4 Tips to Choosing the Best Antivirus Program
3. Free vs. Paid
4. Using Multiple AV Software
Lightweight – More important than the size of the anti-virus program is how much memory and processing power that it uses. The reason for this is because, generally speaking your anti-virus is always running in the background. If your anti-virus program uses too much processing power and memory your computer will run slower. The older your computer, the more you will feel the impact of a ‘heavy’ anti-virus program.
Effective – Unfortunately, there is not one anti-virus program that will keep you 100% free of viruses and malware 100% of the time. Having said that, there are programs that are better at keeping you protected. Be aware that even if the program you’re using does a scan and it says that you are virus free doesn’t mean that you are. When we run a Tune-Up we use 8 different programs/scanners to ensure that your computer thoroughly cleaned and free of viruses and malware.
Free vs. Paid – In our experience free anti-virus program is better than nothing and generally only protects your computer from older threats and provides the minimum protection possible. In addition, we find that you get a lot of pop-up ads marketing their paid products to you. On the other hand, when you pay for an anti-virus program, they stay updated on protecting you from the latest viruses and most of them will automatically run in the background keeping you better protected.
Using Multiple Anti-virus Programs – In this case more is not better. In fact, having more than one anti-virus program installed on your computer at the same time can cause conflicts between the two programs leaving your computer more vulnerable to viruses and malware. In addition, having more than one running at the same time uses a lot of processing power and memory, which may cause your computer to run slow.
Our Recommendation – We are often asked which anti-virus program is the best. Our recommendation is that if you are running Windows OS, having something is better than nothing. Having said that, the anti-virus program that we’ve had the best experience with is called Emsisoft. It’s effective and lightweight, it protects you from viruses and malware, and is affordable at $29.99 per year.