Antivirus software shields your PC from phishing scams, malware and other malicious files that can steal information or slow down your computer. These programs check your PC for threats and eliminate the threats if they are found, and some include additional security features, like firewalls that help to prevent attacks on networks. Some are free while others require a monthly fee to provide complete protection.

When selecting an antivirus program, look for a program that consumes a small amount of system resources so that it does not slow down your computer during scans for viruses or other tasks. You can use the search feature of the program to locate reviews from users. This will help you determine whether a specific program is effective and does not consume too much memory or space on your hard drive or other resources.

The most effective antivirus software will identify viruses quickly and reliably. They may employ a combination of techniques, including specific detection, which looks for known viruses; generic detection, which detects specific parts or types of malware as well as heuristic detection that analyzes the behavior of the user to find suspicious patterns. Once a virus is identified it will be isolated by the program it from other files or programs and prevent access to it and erase it. Some programs might display an alert signalling that the threat has been eliminated or has been detected.

If you are looking for the best antivirus software, think about one that has additional security features like parental controls, cloud scanners, and ransomware security. Other features include a free trial or money-back guarantee, compatibility with multiple devices as well as frequent updates and customer support.