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Avast vs. AVG vs. Avira vs. Norton vs. Kaspersky vs…

Winner

Runner-Up

Third Place

Has a virus ever taken your computer down? If not, count yourself among the lucky few. But don’t wait until it does – it’s time to protect yourself. But how do you decide which is the best antivirus software? You are not alone in this confusing decision. The antivirus market is a crowded space, and rightfully so. There are millions of computers and other devices that get infected by viruses every year, and cleaning them up is a big business. Some viruses are less serious – they simply pop-up an annoying message. Others will not only try to steal sensitive information from you, but also use your computer as a processing machine for illegal activities. How can you prevent becoming a victim while saving your bank account and computer’s performance (some antivirus software are processing hogs!) at the same time? Check out our in-depth anti-virus and cyber security reviews (including recommendations for best antivirus programs for specific needs like gaming and fast run speed), pros and cons comparisons and our picks for the Top 3 winners for Best Antivirus Software provider.

Exclusive Antivirus Price Promotions

Read below in the comment section for any coupon codes or other promotions on any of these software brands!

2015 Antivirus Software Winners

We also provide pros and cons so that you can dig deeper to find which cyber security package suits your needs best. In fact, we will even go beyond our picks for the best overall program to also recommend the best if you have unique needs to protect yourself while gaming, hanging out on Facebook or Pinterest or doing basic web browsing. Whether you are looking to clean up an infected computer or maintain a healthy one, we have everything you need to make an informed decision.

Antivirus Solution Comparison Table

To help you pick an antivirus program that meets your cyber security needs, we have compiled a comparison table that focuses on the main features of each program, pricing details, along with pros and cons. Antivirus Comparison TableSince our antivirus comparison table is so large, we are placing it on a separate page so you can reference it more easily. Please visit our antivirus software comparison table (or click on the image on the left) to view details on antivirus programs we review in this article. We will do our best to continue to add to this table as we find more contenders, and update existing software as they add new features.

Antivirus Reviews

To jump straight to an in-depth review of an antivirus software you’re interested in, click on the link in the list below:

Do you already have an antivirus solution in mind and don’t see it listed here? Leave a comment below with the name of the product you’d like reviewed.

What’s the Best Antivirus Software in 2015?

Below you’ll find our 2015 top picks for Best Antivirus services based on a variety of factors ranging from price to features, needs, reliability and customer service.

1st Place Winner: BitDefender

Best Anti-virus Software 1st Place AwardBitDefenderWebsite – Bitdefender

Bitdefender is our 1st place winner for the best antivirus software program in 2015 and for the past three years running. They seamlessly keep you and your computer actively safe from harm, no matter whether you are on the Internet, playing on social media or instant messenger, reading email, or using USB drives or other plugged in devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and camera cards. It is the best cyber safety service out there today. And you won’t even need to think about it while this program runs silently in the background, keeping you safe from viruses, malware and other computer security concerns. But don’t just take our word for it, Bitdefender has passed every independent lab test it has been given and exceeded expectations every year. Bitdefender offers a Mac and PC version, both starting at $39.95 for one user for one year.

Pros

Cons

  • Won the AV-Test award for Best Security Protection and Performance of 2013.
  • Runs seamlessly in the background without compromising speed and performance.
  • Great phishing protection.
  • Virtualized Browser isolates from operating system to block threats.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • Accurate spam filtering.
  • Autopilot makes optimal decisions without user input.
  • Protects against all known current sources of harm (Internet, email, instant messenger, social media, USB inputs, etc.).
  • Full range of antivirus protection tools.
  • Password management is limited.
  • Default firewall settings omit some protections.
  • Can be difficult to install on malware infested systems.
  • Increases boot and shutdown time.

In Depth Review

  • Visit our in-depth Bitdefender review to dig deeper into why we chose Bitdefender as our 2015 best antivirus winner.

Bitdefender Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available Bitdefender Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Bitdefender Overall Ranking1st out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5

2nd Place: Kaspersky

Kaspersky (Affiliate)Website – KasperskyBest Anti-virus Software 2nd Place Award

Kaspersky is making its way up in our ranking hitting our 2nd place spot for 2015. With amazing results from AV-Test including high scores in computer protection and performance, we are confident that you will be able to feel secure with Kaspersky Antivirus installed. Mac version costs $39.95 for one computer for one year, the same price goes for a PC.

Pros

Cons

  • 2014 Best Virus Removal Tool from AV-Test and 2013 AV-Test Innovation Award.
  • One of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies from Fast Company magazine.
  • System Watcher: Detects dangerous behavior and allow you to roll back malicious actions.
  • Automatic Exploit Prevention: Prevents exploitation of vulnerabilities by controlling, analyzing and restricting the actions and behavior of applications.
  • Reduced Battery Drain: When a laptop switches to battery power, Kaspersky automatically reduces the usage of resources.
  • Works in the background, install and forget.
  • Offers a full line of anti-virus protection tools.
  • Real time protection.
  • 30-day free trial.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • Slow virus scan speed.
  • Social media is not really a focus area for them, despite the vast amount of time consumers are spending on it.
  • Low detection rate compared to others.

In Depth Review

Visit our in-depth Kaspersky Review.

Kaspersky Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available Kaspersky Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Kaspersky Overall Ranking2nd out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5

3rd Place: Panda

Panda AntiVirusBest Anti-virus Software 3rd Place AwardWebsite – Panda

Panda features the award-winning Collective Intelligence technology where all Panda Security users share threat information to provide real-time protection. Panda strives on providing superior computer protection while having a minimal impact on your computer. They made a big jump in our update this year coming up from 12th place. What holds them back from moving up to 1st or 2nd is the fact that they only offer support via email and the installation process is quite lengthy. Panda’s Mac version costs $49.99 for one Mac for one year while a PC costs $39.99.

Pros

Cons

  • Collective Intelligence allows maximum protection with minimum impact on your PC.
  • Browser exploit protection.
  • Automatic leverage of data.
  • Real time protection.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks and 0 false positives, AV-Test 2014.
  • Automatically detects USB.
  • Free 30-day trial.
  • A lengthy installation process.
  • Limited technical support.

Panda Coupon Code

Click Here to save 20-50% on Panda Anti-Virus products!

