Choosing Personal Anti-Virus Software

Quick Tip: Free Basic Anti-Virus Software

If you’re looking for a free anti-virus option, consider the following software which has been well-rated by independent security researchers and is available for both Windows and Mac:

Bitdefender Antivirus Free

Avast Free Antivirus

Dealing with malware and computer viruses have been part of using the internet for decades. That's why basic anti-virus features are included with your computer’s operating system. Make sure these features are enabled and you keep up-to-date with the latest security updates. Many computer owners will want to secure their information with the enhanced protections provided by installing third-party security software. Here are some points to consider the following when choosing antivirus software:

Reputation

You do not want to trust your information to a company with a bad reputation. Expert reviews are critical when choosing security software. See a list of the top-rated options from the independent security researchers at AV-Test.

Anti-Virus Software for Windows

Anti-Virus Software for Macs

Price

For most people, price is a central concern when making any purchase.  Consider these questions before buying anti-virus software.

How many devices are covered by your purchase? Paying a little more for software that covers more devices could save you money.

How long does this purchase last? Most security software has a yearly renewal cost, and often they hook you with a low price only to surprise you with pricey renewals.

Is there a free option? Many security software companies offer a free version that does the basics very well. Some internet providers offer their broadband customers free anti-virus software, so that is worth a search before you open your wallet.

Features

Free versions of commercial security software are spartan by design, the retail versions can have wide ranging features. If you’ll use them, you may find it worth the cost. These can include:

  • Personal VPN service for private browsing
  • Password manager for creating and sharing passwords with your family
  • Support for mobile devices as well as computers
  • Parental controls to limit screen time and content online

Performance

Not all computers are high end gaming systems with fancy blue lights. Some are just for doing the basics. Security software with all the bells and whistles may leave your computer so secure it can’t do anything. If your computer is a bit on the slower side, consider skipping the extra features.