Here is my official Virus Protection Reviews for 2012. The following recommendation are based on industry leading reviews and my own personal experience with these products in the field. Personally I am not going to rank these in any kind of order. These are the best and they all shine for various reasons. Use you own judgement to determine which one is best suited for your needs and support requirements.
One of the most respected and objective independent IT-security institutes, AV-Test, torture tested AVG Anti-Virus and scored it for its ability to protect and repair. AV-Test also tested AVG for usability. The test results show that AVG is one of the very best-performing antivirus software products and makes it into the top handful of products in its category.
AVG Anti-Virus software uses layers of protection. The first layer is traditional antivirus, which recognizes threats by matching them to a database of known threats. It also defends against spyware and adware in order to protect personal information. Another layer, AVG Resident Shield, prevents you from opening infected files. Every day there are new threats that aren’t in any antivirus software vendor’s database. AVG collects data on fast-breaking infections from the installed base of users who opt to share zero-day data and then updates customer PCs automatically. This security product monitors your protection level and reports back to the AVG lab if it finds a problem. The alert will pop up an Auto-Fix button, and if you press it, AVG will make the correction and set itself back to the best protection mode.
AVG does not intrude on you unnecessarily. It watches for idle time before it tries to scan. And it is intelligent enough to ignore any files that it has already scanned. It has a game mode so that you can concentrate on a multiplayer game without enduring scheduled updates and scans. AVG also guards your digital gaming profiles against hackers who crawl the web to steal your World of Warcraft pets and sell them for real money.
AVG Anti-Virus software protects against internet evils in quite a few other ways as well. Whenever you exchange links within Facebook, mySpace or Twitter, AVG checks them. The AVG Social Networking Protection feature activates upon installation. As you surf the internet, AVG will prevent you from landing on a site that looks suspicious. And it places a safety rating for any link returned by a search engine.
AVG helps users with any problems with the antivirus software. In-program help is available with a user manual and links to additional resources online. The online support center has a FAQs section and a knowledgebase. AVG offers email support for specific inquiries, but no phone support. More options and professional assistance with virus removal are available by paying for premium support.
This product is a top-tier antivirus software solution with superior protection and performance whether you’re an advanced user looking to control the whole process manually or an average user who simply wants a set-and-forget solution. This antivirus software provides protection and peace of mind without taxing your PC performance or paycheck.
The software is available as boxed software or via online download. Both are easy to install and implement. Installation is quick and includes step-by-step instructions. The process includes a pre-installation scan and doesn’t require a reboot before you’re up and running.. The user interface is elegant and minimalistic. You can drag and drop modules to perform actions directly from the main window. The application uses a feature called Autopilot to make security-related decisions without prompting you for responses. There is nothing to configure, no alerts and no pop-ups. If you choose to make any manual changes to the security settings, Autopilot shuts itself off in the same way that your car’s cruise control cancels itself if you tap the brakes.
Bit Defender Antivirus Plus Virus Protection Reviews found that Bit Defender is effective at successfully blocking, removing, neutralizing and preventing malware infections. Third-party industry testers and reviewers agree that Bitdefender is one of the best. It ensures security without sacrificing speed. Smart Scan technology takes advantage of PC processing power without being burdensome. Depending on what other tasks you have running and what resources are available, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus adjusts to optimize operations and maintain speed. In order to maintain the maximum performance that contributes to ease of use, the Scan Dispatcher feature discovers and uses available time slices if your system’s resource utilization drops below a certain threshold.
Bit defender Antivirus Plus protects against a number of online threats, including social media threats, viruses, spyware and phishing scams. The software covers you from every angle, protecting you from threats on the internet, over email and via instant messaging. The application scans all web, IM and email traffic for malware, and it can encrypt IM chat conversations. The product includes a cross-browser module that intercepts and scans web traffic before it can touch the browser. With SEO-poisoning and targeted attacks (particularly on popular search terms), even the top results in Google can be dangerous.
The best aspect of the software is its unmatched level of security. Active Virus Control is a feature that detects and demolishes stealth threats using proactive measures to monitor all application activity. It keeps an eye on suspicious file behaviors. One minor discrepancy won’t stop the file in question (thus avoiding false-positives), but if enough malware-like actions are detected, Bitdefender Active Virus Control will lock it down. Malware has difficulty bypassing Active Virus Control because most malware functions in kernel mode. The design of Active Virus Control ensures that it does not have an undue impact on system resources.
This antivirus application is easy to use. But for times when you need additional assistance or support with a specific problem, help is available 24/7 via phone, email or online live chat. The dedicated help section on the Bitdefender’s website includes articles, a knowledgebase, help files, troubleshooting and a variety of video tutorials. Integrated help is completely searchable, helping you to locate relevant answers and information.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus Virus Protection Reviews found that Kaspersky offers rock-solid security without sacrificing performance, making it one of the best antivirus software solutions available. Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a comprehensive application, protecting your system from a number of threats, including bots, worms, Trojans, rootkits, spyware and viruses. The software includes advanced technologies that detect and prevent new threats.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus protects computers from several angles, effectively detecting, preventing and removing all forms of malware. The antivirus software is equipped to protect systems from traditional viruses. It also has advanced technology to protect from unknown threats. Furthermore, there are a couple of tools and web-specific features that Kaspersky includes that are normally only found in more comprehensive internet security suites.
