Antivirus Software Toplist (Top 20) – Summer 2012

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The following are independently reviewed security products – Actual testing data not available

Free

Free antivirus software provides a temporary means to safeguard your computer, while you can save money for a premium investment (below the free ratings)…

  1. Avast Antivirus Free is growing itself a trend for the best free antivirus. It is thought one of the best promotion techniques they have used in the recent year was contests for their users. From what was seen in our perspective, Avast has an awesomely fast antivirus engine. However, it barely slipped from first place due to its false positives and lack of stronger heuristics needed for the bigger threats. But, since it is free, it goes to show that users need a premium antivirus protection (as we show the rankings for below).
  2. Microsoft Security Essentials came out as one of the most lightweight and simplistic antivirus programs on the market. Microsoft is the maker of the Windows operating system, of course, so it gave users a trustworthiness factor for Microsoft Security Essentials. And ever since then, it’s been magic. With its ability to detect some rootkits, it comes in second place, but not too far under first.
  3. Avira Free  What is good about Avira Free is that it continually shows good protection against all Windows platforms. What is bad is that it cannot run 100% on heavily infected systems. This is a common problem with antivirus software, but Avira Free has shown to not function very well. May be due to the lack of a well-coded self-protection driver.
  4. ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus/Firewall
    It is assured that ZoneAlarm’s new free program has what it takes to be a good antivirus program. Further testing is needed to rate the overall effectiveness of this program. Stay tuned to our blog for future reviews!
  5. AVG Antivirus Free ranks in fifth for many reasons. Its good detection and smart heuristics allow it to be a powerful antivirus program, however, it has dealt with false positives on an uncomfortable scale.

Premium (reviews written for the first ten)

Premium antivirus software provides the best antivirus protection and safeguards your computer, your identity, and all of your personal information saved on the computer. Some programs provide extra features, such as free online backup, auto-sandbox (which runs your programs in a safe environment to make sure they are not malicious), and social networking protection.

  1. Kaspersky Antivirus – For the antivirus program most recommended is Kaspersky Antivirus. It yields the highest results in antivirus testing groups, and is one of the most trusted. Its antivirus product is well worth its cost. What’s even better is the amount of features it has – and the strength of each feature. Each individual feature has a good amount of protection involved. It truly is the pro-active piece of software that every computer needs!
  2. Norton Antivirus – Symantec’s awesome Norton products have grown up from a nice antivirus to a very awesome powerhouse packed with great features and a cool-looking interface. Although the interface is a little tough for beginners, it sure has the amount of protection-based features needed to keep the viruses out! With its new identity protection interfaces, it deserves spot two!
  3. ESET NOD32 Antivirus – ESET has done a great job making NOD32 Antivirus in to a lightweight powerhouse! Its lightning-fast response to incoming threats, and economical cost make it the best buy and best protection!
  4. Avira Premium Antivirus – Avira got very intelligent lately, providing social networking protection, anti-phishing, and pro-active HIPS protection to an already awesome antivirus. It may not be as feature-rich as other programs in its class, but it sure has the knowledgeable databases and program functions to protect the common user. Now, the biggest boost in ranking is its successful rootkit protection interface. It did not block 100% of malware, but came pretty darn close!!
  5. Avast Pro Antivirus – This antivirus program may very well be the feature-rich program of the year. Improving greatly from previous years, it shows each new year how much it has grown to be a beneficial program for almost any system. The only problem that was seen in Avast Pro Antivirus compared to other ones listed above this one, were the ability to stop a malicious download immediately in its tracks. However, with every new program update comes a much better way to block these infected sites.
  6. BitDefender Antivirus Plus – Due to the surplus of features that this program encompasses compared to previous years, it got its sixth place spot. It almost came in fifth place, especially because of its brilliant social media protection.
  7. F-Secure Antivirus – F-Secure software has risen up to become a great competitor to other antivirus vendors. Its feature-rich interface and good heuristics, paired with lightweight performance, makes this program a star! Kudos! Spot seven for F-Secure!!
  8. AVG Antivirus – AVG for years has provided good protection. It provides great feature rich software. The only takeaway, as described above for the free edition: the problem of false positives. Their response on false positives is not quick enough, which can cause problems with trust. Trust is very important to PC users. This program came in spot eight because of that!
  9. PC Tools’s Spyware Doctor with Antivirus – Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus delivers powerful antivirus and antispyware protection using layered technologies to defend your PC against malware attacks. Patent-pending ThreatFire™ behavioral intelligence blocks new threats faster than traditional signature methods!! However, due to its poor reliability to new malware, such as zero-day threats, we had to bring it down to spot nine!
  10. Panda Security’s Antivirus Pro – This one was a hard one to judge. When tested on many different systems in the past, it was recognized to provide good protection and great features, however, it lacked performance. Some of the performance lacks had to do with running on a hostile system around a lot of viruses: the program had slowed to a halt. However, the sandbox system, good heuristics, and overall complete protection let this program take spot ten!
  11. Agnitum’s Outpost Pro Antivirus
  12. Webroot SecureAnywhere
  13. Dr. Web Antivirus
  14. BullGuard Antivirus
  15. Rising Antivirus
 

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About Jay Pfoutz

Full time computer security consultant
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