Some say that the adage that “all good things come to an end” holds especially true for the computer industry.
This is an industry that has experienced a steady rise in popularity over the second half of the 21st century. During this period, there were minimal obstacles to growth and owning a computer was such a novel experience that most people ignored any potential downsides.
This honeymoon period of the computer industry was inevitably spoiled by the arrival of viruses. These pesky pieces of software have malicious intentions of compromising your computer experience, slowing down your connection, corrupting your files, and often releasing your data to the rest of the world. Viruses are able to self-replicate without the user’s consent, eventually infecting your computer like a disease.
But, users can fight back against these viruses, namely through the use of antivirus software. In this article, we discuss the 2 best antivirus software packages on the market, emphasizing the benefits and drawbacks of each. Then, we compare the software packages we have selected, noting which product we think is most worthwhile.
When making our selections for the best antivirus software, we emphasized a combination of affordability, features, efficiency, and ease of use. While many antivirus software packages exist, we think these three options are the best at the end of the day.
Bitdefender Total Security – 5 Devices | 1 year Subscription | PC/Mac…
- Speed-optimized, cross-platform protection for Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android
- NEW: Microphone Monitor – know when apps have access; Anti-tracker – keep browsing data private, view and manage which sites can collect your data
- IMPROVED: Parental Controls – filter content, limit screen time, and track location; Safe Online Banking – a unique, dedicated browser secures your transactions; Advanced Threat Defense – uses smart behavioral detection to monitor apps in real-time; Wi-Fi Security Advisor – access the security of your Wi-Fi network and router from anywhere
BitDefender Total Security 2018 can be purchased for $54.99.
You can use this antivirus software on five of your devices for up to a year. After that, the antivirus software must be purchased again if you want to continue using it.
BitDefender Total Security 2018 offers protection if you are using a Windows operating system, a Mac operating system, or an Android operating system.
This antivirus software also features continuous updates, allowing you to constantly run the latest, best version of this software.
This continuity can be taken advantage of not only during your subscription but also in between subscriptions. This antivirus software allows you to automatically renew your subscription each year so that you can avoid any lapses in your computer protection.
- Ideal for families with multiple members
- Magazines consistently claim that it is the best cyber-security in the world
- Works on Mac and Windows
- Features continuous updates.
- Users can also set up automatic scans
- Many antivirus software packages are free
The Benefits of BitDefender Total Security 2018 Antivirus Software
- Many experts and computer magazines consistently claim that this product offers the best cyber-security in the world.
- If you are tired of getting viruses on your computer or want to get proactive, then this antivirus software is ideal for you.
- We think the model we selected would be ideal for families in which multiple members of the household use the internet often. When this is the case, the network is often more vulnerable to cyber-attack, making effective antivirus software crucial for peace of mind.
- Many inferior antivirus software packages only protect one device. Not only is this insufficient for families that use many devices, but it can be insufficient for an individual who uses multiple devices, like a laptop, tablet, and smartphone. These users don’t want any of these devices to be compromised by viruses, and this can be achieved using the BitDefender Total Security 2018 software.
- Furthermore, some antivirus software only works on one kind of operating system, like Mac or Windows, limiting its functionality to certain devices. Or, when a software does work on multiple devices, it often costs extra money.
- While the BitDefender Total Security 2018 does present a price increase over cheaper versions of the software that only apply to Windows operating systems, this price increase is merely $5. This is almost a negligible amount, whereas some companies will double the price of their software to make it more dynamic.
- At the end of the day, this results in more savings that will allow you to reinvest your money in further enhancements of your computer experience.
- What’s also great about this antivirus software is that it features continuous updates. This means that the software is never behind in any sense, always at the cutting-edge in order to arm your computer with the best defenses. Some inferior antivirus software requires manual updating, which can result in an outdated security system over time that leaves your computer vulnerable to infection.
- Furthermore, users can also set up automatic scans to ensure that their computer is always clean and optimally functioning. Sometimes viruses can be insidious and impact our computer experience without us even knowing they are present. These preemptive scans can help minimize the damage caused by these kinds of subtle viruses, leading to a better experience overall.
The Drawbacks of the BitDefender Total Security 2018 Antivirus Software
- The main drawback of this antivirus software is the price. Even though $45 is affordable, many antivirus software packages that are actually free exist. In this sense, users might be able to take advantage of these free products without having to spend any money at all to protect their machine.
- Many of these free products offer fewer features but are still functional. If you only want minimal security on your machine, you might be better off opting for one of these. Alternatively, many companies create free versions of their antivirus software. In this case, you can opt for one of these if you think the full version is excessive. Then, you can always upgrade later on.
- In this sense, users that haven’t had any problems with viruses in the past and just want basic security in place might benefit from a simpler, free version of their chosen antivirus software.
Symantec Norton Security Premium – 10 Devices – 1 Year…
- Norton Security Premium secures up to 10 PCs, Macs, iOS & Android devices, and includes parental controls to help your kids explore their online world safely, with 25GB of secure cloud PC storage
- A physical activation key code will be mailed to you (select ‘PC/Mac Download’ option for instant download of activation code); Antivirus is included, and your protection is always up to date to defend against spyware, malware, and unsafe websites, while safeguarding your identity and online transactions
- Norton consistently outperforms the competition in independent, head to head tests; Winner of AV TEST’s coveted Best Protection Award and 39 time winner of PC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award
The Norton Security Premium antivirus software can be purchased for $49.99 for 1 year of protection. This price allows you to protect up to 10 different devices.
