8 Best Antivirus Software | April 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. These days, it's not a question of "if" your electronic devices will be compromised, it's simply a question of "when" and "how." So protect your PC, Mac, laptop, tablet and smartphone from malicious hackers, adware and spyware with something from our selection of capable and advanced antivirus software. Skip to the best antivirus software on Amazon.
8 Best Antivirus Software | April 2017
Overall Rank: 8
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 6
Best Inexpensive
ESET NOD32 antivirus software features cloud-powered scanning that allows you to surf the web with confidence. Its unique device control prevents hackers from copying data from your computer to external devices.
  • host-based intrusion system
  • anti-phishing security feature
  • customer support is lacking
Brand ESET
Model EAVH-N1-3-1-RBX-2015
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
Panda Global Protection software features a modern and more intuitive interface than many of its competitors, making it easy for use by the relative layman. It allows users to tailor the software to their needs and preferences.
  • pc tune-up removes unnecessary cookies
  • securely and permanently deletes files
  • doesn't have email scanning ability
Brand Panda Software
Model PAN912800F286
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
Kaspersky Internet Security 2016 PC protection software uses innovative safe money technology to ensure your financial protection as you bank and shop online. It includes a two-way firewall, and can help keep kids safe online.
  • web cam protection against spying
  • alerts for dangerous public wifi
  • blocks harmful banner ads
Brand Kaspersky
Model KIS1503121USZZ
Weight 2.9 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
Webroot's Internet Security Complete antivirus software package uses automatic remediation to repair infected systems without re-imaging, and securely backs up your files with 25 GB of online storage.
  • password protection and encryption
  • wipes away all traces of online activity
  • protects against malicious mobile apps
Brand Webroot
Model 60309
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
This Trend Micro Antivirus+ 10 program includes helpful features that inform you of major threats to your computer security, including alerts to dangerous links in emails and social networks so you can click and open with confidence.
  • identity theft protection
  • uncomplicated security reports
  • offers spyware detection too
Brand Trend Micro, Inc.
Model TRE021800G202
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
Norton Security Deluxe offers protection for up to five devices, including PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets, plus it includes software that helps you to easily locate lost or stolen smartphones or tablets.
  • offers a refund if security is breached
  • software is easy to install
  • smart dashboard for program control
Brand Symantec
Model 21335307
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
McAfee 2016 Total Protection software offers excellent security at a great price, and works to identify, quarantine, and stop the latest threats from harming your PC. It protects files, protects your identity, and maintains privacy.
  • anti-spam feature
  • parental controls and web safety tools
  • scans websites for authenticity
Brand McAfee
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
ThreatTrack VIPRE Internet Security package automatically updates your computer programs to shield against the most common causes of viruses, and it monitors your web activity in order to offer real-time protection.
  • customizable settings for advanced users
  • includes a lifetime pc license
  • easy-to-use interface
Brand ThreatTrack Security
Model SUN337800F160
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

What Is A Computer Virus?

In computers, a virus is a term used to describe a malicious software program which replicates itself, much like human pathogenic viruses. This process eventually infects various computer programs or important aspects of the computer like the boot drive. A virus can also affect programs by modifying them to produce a desired result.

Many malicious software programs, collectively called malware, are under the virus umbrella, though they have their own names. These include Trojan horses, worms, keyloggers, rootkits, ransomware, spyware, and adware. Each of these malware programs has a specific function, and is designed to achieve the results a hacker desires. The key descriptor in any virus is that it is installs unknowingly or without consent from the victim.

The most common type of malware is a Trojan horse file. Much like the ancient Trojan horse of Greece, the computer program hides its true intent until it is installed. Trojan horse files can be anything as simple as an executable file downloaded from the internet, to an email attachment sent from an unknown recipient. Opening these files acts as a backdoor for the Trojan horse, allowing unfettered access to the user's computer.

These files are particularly dangerous, as they can allow an attacker to view the user's personal information such as passwords and banking information. Trojan files can also allow attackers to view their victims IP address, which further exposes them to malware like rootkits and ransomware.

A rootkit is a type of malware that activates on startup every time the computer is powered on. Rootkits can be difficult to detect and extract because they start before the operating system is completely running. Once a rootkit is installed, the attacker has the ability to install hidden files, user accounts, and various processes directly to the operating system. Rootkits can intercept and transmit data from the keyboard, computer terminal and network connections.

Ransomware is a type of malware which targets a specific IP address. The program encrypts personal files using various algorithms which the hacker can reverse. The software then offers to decrypt the information for the user at a high price, effectively placing a ransom on their identity.

How Does Antivirus Software Work?

Most antivirus software programs target the most common types of spyware and adware. The term spyware covers a few main categories. Trojan horses, keyloggers, tracking cookies, and system monitors are all forms of spyware. These programs are designed to gather information about a user without their knowledge and then send that info to an outside entity.

Some spyware is knowingly installed by the owners of public computers in order to monitor users. Possible examples of this include computers at libraries, computer cafes, and shared computers in office buildings. These keyloggers record every key struck on a keyboard. This can potentially compromise credit card information, personal passwords, and private messages sent. Should an antivirus software find a keylogger, the program can quarantine it and ask for your permission to eliminate it.

The other common program antivirus software combats is adware. Advertising-supported software, or simply adware, is a package of software which automatically creates advertisements in order to generate revenue for its creator. In legitimate software programs, certain types of adware and trackers normally exist. These include targeting purchasers of their software for add-ons through the advertisements they see when on the internet or while using their software. The company creates additional revenue, and can provide purchasers who allow this adware substantially lower rates. In malware programs, these ads appear as pop-up windows or windows which cannot be closed.

On the whole, antivirus software eliminates spyware programs through a series of scans, quarantines, and eliminations. An installed antivirus software checks files against a database of known malware programs, sniffing out potentially harmful files. Antivirus software is able to detect malware based on patterns in executable code and the various behaviors of the files themselves.

Benefits of Anivirus Software

Threats to personal security are of the highest concern in the modern era. While many know that including personal information in a password leaves you exposed to account theft, the risks to security do not stop there. Additional actions must be taken in order to ensure safety while using a computer. Installing antivirus software is one such action that can provide many benefits.

Antivirus software regularly scans and eliminates any virus it finds on a computer. This keeps the computer from being slowed down by infected programs or hardware, and prevents damage to the PC or network it is on.

Many antivirus software programs also provide email protection. These programs scan emails, email attachments, and downloaded content prior to it being opened. Using an antivirus software to protect a computer also keeps costs low. The cost involved from calling technical support, physically searching for virus files, and purchasing new computers which have been damaged beyond repair is far more than the cost of any antivirus program on the market.

Antivirus software is an important piece of creating a cloud-based archive as well. Along with security measures like encryption and storage measures such as deduplication, antivirus software provides an added layer of assurance to any company's archive.

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Last updated on April 22 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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