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Panda Overall Ranking3rd out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5

Best for Cleaning a Virus Infected Computer: Bitdefender

BitDefenderWebsite – Bitdefender

If you just found your computer is infected, then you want to get it cleaned quickly to avoid any further issues. Bitdefender can help! This service scores high marks from us for malware removal, blocking and rootkit tests. It is also fast to download, easy to install and will help you quickly figure out and clean up the problem. They also are known for having great customer service so if you do run into any problems with getting rid of those pesky computer viruses, a quick call will set you on the right track to a clean computer for today and to keep you protected against potential future issues.

Best for Maintaining Fast Computer Run Speed (Will not Slow Down Computer): Avast

Avast Anti-VirusWebsite – avast! Avast is by far the lightest and most popular antivirus system when it comes to this category. Do a quick Google search and you’ll see the rants going on and on about it. Avast has impressive memory usage and during scans it flushes every 10 seconds which keeps its usage at a low-level. Avast has low system requirements and does not slow down your system. This allows your computer to continue running at full speed so that you never even notice it is quietly keeping your computer safe from any potential intrusion activities while you surf the Internet, watch videos, prepare presentations, analyze vast amounts of data, read emails and more. All of these activities take up a great deal of memory on your hard drive so it is important to have a protection system that works hard without you even noticing what it takes to keep you safe.

Best Customer Service: Bitdefender

BitDefenderWebsite – Bitdefender

Bitdefender offers 24/7 support via email, chat, forum and telephone. This is exceptional because some of its competitors charge a fee for customer support. Their success in this industry is due partly to their experience with customer satisfaction and being available to help when needed. You will need great customer support if you run into any questions when installing the program upfront, updating the service overtime as viruses and protection needs evolve and especially if you run into any issues that you need to repair.

Best for Video Gaming: BitDefender

BitDefenderWebsite – Bitdefender

Bitdefender, like many other antivirus providers, has a gaming mode but they specialize in this area for the serious gamer. In fact, there is no need to shut down the firewall with Bitdefender, a common practice for gamers to allow the video or computer games to run smoothly, because you just set it to gamer mode and you have full protection without impact on game play. With most other programs, you have to turn off the firewall for good game performance which leaves your computer wide open to viruses and other troublesome intrusions and harm. We do want to point out that Kaspersky put up a great fight for this title.

Best for Social Network Use Monitoring: Norton

NortonWebsite – Norton

Norton has social network monitoring to ensure your safety on social media sites. Norton has Facebook link scanning to make Facebook as safe as possible for you. To ensure your social media interactions are secure, Norton provides protection during all your social networking interactions. Many other softwares have some type of social networking protection, but none compare to Norton.

Comparing the Pros and Cons of antivirus Software

Now for an in-depth review of the other ranked anti-virus companies, with a pro and con list for each.

Avast Review

Avast Anti-VirusWebsite – avast!

Avast is one of the few providers that provides a solid free antivirus version of their software. That is called avast! Free Antivirus. When it comes to features, Avast Pro has everything you could ask for and more. And, regardless of the Windows operating system you run, Avast will run smoothly in the background without sacrificing performance. It is the most commonly chosen anti-virus software with over 200 million active users. Avast offers a FREE MAC VERSION that includes file system protection, protection from email, protection against infected websites, web reputation system and drag and drop file scanning. Avast Pro starts at $34.99 for one computer for a year.

Pros

Cons

  • There is a FREE version that you can trial to see if you like it before upgrading to the highly esteemed Pro mode.
  • Free 60-day trial for avast! Pro.
  • Registry startup protection.
  • Streaming, real-time virus database updates.
  • AutoSandbox feature that automatically allows untrusted programs to run without fear of harm.
  • WebRep - proactively scans links and provides color-coded ratings for security reputation on Internet search results.
  • 25+ years of experience.
  • 30 day money back guarantee.
  • Touch compatible controls for the new 2014 interface.
  • SafeZone – secures sensitive transactions like banking data (Pro version only).
  • Began beta testing their Facebook Security in June 2014
  • Annoying pop-up ads trying to sell you an avast! product.
  • Sometimes updates at times when you need the full bandwidth.
  • Pushy when it comes to getting you to upgrade to the paid version.

Avast Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available Avast Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Avast Overall RankingT-14th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5

AVG Review

AVG Anti-VirusWebsite – AVG

AVG is an antivirus solution that has experienced high growth over the past few years. AVG prides itself on being one step ahead of the competition by employing some of the world’s leading experts in threat detection. More than 187 million people use AVG. AVG also has FREE MAC VERSIONS, one that keeps your computer running light and the other protects your Mac from any unwanted viruses. AVG Antivirus 2014 starts at $39.99 for one computer for a year.

Pros

Cons

  • Multi-layered technologies to provide users with peace of mind.
  • Free 24/7 Support.
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee.
  • Free trial before you have to buy.
  • Link Protection – checks links before you click on them.
  • Online Shield – protects you from harmful downloads.
  • Data Safe – encrypts and password protects private files.
  • Free mobile protection for Android.
  • Low detection rate for the free version of their software.
  • Slow antivirus updates and scans.
  • Some users find it causes issues with their computer after they install.

AVG Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available AVG Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

AVG Overall RankingT-6th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5

Avira Review

Avira Anti-Virus (Affiliate)Website – Avira

Avira has more than 306 million global installations and they offer an affordable, trustworthy antivirus alternative. Avira has an array of antivirus protection tools and has performed very well in lab tests. Avira’s FREE MAC VERSION includes an award-winning malware detection that will help keep your Mac clean from viruses. Avira starts at $44.99 for one computer for one year.

Pros

Cons

  • Simple Interface and fast scans.
  • Performs strongly in independent lab tests.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • Monitor your child’s social media presence.
  • Settings allow you to prevent notifications while gaming.
  • In testing it proved to cause a slow system boot time.
  • Persistent reboot prompts.
  • Takes a while to update.

Avira Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available Avira Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Avira Overall RankingT-10th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5

AVStrike Review

AVStrikeWebsite – AVStrike

AVStrike is new to our Antivirus Review article and doesn’t have the reputation of our top three but has a fighting chance with the features they offer. AVStrike has received awards and has a credible customer service. They are by far the most expensive starting at $79.99 for one PC for one year.

Pros

Cons

  • Awarded “Product of the Year” and “Best Repair Program of 2013″ by WorldTech magazine.
  • Free 30-day trial, no credit carded needed.
  • 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Real-time protection from viruses and other unwanted bugs.
  • Multi-layer threat defense.
  • No results from AV Test.
  • No Mac version.
  • Live chat 24/7 not true. Tried to live chat at 7pm EST and it said, “Sorry, we aren’t online at the moment.”

