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Best Antivirus Software for 2016

Who provides the best internet security?

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Antivirus Software Reviews

If you're in the market for strong and efficient antivirus software then look no further. The names may actually surprise you-this isn't your grandpa's list of computer security, big names like McAfee rarely are surprisingly absent. We're in the midst of a new age of computer security with clouds, online backups, and other new technologies and the threats are innovating too. There are close to a million new malware programs released each day.

You need the type of antivirus software that plows through all the infections and corruption to deliver you a powerful computer cleanup. Whether you're an advanced user or just beginning, many of the programs we list here have a simple setup and installation. That means you don't have to worry about constantly updating the software, running scans, or stressing out about suspicious files.

Antivirus Software: What to Consider

Before choosing antivirus software to protect you devices, take these important questions into consideration:

  • How simple and easy is the installation?
  • What kind of infections does it remove? Malware or viruses or both?
  • Do virus scans slow down your computer? How long does it take to scan?
  • Can you customize scans?
  • Is technical and customer support readily available 24/7 if you have an issue?
  • Does it offer phishing protection?
  • Do you own a PC or a mac? Viruses are a bigger issue on PCs and some common antivirus software isn't available for Macs.

Meet the Best Internet Security Providers

Kaspersky Antivirus

  • Pros
  • Easy to install on any computer, infected or not
  • Effective at removing malware
  • 100% Identifies new threats
  • Phishing protection
  • Scans for insecure settings
  • Cons
  • Long scan time
  • Pricey, but comes with 3 licenses

Kapersky Anti-Virus is our top pick for virus protection and this well-rounded product has you covered in all areas. And at $59.99, it is competitively priced. This software protects your PC from viruses, bots, spyware, phishing malware and more. Kapersky's installation process is very fast and shouldn't take more than a few minutes. However, you should expect the average scan and cleanup to last about 45 minutes, which is on the longer side.

Malware detection and elimination is one of the areas in which Kapersky shines. When tested, the product typically detects and blocks about 89 percent of malware on a PC in its first scan. And the product typically eliminates the majority of remaining malware in subsequent scans. You would be hard-pressed to find a superior program for malware outside of those specifically produced to only remove malware. Kapersky Anti-Virus also steers users away from phishing websites. When you log-on to a fraudulent website designed to log-in to your accounts, an alert pops up on your screen alerting you of the risk. If you want anti-virus protection that has you covered in nearly every facet, you can't go wrong with Kapersky Anti-Virus.

Bitdefender Antivirus

  • Pros
  • 24/7 technical support
  • Malware blocking and phishing protection
  • Secure browser for financial transactions
  • Remote management
  • OS Rescue doesn't require CD
  • Cons
  • Cleanup can take a long time and may cause some collateral damage

Bitdefender is another strong product. At $59.95 per year and $79.95 for three licenses, it is a bargain too. Bitdefender protects you from online threats, social media hazards, viruses, spyware, phishing as well as dangerous attachments in e-mails and instant messenger chats. Bitdefender is stuffed with features that protect your PC from a multitude of threats. The primary features introduced in the newest version of the product are Bitdefender Central, which is a security hub used for managing multiple devices with the tool installed (Windows, Mac OS X, Android) from a web interface. The second is Ransomware Protection, which prevents hijackers from encrypting and deleting your private data in order to use it as a ransom against you.

Bitdefender's installation process is very fast as well. Once installed, Bitdefender gets right to work and a diagnostic scan begins to determine your computer's security status. Once completed, Bitdefender enters its default Autopilot mode. In Autopilot mode, the program silently and constantly scans your computer and browser for threats and you'll never notice it. So, for instance, if Bitdefender detects a threat while you're using the computer, it quietly quarantines the threat without any notifications popping up. Furthermore, Autopilot mode adjusts to how you use your computer. Whether you're working, playing a video game or watching a movie, Bitdefender adjusts to do its job in the least intrusive and distracting way possible. Moreover, Bitdefender detects about 93 percent of malware on a machine, which is outstanding.

ZoneAlarm Antivirus

  • Pros
  • Identity theft protection options
  • Online back up
  • Reasonably priced
  • Cons
  • Doesn't include anti-phishing
  • Can sometimes flag good programs

ZoneAlarm offers anti-virus and anti-phishing protection for PCs and recently they’ve begun to specialize in protection against mobile threats. If you are just looking for low maintenance, basic protection, they offer free anti-virus software and free firewall protection. You can also upgrade to their premium software for more robust security. Their mobile security is currently only available for Android users.

