Anti-virus programs range from great to "better than nothing." But how do you know which one will work best on your home PC?
Anti-virus programs are numerous, but as with most things, some are better than others. Well-versed techs won't just recommend the most popular anti-virus solution to either make a sale or provide an easy, quick answer — they know which ones work best and which ones should be recommended for personal use at home.
Microsoft Security Essentials. Don't be misled by the name. This program will not hurt your computer, but it will barely help. If you have no other AV, Microsoft Security Essentials is better than nothing — but not by much. You need more than just Microsoft's defense when it comes to infections.McAfee. This AV can potentially give you more trouble than its worth. When I see McAfee on a computer, one of the first things I want to do is remove it. Harsh, but true. There was a brief period in time when McAfee was great, but the company became compromised by hackers and McAfee never came back as strong. Stay away from this AV.AVG Free Edition. Over 10 years ago, AVG was something I used. At that time, it was very professional, well-made, and well-thought out. The AVG of today can not light a candle next to what it was. This AV is not worth spending your time on.Norton Security. This is a heavy resource eater. I would not bother installing Norton on a slower system as the system's resources would be devoured by Norton's heavy demands. Even if the resource issue wasn't a problem, Norton has not been able to protect systems from newer infections. Norton may be better than the aforementioned AVs, but between being a resource hog and the sub-par protection, I would not recommend this AV.
MalwareBytes. I can't think of a time when this AV was not good. I personally use this on my home PC with full protection on. So do other technicians I know. It is not disruptive and it will protect, or at least warn you, when potential files are harmful — all without straining your system. I routinely will use this scanner to scan individual files that I would find suspicious to find out if they are actually infections. This AV can also scan for rootkits, which is nifty.Kaspersky Total Security. This is a great AV that's consistently innovating their security. I hear nothing but good work about Kaspersky and it seems they have no intentions of slowing down. I would recommend this if you are not going to use MalwareBytes.Adblock Plus or U-block Origin. These are not AVs, but they can potentially protect web browsers from infectious pop-ups and ads that could lead to more threatening issues. You need to use Chrome or Firefox to use AdBlock Plus or U-block Origins.(Image Source: iCLIPART)