Computer security depends on many of the (interesting) factors. One of the most critical things are the user habits (not opening the attachments in the e-mails), software updating and last but not least a quality security software.
There are a lot of various products on the market which are quite a different. In this article we’d like to show you the most important factors you should consider while buying any security software. The next 5 tips are the base minimum of what should every security software do the best and the all features (perhaps excluding the GUI) are the critical ones.
It’s easy to test the security software before you buy it because the vendors have the trial versions which you can test for free. But don’t forget to install just one security software of the same type at the same time (like antivirus and antivirus or firewall and firewall). Otherwise your operating system could crash or even to corrupt the critical system files.
So read the next lines and you’ll know which features are the most important to test while you are using the trial version of any of the security software.
System resources consumption
The power of hardware produced today is very high what gave the software vendors (even the security software vendors) the ability not to optimize the code and instead doing on features. The hardware capabilities are still something what is unused for the most of the time on a lot of workstations, so many users consider these code optimization techniques like something without the point. But it’s not so easy, because not everybody is using the desktops with Core i7 processors, 4-16 GB of RAM etc. There are a lot of netbooks on the market, old notebooks and even the tablets. And that’s why Microsoft did a really good job with Windows 7 and is working on the same high-performace operating system – Windows 8.
Nobody will use security software which is incredibly slow and resource hungry. Not mentioning the fact that there are a lot more software in the PC than just a security software. The other software is also something what is taking it’s own memory in RAM, communicating with the HDD and running using the CPU. And as the application number is raising the PC get slowing down but not linearly. It really doesn’t depend on a number of mega or gigabytes of your HDD and RAM.
A lot of factors come to play in slowing the PC – for example operating system architecture. One of the best examples is paging (saving the data from RAM to HDD). This procedure is performed in OS when there is a lot of applications running with huge amount of loaded data in RAM. If it’s so operating system swaps the less important (currently not in use) data from RAM to page file on the HDD. Today’s hard-disks have usually a 7 200 RPM (rotations per minute) so it’s much slower than the RAM memory modules. And here’s a deal why your computer gets really slow when you launch a lot of processes.
Performance and effectivity of security software
Every antivirus product which is configured to scan all opening files in the operating system permanently slows down your computer. However, this behavior is needed if you want to stay secure of malware hidden in various files. Actually, this slowing is something you can get through because the developers are always improving the performance of this piece of code.
Something else is when you want to scan all your hard drive at once. The HDDs have the capacity of the gigabytes and can contain the hundred of thousands files. In that case there you will probably see the bigger difference in antivirus performance but you still don’t know which product uses the better algorithm. While the HDD scan antivirus is decompressing the ZIP, RAR or even the application’s installer files to check for malware.
Some insight into the algorithm performance you can get from benchmark tests on the web and magazines where you can compare the pros and cons for every popular security
Reliability and integrity
BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) – probably everybody know what we’re talking about now. The time when Windows stops working and your monitor is displaying just blue screen with some information. BSOD isn’t something unusual but in the most cases it isn’t caused by antivirus. That’s because the system drivers (files with extension *.sys) what run in kernel of the operating system are developed really carefully and have passed a lot of tests before release. A huge amount of a code of security software is written as a driver which is executing in so called – ring 0 mode. That’s a crucial mode because even the smallest error in the code (what is good for system integrity) triggers the BSOD. Otherwise the code could tamper the system integrity and it would be hard to start the operating system.
Today it’s easy to find the ultimate security software bundles from many vendors. A big advantage of a complex security solution (all in one) is the compatibility of all technologies (antivirus, firewall, antispyware). However, in the past many users have experienced the compatibility issues (slowing down the system, BSOD) while using the security products from different software producers. These days you can choose the complex security solutions with antivirus, firewall, antispam, antirootkit from many software vendors. So you can be sure all your security features are compatible.
While the ultimate security solutions fits for many users there are still a lots of who want to use antivirus from one company and firewall from other vendor. If you belong to them you should do some research on the web if the concrete two products are compatible. And don’t forget to back up all your important data before you install any software.
Once again, check on the web if anybody have experienced any problems using the combination of software product you are considering to install. If more people are reporting the problems better you shouldn’t install one of these products.
The applications can work for a long time simultaneously in one system while their incompatible functions don’t meet at the same time. Then you can experience slow down your system or crash. The worst case scenario is that you won’t be able to start your system or lost your files.
Beginner vs. professional
A very important factor while choosing the security software is the level of your expertise in computer security. If you are just a regular user who knows almost nothing about computers you probably don’t need so many configuration features in the product. Every beginner wants the firewall which knows itself how to configure the rules or has some default security profiles.
The professional wants to configure the every detail of the firewall. It’s particularly important for administrators, security experts or the programmers of networking and security software which need to debug and analyze their software.
Good for the users there are a lot of professional tools on the market for both beginners and professionals.
Graphical user interface
Great GUI is the base parameter for every application. Software could be really professionally programmed and has a high performance but it will never attract so many users as nice-looking application which is easy to use.
The most important is the easy navigation through the settings of the application. A big plus for many users is certainly if there is just the only one way to every option in the settings. It’s not always very comfortable if you can set up some settings in the main window of the application and the same thing you can do in the main menu.
It’s not very what to say about the GUI. Many of the vendors are creating the graphically rich software so it’s up to you what you prefer.
Great you have read all the article so you should be able to look for the best security software for you. Always try more trial products from the different vendors and decide yourself what feels the best for you. If you are looking for some specific information about the various antivirus software you should visit the specialized websites.