Software Reviews

The Best Antivirus for Extreme Cyber Protection

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The best antivirus software aims to protect your computer from cyber threats and bad actors. As technology evolves, so does the threat around cybersecurity and the only way businesses and individuals can protect themselves from these threats is by acting cautiously and equipping their computers with the right antivirus. In order to thoroughly protect a personal computer, laptop, or smartphone from potential cyber threats, it is important to upgrade the computer’s system with the help of antivirus software.

The internet is a wonderful but also a very potentially dangerous place for users that aren’t too careful. Threats are often unexpected and businesses and individuals usually know they’ve been compromised only when it’s too late. In order to provide extra protection for the personal or professional computer being used, it is important to have some form of security measure installed to help shield the user or business’ identity, reputation, and safety.

How we Pick the Best Antivirus Software

To find out which antivirus software works best, we’ve collected both opinions and data from some of the most tech-savvy individuals and businesses regarding what software they use. Due to the growing threat of cybersecurity not just in Australia but around the world, we made sure to compile the suggestions of businesses and individuals in Australia, the US, and the UK to get well-rounded suggestions. We were able to compile a total of 20 different antivirus software and from there, we started doing some digging.

We experimented with the software against some of the notorious viruses on a mock PC in order to see which ones were able to detect certain threats like the Trojan Horse and other well-known malware. From there, we filtered out the antivirus software that didn’t do well and cross-referenced the results with productreview.com.au and other review aggregators. Finally, we came up with a list of fifteen different antivirus software each with its own specific advantages.

We then compared the antivirus software with one another to come up with seven software for different use cases. 

The Best Antivirus to Use in Australia

Avast: Best for Small Businesses

Avast

Why we like it:

  • Real-time security
  • Scans millions of files in seconds
  • Doesn’t interrupt work

What users say:

“The software scans all files, all emails, all weblinks that pass through our network, while picking up any suspicious cyber behavior and giving us a great anti-spam system that we can rely on, we’re glad to be using Avast Business Pro.” – Jaze P.

Avast is an easy-to-use antivirus that provides users with initial protection against brute attacks (attacks without intelligent malware behind them). The software initially scans websites before you visit them or files before you download them in order to ensure your computer is safe.

Due to its popularity, the antivirus software has a reputation to uphold and has been successful in doing so over the years. The antivirus software provides solutions for personal users at home, businesses, or partners.

The good thing about Avast is that the solutions can be modified in order to better cover the scope of protection the computer or device needs and has a specific solution for small businesses. The antivirus software ensures that any digital structure within the business is heavily protected by both encryption and virus/malware detectors.

Should something malicious come up, Avast acts quickly to ensure that any threat is dealt with before causing significant damage to the computer. With its specialty in small businesses, the software also provides an advanced ransomware detector with notifications in order to alert the business if any cyber threat occurs.

Avast covers all bases with options for specialty products like cloud backup, premium remote control, patch management, CCleaner, and even antivirus for Linux users. The software also has a smaller package for home offices protecting up to 10 devices.

The antivirus solution isn’t just limited to computers but can also protect laptops, mobile phones, and tablets. This allows 360-degree protection for the business owners or individuals that need to fortify all of their devices.

Similar to iolo, Avast makes sure users get the most out of their computer by deleting corrupted files that could have a negative effect on the unit’s performance. Avast also doesn’t take up too much space in order to ensure it doesn’t have a negative effect on the computer’s speed.

Instead of piecing together multiple services from multiple providers, start covering your small business or home office in the most efficient way possible.

Pros
  • Better monitoring
  • Threat notifications
  • No interruption during work
  • Good against malware
  • Fast scanning speed
Cons
  • Installation can be tricky
  • Consumes a significant amount of storage

Norton: Best for All-Around Protection

Norton

Why we like it:

  • Scans the dark web
  • Blocks phishing websites
  • Has years of experience

What users say:

“I have been using Norton Antivirus for a long time now, and I can say that it has been one of the best decisions I have made. The software has helped me in so many ways over the years. It is the only antivirus software that I use on my computer.” – Shoukhin M.

Norton is one of the oldest antivirus software in the book and due to its experienced, it has encountered almost every malware and virus on the planet. The antivirus provides an all-around coverage from physical devices to online privacy.

The antivirus has been around for a long time and while the threats to cyber security have evolved, Norton has evolved to counter them. The all-around solution provides protection not just for physical hardware but also for the users’ online identity and privacy.

The software provides 24/7 360-degree protection against threats despite the computer being off. This means that despite not using the computer or device, the users can still experience protection against potential threats.

With decades of experience, Norton has understood that hardware is not the only problem and has evolved its offering to better serve its users. The antivirus also monitors the dark web 24/7 to look for the subscriber’s personal information (social media accounts, passwords, bank accounts, and more) and gives an alert whenever the users’ accounts are compromised.

