Which Win­dows se­cu­rity suite?

A GOOD SE­CU­RITY SUITE OF­FERS MORE THAN JUST BA­SIC AN­TIVIRUS. WE’VE COM­PARED THE CUR­RENT OP­TIONS FOR WIN­DOWS AND SE­LECTED THE BEST FOR YOU, NO MAT­TER WHAT TYPE OF USER YOU ARE.

TechLife Australia - - SUPER GUIDE - [ NATHAN TAY­LOR ]

AL­THOUGH THEY MIGHT seem like a relic, hav­ing a se­cu­rity suite in­stalled is more im­por­tant than ever. The pro­tec­tions built into your op­er­at­ing sys­tems — be they Win­dows, Mac, iOS or An­droid — just aren’t enough to com­pre­hen­sively pro­tect you and your fam­ily from the many and var­ied in­ter­net threats.

Al­though this might seem like a tax on own­ing a com­puter (and a has­sle to boot), there is some good news.

First, suites do more than they ever have be­fore, and in­clude con­ve­niences like built-in pass­word man­agers, parental con­trols, soft­ware ver­sion check­ers, VPNs and backup sys­tems — so their util­ity ex­tends well beyond pro­tect­ing you from hack­ers and mal­ware.

Sec­ond, it’s ab­so­lutely pos­si­ble to get a free suite now, al­though as you might ex­pect, it won’t be as good as a paid so­lu­tion. Be­low, we’ve looked at our favourite suites in three dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories: best over­all, best for fam­i­lies and best free. The best over­all is the suite that we think of­fers the best fea­ture set, as well as pro­vides ex­cel­lent pro­tec­tion from mal­ware. The best fam­ily suite is the one we think will work best for you if you have to man­age the se­cu­rity of other peo­ple (es­pe­cially kids and se­niors), as well as your­self. And the best free suite is what it says on the tin: the most value you can get with­out pay­ing a cent.

TEST RE­SULTS

Each of the suites re­viewed here has been com­pre­hen­sively tested by in­de­pen­dent an­tivi­ral anal­y­sis com­pany AV-Test ( www.av-test.org). We’ve pub­lished the lat­est re­sults avail­able at the time of writ­ing, from De­cem­ber 2017, be­low. We’ve in­cluded re­sults for most of the ma­jor prod­ucts tested by AV-Test, not just the stand­outs we’ve re­viewed.

Note that the re­sults are not, in all cases, from the spe­cific prod­ucts we’ve re­viewed. For ex­am­ple, we may have re­viewed the full suite where AV-Test may have only tested the stand­alone an­tivirus ap­pli­ca­tion, or we may have a prod­uct that has been up­dated since the tests were per­formed. That doesn’t change the va­lid­ity of the re­sults, though, since the same an­tivirus en­gine is in use. Let’s break down what the num­bers mean: * Pro­tec­tion against 0-day mal­ware at­tacks is a mea­sure of the suite’s abil­ity to de­tect new viruses based on their be­hav­iour. It’s per­haps the most im­por­tant num­ber here.

* De­tec­tion of wide­spread and preva­lent mal­ware shows the de­tec­tion per­cent­age of known viruses re­leased in the four weeks be­fore the test. * The per­for­mance im­pact rat­ings give per­cent­ages by which the suite slows down a mid-range PC when per­form­ing com­mon tasks. * False warn­ings is the num­ber of in­stances where the suite flagged le­git­i­mate soft­ware and web­sites as a threat and ei­ther blocked it or pro­duced a warn­ing popup.

For con­ve­nience, AV-Test also pro­vides three over­all scores, rat­ing each suite’s pro­tec­tion, per­for­mance im­pact and us­abil­ity out of six, to give a to­tal score out of 18. (Us­abil­ity, in this in­stance, is not a ref­er­ence to ease-of-use, but is based on the num­ber of times the pro­gram pro­duced false pop­ups and blocked le­git­i­mate soft­ware).

We should note that AV-Test’s ag­gre­gate scores are based on com­bined Nov-Dec per­for­mance, while we’ve only printed De­cem­ber re­sults for space rea­sons.

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