While there is no quick way to answer which antivirus is better, there are at least some guidelines you can follow to help you determine which antivirus is better for you. Just bear in mind that different programs have different features and different detection methods. There are also differences between free and paid versions. In general, though, here is a rundown of what your antivirus software should include at a minimum:
A high detection rate for malware and other threats. While detection rates can vary depending upon whether the virus scans were done online or offline, antivirus or antimalware software should generally have a 100% detection rate when there is malware present. Anything less than that means a tiny crack has been left open for malware to infect your computer.
All-inclusive protection. Your antivirus software should protect you not just from different types of malware, such as ransomware, spyware, Trojans, trackers, viruses, and more, but also from malicious emails, malicious downloads, and malicious URLs.
Real-time protection. Real-time protection is one of the most important features of any antimalware program. With real-time protection, your computer is checked for malicious activity in real-time. In other words, whenever data is downloaded on your computer or anytime you try to access a file that is already on your computer, your antivirus software should check the files for malware before the data is accessed or the file executed.
A low impact on system resources. Your antivirus software should be running in the background and have a minimal effect on your computer’s performance and responsiveness. Active scans should also have minimal impact on your PC’s performance.
Automatic updates. Hackers are always creating new malware and whenever they do, antivirus software companies must analyze the malware code and update their antivirus software so that it provides protection against the new malware. Your antivirus should automatically update to the latest protection versions.
Automatic security scans. The better antivirus software should automate the antimalware scans as well as give you the option to schedule the antimalware scans yourself.
An easy-to-use interface. Antivirus software should be intuitive to use and make it easy for you to navigate to its different menus, settings, tabs, and windows.
Every good antivirus should, at the very least, have the features described above, but many vendors offer elements that go beyond basic security such as camera and microphone protection, password managers, firewalls and more. Some of these features come with free versions and some only with the subscription versions. At the end of the day, however, the best antivirus software for you will also depend upon individual needs such as whether you want antivirus protection for home or business, who will be using the systems, and what your budget will be.