Summary: Any time your PC is connected to the internet, hackers are attempting to hijack your computer to use it as a tool in their arsenal and steal the sensitive information you have stored on it.
If you want to make sure you do not become a victim of these attacks and deal with having your identity stolen, you will need to install a high-quality antivirus software to protect your PC.
I’ve tested countless different service’s antivirus software and have found that Avast currently offers the highest level of protection for PC users.
To protect your PC with Avast Antivirus, click here now.
Why is An Antivirus So Important?
Personal computers make life easy. However, what many people fail to realize, is that their PC is constantly at risk of being taken over by hackers and scam-artists.
Hackers will hijack computers to use them as a tool in their arsenal, to perform attacks on other computers and networks, and to steal sensitive information.
If you have any type of sensitive information stored on your computer, like credit card information, bank account logins, or passwords to your favorite websites, you could find yourself in a dangerous situation.
When hackers gain access to this information, they will use it to steal your identity, drain your bank accounts, and use your email and social media accounts to continue spreading their viruses.
Most computers come with built-in antivirus software that helps protect from many threats, but if the antivirus software isn’t updated on a regular basis, it’s almost useless to have.
That’s why you need a high-quality antivirus software that will update itself on a regular basis and protect you from the newest threats as they are found.
A quality antivirus software will encrypt the sensitive information that you’ve stored on your computer so that hackers cannot decipher the information if they do gain access to it.
A good antivirus software will also protect you against threats that are being created on an everyday basis, so you can relax and not worry about what hackers are doing in the world around you.
You can learn which antivirus software I recommend now by clicking here.
Antivirus Software Testing Methodology
I have tested the effectiveness of each service by using the Anti-Malware Testfile created by the Computer Antivirus Research Organization and the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research.
You can read an academic paper discussing how this Testfile simulates malware by clicking here.
The Testfile being used here has been to test how well antivirus software can pick up known threats and alert the user of their existence.
In 2017, the Testfile is the only piece of software that is still being developed and supported, because the previously used detection tools developed by Spy Car have been discontinued.
How I Judged Their Performance
Criteria #1: Is It Easy to Use?
When you are trying to protect your PC, the last thing you want to do is read manuals and spend time troubleshooting software that should work properly as soon as it’s installed.
I have tested each service’s antivirus software to ensure that it is simple and intuitive to use and properly installing it on your machine doesn’t require extensive technical knowledge.
Criteria #2: Do They Offer a Refund Policy?
The last thing I want to happen is for my readers to take a recommendation I’ve made and find out that their experience is different than what I experienced during testing.
That is why I have eliminated any antivirus software service that does not provide a refund policy or free-trial period and ranked those with longer money-back guarantees higher in my review process.
Criteria #3: Can You Protect Multiple Devices?
In 2017, most people have more than one device that they use to connect to the internet, which means they need an antivirus that allows them to protect each device they own.
Many services will, unfortunately, require you to purchase additional licenses for each device or machine you intend to protect.
Companies that allow you to protect multiple devices with the same license have been ranked higher during my review process than companies that require you to purchase additional licenses.
Criteria #4: Does It Slow Down your Machine?
An all-too common complaint from people trying to protect their machine is that the antivirus software they have installed has caused their machine to freeze and become unreliable.
That’s why I have tested each software to ensure you do not need high-end hardware to properly protect your machine, and that the software is going to cause your system to freeze.
Any software that causes your PC to become slow and unreliable has been ranked lower in my review process than software that works seamlessly in the background and doesn’t affect your machine’s performance.
Criteria #5: Does It Create False Warnings?
An unfortunately common problem with many of the service’s antivirus software that’s currently available is false warnings, and warnings that harmless objects could be potential threats.
Poorly developed antivirus software is notorious for marking objects as threats that could simply be a new game that requires access to certain files on your computer.
To ensure you are not constantly dealing with false warnings, I have ranked the poorly developed antivirus software lower on my list of recommendations.
Criteria #6: Does It Protect Against 0-Day Attacks?
0-day attacks refer to brand new attacks and viruses that are being developed by hackers on a regular basis, that many antivirus developers may not currently be aware of.
While most developers will ensure that the database they maintained and the antivirus software they build is regularly updated, many new potential threats could be missed.
Any service that properly identifies 0-day attacks based on the style of code hackers are using to develop them has been ranked higher in my review process.
Best Antivirus for PCs in 2017
It’s easy to see, by now, that there is a substantial amount of work that goes into testing each of the different service’s antivirus software to ensure it lives up to the claims made by the developers.
