Computers have transformed almost every aspect of our lives, from helping students learn and assisting in monitoring patients in hospitals and controlling crucial manufacturing processes. Cyberthreats like ransomware, malware, and viruses have also increased because of the increasing dependence on computers. Antivirus software is designed to detect these threats and stop them from damaging your PC or stealing personal information.
When choosing an antivirus program it is important to look at its virus scanning capabilities and whether it is equipped with a firewall and how well it performs in independent laboratory tests. It is also advisable to take a look at the customer support, the frequency it updates, and the number of devices it will protect. Some programs, like Norton, include additional features that will help you secure your identity and protect your privacy online.
Top-rated programs offer a variety of security options. They include heuristic find more detection which seeks out behaviors that are typical of malware or viruses and signature matching that compares files against a list of known malicious codes. Some programs also use sandboxing, which separates the suspicious files and puts them in a secure virtual environment that doesn’t allow them to cause harm.
Many of the top antivirus software is available for free, although they may not offer as many additional features as paid-for alternatives. For example, Bitdefender’s free version performed well in our tests and includes a firewall, whereas its premium version comes with parental controls as well as a file shredder. It also has a password manager. Similarly, Malwarebytes’ free version scored top marks in AV-Test for 2023, but was not as good in our test for usability. Intego Mac Internet Security X9 provides a robust combination of tools (VirusBarrier and NetBarrier) that killed and slowed the most malware-related threats in our test.