Windows: How to Choose Antivirus Tools

Data Security: Tools

 By Steve Morgan
Windows: How to Choose Antivirus Tools
Windows Antivirus

It isn't a straightforward job for many customers to choose the right antivirus software for Windows. Each antivirus software or solution has its attributes, and this is why people usually struggle with how to get the right thing in lots of 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 anti-virus products in 3 main aspects:

1.1 Reliability
If an anti-virus 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 running of scan or killing some virus or malware. It means that some known viruses can survive in your computer even if you intentionally run an anti-virus 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.

To get reliable solutions, we need a smart way to choose excellent vendors and only download the original producers' installation packages.

1.2 Usability
Usability is the second important factor, especially for ordinary home users who usually lack 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 anti-virus software is too difficult to run, the user may disable it easily.

1.3 Protection
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 stronger protection for information security, for example, higher frequency and regularity of updates and better ability to remove infections.

2. Home and Business Users
As an important information product, antivirus tools have obvious differences between home and business users. Some developers offer for both areas; the others may just work for home or business users.

2.1 Shortlist for Home Antivirus
ProducerNameCountry
AVG Technologies AVG Antivirus Czech
Baidu Baidu Antivirus China
BitDefender Bitdefender Antivirus Plus Romania
BullGuard BullGuard Antivirus UK
Comodo Group Comodo AntiVirus USA
ESET ESET Nod32 Antivirus Slovak
Faronics Faronics Anti-Virus Canada
Filseclab Filseclab Twister Antivirus China
Ikarus Ikarus Anti Virus Austria
Iolo Technologies System Shield AntiVirus USA
Kaspersky Lab Kaspersky Anti-virus Russia
Panda Security Panda AntiVirus Platinum Spain
Qihoo Qihoo 360 Antivirus China
ThreatTrack Security VIPRE Antivirus USA
TrustPort TrustPort AntiVirus Czech


2.2 Shortlist for Business Antivirus
ProducerNameCountry
Fortinet FortiClient USA
Kaspersky Lab Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows Servers Russia
McAfee McAfee VirusScan Enterprise USA
Microsoft Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection USA
Panda Security Panda Endpoint Protection Spain
Quick Heal Technologies Quick Heal AntiVirus Server Edition India
Sophos Sophos Endpoint Security and Control UK
Trend Micro OfficeScan USA


3. 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 from one place to another silently. Malware, this word is 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 out of your control. In general, malware has a wide range to include, such as spyware, adware, worms, 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 how I 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 proper 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 types 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.

In the market, a few antivirus products also offer more or less anti-malware features. However, for ordinary users, usability is always a huge challenge to run complex software efficiently. Although choosing a stronger antivirus product probably is a better solution for most home users, we believe lots of options, like home level anti-malware or business level security products, are available for various use cases.

