Antivirus Comparison Chart
|Ease of Use|
*free version is high
|Full Review||Webroot Review||Norton Review||Kaspersky Review||NOD32 Review||F-Secure Review||Panda Review||Avira Review||G Data Review||Avast! Review||Bitdefender Review|
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Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus
After extensively testing a wide variety of antivirus products this year, AVWARS has chosen Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus as our top recommendation. It's easy to use, fast, and was the runaway winner in our malware detection and removal tests.
The user interface is intuitive, easy to use, and robust enough to permit advanced configurations. Webroot uses a system of multiple shields to protect your system from viruses, trojans, dialers, worms, keyloggers, rootkits, and those increasingly prevalent scareware and rogue antivirus programs which can hold your computer hostage, and which are missed by many other programs. The multiple shield system works extremely well and Webroot recorded the highest scores in our real-world malware scenarios. Webroot even installs on and thoroughly cleans up systems which are already infected with lots of malware. Even the best antivirus programs can miss rootkits, since they attempt to hide in protected areas of the hard drive, but in our tests Webroot detected all of the rootkit samples we tried, a very impressive result.
The built-in Internet protections will prevent your browser from opening up malicious websites, even if you accidentally click on a bad link in an email. Helpful technical support is available in a variety of forms, from great phone support to videos and tutorials, and even through Twitter. It’s surprisingly fast, and won't perceptibly slow down your computer. To top it off, Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus offers protection for 3 PCs for one year for only $49.95, a great value. For a more robust suite of security protection, we highly recommend Webroot’s Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete which adds a firewall, antispam, antiphishing, identity protection, 2Gb of online storage, PC optimization utilities, and additional online security meausres designed to keep your sensitive information safe.
Norton Antivirus 2013
Symantec and Norton are two of the best-known names in Internet Security software. Symantec has hit a home run with Norton Antivirus 2013. It installs fast, runs fast, and provides comprehensive protection against a variety of threats.
The speed and efficiency of Norton 2013 is apparent even during installation. There are no drawn-out install processes, configuration wizards, reboots, or long waits. On newer systems, installation can take less than a minute. Scans and updates are also performed quickly, and will run during idle times to maximize your computer’s efficiency while you are actually using it.
But even with the vast improvements in speed and performance, where Norton 2013 really shines is in its core antivirus protection. Both in our real-world testing and in independent lab testing, Norton scores at or near the top of every category. Real-time protections prevent your browser from visiting malicious sites that can run harmful programs without your knowledge. Full systems scans root out infections that hide from many other antivirus programs. Even when it comes to installation and cleanup on badly infected systems, Norton performs extremely well.
The only downside is the user interface, which presents a huge amount of information and can be a bit difficult to navigate and configure. Problems with your system or with the program are normally handled with just a One Click Solution so many users may never need to dig through the interface to change settings.
For additional levels of protection and value, we recommend Norton 360 which puts this great core Antivirus protection to work in a suite of utilities which include parental controls and identity protection, PC tuneup tools, local, and online backups.
Kaspersky Antivirus 2013
If you are looking for comprehensive antivirus protection that is highly customizable and provides great customer support, Kaspersky Antivirus is an excellent choice.
In our testing, Kaspersky was among the top performers at repelling infections, preventing malicious websites from loading, and at removing preexisting infections. We tested Kaspersky by attempting to open virus files, trojans, worms, and a variety of scareware and fake security programs. Kaspersky repelled nearly all of them, performing just as well as our top two choices, Webroot and Norton. We also visited websites that attempt to infect your computer by downloading and running code. Most of the time, Kaspersky would not even let us visit the sites, and when it did, successfully prevented any bad code from running on our test systems. We also installed Kaspersky on some systems that were already infected, and Kaspersky did as well as any program at removing these preexisting infections.
The interface is well-designed and provides easy access to the most often-used tools such as scans and updates while also offering advanced configuration options for more technically inclined users. Our only quibble is that some of the menu options are shown more than once on each screen, and a few of the settings can be a little hard to find.
Kaspersky Antivirus offers email protection, spyware/adware removal, and chat protection. If you want the highest level of protection, we recommend stepping up to Kaspersky PURE Total Security, which also adds a two-way firewall, protection against spam, parental controls, home network control, a password manager, and tools to back up and encrypt sensitive data.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus 5.0
We have been recommending ESET NOD32 to our onsite computer support clients for years in both home and business settings. We have found it to be one of the most consistently reliable programs available for performance and speed.
NOD32 is excellent at its core competence, preventing viruses and malware from infecting your computer. ESET is justifiably proud of their heuristics, which are a set of technologies that proactively remove suspicious files and programs from your computer even if they don’t have the signatures of known viruses. Our testing confirms that when it comes to viruses, trojans, worms, and keyloggers, NOD32 is among the best programs around. Unfortunately, there are some other threats that were more successful at penetrating NOD32’s defenses in our real-world malware scenarios, such as scareware, rogue antivirus and fake security programs. These are not viruses, they are programs which take over your computer by obtaining high levels of security access. We now recommend using NOD32 along with a dedicated antimalware program such as Malwarebytes Pro to provide comprehensive protection.
The NOD32 interface is successful at presenting easy access to the tools and options that most users will need to access while also providing advanced users access to all the options they might need. By default only basic settings are shown, if you want advanced settings you must enable them, and then there are even more settings in the entire advanced setup tree.
ESET’s Smart Security suite adds an excellent firewall and antispam technology to the NOD32 core antivirus product.
F-Secure Antivirus 2013
Our recommendation for F-Secure Antivirus boils down to two things, excellent antivirus protection coupled with the most simple, intuitive, easy to use interface we’ve seen.
Our testing found several things to appreciate about the current version of F-Secure. First, it does a great job at preventing virus and malware attacks. DeepGuard technology combines the usual virus signature definitions with cloud-based Internet shields and advanced heuristics to provide excellent overall protection. F-Secure foiled attemtps from a variety of website exploits seeking to install malicious software on our test computers. Most of the time we couldn’t even visit a malicious site without ignoring and clicking a warning. Even when we ignored the warnings, F-Secure still caught most infections before they could even install.
Performance was not quite as stellar on preexisting infections. Sometimes F-Secure may not be able to install if certain types of infection are present, and may require the use of other removal tools.
F-Secure is also one of the easiest antivirus programs to install and use. Rather than trying to cram every setting known to man on the main interface (like Norton 2013), F-Secure puts seldom-used settings under menus and keeps the home screen clean and simple. More advanced interfaces are available as well.
F-Secure Internet Security takes this same great antivirus protection and simple interface and adds a firewall, browsing protection, some parental controls, and spam & phishing protections. This high level of protection is available for installation on up to 3 computers for only $59.99, which is a fantastic value.
Have questions about our antivirus reviews? Call one of our friendly antivirus experts at 1-855 THETOPTEN (843-8671).