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Which Is The Best Antivirus Software?

Jul 22, 2008
Before purchasing of downloading antivirus software there are some features that should look out for. We believe the key factors determining the quality of antivirus software is:

1. Its effectiveness at removing viruses (check independent tests for unbiased results)
2. Its ease of use (normally down to its user interface)
3. Its value for money
4. Its customer and technical support (should be free and 24/7 ideally)
5. Its regularity of updates
6. Its drain on system resources
7. Its compatibility

When all the major criteria were investigated we found that Kaspersky antivirus 7.0 to be the best all round antivirus software on the market day. However, it may not meet your requirements so it is important to do your own investigation using the criteria above. Our findings of some of the top sellers are below. Hopefully this will give you some guidance of what is out there at the moment and what may suit you.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7.0
The virus detection technology that drives this software has performed very well in independent tests and gained a strong reputation within the industry. The technical support is excellent and the user interface intuitive.

The other main advantages with it are the parental control features which are not present in other software (great for you parents out there) and the password protected privacy control. We found that it had minimal effect on PC performance (apart from the first scan which did slow things down). Finally, and very importantly it carried out automated hourly updates and real time internet scanning.

The downsides were its price $59.99 and the time it took to do the initial scan.

BitDefender Antivirus 2008
Another very effective piece of antivirus software is BitDefender. its scanning engines are ICSA Labs certifies and it also adds the added bonus of antispyware and antiadware. Gamers should be pleased with the new gamer version which stops annoying pop ups during game play.

A key advantage of this software over others is the rootkit detection and removal feature. Again this is something that sets it over and above the competition. Free 24/7 support and a reasonable price ($24.95) make it a real contender to Kaspersky antvirus 7.0. The downsides to this version are the lack of advanced configuration options which will frustrate the more advanced user. The scans were also on the lengthy side.

Norton Antivirus 2008
Despite having a strong brand and many years of experience developing antivirus software we think Norton Antivirus 2008 to be one of the worst on the market. It does the basics ok but there are too many problems with it to be competitive. For example, there seems to be an assumption only IE users exist. Help terms are geared towards IE users and Browser Defender does not work with any other browsers.

It is a massive 300MB, that is nearly 6 times the size of Kaspersky anti-virus 7.0. The limited performance does not justify this size. It slowed down our machine measurably. The interface was awful and configuring settings was a real pain. Finally, the anti-spyware was not very effective.

These are just three of the big players. Please do your research as the best known are not always the best.
About the Author
Carl Robinson is a software reviewer from the UK. He writes a series of antivirus software articles for Best Antivirus Downloads
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