Avira Free Antivirus: Avira provided the third-highest detection rate (out of seven free antiviruses tested) for spotting known malware samples: 99.7%, compared to Security Essentials' rate of 97%. Though it scored lower than Security Essentials on AV-Test's remaining detection and repair tests, Avira did provide much faster scanning.
Paid Antivirus Options
Though free antivirus programs can provide adequate protection for most users, the best protection must be bought. To compare these, I'll refer to a roundup review of paid security suites that we posted in January of this year. Here are the top four programs you might consider purchasing, with their prices for one year of protection on three PCs lited parenthetically:
G Data InternetSecurity ($45): Among 14 paid packages tested, G Data Internet Security provided the best protection against known malware with a 99.99% detection rate. At the same time, it had minimal impact on PC performance, and an acceptable complete malware removal score of 60%.
Norton Internet Security ($50): This program delivered solid detection of known malware, at 99.94%, but it suffered from a higher-than-average false-positive rate and a relatively low malware removal mark of 50%.
Bitdefender Internet Security ($80): Bitdefender turned in the second-highest malware detection rate among paid programs, at 99.96%, and it also distinguished itself with a very good removal rate (90%), but its scan speeds tended to be slow, and the software had a relatively large impact on PC performance.
Kaspersky Internet Security ($65): Kaspersky's paid antivirus software combined good malware protection (at 99.34%) with an acceptable malware removal rate of 60%.