Norton believes that the best way to be informed of threats is not just by blocking them, but by monitoring the dark web to alert users of a compromise. This way, users can take the necessary action to change their passwords or accounts to help secure their accounts.

The antivirus offers a wide range of protection needed to protect all angles from cyber threats including password managers, VPNs, and more. One of the most important threats that Norton protects its users from is identity theft and the antivirus does this by monitoring any potential compromises when it comes to the users’ accounts.

Just like VIPRE, Norton is built for hardcore threats and scans the dark web to make sure its users are not compromised.

Don’t wait until hackers drain your bank accounts dry or until your social media accounts spread even more malware.

Pros
  • Identity theft tracker
  • Dark web scanner
  • Multi-device protection
Cons
  • Difficult for beginners

AVG: Best for Thorough Scanning

AVG

Why we like it:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Doesn’t affect computer speeds
  • Can detect spyware

What users say:

After neglecting multiple computers for a long time about security… Currently, with the business edition of AVG anti-virus, I can keep my office computer secure and clean from future attacks, and I can clean the devices from all the viruses of the past.” – Triyoga H.

AVG is a well-known, industry-trusted antivirus that allows users to choose the specific protections they need for their computer. On top of malware and virus scans, users can also use the deep cleaning feature to detect any suspicious files lurking on the computer.

The antivirus is well known for finding hidden malware that comes from what some users thought were respectable downloads. Aside from blocking malware and viruses that come in, AVG also provides good scanning services to detect bad files that have already existed within the computer.

AVG offers real-time protection, enhanced firewall, phishing protection, anti-theft phone tracker, and a shield for sensitive data. The software does this through the use of artificial intelligence in order to recognize certain operating patterns and malware warning signs.

The antivirus can also detect spyware, which is a type of file that lurks on the computer without detection providing hackers access to the users’ computer. This leaves users prone to identity theft since the hackers can scan for access within the computer itself.

The software runs in the background whenever the computer is on and running with no need for users to turn the antivirus on manually. Once the software is running, it is automatically scanning whatever websites or files the user is trying to access to ensure the safety of the device.

Once corrupted files are detected, they are automatically isolated from the rest to ensure that the user of the computer won’t be able to access them. This way, users can track where the corrupted file came from or decide what to do with it without having to delete the file as a whole.

When compared to Bull Guard, AVG is an antivirus that provides a more solid focus on the hardcore malware, spyware, viruses, and ransomware out there instead of the whole picture.

Protect your computer from threats that were already downloaded, spyware that might already be stealing, or files that have already been corrupted.

Pros
  • Spyware detection
  • User-friendly
  • Minimal impact on computer speeds
  • Good scanning feature
Cons
  • Not as compatible with Apple devices

iolo: Best for Optimal Performance

iolo

Why we like it:

  • Provides great optimization
  • Supports file recovery
  • Performance maximization

What users say:

“I bought this software few days back and to be honest it delivered what it stated. This Antivirus keeps track of malicious item and clean junk files as well.” – Akhtar A.

iolo is a unique antivirus solution that offers file recovery and optimization. Aside from malware detection and cleaning, the software can isolate corrupted files, take out the damaged items within the files, and place them back together.

Due to the complexity of retrieving files, this feature is not 100% guaranteed. When it comes to optimization, however, the antivirus makes sure to assess which files have a negative effect on one’s computer, flag them, and make sure users are notified of which files or programs have a negative effect on their computer.

Aside from security, there is actually another reason why every computer needs antivirus software, optimization. Another goal of the antivirus software, aside from just protection, is to ensure that the computer functions to its optimal abilities.

To do so, the antivirus needs to first clean the computer and get rid of any files that could potentially be slowing the computer down. iolo’s performance benchmarks claim to help the computer achieve faster speeds when it comes to starting the computer, downloads, graphics, CPU speeds, and Drive performance.

iolo does this by getting rid of duplicates or any corrupted files it finds within the system. This means that despite millions of files saved on the computer, the antivirus can scan all of their data in order to identify which files are harmful to the computer not just in terms of safety but also in terms of speed.

The antivirus also does not neglect its true duty which is to provide protection for its users. Aside from blocking harmful files that could penetrate the computer, iolo also helps by dealing with any corrupted or bad files that could already be installed or lurking inside the computer.

iolo’s interesting approach makes it different from McAfee which can be very heavy on the computer. Instead of being extremely heavy on the computer, iolo even pushes the computer to its furthest limits.

Unleash the best out of your computer by getting rid of bad and corrupted files while ensuring safety against cyber threats.