4. 2021 Antivirus Products for Windows
Norton 360 AntiVirus
(1)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeaturePlusStandardDeluxePremiumDeviceNote
AntivirusFull list
Backup to cloudWindows Mac2G
Backup to cloudFull list10G
Backup to cloudFull list50G
Backup to cloudFull list75G
Firewall to internetFull list
Password managerFull list
Safe familyFull list
Limit device timeFull list
Secure VPNFull listsame licenses as devices
Mcafee Total Protection
(2)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureSingle DeviceIndividualFamilyDeviceNote
AntivirusFull list
Secure VPNFull list1 license
Secure VPNFull list5 licenses
Home network securityFull list
Password managerFull list
Safe webFull list
File ShredderFull list
Encrypted file storageFull list
Identity theft protectionFull list
Safe familyFull list
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
(3)
DEVICE:
 Windows
Detail Info
FeatureFree1 Device3 DevicesDeviceNote
AntivirusWindows
Realtime anti-phishingWindows
Ransomware shieldWindows
Secure VPNWindows200 MB/day/device
Monitor social mediaWindows
Wi-Fi VPNWindows
File ShredderWindows
Password managerWindows
Trend Antivirus Plus
(4)
DEVICE:
 Windows
Detail Info
FeatureFreeYearlyDevice
AntivirusWindows
Ransomware shieldWindows
Scan emailWindows
Safeguard paymentWindows
ESET Smart Security
(5)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMacAndroidLinux
Detail Info
FeatureNOD32 AntiVirusInternet SecuritySmart SecuirtyDevice
AntivirusWindows Mac Linux
Realtime anti-phishingWindows Mac Linux
Ransomware shieldWindows Mac Linux
AntivirusFull list
Realtime anti-phishingFull list
Ransomware shieldFull list
Firewall to internetFull list
Encrypt for transactionFull list
Safe familyFull list
Stop webcam hijackFull list
Password managerFull list
Encrypt dataFull list
Sophos Home
(6)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureFreePremiumDevice
AntivirusFull list
Safe webFull list
Web ProtectionFull list
Remote ControlFull list
Anti identity theftFull list
Realtime anti-phishingFull list
Kaspersky Anti Virus & Security
(7)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureAnti VirusInternet SecurityTotal SecuirtyDevice
AntivirusWindows
AntivirusFull list
Realtime anti-phishingFull list
Stop webcam hijackWindows Mac
Encrypt for transactionWindows Mac
Safe familyFull list
Password managerFull list
Backup to cloudWindows
Quick Heal Internet Security
(8)
DEVICE:
 Windows
Detail Info
FeatureOne UserTwo UsersDevice
AntivirusWindows
Realtime anti-phishingWindows
Safe familyWindows
Ransomware ProtectionWindows
Safe BankingWindows
Email ProtectionWindows
Automatic BackupWindows
G Data Antivirus
(9)
DEVICE:
 Windows
Detail Info
FeatureOne PCTwo PCDevice
Virus scannerWindows
Behavior monitoringWindows
Email scanningWindows
Exploit protectionWindows
G DATA BankGuardWindows
Anti-RansomwareWindows
USB Keyboard GuardWindows
Update ManagementWindows
BullGuard Antivirus
(10)
DEVICE:
 Windows
Detail Info
FeatureOne PCDevice
AntivirusWindows
Realtime anti-phishingWindows
Ransomware shieldWindows
Vulnerability ScannerWindows
Game BoosterWindows
Emsisoft Anti-Malware Home
(11)
DEVICE:
 Windows
Detail Info
FeatureOne PCThree PCDevice
Virus scannerWindows
Anti-PhishingWindows
File GuardWindows
Safe webWindows
Total Security
(12)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureAntivirusInternet SecurityTotal SecurityDevice
Ransomware ProtectionFull list
AntivirusFull list
Realtime anti-phishingFull list
Browser Cleaner & ManagerFull list
Cloud ScanningFull list
Secure VPNFull list
Secure Password VaultFull list
Comodo Antivirus
(13)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMacLinux
Detail Info
FeatureFreeCompleteDeviceNote
Defense TechnologyFull list
AntivirusFull list
Auto Containment TechnologyFull list
Cloud-based AntivirusFull list
Secure ShoppingFull list
Safe webFull list
Encrypted file storageFull list50G
Wi-Fi VPNFull list10G
K7 Antivirus & Secuirty
(14)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureAntivirusTotal SecuirtyUltimate SecuirtyDevice
AntivirusFull list
Realtime anti-phishingFull list
Safe webWindows iOS Android
Safe familyWindows
Firewall to internetWindows
Protect device from thievesiOS Android
Backup and RestoreWindows iOS
Panda Free Antivirus
(15)
DEVICE:
 WindowsAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureFreeDeviceNote
AntivirusWindows Android
Secure VPNWindows Androidlimited 150MB/day
USB protectionWindows
Panda rescue kitWindows
Game modeWindows
LocationAndroid
Avast Antivirus & Security
(16)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureFree AntivirusPremlum SecurityPremlum SecurityDevice
AntivirusFull list
Scan Wi-FiFull list
Ransomware securityFull list
Secure ShoppingFull list
File ShredderFull list
Safe webFull list
Scan emailFull list
Firewall to internetFull list
Avira Antivirus Pro
(17)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureAntivirus ProInternet SecurityPRIMEDevice
AntivirusFull list
Secure ShoppingFull list
Realtime anti-phishingFull list
Secure password vaultFull list
Password generatorFull list
Secure VPNFull list
Malwarebytes Security
(18)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMacAndroidChromeBook
Detail Info
FeaturePremium 1Premium 5Premium + PrivacyDeviceNote
AntivirusFull list
Crushe ransomwareFull list
Safe webFull list
Anti identity theftFull list
Secure VPNFull listUnlimited traffic
Wi-Fi VPNFull list
Webroot SecureAnywhere
(19)
DEVICE:
 WindowsMaciOSAndroid
Detail Info
FeatureAntiVirusInternetInternet CompleteDeviceNote
AntivirusWindows Mac
Anti identity theftFull list
Realtime anti-phishingFull list
Firewall to internetFull list
Safe webiOS Android
Password manageFull list
Eliminates online tracesFull list
Backup to cloudFull list25G