What are the three most popular antivirus programs in the world? If we're to believe OPSWAT's December market share report, the top three are all free programs. Microsoft Security Essentials takes the lead, with Avast at second place, and Avira in third. Between them, they actively protect more than 50% of PCs in the world! While paid solutions (with the exception of Norton and Eset) lose market share, free antivirus solutions continue to gain ground.
Effective, Not Miraculous
Under the truism, "Better a free antivirus than no antivirus," more and more users are now turning to antivirus solutions that don't cost a cent.
Still, let's be clear: In our tests and those of international laboratories, no free antivirus suite could match the performance excellence of the best paid suites on the market today (BitDefender, Kaspersky, Norton, GData, Eset, Trend Micro, and so on). This isn't because they're less capable at detecting malware. In this respect, many free suites have an even playing field. What sets the free options from paid is that the former tend to lack some of the defenses and features that publishers reserve for paid versions of the same software. This can include real-time defenses, intelligent anti-phishing filters, anti-spyware browser, security systems authentication and more.
Do Paid Antivirus Suites Have a Future?
To survive, paid antivirus suites have needed to continually evolve and gain technical complexity. Not only are they providing new defenses and features, but others are now extending their scope to include stuff like a central interface for parental control and security across all networked devices (smartphones, tablets, game consoles, etc). BitDefender, Kaspersky, and Norton are leading the vanguard of this software transformation, but paid antivirus publishers will need to do more with their 2014 editions if they want to regain market share.
Meanwhile, free antivirus suites have proven their effectiveness, especially with the cautious and experienced users knowledgeable in safe browsing habits. Better yet, some suites such as Avast and Comodo provide very relevant tools to help users stay protected ...
- Free / Pay: Face-to-Face
- 12 Sure-fire Ways to Get Infected
- Avast! Antivirus Free
- Comodo Internet Security Premium Free
- Microsoft Security Essentials
- Avira Free Antivirus 2013
- UnThreat Free Edition 2013
- Panda Cloud Antivirus Free
- AVG Antivirus Free 2013
- Lavasoft AdAware Free Antivirus+ 10.5
- Notes On Test Methods
- And the Champion for Each Category Is...