Computers have revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives in every aspect, from helping students learn and assisting in monitoring patients in hospitals and regulating crucial manufacturing processes. This increased reliance on computer gadgets has also brought an increase in cyberthreats like malware, viruses and ransomware. Antivirus software is designed to recognize these threats and stop them from causing damage to your computer or stealing personal information.
When selecting an antivirus software it is important to look at the ability to scan for viruses, whether it has an firewall and how it does in independent lab tests. You might also want look at its customer support, the frequency it updates, and the number of devices it is able to protect. Some programs, such as Norton offer additional features that help you prevent identity theft and protect your privacy online.
The best programs offer various options for protection such as heuristic detection which identifies behavior patterns typical of malware or viruses and signature matching, which compares files against a list of known malicious software. Some programs also utilize sandboxing, which separates dangerous files and puts them in a secure virtual environment, where they are unable to do any harm.
A few of the top antivirus software is available for download. However, they might not offer as many features as paid-for alternatives. Bitdefender’s premium version includes parental controls, file shredder, as well as a password manager, however its free version scored highly and includes a firewall. Malwarebytes, whose free version was a top performer in our AV Test for 2023, fell short of our usability test. Intego Mac Internet Security X9 offers a strong combination of tools (VirusBarrier and NetBarrier) that killed and slowed the majority of malware threats in our test.