This is a common question among anyone who owns a computer. When it comes to computer security software you have to think of multiple questions when trying to choose the right brand. Ultimately it is the user’s choice of how much protection they think that they want on their system.
Right off the bat there are two choices that a user must make, paid or free. The are advantages to both and it is dependent on the user to figure out if they want to spend money to protect their computer. With a paid version of antivirus you have the security of knowing the company is looking out for your best interests and because you are paying them they have an obligation to send out frequent up-to-date virus signatures to help protect your computer. Also, with paid memberships some companies have some sort of guarantee that their computer will be covered up to a certain amount of money if a virus does destroy their computer.
Free versions of antivirus software do not have a protection guarantee and usually are run by someone out of the kindness of their own hearts. That means there might not be as frequent updates as the paid versions and because you are not paying a company there might be some virus signatures that may be missed or incorrectly marked. Now don’t get me wrong some free antivirus software is comparable with the paid brands but might not have as many features as a paid version.
My opinion for a paid antivirus is ESET Nod32, I’ve used them for the last 3 years and have not looked back. Their security center has multiple features to keep a user safe, including a built-in firewall, active file monitoring, and early detection. My personal life saver is the active file monitoring, ever new file created on my computer is scanned for viruses and will alert me if something is wrong. I also chose ESET Nod32 because of their track record, their detection record is unmatched, they have never missed an in-the-wild virus for as long as the product has been around. Over all the other paid brands I have to give it up for ESET.
For the users who may not want to pay for antivirus I strongly suggest that they use Microsoft Security Essentials, it is the most light weight and powerful antivirus system that I have come across. What used to be called OneCare, Microsoft took their amazing product and made it free. If you look at the logic behind the system it is made by Microsoft and this massive organization is paying their good people to protect your system. To me you’re getting the benefits of a paid system but free. You can also trust Microsoft to not put any spyware, adware or any type of -ware in your product because they are t trusted company. Again, for the free route check out Microsoft Security Essentials.
For all you Mac and Linux users out there, don’t think your safe. Every computer is susceptible to a virus attack of any kind, although just not as likely you can still be attacked. For the Mac users out there try out ESET’s Mac edition, for the same reasons as before their track record is unmatched. For you Linux users I do recommend ClamAV, that is the only Linux antivirus that I’ve played around with and found to be a great protection on my Linux box.
There are all different brands out there that you can pick from, both paid and free. To keep you and your computer safe keep your virus system up to date and know what websites you are surfing. You are the front line of protection by knowing what you are going to and clicking on.