What Antivirus Protection Is The Best?

AV Comparatives Antivirus Protection Vendors

The Best Antivirus Protection is Bitdefender*

Actually, what that should say is that the best antivirus protection for me is Bitdefender Free Edition. In this case, what is good for me is also good for most of my customers. As PC Magazine says, Bitdefender is “great if you want a strong, silent, free antivirus solution,” which is exactly what I want. I keep an eye on the latest and greatest from AV-Comparatives.org which provides third-party analysis of which antivirus protection software packages are the best available.

I use OpenDNS.org to route all my internet traffic, which provides me a first level of defense against advanced attacks, identity theft and known malware. OpenDNS.org also provides parental controls with strong web content filtering and anti-phishing protection.

In addition, I update and run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware once or twice a month for some extra piece of mind.

So there you have it, 1. Bitdefender Free Edition, 2. OpenDNS.org, and 3. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

But what about Norton and McAfee?

Antivirus is Dead – Symantec’s senior vice president Brian Dye
As I mentioned above, I keep an eye on AV-Comparatives.org for the latest and greatest in antivirus protection. Norton does not wish to take part in these tests. In addition, I’ve had a large part of my¬†customers have issues related to Norton Internet Security or Norton 360 becoming corrupted in one fashion or another, often because of virus infections resulting from social engineering,¬†a topic I have written about in the past. Therefore, I no longer use them or promote them.

McAfee is now less than 95% effective in protecting against viruses and has a high amount of “False Positives“.

So what does AV-Comparatives.org Say?

As of September 2014, in AV-Comparative.org’s Real-World Test, Microsoft’s “out-of-box” antivirus protection, like Windows Security Essentials and Windows Defender is considered non-competitive, or only 80.4% effective. That’s not good, but better than nothing.

Those programs that are close to 100% in AV-Comparative’s tests (in no particular order) are:

  1. Trend Micro, but 5 false positives
  2. Panda, but with 6 false positives
  3. Qihoo – 360, with 0 false positives
  4. Kaspersky, with 0 false positives
  5. Fortinet, but with 6 false positives
  6. ESET, with 1 false positive
  7. BitDefender, with 0 false positives (and my favorite)
  8. AVIRA, with 0 false positives

What I’ve Used in the Past

I’ve used many antivirus programs in the past. Free is now enough. I previously used AVG, Avast and AVIRA, but they are “loud” in constant advertising of their paid editions. It was no longer worth it when more silent options, like Bitdefender began to appear. Windows Security Essentials was very strong, especially their 2nd edition, a few years ago, but has now dropped to “better-than-nothing only” status.

Is Virus Protection Really Dead?

No. It’s just different now. However, it is true that total security is an illusion. That said, zero security is also a fool’s game. Computer users need a comprehensive approach that includes antivirus, a firewall, identity-theft protection, anti-phishing protection, other malware protection, and most of all, a bit of an education on how to avoid various social engineering efforts. Some antivirus programs claim to offer these items in one package, (typically called ‘suites’) but the reality is, few, if any, tend to be complete.

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