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Best antivirus software

Best antivirus software

On any computer system, a good antivirus program is a must, particularly if it is among the most common systems that connect to the internet. Nowadays, all computer systems connect to the internet in some shape or form, unless they act as a standalone offline server. 

This means that any of these systems are vulnerable to malicious code infections, a.k.a viruses, trojans, worms, RATs, zero-days, you name it. A virus on a system can wreak utter havoc. Think of it like a sickness, only a sickness that affects machines. 

When we get sick, we can no longer function normally and require a rest period as well as medicines to remedy our ailments. For computers, it is the latter that is necessary, not rest. Without a good defense such as a premium antivirus solution, a computer system is only as strong as its weakest link, and that link could be one of many weaknesses found in practically all computer systems.

The internet, or World Wide Web, is a place that is filled with everything, meaning the good, the bad, and the ugly. The thing is, all computers are built with two main ecosystems. These are software and hardware. Both can work with the other. Hardware (like the power supply, processor, RAM, and graphic unit) powers a system, while software gives it the instructions required to run it and for a user to interact with it. 

An example of software is anything from the core operating system (OS, like Windows, Mac, or Linux). And, the software that runs computer systems is a bunch of code (sometimes millions of lines of code). 

The issue is that code can be vulnerable to attacks. Why? Well, because code is written by humans while hackers always look for holes in the code to hijack or damage a system somehow. As such, a small error in the code or a new never-before-seen exploit (like a zero-day) can make life very hard for software development teams.

For these reasons, there are several specialist companies around that focus on building defense mechanisms known as antivirus programs. The best antivirus programs can continuously scan for threats, even while browsing the web. They can also ensure that, in case you download something malicious accidentally, this file is quarantined before it does damage. So, think of an antivirus program as the angel on your shoulder.

But, the question is, what antivirus program do you even choose? Yes, not all of them are equal. For that reason, keep on reading to find out what an antivirus program does and get acquainted with some of the best products out there in 2023!   

What Is an Antivirus Program?

An antivirus program is an executable that you install on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. An antivirus program that only manages to remove half of all infections will not help you much. Therefore, you need antivirus software that can block both known and newer viruses as well as malware files to secure your computer or mobile devices. 

Think about the protection that is most essential to you. Do you worry that someone may misuse your personal information such as your financial information or your social security details? Then you require an application that safeguards you from spyware, which means purchasing a premium subscription. Also, would you like to conduct secure banking transactions online and enter your credentials without having to worry? If so, you could be looking for antivirus software that has a built-in banking browser. 

Several antivirus programs come with not only a virus scanner but extra features like parental controls, phishing protection, or extra security for email and online banking. Several antivirus companies also provide cleaning tools and other auxiliary services. These additions are all important and are quite common in a tight industry where competition is high. The same could be said for the password manager and VPN sectors. 

When purchasing a premium antivirus subscription, you need to take a good look at what you need for your specific systems and your personal needs. There are a lot of choices out there! Have no fear, though, as you will find the top antivirus programs boiled down in the next section where you can simply opt for the best pick overall.

The Best Antivirus Programs for 2023

It is not a good idea to download any old free antivirus software. This is important to remember because some of these programs available across the app stores may be laced with malware, or spy on you, at the very least. For that reason, here is a list of legitimate antivirus software you can safely depend on;

  • Norton 360
  • Bitdefender
  • Intego
  • Surf Shark
  • Malwarebytes
  • Avast Free Antivirus

Some of these picks are established and have been around for decades, while others are newcomers competing for a spot in the game and working hard at keeping it fresh to distinguish themselves and survive. 

Now, you won’t go wrong with any of these picks. However, the overall master of antivirus programs is that old, old name, Norton. On the other hand, Bitdefender and Malwarebytes are also strong, established contenders. Meanwhile, go for Avast for the best free antivirus program out there (with its limitations, of course).

Now, why Norton? The reasons are simple;

  • A %100 detection rate for viruses and malware
  • A proper firewall to boot
  • A SafeCam camera feature
  • Real-time threat protection, meaning continuous scanning while you work
  • Very easy to use and user-friendly
  • It offers privacy protection, identity theft monitoring, a password manager, and additional features
  • The customer support is top notch

In 2022, the company received multiple awards for its Norton 360 package such as the Advanced+Malware Protection and Advanced+Performance awards. 

Perhaps the only issue with Norton is that it costs about 50 dollars per year, however, this is offset by the fact that the company will give you 50 gigabytes of cloud storage and even dark web monitoring thrown in for that price.

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