Independent Anti-virus software Comparisons & Tests
These kinds of comparative testing results will vary
depending on a variety of factors to include but not limited to who conducted the testing, what they were testing for (type of threats, attack vectors, exploits), what versions of anti-virus software was tested, what type of scanning engine was used, and the ability to clean or repair. There are no universally predefined
set of standards or criteria for testing which means each test will yield different results. As such, you need to look for detailed information about how the tests were conducted, the procedures used, and data results. Read Anti-virus Testing Websites: An overview of testing sitesAnti-virus Software Reviews
IMO Microsoft Security Essential, Avira, and Avast are all very good choices. My personal choice is NOD32 Anti-Virus
if choosing a paid for program as it leaves a small foortprint. Kaspersky would be my second choice for a paid for anti-virus. Although Symantec
(Norton) is as good as any other well known anti-virus program, it requires numerous services and running processes that consume system resources and often results in complaints of high CPU usage. However, I have read from other users that Symantec has really improved the newer versions. However, Symantec products can be difficult to remove and remnants are often left behind which require the use of a special removal tool, otherwise you may encounter problems installing a replacement anti-virus. To be fair, other vendors are also using removal tools for the same reason. Those issues plus the cost factor are the primary reason many folks look for a free alternative.
Choosing an anti-virus is a matter of personal preference, your needs, your technical ability and experience, features offered, user friendliness, ease of updating (and upgrading to new program release), ease of installation/removal, available technical support from the vendor and price. Other factors to consider include detection rates and methods, scanning engine effectiveness, how often virus definitions are updated, the amount of resources the program utilizes, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. A particular anti-virus that works well for one person may not work as well for another. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution
that works for everyone and there is no best anti-virus
. You may need to experiment and find the one most suitable for your needs. For more specific information to consider, please read Choosing Your Anti-virus Software
A multi-layered defense using several anti-spyware products (including an effective firewall) to supplement your anti-virus combined with common sense
, safe computing
and safe surfing habits
provides the most complete protection.