Which antivirus is best for an HP laptop?

Statistica.com reported that HP’s laptop shipments accounted for 24.7 percent of the global notebook shipments in the 2nd quarter of 2019 – that’s an awful lot of laptops. It’s also an awful lot of laptops that need cyber protection. HP laptops are no different than other laptops or PCs in this regard; all computers and laptops, for home or for business, need cyber protection. And to know which antivirus is best for an HP laptop you need to know what features to look for in antivirus software. These features have been listed and briefly described below.

Useability. Look for a user interface that is straightforward, uses universally understood icons, has simple- to-execute scans, and easy-to-understand reports.

Detection rate. – Detection rates can vary depending upon whether the antivirus software is run online or offline, but in general, today’s antivirus software should provide at least a 99% detection rate. Don’t settle for less.

24/7 Real-time protection. The best antivirus software offer real-time scans that run continuously in the background checking all your files. If any malware is detected, the antivirus should update you and then remove or quarantine it, depending upon your software settings.

Automatic updates. Automatic updates are extremely important because antivirus software works by scanning your computer and comparing the signatures of the files and programs on your computer to the signatures of viruses stored in a virus signature database. This signature database is updated whenever new viruses are discovered, and if your antivirus software isn’t automatically updated to work with the latest signature database, it won’t be able to check for newly added virus signatures, which could leave your PC unprotected. 

Compatibility.Choose an antivirus that doesn’t conflict with other programs installed on your computer. Whatever operating system or antimalware tools you have on your system, make sure the antivirus you choose is compatible. 

Minimal impact on system resources. – Antivirus solutions place a demand on a computer’s resources, but that demand should not affect your system’s performance in any noticeable way. It should be able to run quietly in the background, checking for viruses and threats, notifying the user if any are found, and removing or guaranteeing them to prevent damage.

Multilayered protection. – The most powerful antivirus software rely on more than just real-time scanning and a virus signature database for detecting malware. They also use other detection technologies so they can guard against new and emerging threats too. Behavioral and heuristics-based detection are two of the most effective methods for detecting unknown threats. Combined with real-time scanning, behavioral and heuristics-based detection technologies provide much needed comprehensive threat detection.

Privacy policy. – Antivirus companies are businesses too and as such some succumb to the practice of selling your personal information. It is absolutely critical, therefore, that you first make sure that your antivirus company will not share or sell your private data. If you’re not sure about the answer, it’s worth a call to tech support to find out.

Pricing. Pricing, of course, should fit your budget or your business’ budget. The important thing to keep in mind here is that there isn’t a big difference between free and paid antivirus software in terms of virus detection. The difference lies in the optional extra features that paid versions offer, but free versions don’t. Many individuals and businesses find that these extra features, such as protection from phishing and ransomware, microphone and camera protection, protection from tracking and others, are vital to their security and thus opt for subscription versions.

A word of caution…

Many, but not all HP computers come with Windows Defender, an antimalware tool built by Windows, while others come with trial versions of antivirus software. Windows Defender, while an excellent tool, isn’t sufficient cybersecurity protection by itself and trial versions are temporary. For comprehensive protection, you should always install an antivirus. In fact, HP’s support.hp.com itself recommends following on screen prompts to renew your virus subscription (or install a new one) once the free trial ends.