Choosing a good antivirus software is important to protect yourself from all the dangers of the Internet. We therefore tested 30 different antivirus programs: 20 for Windows and 10 for Mac. Ten of the programs tested are free antivirus software. Not sure which antivirus is best? Below, we tell you the truth about 10 myths about antivirus software. Then you can make the best choice for the safest program for your computer.
10 myths about antivirus software
What is the best antivirus software 2023?
10 myths about antivirus software
1. The best antivirus is you
Where. The best protection against viruses on your computer is you. The best antivirus software is software that significantly reduces the risk of your computer system being attacked or hacked. Unfortunately, no security software is foolproof, even if you paid for it. Therefore, always be vigilant by taking the following precautions to protect your network: download only trusted files, be careful about the links you click (phishing), systematically keep all your software up to date, etc.
2. I don’t need an antivirus if I’m careful
Not true. You still need an antivirus program. Whether you’re careful or not, you’re always exposed to threats, whether you’re using Windows or macOS. For example, a website may be infected without your knowledge, or the programs you use may contain viruses or vulnerabilities. For Windows, it is extremely important to use antivirus software. For GNU/Linux users, it is not necessary to install an antivirus. But be aware that, as with macOS, the risks are never zero.
3. Microsoft Defender is enough to protect my PC
Where. Microsoft Defender is enough to protect your PC. It’s already installed for you, ad-free and easy to use. However, it does not have a built-in anti-phishing system, so you will have to rely on your browser’s capabilities. One of the biggest drawbacks of Defender is the number of false alarms it issues for uninfected websites. The risk is that too many false warnings can cause users to ignore the warnings. Another disadvantage of Defender is that it does not protect against unknown threats as well as many other antiviruses.
4. My antivirus is always right
Not true. Sometimes your antivirus software can give false alarms. We think it is important that this happens as little as possible. If the user receives false alerts too often, he may ignore the messages, even if they are legitimate.
5. Paid antivirus software is better
Not true. Some free antivirus software outperforms the paid version from the same developer. For example, Avast’s free antivirus software performs as well as the paid version in terms of security. However, with free antivirus software (except Microsoft Defender), you will see ads regularly. Find out which free antivirus programs have the fewest ads.
6. Antivirus programs slow down my computer
True and false. On most laptops these days, antivirus software has little effect on your PC’s performance. But of course there are differences between antivirus software and computers. See the antivirus test results and the load on your computer.
7. I like to use several antivirus programs at the same time
Not true. For real-time protection of your PC, it is best to use only one antivirus program at a time. Two antivirus programs running at the same time can cause conflicts. For a scan, you can try installing and running several antivirus programs one after the other, although this may cause practical problems. Does your antivirus software say a file is OK, but you still don’t trust it? Then you can check the document on this website: virustotal.com.
8. I don’t need an antivirus for my Mac
True and false. Apple computers are already equipped with a built-in antivirus program. This may be sufficient, but only if you install programs from the App Store or trusted software and see phishing attempts coming. A third-party antivirus therefore offers better protection against malware and phishing.
9. My paid antivirus subscription renews automatically
Probably true. Almost all paid antivirus software has an auto-renewing subscription. With some antivirus programs, you can choose whether to renew automatically when you purchase the program. It is better to disable this feature and buy a new license yourself every year or negotiate a deal with your antivirus software provider.
10. I need a credit card for free antivirus software
Not true. A distinction must be made here between a trial version and a free version of an antivirus program. You do not need credit card information for a free version. Free versions are often hard to find on the software’s website, but you can easily find them in our software comparison.
Most paid versions come with a free trial. Some programs (eg Norton) require you to enter your payment information, others (eg Malwarebytes) do not. Samples are a good way to get a second opinion if you think your computer is infected.