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

AVStrike Overall RankingT-17th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5

BullGuard Review

BullGuard Anti-VirusWebsite – BullGuard

BullGuard may be a lesser-known antivirus program, but it is an affordable one with numerous certifications. Pricing for one PC for a year is $29.95. Bull Guard has great parental controls as well.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use interface.
  • 24/7 online support.
  • 5GB of online backup storage.
  • Parental controls are included in the program.
  • Good detection test scores.
  • Antispam protection.
  • Free 15-day trial.
  • Multiple protection layers to catch more viruses.
  • Game mode for seamless game enjoyment without disabling the application.
  • No telephone support offered.
  • No Mac version.
  • Need hours of tech support to install and scan Bullguard on a malware infested system.
  • Spam filter marked valid mail as spam.

BullGuard Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available BullGuard Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

BullGuard Overall RankingT-12th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5

CyberDefender Review

Website – CyberDefender

CyberDefender uses a proprietary software that claims to find and protect against new threats faster than competitors. Starting price for one computer for one year is $39.99, but is currently on sale for $19.99 making it one of the most affordable antivirus softwares available.

Pros

Cons

  • Cookie Monitor lets you know what cookies are capturing personal information.
  • Unlimited tech support.
  • 100% Risk Free Guarantee.
  • Millions of users worldwide.
  • High rate of false positives.
  • Does not protect against browser exploits.
  • Only supports 32 bit Windows platforms.
  • No Mac version.
  • No AV Test results.

Cyber Defender Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available CyberDefender Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

CyberDefender Overall RankingT-19th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5

eScan Review

eScan AntivirusWebsite – eScan

eScan is very affordable antivirus software, but it does not offer full web protection. However, if you are looking for a lightweight alternative, it really shines. eScan offers a Mac version starting at $29.95 for one computer for one year and the PC version starts at $22.45.

Pros

Cons

  • eScan Toolkit stands out to users with ‘strong’ infections.
  • Real time protection.
  • 24/7 free online tech support.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • One of the lowest memory usage antivirus programs.
  • Endpoint Security to block unauthorized applications.
  • Easy to use interface.
  • Above average malware detection rate.
  • Does not offer full web protection.
  • Below average malware removal and blocking scores.
  • Slows browser down.
  • Slows email download time down.

eScan Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available eScan Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

eScan Overall RankingT-12th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5

ESET Review

ESETWebsite – ESET

ESET is not the most affordable antivirus protection software, but it does offer a wide array of protection tools. Eset uses ‘ThreatSense’ technology to eliminate viruses, worms, trojans, rootkits and other malware. ESET offers a Mac version and a PC version both starting at $39.99 for one computer for one year.

Pros

Cons

  • Light software with fast performance.
  • Browser exploit protection.
  • Cloud-Enhanced Whitelisting for faster detection.
  • Free 30-day trial.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • Social media scanner.
  • Interface is not as user-friendly as some competitors.
  • False positives.
  • Lacks more in-depth scanning.

ESET Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available ESET Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

ESET Overall RankingT-14th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5

F-Secure Review

F-SecureWebsite – F-Secure

F-Secure offers powerful anti-virus protection without slowing down your computer. F-Secure handles all threats without disturbing the user. Their anti-virus for Mac costs $39.99 for one Mac for a year. PC pricing starts at $39.99 for three computers for a year.

Pros

Cons

  • Received Best Protection 2013 for corporate solutions award from AV-Test.
  • 30-day free trial.
  • DeepGuard cloud computing technology ensures fast protection against new threats.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • A clean, easy to use interface.
  • 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Malware cleanup fully integrated with Facebook.
  • Game mode for a seamless gaming experience.
  • Requires manual removal of certain viruses.
  • Spam filter misses spam sometimes.
  • Slow computer during installation.

F-Secure Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available F-Secure Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

F-Secure Overall RankingT-6th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5

G Data Review

Website – G Data G Data has been in the business for 20 plus years and claims to have the best virus detection rates of all anti-virus products. G Data offers a Mac version and charges $54.95 but is on sale for $39.95 for one Mac for a year. A PC is usually priced at $39.95 but is also on sale for $29.95 for one computer for a year.

Pros

Cons

  • Double-Scan technology and OutbreakShield.
  • Fast response time.
  • 30-day free trial.
  • Exploit protection.
  • Idle Scan protection works in the background when the system is inactive.
  • Bootable rescue CD.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • 14-day money back guarantee.
  • No automatic USB detection.
  • No social media integration that we can find.
  • Missing the key features other competitors have.

G Data Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available G Data Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

G-Data Overall Ranking16th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5

McAfee Review

Website – McAfee

McAfee is an all-in-one antivirus solution that carries a big name. While some critics will point out that it can be sluggish on some machines, it also has some notable accolades. It won the Lowest False Positives Award in 2011 from AV-Comparatives. McAfee’s Mac version has a price of $79.99 for one Mac’s coverage for a year. Starting price for PC computers is $49.99 for one computer for one year but is currently on sale for $34.99.

Pros

Cons

  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee.
  • Two-way firewall.
  • Exclusive Anti-bot protection.
  • 30-day free trial.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • Free tech support.
  • It can be a drain on system resources.
  • Updates always require a system restart.
  • Not great at cleaning up already infected computers.
  • High rate of false positives.

McAfee Coupon Code

Click Here to save $45 off of the regular price of McAfee Total Protection!

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

McAfee Overall RankingT-6th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5

Norman Review

Norman AntiVirusWebsite – Norman

Norman Anti-virus is a user-friendly solution. Norman is pretty simple to use and the antivirus scanner takes care of malware right when it’s discovered. For one Mac or PC for the year it costs $45.95.

Pros

Cons

  • Simplified user interface.
  • Rootkit protection.
  • 30-day free trial.
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee.
  • Users must pay for telephone support.
  • Slow scans.
  • Slow installation.
  • Fails to install some test systems.
  • Bad rootkit removal.
  • Identifies legitimate items as malware.

Norman Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available Norman Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Norman Overall Ranking22nd out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5

Norton Review

NortonWebsite – Norton

Norton is one of the bigger names in antivirus software and has more than 175 million users. Their excellent customer support is a big selling point for them, which can be very valuable to many users. The Mac version costs $39.99 for once computer for a year while the PC version costs $49.99.