Norton Antivirus

  • Pros
  • Multiple tools for removing malware
  • Blocks outside threats to your computer
  • Stay safe on social networks
  • High scores in test labs
  • Email scanning
  • Cons
  • Only helpful for viruses and malware
  • The more protection and security you want, the more you pay

Norton is probably the familiar name in this group. Norton's anti-virus products are the most well-known and probably the most used. At $89.99 for a 10 licenses, Symantec Norton may be the best value out there. Especially considering that it is a cross-platform suite which allows you to use it on multiple devices. Malware detection is where Symantec Norton really shines. When tested, the product detected about 93 percent of malware, which matches Bitdefender for the top score. Phishing protection is another area in which Symantec Norton is top notch.

While not quite at the level of Kapersky, this virus protection software adeptly identifies fraudulent websites and notifies you as soon as you enter a potentially dangerous website. Furthermore, if your email provider does not automatically filter out spam, you can set Norton to do it for you. The program can quickly and quietly clean up all your email accounts once this feature is enabled. Norton incorrectly filed just 0.5 percent of valid e-mails as spam and missed about 5.6 percent of spam. However, it should be noted that Kapersky and Bitdefender score a bit higher than Norton in regard to spam detection. Both of these products misfile fewer e-mails and miss less spam. Symantec Norton does offer a few other helpful features such as Norton Identity Safe, which is essentially a password manager that stores your information and fills out your web forms. In addition, the product also configures your network and Internet permissions for good and bad programs. Norton destroys known bad programs and also monitors the behavior of new or unknown programs. The program's behavior based detection system automatically activates if it detects any strange behavior from new or unknown programs.

G Data AntiVirus

  • Pros
  • Great malware blocking
  • Manage startup programs
  • Uses two engines for scanning
  • Flags possibly harmful programs
  • Online and offline security
  • Cons
  • Hard time cleaning up already infectious malware
  • Varying phishing protection
  • Its two engines can cause problems on some systems

G Data Anti-Virus is another solid choice to protect your computer. It's another well-rounded product that offers protection from malware, adware, viruses, phishing and more. In addition, it also scans incoming emails for viruses as well your own outgoing emails to ensure that you aren't sending out anything malicious. And at just $29.95 for a year and $39.95 for three licenses, it is one of the best values on the market. Where G Data really shows is its value is in malware and spyware protection. In tests, G Data has excelled in its ability to protect against new malware, its ability to detect known malware less than 90 days old and in its ability to detect malware that is older and widespread.

G Data receives top marks in each of these areas and detects a bit more than 93 percent of malware. However, G Data's scans can take quite a bit of time (up to 80 minutes per scan) and it doesn't feature any sort of autopilot mode like Bitdefender features. In comparison, the average scan using one of the preceding products clocks in at about 30 minutes. Additionally, G Data blocks users from phishing sites and protects you while banking online. The product also includes an emergency DVD that helps users boot and clean an infected PC. The product also includes antivirus for Android phones as well, which is helpful. While G Data is certainly a fine product and well-priced, it isn't as strong as the previously mentioned products. You should feel protected using it, but not quite to the same degree you should if you purchased one of the other products.

Anti-Virus Advice

For most of us, purchasing a good computer is a fairly significant investment. You will often spend over $1,000 on your machine and spend a great deal of time using it either for work or recreation for two or more years. This makes protecting your investment of the utmost importance. Which, in turn, makes selecting the best anti-virus software of the utmost importance. What you can reasonably afford is obviously the first consideration. You likely spent a reasonable amount of money simply purchasing your new PC, so it's understandable if you are hesitant to spend a bit more. But, like we said earlier, buying a computer is an investment of sorts so you'll want to spend enough to reasonably protect you and account for your internet usage.

Once you find a few products which you consider affordable, you'll want to ensure that the product is compatible with your machine. There are a number of products out there that are exclusive to Windows or Mac. Furthermore, you'll want know how long each scan takes. Ideally, a single scan shouldn't take much more than half an hour, though the times may vary. Moreover, you will want to know and understand your product's features. Firewalls, anti-spyware, anti-malware, anti-phising and anti-spam are the primary features you will want to research. You should tailor your considerations to what you will primarily be using your PC for. If you plan on sending and receiving a large amount of e-mails, anti-spam will likely be one of the most important features for you.

