Antivirus Shopping 101

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Antivirus Shopping 101

If you’re like me, you have a Mac. But if you’re like 85% of people in the US, you have a PC (that is a computer that runs a Microsoft Windows operating system) and have to worry about antivirus and PC Security software. With so many security products on the market how do you pick the best one? Which is the best antivirus? And what features are the most desirable when it comes to antivirus? I’m going to try to answer some of those questions in this post. Leave comments if you have other opinions or would like to chime in on something you read in this post.

How to find a good antivirus software

There are limitless options out there for antivirus software so how to you start your search for the best one? I have a few tips that I employ when I am shopping for new security products. You can follow these few steps to help you on your journey through the market of antivirus software.

1. Set a budget

How much do you want to spend on PC security? I have good news for you… higher cost doesn’t always mean better quality or protection. Free sometimes means good enough security and free products can save you hundreds of dollars over the life of your computer.

Security software typically costs between $0-$60 per year and some paid options include the ability to install the software on multiple PC’s. If you are skeptical of freeware then I would recommend a multi-license solution if you have more than 1 PC as this will help keep your costs down over time.

2. Assess how you use your computer

Before you can look for the features that will suit you best, you need to have a good understanding of how you use your computer. Are you a heavy internet user? A gamer? Do you have an older PC? Asking these questions will help you pick the best security software for your situation.

For the gamer, some software will automatically detect when you are playing a game and will turn off non essential alerts to reduce the impact on your gaming performance. With an older PC you will need to be concerned about system impact and performance as well as finding software that is compatible with an older operating system.

3. Compare features

With the sheer number of products out there, it can seem pretty intimidating to compare all of the features of security software. If you desire features like additional online shopping protection, you may want to check out Kaspersky Internet Security and their “Safe Money” feature.

Most people will need basic protection from viruses and malware that comes from downloading infected files from the internet or email attachments. This is also known as real-time protection because the software will detect malicious software immediately to prevent an infection. Even free software like Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG Free, and avast! Free Antivirus offer this type of protection.

4. Test, test, test

Once you have narrowed your list to 2-3 options, the last step is to evaluate the software. For the free software options, you don’t risk losing any money by testing different software. When it comes to the paid software however, you will likely want to find software that comes with a free trial period. These typically require a credit card and will charge you after the trial period. You will want to be aware of when you begin your trial and be sure to cancel the subscription before the charge hits your credit card, usually 30 days after you begin.

Don’t forget to UNINSTALL antivirus software before you install another one!

5. Conclusion

I hope this article is helpful in finding the best antivirus software. Remember you have plenty of free options out there and most of them offer enough protection for the typical PC user. Testing out software may seem tedious but in the long run will save you time, frustration and your hard earned cash. If you need help deciding on software or would like help installing and configuring your antivirus software, we would be more than happy to help. We are committed to keeping our prices low for computer services and are certain that our prices beat the competition, if not we will beat any competitor for the same service.