Pros

Cons

  • Constant updates.
  • A well-known company name dedicated to securing and managing information.
  • A wide variety of antivirus services.
  • 7 time PC Mag Editor’s Choice.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • Free support 24/7.
  • For better anti-phishing protection you have to upgrade to Norton Internet Security.
  • Could improve in the customer support area.
At this time we are unaware of any available Norton Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Norton Overall RankingT-4th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5

Total Defense Review

Total DefenseWebsite – Total Defense

Total Defense is an all in one security suite that provides easy to use protection against viruses, malware and spyware. Total Defense stands out with its comprehensive, multi-layered, cloud-based protection. Starting price for a PC is $49.99 for 3 computers for one year but is on sale for $29.99.

Pros

Cons

  • Automatically scans USB.
  • Cloud Defense Scanner for more protection.
  • Download Defender – scans all downloads immediately.
  • Updates to the newest version automatically as long as you have a current subscription.
  • 60-day money back guarantee.
  • Flags dangerous links on social networks.
  • Tip: If you leave the window after you’ve pushed the buy button a chat window will pop up offering you 25% off.
  • Available for Windows only (no Mac).
  • Not tested by AV-Test.
  • Not the best test scores.

Total Defense Coupon Code

Ongoing: All US Total Defense products (excluding renewals and some bundles) are 25% off with coupon code TOTAL25 - Click here to take advantage of this offer!

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Total Defense Overall RankingT-17th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5

Trend Micro Review

Trend Micro Anti-virusWebsite – Trend Micro

Trend Micro is the recognized leader in cloud security. By focusing on the post-PC era, Trend Micro provides support across physical, virtual and cloud environments. Trend Micro offers a Mac version costing $24.95 (normally $39.95) for one Mac for one year. The PC version starts at $39.95 for one computer for one year.

Pros

Cons

  • High performance in independent tests against the competition.
  • Real-time threat intelligence.
  • Free 30-day trial.
  • Cloud based protection.
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Claims to have the best phishing detection rates.
  • More than 25 years of experience.
  • Does not provide a bootable rescue CD option.
  • Slow boot times in independent testing.
  • Difficult to install on infested computer.
  • Marked valid programs as malicious.

Trend Micro Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available Trend-Micro Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Trend Micro Overall RankingT-4th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5

TrustPort Review

Website – TrustPort

TrustPort is not well-known in the antivirus market and they do not offer some of the high-end features we have come to know from other competitors. PC pricing starts at $31.95 for one computer for a year.

Pros

Cons

  • Application inspector is another layer of protection that runs in the background.
  • Good malware detection rates.
  • Silent mode to prevent interruptions while gaming or watching movies.
  • It lacks instant messaging protection.
  • Some users report difficultly in removing malware that has been detected.
  • No Mac version.
  • No protection rating from AV-Test.

TrustPort Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available Trustport Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

TrustPort Overall RankingT-19th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5

VIPRE Review

Vipre AntivirusWebsite – VIPRE

VIPRE used new technologies that they custom-built to optimize PC performance. VIPRE performs very well in independent testing at detecting viruses and malware. Starting price is $39.99 for once computer for one year.

Pros

Cons

  • Advanced anti-rootkit technology.
  • Easy setup and use.
  • Free 30-day trial.
  • Social Watch – Scans Facebook pages.
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee.
  • Remote device scanning.
  • Some users report having difficulties uninstalling.
  • No Mac version.
  • Many customers are angry about their experience with VIPRE.

VIPRE Coupon Code

At this time we are unaware of any available Vipre Coupon Codes.

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

VIPRE Overall RankingT-19th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5

Webroot Review

Webroot Anti-VirusWebsite – Webroot

Webroot is an antivirus software that carries numerous certifications and is one of the fastest and lightest programs on the market. Webroot has more than 30 million users. The Mac version and the PC version are the same one, which is priced at $37.49 for three computers for a year.

Pros

Cons

  • 30-day free trial.
  • No conflicts with other security programs.
  • 70-day money back guarantee.
  • Offers a product specifically for PC Gamers.
  • Corporate blog provides a lot of researched insight into antivirus protection.
  • No bootable rescue CD or automatic USB detection.
  • Detects infected items as clean.

Webroot Coupon Code

Click here to save $20-$50 on Webroot Anti-Virus Products!

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

Webroot Overall Ranking9th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 1 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5

Zone Alarm Review

Zone Alarm Anti-virusWebsite – ZoneAlarm

Zone Alarm is best known for its one-of-a-kind two-way firewall which provides more security than most any system on the market. This firewall is used by every Fortune 100 Company today, making it a trusted choice for computer and online safety for both business and personal use. ZoneAlarm has more than 85 million users and offers some unique features including online storage, social media monitoring, parental controls, data encryption capabilities and identity protection services all included in its computer security suite. This is in addition to the more standard Internet security protection from spam, phishing, malware and credit rating damage. Pricing for three PCs for a year is $34.95.

Pros

Cons

  • Download the base program for FREE to feel out the interface and decide if this program is for you.
  • Advanced two-way Firewall for added protection.
  • Free online storage.
  • 11 time winner of PC Mag Editor’s Choice
  • Stops 100% of undiscovered attacks, AV-Test 2014.
  • Real time antivirus.
  • Enhanced browser protection.
  • SocialGuard for monitoring kids activity on social networks.
  • 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Large memory usage slows down computer run speed.
  • Some users find the interface confusing.
  • No Mac version.

ZoneAlarm Coupon Code

Click here to save $40-$50 on ZoneAlarm Anti-Virus Products!

Our Antivirus Rating

All scores are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 lock being the worst and 5 locks being the best.

ZoneAlarm Overall RankingT-10th out of 22
Impact on Computer PerformanceASecureLife Rating: 2 out of 5
Computer ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5
Ability to Repair Computer with VirusASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
AV-Test RatingASecureLife Rating: 3 out of 5
Social Media ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 5 out of 5
Gaming ProtectionASecureLife Rating: 4 out of 5

Which antivirus Software is Right for You?

The number of different antivirus software choices on the market can be overwhelming. The first step in making this process easier is to identify the features that different software options provide and to make a list of the features that best suit your needs. For example, if you are a regular gamer, it may be important for you to find software that offers a gaming mode. So, let’s get started! Put together a list of your ‘must have’ features to narrow down your options, then find the anti-virus software that best fits your budget. And if it is important for you to have a real, live person available to answer your questions when they arise, then look to customer service reviews as well. Armed with all of this information, you are sure to make the best antivirus decision for your unique needs.

What’s Your Favorite Antivirus?

