What happens when my antivirus program finds a virus?
Ideally, you would like your antivirus software to clean the infected files or eliminate them completely.

How it does this will depend upon which application you’ve installed but, generally, most security applications will attempt to transfer questionable files into a quarantine area to quickly eliminate the risk of infection. Once there, the program will most likely give you the choice of trying to eliminate the infection or simply deleting it altogether.

Will antivirus software slow down your computer?
Running any program on your computer will slow it down and antivirus software is no exception. When you run a scan, particularly a comprehensive one, the application will use CPU cycles to get the work done.

Overall, the effect should be negligible, particularly if you’re using a modern computer, but some antivirus programs are larger resource hogs than others. Fortunately, that’s something we cover in our comprehensive antivirus reviews.

Is it true that antivirus vendors are responsible for writing the viruses they are trying to protect me from?
Elvis is dead, the man did land on the moon and antivirus vendors don’t write viruses. This old nugget is a conspiracy theory that’s been doing the rounds for quite a while now. Though it still makes us chuckle to consider the consequences if it had been accurate, the fact that anybody still believes it might be is also a source of frustration.

There are, quite literally, millions of bits of malicious code out in the wild and no firm would have the opportunity to write all of it.

Criminals and other attackers are responsible for creating thousands of new viruses every day though and they do this with the purpose of making a lot more money than an antivirus vendor could ever hope to by providing the remedy to a problem some foolishly think is of their own making.

The only conspiracy — or unethical practice — surrounding the creation and application of malware is the manner in which certain government agencies have deployed it, i.e. that the US government’s use of Stuxnet to target nuclear centrifuges in an undercover facility.

Why did my new antivirus program just detect something that the older one missed?
For the most part, antivirus programs rely on databases of virus signatures to identify malicious code on your computer. Although these are now largely stored in the cloud as opposed to on your hard disk, they continue to be vendor-specific for the most part. Thus, one firm may have identified a threat that another has overlooked. The probabilities of a respectable firm not having a signature for a new piece of malware for any amount of time is slim but it does occur in the short-term.

I have downloaded a new antivirus program, do I want to uninstall the old one before running it?
Though there are always exceptions to the rules, two antivirus programs should generally never meet up on exactly the exact same system — they do not play well together and might even detect each other’s database of virus signatures as a hazard.

The answer, therefore, is to always delete 1 antivirus program before installing another.

So which is the best antivirus to use?
I am afraid I can’t just name a single product and let you go get it antivirus is a personal choice and the best for you is very likely to be the one which provides the features you want and works nicely on your system when coming in at a price point that is suitable for your budget.

Having said that, you will most likely need to stick to software given by the biggest, most well-known, companies in the market, including BitDefender, ESET, F-Secure, Kaspersky, McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro, to name a few.

Something we can’t stress strongly enough is to do your research before purchasing or downloading an antivirus program. They aren’t created equal and odds are you will use the identical program for at least a year so it is important to make an informed decision.

To begin, you’ll have to narrow down your search to antivirus programs that are compatible with your operating system. If you’re using Windows that will leave you with a far bigger pool that if you’re using a Mac or Linux so you’ll have to add in more standards.

Are you, by way of instance, a heavy gamer that will want to have an antivirus application that’s either light on resources or that has the capacity to suspend scans during game time? Are you an occasional surfer who never logs to sensitive websites or stores personal data in their own machine, thus creating a free antivirus program an attractive proposition?

Once you have identified your top two or three choices it is time to read detailed reviews that give an honest assessment of each program’s pros and cons, along with the comments left by other owners of the same software. Only then can you make an educated decision on which antivirus program will be ideal for you’re unique circumstance.

Can a free antivirus program offer adequate protection?
There is an old adage that says you get what you pay for and in the event of antivirus software that is kind of true. That is not to say free antivirus applications should be dismissed out of hand, however — some are really very good and might well be adequate for some people.

AV-Test.org results over a time period show that free antivirus programs do, overall, score lower than the paid-for alternatives in the market and our own experience has taught us that free programs also tend to suffer from a lack of additional attributes, less than stellar support, an obsession with up-selling, or a combination of all three.

Either way, installing any antivirus program is preferable to having none at all, though you really do need to be watching out for free imitation antivirus programs which are better than the viruses that you want to prevent in the first location.