There are a number of different vendors that provide security protection, including antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spam services. NOTE: See our blog posting about Best Security Suites for guidance on which vendors to work with.
- Norton Internet Security (or Norton 360) – Symantec products were notoriously bloated and slow. However, after a complete rewrite, these are doing well and getting quite a bit of praise for speed and ease-of-use. I’ve used Symantec products for years, and rarely have any problems with them. They’re generally responsive about virus definitions, and in my experience have a low rate of misses and false positives.
- ESET Smart Security – This program comes highly recommended by a number of my counterparts. It has a great reputation for preventing viruses, is relatively inexpensive, and also gets positive reviews from numerous sources on the Internet. ESET also boasts a 100% capture rate for viruses the past 11 years, which is pretty amazing given the recent number of zero-day virus releases that have occured the past few years!
- Trend Micro Internet Security - I actually run Trend Micro on my own home computers. Like the others, you can install it on up to 3 computers with one license. I like features in its built-in firewall, such as the ability to setup “profiles” for how your computer is connected (office, wireless, public wireless, etc), and also enjoy some of the web-browsing security features it has. Bonus: Trend Micro is actually reasonably priced!
I will admit that the vendors I prefer all require purchase. However, I stand by these antivirus vendors due to years of experience working with them and the protection they have provided me and my clients.
If you want to do some additional research, I can really only make a single recommendation (and it’s ONLY for the Microsoft Windows folks out there):
- Microsoft Security Essentials – Free antivirus software from Microsoft. There’s no firewall or fancy anti-spam filters and whatnot, but it works if you’re careful about what you’re clicking on. NOTE: I’ve been running MSE for close to 2 years without a single virus incident! Part of this is helped by the fact I use services which also do virus checking and/or make use of anti-malware registries – Google Apps (Gmail/Docs), Chrome, and Firefox. If you’re running Windows 8, a version of this (Windows Defender) is already included.