Remember: Antivirus is not a replacement for common sence! Be smart when using the Internet. Don’t click on links from unkown (and sometimes even known) sources in e-mails, messengers or on social sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter). Close popup windows with the red cross at the upper right, as the buttons in the image might install unwanted software without you knowing.
Only have one antivirus installed, or the programs might conflict and slow down your computer. Also keep your operating system and software up-to-date.
Once or twice a year I do a little research to find out which antivirus gives best protection for my money. By examining the results from test labs like AV-Test.org and AV-Comparatives.org and reviews from renowned sites like PCMag.com, I come to a conclusion. Last year I recommended BitDefender, but this year they’re surpassed by Kaspersky. Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 got a full score with 6 out of 6 in both protection and repair from AV-Test (August 2012).
BitDefender Internet Security 2012 came in second place with 5.5/6 in protection and 6/6 in repair, so it’s still a valid recommendation.
Actually they both won each category for 2011.
In AV-Comparatives.org Real-World Protection Test they also did well, getting an Advanced+ for July 2012.
And both get an excellent editor’s rating from PCMag.com. BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2013 gets the even more popular Editor’s Choice.
The most popular free antiviruses has been the triple A gang the last years. Avast, AVG and Avira are frequently recommended as free alternatives. They only offer basic protection from malware, but that’s still better than nothing. I’ve used and recommended Microsoft Security Essentials since it came out, but the latest version doesn’t do well in the protection test over at AV-Test.org. It actually comes last with the score 2/6.
AVG Free 2013 gets the Editor’s Choice from PCMag.com.