To ensure that personal, sensitive data is kept safe, it’s vital to use effective antivirus software. However, so many antivirus products and services are available that making the right choice can be tough.
Although it can be tempting to use free antivirus software, this isn’t always the best approach, especially if you need to protect customers’ information or information that’s highly sensitive. Advantages of paid antivirus programs include live technical support, added useful features such as online password management, computer clean-up tools and spyware protection, and the absence of flashy, distracting advertising.
Here we consider the best of the paid antivirus solutions.
Prices correct as of June 2014. Some have been converted from prices in US dollars and so are subject to fluctuations.
(1 device, 1 year license: R490.95)
Although the installation process can be tricky, once Bitdefender is installed you can rest assured that your computer will be safe from viruses, malware and spyware. Independent testing and reviews have constantly ranked Bitdefender among the top antivirus solutions available. It also has a minimal effect on overall system performance and includes a comprehensive range of extra security features. The comparatively hefty price tag may raise an eyebrow, but it’s worth every cent.
(1 user, 1 year license: R198.95)
One of Avira’s greatest selling points is its competitive price. It’s priced per user rather than per device, which means for just one license fee, you can protect your PC, laptop, phone, tablet and whatever other devices you use. Don’t be put off by Avira’s somewhat dated interface – it belies a powerful protection system that uses cloud-based protection technology to keep you a step ahead of the newest viruses.
(1 device, 1 year license: R390.95)
Kaspersky very generously offers the first year of virus protection free to its users, charging them only to renew the product annually. Kaspersky Antivirus can be set to keep you safe without prompts and popups for updates, allowing you to set a schedule for scans, updates, quarantines and so on at intervals of your choosing. Also included in the program is a disk repair tool, windows safety watch and a search engine result scanner, helping you to avoid potentially harmful web sites.
(1 device, 1 year license: R299.00)
ESET32 is one of the lesser known antivirus programs, but don’t let that deter you – it’s packed with extra functionality and solid protection. A neat innovation on ESET’s part is a Device Control feature, which gives you control over what devices can be attached to your computer. For example, this lets you prevent your kids or a friend from inserting a potentially infected USB flash drive in your machine. ESET also provides an exploit blocker and malware protection, and is compatible with Windows 8.1.
(1 device, 1 year license: R390.95)
The functionality of the Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus Plus program is as extensive as its name is long. A spam filter is easily attached to any e-mail service to protect your inbox, a search-engine result filter protects you from harmful web sites and a social media checker stops your accounts from being compromised by questionable apps and links. Its actual virus protection capacity is powerful too, although it has been known to pick up “false positives”, which are alerts for viruses that aren’t viruses at all.
For business owners
If you have several devices and users that need protecting, it’s a good idea to speak to an IT consultant to ensure that you choose the right protection suite for your needs. Some antivirus programs work better for home users, while others are suitable for office use.