Nowadays it is almost impossible to do without antivirus software. However, we often hear about what antivirus or maybe choose the best antivirus (free or paid) but never how to choose an antivirus . In this article I’ll explain then how to choose the antivirus that best suits your needs.
How to choose an antivirus?
A virus, no matter how good and effective, will never offer complete protection against all types of viruses (present and future). In fact, the only antivirus software products are designed to be human and therefore may also report false positives or, more simply, take the wrong action.
Apart from this, however, the virus can be grouped into four different categories:
- The first, is based on the method of the signatures (that is, signatures). In short, this type of virus can identify a potential virus through recognition of its structure (which is why you need to keep the definitions, that the information on the structure of the virus, updated, otherwise it is as if the virus there was right);
- The second, is instead based on heuristic rules: in practice, this type, allows to detect viruses that are not yet contained in the archive of the definitions (usually, this second technique is used together with the method of the signatures). This type of virus can for example search for parts of the source code of the program and compare them to those programs considered malicious. Another method would be rather to verify the integrity of the program through its checksum (in fact, when you download a program from the Internet, it is often also referred to a particular string, such as MD5 or SHA-1 , which just serves to ensure authenticity);
- The third type identifies a potential virus is not based on the structure of the virus but rather based on its behavior. In this case, they are not necessary definitions nor the heuristic rules: their place is used, instead a collection of possible actions that represent precisely the behavior of a given virus. In this category there are also the virus that use the sandbox that, in practice, allow you to run a program in a virtual environment then checking what action accomplishes this (in a nutshell, if the program, when executed, does not have a harmful behavior can then be started normally);
- The fourth and final type of virus (which is one of the most recent) instead uses algorithms of data mining and machine learning : in this case, trying to figure out if the file is benign or not through the features that are extracted directly from the file itself .
Although the first type is the most widespread, in theory, the best antivirus would be just what uses simultaneously the greatest number of these techniques. It must be said, however, that in addition to these types, lately are also spreading the virus cloud that are nothing more than the antivirus particularly light in terms of resources used, because, through the use of an Internet connection, rely on monitoring and analysis of suspicious files directly to the manufacturer of the antivirus (about suspicious files, if you want, you could analyze them through VirusTotal which is a free online service that allows you to scan a file with more than 46 antivirus engines simultaneously). Examples of these are cloud antivirus Panda Cloud Antivirus , eScan and Immunet (which can be used together with another antivirus).
But it is best antivirus free or paid?
We say that depends on your needs. The paid versions usually allow detection of new threats ahead of the free virus (but not always the case) and, perhaps, also observed a smaller number of false positives. In addition, the paid antivirus offer better care than the free ones, do not have annoying ads and also integrate other essential programs (such as, for example, anti-malware, anti-spyware, firewall, filter against dangerous websites and parental control ).
In a nutshell, then, if you do not have to protect many computers (as in the case of a company), then a free antivirus should be enough because it does not give up the protection in itself but, rather, the extra function (to make up for this lack it would be enough just a little ‘more patience and install, without exaggeration, the other programs deemed necessary).
Some might even think that using two antivirus can improve security: instead not only not true but this may even cause more harm than good (for more information on this I suggest you read this article).
Before concluding, however wanted to point out that to protect a computer, regardless of whether the operating system is Windows, Linux or Mac OS, you may also do without the antivirus seen that the best antivirus ever you are and you’ll be just you.
At this point, I hope you have now the ideas a little ‘clearer on how to choose an antivirus .