How to choose Antivirus software

Here are some basic guidelines for choosing antivirus software:

Malware detection

Regardless of what platform you are on, look for an antivirus solution that offers detection rates of at least 90% of Malware. Although we still call these applications Antivirus, computer viruses are no longer the primary threat. Malware presents the biggest danger for most users. Also, look out for high false-positive rates amongst the applications.

Free vs. Paid

There are a lot of free Antivirus applications that provide very good protection. However, the paid alternatives offer far more features and will protect your computer from other threats. For example, the paid versions of certain applications will provide protection from Ransomware and even secure your browser.


One common complaint of virus scanners is the amount system resources they consume. When people examine their computers for the cause of the slowdown, they often find that the Antivirus software is the cause. There are lightweight apps that have a minimal resource footprint while providing adequate levels of protection.


Another consideration is the user interface. Look for something that presents all the information in a way that you understand. Complicated interfaces with too much technical jargon are counter-productive and provide little guidance on what the end-user should do next.


There is no need to rely on review sites to determine which software suite you should download. All providers have trial versions and trial periods that you can use to evaluate the software for your needs. You can go through every provider once and then make a decision.