Choosing The Best Windows Antivirus
The importance of having an antivirus in our technology-driven world is obvious to anyone who has a computer, or even a mobile device. There are many different security products to choose from, each different in how they work, the security they provide, and additional features they offer.
It’s your job to know what you need and then choose a product that is best suited to you.
There is a misconception that computers running Windows don’t need to have antivirus installed because of the included Windows Defender protection software. Don’t fall prey to a false sense of security.
Why do I need antivirus software if I already have Windows Defender?
Windows Defender is a new and updated version of the old Microsoft Security Essentials, except now it’s pre-installed on all Windows 8 and 10 computers so that they always have some sort of security protection. It works fairly well and does provide some sort of protection against security threats, plus it works in the background and barely interferes with your day-to-day activities.
The only downside, and it’s a serious one, is that Windows Defender isn’t good enough. When compared to leading antivirus products out there, Defender was way down the list in terms of its threat detection capabilities. So while it does protect against some threats, other antivirus products will do a much better job at protecting your personal files, private information, and even hardware, from unwanted attacks.
What is the best antivirus for Windows?
Looking for the best antivirus for Windows starts with understanding what your personal needs are. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- What devices do I need to protect? Is it a laptop, PC, or mobile phone?
- What operating systems am I working with besides Windows?
- What is my main vulnerability when it comes to security? Is it email protection, spam, backing up my important files, online security, or something else?
- Are there additional features, like parental control, that are important to me?
These are questions that, once answered, will help you quickly filter away the antivirus software products that are not suited for your devices, operating system, or don’t have features that are a “must” for you.
Another thing you need to understand is how you use the devices you want to protect. Security suites often offer many different features, each made to protect different types of actions and activities. So if you use your computer only for watching movies on streaming websites and playing games, it’s not the same as using it only for emails, Skype calls, and browsing the web when it comes to choosing the antivirus you need.
Features to Look For
It is important to separate the “nice to have” features from the “must have” features when starting your search. Start by making a list of excellent security suites that have all of the “must” features. These include:
- Browsing Security – Many websites contain malware that can infect your computer and steal your private information. Look for a security suite that has real-time malware protection when browsing. This will block websites that potentially contain malware before you visit them so you don’t risk getting infected.
- Behavioral Detection – Not all security suites offer this feature and it’s a big one. Behavioral detection searches for behavior patterns that may suggest malware or viruses. This feature helps the antivirus product detect threats that are not necessarily in their list of known threats, so that you can even be protected from new viruses that haven’t been identified yet.
- Firewalls – Every security software these days includes a firewall to protect you from attacks before they can reach your computer and do any damage. You’ll want to look for firewalls that also monitor your connection to prevent unwanted guests from accessing your WiFi, and prevent your personal information from leaving to unknown sources.
Don’t put your security in jeopardy. Whichever operating you have, even if it’s Windows with the latest Windows Defender, choose an antivirus program that can really protect you by checking out our rankings at the top of the page.