I have performed extensive testing on each of the different service’s antivirus software that’s currently available and concluded that three have performed significantly better than the rest.
Each of the top 3 services that outranked their competition in my review process have been listed below, in order from best to worst.
#1 – Avast Antivirus – 9.4 / 10 – Voted Best Antivirus for PCs in 2017
Avast is one of the few services I’ve tested that made it clear early-on in the review process that they were going to secure the top spot in my list of recommendations.
The Avast antivirus software is developed by a large team, which shows in how easy it was to install and configure to work properly on my machine.
Whenever you purchase Avast, you subscribe with a single email address that can be used to protect every machine you own without needing to purchase additional licenses.
During my review, I didn’t experience any problems with their software causing my machine to start lagging or become unresponsive, even while scanning large files.
I also found that there were zero false warnings being given for files that have caused false warnings while testing other service’s antivirus software.
Avast houses a large development team which shows in the quality of their software and their ability to detect real threats, especially those that are brand new, 0-day threats.
If you happen to have issues while using their software on your machine, Avast currently offers a full 30-day refund policy and showed no signs of refusing to stand behind it when asked for a refund.
Even though Avast performed substantially better than other services I tested, I did note that their pricing structure is higher than some of their competition.
While the pricing could be lowered, I’ve found that what they do charge allows them to devote more resources toward development of their software.
When you want to keep your personal computers and other devices protected from hackers and scam-artists, Avast is currently the best antivirus software that I have found.
If you’re looking for the absolute best antivirus software for personal computers, we recommend you get Avast Antivirus by clicking here.
#2 – Bit Defender – 7.9 / 10 – Quality Antivirus if Avast Antivirus Doesn’t Work for You.
I have gone to great lengths to test each of the different services on my list and have found that Avast is easily the best service available for PC users.
However, if you find out that their software does not work for you the way it worked for me and want to use a different service, Bit Defender could be a suitable alternative.
Bit Defender performed similarly to Avast while installing it and configuring it to work on my PC. I had it successfully installed within a few minutes after making my payment.
While testing their software, I verified the number of false warnings they were giving by testing files that gave false warnings while using other software.
Bit Defender did have multiple false warnings, but the number they had were not nearly as significant as what I noticed through testing other company’s antivirus software.
Whenever you purchase Bit Defender, you can use the same email address that you registered with to install the software on other devices that you own, without encountering licensing issues.
You can tell that their development team has spent substantial amounts of time maintaining a large database and that they can properly identify 0-day threats.
During testing, Bit Defender did cause my computer to slow and become unresponsive at times, especially while performing full scans on my entire hard drive.
They currently do not offer a lengthy refund policy and money-back guarantee, which means you have only 7 days to test the software and ensure it will work with your machine.
During my review process, I have come to the conclusion that Avast Antivirus is currently the best antivirus software available for PC users.
However, if Avast doesn’t function properly on your machine, or you have an experience that differs from mine, you may find that Bit Defender is a decent alternative solution.
If you’re unable to get Avast Antivirus to work, you can protect your personal computer with Bit Defender by clicking here.
#3 – Kapersky – 6.7 / 10 – Poor Performing Antivirus That Lacks Proper Protection
When you are attempting to protect your personal computer, there is far better antivirus software available than what Kapersky Labs currently offers their customers.
The Kapersky Labs antivirus software is easy to install, and I had it configured on my machine within a few minutes after paying for my subscription.
Kapersky Labs does not offer a refund policy, but they do allow you to test their software for 7 days so you can make sure it will work with your machine before spending any money.
However, once the software had been installed, the problems began happening and persisted throughout my entire review process.
Their software caused my machine to slow to a crawl, especially while performing full scans and attempting to identify new threats as they were being downloaded and installed.
You can register for Kapersky Labs with a single email address but, while attempting to protect multiple devices, I did experience “licensing issues”, suggesting you need a new license for each device you own.
I also experienced multiple false warnings while installing software that is truly harmless but knew could potentially cause an antivirus software to give the warning.
When you are trying to protect your personal computer, there is far better antivirus software available than what Kapersky Labs currently offers, like Avast, or even Bit Defender.
If you want to find out more about the Kapersky Antivirus for PC users, you can visit their site by clicking here.
Any time your personal computer is connected to the internet, hackers and scam-artists are going to attempt to hijack it to steal your sensitive information.
The best way to keep your personal computer protected in 2017 is to use a high-quality antivirus software that can properly detect and destroy potential threats.
If you want to use the best antivirus software available to protect your personal computer, download and install Avast Antivirus now by clicking here.