If you perform a Google search to find out which antivirus is good, the search results you’ll receive will be a bunch of antivirus software companies claiming that their software is the best, but what you really need to know to answer this question is what features to look for in antivirus (AV) software. When you know what features to look for, then you can figure out which antivirus is good for you. With that in mind, what follows is a list of the most important features to look for in antivirus software.
A high malware detection rate. Look for an antivirus that has a 100% detection rate when there is malware present. Anything less than that leaves your computer exposed. Keep in mind, however, that detection rates can vary depending upon whether the virus scans were performed offline or online.
A light system load. Whether running in the background or during active scans, your antivirus software shouldn’t noticeably slow down your computer.
User-friendly. The AV software’s installation process should be quick and simple so you can install it and then, if you’re like most people, just let it do its job once installed. Some people, however, do prefer to customize its operation, so the user interface should be intuitive and easy to use too.
All-inclusive protection. Today, the malware that can infect your computer is much worse than the malware of the past and employs more methods for infecting it as well. Therefore, AV software should also offer browser protection, email protection, and download protection in addition to standard protection against viruses, Trojans, spyware, trackers, etc.
Real-time protection. One of the most critical features of AV software is real-time protection, which scans any new program or file before it’s opened to make sure that it is malware-free and can’t infect your computer.
Automatic updates. – AV software scans your files and compares them against a database of known malware to see if any of your files have been infected. To be able to check for the latest malware, your AV software must be updated automatically whenever the AV company adds new malware to its malware database.
Behavioral and heuristic analysis detection methods. These detection methods look at the behavior of a file and label it a threat if it is behaving the way malware does. While real-time scanning can detect known cyber threats, behavioral and heuristics detection methods are used for catching unknown and emerging cyber threats.
Different AV software packages do come with more advanced security features, such as parental control, camera and microphone protection, coverage of more than one device, etc., but whether you need these features will depend on your specific security needs. The critical features that every AV software must-have, however, are the features listed above.