This is a guest post by Tom Samph. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
Spyware, worms, and Trojan Horses. These words are spoken in hushed tones in computer labs, offices and homes all over the world; it’s as if just saying the name – computer virus – would make you a target.
When it comes to fear of computer viruses, you’re not alone. The massive number of antivirus software programs, and the number of companies that produce antivirus software, is a testament to how big of a problem viruses are to many computer users. If you have important or private files and data on your computer, protecting the integrity of your computer from malware can be vital.
The good news, however, is that the huge number of antivirus software programs at your disposal means you have more options to protect your computer. All you have to do is find the one that fits your needs.
This list is a grouping of the most consistently top rated antivirus software of 2012:
- Webroot SecureAnywhere: The cloud-based approach that Webroot has taken to the 2012 version of their antivirus means no more downloads to the latest most secure version. This software is constantly up-to-date and protecting your files against both new and old malware. You can try Webroot’s products with a free trial version available to download from their website. After the trial period you’ll have to buy a 12-month license for $40 to continue with the product. At that price, it’s a great choice in antivirus software, as it protects from a wide variety of bots, Trojans, worms and spyware. It does not include email, firewall or spam protection, however.
- Vipre: Another top pick in antivirus software is GFI Software’s Vipre, which has top ratings from CNET, PC Magazine, and PC Antivirus Reviews. A free trial is also available for a period of time, after which a 12-month license costs $40. This software doesn’t protect against bots or Trojans, but does include anti-spam and phishing protection – a key feature that will keep many users safe from scams and malware. Choose Vipre if you want a lean, yet powerful program that will protect you without affecting the speed of other computer processes.
- BitDefender Internet Security: This software also takes advantage of a cloud-based platform to keep your protection up-to-date all the time. At $50 per license, BitDefender is a strong program for antivirus, phishing and email protection, but it doesn’t include the versatile protection that other software sets include. Consistently top rated software, BitDefender is a great choice to keep your computer safe.
- Norton Internet Security: Norton is the tried-and-true stalwart antivirus software. It’s a versatile program that will protect your computer from spyware, phishing and spam. While CNET gives Norton a top rating, different rating guides would choose from several other products listed here before Norton. Its pricetag of $70 could turn some users away. The name, however, is one of the most trusted in the business.
- ZoneAlarm Extreme Security: ZoneAlarm is another stalwart in the antivirus business; buying a product from them is a guarantee you’ll be protected. Plus, ZoneAlarm is one of the most versatile antivirus software sets available, protecting you form worms, bots, Trojans and a host of other malware. At $40 for a 12-month license, it’s well worth the purchase.
Most antivirus programs have free trials or limited-use versions that you can take advantage of as well. There are many great free options if you just want basic protection too. Once you’ve decided on an antivirus program, the next step to ensuring your important files are protected is to get backup software. Backup software will allow you to regularly backup your files to either another storage device or send your files to the cloud with online backup. In the next segment of protecting your computer, you will learn how to protect your important files and retrieve lost data with data recovery software.
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