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They can do anything from the theft of your hard disk space, to accessing your private data and draining your CPU. There are a myriad of anti-virus applications available to shield your devices from the dangers. The most important thing is to select one that will have a minimal impact on the performance of your system. All of our antivirus software has been tested against this. The results below are based on the amount of time it takes each program to perform an operation. For instance, Kaspersky Security Cloud Free had a background impact of just 6percent when performing the full scan, while ESET had a slightly greater impact of 12%.

Avira, a German-based firm, has a solid reputation in our tests. It always scores over 90 percent in the three categories of Protection (False positives) and Performance (False Positives) and Usability. Its user interface is comfortable and has a wealth of functionality including a smart firewall and other privacy tools. Avira subscriptions are priced monthly instead of for a fixed three-year period. This makes it easier to cancel the subscription or change the terms at any time.

Essentware, formerly known as PCKeeper was a relatively new name in our tests. It utilizes the Avira Engine that runs under the hood. Overall, it did quite well. Its performance and user interface are both easy to use but there are a few issues with stability that resulted in scan jobs freezing up that have led to a lower rating. The detection was excellent and a flawless run of the certification sets earned VB100.