One of the best ways to protect your computer from the threat of hackers invading your computer and hijacking your accounts is to use a quality antivirus software that stops them dead in their tracks.
I have tested the top-rated antivirus software services and put together a review article discussing the best Antivirus software for Windows 7. I found that Avast Antivirus is the easiest to use, competitively priced, and allows you to protect multiple devices.
Why is An Antivirus for Windows 7 So Important?
You may have seen the articles discussing the best Antivirus for Windows 7. There’s plenty of them.
As you may know, Windows 7 is one of the first versions of Windows to come with a built-in “antivirus” software, known as Windows Defender. While Defender is good, it’s not necessarily perfect.
Windows Defender is software developed by Microsoft, which means that it will only update its virus database whenever you allow your Windows PC to perform major updates.
In other words, your computer could be 3 months, 6 months, even 1 or 2 years behind other major manufacturer’s databases, and be at risk for getting infected with the latest viruses.
If you regularly store passwords, credit card information, and other sensitive data on your computer, you could be at risk for hackers hijacking your computer and stealing that sensitive data.
Different viruses have different end goals, but, by design, they are used to break into your machine and intercept the information that you’re transmitting while you’re connected to the internet.
If you’re relying entirely on Windows Defender to keep your Windows 7 PC protected, you could find yourself becoming a victim of identity theft and other problems that hackers cause.
It will also encrypt information that’s being stored on your computer, like credit card numbers and bank account information, so even if hackers gain access, they cannot decipher what they’ve found.
A high-quality antivirus will prevent you from downloading and accessing malicious software and websites by scanning all the programs you attempt to download and install, and the websites you visit for potential threats.
The best way to ensure your Windows 7 PC is protected is to use a separate antivirus software, either alongside Windows Defender, or in place of it.
Antivirus for Windows 7 – Software Testing Methodology
The Anti-Malware Testfile has been developed by the Computer Antivirus Research Organization and European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research.
You can read an academic paper that covers how the Anti-Malware Testfile simulates real malware and makes it possible to test antivirus software by clicking here.
The Testfile (which is designed specifically to test anti-virus and anti-malware’s detection abilities) is not a virus or malware by itself, but does contain code that will trigger a good anti-virus and anti-malware software into alerting the user of a potential threat.
The Testfile is currently the only software suite available for testing anti-virus and anti-malware software since the tools developed by Spy Car are no longer being developed.
How I Judged Their Performance?
Criteria #1: Is It Easy to Use?
Some of the “best” antivirus software and services available today are difficult to install, offer far too many confusing options to configure, and make your computer harder to use on a regular basis.
I have tested each of the different antivirus programs to ensure that they are easy to install and configure and do not make using your computer a frustrating experience.
Criteria #2: Do They Offer a Refund Policy?
While my tests are in-depth and, what I believe, to be conclusive in their results, I do understand that every person reading this may not have the same experience I’ve had.
For times when your experience using the software differs from mine, I want to ensure you can receive a refund and install a different company’s antivirus software on your machine.
Criteria #3: Can You Protect Multiple Devices?
Many of the antivirus services available today will allow you to protect every machine you own while only requiring you to purchase one license agreement.
However, some companies will require you to purchase a new license agreement for each additional machine that you intend to protect, which is an issue when you have more than one computer.
To ensure that you are not wasting money or spending more than you really need to, I have ranked services that require multiple licenses lower than those that allow you to protect multiple machines under a single license agreement.
Criteria #4: Does It Slow Down your Machine?
One of the biggest complaints people have about their antivirus software is how badly it slows down their machine when it is scanning for new threats or checking software that’s being installed.
I have tested each of the different services on my list to determine the load it places on your machine while it is scanning for new threats or updating its database.
Any software that causes your machine to slow down, become unresponsive, or even restart at random times has been ranked lower in my list of recommendations.
Criteria #5: Does It Create False Warnings?
These false warnings can create cause for alarm with some users, making them think that their computer has a virus when it’s the software wrongly identifying objects that aren’t malicious.
I have tested the software provided by each service to ensure that the number of false warnings is kept to a minimum, while software with non-existent false warnings ranking higher on our list.
Criteria #6: Does It Protect Against 0-Day Attacks?
You should be able to rely on your antivirus software to keep your computer safe, even from the threats being developed daily by hackers trying to hijack your computer.
