Compare Anti-Virus Software

Learn how our experts identify and compare the essential factors of anti-virus software to find the best option for you. From features and price to system compatibility and help and support, we research everything you need to know to make a decision.
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How we Compare Anti-Virus Software

Features - 30%
Price - 20%
Performance Test - 25%
System Compatibility - 15%
Help and Support - 10%

Features Compared

Access to information has become easy because of the internet, and even easier through mobile devices such as your smart phone or laptop. However, this has also opened a new avenue for threats through emails and phishing attacks. The best anti-virus software doesn't just detect threats, but also actively scans every bit of information entering your device.

  • Real-time scanner
  • On-access scanner
  • On-demand scanner
  • Compressed file scanner
  • Scheduled scans
  • Quarantine infected files
  • Auto-clean infected files
  • Script blocking
  • Webmail scanning
  • Instant messaging protection
  • Automatic updates
  • Bootable rescue
  • External storage devices scanning
  • Registry protection

Premium Features

  • Data encryption
  • Two-way firewall
  • Parental controls
  • External storage scans
  • Gaming mode
  • Network monitoring
Anti-Virus Software with the Best Features :  Norton Features Avast Features McAfee Features
NortonKasperskyBitdefenderMcAfeeAvastAviraPandaAVGSTOPzillaTrend Micro
Real-time Scanner
On-access Scanner
On-demand Scanner
Compressed File Scanner
Scheduled Scans
Quarantine Infected Files
Auto-clean Infected Files
Script Blocking
Webmail Scanning
Instant Messaging Protection
Automatic Updates
Bootable Rescue
External Storage Devices Scanning
Registry Protection
Data Encryption
Two-way Firewall
Parental Controls

Price Compared

Anti-virus software provides different levels of security. The amount of security features are based on the different security packages they offer. Some anti-virus software provides a trial period where users can take a test drive. Some even offer a free version, albeit with limited security functions. For those who connect on multiple devices, or those working within a network, it's a good idea to check if their anti-virus software offers access for multiple users on a single license.

  • Free version available
  • Maximum users per license
Anti-Virus Software with the Best Price:  Norton PriceBitdefender PriceMcAfee Price

Performance Test Compared

Anti-virus software was created for one single purpose, and that is to protect your data from viruses and other types of attacks. This is done by identifying potential threats, preventing data from being infected, and cleaning your system. Anti-virus Comparative (AV Comparatives) checks each anti-virus software's performance against current viruses in order to verify how each anti-virus actually performs.  

The best anti-virus software packages are those that work without you even knowing. Some anti-virus software is so intrusive that it can eat up a considerable chunk of your computer’s performance. Opening a browser takes a few seconds longer, and games become sluggish.   

  • AV comparative score
  • PC Mark score
  • Impact score
Anti-Virus Software with the Best Performance Test:  Kaspersky Performance TestPanda Performance TestAvira Performance Test

System Compatibility Compared

A common problem when installing new software is its lack of support for your operating system. Although newer versions are totally compatible with Windows 7 and 8, some might have problems working with older versions. This can be a nightmare for those who have purchased anti-virus software that allows multiple-access for a single license. Computers in your network might not be using the same operating system.  

Anti-Virus Software with the Best System Compatibility:  Norton System CompatibilityKaspersky System CompatibilityAvast System Compatibility

Help and Support Compared

The best anti-virus software identifies and neutralizes threats as soon as they are detected. But even the top anti-virus software is not immune to the most determined attacker. It is often a game of cat and mouse, where virus developers try to up the ante by finding ways to bypass anti-virus software. Help and support services makes the recovery process less painful.

  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Telephone support
Anti-Virus Software with the Best Help and Support:  Norton Help and SupportKaspersky Help and SupportAvast Help and Support

Full Anti-Virus Software Comparison

Features PricePerformance TestSystem CompatibilityHelp and Support
Norton Anti-Virus Software9.59.57.09.09.0
Kaspersky Anti-Virus Software8.58.010.08.08.0
Bitdefender Anti-Virus Software9.09.58.08.08.0
McAfee Anti-Virus Software9.59.57.08.08.0
Avast Anti-Virus Software9.58.08.08.08.0
Avira Anti-Virus Software7.09.09.08.08.0
Panda Anti-Virus Software8.07.09.08.08.0
AVG Anti-Virus Software7.07.08.08.08.0
STOPzilla Anti-Virus Software7.07.08.07.08.0
Trend Micro Anti-Virus Software7.07.57.07.06.0
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Latest Reviews

James Vincent Wall
Rutherford, New Jersey
10/12/2016
I've had Norton for all my security systems at work and at home. They always do a good job at protecting my computer and it's at a reasonable price. Never had any problems with them. Would continue to use them in the future.

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