8 Point Checklist to Help you When Buying an Antivirus Software

4 min read

The Internet has become an extremely dangerous place. Only recently, Yahoo found out that millions of user accounts had been hacked. The scale of personal data lost and the potential financial loss to individuals is yet to be quantified. Cyber criminals are the new narcos. The rewards for successful exploits run into hundreds of millions. This acts a big motivator and incentive for all manner of miscreants running the gamut from peeping toms who peer at you through your web cam, outright thieves who steal your bank login information using key logger software and those who hold your system hostage through ransomware.

So, many people know that one way to protect themselves from this imminent danger is through the use of antivirus software. But, with all the options available on the market, it’s a tall order deciding on the best antivirus software. It gets worse if you aren’t a techie due to all the complicated geek talk used by antivirus companies on their web pages.

What follows is a checklist of features that an antivirus should have. I hope it helps you pick the right choice.

Let’s get started.

1 Malware detection rate

The best antivirus will have a near perfect malware detection rate. To find out the malware detection rate of an antivirus is, check independent antivirus testing websites to see the results.

2 Real-time scanning and information

A best antivirus programs will have real-time scanning and information ready whenever you want it. Some run in the background while others have the option to turn on and off.

3 Email scanning and anti-spam

A good antivirus should have an email scanning feature that plugs into your email program. This should also come with an anti-spam feature that throws any emails that look like spam into a spam folder.

4 Compatibility

This is one of the most important things you must look out for. The antivirus must be compatible not only with the version of Windows you are using but also with other programs already installed on your computer. Some programs crash when accessed by antivirus programs while others trigger false positives. For example, some free antivirus programs wrongly flag games as malware. The result could be an annoying beep or a pop-up during game play. To an avid gamer, this is absolutely maddening. If the software vendor is not clear on the compatibility of the antivirus with particular programs or games, check security forums for the answer or post a question on a question and answer website such as Quora.

5 Privacy policy

Like Google and social media companies, antivirus security firms know a lot about their users and collect lots of personal information. You need to read their privacy policy and find out exactly whom they share personal information with. The last thing you want is your data ending up in the hands of marketing firms without your consent.

6 Speed

Computing speed is of essence these days. No one likes a program that eats up all system memory when it is operating. Some antivirus programs are so resource intensive that they slow down even the most powerful machines whenever a scan is running leaving you with no option but to wait until the scan is over to do anything else. Antivirus background processes can also slow down your computer significantly. You should therefore avoid resource intensive antivirus software especially if you have an older machine.

7 Free full trial

Often, the only way to confirm that the product conforms to the marketing hype is to actually use it. This is where free trials come in handy. A free full trial allows to test the antivirus and see if it matches up to your expectations. So, only go for an antivirus that allows you to test the full feature package on a trial basis.

8 Price and payment terms

Finally, when you are satisfied with the preceding points, it’s time to look at the price and payment plan that comes with the antivirus. When comparing the prices of different antivirus, ensure you have looked at the features above to ensure you are comparing apples with apples. Next, depending on your pocket, choose an antivirus that provides a payment plan that’s convenient for you.


I hope that these 8 points have put your mind to ease and that you can comfortably purchase antivirus software. The most important takeaway from these points is to make sure you only consider the price last. Features are more important because it is the features that keep you safe. To know more visit this page.

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