozen servers connected to 280 workstations, where its technicians simulate test environments and perform analysis. They have more than 50 million pieces of malicious test data. Each day, the collection grows by 55,000 new items of malware. The AV-Test suite of tests measures security software’s protection, repair and usability components. AV-Test results are the objective criteria we consider when we rank the best antivirus software.


You can usually count on antivirus software to be easy to install and use. You should be able to schedule scans so that they occur when you do not need to use the computer to avoid slowdowns from the software’s resource usage requirements. Antivirus software ought to protect you against malware infiltration whether it attempts to reach your computer via web browsing, email, instant messaging or removable storage devices. No security software is perfect, so when a threat successfully accesses your computer, your antivirus software has a second chance to protect you by detecting and disabling the invader.

Help & Support

When you examine help and support, ask yourself whether you will need 24/7 access to technical support or whether you can make do with fewer hours. Some vendors provide support by email. If you want telephone support, use our reviews to learn whether the vendor offers it before you buy.

There is an arms race escalating every day between law-abiding PC users and organized gangs of hackers. These hackers invent new methods all the time. The best antivirus software publishers provide you with a fighting chance to keep your bank accounts private and your identity secure


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