The rate of cyber attacks has been increasing these days, and they are very dangerous and threatening. The cyberattack implies stealing, modifying, or destroying original data stored on the computer system or network. Many hackers or attackers steal or damage the data to pursue confidential information from the system. It may result in a significant loss for large or small organizations. So, to avoid such cyberattacks, you can use antivirus software.
What is Antivirus Software?
Antivirus Software is a software program that helps individuals to identify, avoid, or remove any attack or malware infection on computer devices or computer networks. Additionally, antivirus software removes computer viruses and prevents multiple threats or risks, like hijackers, Trojans, rootkits, adware, spyware, etc.
Whenever any virus enters your computer system, it may delete important files and folders, create spam in the computer device, access any confidential file, controls online activity, etc. There is an immense need to protect your computer system or networks from malware activities using antivirus software.
However, today, antivirus software is available for all major operating systems, like Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. But, most of the antivirus software devices are specially developed for Windows systems. This is because the Windows system is more prone to viruses and malware infections, and attackers attack mostly on Windows systems.
How does the Antivirus Software run?
When you install any antivirus software, it runs simultaneously with other computer programs. It scans all files and folders on the computer system or mobile device, and if there are any viruses or malware activities are detected, it prevents or removes them. Many antivirus software offers the feature of detecting all scams and malware activities in real-time. They identify any threat or virus as soon as it develops into the system and prevents it immediately.
Antivirus software also allows users to schedule scans for particular files or all files stored on the system. When users plan scans at a specific time, the antivirus virus software carries out scheduled scans automatically. Users can also perform an individual scan. The following are some crucial activities conducted by any antivirus program to prevent threats and malware:
- It points to the particular file or folder to identify the malware.
- Automatic scanning of viruses, spyware, and malware is scheduled.
- Antivirus software can scan a single file or folder for detecting threats.
- It removes malicious files or software from the system.
- Lastly, it ensures high-quality security and protection to the system.
Types of Antivirus
The computer system may get infected due to various viruses and scams. To remove every type of virus, there is a specific antivirus software designed. There are three common types of antivirus software, as follows:
- Malware Signature Antivirus:
When the malware enters into any computer system, it creates viruses and spyware in it. These viruses and spyware can remove files from the system, allows hackers or cybercriminals to access the system, keep track of every online activity, steal login and password information, etc. So, having malware in the system is dangerous.
The malware signature antivirus identifies the digital fingerprints of the malware software. These antivirus software devices are developed to detect particular malware software, viruses, and prevent them immediately. But, they cannot remove newly emerging viruses in the systems as malware signature software is designed for specific malware.
- System Monitoring Antivirus:
Another type of antivirus is system monitoring antivirus. It controls all suspicious behavior of the computer device or its software programs. When you install system monitoring antivirus, it sends you notifications after accessing any insecure and unfamiliar site. Additionally, it also notifies you when you try to access a large amount of data at one time.
- Machine Learning Antivirus:
Machine learning antivirus is one of the best types of antivirus software. It uses algorithms to identify malware and prevents it. Machine learning antivirus restricts any behavior of the computer system that is suspicious. This type of antivirus device knows precisely what the expected behavior of the computer system is. If any activity carried out violates the system’s normal behavior, the machine learning antivirus identifies it instantly.
Effects of Virus on Computer Systems
Having viruses or malware in the computer system or network is very dangerous and hazardous. They have adverse effects on the system. Let us see how viruses affect computer systems.
- The presence of viruses on your computer system may result in the flowers operating speed. Viruses execute various activities, like damaging data, stealing files, tracking actions, etc. All these activities may slow down the system’s performance.
- When any virus enters your network or computer device, it deletes files stored in it. Also, it can introduce new files or infect the existing files in the system. Having infected files can make it easier for hackers to control the entire computer system remotely.
- There are many other problems caused due to viruses, like damaging the boot sector, corrupting files or programs, stealing personal information, etc.
- Viruses may lead to frequent system crashes, suspicious system behavior, reformatting hard disk, and the inability of the programs or files to perform correctly.
Top 3 Antivirus Software
We shall now see the top best antivirus software. Below are the three high-rated and incredibly featured antivirus software with their features:
One of the commonly used and popularly known antivirus and anti-malware software devices is Norton. It is one of the leading software tools in its domain. Using Norton, you can keep your personal and credential data protected from attacks and malware. It offers multilayer protection to your personal information stored on any device.