I want to make sure that the antivirus software you install on your machine is going to keep itself up-to-date, and protect you from the latest, unknown viruses.
That’s why I’ve tested each service’s software to ensure that it is regularly updated and consistently checks their database for new threats being created by hackers every day.
Best Antivirus for Windows 7 in 2018
It’s easy to see, by now, that there is a substantial amount of work that goes into testing the different antivirus software that’s currently available, and a process that I didn’t take lightly.
After extensively working through each of the different service’s software, I have found that three of the major services have easily outperformed their competition to claim the top spots in my list.
Each of the two companies that provide a quality antivirus software and sufficient levels of protection have been listed below.
#1 – Avast Security – 9.4 / 10 – Best Antivirus for Windows 7
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Avast Security is one service that has clearly set themselves apart from the competition during most of my tests, and have rightfully claimed their top spot in my list.
The software that Avast Security has developed is simple to install and configure, and conveniently tucks away in the background making it completely invisible, until you need it.
Whenever you purchase a subscription to BullGuard, you subscribe with your email address, which means you can protect every machine you own simply by re-entering your email address when you install a new copy of their software.
While testing their software, I did not notice it slowing down my machine, even while installing software and running tests on known malicious software, like the Testfile.
I also visited multiple different websites and installed software that is known to cause false warnings in many popular antivirus programs, and did not experience those warnings with Avast Security.
The Avast Security development team is large, and they devote substantial effort to maintaining their database and protecting their customers against the latest 0-day threats.
If you find yourself having issues with Avast Security once it has been installed on your machine, they offer a 60 day trial period so you can get your money back and try a different service.
The only area that I noticed issues with they lack support for ransomware threats.
Whether you are using your antivirus software to replace Windows Defender, or work alongside it, I have found that Avast Security provides the best protection currently available. Follow this link for a exclusive 50% off offer.
#2 – BullGuard – 7.9 / 10 – Quality Antivirus if Avast Antivirus Doesn’t Work for You.
If you find out that Avast isn’t compatible with your machine or causes problems that I didn’t experience, BullGuard could be an alternate solution for keeping your Windows 7 PC safe.
BullGuard proved to be simple to install and configure. During testing, I had it installed on my machine and my machine protected within a few minutes after paying for our subscription.
There were occasions that I received false warnings while testing different websites and installing software that gives false warnings, but they were minimal compared to other antivirus programs.
You can protect multiple computers with the same subscription, so if you own multiple different PCs, you will not need to purchase separate licenses, saving you a ton of money.
The BullGuard developers work hard to maintain a database of the latest threats, and I did not notice any issues with them properly identifying 0-day threats.
I did notice that BullGuard caused a few hiccups during testing, mainly while scanning for new threats already on our machine, and when attempting to install other large software.
BullGuard does have a shorter refund policy than Avast, but I did not find any reports of them failing to honor the refund policy that they have in place.
When you are trying to protect a Windows 7 PC, I have found that Avast is currently one of the best services available. However, if their software doesn’t function properly on your machine, BullGuard could be an alternative solution.
If you’re unable to get Avast Antivirus to work, you can protect your Windows 7 computer with BullGuard by clicking here.
#3 – Kapersky – 6.7 / 10 – Poor Performing Antivirus That Lacks Proper Protection
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When you want to protect your Windows 7 PC, I have found that there are far better services available than what Kapersky Labs currently offers in their antivirus.
Once I installed the software, though, I began experiencing issues that made it hard to recommend them as a viable antivirus software for my readers.
I noticed that their software caused significant hiccups while installing new programs onto the machine, and while running scans to check for existing threats.
Even though Kapersky allows you to register your account with an email address, I did notice “licensing” issues while trying to protect more than one PC using the same email address.
There were numerous false warnings given by Kapersky, which they claim is part of the software’s learning process, but I did not have the same issues while testing Avast.
Kapersky Labs also does not currently offer a money-back guarantee, but they do allow you to test their software for a full 7 days to ensure it will work with your computer.
I have gone to great lengths to ensure that I am recommending the best antivirus software, which is why it is hard to recommend Kapersky as a viable solution for protecting your computer.
Whenever your Windows 7 computer is connected to the internet, you are running the risk of hackers hijacking your desktop and using it in malicious ways.
To ensure that your computer is protected from hackers and your sensitive information is safe, you need to use a better antivirus software than Microsoft’s built-in Windows Defender.