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Top Rated Antivirus Software Reviews & Comparisons: The Best AntiVirus Software of 2009

written by: •edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 5/6/2010

From the popular household name of Norton, to the little guys like TrustPort, this article will provide you with unbiased, independent reviews and comparisons of top rated antivirus programs.

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    Choosing the Best Product

    With so many different antivirus programs available on today’s market, how do find the best antivirus software for your particular needs? Should you go for a free solution or a paid-for option? Whichever you choose, it’s important you read independent reviews to find out what the antivirus software has to offer, what it doesn’t and whether or not the program is going to be worth your time and money.

    Reading reviews is just the first step; once you’ve narrowed down your hunt for the best antivirus software, you’re going to want to know how they compare to each other. Here is a list of top rated pay-for antivirus software, how they compare to each other and links to Bright Hub’s independent reviews of the programs.

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    Norton AntiVirus 2009

    One of the biggest names when it comes to security software solutions, Symantec’s Norton products have become a common household name. But with popularity comes criticism; although Symantec is known for developing award-winning antivirus programs, these products have a reputation for being overly-large and resource-sucking, effecting the speed and performance of your computer. Not so with their latest antivirus software, Norton AntiVirus 2009. This program uses less than 8 MB of RAM, offers outstanding protection, quick scan times, and you’ll hardly know it’s running. Oh, and it costs only $39.99.

    Review of Norton AntiVirus 2009

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    Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware 6.1

    Offering complete protection against viruses, worms, spyware, keyloggers and so much more, Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware has got you covered when it comes to computer threats. One of Bright Hub’s top rated antivirus programs, Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware costs $29.95 for a one year subscription and, as an added bonus, 1 GB of online data storage.

    Review of Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware 6.1

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    TrustPort Antivirus 2009

    If you’re looking for a fairly basic antivirus program, TrustPort Antivirus may be what you’re looking for. This software provides the user with an option to use different scanning engines and the product is very customizable. One caveat is the help and support for TrustPort Antivirus. Rated below average, the support manual is difficult to read and the online help and FAQ’s are extremely basic. Bright Hub reviewer, Jake Shores’ bottom line on this product is “Given the customizable nature of TrustPort Antivirus and the multi-engine support, this software is a good fit for the budget user looking for an affordable, barebones antivirus package. However, novice users beware as the support documentation is sketchy at best. More experienced users should be able to figure out configuration settings after surfing through the tabs and implementing the "click and pray" method that I so lovingly embrace." This antivirus software costs $29.99 for a one year subscription.

    Review of TrustPort Antivirus 2009

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    BitDefender Antivirus 2009

    Using 15 MB of RAM, BitDefender Antivirus 2009 is nearly twice as large as Norton AntiVirus 2009. How does that affect its performance? According to Bright Hub reviewer, Ryan Tetzlaff, “I’m happy to report that BitDefender Antivirus utilizes a pretty light footprint when it comes to scanning – only using 20-30% of the CPU." This antivirus software doesn’t just protect your computer from viruses either, it will also detect and protect against spyware, phishing attacks, vulnerabilities and more. How much does it cost? $24.99 for a one user/one year subscription, with additional savings when you purchase extra licences.

    Review of BitDefender Antivirus 2009

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    VIPRE Antivirus + Antispyware

    In addition to virus protection, this antivirus software also includes protection against spyware and rootkits. Though Sunbelt Software - the makers of VIPRE Antivirus + Antispyware – claim the effects on your system performance will be minimal, Bright Hub reviewer, Donna Buenaventura, begs to differ. Besides being a slight resource hog, this antivirus software performs well, is very user friendly and costs only $29.95 for a one user/one year subscription. Like BitDefender Antivirus 2009, savings can be had the more licences you purchase.

    Review of VIPRE Antivirus + Antispyware

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    How do these Programs Compare?

    All five of these antivirus programs are rated well amongst Bright Hub reviewers. Some offer more protection then others, while others are slightly cheaper. How they compare depends on what, exactly, you’re looking for in an antivirus program and the ultimate decision may come down to price.

    In terms of value to price, here’s how they stack up:

    The Best Antivirus Software

    5. TrustPort Antivirus 2009

    4. VIPRE Antivirus + Antispyware

    3. BitDefender AntiVirus 2009

    2. Webroot AntiVirus with AntiSpyware 6.1

    ...and, somewhat surprisingly, coming in first place for the best antivirus software is...

    1. Norton AntiVirus 2009

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    Looking for a Free Solution?

    What is the best free antivirus software? Read our article Best Free Antivirus Programs of 2009 to find out!