- Norton is an all-in-one software device that can be used as antivirus, anti-malware, anti-phishing, anti-ransomware, and anti-spyware tools.
- It is compatible to install all major platforms, like Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS operating systems.
- Norton incorporates Intrusion Protection System (IPS) that blocks any threat while accessing any network data.
- Additionally, it utilizes artificial intelligence technology to group several computer applications according to their behavior. If any of these applications behave suspiciously, it blocks them.
- Another feature includes Proactive Exploit Protection. This feature protects your device from attacks and viruses entering into any computer application or operating system.
- The power eraser in Norton enables users to uninstall those applications that are highly risky.
Price: Norton antivirus software comes in three different packages, Plus, Standard, and Delux. The Plus package is available at $19.99 per year for one device. Another package, Standard, requires $39.99 per year for one device. The Deluxe package for three devices requires $49.99 and for five devices
Another leading and highly-rated antivirus software is Kaspersky. It incorporates advanced protection and security features. Kaspersky antivirus software is specially developed for Microsoft Windows operating systems. Later, it was compatible with other systems, like macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. It helps Windows users to protect their systems from malware, attacks, ransomware, etc.
- One of the significant advantages of using Kaspersky antivirus software is it prived real-time security from threats, data damage, attackers, malware, spyware, etc.
- The features of Kaspersky include blocking viruses and malware, preventing hackers from controlling systems remotely, assisting your network to enhance speed and performance, etc.
- It also provides the feature of proactive detection that identifies all threats and viruses present in the system.
- Additionally, it provides an anti-hacking feature that prevents intruders or cybercriminals from stealing or damaging personal data.
- It is capable of removing all potential viruses, like worms, trojans, rootkits, etc.
Price: Kaspersky’s antivirus software is categorized into two plans, one-year and two-year programs. You need to pay $39.99 for a single PC in a one-year plan, $75.99 for three PCs, and $$99.99 for five PCs. A single PC costs $27.50 per year in a two-year program, for three PC, $53.00 per year, and five PCs, $75.00 per year.
BitDefender is another well-known and widely used antivirus software. For 18 years, BitDefender has protected and secured more than 500 million systems. It is one of the award-winning antivirus software that is suitable for businesses and personal purposes. BitDefender software is used by more than 38% of the world’s population as the best security solution.
- BitDefender is one of the lightweight and smartest software that protects your system from hackers, viruses, phishing, etc.
- It is compatible with Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS operating systems.
- BitDefender offers multi-layer protection to Windows systems and enhances the performance and speed of the system.
- The best feature of the BitDefender is it provides advanced threat identification that prevents malware and spyware from entering into the PC.
- It also incorporates multiple creative technologies that ensure zero-day attacks.
- The other features include anti-fraud, anti-phishing webcam protection, threat defense, secure browsing, etc.
- Users are offered multi-layer ransomware protection and vulnerability protection.
Price: The price of the Bitdefender is categorized into three plans, Antivirus Plus is $29.99 for 3 devices / 1 year, Total Security is $44.99 for 5 devices / 1 year, and Internet Security is $40 for 3 devices / 1 year.
The Best Antivirus Software for 2020
We have seen the top best three antivirus software that offers unique and highly secure features. Now, let us see some other popular antivirus software, along with their peculiarities.
Avira is another one of the popularly used antivirus software. It can be installed on Microsoft Windows. macOS, Android, and iOS operating systems. One of the significant perks of using Avira antivirus is it is open-source and free to use. It provides award-winning antivirus features.
- Avira antivirus software is another lightweight and highly-featured device that provides all security tools.
- It is capable of scanning threats, viruses, malware, etc. in real-time and prevents them as soon as they occur.
- Additionally, it also offers anti-ransomware features and protects your web.
- Avira possesses a robust and sturdy scanner that scans entire malware and viruses.
- It can also be used as a PC cleaner as it clears all junk files, optimizes the system, updates drivers, and manages battery performance.
Price: Avira Antivirus comes in two editions, Free and Pro. The Free edition requires no payment. Next, the Pro version is $44.99 per year and supports 1 device.
Another famous and notable antivirus software is Trend Micro Antivirus. It is one of the most straightforward solutions that offer more advanced security against complex viruses. Trend Micro Antivirus is specially developed for Microsoft Windows operating systems.