What’s your favorite antivirus solution and why is it your favorite?

 

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About Michelle Schenker

Michelle has had a home security system for five years, antivirus protection for 15+ years and uses LastPass like nobody's business! She also believes that the privacy tradeoffs associated with social media, especially Facebook, may lead to the downfall of common man. But on a lighter note, she still enjoys the latest technology, playing with her dogs and getting away from it all on a hiking adventure.
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  • Billyjo

    I don’t see Microsoft Security Essentials listed in your Anti-virus software reviews.

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Jeff Butler

      Thanks for the suggestion, we will be adding Microsoft Security Essentials to our review in the coming weeks.

  • Teodor

    I had a bad experience with Bitdefener. I purchased a license, installed it, and then ran in to lots of problems. I did not get any help and I had to re-install the system. This company only contacted me 2 years later to renew the license, not cool at all!

  • Ronald Jonnes

    I have a 3-user license of Bitdefender 2015 installed on 3 different computers (all different makes). Your comment about slow boot and shutdown times is very understated because it doesn’t “slow” the processes; it virtually brings them to a standstill it’s so slow!

    The other point is when connecting to, not just the Web, but my router web interface as well, it takes *many* seconds before obliging me.

    In order to verify that Bitdefender was the culprit, I uninstalled it and voila, performance rose like a leviathan from the depths! Bitdefender may score high on protection but it is disastrous on computer/online performance…

  • George

    I previously used AVG and a virus always penetrated my PC. Now I use avast and I am virus free. How come AVG ranked 5th and avast 8th?

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Jeff Butler

      Thanks for the comment George. The antivirus situation is always changing and we do our best to stay on top of the best products. We are in the midst of an audit for this article right now. Your feedback is very helpful to us and our readers.

      If you don’t mind, I have a few additional questions that could help our readers out. Do you happen to know what version of AVG you had problems with? Also, what version of Avast are you running now that you are happy with? And lastly, what is the operating system of your PC?

  • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Jeff Butler

    Thanks for your comment. When we last audited this article, Avira scored 3 out of 5 stars on the AV-Test (Oct-2013) for Windows XP. We see now that they rate better for the new Windows 8 operating system. We are in the process of completing another full audit of this article.

  • Maggie McWilliams

    Is it true that Mac computers are virtually virus-free? How do they stand up against other forms of corruption, such as spyware and phishing? I’m concerned about their compatibility (or lack thereof) with all of the Microsoft products I use (at work, etc.). What’s the real story with choosing a Mac instead of a PC?

    • http://www.coverstorymedia.com/ Alex Schenker

      Hi Maggie,

      Great question, we actually get this question a lot and I’m glad you addressed it. While Mac’s were initially considered much safer than PC’s (primarily because they had a more stable operating system and were less popular, so therefore less targeted by hackers), that is no longer the case today.

      The combination I generally recommend for Mac’s is a secure router (if you are using Wifi, use a good WPA password, and disable remote/web access to the router), Internet security software (I use ESET on my Mac and recommend their Cyber Security software), and an identity theft product such as LifeLock.

      Furthermore, if you’re on a Macbook, disable Wifi when traveling and not in use. Lastly, be vigilant – use different passwords for all your services, 2-factor authentication when possible (you will need to verify you are you via a text message, phone, or email code in addition to your login password) and consider a service such as LastPass to store them securely for you.

  • NahNood

    Well, a strong YES vote here for (ONLY) the Norton Security Suite from Comcast/Xfinity!!!

    I’ve been switching among various free antivirus products for the last couple months, and I always end up going back to Norton Security Suite from Comcast/Xfinity (the free edition of Norton 360 for Comcast customers). It just has the most comprehensive protection, and actually allows my computers to perform best without issue.

    Each computer is different I guess, but versions 20+ of NSS have excellent performance and contrary to old popular belief they do not drain system resources anymore. Of course, you still have to meet basic realistic system requirements, but you know that.

  • Jeff Butler

    For a limited time, Total Defense is offering a 50% discount on all of their products!

    Coupon: TOTALDEFENSE50
    Valid Until: December 6, 2013

  • ASecureLife.com

    Download and install Norman Anti-virus 10 and/or Norman Security Suite 10 today and save 5% when you enter ANTIVIRUS5. This deal expires on 4/30/2013.

  • A Secure Life

    Click here and enter the coupon code NORMAN2013 between now and November 30, 2012, to get 5% off Norman Home protection products.

  • Anonymous

    I really like this article because it breaks down the different capabilities of internet security software and the ones that best fit for different people’s needs.  In America, the way people use the internet and how they need to be protected are as diverse as the people themselves.  Not one program could be expected to best suit everybody’s different types of usage and meet their expectations, so a wide variety of programs are out there now and it can be tough to tell which one is best. 

    I personally, use the internet in my house for a lot of different things.  I stream video quite a bit over my computer and use it for gaming as well.  These activities typically use up a lot of my computer’s resources so I need a program that runs quietly in the background and does not interfere with my regular usage.   Another user may only browse static websites and check their email occasionally so they would be well suited to a program that runs a little more frequently and takes up some resources because they can afford it.

  • A Secure Life

    Here are some promo codes for Panda Security for November (good through November 15th, 2012):

    • Get 20% Off Panda Antivirus Pro 2013 when you click here and enter the coupon code: 30STDOFFER2013
    • Get 25% Off Panda Internet Security 2013 when you click here and enter the coupon code: 30STDOFFER2013
    • Get 30% Off Panda Global Protection 2013 when you click here and enter the coupon code: 30STDOFFER2013
  • Anonymous

    I have never seen a review that included social media use as a primary reason for needing a particular antivirus program but that totally makes sense! My teenagers and me (guilty!) all spend a lot of time on YouTube, Facebook and I really love Pinterest… and since this is mostly what we use our family computer for, I am thinking Zone Alarm is the way to go for us. Thanks for your help.

  • Anonymous

    Antivirus is an area that I have always had problems working with. I do not really know a lot of technical information about computers. I just know how to use them to get done what I need to get done. So for me, choosing an anitvirus has always been a hard process to make it through. And most of the people I know are no help at all because they all have their own opinions and they are all different. Of course they all think they are right and will spend hours arguing about it. In the end, I usually end up going with whatever is installed on my computer. The problem is that my son also uses my computer.

