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What do I look for in an Anti-Virus program?

Question: What do I look for in an Anti-Virus program?

Answer: Today’s anti-virus or av programs bear little resemblance to programs of 5 or 6 years ago as a wealth of new options and features can be found on most major programs. Email scanning, anti-phishing, spam filtering, the list goes on and on of different things the anti-virus program can do. This has not come without a cost, however; many av programs are quite large in the area of Windows resources that they use and the effect this can have on your system’s performance and responsiveness.

  • First of all, do some research at a site such as or and see what the various features are, how they work and what others think of how well they work. You can also see reports of how the tech support of various vendors are rated.
  • Second, decide if all these features are necessary for you or if you can find a leaner, faster version without all the extras.
  • Third, do not overlook some of the free av programs that are available, a number of which are rated quite highly.
  • And finally, family members or co-workers may have had experience with products you have not dealt with and could shed light on the ease of usability for the home user.

Remember, first and foremost that an anti-virus program’s first job is to provide constant backround real-time protection against the opening of any virus-infected file. All other features are secondary to this and the end-user must decide if a simple version or the Swiss Army knife version is the one for them.

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