Ed's recommended programs and services which you may find beneficial
As security programs change over time, what is the best this year may be nowhere near as good next year. With that in mind, these recommendations change from time to time, based on independent testing by AV-TEST.
The options are different depending upon what operating system and device you are running. Pick the option below that’s appropriate for you, for my specific recommendation.
If you have a Windows PC, I recommend Kaspersky Internet Security. It consistently scores about as close to perfect protection as you can get across all versions of Windows, and it barely slows your computer down at all. It costs about $60 for a 1 year subscription (less if you install the trial version first, give them your email address, and use the 50% off link in the welcome email). Worth it. That’s probably less than you’d pay a techy to come clean up the mess if you aren’t protected, and you will also get to skip the pain and suffering that comes along with an infection.
If you’re on a real tight budget and are looking for free protection, then I choose Panda Cloud Antivirus free version. It’s protection level is quite decent, though a little less than perfect. On some versions of Windows it will also slow your computer down quite a bit. And since it is free, you will see a popup at least once per day, asking you to buy the full paid version.
Some might say that Macs don’t need any security software. That being a less common computer they are not a target. No longer true. While there are fewer threats thrown at them compared to Windows computers, Macs are still victims of attacks. Be smart and defend yourself.
Currently, Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac ranks the best, with a perfect protection score and a negligible 2% slowing of your Mac.
If you are looking for a free solution, try Avast Free Antivirus for Mac. It scored a 97% protection level, and will slow your Mac down about 10%, which is in the realm of noticeable slowness.
If you have an Android based device, be it a phone, tablet, or something else, I recommend CM Security. It’s a free download from the Google Play store and offers the best protection available for Android.
For iOS (iPhone and iPad)
I don’t have enough experience to have an answer for you here. It’s quite likely you don’t even need to run any security software on your iPhone or iPad. I’ll update this if I learn any different.
Some Things to Consider
Some legalish stuff I feel is important to mention, but written in as plain of English as I can.
My Stance on Affiliate Linking
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase one of these programs or sign up for one of the services, I may receive some sort of compensation, whether in money, credit, upgrades, etc. Sometimes I just get a warm fuzzy feeling.
I want to make it very clear, I do not and will never recommend or endorse anything because the maker gives me something to do so. Everything here is recommended because I believe it’s the best option in its category that I am aware of. If the suitability ever declines, or a better option comes into my awareness, then I will change my recommendation. Even if that means I go from being generously compensated to receiving nothing but that warm, fuzzy feeling I mentioned earlier.
If the company that makes the program or offers the service is willing to give me something for telling you I think it’s the best, then I’ll take what’s offered. If they don’t offer me anything, so be it, I still recommend it to you.
Your Mileage (Kilometreage?) May Vary
Different people can and do have wildly different experiences with exactly the same thing. I’ve had positive experience with these programs and services, and the companies and people who make them. Or at least better experience than with the alternatives. I cannot in any way guarantee that you will.
These are third parties I have no control or say over. They may change hands, change policies, make a significant update, or introduce a troublesome bug I don’t notice right away. You may catch the new customer service rep who’s having a horrible day and makes you suffer along with them. And some people just seem to have “bad luck” where the unfortunate seems to often happen. But you’re not one of those people, so it’s all good, right?
While I try to recommend things I believe will be as easy as possible to use, I can only make an educated guess if it will be so for you. We’re all unique, with different experience, different ways of seeing things, and different ways of thinking and feeling. What works well for me and most of my other clients may be totally unsuitable for you. Or maybe you just need a computer tutor to help you understand it. Hey, that’s me!
In other words, don’t blame me if any of my recommendations mess up your computer, you end up with a terrible experience, do-do does happen, or you have limited computer experience and try to do something beyond your understanding without someone more experienced to guide you. I promise I try to pick based strongly on reliability, and customer experience if relevant. And I don’t pick complicated things just to keep myself busy.