    He is pretty responsible about what he does on my computer, but as he gets older, his interests change and I have to allow for that. I don't explore a lot on the Internet unless I am doing research, so I don't worry near as much about how my actions could impact my computer. But he does explore and just last night 3 alerts came up. It's time for me to get serious about an antivirus program. So, thanks for the table, even if I don't understand half of it. I think I can at least get a better idea of what will work for me.

  • AJ

    On your list of the best antivirus program that doesn't slow down your computer, you have Kaspersy as #1.  I have to disagree with you as it's probably the SLOWEST of the bunch and really slows down the internet connection and makes networking a pain.  I have my own computer business so I deal with this every day and I use Avast Free which is probably the best free antivirus out there.

  • Jeff

    Panda is offering up to 20% off of their new Panda Antivirus 2014!

    • Coupon 30STDOFFER2014
    • Valid Until: October 31, 2013
    • Discount: 10% off Antivirus, 15% off Internet Security, 20% off Global Protection
  • Anonymous

    My goodness this article is in depth and very useful.  I know people that play video games and as a parent, I definitely have social networking concerns.  Though my little one is too young right now for it to be an issue, those networks change and grow in capability every year, so I know it is important as a parent to make sure that I have a good idea of how to protect my family. 

    It would make sense that certain types of antivirus software programs would best clean your system from viruses that you download through video game portals or through music and media downloads.  Different criminals probably attack through different mediums. 

    The whole thing really sucks, that they can get information from us just because of our web use.  I am so skeptical about downloading anything these days because of these threats.  I really wish that there was a way to always know that you were browsing securely.  With so many phishing sites out there, sometimes it can be scary.  I like how some antivirus programs do tell you if a site has a bad security rating though.

  • a seeker of security

    Not only is Norton Internet Security a resource hog, but I can't get it to uninstall completely. It came preinstalled on my new laptop. I declined the option to activate the 60 day free trial, and proceeded to install the software and reboot my PC. 

    Then I tried to install NOD32 antivirus (which has a low footprint, and has kept my PC secure for years). I immediately got the message that Norton Internet Security was also installed and would interfere with the NOD32 installation.

    Are you kidding me? How can I completely uninstall Norton Internet security?

    • A Secure Life

      Norton (Symantec) is actually known to have this problem with their software. For this reason, they have released a removal tool that you should be able to execute wants to have all Norton software removed from your PC.

  • Jeff

    For a limited time us coupon code affiliates-30%off-bd2013 to get 30% off any BitDefender product!

  • Anonymous

    There have been times when I installed an antivirus too late. I knew I must have a virus and I tried to get rid of it. But not all antivirus programs can deal with a virus that already exists and I am not savvy enough about computers to know how to deal with it myself. Since I am looking to install a great antivirus and came here to read the reviews, I think I will probably end up going with Bitdefender.

    Part of what I like about Bitdefender is the program's ability to deal with an existing virus and guide you through the steps you need to take care of it. This was not even something I knew the software could do until I came here, but I have heard great things about the Bitdefender program aside from the ability to deal with an existing virus. I just happened to be firthering my research when I came across this article.

    I love these kinds of articles because you are obviously not trying to write about just one product to promote it. Rather, you are trying to give some real information so people like me can compare and get what they really need. Thanks for sharing this information so I can make an educated decision.

  • A Secure Life

    Save 20% on Panda Antivirus Pro 2013 until 2/17/13 when you enter coupon code 30STDOFFER2013 during checkout.

  • Anonymous

    I have only had a handful of different antivirus software providers over the years but I have had the most experience with Norton and their suite of security products and I can tell you that my service has been very solid and I am very pleased with it. 

    I have this service largely because it is provided by my internet service provider as a value added offering for being an internet subscriber with them.  I know just how expensive this software can be to obtain and maintain if you are buying it on the open market so I am thankful that I have found a way to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak and maximize my internet investment. 

    The best thing I can say about Norton antivirus above all else is that I hardly even know that it is there.  I can see the icon in the task bar on the bottom of my screen that tells me it is working, but aside from that I never see it.  I like the thought of a silent protector working quietly in the background.

  • Anonymous

    Number one, I really like their website.  I find it really calming and comforting.  I know that might seem silly, but it's like a doctor's office.  I feel trust right away.  The site design is not trying to look like the flashiest most modern collection of images online.  It's like a safe place that looks like it has possibly been this way since the early 80s.  That is very mellow for me, which I appreciate.  It's also something I find that's rare online. 

    In many markets, you find that all of the websites are competing to look just like one another.  I also like that Kapersky offers both Personal and Family computer security and business security.  When most people think of antivirus software, they think of their computer.  Only now, are people starting to realize that this has to come out of the home office and extend onto your smartphones and almost every other contraption you have that you use to check email or do online searches.  For their home security options, they offer anti-spyware, anti-spam, standard antivirus, data protection and encryption and Identity theft protection.

  • Anonymous

    My computer came to me with McAfee installed on it. I seriously hate this antivirus. It seems to slow everything down and yet it also seems to do my computer absolutely no good at all. I do not even know why they market this. Yes, it is the free version, but it is not like this version is prompting me to want to actually spend money on their product either.

    I have always gone with the free versions because I do not really do anything odd on my computer. I go to the same sites all the time and they are all reputable sites, so I never consider myself to be in a high risk group or anything like that. But I have also gone through enough computers that when I bought my last one, I made sure it was a quality machine. It does more than I need it to, but that's okay. Now I just want to find a way to protect it so it lasts.

    I have also used AVG and I liked that program, but I am looking to upgrade from it as well. It looks like you have all the information I need right here so I can start comparing before I shop. Thanks for that!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for introducing some new antivirus companies to me.  This does expand my options some.  I remember a time when antivirus software was an option.  It was like, I have a computer, do I need it?  Lol.  The truth is that it was never really an "option."  We just weren't as educated about what types of things our systems were vulnerable to. 

    I remember some of the types of things I used to click on, my goodness.  And there was even a time when I clicked on those antivirus update pop ups.  We were so naive in those days it was ridiculous.  As far as antivirus software brands go, I have had McAfee for a long time, and I have always felt secure with it.  The only problem that I've had with it is the same as other readers of your blog, it's plain annoying.  It used to slow my computer down so much when I booted up and then randomly when I was trying to get things done, it would run a scan that you would try to pause and even pausing it or stopping it would take another 10 minutes.

  • Anonymous

    Antivirus software is something I definitely need, but haven't spent any time looking into. I was surprised that some of the top names I've heard over the years weren't in the top slot. I guess it goes to show you that a name and a lot of advertisements aren't everything.

