What does a good antivirus do?

Choosing the best antivirus is not as easy as it seems. Antivirus, Anti-Malware, Internet Security software, Anti-Spyware there are so many similar products, so what do you really need?

One of the most important factors should be the malware detection results obtained from the industry’s standardized test labs. These labs are compliant with AMSTO directives, which are the industry standard for anti-malware. The most popular independent antivirus testing labs are VirusBulletin, AV-Test.org and AV-Comparatives. Well-known vendors of antivirus software participate in regular virus tests conducted by laboratories and publish test results publicly. They use new samples of zero-day malware and test that AV can detect and block threats.

You might think that the antivirus with the highest score is the best antivirus and you should just subscribe to it. But it is not that simple!

Yes, the highest malware detection is great, but what if this antivirus slows down your computer because its detector uses too much CPU? Either if they are expensive, or if they have poor customer support and feedback, or if they don’t have the features you are looking for. Unless you are a government agency do you really need 99.8% detection over for example 99.3%.

That’s why we think you need to choose an antivirus that fits your security needs. The best antivirus products that we test are involved in some form of independent testing, and frankly there are very little in between when it comes to malware detection, probably due to the fact that most of the best antivirus products share data to provide comprehensive user protection.

Some older scanners can really slow down your computer. So if your device is older, consider a scanner that is known to work faster and which we comment on in our reviews.

Antivirus developers can contact Microsoft approved vendors, which includes regular performance testing of their software. These tests are designed to make sure that you interact with the user’s computer the way Microsoft wants you to and that you work efficiently and smoothly on the user’s computer.

In 2019, you should still look for antivirus software that includes URL blocking to protect against phishing scams as well as antivirus software that provides real-time protection.

Instead of the manual virus scan that used to be necessary, the best antivirus scanners now have real-time protection, which means that they prevent threats from penetrating your computer in real time because they always scan rather than run on demand.

So, the conclusion is that there are many factors to consider when choosing an antivirus program, just use all the information you have and make the right decision.