Anti-virus software products are a lot like new cars — each year brings different models, which may be better or worse than the previous year’s product. While it’s impractical to change vehicles every year, it’s relatively simple to give up one anti-virus software and switch to another annually, if needed.
I explained in my last post why I decided to end my subscription with Webroot. My search for a new product focused on two main criteria: price and performance.
To get an idea of which products offer the best protection for my computer, I turned to two trusted sources of technology information. PC Magazine offers a review of the best 2013 anti-virus products and PC World offers a similar set of test results. Unfortunately, not every product tested by one publication was evaluated by the other, so I looked for commonalities between the two articles. The products they seemed to agree on were Norton, Bitdefender and Webroot.
Step two was to compare the products offered by Norton and Bitdefender, since I’d already ruled out Webroot. Much like the “trim levels” offered in new cars, anti-virus products offer varying levels of protection. Most product websites provide a comparison chart which shows the features that are common to all its products and then the “extras” you get for upgrading beyond the lowest-priced model. When comparing products, be sure to think about how many computers you need to protect. Some products give you a software license for only one machine, while the more expensive ones typically protect three computers and purchase additional licenses as needed.
The two products that seemed to best fit my needs were Norton Internet Security and Bitdefender Internet Security. Much like cars, these products are constantly “on sale” or subject to various promotions. To get the most bang for my buck, I did a Google search for promotional codes for these products. One of my favorite promo code sites, RetailMeNot, offered a coupon code for 70 percent off the purchase price. This allowed me to purchase Bitdefender Internet Security for $20.98. The best deal I could find on the Norton product was a 25 percent off promo code, making the purchase price $37.50.
Since the two products appear quite similar, I chose Bitdefender. Removing Webroot and installing the new product was a simple process. After I have several months of experience with Bitdefender under my belt, I’ll post a review of my new anti-virus software.
Have you tried Norton or Bitdefender? What as your experience?