Even though antivirus protection has been a necessity, there isn’t a single antivirus program that suffices everyone’s needs. The security requirements may vary from person to person. You have to choose the right antivirus based on your needs, habits and the inclusivity of protection required. In this guide, we have discussed the things you should factor in before you can choose the right antivirus that suits you best.
Things You Should Consider While Choosing an Antivirus Program
You can use the following pointers to shortlist your options for antivirus protection.
1. Reliability of Protection
You must choose an antivirus program from a trusted and reliable developer. As you may know, attackers can use the pretense of an antivirus to load malicious software onto your devices. So, instead of downloading a random antivirus program, you should stick to the products from trusted brands.
Some reputed brands in the cybersecurity industry are Malwarebytes, Bitdefender, Norton, Kaspersky, McAfee etc. Since these developers use up-to-date malware definitions, powered by continuous cybersecurity research, you can expect stable protection from threats. You will not have trouble finding a more tailor-made cybersecurity protection plan with these brands either.
2. Inclusivity of Security
These days, you should also consider the level of protection you require. For instance, if you explore the products from Bitdefender, you can find a standalone antivirus and a full protection suite. While the standalone antivirus can protect your device from a variety of malware, the full protection package would offer features like a VPN, password manager and identity theft protection as well.
These all-inclusive packs are often compatible with more devices too. Therefore, if you have the requirement, such a pack works out cost effective as compared to the sum of the price of individual products if purchased separately.
3. Usability & Performance
You must also ensure that the antivirus program is user-friendly. That is, you should be able to access all features in the package easily. Therefore, having an easy-to-use app or interface is a must-have. It is also important to note whether the antivirus program has an impact on the performance of the device it is installed on.
We have noticed that some antivirus programs take a toll on the device performance, especially when using features like real-time scanning. The need for maximum security does not mean you have to use a slowed-down computer. To avoid this, you must check reviews and see how much a particular antivirus program affects the device performance.
4. Available Features
Depending on your profession and browsing habits, you may need additional features from an antivirus program. For instance, you might need real-time scanning and protection if you frequently download and install software from various sources. Similarly, you might need parental control features if you want to keep an eye on how your kids use their devices and the internet. So, the right antivirus program or security suite for you will be a combination of these features.
You also have to choose between free and paid antivirus programs on the market. On one hand, you can find many free antivirus programs for your device, but they also come with issues like advertisements and limited features. Furthermore, it is likely that free antivirus programs offer limited protection from many threats, especially the newly found ones. Therefore, from a security and privacy standpoint, going for a premium antivirus program makes sense. On the bright side, you can find paid antivirus programs across a wider budget range.
In addition to these core points, you must ensure that the chosen antivirus program receives frequent on-time updates from the developer - software updates as well as virus definitions. In the same way, you should check whether the antivirus program integrates well with the devices you own.
How To Check Whether You Have Shortlisted the Right Antivirus
Let’s say that you have narrowed things down to a single antivirus program. How do you make sure that you have made the right choice? The following methods should help.
Read (Many) Reviews
Consumer and expert reviews are a great option to understand whether you have picked the right antivirus program. Consumer reviews, in particular, will discuss the specific issues people have faced with the program, especially regarding performance and usability. On the other hand, expert reviews can give you a clear idea about the reliability and security aspects of the antivirus or the security suite. It is also essential to read both positive and negative reviews so that you have a clear picture of the experience you are about to have.
Use Free Trial
Conveniently enough, popular antivirus programs offer a free trial for a few weeks or a month. You can use the free trial to understand whether the protection plan meets your requirements. It will also give you a clear idea about the resource consumption, thus helping you understand whether the antivirus program will slow down your computer. Therefore, we recommend checking out the free trial of multiple antivirus programs before you make up your mind. Once you have found a security package that meets all your expectations, only then make the final purchase.
We believe this guide will help you choose the right antivirus package for your security needs. To recap, you need to research, shortlist the suitable options and test them before making the final purchase decision. Reviews, free trial experience and expert advice will come in handy while doing so.