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  2. The Best Antivirus Protection for 2021 | PCMag › picks › the-best-antivirus-protection
    • Malware, Spyware, and Adware Protection
    • Listen to The Antivirus Testing Labs
    • We Test Malware, Spyware, and Adwaredefenses
    • Multilayered Malware Protection
    • Firewalls, Ransomware Protection, and More
    • Beyond Antivirus: Vpn
    • What's The Best Malware Protection?

    Just about every new computer you buy comes with antivirus protection preinstalled. That’s a good thing; you don’t want your shiny new toy to succumb to ransomware or some other attack before you’ve had a chance to protect it. But sooner or later (typically sooner) the preinstalled protection expires, and you must either pay to keep it going or choose another antivirus. Don’t drop the ball. As soon as the existing antivirus starts nagging about setting up payment, either go along with it or make your own choice. Going without antivirus isn’t an option. If you’re unsure which of the many available antivirus utilities is best for you, we can help. We’ve evaluated more than 40 antivirus tools, taking careful note of their varying features and capabilities, so you can make an informed choice. We call it antivirus, but in truth it's unlikely you'll get hit with an actual computer virus. Malware these days is about making money, and there's no easy way to cash in on spreading a virus. Ran...

    We take the results reported by independent antivirus testing labs very seriously. The simple fact that a company's product shows up in the results is a vote of confidence, of sorts. It means the lab considered the product significant, and the company felt the cost of testing was worthwhile. Of course, high scoresin the tests are also important. We follow four labs that regularly release detailed reports: SE Labs, AV-Test Institute, MRG-Effitas, and AV-Comparatives. We've devised a system for aggregating their results to yield a rating from 0 to 10.

    We also subject every product to our own hands-on test of malware protection, in part to get a feeling for how the product works. Depending on how thoroughly the product prevents malware installation, it can earn up to 10 points for malware protection. Our malware protection test necessarily uses the same set of samples for months. To check a product's handling of brand-new malware, we test each product using 100 extremely new malware-hosting URLs supplied by MRG-Effitas, noting what percentage of them it blocked. Products get equal credit for preventing all access to the malicious URL and for wiping out the malware during download. Some products earn stellar ratings from the independent labs, yet don't fare as well in our hands-on tests. In such cases, we defer to the labs, as they bring significantly greater resources to their testing. Want to know more? You can dig in for a detailed description of how we test security software.

    Antivirus products distinguish themselves by going beyond the basics of on-demand scanning and real-time malware protection. Some rate URLs that you visit or that show up in search results, using a red-yellow-green color-coding system. Some actively block processes on your system from connecting with known malware-hosting URLs or with fraudulent (phishing) pages. Software has flaws, and sometimes those flaws affect your security. Prudent users keep Windows and all programs patched, fixing those flaws as soon as possible. The vulnerability scan offered by some antivirus products can verify that all necessary patches are present, and even apply any that are missing. Spyware comes in many forms, from hidden programs that log your every keystroke to Trojans that masquerade as valid programs while mining your personal data. Any antivirus should handle spyware, along with all other types of malware, but some include specialized components devoted to spyware protection. You expect an antiv...

    Firewalls and spam filtering aren't common antivirus features, but some of our top products include them as bonuses. In fact, some of these antivirus products are more feature-packed than certain products sold as security suites. Among the other bonus features you'll find are secure browsers for financial transactions, secure deletion of sensitive files, wiping traces of computer and browsing history, credit monitoring, virtual keyboard to foil keyloggers, cross-platform protection, and more. And of course, we've already mentioned sandboxing, vulnerability scanning, and application whitelisting. We're seeing more and more antivirus products adding modules specifically designed for ransomware protection. Some work by preventing unauthorized changes to protected files. Others keep watch for suspicious behaviors that suggest malware. Some even aim to reverse the damage. Given the growth of this scourge, any added protection is beneficial.

    Your antivirus utility works in the background to keep out any faint possibility of infestation by malware, but its abilities don't extend beyond the bounds of your computer. When you connect to the wild and wooly internet, you risk the possibility that your data could be compromised in transit. Sticking to HTTPS websites when possible can help, but for full protection of your data in transit you should install a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. This component is important enough that we're starting to see it as a bonus feature in some antivirus tools.

    Which antivirus should you choose? You have a wealth of options. Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus routinely take perfect or near-perfect scores from the independent antivirus testing labs. A single subscription for McAfee AntiVirus Plus lets you install protection on all your Windows, Android, Mac OS, and iOS devices. And its unusual behavior-based detection technology means Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is the tiniest antivirus around. We've named these four Editors' Choice for commercial antivirus, but they're not the only products worth consideration. Read the reviews of our top-rated products, and then make your own decision. Editors' Note: We are aware of the allegations of Kaspersky Labs' inappropriate ties to the Russian government. Until we see some actual proof of these allegations, we will treat them as unproven, and continue to recommend Kaspersky's security products as long as their performance continues to merit our endorsement.

  3. Best antivirus software for 2021 - CNET › tech › services-and-software

    Jul 14, 2021 · Bitdefender antivirus software consistently earns top marks for its antivirus protection and usability from the respected AV-Test independent testing lab. The free antivirus version covers one...

    • Alison Denisco Rayome
  4. Best Antivirus Software 2021 | U.S. News › 360-reviews › antivirus

    Jun 17, 2021 · The antivirus programs in our Best Antivirus Software of 2021 list is designed for Windows computers. However, Macs also need antivirus software, as they are just as vulnerable to malware and ...

  5. Best Antivirus Software Of 2021 – Forbes Advisor › software › best-antivirus-software

    Jul 16, 2021 · The Best Antivirus Software of 2021. ... McAfee is one of the biggest names in antivirus, ...

  6. The best antivirus software 2021 | Tom's Guide › us › best-antivirus,review-2588

    Jul 15, 2021 · EDITOR'S NOTE: The winners of the 2021 Tom's Guide Awards have been announced, and Kaspersky Total Security has won Best Antivirus Software. Bitdefender Total Security is the runner-up.

    • Paul Wagenseil
  7. The Best Free Antivirus Protection for 2021 | PCMag › the-best-free-antivirus-protection
    • Free Malware, Spyware, and Adware Protection. A major international brewing company plans to offer every adult in the US a free beer when we reach the right vaccination milestone.
    • Free Antivirus vs. Paid Antivirus. If free antivirus tools are so great, why should anybody pay? For one thing, quite a few of these products are free only for noncommercial use; if you want to protect your business, you must pony up for the paid edition.
    • Independent Antivirus Lab Test Results. Around the world, researchers at independent antivirus testing labs spend their days putting antivirus tools to the test.
    • We Test Malware Protection. In addition to carefully perusing results from the independent labs, we also run our own hands-on malware protection test. We expose each antivirus to a collection of malware samples, including a variety of different malware types, and note its reaction.
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