Conversely, if you do a lot of online shopping, anti-phishing will likely be most important to you. The key for everyone is finding the most well-rounded product which best addresses your needs. Lastly, you will also want to be aware of how many licenses you get with each product. If you have four devices but your preferred product only offers three licenses, you may want to consider another one.


Antivirus software is important today. Having efficient computer security not only gives you peace of mind but it keeps your sensitive information safe, as well as files with strong emotional value such as digital photo albums or long conversations with a friend online. We did the research and we read what the customers think. After weighing the pros and cons, decide which one is right for you.

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Questions & Answers About Best Internet Security

Do I need antivirus software?

There are two basic rules when it comes to antivirus software programs: Some computing devices are more vulnerable to attack than others and no device is completely immune to computer viruses. It's true that a Mac computer with a trusty Apple OS is less likely to become infected than a typical PC. Part of this is because malware builders are less interested in them but not even Macs are safe.

Even if you are very careful you may not be protected. Visiting questionable sites and illegally downloading music and video files definitely increases your risk of inviting in malware but even reputable sites can become infected. Just because search results rank high in Google and look innocent doesn't mean they are clean.

Which antivirus providers fool proof protection?

None. There is no such thing as the perfect antivirus software. This is not because one has not been created yet, it's because it is impossible. Just like how the common cold can't possibly be cured because new strands are always emerging, no antivirus software can detect every possible threat. There are just too many different types of malware that are always changing and becoming more advanced.

Even the best antivirus software doesn't give you a license to click anything you want. Computer security should be multi-level where antivirus software is one layer of defense. Aside from this, you should also keep your software updates and back up important files often.

What should you consider when purchasing antivirus software?

There are many factors to think about when getting antivirus software. One of the first decisions to make is whether you want to install it yourself or have it done by a professional. If you opt to have it professionally installed, be aware that you may incur a fee. Otherwise, you can choose to install it yourself and you'll just be responsible to pay the antivirus provider.

What are some antivirus companies?

There are many companies out there offering antivirus protection. Some of the most reputable antivirus companies are Kaspersky, Bit Defender, Symantec, F-Secure and G data. You can read customer reviews on the various companies to find which one suits your needs best and which features they offer.

Is it necessary to have antivirus software?

It is not necessary to have antivirus software but it is certainly recommended. With so much potentially harmful information floating around the Internet, it is important to protect your identity and personal information. It's now easier than ever for thieves and scammers to access your identity and personal files directly through your computer. For that reason, it is imperative that you protect your private information from unwanted sources.

I have a PC, do I still need antivirus?

Simply put, yes. All computers regardless of make and model should be outfitted with antivirus protection, just in case. Apple computers are known to be better at defending themselves against viruses, but nonetheless, you should always take the necessary precautions.

There are so many companies offer antivirus – how do I pick?

There are many things to consider when getting antivirus. Some of the most important things that every company should publicize prominently are the kinds of infections it removes, if the virus scan slows down your computer, how long the scan takes, its phishing protection and whether you can customize scans.

What does antivirus software really do?

Antivirus software is intended to detect and rid your computer of dangerous viruses. Infections that can ruin your computer and slow it down such as Trojan viruses, worms and many other damaging digital hacks can be prevented with the use of antivirus software. Some antivirus software programs conduct automatic scans while others allow you to personally select when the scan can be done and which files to scan.

What are Firewalls?

A firewall is basically a block that prevents communication to and from unsolicited parties – ones that may carry unwanted viruses. When a firewall is active, hackers will not be able to access or collect your personal information and computer files due to the fact that it checks the source's authorizations prior to allowing entry to your personal data.

What is Anti-malware?

Anti-malware is an item inside antiviruses. What it does is detect and then immediately eliminate harmful programming. Damaging software such as viruses, Trojan horses, and worms are the types of things that anti-malware blocks and removes.

Will antiviruses protect my electronic devices?

Many antivirus programs allow you to protect your other devices, in addition to your computers, through software licenses. If you are looking to protect multiple electrical devices, be sure to verify that the program extends enough licenses to protect those extra devices.

Is anti-spam important to have?

Anti-spam is a great feature to have because it eliminates unwanted spam from your email and your network. If you are constantly getting junk mail and unsubscribed emails in your inbox then having anti-spam is a fantastic feature that will remove those spammy items.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.