Read a summary of multiple reviews / choose a product without testing

You can read lots of reviews from other people, eg. –

  • Techadvisor 
  • Techradar
  • PCMag
  • PC World
  • CNET
  • ITProPortal
  • Tom’s Guide

Or, easier and quicker, you could READ MY SUMMARY of these review websites below!


  1. Summary of 5 Best Anti Virus Software for 2020
  2. Why You Need an Anti Virus Programme
  3. How the Reviewers Assess
  4. 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?

PositionProductPlaced 1stPlaced 2ndIn Top 5
1Bitdefender3 out of 73 out of 76 out of 7
2Norton3 out of 72 out of 77 out of 7
3Kaspersky1 out of 71 out of 75 out of 7
4McAfee0 out of 71 out of 75 out of 7
5ESET0 out of 70 out of 74 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.

Assessment Methods

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 –

  • ease-of-use,
  • cost per user,
  • extra features,
  • reliability,
  • 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.

Product Selection

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.

Product Versions

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.

Review Links

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 –

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