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Best Anti-Virus Software of 2011

The Best Anti-Virus Software 2011: A Review   

Jyoti Panth

    Every year different products are launched and a race is run among them to hold the number 1 crown. Well, this time we are talking about the best anti-virus software products of the year 2011. Who is going to take the lead? Read on to know more. Antivirus vendors usually have to face tough competition in their commercial full security suites. Their free antivirus versions have comparatively been less competitive due to the unavailability of full antivirus features that give high-value protection; unavailability of lab test results; and lack of customers' awareness and acceptance towards them.

    However, this competition for sometimes has seemed to be mounting up not because the companies have started giving full security features in their free antivirus products but for the reason that these have been improved a lot on security aspects. Free antivirus versions usually have an option to buy or upgrade to the full security suite by paying the price. These are generally developed for personal/home users who are unwilling to pay or can't afford to pay high prices. Free versions always are light on security resources due to the inclusion of fewer features compared to the full security suites. Therefore, users only have access to the essentials but not the additional features as they have lesser amount of data to be protected than the businesses.

    We all very well know that antivirus software is a must-have (at least in the high-technology time we are living in) to keep our PCs clean and protected from all the malicious viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware, or worms etc. whatever you may choose to call them.

    Getting back to the race of best antivirus software 2011, we have a list of free antivirus software products that have gained top rankings in almost all the websites' surveys. An interesting thing to tell you is that almost every antivirus vendor has begun to add '2011' in the names of their products since the early 2010. See some of the examples; AVG Anti-Virus Free 2011, Norton AntiVirus 2011, McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2011, Panda Antivirus Pro 2011, and BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 among others.

    This indicates towards a fact that antivirus vendors had their products focused on the year 2011. Since the year has finally made its entry, we have to review what the antivirus vendors have in store for us. They have actually come up with latest additional features that enhance security by running 2 different antivirus engines. A good antivirus is supposed to protect a PC from all the malicious threats including viruses, scareware, Trojans, rootkits, and keyloggers etc. There have been a number of technology trends in free antivirus versions that stand them apart from each other in more or less the same way. See what they include:

Mini Suite Instead of Standalone Product

    The year 2011 stands witness to a new trend that many of the products launched this year almost reduced the difference between a full security suite and standalone antivirus product. Look at some of the features that do so:

Firewall - Initially, the full security suites used to include a fully-functional personal firewall as one of its many defining elements. However, with the onset of the year 2011, several free AV versions such as eScan Anti-Virus 11, Panda Antivirus Pro 2011, and McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2011 among others embed a fully-functional personal firewall.

    Norton AntiVirus 2011, however, does not integrate a fully-functional personal firewall. However, owing to its effective intrusion prevention feature, it provides effective protection against threats than most of the full security suites.

Spam Filtering - It is one among the common elements found in an antivirus software or security suite. BullGuard Antivirus 10 has inbuilt spam filter that accurately and effectively filters spams. eScan Anti-Virus 11 also features an inbuilt spam filter feature, however it is not effective compared to BullGuard Antivirus 10's spam filter.

    StopSign Internet Security 1.0 also has a spam filter integrated into an optional firewall. The independent test results are not available as none of the labs have tested it so far.

Installation Problem Acknowledgment - BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 has full remote management among other installation features to offer. McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2011 offers effective remote monitoring of installations and pushes back fixes to resolve the problems. Norton AntiVirus 2011 and Panda Antivirus Pro 2011, compared to BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 and McAfee, only provide basic information if installation has some problem and do not fix the problems automatically.

Phishing Protection - G Data AntiVirus 2011 and BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 embed a highly effective phishing protection tool. AVG antivirus Free Edition 2011 integrates LinkScanner that scans and marks all links posted on your SocialNetworking websites such as Facebook and MySpace etc. Similar to AVG antivirus Free Edition 2011, McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2011 has SiteAdvisor that does the same. Next in the line is Norton AntiVirus 2011 that also scans the links posted on your Social Networking sites.

Data Blocking - Only BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 and Outpost Antivirus Pro 7.0 block a user's private data from being transmitted to any attacker/hacker. Such type of feature is only found in full security suites. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011, Ad-Aware Pro Internet Security 9.0, AVG antivirus Free Edition 2011, and McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2011 tune-up a PC and remove all the data traces attached to computer or internet use.

Fine-tuning PC - Almost all the free antivirus software optimize your PC for enhanced security and performance.

Dual-Engine Protection

    Antivirus vendors have started to come up with more enhanced security technologies in their free antivirus products. One of them is dual-engine protection that utilizes 2 antivirus engines for enhanced detection results. Double Anti-Spy Professional v2 runs 2 scans one by one and also needs 2 separate updates. Though, it runs very slow but is effective enough to be waiting for. G Data AntiVirus 2011 runs fast dual scans with its 2 antivirus engines and provides outstanding phishing protection. Next in the line is TrustPort Antivirus 2011 that features 2 AV engines for double-layer protection. However, it runs little slower than G Data AntiVirus 2011.

Customized Interfaces

    Most of the AV vendors have redesigned and improved the interface of their free AV products just to make them more user-friendly and uncluttered. Some of them include Webroot AntiVirus with Spy Sweeper 2011, McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2011, Norton AntiVirus 2011, Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus + 2011, and AVG antivirus Free Edition 2011 among others. Now there are several users who are always interested in knowing about every tiny-winy event or trend in security products. However, some of them may be more interested in having an AV that just works excellently without any flaws.

    Ad-Aware Pro 2011 is designed to catch the interest of both types of users with an option of advanced and simple mode. There is BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 also that exceeds users' expectations by including 3 modes namely basic, intermediate, and advanced. The users can also archive their most used tools in a personal archival.

    The improved interface of AVG antivirus Free Edition 2011 allows easy interaction and automatic updation. The AV has Smart Scanning feature that prioritizes scans to optimally utilize power resources.

    Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus + 2011 embeds a thin vertical panel, which occupies minimum space on the screen and does not prohibit a user from viewing the screen.

    Webroot AntiVirus with Spy Sweeper 2011 automatically updates and scans when the PC is not in use besides sweeping viruses, spyware, Trojans, keylogger, or worms etc.

Inbuilt Support

    Almost all the free AVs come with integrated support featuring many easy-to-use tools that help users to find out information about different topics or how to contact a technical agent among other things. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2011 embeds an inbuilt support tool that automatically diagnoses different possible attacks that a PC comes into contact with, sends their reports, and launches purposeful scripts to remove them and clean the PC.

    BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011 features a search box that allows users to search for help information. It includes an inbuilt support also that collects system information and sends it to a technical rep for chat-based support. BullGuard Antivirus 10 integrates live chat and email support options with a message center that manages a user's support interaction with a technical rep(s).

    Panda Antivirus Pro 2011 embeds PSCAN that allows remote technicians to collect problem samples and send back automatic fixes to your PC without needing full chat-based interaction. Norton AntiVirus 2011 offers one-click access to chat-based support or relevant frequently asked questions (FAQs). eScan Anti-Virus 11 offers integrated online support live chat options. 


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