Many antivirus programs scan for malware and viruses. Good ones also offer real-time protection that watches out for shady websites, suspicious sites and other bad behaviour. They also scrutinize the files you download and monitor their behavior to spot new threats that aren’t yet identified. Today, good antivirus software should be able to detect and eliminate ransomware. Some products accomplish this by Sandboxing. This is where suspicious encrypted files are put in a separate area of the operating system to be tested before allowing them to impact the rest of the system.

The best antivirus suites use minimal resources on your system and are fast to run. They don’t just look for malware and viruses but also safeguard your privacy, by encrypting emails as well as monitoring social media websites and ensuring that online transactions and banking are done through secure connections. Some suites also include other useful tools like an account manager for passwords and shredder for files. They also offer online security to ensure that your purchases are safe.

If you decide to pay for a software make sure it covers all the devices and operating systems that you want to safeguard. A majority of the top choices are compatible with all major platforms like Windows PCs (3 out of 4 desktops and laptops), macOS, and iOS. Some of the most advanced paid antivirus programs also work with Android devices, though it is best to check the company’s website for specifics. Certain vendors sell their products in online stores, however most will send you an email with a code that can be used to download their software through their website or app store.