Buying an anti virus software package for your home computer can be quite a daunting task. There are so many brands available and the choices can be overwhelming. In the past most people would be happy with either a McAfee or Symantec Norton Anti Virus product. While these brands are still the most popular there are many other brands now available which sometime offer better products.
The good news is that there are a number of useful anti virus comparison sites on the internet. Many of them carry out quality in depth tests of the anti virus products or refer to credible 3rd party tests during their review. The issue is that their reviews can appear somewhat technical and not necessarily written with the home user in mind. Reviews will also get summarized in tables which tend to give way too much detail which is not relevant in making a decision.
In order to help you save some time here are a list of 5 key features to look for in an anti virus comparison.
(1) Virus Scanning & Removal Capability – obvious point but you need to feel confident that your software will detect and remove the virus threats including worms and Trojans. Visit online websites like PC World or CNet for trusted reviews. Always compared at least 2 or more reviews to look for consistency. If a product is any good then it should perform well in a number of separate, independent reviews.
(2) Frequent Virus Definition update – the best anti virus software offers automatic updates which ensure the best protection for your computer. New virus threats emerge almost daily so it is critical your antivirus software's virus definition database is refreshed frequently.
(3) Control Panel – needs to be easy to use so that you can configure the key settings without requiring any technical knowledge or needing to contact support. It also needs to convey important information in a concise format for the home user with easy-to-follow instructions.
(4) Technical Support – this is really important. The best packages offer free technical support via phone or live chat. You will be surprised how many vendors actually charge for this – sometimes the charges per incident can be very high.
(5) Price / Value – a lot of the software vendors offer internet security suites which offer the anti virus software with other security tools including firewall software and spam filters. Typically these all-in-one packages offer better value for money than buying a standalone anti virus software. At a minimum it is important to consider buying a package which includes a decent firewall which monitors both incoming and outgoing internet traffic in your computer. The standard Windows XP firewall only monitors incoming traffic.
Gary Scott runs a number of computer related sites. He recommends the The Shield Pro which provides affordable virus protection with free technical support and firewall software included.