Flame, Stuxnet, DNSChanger, Gauss, if those names scare you its because you understand the nature of the computer virus market in 2012. If those names mean nothing to you it’s probably time to look over this list and pick one of our choices for best virus scan programs of 2012. This list includes programs that range in price from just $18.00 to $40.00 and all three programs offer top notch, industry trusted protection.

Best antivirus

Norton AntiVirus 2012 ($18-$20)

Norton AntiVirus is especially good at cleaning up systems that have already been infected with malware. The program uses an architecture that allows for dual booting of system resources. If malware attempts to block installation the programs installer launched a preinstall scan to root out the problem.

Installing Norton AntiVirus 2012 is a breeze with a one-click installation that takes care of everything.

Norton Anti Virus Software

One of the best features offered is known as “reputation scan.” This feature scans a computer and when good files are found they are whitelisted. Scans after the first whitelisted approach are much faster because the program knows which files are not a threat.

Norton AntiVirus 2012 doesn’t offer the same web protection scanning as the full Norton Suite but for quick cleanups and the removal of previously installed Malware this may be the best virus scan program for the money.

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus ($29.95)

WebRoot Virus Scan Security

Webroot is a very small program that installs in seconds and performs system scans that are not system intensive. As a user who tends to max out 8GB RAM I personally like this program because of its small systems footprint.

Webroot SecureAnywhere uses behavior-based detection to catch threats almost immediately and when it misses a file it works quickly to trace its step and flag malicious content it didn’t catch on first pass.

According to a PCWorld Webroot was able to detect 94 percent of the threats placed on a test system, beating the tech magazines previous record of 91 percent set by Panda Cloud Anti-Virus 1.5 Free Edition.

Rated as one of the top malware removal tools Webroot is a great option for no thrills protection.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2012

BitDefender Anti Virus Scan Program

If you need an all-inclusive Anti Virus program Bitdefender is the way to go. Independent lab tests have routinely ranked this virus scan program among the top of many lists. Bitdefender offers ‘silent security’ that won’t bog down your system resources while an antiphishing protection system helps users avoid malware and other viruses before they can infect their systems.

The best part about Bitdefender may be its ability to control private data protection and identity theft monitoring. Among its features are remote monitoring and even Facebook protection.

The multi-layer security setup found on Bitdefender is ultimately its best selling point. For example the program performs a quick antivirus scan during installation and if viruses are found they are removed immediately and a system report with threat removal is observed. After an automatic restart the system continues its virus can program.

The Bitdefender program also includes a “Plan B” which reboots a users system and scans for viruses just as a computer would with a rescue CD being used.

Bitdefender is the most expensive program on our list at $40 but it’s also the most competent and truly robust.

Choosing the best virus scan programs of 2012 is no easy task. Choosing to  focus on decently priced options that have tested high in independent lab tests however is always the best way to go. If you don’t choose any of these programs just always remember that any virus scan program is better than nothing at all. Also remember that responsible web browsing, email attachment opening and other “best computer practices” should be observed to avoid computer viruses and malware.

 

[Images via PCMag bioquellus]