It's New Years Resolution time again. Not too many people make resolutions about their computers, but if they do it's probably about backups or security. When it comes to computer security, the first step is a good anti virus software. Or is it antivirus or anti-virus. Let's just call it AV software today. That will make the article a faster read.
So you know you need AV software and you know you need to keep it updated, but do you need to pay for it? In years past, we had recommended the free version of AVG, but later versions of their software had problems. Some of these problems even caused the dreaded blue screen of death crashes in Windows. While AVG was a good choice for a while, it later was not and may some day be a good choice again.
The best answer is to look at some actual comparisons of AV software when it comes time for you to get a new one. Depending on the time, you may find a free version amongst the top performers or you may find that you have to pay to get the best protection.
A good place, but not the only one, to see how AV software stacks up is http://www.av-comparatives.org. They are a non-profit in Austria that test AV software. According to them, Trend Micro is the best right now at blocking viruses while AVG is number 14 and McAfee is number 17 on the list. Six months from now, this same testing may yield different results. So at the moment, the best choice is to buy Trend Micro. We started selling it in the fall so that's convenient.
Remember to not just rely on your AV software. Look into other security protection ideas like internet filtering and running as a limited user in Windows. Read the Computer Corner from November 2011 on our web site for more information or give us a call.