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  Which is the best antivirus for Windows 7

Which is the best antivirus for Windows 7

Published : Sep 29, 2016, 2:26 am IST
Updated : Sep 29, 2016, 2:26 am IST

Microsoft recently revealed there were approximately 400 million active machines up and running the latest Windows 10 operating system.

Microsoft recently revealed there were approximately 400 million active machines up and running the latest Windows 10 operating system. Surprisingly, this constitutes just 23 per cent of the world's population that are actually utilizing the new operating system.

According to statistics presented by web analytics firm Net Market Share, there are roughly 47.25 per cent of the PC and laptop users that still function on the Windows 7 operating system. Introduced back in July 2009, the older operating system is expected to be supported until 2020.

While Microsoft's Windows 7 might currently appear to be the most favourable operating system for most; the OS also comes with its own set of security issues. These weaknesses are both technical flaws and an operational concern for users.

Given the high number of users, Microsoft has spent a substantial amount of time and effort to ensure that Windows 7 is equipped with a higher level of security. In fact, there are numerous features that Microsoft itself provides to its users to not only ensure that their information is kept private but also to allow users to check the status of security issues that may harm systems. For instance, the Action Centre platform that acts as the one-stop shopping for all security alerts or the Windows Firewall that allows users to create exceptions for their preferred programs.

However, these security updates are believed to be performed with free tools, and hence, do not inspect the systems deeply enough. In fact, the Ponemon study also discovered that confidence in network security is declining. Nearly half (46 per cent) of respondents do not believe their desktops are more secure than they were a year ago. Majority of these users prefer installing third-party anti-virus software for better protection.

Security Institute AV-TEST recently performed a new series of tests to determine the best anti-virus solution for Windows 7 operating systems and the results were not surprising.

Bitdefender Internet Security scored the maximum number of points in protection, performance, and usability tests. After testing 162 sample systems, it was found that the protection against 0-day malware attacks, inclusive of web and e-mail threats in August, was a staggering 100 per cent. Additionally, detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in four weeks of testing was also 100 per cent.

Bitdefender Internet Security thus received a protection score of 6.0/6.0. When it came to standard PC systems, 13 per cent reported of slowdowns while launching popular websites of the 40 different websites that were test-visited. The system only slowed down by 3 per cent when up to 20 files were downloaded simultaneously, thereby receiving an overall score of 6.0/6.0 in the performance category. A zero per cent impact was recorded of the security software on the usability of the whole computer in terms of false warnings or blockages when visiting websites and certain actions that were carried out whilst installing and using other legitimate software. Thus, the performance score too, was 6.0/6.0.

Almost a similar over-all score was recorded with Kaspersky Lab Internet Security and Trend Micro Internet Security. Other security software that fared well was Avira, AVG and Avast, wherein Avira scored 5.5 points in protection and performance and 6 in usability. AVG scored 5.5 points in all tests and Avast received 5.5 for protection, 4 points for performance and 5.5 points for usability. Microsoft's Security Essentials, which is offered for free, was put to test too.

However, the software was only able to manage an overall score of 14/18. The best anti-virus software doesn't come cheap. If you are concerned about your privacy and security online, you should definitely employ the best one out there. We would recommend opting for Bitdefender Internet Security, Kaspersky Lab Internet Security or Trend Micro Internet Security that are still cheaper and won't burn a hole in your wallet.