Antivirus protection is an absolute must for your computer. Generally speaking, PCs get the lions’ share of various atrocities ranging from malware to trojans, but Macs and even phones and tablets are being targeted these days as well. Your computer, however, is still the largest target for many of the nasties out on the web.
We recommend and resell ESET NOD32 antivirus for several reasons. First, it’s “lightweight” meaning it won’t bog down your system like a lot of other antivirus products (namely, McAfee and Norton). Second, it has never missed an “in the wild” virus meaning that it monitors for the behavior of a virus rather than the actual specific virus definition (nerdy word of the day: heuristics). Third, it does a good job of being informative, but not interruptive. Ever been on a computer that says “OH MY GOSH YOUR ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE WILL EXPIRE IN 100 DAYS! IT’S TIME TO RENEW!!!”? Yeah, we have too. It’s super annoying.
We’re often asked about freeware antivirus products (avast, AVG, Microsoft Security Essentials). Any of these will fit the bill, but they’re ultimately designed to sell you an upgrade and they use the space on your machine to advertise to you about the next best thing. If we have to install a freeware antivirus, we like Microsoft Security Essentials since it’s fairly lightweight on the system and non-interruptive.
People often think that if one antivirus is good, two must be better. This is completely false. When you have two antivirus scanners active on one computer, the decrease in performance is incredible. This is because the two scanners have to scan every file your computer “touches”. That Word document you open up 100 times a day? It has to be scanned each time. One licensed, up-to-date antivirus is usually enough to keep you protected.
We generally don’t recommend “Internet Security” products simply because it’s more overhead on the system for little to no benefit. However, if you have a first-time Internet user (such as a child) an Internet Security product can be beneficial.
An antivirus is like oil in your car – you know you need it, but there’s the cheap stuff and then there’s full synthetic. Somewhere in between is what most people need, but there are pros and cons to going toward either end of the spectrum. We can definitely help you choose the right viscosity. Er, um… antivirus.