Pros
  • Helps improve performance
  • Comprehensive problem explanations
  • Good customer support
Cons
  • Can be costly

VIPRE: Best for AI Protection

VIPRE

Why we like it:

  • Provides great optimization
  • Supports file recovery
  • Performance maximization

What users say:

“I bought this software few days back and to be honest it delivered what it stated. This Antivirus keeps track of malicious item and clean junk files as well.” – Akhtar A.

VIPRE employs the help of AI technology in order to provide a wide scope of protection designed for both personal and professional use. Aside from just protecting personal computers and devices, the antivirus solution is capable of protecting full systems as well.

The antivirus solution has a very unique case when it comes to protection since it leverages artificial intelligence in order to identify patterns or actions which could point toward malicious content. The software can do a thorough scan of devices, networks, and systems to make sure the user or users’ business is fully protected from any potential threats.

On top of detection, VIPRE also helps by blocking malicious content to make sure that attacks cannot make their way to the users’ systems or computers. The service is capable of handling both small-scale and wide-scale protection.

The antivirus solution doesn’t just practice threat detection but also threat prevention. With its systems in play, artificial intelligence blocks any potential threats from even making their way into the computer.

When users are trying to download a corrupted file that could contain malware, viruses, or spyware, VIPRE automatically blocks it and sends out a notification to the user that the file itself is not safe. This is a good way to ensure that corrupted or bad files never make their way into a personal computer or network.

One large concern for businesses is the protection of individual computers. Since most office computers usually exist within a network, they are usually connected to one another meaning if one computer is infected, the other computers could suffer as well.

VIPRE is similar to Norton in the sense that it is great for businesses. VIPRE is capable of handling large scale files or networks to cater to not just one or two but hundreds of different computers.

Start protecting your business with the help of artificial intelligence to help detect, block, and eliminate threats.

Pros
  • Provides 360-degree security
  • Good threat detection and response
  • Fast scanning
  • User-friendly
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Sometimes buggy

Bull Guard: Best for Parental Control

Bull Guard

Why we like it:

  • Affordable
  • Provides parental control
  • Easy to use

What users say:

“I was introduced to this AV company by advanced IT consultants. I wasn’t disappointed. The AV surpasses any of what I call ‘main stream’ AV companies.” -Brian Leary

Bull Guard is now a part of NortonLifeLock alongside brands like Norton and Avira and it offers a great parental control feature for parents who fear leaving their children alone with the internet. Since the web can be a scary place, Bull Guard scans the web, app, photos, and videos before allowing them to be opened on the device.

Aside from filtering what children can see on the computer, Parental Control is also very important when it comes to security. Sometimes children click or download things they aren’t too sure of which in turn infect the computer.

Instead of allowing any type of download to happen, Bull Guard makes sure to scan any type of content before downloading it to the device. If a virus is detected, the antivirus immediately blocks the download and with Parental Control, there could be authentication needed for the kid to download the file.

One problem most normal antivirus software have is that they only offer notifications sometimes and if a user chooses to download a corrupted file anyway, their computer in turn will pay the price. With Bull Guard, parents can make sure that files won’t just be allowed to download on the computer.

Bull Guard is designed to provide identity protection as well to make sure that user information is protected from hackers and other bad actors online. The antivirus believes that protection shouldn’t just be for the adults in the house but for everyone in the family.

The antivirus is designed to help protect the users’ computers from malware, viruses, spyware, and ransomware altogether. On top of this, Bull Guard also ensures that children cannot access sites or files that aren’t meant for them.

Bull Guard is similar to AVG in a way that it offers all-around protection not just for parents but also for the whole family as well.

Protecting your own computer might not be enough. Opt for a solution that protects every single person in the family.

Pros
  • Protects a minimum of three devices
  • Offers parental control
  • user-friendly
Cons
  • No iOS app

McAfee: Best for Cyber Insurance

McAfee

Why we like it:

  • Sophisticated detection
  • Employs advanced encryption methods
  • Scheduled scans implementation

What users say:

“I have used McAfee for probably 25 years now and have found it an excellent program with many improvements over the years.” – Doug C.

 

 

McAfee is one of the pioneering antiviruses in the business with experience spanning decades regarding how to deal with cyber threats. The antivirus has picked up solutions on how to deal with different types of threats along the way and was even one of the first services to actually find solutions for once deadly viruses.

McAfee offers personalized protection allowing users to choose which types of protection they feel they need the most. Instead of having to pay for services that the user might not ever use, the antivirus makes users pay only for the specific protection they need.

The antivirus has probably seen it all when it comes to cyber threats and with its long experience in cyber security, it has been able to withstand some of the deadly viruses and malware out there.