    I was so glad I found this article. Not only did it help me realize that there are some great antivirus companies I hadn't heard of before, but I also learned that some of the bigger names have problems that I wasn't aware of, such as Norton using a lot of RAM.

    I was really impressed with Bitdefender. I loved the fact that it not only handles what is on your computer, but what's on plugged in devices as well, such as iPods and flash drives. However, I do have to admit that I was a bit stunned at how much it costs. I know antivirus software is important, but $60 a year, or $100 for the best services, seems outrageous. Of course, it is cheap compared to the cost of having to hire someone to fix my computer if a virus goes active in it. And with all of the security issues online lately, it might actually be money well spent, even if it is more than I originally expected. I bet they have sales throughout the year and I could check back here for those. There are some promo codes in this section of comments.

  • Anonymous

    I'm very happy to say your article  "Avast vs. avg vs. avira vs. norton vs. kaspersky vs ….." about Antivirus software is very helpful for anyone. You've included the range of advanced security options – parental controls, link scanners & identity protection and etc. I'm vary satisfied with your information on antivirus – it's so easy and helpful. Thanks, this is a great post for sharing.
     

  • Jeff

    Use Coupon Code NORMAN35 to get 25% off of Norman Antivirus & Security Suite PRO until August 31, 2013.

  • Anonymous

    I like that this article broke out the best antivirus software offerings by the different kinds of users there are for these products.  I used to use my computer for online gaming quite a bit in the past and therefore I wanted an antivirus software that ran relatively “lean” and would not use up a lot of my computer’s resources in the process so those could be better used on the often complex and resource-consuming game programs that I used so much. 

    I do not use my computer so much for gaming anymore as I have a gaming console, the Microsoft Xbox 360, that I use almost exclusively for any gaming that I want to do.  That device does not require any kind of antivirus software as the network that it operates on is completely controlled by Microsoft and will not allow for any invaders to infiltrate the system to take advantage of its users. 

    My computer however, is now used almost only for research and document creating applications.  I do have a lot of internet usage though, so antivirus software is important.

  • Anonymous

    I really can't say that I have ever had any luck with Norton. I like AVG, but I have been using the free version and lately I have been thinking that it is time to invest in a good anti-virus program that I can trust. I am not sure that AVG is what I want to use. I have heard about people having problems with AVG or with them not being as effective as they had thought AVG would be.

    I like the sound of Bitdefender, but I had never heard of them before coming to this page. That does not mean they are not worth the time. It just means that I need to expand my horizons and learn a bit about virus protection before I buy any antivirus programs. I have to say this is a great place for me to start doing that. I love comparisons that I do not have to do the legwork on. There are quite a few programs here that I never even actually heard of, so that obviously does not mean anything.

    To be honest. I would rather buy a program based on a comparison like this one than to just go buy one because it has the most advertisements. I want to spend my money on something that works, not that has great ads.

  • Anonymous

    I have to admit, I never heard of these antivirus brands before.  Of course, I've always heard of the big guys, Norton and McAfee, but did not realize that there were comparable products available.  It is interesting to realize that there are so many effective, competing anti-virus products out there. 

    I think everyone has been affected by a computer virus at one point or another in their life.  I know this was especially true like in the 90s when people did not really realize that the Internet was dangerous. 

    Everyone was downloading everything from free music, to software programs that said they were removing malware, only to be adding it again.  What a crazy time that was.  I think I had 2 computers crash within one month!  Now, I don't download much of anything anymore that I don't pay a legitimate subscription fee for, and I'm even careful what websites I visit, because some of them will open up popup windows that actually begin communicating with your PC just because you clicked open the web page. 

    Another thing that scares me is the fact that my browsing activity is always being logged in the bottom left of my screen.  What's that about?

  • A Secure Life

    Total Defense Unlimited Internet Security is offering a brand new product that offers unlimited protection for all of your connected devices, including computers, smartphones and tablets! So, you get the Internet Security Suite, Mobile Security, PC Tune-Up and 25 GB of Online Backup for FREE and it all works together to offer you the ultimate security system for all your devices. As our world becomes more and more connected and so do our smartphones and tablets, the need to protect the files passing between them becomes more and more essential.

  • A Secure Life

    PandaSign up today and get the current version AND a FREE upgrade to the new 2013 version fo their product if you act fast! No coupon code needed.

    And, get 50% off Panda Global Security 2012 when you use promo code PRELAUNCHR13 during checkout. This coupon code expires July 13, 2012.
  • Anonymous

    I receive a subscription to Norton Antivirus software (as well as some other security products) thanks to my subscription to Comcast internet service.  They tout it as a three hundred and sixty dollar value per year for all the things that you get when you get their “Constant Guard” protection suite, although I am sure that number is a bit exaggerated.  However, I do know that Norton Antivirus would cost somewhere around a hundred bucks a year by itself if I were just picking it up off the shelf. 

    I find this situation to be ideal as I would not have really a need for an antivirus software if I did not have a full time connection to the internet.  Not having a full time connection to the internet is not an alternative I care to envision for myself ever again so it all works out.

    The program, as far as I can tell, works quite well.  I have not had any problems with viruses since I have had it and it does not seem to suck up too many of my computer’s resources in the process.  What else can I ask?

    • Nancy

      I have continued to do my "Norton" checks and they keep telling me that things are fine and I have no threats. I however get notes like this:  Ransomware.UkashVirus/FBI Moneypak is a ransomeware alert claiming that your PC is blocked. Once installed, Ukash Virus/FBI Moneypakwill displays a scary fake alert stating that your are visiting ilegalwebsits.UkashVirus/FBIMoneypak completely locks your system so you will not be able to preform any tasks.    SetStretch.exe  Then I call Norton and get the song and dance about Do you trust Norton?  I spoke with some nitwit @ Mozilla and she said there were ###'s's of viruses and attempts to access my system. I gave her the Police file # and phone#, also the IC3 # They hung up after telling me they wouldn't call. I am on my 4th computer. Now tell me WHY I don't want the government to regulate the Internet.

    • RHA – Utah

      Strong NO vote for Norton/ConstantGuard from Comcast/Xfinity!!

