Antivirus Softwares – How To Choose The Best One

Choosing an antivirus software is essential. With a variety of services available, one may get confused about how to choose the best antivirus software for your device.

What is antivirus software?

Having an antivirus is one of the prerequisites in a device. It is required for the optimum functioning of your device. A good antivirus on your device promises a longer and more efficient user experience. Malware, DDoS, and ransomware are few of the menaces that are prevalent on the Internet. Choosing an antivirus helps you fight these problems and also keeps your device virus-proof.

How does an antivirus function?

An antivirus is a system made to block out any viruses from entering a device so that the user’s data does not get compromised. It is always good to have an antivirus to prevent any virus from setting in, rather than getting the virus removed once the damage is already done. In fact, if you wait for a virus attack to occur before taking any action, you might lose valuable data.

There are software that cater to the standard needs of protecting your device and data along with some additional features. Based on your needs, you would have to make a decision.

  • Scanning of viruses
    Antivirus performs reactive scanning where every file is checked and scanned before it is opened or allowed into the system. This is done to check for any viruses or malware present in the file. This entire process runs in the background and once ready, the file opens on your screen. These scanners should be lightweight and while boasting of a high detection and block rate, they should not make your system slower than usual. Also, do note that all checks are performed in the background and the checked file only opens once the antivirus has finished its work.
  • Database of known malware
    The database of the antivirus is mostly updated on a daily basis. This is because if the database is not up to date, the scans performed would have no effect, as the software would not know what to look out for. As a result, it is essential for all antivirus systems to feature a database of known malware so that the software can run each file against the database. This is an important feature to look for when choosing an antivirus.
  • Automatic updates
    Any antivirus software that is worth its weight in gold would feature an automatic update. These updates are to keep their database systems up to date and to upgrade any existing problems that it may contain because of which the database could get exposed. So, it is better for the updates to take place frequently.
  • Removing malware
    There are two different functions that any antivirus software performs. One is just detecting the virus and blocking it from entering the system. But, sometimes, the virus enters the system and needs to be removed. This is where the second function of the antivirus kicks in; this is to successfully remove the virus from the system and make sure the device is completely disinfected. The free versions of antivirus software usually cover the function of detecting and blocking the virus from entering the system. However, to get all the benefits, you have to purchase the full version of the software. This is a very important piece of knowledge to have when choosing antivirus software.
  • Shredding of files
    A lot of people have this common misconception that hitting the Delete button and clearing the Recycle Bin would completely eradicate a file from the system. However, this is not the case. The deleted file simply becomes invisible to you and can actually be recovered. However, with file shredders, you can actually delete the file from the system and then there would be no traces of them on the hard drive anymore.
  • Conduct regular tests on the antivirus
    When your device goes for a long period without encountering any dangerous malware or viruses, we tend to forget all about the antivirus software. Thankfully, there is a way to keep checking whether the antivirus is working fine. You can do this by creating a fake alarm through a fake virus to trigger your antivirus system’s defense walls. You can use a simple notepad document for an antivirus test file. After creating this, you need to use a standard EICAR code. This is a common practice among all antivirus developers to test the authenticity of the software. When the antivirus comes across this file, it is supposed to trigger and activate its security walls which will destroy the existing virus. If your antivirus fails to do that, it is obvious that the software is inactive for some reason.
  • Compare the different antivirus options before choosing one
    Before settling on antivirus software, you should be aware of the multiple options available to you. This way you will have all the required information on how these software function and what kind of services they provide to the user. You should also know which ones require you to pay for the full versions and whether they are worth that price.

Finally, do thorough research on how to choose the best antivirus software before selecting an antivirus system. Ask around and see what others are using and how their experience has been. There are many internet forums that are really helpful in this regard. With that being said, Norton™, Avast, McAfee, Kaspersky, AVG, and ESET are few of the top-rated antivirus software options that are available in the market right now.

Authored by