There’s a glut of antivirus and anti-malware programs out there. Some free, a bunch cost money. Let’s keep this short and to the point: No one should be paying for antivirus anymore. You can get everything you need for free and there are several viable options.

  1. Microsoft Security Essentials
    At the time of this writing this is the far superior choice. No pop up ads asking you to upgrade to a paid version, excellent coverage of both viruses and malware infections. Updates automatically and often, ties into Windows Firewall for added security and control.
  2. Avira Antivir Personal
    A lightweight, powerful resource for fighting most modern virus and malware infections. Quick recognition and removal of a majority of infections that can occur with modern browsers.
  3. AVG Antivirus
    An okay option to fend off many viruses but it has some weaknesses. There seem to be a few exploits it is susceptible to, unless you pay for their premium version of the program. Add that to the fact the free version prompts you to consider upgrading to the paid version every so often. If I wanted pop ups I could just install a virus! 😉 There are worse options, but user beware.
  4. Norton Internet Security and Other Norton Products/Suites
    We didn’t link to the Norton suite because this is a warning, not an endorsement… if you want your system to get infected and run like crap in general, install Norton! By far the most annoying and inconvenient of the current options available. It eats up lots of resources to do basic tasks and does not provide adequate protection. A clunky, unfriendly user interface is the frosting on the cake. If you are getting prompted to pay for a renewal, we beg of you please don’t!
  5. McAfee Antivirus or Security Suites or the worst: Security Scan
    McAfee took the Norton blueprint and perfected it! They took all the features that half-worked and decided to strip it down and make it completely useless. The best part is the deceptively hard to use interface and strict settings that make it difficult to customize. It somehow feels like you are more likely to get infected if McAfee is installed. As a side note, with regards to McAfee Security Scan, anything that installs as a sneaky add-on with a Java update is an instant loser in our book.

If you have either of the last two, please do yourself a favor and get one of the real antiviruses listed above. Norton and McAfee have relied on name recognition from the 1990’s and early 2000’s, but over the past ten years they have separately sullied their once sterling reputations with lazy and ineffective products. You will love the improvement you see in protection and computer speeds by switching to a more modern client protection.