      My First PC…
      I have an HP Pavilion DV9000 running Vista Home Premium.  This machine came with Norton on it and ran like a charm for a year.  When Norton expired, instead of paying to update, I installed the “free” version from Comcast.  This version of Norton/ConstantGuard brings this machine nearly to a halt!  It takes well over two minutes to boot, I cannot connect to internet (wireless or wired), and runs so slow that the machine is literally unusable.  Even Norton itself won’t run when installed on this machine.  I can’t even get the program to start up so I can run a scan.  Norton just sits and spins until I go into the Task Manager and shut it down. 

      I’m not a developer but can make my way around a machine.  I had to experiment – so I removed all the Norton programs/files/directories and registry entries.  I also removed all other software that might be considered “competitive” – and cleaned and defragged the disk.  PC ran like a charm. 

      I reloaded only the Norton Internet Security portion from Comcast and the PC had same issues described above!

      Pulled Norton off and directly loaded the free trial of Avast! from CNet.  PC ran like a charm!  (This is NOT a thumbs up for Avast… I haven’t even messed with it but I updated the virus definitions and ran a scan so I know it is running.) 

      My Second PC…
      I have a second HP Pavilion, a DV6, running Windows 7 Home Premium.  Norton was also free for a year on this machine – and it ran like a charm.  When Norton expired – just for kicks – I loaded my “free” version of Norton/ConstantGuard from Comcast.  On this machine it is actually tolerable but there is definitely a dramatic performance hit on the boot and overall performance of the machine.  If this machine were just being used by the kids I would let it be but, because I use it as a second machine for work and personal, I have become annoyed at this version of Norton and am now looking for a replacement.

      I really didn’t mind Norton when the HP factory install was running on these two machines.  Comcast’s “free” version isn’t worth the $360 value they claim.  Maybe I should bill Comcast for my testing time since their employees obviously don’t use their own ConstantGuard products on their home machines!

      • Alex Schenker

        Thanks for taking the time to share your antivirus experiences with us! I’m sure this will help our readers make an even more informed decision when it comes to Internet security options.

  • A Secure Life

    Click here for G Data and use coupon code GDSSAFF2012 to get 50% off your purchase! Deal expires July 31, 2012.

  • riste

    Bitdefender,  no 1 antivirus  is Kaspersky  all other antiviruses  are games  for  me   2 AVG, 3 AVAST, 4 VIPRE, 5 ESET ANTIVIRUS

  • Anonymous

    If you have been debating between which of the various anti virus programs to choose, than this article was written with you squarely in mind. Here you will find some really good and in depth reviews on a number of the top names in the business.

    Before you start, let me just say that these are not like most of the other “review” sites that you typically see on the internet. Too many of them are little more than disguised sales pitches for a particular brand or company. Here, you will see that the authors really want to provide you with the information that you need to make an informed decision. Each review includes both positive and negative information about each company.

    I think we are all recognize that nothing we will buy is perfect. There will be both good and bad points. The key is to have honest information up front and then we can decide what is best for our situation. The antivirus software comparison table is also helpful; this is a great place to start your research.

  • Sofia

    I just read an article about a vulnerability in computer webcams that allows hackers to take control of your webcam. How creepy is that?? I happened to stumble upon that article as I was doing research on antivirus software, since mine is due to expire pretty soon. Thanks for the thorough list and reviews of the AV software available. It's helping me wade through the sea of software so I can make a better decision on how to spend my money.

    • Justin

      I just read an article from last year on Time's tech blog about how medical devices are also vulnerable to hacking attacks. Talk about creepy! Anyway, I agree with the post above – thanks for all the information. I think it will help a lot of people make a more informed decision.

  • Anonymous

    Antivirus software is always difficult product to choose. With so many antivirus software programs on the market, many people have a hard time determining which one would be the best for their needs.

    When selecting antivirus software, you should keep several things in mind. Ask yourself, “Do I need my computer repaired right away? Do I need assistance with knowing which websites are safe? Do I need protection from infected USB drives? Which antivirus software best fits my budget?”

    Many of the antivirus software programs advertise themselves stating that they are the best. Nobody can advertise that they are the best for everyone otherwise they would be lying. We all have different needs in antivirus software. Only you can decide which program is best for your needs. I use Kaspersky antivirus because it uses the least amount of RAM while giving me excellent coverage on the internet. Kaspersky also gives me information on which USB drives are infected and which are not. This information is extremely important to me because I once had a computer that was infected and I will never forget how important a safe USB drive is.

  • Anonymous

    I think that almost everyone who is a regular computer user recognizes the fact that they need to have a strong anti virus software program installed. This just simply makes sense. After all, without something like this, your computer can be exposed to all sorts of crazy and malicious programs, bots, software attacks and who knows what else. The only possible exception to this would be if you have a computer that does not connect to the internet (and you never intend to connect it).

    This article provides a lot of excellent information for anyone who is currently considering their anti virus software program options. For starters, there is a very helpful comparison table. To me this is a great place to start. It will give you a nice idea of what features and services are offered by each individual company.

    From there, feel free to dig into some of the individual reviews. These contain pricing information and even both good and bad points. This helps to separate this as an honest review from the many that are used just to promote a certain product.

  • stuestes

    My cable IP, Atlantic Broadband, offers free to subscribers the NetSafe Security Suite. I have had a paid subscription to Norton AntiVirus for several years. My Norton subscription expires in one month and I am considering dropping it for NetSafe. I haven't been able to find any reviews or information other than that it is developed by Authentium, Inc, which I also can't find out much about. Does anyone have any informtaion on NetSafe?

    • A Secure Life

      I am sorry but at this time we have no information either on NetSafe – which could be good or bad. If I were you, I would ask Atlantic Broadband if you can sign up for this new service for free anytime and allow time for other people to try it out and provide reviews.  In the meantime, renewing Norton for one more year would be a much less expensive risk then potentially getting a serious virus on your computer. Better safe than sorry we say.

  • Anonymous

    I really do not want to spend a lot of time worrying about the maintenance of my computer or being slowed down by an antivrus running… or worse, get slowed down by an antivirus that is not running correctly. I just want it to do its thing quietly in the background while I do my thing on the computer.

    I do not normally have issues because I limit the places I go and what I open in my emails or messages. However, my son is a bit more curious and likes to explore different sites and games. I do not mind if he wants to play a game on the computer. I just want to make sure that my computer is protected while he is doing it. I can't even imagine how upsetting it would be to have my computer screwed up just because my son wanted to play some game. But, I can't tell him that he is not allowed on the computer either. So, here I am trying to decide which antivirus to buy. It is kind of stressful actually. I have other things to do, so I think I will just take your advice and check out Bitdefender. It looks like it is perfect for us.