Antivirus security software detects viruses and malware by examining the files on your computer and detecting those that match the patterns of code that have previously been identified or determined as being a virus. The database within the programs should be updated to contain the latest information on known viruses. If antivirus is out of date or not updated, it will not work efficiently and viruses may still infect your computer.

Antivirus security suites usually include antivirus protection, antispyware, firewall, adware and application control. If you have antivirus and additional internet security protection within the same application then you have antivirus internet security software which is a feature of most antivirus suites these days.

There are many different antivirus products on the market. Many people stick with the software that was pre-installed on their computer when they purchased it. Don’t be tricked into doing this, the renewal cost will be far greater than you need to pay. No longer do well known brands such as McAfee and Norton produce the best antivirus software.

Three of the best Antivirus programs available today include:

  • ESET NOD32 ESET NOD32 Antivirus is fast becoming one of the best antivirus packages on the market. It provides advanced antivirus, anti-spyware and email protection.
  • Kaspersky Internet Security – Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 is a complete tool that will keep your computer safe when surfing the Internet. It includes features such as virus protection scanning, popup blocker, email scanner and a firewall.
  • BitDefender Antivirus – BitDefender Antivirus 2010 is one of the best antivirus solutions available, merging a powerful feature set and robust protection into a program that’s easy to use.

When choosing antivirus for your computer, you must take into consideration your computer’s capability and the minimum system requirements provided by the software vendor. If you think your computer can meet the minimum requirements, you can go ahead and purchase or download it from the supplier. If you aren’t sure about your system’s capability, it is much better to seek advice first, to avoid wasting your time and money.