The overview below lists the various antivirus programs that have passed our tests so far. They are listed by performance rating, starting with the highest-rated software first. We continuously test various providers, so this overview is kept up-to-date. Scroll down for more information about our testing methodology.
What Are the Requirements an Antivirus Program Needs to Meet?
To guarantee your privacy and online safety, it is important to purchase a proper virus scanner, one that matches your needs and preferences. But what are the factors you should pay attention to when buying an antivirus program? There are a number of things you might want to keep in mind. We have listed the most important ones for you below.
Features and Price
Have a look at the various features a virus scanner offers and check if they meet your requirements and preferences. Of course, price is also a determining factor. As with many other software programs, virus scanners also come in paid and free versions.
Like VPNs, many free virus scanners may be worth considering. Not that free versions have the same options and features as paid versions. In most cases, your options are rather limited. Nonetheless, we always include free versions in our review cycles.
What about the amount of actual protection against viruses and malware attacks an antivirus program provides? And what with the number of harmless files that it flags incorrectly as harmful?
To assess the various virus scanners, we have tested them ourselves and compared our results with information from AV comparatives’ test results. These tests are of the highest quality and provide additional insight into how antivirus programs compare to one another.
Equally important is the way a provider handles your data. That is why we spent a lot of time researching possible privacy breaches or other issues that may have occurred with each provider. Consider, for example, practices such as reselling user data.
The user-friendliness of a virus scanner is important as well, especially for novice users. Downloading and installing the software should be quick and easy. Once installed, the virus scanner should more or less do its job independently. And if you want to tweak a few things here and there, it should not be too hard to find how to do this.
It is also nice if your questions are answered quickly. Therefore, the level of customer service the provider offers is also important. This is also taken into account in our performance ratings.
Speed and System Load
Last but not least, pay attention to the speed of the scans. You do not want to wait hours for your scan to run. In addition, a virus scanner’s system load should not be such that it slows down your PC to the point that it is nearly unusable. On the contrary, you should not notice that your virus scanner is even running.
So, it is important to know if an antivirus program will slow down your computer. To test this, we ran several programs while the virus scanner was running, and looked at the percentage of working memory, hard drive, and processor capacity the antivirus programs used while working.