Security Wars – Windows Edition

Which One will you choose?

Unless you know close to nothing about computers, you would know that there are tons of security programs out there. Of course, some of these are good, some of these are horrid, and others are fake. Today, I’ll be informing you about some of the choices you can use to protect your Windows computer.

1. Norton AntiVirus (5/10 Stars) – http://antivirus.norton.com/norton/

  • Norton Antivirus comes in three packages: Antivirus 2012, Internet Security 2012, and Norton 360
  • Norton Antivirus 2012 is very weak and cheap software that will only patch basic problems and prevent basic viruses
  • Norton Internet Security is a fairly powerful option that will cover most problems on your computer.
  • Norton 360, as stated in its name, is an all-around protection for your computer. Of course, it’s about 2x the price also.
  • Even though Norton boasts as one of the biggest name securities, I would not recommend it.
  • Even 360 does not keep your computer as protected as other securities.
  • It protects your Windows/system32 folder and other main hard drive assets but can leave removable hardware open for attacks.
  • The “24/7″ support is not great compared to other competitors
  • Norton is a cheap, fairly efficient choice for computers with small storage space.  I would not even think about putting it on a 1TB desktop. It is by far better for netbooks and laptops.

2. McAfee (6/10 Stars) – http://home.mcafee.com/virusinfo/

  • Comes in two packages: All Access and Total Protection
  • Both have good features and are well integrated into the security program itself.
  • It has an easy to use UI, unlike other security programs
  • Has a SiteAdvisor Add-on, which is very useful
  • All Access is much cheaper than Norton 360, and it provides security for multi-platform devices. (Phone, Computer, Mac, Tablet, Netbooks)
  • Total Protection is only $50 and can be used on up to three computers.
  • It has better protection than Norton, but it still leaves certain system32 patches open.
  • If a virus actually completely infects your drive, McAfee will be useless.
  • McAfee has thin protection for major viruses and does nothing once you actually get them.
  • It is better suited for desktops than laptops.

3. Avast (6.5/10 stars) – http://home.mcafee.com/virusinfo/

  • Comes in 3 packages: Free, Pro, and Internet Security
  • The Free Version is GREAT for Netbooks. It provides basic security for spyware, adware, and malware.
  • The Pro Version is basically the Free Version of Steroids. It provides around 2.5x as much protection and is better for bigger computers.
  • The Pro Version is fairly cheap. It is $40 for one year.
  • Internet Security can hold up to three computers for one year for around $70.
  • Avast boasts one of the most used securities in the world due to its free security program.
  • The Internet Security Version provides very a safe computing experience.
  • Avast does have problems with third-party programs, especially ones that require you to have or use Administrator Access
  • Avast is not compatible with some other programs, especially programming IDEs. This is a minor set back.

4. Windows Security Essentials (4/10 stars) –http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials

  • It is a free Windows Add-on Program that provides minimalist security for Windows computers.
  • I would not recommend it, even though it is free.
  • It is better for computers that need “place-holder security.” (Security on computers until actual security programs are bought)
  • Provides protection of main files like System32 and Windows Essential Files.
  • Really only protects against malware.
  • Has poor spyware and adware defense.
  • Does not handle most viruses very well.
  • Is extremely compatible. Will work with 99.99% percent of windows programs.
  • Provides backup for default windows security, such as Windows Firewall and Windows Defender.

5. Bitdefender (7/10 stars) – http://bitdefender.com

  • Three Types: Plus, Internet Security, and Total Security
  • Filters data very well
  • Is very useful and has a well put together UI and program.
  • Provides protection to vulnerable areas, as well as areas set by the user.
  • All three types provide more security than most basic security programs.
  • Ranges from $50 – $80, which is cheap for security programs.
  • Has a great support center.
  • Has many great free add-ons: Search Filter, Two-Way Firewall, Encryption, Scan Dispatcher, and Site Advisor

6. Kaspersky (8/10) – http://usa.kaspersky.com/store/kaspersky-store?c_id=GOO1673628

  • Four Types: ONE Universal, Pure Total, Internet Security, and Anti-Virus 2012.
  • Comes with Standard and Complete Protection versions.
  • Provides a very easy to use UI and program.
  • Provides great protection and filters most data very well.
  • It Protects all vulnerable areas of the PC, with an exception of some small patches.
  • Ranges from $30 to $100
  • Provides key features, such as Remote Computer Control, All-in-one Protection, Protection against spyware, adware, and malware, site filtering, Real-time scanning and protection, two-way firewalls, parental controls, and optimized security.
  • Very customizable.
  • Built for the average computer user.

7. AVG (6/10) – http://avg.com

  • Two types: Anti-Virus, and Internet Security
  • Ranges from $40 – $55
  • Provides good protection and basic data filtering
  • Unfortunately has many holes that must be manually patched
  • Can optimize and speed up your PC.
  • Has free trials for both types of security.
  • Stops most types of viruses.
  • Has high compatibility.
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Continuous Protection

8. BullGuard (7/10) – http://bullguard.com

  • Four Types: Internet Security, Anti-Virus, Spamfilter, and Mobile
  • 60 Day Free Trial
  • Provides Compatible Support for Mobile Devices as well as PC’s themselves
  • Very Customizable
  • Provides great file backup
  • Ranges from $Free – $60
  • Spamfilter is a free utility
  • Patches most holes
  • Provides Protection and Filtering for most Windows Devices.
  • Very Compatible.

9. PC Tools Doctor (6.5/10) –http://pctools.com

  • Types: Internet Security, Spyware Doctor, Spyware Doctor + AntiVirus, Threatfire
  • “Unique” approach to security
  • Lacks features compared to others
  • Provides great security, but only for certain areas or against certain types of Viruses.
  • Threatfire is an add-on that helps boost protection. It works alongside other programs and is highly compatible.
  • Boosts PC performance.
  • $Free – $50
  • Works great, but does not fully protect everything.

10. CA Security (9/10) – http://www.ca.com/us/default.aspx

  • In my opinion, it is one of, if not, the best securities out there.
  • The actual site is hard to navigate.
  • The software is amazing and provides great protection.
  • Can cost hefty amounts of money, but it is worth it.
  • Has an Easy to use UI.
  • Provides great protection and leaves little open spaces.
  • Can instantly take care of major viruses.
  • Has great program navigation, and is easily used.
  • Instant Scan, Quick Scan, Auto-Scan, Full-Scan, and More give this software the ease of use.
  • Always runs in the background.
  • Provides constant security.
  • Access to all files. (Quarantined, Infected, Original, Etc.)

So, in the end, it’s really up to you. Yet, as you can see, some programs are just clearly better than others. I guess it’s just up to you to decide how much money you want to spend for great security.