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Choosing the best anti-virus software

17 April 2011 No Comment

I often get asked “what’s the best anti-virus software?” However that’s like asking a group of people what the best car is.

Here are some things to consider when selecting security software for your computer.

Retail box or download

Many good software products are not sold but are available for secure purchase and download from the internet. It makes it harder to ask questions about the product, but the retail salesperson can recommend the product that they stock.

Impact on PC performance –

Check out the ‘Minimum System Requirements’ to see which software needs more resources (e.g. memory). Also, consider installing a time-limited trial version of the software to test it for yourself before parting with your money.

Updates & upgrades –

All anti-virus software should entitle you to download the latest information (updates) about any new viruses for free, for the duration of your license subscription.

Price –

Software licensing comes in many different configurations Compare the same kind of software license when you are comparing prices. Factors that influence the price include how long your subscription is for, how many PCs can use the one license and whether the software is being installed in a student/academic environment, home, business or not-for-profit entity.

Management –

For a business with more than one PC, a ‘network edition’ may be right. This allows the updates to be downloaded by one of your computers and distributed to the rest of them.  It also provides an overall view of whether the software is working on each PC and if any infections have been found.

Additional features

Many anti-virus software vendors now also produce ‘security suites’, which include firewalls and protection against spyware, malware and spam. It may be more cost effective and resource effective to run one product to handle all of these security aspects.

Trusted recommendation

There are many independent testing laboratories and software review websites that publish the results of their anti-virus software comparisons on the internet to help you make an informed decision.

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