Virus in any form is dangerous. Let that be one that affects humans or the ones that take over the computers.
Every computer has crucial data in the form of passwords, confidential files or archives that can’t be misplaced. Considering the increasing number of malware that today’s networks are prone to, you can’t take your machine’s safety for granted.
An antivirus scans throughout your files and keeps them clean. It gets rid of any suspicious looking software, tells you the health of your computer and brings any problematic looking information to your notice.
Usually antivirus come on a subscription basis. You can take an annual subscription and upgrade it later as per the number of computers you want to connect. However don’t forget to use online coupons and discounts to save on antivirus packs. You surely will make a worthwhile saving.
How to choose an antivirus?
Choosing an antivirus couldn’t be very easy. The options and features can confuse you sometimes. Compare the antivirus software before you get it. Here are 7 essential things that you should look for in an antivirus.
While most of the antivirus work on all operating systems, some are made for certain operating systems only. If you use Windows OS, you should check for the correct version as per your OS bits. If you end up buying one which is specifically designed for some other OS, you may not get the best of its performance. Thus it’s important to see where you are spending your money.
2. It’s effects on your computer
Antivirus are meant to protect your operating system against viruses and bugs. But if it ends up using more of your system space than needed, the other things that you do on your computer might slow down.
Some antivirus are heavily-built and thus require more CPU resources to function. Thus you should consider the following points:
- Check with the seller about its CPU requirements
- Read manual to understand better
- Check your system’s configuration
- Note the requirements of all major games and softwares that you use on a regular basis
If your antivirus takes up a lot of CPU resources, either consider increasing your computer configuration or going for another antivirus.
3. Trial before purchase
Another important factor for an antivirus is its interface. The design of the dialogue boxes when they are installed, their size should be given an importance to while you buy the product. Sometimes the software abruptly covers up your screen, and some others pop up a slight notification. Are you comfortable with pop ups or you feel that a huge window is better for you as it catches attention quickly. This point is often neglected by many customers.
The preference would be different for different users. I personally do not like when a tool covers up my whole screen while I am working. It’s frustrating. Thus ask your seller if a free trial is available for the antivirus you like. Trying out the software will give you a good idea of whether using it is a pleasing experience or not.
4. After sales support
Sometimes the antivirus you installed might need a reboot. It does not mean it is not working correctly but it is just like you reset your computer. In other cases, you may also have to reinstall it. The correct people who can do this for you are the official representatives of the brand. So before buying the antivirus product, call the customer representatives and ask questions about the product. The things you have to know:
- Do the representatives visit your home/workplace to fix the issue
- Is there a charge, and if yes, how much
- How much is the turnaround time for any complaint/ requests
5. Customer Review
Product reviews are certainly important. Learn from the experience from the ones who have already used the antivirus. Know the pros and cons from personal experiences. But do not get carried away while you check the reviews and there are many other factors that influence a personal opinion. What went wrong with them may not always go wrong with you.
However as a thumb rule, you must always look for products that are at least rated 4.3 to 4.4. The more the better.
6. Protection for email attachments and links
Your email attachments need to be scanned. Choose an antivirus that does it. At the same time, when you open new windows in your browser you antivirus should be able to scan it too and tell you if it’s a safe site or not.
Mostly antiviruses display a popup or a screen that looks like an error window. If you see any of these when opening browser links for the first time, you can either choose to continue if you try the website or not.
A lot of the times you don’t know which link you just clicked on. Considering the number of ads that show up these days on any screen, it is totally possible to click on something you didn’t intend to. So you can’t compromise with an antivirus in this area.
Ransomware is different from other malwares as they are more dangerous and can prevent a user from accessing their own computer.
Not every antivirus comes with ransomware enabled. You should get one without enabled or at least have the feature to do it. In some cases, it might ask you to upgrade or charge more for ransomware protection.
But with new and new viruses infecting the computer world, it is necessary to be prepared. Wanna cry ransomware that attacked computer systems in 2017 resulted in the loss of millions and dollars.
There are a variety of antiviruses present which offer different levels of security at different prices. But if one that has all of the above factors and also lies under your budget for software protection is a good choice of antivirus for you. Make sure you run periodic scans after you have an antivirus and always stay a step ahead of the malware.