- Trend Micro Antivirus software offers a wide range of features, along with protecting systems against viruses.
- It can protect your systems from antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, and malicious links.
- Additionally, users are offered a two-way firewall feature that protects your systems’ information from being accessed by unauthorized users.
- The other advanced features incorporated in Trend Micro Antivirus are parenting and filtering, website authentication, and home network protection. Using these features, you can block or restrict malicious websites of unwanted websites.
- Users get high-level protection against data leak, rootkits, spyware, adware, intrusion blocking, and phishing.
Price: Trend Micro Antivirus is $29.95 for 1 year and supports 1 device
Another software device that helps users to prevent cyberattacks is Sophos Antivirus. It is compatible to install on Microsoft Windows and macOS systems. The features encompassed in Sophos Antivirus protects any type of businesses from malware, spyware, attacks, etc.
- One of the significant advantages of using Sophos Antivirus is it is free and open-source.
- It uses artificial intelligence technology to identify threats and viruses in the systems.
- Sophos Antivirus offers a real-time virus detection feature that allows users to detect and remove viruses immediately.
- The other security features include advanced web security, ransomware security, web protection, etc.
- It also supports parental and website filtering features. You can block unwanted or suspicious websites.
- Sophos software also acts as a PC cleaner that cleans all junk files and enhances the system performance.
- This software can be installed on three devices in its Free edition and ten devices in Premium edition.
Price: Sophos Antivirus pricing plans are categorized into two programs, Free and Premium. The Free plan allows users to use it freely, and the Premium plan is available at $44.99.
Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is an ideal antivirus software device for commercial as well as personal purposes. This software can be installed effortlessly on your device, as its deployment is effortless. Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is compatible with Microsoft Windows and macOS operating systems.
- Webroot SecureAnywhere Business Endpoint Protection is another version that is specially developed for business purposes.
- It offers the best and multi-layer protection against spam messages, emails, files, etc.
- This highly-rated antivirus software protects users from data threats, identity threats, ransomware, spyware, malware, etc.
- It is a cloud-based software that can more manageably scan all viruses and threats faster in 20 seconds.
- The feature of anti-phishing enables organizations to protect their login credentials and identities.
- It protects your device from Trojan malware and hijacking your webcam.
Price: Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is available for home and business use. For the home edition, the price for one device is $29.99, and for machines, it is $49.99. The Business Endpoint Protection edition charges $150 for five seats and $690 for 25 seats.
ESET Antivirus is another widely used antivirus software. It is compatible to install on all major operating systems, like Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Solaris, Windows mobile, FreeBSD, and Android devices. ESET Antivirus is an award-winning software device that offers all fundamental security features at an affordable price.
- The best feature of the EST Antivirus if it provides stable and reliable protection to your systems without degrading the quality and performance.
- It incorporates NOD32 antivirus software that restricts all kinds of viruses and malware to enter your computer system.
- ESET Antivirus allows users to use the full power and speed of the system. Users can access any file or internet hassle-free.
- This antivirus software is used worldwide and is trusted by more than 110 million users.
Price: ESET Antivirus is $39.99 per year and supports 1 device. Pricing will vary based on the number of devices and the number of years for which the subscription is required.
One of the ideal, smartest, and cross-platform antivirus software devices is Avast Antivirus. It supports Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux systems, and Android and iOS mobile devices. Avast Antivirus is a multilingual software tool that supports 45 different languages.
- An Avast Antivirus is one of the highly trusted software tools having more than 435 million users.
- All three editions, Free, Premium Security, and Ultimate, offer the best features of block viruses and malware. Also, all of them protect your system from ransomware attacks.
- Avast Antivirus software device is capable of restricting access to unwanted, fake, and suspicious websites.
- Any attacker or hacker cannot control your computer system remotely if you have an Avast Antivirus installed on the network. Also, it potentially prevents phishing attacks.
- You can also use an Avast software tool as a PC cleaner and SecureLine VPN.
Price: An Avast Antivirus is available in three different editions, Free and Premium Security. The Free edition is open-source and free to use. Next, the Premium Security edition requires $34.499 per year for one Windows and macOS system.
Intego Antivirus is a powerful and highly characterized antivirus software tool. It is specially developed for Mac OS X systems. This software device has numerous security and protection features incorporated in it.
- Intego Antivirus software device protects your system from malware and spyware.
