It isn't a straightforward job for many customers to choose the suitable antivirus software for Windows. Each antivirus software or solution has its attributes, so people often struggle with getting the right thing in many candidates. These products are different from each other, even on their core features: scan and remove viruses.
1. Compare Antivirus Products
In general, we can compare antivirus products in 3 main aspects:
If an antivirus product has any defect in reliability, it's useless. Many reliability issues are due to conflict with other software installed on the same computer, which blocks further scan runs or kills some virus or malware. It means that some known viruses can survive in your computer even if you intentionally run antivirus protection software. Another circumstance is much worse: you somehow install a cheater that seems to be an antivirus product but does as malware. It may indeed clean some viruses. However, its quality is deficient, and the real purpose is to run spyware or adware on your computer.
We need an intelligent way to choose excellent vendors and only download the original producers' installation packages to get reliable solutions.
Usability is the second important factor, especially for ordinary home users who usually lack the experience and patience to manage complicated software. Even if the product has the perfect feature to deal with any security risk, the users may give up running it because they want to simplify their jobs. In some cases, if the antivirus software is too difficult to run, the user may disable it easily.
Theoretically, all antivirus products will offer protection. Although they may have different behaviors in both comprehension and quality, for most use cases of home computers, security isn't as important as usability. However, for business or enterprise users, their points are changed. These organizations usually hire people to offer computer services. Usability isn't essential anymore. Instead, they hope for a more robust protection for information security, for example, higher frequency and regularity of updates and better ability to remove infections.
2. Is Malware a Computer Virus
In the view of computer security, malware isn't identical to a virus. When we say a program is a computer virus, we think it has an abnormal behavior: copy itself silently from one place to another. Malware, short for malicious software, doesn't focus on how it is copied or distributed. Instead, it is a program that runs on your computer but is out of your control. In general, malware has a wide range, including spyware, adware, worms, and Trojan horse. A virus is also a type of malware.
After getting the definition of malware, you may answer questions like why I need anti-malware or deal with malware efficiently.
If you are a business or enterprise user, usually you have to consider antivirus and anti-malware together. Most business-level antivirus products cover full features to anti-malware. So only if you choose a good antivirus product for your business, the whole information security should be under the same umbrella. You don't need extra anti-malware effort.
As for home users, the decision is a little bit tough. All home versions of antivirus products can also clean spyware, adware, or other types of malware. But the protection isn't as reliable as business versions. Why won't home antivirus handle all kinds of malware?
The answer is there. New spyware and adware are released every day. To trace and clean all malware, we have to update the anti-malware products so frequently that trading off usability or even performance. It is why home antivirus products usually aren't keen enough to deal with all types of malware.
A few antivirus products also offer more or less anti-malware features in the market. However, usability is always a considerable challenge for ordinary users to run complex software efficiently. Although choosing a more potent antivirus product probably is a better solution for most home users, we believe many options, like home level anti-malware or business level security products, are available for various use cases.
3. Hot Antivirus Products for Windows
Mcafee Total Protection
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
Kaspersky Anti Virus & Security
Quick Heal Internet Security
Emsisoft Anti-Malware Home
Comodo Internet Security
K7 Antivirus & Secuirty