Which antivirus program should you buy for 2012/2013?
Thats actually a really tricky question to answer.
Whilst some of the top programs this year will undoubtedly be better than others it is also fairly certain that none will be absolutely rotten (at least I hope not!). Thats why it can be so hard to pick the right one.
I know many people who pick their security software for the strangest reasons – the box looks nice, a free trial came bundled with their new computer, its the same one they buy every year, it has some funky new feature that they probably don’t understand, etc, etc. But the thing is, your decision needs to be a bit more considered than that.
If you want to effectively avoid viruses, trojans and other types of threat then you need to pick a solution that suits the way that you use your computer. You’ll also need to factor in some other considerations such as the age of your computer and what it is capable of.
Some AV programs can offer a whole host of ‘extras’ but you may not actually need them. In fact, you may well find sufficient protection in one of the many free alternatives. Equally, you may need the added benefits of a paid security program but be stuck with an older machine which might well struggle with some of this year’s offerings.
Thats where reading reviews comes in as I’ll let you know how well each program works, what features they offer and how they’ll likely run on both older and newer machines.
Read on to find out…
The Best Antivirus Programs for 2013
First out of the blocks this year is a vendor I’ve not looked at before – the German security company G Data.
Theirs is an intriguing offering which boasts not one but two scanning engines. These can be used singularly or together to provide varying levels of protection. The most obvious advantage of this approach is that you can scale your protection level around the capabilities of your machine. But is that an effective approach?
Read my full review: G Data Antivirus 2013
Next up is Romanian security company BitDefender.
Last year I was very impressed with their lineup and, so far, it looks like their latest security programs have raised the bar much, much higher. If you choose this antivirus program then I am sure you will not be disappointed.
It is very easy to use, highly effective, compatible with the upcoming Windows 8 and offers many useful and exciting features such as SafePay.
I highly recommend finding out more by reading my full review: BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2013
My next review is for one of the many free programs which will be available in 2012/13 – the newly released Panda Cloud Antivirus 2.0
This program benefits from being lightweight and very easy to use. Possibly a good choice for average users who feel that a free solution will be good enough but you may need to consider whether USB based threats could be an issue for you.
Check it out: Panda Cloud Antivirus Free 2.0
My next review is something of a mixed bag really.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus 6 certainly has it’s good points – its very easy to use and coped admirably with all the threats I exposed it to.
Unfortunately, however, there are a couple of drawbacks too. The first is high CPU usage and the other is a well-known issue surrounding quarantined files.
Find out more about this: ESET NOD32 Antivirus 6 review
The cost of this program is a little on the high side compared with the competing products in the field and, also, the initial scans can be slow.
Beyond that though is a very fine program indeed.
Read the full review: Kaspersky Antivirus 2013
Ideal for computer systems that are already infected with malware, it is invaluable to those whose computer knowledge isn’t great.
Those of you with a decent level of computer knowledge, however, may want to pass on this.
Do you need a FixMeStick?
If you are looking for a brand new, cool and flashy interface then you won’t find it here.
But everything else about this program is good, from low memory and CPU usage through to effectiveness and ease of use.
You may have heard the phrase, “you get what you pay for” and that may be a fair assessment of this free antivirus program.
It certainly does a job, though initial installation wasn’t a simple process, at lest not for me.
There are certainly better options available if you have any kind of budget for your computer security needs though.
More on Avira Free Antivirus 2013
At first glance this program looks like it has potential as it is easy to use and comes with a free ‘firewall booster’ as well as Android security.
In practice, however, I found it to be quite a resource hog in terms of CPU usage.
Also, considering the full security suite goes for just $5 more, you may want to pass this one over.
AVG’s own adverts plus some features that need paying for may put some off this antivirus program but don’t be fooled – the protection on offer here is very good indeed.
Though its not the best program I’ve looked at thus far it is still as good as many of the alternatives whilst being free of charge.
If you don’t need a huge amount of features with your antivirus program then check out my review of AVG Free 2013.
NAV 2013 is an excellent program that does a stellar job of removing malware from infected systems.
It also comes packed with several extra useful features and has excellent support.
Definitely one to consider this year: read my review of Norton Antivirus 2013.
Considering all the fuss about Chinese hackers recently the timing of the release of this free antivirus program (beta version) from Baidu could probably have been better.
But does the country of origin make this a bad program?
Of course not, but it isn’t great nonetheless.
Find out why in my Baidu Antivirus 2013 review.
Malware detection and removal with this program from Avast! is not the greatest but it isn’t bad either.
If not having the absolute best isn’t a deal breaker for you then this program has some features that make it worthy of your consideration –
The Software Updater and Browser Cleaner are really worth having for many users –
Find out why – Avast! Free Antivirus 8.
Which is the top antivirus program for 2013?
This is a question I get asked all the time but the answer is never simple. First of all, the best program for any person is, well, a personal choice. Depending on your particular needs and skill level, different programs will serve you better than others. Also my reviews, whilst impartial as possible, do reflect my own opinion which may of course differ from yours.
That said, I will try to give you some guidance as I review more and more programs, by highlighting which I think are best based on the following criteria:
Best for blocking malware
Best for removing malware
Norton / BitDefender
Easiest to use
Lowest use of system resources
Best additional features
Best FREE program
Of course the above may change as I review more programs so I’ll update accordingly.
For now though, which do you think is best and why?
You may also be interested in my 2013 internet security reviews too.