Which anti-virus should I get? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this I could at least have a very fun weekend. This is one of the most difficult questions for me to answer when my friends and family ask. It is not cut and dry that one is king of the hill, but rather there are multiple hills each with their own king.
How much do you want to spend? That is usually the first major question I respond with. Most times I get the response of “$0”. If you truly cannot afford to pay for anti-virus or just are not that concerned with anti-virus, I would typically recommend people to Malware-Bytes Free. It is a nice removal program but does not do any active protection. When you have that “Oh crap!” moment, I shouldn’t have clicked on that; fire up Malware-Bytes and run a scan.
Assuming you are willing to open your wallet up and spend a few bucks, there are lots of options. I never recommend your big name anti-virus, such as McAfee, Norton, and Symantec as they charge way too much and slow your computer down. For a relatively low cost, I like Bit Defender. It is light-weight, has real-time protection (Remember that “Oh crap!” moment? You won’t have to worry about that with real-time protection) and is capable of stopping ransomware. With some additional setting tweaks, you can control your web activity as well.
For a power surfer, I would recommend something more along the lines of Webroot with its active link scanning. Webroot is great for integrating into your web browser and providing those little green check-marks next to every link on the page to let you know if it is safe or not. I do not use this as I feel its real-time protection and ability to stop ransomware is somewhat lacking.
At the end of the day, you must choose what fits your budget and needs. Of course, if you are concerned about Russia stealing your information, do not use Kaspersky. Remember there is no one size fits all for anti-virus.