McAfee also includes plans that offer insurance which means that if users lose any amount within the insured budget to identity theft, the antivirus will be liable to pay them what they lost. This is a good way to ensure that businesses, especially those that use online banking or online payment services, can protect themselves even more from cyber threats.

To be clear, the insurance is specific for losses and fees due to both identity theft and fraud. The antivirus does not specify that it will cover losses that stem from other causes.

The antivirus also holds a bold statement saying they can 100% guarantee the safety of their customers with a promise that if they are not capable of removing viruses on the users’ device, they are entitled to refund the user.

Unlike Avast, McAfee doesn’t just focus on blocking malware and viruses, it also provides a guaranteed sum if users are compromised while using the service.

Make sure your business is well protected by adding coverage for losses due to potential identity theft or fraud.

Pros
  • Great detection
  • Sends regular updates
  • Easy to use
  • Good encryption
  • Can implement scheduled scans
Cons
  • Can’t identify zero days
  • Heavy on the PC

Antivirus Software: Buying Guide

Personal or professional, colleagues or family, everyone needs to protect their computers and devices from cyber threats. Since it can be quite confusing to pick the right antivirus software, we’ve made a guide below to help you choose the right one for your needs.

What we Look for When Choosing Antivirus Software

There are a few absolute musts when choosing the right antivirus software either for you or for your business. To provide thorough protection to your devices, check out the following features to help you choose the perfect antivirus software for your needs:

Automatic Updates

The first thing to look for when subscribing to antivirus software is that it should be updated. Since malware evolves over time, the software has to be capable of handling the more recent threats instead of just the older ones.

It’s also possible that newer malware or viruses won’t be detected if the antivirus software used does not automatically update with every new threat. Automatic updates help ensure that the antivirus is capable of detecting any new threat discovered.

Deep Scanning

Being able to thoroughly scan a unit is extremely important. If a computer is not scanned properly, the virus or corrupted files will most likely continue to cause damage to the owner’s computer.

Deep scanning involves looking for malware, spyware, ransomware, and other forms of viruses. It also includes searching the web for potential compromises or if its users have had their personal information stolen.

Detection

Being able to detect threats before they can infiltrate the device is important. Antivirus software recognizes certain patterns that it considers malicious and gives notifications to its users not to visit or download a certain file or site.

Detection is important especially on the internet since some websites are laced with malware from the moment you visit.

Computer Performance

It is important to weigh in if your computer is capable of handling heavy antivirus software. Sometimes the size of the antivirus software can have a negative effect on the computer’s performance but if your computer has a decent amount of space, however, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

Some antivirus software also helps boost the speed of the computer in general. This is done by getting rid of all the inefficiencies, corrupted files, or even viruses that could be the reason why the computer is performing slowly.

Price

Pricing for antivirus software can be tricky. Before subscribing to any service, make sure to read the list of features provided since some services charge extra for a certain security feature you might desperately need.

If you are planning to use the antivirus software for a long time, it would be better to opt for annual payment or other payment deals that allow you to save a huge amount on the subscription. Although sometimes a hefty sum, doing a one-time payment ensures you won’t have to worry about the security of your devices for a significant amount of time.

Coverage

Some antivirus software provides all the bells and whistles in one package while others offer them separately. Before subscribing, first, assess what type of coverage you need when it comes to protecting your computer.

Once you’ve listed down the types of coverage you need, look for a provider that either allows you to customize your subscription plan or offers exactly what you need in one package.

Benefits of Using Antivirus Software

Antivirus software provides a lot of benefits for both individual users trying to protect themselves or their families and businesses trying to protect their offices, systems, and networks. Here are a few of the best benefits you’ll get when using the perfect antivirus software.

Peace of Mind

Having an antivirus allows the owner of the computer to relax since they know that their unit won’t easily be compromised or fall victim to a cyber attack. This is very true for businesses that process online payments or have accounts online that can be accessed with simple passwords. The more sophisticated your protection system is, the less worried you’ll be about becoming a victim of some elaborate cyber attack.

Convenience

An antivirus usually is more convenient since it automatically blocks bad websites instead of allowing the owner to first go in, explore, and realize they’re in trouble. The software basically runs in the background and can be programmed to do scheduled checkups to ensure that the system is running safely and smoothly.

Reputation Saver

The more advanced antivirus software doesn’t just guarantee the safety of the users’ computer, it also guarantees the safety of their identity online. By scanning the dark web and looking for matches, an antivirus can tell its users which accounts have been hacked. The worst part about being hacked is that sometimes the victims don’t even know they are victims until it is too late.

Protection for Your Network

The good thing about antivirus software is that it doesn’t just protect the user, it also protects the user’s network. Some people don’t know that they are the ones spreading the virus. This is because their computers have already been compromised and every time they send an email or file, they are actually also spreading the virus.


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