It seems you spend your life connected to the rest of the world via your computer. Emails, billing, proposals, contacts, your whole life is on your computer. If a virus or malware corrupted your computer’s data it would take a long time to rebuild that information cache.
That’s why every Windows and Mac user should have a reliable antivirus app in their computer security toolbox. Because it’s not a question of if you’re going to get a virus on your machine, it a question of when.
An antivirus or anti-malware application is designed to scan your computer for the presence of malicious applications designed to infect your computer, monitor your usage, wipe out your data, or hold your computer for ransom.
A good antivirus application will also sit quietly in the background as you work or play, scanning any incoming files, emails, and text messages for any signs of malware or viruses. Hopefully without slowing your computer down too much.
Any antivirus application worth its disk space will also be able to reliably clean your system when it finds a virus or malware.
In this article, I will share with you my humble opinion on three excellent apps that will do a great job of protecting you and your precious computer from attack by the bad actors of the world.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017 is the top choice of a number of computer-related publications, mainly for the excellent job it does rooting out and defending against viruses, malware, and ransomware.
One particularly nice feature about Bitdefender is that its installer immediately downloads the latest version of the app and the related virus definition files, ensuring your computer is protected from the get go.
A one-year subscription for Bitdefender costs $39.99, although the company occasionally offers substantial discounts when you purchase and download the app directly from the Bitdefender website.
In addition to an excellent antivirus scanner, and excellent real-time protection, Bitdefender offers anti-phishing protection. The feature protects you from websites that attempt to impersonate PayPal, Facebook, Yahoo, and other websites where you might be required to login.
The Windows version of Bitdefender also offers a vulnerability scan which checks your PC for missing updates, outdated browser versions, and other problems, such as security-hole ridden Java applets.
Both the Mac and Windows versions of Bitdefender offer ransomware protection, ensuring designated folders cannot be attacked by modifying the files stored within. The Mac version offers welcome ransomware protection for Time Machine backups, ensuring Mac users have a clean backup to restore from if needed.
While using Bitdefender on both Windows and Mac machines, I didn’t notice any noticeable hit on my system resources, and both machines ran just as smoothly as they did before installing and running Bitdefender.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017 is $39.99 for Windows or Mac versions. The company also offers antivirus for Android devices. A 30 day free trial is available for all versions. For more information, visit the Bitdefender website.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus is another antivirus app that comes highly recommended by many PC publications. The app offers speedy full system scans, and doesn’t eat up too many of your PC’s valuable CPU cycles and RAM.
In addition to speedy system scans, the app also offers real-time virus and malware protection, sitting in the background scanning files and apps as they are accessed and executed. The app also monitors URLs visited in the browser, actively blocking malicious URLs hosting viruses and malware.
The same browser plugin that blocks access to malicious websites also helps users avoid falling for phishing attempts by websites that attempt to gather login and other personal information by impersonating popular sites such as PayPal, eBay, banking sites, and other websites that require logins.
Kaspersky also offers some nifty bonus features, such as an on-screen keyboard that can be used to enter passwords and other types of sensitive information with no fear of keyboard logging apps or devices stealing the info you enter.
Another cool bonus feature is the ability to create a rescue disk that can be used to clean a machine of malware that might prevent you from running Windows. If you purchase Kaspersky, I highly recommend creating a Rescue Disk and storing it in a safe place immediately, if not sooner.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus is available for Windows and Mac PCs. They also offer security apps for Android and iOS devices. Kaspersky is priced at $39.99 for Mac, and $59.99 for Windows. Free 30 day trial versions of both apps are available. For more information, visit the Kaspersky website.
Avast Free Antivirus 2017
While the two previous antivirus packages were pay-for-play solutions which offered free trials, you will still be required to pay for them eventually. So, I also wanted to include a free virus defense solution for those of you on limited budgets.
Avast Free Antivirus 2017 is an excellent way to defend your Windows or Mac PC from viruses and other threats without paying out a portion of your hard-earned bank balance. While Avast also offers a paid version of its protection, the free version does a quite good job of offering up basic virus protection for your machine.
While offering excellent protection from the nasty computer viruses of the world, Avast Free also includes a password manager, a secure web browser, and a network security manager. All of these options are usually found only in the premium pay to play versions of competitor’s virus protection.
It should be noted that when Avast is installed, it offers to install the Google Chrome browser on your machine, as well as the Google Toolbar in any other browsers you may have installed. It also will make Google your default search site. You can opt out, if this bothers you.
Avast does an excellent job of protecting PCs from malware, via a feature called CyberCapture. Avast maintains a large database of both good and bad files that have been discovered online from around the world. If a file is one that has not been seen before, Avast blocks it from launching.
Avast’s phishing protection works quite well, protecting users from falling for well-crafted fake versions of such sites as PayPal, Yahoo, Google, and others. The app also includes a Wi-Fi Inspector that checks Wi-Fi hotspots for security issues. This is a handy feature for anyone that hangs out at the local coffee shop to use the free Wi-Fi.
Avast also offers a simple password manager, using a master password to protect all of your website and app passwords. The app will offer advice on the strength of a proposed password, and will also autofill passwords for websites visited in supported browsers.
Avast offers free antivirus for both Windows and Mac PCs, as well as security apps for Android and iOS devices. For more information, visit the Avast website.
Virus Scan Complete
I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick look at what I believe are three of the top antivirus and malware solutions available today.
While all three can offer excellent protection for your Mac or PC, my personal weapon of choice is Kaspersky AntiVirus. Kaspersky offers a great level of protection, and offers a number of bonus features you don’t find in many antivirus tools, such as the virtual keyboard and rescue disk. Add that to the speedy scans and excellent real-time protection, and you’ve got a winner.
For more information about these and other antivirus and malware solutions, visit this website on a regular basis.