- It also supports the feature of parental control and website filtering. Users can block or restrict unwanted and suspicious websites that may harm the computer system.
- This antivirus solution embeds Panda Security for offering the best protection to the computer devices.
- Additionally, it also provides security features for Micorosft Windows as well.
Price: Intego Antivirus software pricing is for the Personal edition it requires an amount of $39.99 per year for a single PC.
BullGuard is another fully-featured and unbeatable antivirus protection used widely. It includes multiple extraordinary features that make it one of the smartest software devices, protecting the computer system.
- BullGuard incorporates advanced mathematical algorithms and machine learning methods to protect your system from data threats and attacks.
- It offers multi-layer protection to your computer devices, identifies the system’s suspicious behavior, has malicious links, and offers zero-day attacks on personal data.
- BullGuard’s next-generation anti-malware feature offers triple-layer protection from malware and spyware.
- Another feature of BullGuard is a Game Booster that enables players to play games safely and securely.
- Additionally, it also provides features, like anti-ransomware, anti-phishing vulnerability scanner, secure browser, firewall, parental and website filtering, etc.
Price: BullGuard offers a 15 day free trial period. Later, you need to purchase it for $30 per year for a single license. It costs $200 every three years for ten devices, and for one device license, it requires $6.63 every year.
One of the top-rated and most-used antivirus software is McAfee Antivirus. It is compatible to install on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS platforms.
- McAfee Antivirus offers full protection to your desktop or mobile against viruses, threats, ransomware, malware, and spyware.
- This software device is capable of identifying threats, viruses, malware, etc., from more than 500 million devices throughout the world.
- One of the significant advantages of using McAfee Antivirus is it optimizes the system’s performance by minimizing resources and bandwidth usage.
- Users get the best experience while browsing the internet and keeps your online activities safe from attackers or hackers.
- Your digital identity is kept protected and secured using McAfee Antivirus.
Price: McAfee Antivirus is $29.99 per year
F-secure Antivirus is another trusted and robust antivirus software device and serves to be one of the ideal antivirus devices for more than 30 years. This software device is best suited for all scales of businesses that store their data on the cloud.
- F-secure Antivirus is compatible to install on Microsoft Windows and macOS operating systems.
- Your systems get protected against viruses, spyware, and malware using F-secure Antivirus software.
- It has a straightforward and powerful interface that is easy to use for novice users.
- F-secure Antivirus software offers the best experience to its users while browsing the internet. It ensures safe and secure browsing and prevents ransomware attacks.
- The other features include intrusion detection systems, threat response, and vulnerability scanning.
Price: F-secure Antivirus offers a free trial period of 30 days. It charges an amount of $29.99 per year for one single device, and for three systems, it charges $39.99 per year.
Benefits of Using Antivirus Software
We have seen some best and top antivirus software for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. All of the above-listed antivirus software have unique and outstanding capabilities. Now, let us focus on the advantages of installing the antivirus software on the network.
- The most primary function of any antivirus software is detecting potential viruses, malware, or adware and removing them from the system. So, your system gets free from viruses and works well with normal behavior.
- When we perform any online activity, we get pop-up notifications of several websites and advertisements. Such pop-up messages can create spams in the devices. The antivirus software blocks pop-up notifications from websites and makes your device free from ads and spams.
- Viruses or malware in the device allows hackers to control your entire system. Cybercriminals send malicious links via emails to any individual. Doing this will help them to access any program or file stored on the system. Antivirus software prevents attackers from accessing the computer system.
- Many times, we use hard drives and connect them to the system through USB ports. We use the same hard drive with a friend’s system to copy some data or files. Through removal devices, viruses from a friend’s system can enter into your device. Antivirus software prevents viruses from entering into the device.
- Some antivirus software also offers firewall features. They prevent unauthorized access to your computer system.
- Another significant feature of antivirus software is avoiding phishing attacks. Phishing attacks implies stealing login information or credential data.
Antivirus software devices have become an immense need in this digital and cyberattacks era. Having antivirus software installed on the computer system protects against malware, spyware, attacks, threats, and data stealing. In this article, we have covered the antivirus software, the working of antivirus software, its types, effects of viruses on systems, and the best antivirus software tools.
We have listed some popular and high-rated antivirus software devices with their features and prices. Many of them offer advanced features, like firewalls. We recommend you go through this article and select the best antivirus software device at an affordable price for your computer system or mobile devices.