Update: You may prefer to read about the best antivirus software for 2012.
A couple of months ago I suggested that there were 8 Questions You Must Ask Before Buying Anti-Virus Software.
If you’ve asked those questions and decided upon the answers that best fit your circumstances then you may now be wondering what are the best antivirus products to choose from.
This post contains what I believe to be the top 10 Antivirus products of 2009.
Is yours on the list?
(Microsoft’s Morro may become a worthy eleventh choice when it debuts later this year but we’ll have to wait and see…)
AVG offer two distinct types of antivirus product – a fully paid version and a ‘lite’ version which is free.
The latter, the free version, is one of the most downloaded files within the computer and internet security sector and is the program I use on my kid’s computers.
The latest version has an easy-to-use interface and has recently been optimised to make better use of the multiple cores found in modern processors.
This should allow virus scanning to take place without reducing your computer to a crawl though I found that AVG did indeed slow by dual core computer right down when I tried it myself.
AVG’s virus scanning engine was rewritten not so long ago and now includes AVG Antispyware and AVG Antirootkit, both of which have been integrated into the virus scanner.
BIT DEFENDER ANTIVIRUS 2009
BitDefender 2009 is not only good against the usual suspects – viruses, spyware, hackers and spam – it also blocks attempted identity theft, i.e. phishing.
BitDefender antivirus 2009 is a good product with a user friendly interface and one of its new and interesting features is the laptop mode which is designed to prolong battery life for those who need a computer on the road.
F-secure thoroughly scans your computer for viruses and comes complete with a built-in anti-spyware scanner.
The antivirus and anti-spyware programs can be run either simultaneously or independently of each other, giving you some control over the length of time spent on each task.
Additionally, F-secure scans incoming and outbound email communications in real-time and also shields your registry against possible hijacking attempts.
Another nice feature it affords is the ability to control which programs start up automatically.
If you visit the F-Secure website you’ll notice that they have a selection of news on there which is a nice touch and a great way of keeping yourself updated not only with their announcements but also general virus-related news.
Alternatively you can read my review of F-Secure Internet Security 2009.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus Products are well-known within the internet security and antivirus marketplace.
Their programs can be used both to identify and also to remove potential risks and malicious programs which would otherwise target and undermine a computer’s integrity.
As with almost all antivirus programs, Kaspersky offers real-time email scanning as well as hourly updates.
McAfee are another well known player in the internet security market.
Their antivirus software comes with a ScriptStopper which prevents viruses spreading from one computer to another via email and also a WormStopper which, funnily enough, does much the same for worms.
Some downsides to the program are that it does not offer instant message protection, P2P/file sharing protection or registry startup protection.
According to their site McAfee offers free telephone support though I couldn’t find the number – perhaps you only receive that when you have confirmed that you have bought their antivirus perhaps?
NOD32 ANTIVIRUS 4
The NOD32 antivirus software by ESET provides real-time protection against the bad guys – worms, trojans, spyware, malware, phishing and hackers.
Personally, I’ve never used NOD32 but a lot of security-conscious friends recommend this particular product so I may well look into it in the future.
(That’s a hint if anyone from ESET reads this!)
Reading the blurb on the site it would appear that NOD32 is highly customisable and the usability improvements they mention certainly look like a handy feature.
NORTON ANTIVIRUS 2009
Norton, part of the Symantec group, offer another good antivirus product.
Their offering is easy to use and offers the traditional anti-badguy protection.
One nice feature of Norton is their ‘PC Tuneuo’ function which can clean and repair your computers registry in addition to discovering other issues which may affect the speed at which your computer runs.
Also, whilst most security vendors are now operating hourly updates Norton are, at times, delivery theirs as often as every 5 minutes, meaning they are probably the quickest at giving you protection against the newest of threats.
Panda Antivirus is a product that I rather like because I’ve found it to be the simplest to understand, meaning it would probably be my choice for my kids should I ever migrate them away from the free version of AVG.
It offers all the usual features, such as protection from viruses and keyloggers, as well as spyware protection to name but a few.
The antivirus offering from Panda allows you to block, delete, clean, and quarantine infected files and does not, as far as I could tell, slow your pc down during virus scans – something which other products appear to do from my experience.
THE SHIELD DELUXE
The Shield Deluxe 2009 combines reactive antivirus and spyware detection methods with the latest proactive technologies to provide your computer with the most effective protection against malicious programs.
The product is simple to install and set up, while offering advanced users a range of versatile settings for fine-tuning the program.
The Shield Deluxe 2009 relies upon integrated methods to scan for viruses: the reactive method (using signature databases) and proactive protection (behavior blocker and heuristic analysis).
Whilst the full version needs to be paid for there is a free trial available.
TREND MICRO (PC-CILLIN)
Trend Micro antivirus + antispyware utilises protocols for protecting PCs against viruses, worms and trojans, spyware, rootkits and malware.
It can scan incoming files in realtime, including emails, downloads and also files from portable storage devices.
It is possible to schedule scans, run customised scans or conduct a scan on demand.
WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE ANTIVIRUS?
Is your favourite antivirus product in my top 10 list for 2009?
Why do you like it?
What are it’s best features?
What could your antivirus program do differently, or better?