Fall is here and the 10 best antivirus programs have released their latest versions for 2012. The list hasn’t changed from 2011 and the best antivirus programs have come out with the best features and tools again. And the only difference we’ve seen is Webroot losing its place because of a significant change in its product line.
To be included in the list, these antivirus software programs had to impress in at least five areas. They were evaluated on scope of protection, effectiveness, ease of use, ease of installation and new features. And they were all tested and approved by the leading test labs like Virus Bulletin and AV-Comparatives.
So here are the 10 best antivirus software programs:
BitDefender provides rock-solid protection and the 2012 version is the best antivirus software program. It has many special tools like a gamer mode that allows you full-screen mode access when playing games or watching videos on your PC. And its Active Virus Control is a feature that detects and demolishes threats that stealthily attempt to monitor your activity.
Kaspersky is the second best antivirus software program. It detects new malware threats at a 100 percent success rate. Its price is a bit higher than other programs like BitDefender, but the features and tools are definitely worth it. It has the desktop security gadget that docks on your desktop and provides much better access and awareness of your PC security at all times.
One outstanding feature found in Webroot is its spyware removal feature, Webroot Spy Sweeper. It’s the best in the industry at spyware removal and combines with the antivirus protection from Sophos to pack a mean punch. The Spy Sweeper feature also takes care of other malware threats like adware, pop-ups and rootkits.
Norton Antivirus is a huge player in the industry with good features and tools. It has the Norton Reputation Service, a proactive security measure that includes a special algorithm to analyse files and then determine their threat level. However, Norton has issues working with other software applications and is still a problem to uninstall.
ESET includes both heuristic detection and advanced diagnostic tools for complete PC security. It has all the essential areas covered but the interface is not great – there are simpler and easier to configure interfaces. But it’s still one of the best antivirus software programs and is ideal for PC gamers.
AVG delivers advanced protection and very simple use. It has many good features like the LinkScanner feature which protects your PC from dodgy websites. The Social Networking Protection feature protects you from dangers on social media sites like Facebook and Bebo. But AVG has problems too and still overprotects at times and flags important files as malware.
Little-known G-Data is an impressive antivirus scanner. It uses two separate scanning engines to protect you from all forms of malware threats. The two scanning engines are heuristics and self-learning fingerprinting. So even the newest threats that attempt to circumvent its protection nets are caught and dealt with instantly. Unfortunately, G-Data is also missing some important features like a gamer mode, a laptop battery saving mode and LinkScanner. All these features you can get in the other 9 top antivirus programs.
Avira includes Proactive behaviour scanning and technology that protects your PC from new and traditional virus threats. It is a cost-effective antivirus solution with all the right features. But Avira is missing some features and tools like some top antivirus programs. Two missing features are a gamer mode and a rollback functionality which are now standard in many antivirus software programs.
Vipre has a great combination of features and has one of the most efficient scanning engines with a small footprint. It has a simple installation process but you’ll need to restart your PC to continue. Vipre is still a pretty new brand but the software is definitely one of the best one’s in the industry. Its most unique feature is the multiple license options you get for all your home computers.
Trend Micro has an outstanding cloud-security feature for real-time protection and updates. It minimizes resource-usage on your PC by running scans and updates in the cloud and dealing with threats there. But Trend Micro has just marginally sneaked into the list of top antivirus programs. And that’s because it has a handful of features that you can’t find elsewhere.
There are many other high-performance antivirus programs that haven’t made it into this list. Programs like Avast, McAfee and Panda cannot be written off and they lead in other features and tools.
Your choice of antivirus software will also depend on your personal needs and we recommend you also read full reviews of these antivirus programs before purchasing.