I’m not a fan of Anti-Virus programs, but here and then people asking me anyway what is something I recommend. In my over 20 years of AV testing I decided that there only a handful programs which are getting the ‘CK Award’ which means there good. So here is my own conclusion…
So you could open bunch of pages now and search based on their own sample test which AV is good, but that doesn’t show or explain how good or bad the product perform in the real-world. That’s why I not really ‘trust’ such reviews and the question remains if there not getting paid to rank several programs higher than others, because of such open question several AV manufactures decided to opt-out of such tests and this is the reason why you won’t find e.g. HitMan in such so-called ‘independent’ tests.
What does really matter?
- Performance – Program performance and OS performance
- Compatibility – To the OS itself and your applications
- Detection rate – How well it performan against unknown samples
- Trust – can you trust the company behind the products
- Is the product – Free, open source or paid
- Features – Are all features you need included
- Is the product compromised – Are there any known holes and how fast is the company fixing it
Emsisoft, HitManPro Alert, Eset & G Data
Emsisoft: There known for years now and their reputation is really good. The program doesn’t contain any gimmicks or advertisements expect security news and a social media overview.
The program is very intuitive and there not 100 million toggles, it does what it promises and it recently was for free available. The overall costs are not high and you get a good engine which is cheap and lightway on the system resources.
Engineers are incredibly experienced and their behavior blocker performs well enough. The light web protection is not perfect but it’s good enough to avoid several internet traps. The support and the community are always quick and helpful.
HitManPro Alert: There known for years in the scene and their reputation is quite good. HitManPro Alert should not be used as daily AV but I mention it here because I do think that it’s good enough for most users because there is an option given to scan your PC each time you rebooted it. So I consider it as solution which protects you well enough.
The interface is easy to understand but the options menu is a bit hidden, the advance user interface (must be activated manually) gives a better overview and shows more details about what’s going on. The options can be tweaked to maximize your security setup.
Eset Nod32: The program performs really well on all my test systems and it’s no wonder because part of the engine and the program is written in assembler which means the machine has no difficulties to understand the program.
The only problem with this product is that there so many toggles, which might confuse or scare some users. They are all well documented but it can be complicated to get used to it. Same like Emsisoft or HitManPro you barely notice the program, the tray icon sits in the tray and you only really notice that something is working while you scan a large amount of files. Overall the program is a solid product and it offers a lot of configuration possibilities.
The detection rate is very high and the community is, same as the support, always quick and offering their help. The web-protection integrates well into all current Browsers and the
G Data: You never hear much about it but the German group is working hard to improve their product they have an excellent reputation and it’s especially in the EU a well-known program.
The overview shows the most important things and it’s easy to understand. It offers a modern and fresh interface which works quite well because the response comes immediately (similar to Emsisoft or Eset). The detection rate is same like Eset Nod32 fantastic and there is less to complain about except that it takes more system resources compared to all other solutions but I wanted to mention it because it simply deserves it.
The program won’t slow you PC down and the support of this products is almost as good as the support from Emsisoft. The company offers a lot of free tools which you can use even if you’re not a customer.
Overall it’s a solid product and their settings are easy to understand for beginners.
What about the other products?
I simply can’t mentioned every single program on earth and it’s not necessary because there not fitting the criteria or there simply not trustable. There was recently the entire Kaspersky affair and other products have some other problems such as annoying popups, advertisements within the product or there simply way to big for just an AV, keep it simply and clean because that is a key to scan files. A bigger program requires more resources on your HDD and your RAM.
Of course there some enterprise products (e.g. Ahnlab V3) which are good as well but they will get mentioned separately from this article next year.
Pick whatever suits you the most. Antivirus will not perform the same on all systems, so whatever someone tells you – check it yourself, all programs have a limited trial period.
As mentioned above, choose the one which fits you the most and test the programs yourself. I suggest you start with Emsisoft and if you like it buy the product, I never heard much issue when it comes to Emsisoft ever because these guys are working hard to make their product outstanding. If you’re an advance user, start with Eset Nod32 which can be tweaked to harden you system against several other attack factors. G data is the all round solution and HitManPro Alert doesn’t have as much knowledge as all other products but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad product, there have a lot to improve but there constantly trying to fix all issue as quick as possible.
Sadly none of the mentioned products are free but there once a year on sale or they even offering a 1 year license for free from time to time. But even if you’re out of luck the programs are not as expensive as you think, there all totally worth the money for the features and support you get.
So guys let me know what you prefer and if you want to see a more in-depth article about the mentioned programs. I like to know you opinion.