What Is an AntiVirus Software?

Posted by Fatkhur Rohman on Friday, January 20, 2012

Antivirus software exists to protect computer users from viruses, worms and spyware. According to Symantec, the makers of Norton Antivirus, there are more than 1 million computer viruses. Because of the prevalence of the viruses, there are a lot of options for computer users in the area of antivirus software.


History

The first commercial antivirus products began to appear on the market in the late 1980s. This rapidly became big business with Symantec buying one of the leading makers of antivirus software, Peter Norton Computing, for $70 million in 1990. Now you can find numerous software options, both free and paid, to protect your computer.

What Does Antivirus Software Do?

Antivirus software will regularly scan your computer and seek out viruses and other malicious software that might be on your computer. It is up to you how often you run it, though generally it is recommended that you run it nightly or at least weekly. If the software finds a virus, it typically destroys it. In addition, most anti-virus programs will protect you while you do everyday activities such as check e-mail and surf the Web. Whenever you download a file onto your computer from the Web or from e-mail, the scanner will check and verify that the file is OK and virus-free. The software will also update what are called "antivirus definitions." These definitions are updated frequently as new viruses are found, since new ones are being released all of the time.
Paid Options

Norton Antivirus has many options available. All of their antivirus programs are subscription-based. Their most basic program, Norton Antivirus, can be had for $39.99 per year for a single computer. This has a complete set of anti-virus tools and includes a firewall for your computer. There is also Norton Internet Security, which is $59.99 for up to three computers in your home and has added protection for your home network against attack. Finally there is Norton 360, which is $79.99 for up to three computers in your home, as all of the features of the previous versions and can keep track of all of your personal information and protect it. It will store credit card data, address, usernames and passwords and not only protect this data but help fill out safe forms that require this data on the Web.
Free Options

While this free option doesn't include a firewall or other tools like Norton, AVG Free is excellent software that protects your computer from viruses and spyware. While it doesn't have a firewall or many of the other features that the paid versions have, AVG Free does have full antivirus protection. It will update its antivirus definitions, run on a scheduled basis and do live protection on the Web against threats. It even warns you if a site might be malicious before you surf there.

Which One To Select

In many cases, either AVG Free or Norton Antivirus will be enough. However, if you have multiple computers in your home, work heavily from your home computer or go to a lot of sites that are not entirely trustworthy, than looking at one of the paid options might be the right move for you.

{ 3 comments... read them below or add one }

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Noah Araez said...

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peter kabin said...

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