Read a summary of multiple reviews / choose a product without testing
You can read lots of reviews from other people, eg. –
- PC World
- Tom’s Guide
Or, easier and quicker, you could READ MY SUMMARY of these review websites below!
- Summary of 5 Best Anti Virus Software for 2020
- Why You Need an Anti Virus Programme
- How the Reviewers Assess
- Review Links
Summary of 5 Best Anti Virus Software for 2020
I’ve looked at 7 original review articles. They don’t have the same conclusions, but there is still a lot of overlap. 3 out of the 7 reviews chose the same programme for the top position. A different 3 out of 7 reviews chose another programme for the top position. Almost a tie. I’ve looked to the other placings to draw my own conclusions.
So according to my analysis, the top 5 products are as follows. The close-run race is between Bitdefender and Norton. No doubt further reviews and updates will change these results. Is your anti-virus programme in the top 5?
|Position||Product||Placed 1st||Placed 2nd||In Top 5|
|1||Bitdefender||3 out of 7||3 out of 7||6 out of 7|
|2||Norton||3 out of 7||2 out of 7||7 out of 7|
|3||Kaspersky||1 out of 7||1 out of 7||5 out of 7|
|4||McAfee||0 out of 7||1 out of 7||5 out of 7|
|5||ESET||0 out of 7||0 out of 7||4 out of 7|
NOTE – If you are in the market to buy or change you should look carefully at the product features and ensure that they meet your particular needs.
Why You Need an Anti Virus Programme
You have a computer and/or smartphone and you use the internet. The internet has security issues. It is likely that you will be more secure if you have an anti-virus programme installed.
The role of anti-virus programmes
An important part of security is blocking viruses and scanning for their activities. The other key elements are –
- access control – limiting who has access; this includes password security
- recovery measures – methods to get back to normal after a security breach; this includes backup copies of everything that is important
- risk management – assessing levels of risk; this includes evaluating cost versus benefit
Anti-virus measures can be set up on –
- personal computers (desktop, laptop, mobile phone, tablet)
- the computer network (network servers)
- the internet (web servers, ISPs)
The anti-virus programmes mentioned here are specifically for personal computers/phones.
Why isn’t it built into my computer?
It probably is built-in, but it’s not effective. For example, Windows Defender has been very poor at detecting viruses in the past. While it has improved now, it’s still a long way off from offering superb detection.
The situation is similar for Apple, Linux and Android devices – they don’t have built-in strong virus detectors. But you need one if you use the internet and you want to be secure. This has led to the development of a range of third-party security products.
How the Reviewers Assess
So why don’t the reviews come out with the same result? There are several reasons for this – they have different assessment methods, product selection and product versions. It is also possible that sponsorship bias (advertising and affiliate referral rewards) may skew some results, so it is sensible to bear this in mind too.
Firstly, they all use slightly different methods to assess this software. They all look at how effective the products are at detecting viruses, but they also look at –
- cost per user,
- extra features,
- CPU usage, etc.
They give these different elements a weighting, and scores are then totalled up. So with different values on different features, it is not too surprising that there are different conclusions.
Secondly, they don’t all look at the same products. It’s not always clear if this is because they’ve chosen to reject some or because they’ve missed them out for other reasons, such as lack of time to review or lack of popularity.
Finally, there are also several versions for many of the products, eg. Bitdefender ‘Antivirus Plus’ and Bitdefender ‘Total Security 2020’. Some reviews look at one, some look at another, some look at both.
I have read and summarised the content of 7 reviews from different sources. If you would like to read them yourself, see below and click –
- Techadvisor – Best Antivirus 2020: Ultimate Virus Protection for your PC or Laptop – Jon Thompson 22 Jan 2020
- Techradar – The best antivirus software for 2020 – Mike Williams 8 April 2020
- PCMag – The Best Antivirus Protection for 2020 – Neil J. Rubenking 17 Apr 2020
- PC World – Best antivirus: Keep your Windows PC safe from spyware, Trojans, malware, and more Ian – Paul APR 14, 2020
- CNET – The best antivirus protection of 2020 for Windows 10 – Clifford Colby April 4, 2020
- ITProPortal – The best antivirus software of 2020 – Desire Athow 7 April 2020
- Tom’s Guide – The best antivirus software in 2020: Free and paid – Paul Wagenseil 23 April 2020