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Which? Don't Buy antivirus software

Awful antivirus software exposes you to more malicious software and scams than better downloads - avoid these internet security programs.

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Antivirus software that doesn't protect you from malicious software and scammers is no better than a chocolate teapot. In fact, poor internet security downloads are even worse - they can leave your computer exposed to attack despite their promises of watertight antivirus protection. A far cry from our Best Buy security downloads.

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What makes Don't Buy antivirus software?

Internet security should give you the peace of mind that any cyber attack will be vanquished at speed. But Don't Buy antivirus programs can completely miss malicious software. The worst will also give out incoherent messages on the odd occasion they do sniff something out, and it may be a nightmare to schedule scans and install the programs.

Best Buy antivirus programs on the other hand, are a dream to use and take no prisoners when it comes to viruses and scam attempts. And if you're assuming it's only free downloads that don't make the grade, think again. One of our Don't Buys costs £50 - we've tested free downloads that do much better.

Which?'s independent antivirus software testing

We install antivirus software from the likes of McAfee, AVG, Kaspersky and Norton on our test PCs and Macs in the lab. We then throw hundreds of types of virus, ransomware, phishing emails and trojan horses at them to see which security can stop them best.

  • We use dodgy downloads and unpleasant USBs to try to sneak nasties on to our computer - we like security programs that leave us with a clean bill of health.
  • The quality of their anti-phishing tools, firewalls and other extra features are all taken into account when we calculate the total test score.
  • Paid-for and free antivirus suites get exactly the same treatment. We want to know whether you have to pay anything to protect your PC.

There's simply no point downloading Don't Buy virus protection. Not when we can point you to brilliant Best Buys and our pick of the best free antivirus software programs.

Find out which internet security suites are Don’t Buys and those that are Best Buys by taking out a £1 trial to Which?.

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