This plan also includes 25GB of cloud storage, and will let you automatically back up your files if you have a Windows operating system.
Furthermore, this antivirus software comes with the guidance of Norton experts, who guarantee that your device will be virus-free from the moment you purchase this plan.
- Customer favorite
- Protects up to 10 devices
- 100% guarantee that your computer will be virus-free
- Ideal for users that are not technologically savvy
- Norton lets you to call them any time of day
- Should offer more options for users on a budget
The Benefits of the Norton Security Premium Antivirus Software
- Norton is another titan in the antivirus software industry, perennially selected as a customer favorite.
- Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of this antivirus software is that it protects up to 10 devices. This is ideal for families that want to protect all of their devices, not only a laptop or tablet. This is becoming more common in recent years as customers have many different devices for different purposes, each of which needs to be properly functioning at all times. In order to ensure this, many customers purchase this version of Norton’s antivirus software.
- Additionally, what sets this antivirus software package apart from other products is the customer service that Norton offers. Norton offers a 100% guarantee that your computer will be virus-free after you purchase this product, or they will give you a refund.
- If you are looking to clean up your machine once and for all, then perhaps that’s the guarantee you’ve been waiting to hear. This service is especially ideal for users that are not technologically savvy, as the Norton experts can be an indispensable resource when you are trying to make sense of various virus data. Most antivirus software does not offer this level of human connection to its customers, especially not for free versions.
- This is an important distinction considering how impersonal the computer world has become. Viruses are one representation of this disassociation due to their unbiased malevolence, seeking destruction on the machines of the most angelic, innocent users. Yet, the solutions to these viruses can be just as impersonal and distant. Many antivirus software packages come with downloads, scans, and analyses, but rarely offer the helping hand of a human. Instead, they problem-solve using software.
- While this is obviously desirable, the human element should never be forgotten. Norton lets you to call them any time of day and also allows you to chat online with a live representative. This service is critical if you are having any problems eliminating a virus or if you just generally want to talk to an expert concerning the security of your machine.
The Drawbacks of the Norton Security Premium Antivirus Software
- The only real drawback of this antivirus software from Norton is its price.
- As we mentioned above, some users only want to protect a single device and would not benefit from all the features included with this product. Yet, the basic antivirus software package offered by Norton costs $29.99 per year for 1 device. This is rather expensive considering there are free versions of antivirus software available.
- In this sense, we think Norton should offer more options for users on a budget. Some younger users have hardly any money to spend on antivirus software but still want a clean, healthy machine. It could even be argued that our machines should always be like this, as this is entailed in our initial purchase of them.
- Thus, some critics think that charging for any kind of antivirus software is absurd. Some critics think the entire industry is a conspiracy between users who create viruses and users who create antivirus software. This feedback loop exists purely in order to maximize profit.
- Consequently, some critics claim that you should never trust any antivirus software, even one that is free, as these could be subtly degrading your system’s security in order to set the stage for virus infection.
Our Final Thoughts on Antivirus Software
At the end of the day, we think this suspicious attitude is actually quite rational. While we don’t necessarily think that all antivirus software companies are in cahoots with virus-makers, we do think that using a clean, fast, healthy computer should be considered more of a birthright than a luxury.
In this sense, charging any customer to return their computer to a state of balance could be considered a travesty.
Still, we think computers are such important tools for our modern world that a properly functioning one is a necessity. This might mean trusting your antivirus software temporarily for the sake of productivity and pleasure, as these things are greatly impacted when your computer is overwhelmed by viruses.
We think Norton has one of the best reputations in the industry, which is why we discussed their premium antivirus software package. BitDefender is also relied on by many users, which is why we discussed their Total Security package.
Even though cheaper, more basic versions of these antivirus software packages exist, we think the most expensive versions are worthwhile. If you are going to spend money on antivirus software, the price range is relatively narrow. The price discrepancy between the most basic and premium models is at most $30.
When you consider how this software will protect your computer every day for a year, these costs seem even more affordable, especially considering how viruses often try to coax money out of users. If you don’t have antivirus software, then you could get duped into paying for some sketchy service in order to appease a virus.
Alternatively, some users opt for free antivirus software which is not totally effective at preventing viruses. These users end up getting into some cyber-trouble at least once a year, making a premiere antivirus software package worthwhile.
Essentially, we think you’re better off investing in the most thorough and effective antivirus software because the potential risks of not doing so are so high while the costs are relatively minimal.
The Future of Antivirus Software
We think modern innovators will eventually discover a way to defeat viruses, as we think these annoying programs are akin to the viruses and diseases that affect the human body.
This means that we think a cure for both are on the horizon, as we believe there is some deeper connection between the two that we have yet to explicate mathematically and scientifically.
Ultimately, all viruses hijack energy from us and prevent us from controlling more parts of our experience. Even if we get a computer virus, we can feel the disempowerment instantly and yearn for the state of balance that we previously experienced.
We think that as more customers express their frustrations with viruses, eventually antivirus software will become so effective that it will destroy all viruses once and for all. Either that, or we think future computers will simply be designed to be immune to these risks.
Regardless, if you do happen to acquire a virus, just stay calm, as there are many options to choose from when returning your computer to a state of health.