How to choose "the best antivirus"?

Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
1,465
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Emsisoft
#22
Yes as you already said, the best antivirus does not exist because the best security for your computer are your habits.
Of course, there are good AVs according to many factors and they can protect you from many threats.
But you need to make the first part.

You don't have to visit dangerous sites, you don't have to click on strange links or advertising, you don't have to open attachments from unknown source, you don't have to install programs from unknown source or cracked programs.
You can use Sandboxie to protect your browsing session, for free.

If you are aware of this, also Windows Defender + Smart Screen can be enough, and the Windows kernel will thank you.
 

cruelsister

Level 34
Trusted
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
2,331
#25
Winter- The one issue that has been popping up regarding Windows Defender recently is that there has been an increasing number of malware that are targeting it. Remember that WD has a Cloud component for enhanced zero-day coverage; sadly quite a bit of recent malware has been including scripts (via netsh adsvfirewall) that change WF rules to Block WD from getting out- this essentially will negate the Cloud from detecting the malware.
 
Joined
May 9, 2015
Messages
427
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Kaspersky
#26
Each users "best" anti virus differs due to his own experiences and expectations:) Most of the top Anti virus solutions offers enough protection as long as the user(s) are not negligent and at least moderately careful of what they does on their PC. With a good Anti Virus one need not bother about cumbersome rule creations for this and that every time one installs a new program or activity with the so called lock down security solutions. A good Anti virus also provides protection to an extent from Phishing and dangerous web sites.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
586
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Avira
#27
Pinned.

It’s a popular subject that's been asked for the past 1000 years.

I shared an article last week, and the bottom line was Choose Security that Works for You.
Exactly. Or, in other words, there is no best AV, but there is a "best security protocol, which offers good protection, which does not limit your digital world more than it should, which allows productivity to thrive, which lets you do your job etc", which might include an AV. So what people usually ask is not about the best AV, but about the best security they can get (for their money, time, or both).

People should understand that this has to be tailored for their needs, the best security for me could not be that good for you for completely other reasons (that have nothing to do with security).

There are general guidelines though, like:

  • don't open email links and attachments coming from unknown sources or which smell funny (even if coming from known sources)
  • pay attention to what you install and how (try to get used to custom installs and avoid express ones)
  • be extra careful while browsing social media, many attacks come from these platforms; they are like a crowded shopping malls for airborne viruses that get in the ventilation system
  • always update/upgrade your OS/software
  • use 2FA wherever possible (literally everywhere), but don't lose your phone, learn how to backup the 2FA software db, don't rely on "i will get my accounts back after i reinstall the software on the new phone"
  • use complex passwords
  • use common sense and avoid human error as much as possible
  • a little bit more advanced: limit stuff in the OS if you don't use them (limit even your user) to harden your system
  • time consuming and advanced: know your enemy but keep your friends close too; learn how hackers attack and how malware works, to know how to defend yourself, but also learn how your security products work in your benefit, learn about their features and how these can help you to prevent, mitigate an attack or help you in the aftermath
  • use security software that fit your needs; try them, most of them have trial versions
  • use MT to ask around when in doubt, there are many good people around here that can help you
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
143
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Default-Deny
#30
Exactly. Or, in other words, there is no best AV, but there is a "best security protocol, which offers good protection, which does not limit your digital world more than it should, which allows productivity to thrive, which lets you do your job etc", which might include an AV. So what people usually ask is not about the best AV, but about the best security they can get (for their money, time, or both).

People should understand that this has to be tailored for their needs, the best security for me could not be that good for you for completely other reasons (that have nothing to do with security).

There are general guidelines though, like:

  • don't open email links and attachments coming from unknown sources or which smell funny (even if coming from known sources)
  • pay attention to what you install and how (try to get used to custom installs and avoid express ones)
  • be extra careful while browsing social media, many attacks come from these platforms; they are like a crowded shopping malls for airborne viruses that get in the ventilation system
  • always update/upgrade your OS/software
  • use 2FA wherever possible (literally everywhere), but don't lose your phone, learn how to backup the 2FA software db, don't rely on "i will get my accounts back after i reinstall the software on the new phone"
  • use complex passwords
  • use common sense and avoid human error as much as possible
  • a little bit more advanced: limit stuff in the OS if you don't use them (limit even your user) to harden your system
  • time consuming and advanced: know your enemy but keep your friends close too; learn how hackers attack and how malware works, to know how to defend yourself, but also learn how your security products work in your benefit, learn about their features and how these can help you to prevent, mitigate an attack or help you in the aftermath
  • use security software that fit your needs; try them, most of them have trial versions
  • use MT to ask around when in doubt, there are many good people around here that can help you
@Amelith Nargothrond Fantastic post! Thank you so much for the share.
 

brod56

Level 12
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
561
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Default-Deny
#32
I have been recommending:

- Regular, sensible user: Windows Defender+max UAC+Smartscreen+uBlock+common sense
- Heavy installer/happy clicker: Bitdefender+Voodoshield+Adguard

Anyway this is always a very relative topic and everyone will have different opinions.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
586
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Avira
#33
@Amelith Nargothrond Fantastic post! Thank you so much for the share.
I'm glad I could help, even if with a single post. This is my personal experience, or if you like, the human side of my technical expertise, involving humans and machines as a single entity prone to mistakes. So you have to take it as it is, others might have valid points as well. It's difficult to generalize exactly because of the human side of the problem. We are all different, react differently to stuff and make different choices :)

Q: How to choose the best Antivirus?
A: Ask the question a million times.

Or absorb the replies in most topics.
You really hope everybody will search and find the same questions and answers and that everybody reads the forum rules. I'm sure you already found out this is not the case. Don't worry; there's most probably someone to help them out even if it means copy pasting the same answers all over again. Otherwise, they could read a book to find a passive general answer. It's not what they are looking for @Spawn , they also need attention to their very special and specific problem. This is what makes MT really special; there's almost always someone giving a helping hand, even if it's the same hand. Cheers! :)
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
586
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Avira
#35
Imagine quotation marks around that part. But in the end, yeah, sure, for them, they are special, in some cases genuinely. And also "the most important problem they could have". But in many cases, the means to get to the malware vault. There's a simple word for this: humans (in public places) :)
 

k3w1

Level 1
Joined
Jul 10, 2014
Messages
6
#39
I use Norton. Does Kaspersky, Bitdefender or Avira perform better at overall protection in comparison?
 
Likes: AtlBo
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
376
OS
Windows 10
Antivirus
Microsoft
#40
I use Norton. Does Kaspersky, Bitdefender or Avira perform better at overall protection in comparison?
Kaspersky's the best, Norton is pretty good nowadays. Nowhere near the crap storm it was 2005-2010 or so. Bitdefender was on fire a few years ago and I tried their free offering and liked it. Can't say much about Avira's pro product. Their free one is as it's always been. Amazing signatures but not much else to offer.

Try a few and pick what works best for you on your machine/machines and remember: No AV is 100% solid 100% of the time, It's very important to have a second line of defense like a Anti-executable (Voodooshield comes to mind) and backups. And remember to use the very first line of defense when online Common sense/brain.exe.