Last week we looked at some free anti-virus solutions for computers. Hopefully some of you have experimented with them and come to your own conclusions. This week it is the turn of the popular paid solutions. There are a number of anti-virus players out there, and it is not possible to cover each one in an article like this. Let us look at four major players who offer anti-virus suites.
Symantec's Norton 360 V6
One challenge for all PC owners at home is to control what your children use online, making sure they don't stumble across unwanted content, monitoring who they chat with and how much time they spend on social media. The 360 lets you do all of these, and lets you block and monitor their usage, keeping them safe.
The 360 can even check for threats that originate in email, instant messages or online, not just from downloaded files. Installation is a breeze, but it's available only for MS Windows.
The icing on the cake: it can check for threats in email, instant messages or even Websites; has insecure site warning, a built-in PC tune up engine and optimised PC performance; and a 24x7 Support, by phone or live chat.
Trend Micro Titanium Max Sec 2012
Rs. 1,300/user /year
The Titanium also has a backup client built in, and comes with 10GB of cloud (Internet storage) space. It also includes a limited edition for Apple in the same box. This part, though, is not a full fledged antivirus, but it does warn you to stay away from links and websites that it suspects are illegitimate.
Parental controls allow you to setup a schedule of when your kids can access sites you listed as safe, though there is no detailed report on their online activities like there is in Norton.
The Titanium detects spam mail better, and also increases the effectiveness of the bulit in Windows firewall. In user tests I found advanced users loved the Norton interface, but in general, users found Trend Micro's basic Interface more useful.
The icing on the cake: If you lose your laptop/PC, you can remotely lock out files.
McAfee Total Protection 2012
A great new utility is the pre-install scan: it scans the PC before installation, clearing out any infection before you even install the antivirus.
The icing on the cake: A built in URL shortner that shortens long URLs to make it easy for you to share them with friends.
Bit Defender Total Security 2012
The most expensive of the lot, Bit Defender however is a favourite among its loyal users. Main features: free 2 GB of cloud space; an autopilot, which makes optimal security related decisions on its own rather than prompt you on what it should do; and a virtualised browser mode that isolates your web browser from the operating system --- this means your online activities and the OS are maintained separate spaces, enhancing your PC security.
Catch: Windows only.
Total Security also comes with a tune-up that optimizes the performance of your PC. According to AV Test (www.av-test.org), Bit Defender tops in terms of virus protection --- the reason why you bought an antivirus in the first place.
The icing on the cake: Rescue mode, which reboots your PC in a trusted environment and disinfects it, in case the antivirus was shut down and you managed to infect the PC.