These viruses can do a wide range of things, from taking over hard disk space to getting access to your personal data or draining your CPU. There are a variety of antivirus tools available to help protect your devices from these kinds of issues. It is crucial to select one that is not likely to have an impact on the system performance. Each of our antivirus programs has been tested against this. The results below are dependent on the amount of time it takes for each program to perform an operation. Kaspersky Security Cloud Free, for example had a background impact of 6% when conducting a full scan while ESET had an impact of 12%.

Avira, a German-based firm is a reputable brand in our tests. It consistently scores above 90% in all three categories: Protection (False positives), Performance (False Positives) and Usability. Its user interface is friendly and offers plenty of functionality including a smart firewall as well as a variety of privacy tools. Avira’s subscriptions are priced on a monthly basis rather than a set 1-3 year period, making it more convenient to cancel or alter the subscription at any time without having to worry about second-year renewal price shocks.

A relatively new name that we’ve tested, Essentware – which was previously known as PCKeeper – uses the Avira engine behind the scenes and generally scores pretty well across the range. Its performance and interface are both user-friendly, but there are a few issues with stability – mainly scan jobs freezing up that have led to a lower rating. The detection was excellent and a perfect run of the certification sets earned VB100.

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