Kaspersky Labs responds quickly to new viruses and is often among the first to detect new viruses in the wild. One reason the software is so effective is that it updates itself regularly. The malware landscape changes and Kaspersky adjusts to address the threats. A System Watcher monitors and logs application activity and behavior. If something suspicious happens, the software stops the process and informs the user. But more than just uncovering stealth threats, System Watcher can roll back your system and actually delete any malware.
The software works in real time, protecting you as you surf the web, download files, send and receive emails, and access files and documents. Third party testers and security organizations approve and recommend the software. Kaspersky has received top marks in VB100 (Virus Bulletin 100%) tests and boasts certification from ICSA. AV Comparatives has awarded the software with an A+. West Coast Labs has verified the software for anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-Trojan and anti-malware. The German test lab, AV-Test, reports no false-negative detections and finds that Kaspersky has a 100-percent success rate at detecting new threats. When AV-Test installed Kaspersky on a pre-infected PC, it discovered and removed 23 out of 23 malware programs.
Even though the software is easy to use, it is also customizable. Users can control just about every component of the software to schedule scans, adjust security levels, toggle specific features and change the appearance of the software. The Kaspersky URL Advisor protects your system while you’re online. The browser plug-in is available for IE and Firefox, and it stops you from navigating to infected websites. You’ll also be protected from phishing scams.
The software utilizes iChecker and iSwift scanning technologies to keep you protected without hogging your resources. iChecker makes it possible for the software to identify files that have been opened or changed since the last scan and only scan them. iSwift keeps an eye on resource usage and can throttle the resource demand as needed to optimize performance to run faster if the system is idle (or slower if you need the PC resources for other programs).
There is a virtual keyboard and gamer mode. The virtual terminal lets you input sensitive information (credit card numbers, passwords or other personal information) by clicking on the digital “keyboard” with your mouse. While it’s no way to type an essay, the virtual keyboard does avoid attempts by key loggers and keystroke recognition malware to steal your information. The game mode makes it possible to enjoy full-screen video games (or movies) without interruptions.
Kaspersky offers great support. Technical support comes in the form of a searchable online knowledgebase, FAQs, product manuals and an active form. You can easily access these resources online or from the software itself. The software includes context-sensitive helps that open to comprehensive information that corresponds to where you are in the software. You can also connect with a support team member over the phone or via online live chat.
Virus Protection Reviews found that Avast Pro Antivirus uses several layers of protection, keeping your PC and resources safe from several angles. With built-in protection from spyware, rootkits and Trojans, the software is equipped for all major security threats. The application includes protection from malware spread through email (by scanning both inbound and outbound messages), and it also has an integrated IM shield. Avast also includes specific protection for several popular P2P file-sharing applications.
Virus Bulletin has certified Avast Pro Antivirus software with a VB100% (meaning that it caught 100% of in-the-wild viruses). AV Comparatives reports a high virus-detection rate, one of the best in the industry. AV Comparatives deems the software as one of the best solutions. Actual malware removal is still above average
Avast Pro Antivirus software is easy to install and set up. Before installation, the software creates a restore point. After the application is installed, you are encouraged to run a preemptive scan that will help locate and remove any deep-rooted viruses that could interfere with set up. Installation is straightforward.
The antivirus software works behind the scenes, keeping your computer protected without requiring much interaction. Files are scanned in real time, on access (every time they’re opened), and you won’t even notice it. Everything is effectively organized and easy to get to. Avast includes an automatic gaming mode. If you’re running a full-screen game, the silent gaming mode will disable alerts and pop-ups from interrupting you.
Virus Protection Reviews found that Eset’s NOD32 is particularly useful for home users looking for simple antivirus software. ESET NOD32 Antivirus protects from malware such as viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and rootkits. Various types of malware use different approaches to infiltrate. Computer viruses, for example, are computer programs that replicate themselves by spreading from computer to computer. Worms take advantage of security vulnerabilities to spread over networks. Trojan horses pretend to be harmless until they arrive at a place where they can do damage. Spyware collects as much as it can gather about your personal identity and online behavior. Rootkits burrow deep into the operating system and assign themselves supervisory control over processes that allow them to hide evidence of the takeover.
In addition to guarding against malware, ESET protects you while you’re online. It integrates email protection to scan email (inbound and outbound) for viruses and other malware. It also protects users from auto-running external media (like USB jump drives) by scanning files when the external medium is plugged in. ESET can prevent viruses that are so new that they aren’t in the threat database. It scans files in real time as they are opened or executed. And while this ensures malicious files don’t cause any problems, it doesn’t mean you have to wait before opening a file. The real-time scan happens almost instantly in the background.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus is one of the easiest antivirus programs to use. In fact, in independent tests conducted by AV-Test, it scores 83 percent in AV-Test’s Usability tests for Windows 7. In AV-Test’s same Usability tests for Windows XP, ESET scores 92 percent. In addition to being AV-Test Certified, this antivirus software has also passed muster at Virus Bulletin 100, ICSA Labs and West Coast Labs Checkpoint.
Users have no problem navigating the program. The default setup is for beginners. The advanced mode adds functionality without completely alienating standard home users. Scheduling, report logging and adjusting settings are all easy tasks. It can work on its own and doesn’t require much intervention. You can tell ESET not to ask for input. Furthermore, there are some keyboard shortcuts for easy navigation. A laptop mode delivers protection without draining your laptop battery. ESET NOD32 Antivirus can create a bootable disc (or USB drive) in case of emergency.