What antivirus is the best?

One of the tech questions I am most frequently asked is, “What is the best Antivirus out there?” To which I respond, “It’s different every six months.”

For the past 6-8 months, I’ve been a firm supporter of Avast Antivirus. It was an antivirus program that didn’t try and intimidate its user’s. It had a simple, intuitive interface and even let you choose “Pirate” as the announcement voice: brilliant! In addition to the well-designed interface, it seemed to be a really solid passive (live monitor) antivirus software. It caught malware when I suspected a computer to be infected and after one or two full scans, it showed the system as clean and I had no reason to believe otherwise.

In the past two or three months however, I’ve been getting a lot of calls about Windows and third party software acting a little wonky/erratic/spooky. Upon inspection, Avast is actually attacking software like Google Chrome! Boot times had slowed, some programs stopped working, malware started slipping through the nets!

What had happened? Why had one of the first ‘layman’s antivirus’ programs begun to devolve into another Norton?

I see a trend. Each year an antivirus program puffs out its chest and touts something about it having security professionals on the design team, or the most current virus profiles and now, the smallest digital footprint. Professionals and consumers flock to it and install it because their antivirus from last year started letting malware through and breaking programs or making their computer very slow. (See where I’m going with this?)

Norton Antivirus used to be the heavy hitter, then it became so resource dependent that it was worse than a virus for a computer. McAfee and AVG followed thereafter. McAfee was the first to fall into disrepair and eventually became as secure as swiss cheese. I recently worked with a client running AVG and it was one of the worst experiences I have ever had with an antivirus program; the details of which I’d be happy to share in a later post or comment thread. After AVG was an assortment of Bitdefender, Windows Security Essentials, Vyper and some others, but none really stood out as much as AVG or Norton. Avast came onto the scene but as I said before, it is in its decline now.

At netEffx, we are currently installing and recommending WebRoot. For the time being, its the fastest, most secure, low-profile antivirus on the market. We’ve installed it in a couple client networks and everyone seems to love it. We also always run Malwarebytes alongside our Antivirus, which I will talk about in a future article.

If you are looking for a quick and clean antivirus software, check out Webroot. It looks to be the new big thing.

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