What To Look For In Antivirus Software

There are a lot of antiviruses on the market. Most of them offer similar features under a similar price tag. Although most antiviruses offer products that are very similar to each other, there are some features you need to look for in Antivirus software.

Some of these features you will find in almost all of them. But others you will find only in some. In this article, we will guide you through the important features you should look for when choosing an Antivirus software.

antivirus software

Is There a Free Version Available?

Most Antivirus software comes with dozens of tools that you may or may not need. If you are an advanced user and only need basic protection, you might want to look for an Antivirus that offers a free basic version, which a lot of Antiviruses don’t.

There are some Antivirus companies that let you download their software for free but show you dozens of ads every day. Others show you ads of the premium version of their software that can protect you from all kinds of threats.

We recommend trying Avira or Norton. Both offer a free version of their product which can protect your PC from a lot of threats.

Will It Slow Down Your PC?

Before you purchase an Antivirus software, you need to know if it will slow down your PC. Most antiviruses make claims about how their product won’t slow down your system. Some even claim that their product might increase your system’s speed.

Whatever they might claim, one thing to remember is that all Antivirus software will slow down your PC to a certain extent. How much your chosen Antivirus will slow it down is the question. Now, that isn’t to say that your system will become unusably slow. If you choose a good Antivirus software, you won’t even notice the difference.

This is the reason why we recommend first trying a free version, if available, of the Antivirus you are thinking of purchasing. Most Antivirus products on the market come with dozens of bloatware tools that only slow down your PC. Downloading a free version will give you an idea of whether or not this product will slow your PC down.

Some Antiviruses let you decide what tools you want or don’t want to install on your PC. This can help you remove the bloatware that you don’t want to prevent your PC from slowing down.

Child Protection Tools

If you have children at home, you might want to go with an Antivirus software that comes with Child Protection Tools. These tools help you monitor what websites your kids visit when you leave them alone. They also block certain websites that may not be suitable for children.

If you want to protect your children, look for an Antivirus that lets you lock Children Protection Settings behind a password so your children can’t change or access them. You will also want to look for functionality that lets you block websites that you don’t want your children to visit. Some programs even let you block software and games that you don’t want your children to use.

We recommend going with an Antivirus such as Norton if you have kids. It comes with tools such as Time Supervision, Search Supervision, Web Supervision, and Instant Locking. It also sends you a weekly and monthly report on what websites your kids visited and what search terms they used.

Does It Offer a Free VPN?

If you don’t want your ISP to spy on you, you need a VPN. It protects your online identity by securely encrypting what websites you visit. Your ISP will never know what websites you visit and what search terms you used.

But privacy isn’t all that you get when you use a VPN to browse the Internet. A VPN lets you change your location to anywhere in the world. That means you can change your location to somewhere in the UK and visit Netflix to watch the shows that aren’t available in your country.

When you visit a website after changing your location, the website won’t be able to tell your real location which hides your identity and lets you access content that might be banned or unavailable in your country.

A lot of Antivirus software these days let you use their VPN service for free if you buy their Antivirus software. Buying a VPN subscription alone can cost about $5 to $10 per month but you can get it for free bundled with your Antivirus software if you pick the right one.

Most Antivirus companies offer very little bandwidth for the VPN when you buy it with their antivirus bundles. But there are some such as Avira that let offer you unlimited bandwidth usage on their VPN if you buy their Antivirus. That’s one of the reasons why we recommend Avira. It comes with an unlimited VPN service.

Does It Come With a Password Manager?

A password manager such as LastPass or Dashlane lets you securely store all your passwords behind a master password. This way, you never have to remember a password when you visit a website. Your password manager automatically inputs the password and logs you in. All you need to remember is the master password.

Another benefit of using a Password Manager is that, because you no longer need to remember your passwords, you can use strong lengthy passwords that are difficult to break. Rather than using your [Your Birthdate + Your Wife’s Name] as your password, you can use a randomly generated string that is impossible to guess and difficult to break for any hacker.

Although LastPass and Dashlane are both good password managers, they cost about $5 to $10 per month. Some Antivirus companies offer a Password Manager with their Antivirus Software. It works exactly how any other password manager would with the added benefit of it being free.

Avira and Norton both offer a free password manager that is as good if not better than any other password manager on the market. When choosing an Antivirus, we recommend choosing one that comes with a free Password Manager.

Browser Extensions

If your Antivirus doesn’t come with a browser extension for your favorite web browser, then it won’t be able to protect you from online threats. If you want your Antivirus to protect you from malicious websites, be sure to check it comes with a browser extension for the browser you use every day.

Most Antivirus products offer bloated Browser Extensions that do nothing but display more ads and slow down your PC. If you don’t want that to happen, buy your Antivirus from a reputable company that comes with quality-tested Browser Extensions.

A good Antivirus Browser Extension will warn you when you or your kids stumble upon a malicious website. It will also alert you if it finds the product you are looking at for a cheaper price somewhere else on the Internet. Most eCommerce brands jack up their prices from time to time. This can save you a lot of money.

Another benefit a browser extension offers is that it increases your privacy by disabling trackers and cookies from Ad Networks and websites that track too much user activity. Say goodbye to intrusive ads.

Good Customer Support

Customer Support is the last thing most people think about when buying Antivirus software but it’s one of the most important things you need to look for. Most antivirus software companies offer little to no customer support even on their premium products.

The product page might say that it comes with 24/7 customer support but it doesn’t matter if you can’t reach them when you need the most. Most antivirus companies spend little to no resources towards hiring and training customer care representatives. Most antivirus users have had at least one bad encounter with a support representative.

I once bought a cheap antivirus software because it was on sale. The reviews looked good but when I tried updating it, it just wouldn’t update. So, I tried contacting the customer support team. I couldn’t understand a thing they were saying because they were based in a third world country and didn’t speak English.

Before you buy an Antivirus, be sure to check its reviews to see if they offer any kind of customer support. Most cheap antivirus products have really bad reviews that most people never take the time to read before buying them.

If you buy an Antivirus Product from a reputable company such as Avira, Norton, or Kaspersky, you will probably never need to contact customer support and even if you do, you will be met with a friendly support representative that speaks English and is trained enough to help you solve your problems.


If you are looking for an Antivirus, we hope this list helps you find a good one. I recommend checking out our list of the best Antivirus software on the market before you make your decision.

If you don’t want to waste your time researching different Antivirus software, we recommend going with either Avira or Norton. Both are reputable antivirus software that offer everything that we have talked about in this article.

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