Computer software change all the time. What was once the best software for a particular task quickly becomes outdated when better software gets to the market. That means, shopping for the best software to make your college life easier, you’ll want to do some research to make sure you get the best software for your needs.

If you’re hunting for the best antivirus for college students, there are so many competing choices that it can be difficult to settle on one solution. One blog noted that with new software coming into an already competitive market, it’s imperative for consumers to educate themselves on what makes a good service so as to invest in only the best software. As a college student looking for an antivirus solution, that means looking for software that offers comprehensive security against malware and data loss.

Here are 6 of the best antivirus software in the market guaranteeing robust protection in an increasingly hostile digital space. Before we get to that though, there are a few things you should know about antivirus solutions.   

The Nature of Antivirus Software

When it comes to antivirus software, no size fits all. There’s no magic bullet that guarantees protection from all forms of malware. Almost every month, a new malicious program gets released that works its way around the most adept antivirus solution. That means you shouldn’t settle for the nearest software in the computer store shelf. Rather, it is important to take into account the evolving nature of antivirus applications to cater for different user scenarios.

Two types of antivirus solutions have come up over the years. There’s the barebones variant of antivirus applications that protect your computer from all external offline threats. The second variant is a superior version that offers extra protection from both online and offline threats.

Since most college students usually use the internet for research, it’s probably best to invest in the second variant to ward off all online and offline threats. With that said, let’s jump into the 6 of the best antivirus applications that offer both online and offline protection.

1. Kaspersky’s Antivirus

Arguably one of the most well-known names in the cybersecurity field, Kaspersky’s Lab has continued to offer one of the most resilient antivirus solutions for the last decade, with some of the highest malware-detection rates. Kaspersky’s Lab also spearheads the crack down on malware across the globe helping identify and combat some of the most resilient malware strains such as the Zeus Gameover malware, SpyEye, and Shylock malware family.

kaspersky antivirus

With such credentials under their belt, it comes as no surprise that Kaspersky’s Antivirus tops this list. It comes with a free trial version that allows you to enjoy the protection of a free antivirus without committing to a purchase. With Kaspersky’s you also get both online and offline protection. That means you can use it to scan a website that makes your essay better to make sure it’s free of malware before signing up.

2. Bitdefender

Bitdefender is another great malware protection solution. The antivirus software comes jam-packed with features not commonly found in most antivirus solutions including file encryption and a hardened browser to keep you safe whenever you are surfing the internet.

Another thing that makes Bitdefender a great solution against malware for college students is its small footprint. The software uses minimal system resources meaning it can be loaded even on the notebooks and phones with relatively small processing power. This is quite a feat, given that Bitdefender has a lot of useful extra features.

There’s one shortcoming with Bitdefender though. The initial disk scan takes quite a while. However, once you’ve performed the first scan, consequent scans are fast. Perhaps this small blemish shouldn’t be a put-off given that Bitdefender is the lowest-priced antivirus on this list.

3. Norton

Norton is a familiar name in cybersecurity circles. The company has consistently offered one of the most resilient and robust malware protection with detection rates of up to 97 percent. With Norton, you’ll also enjoy protection on your downloads. The antivirus software scans all of your downloads as soon as you start them, blocking any threats.

However, there are some malware variants that will make it past Norton, especially malware types that use Zero-Day exploits. Zero-Day exploits are computer vulnerabilities that the cybersecurity community are unaware of. These types of exploits take advantage of flaws that haven’t been discovered, making it entirely impossible to guard against.

Norton makes up for that slight chink in its armor by offering online protection. With Norton installed in your system, you’ll stay safe on websites that have malware on them. The antivirus displays information about the threat, including the name of the malware and when the malware was first discovered.

4. Avast

Avast is another antivirus solution that does a tremendous job of sniffing out offline and online malware. The software also bundles a password manager, a local network scanner, and a hardened browser. All these extra features don’t take up system resources though. Avast’s footprint is small, making it the lightest free antivirus product on this list every college student can enjoy.

avast antivirus

There are a couple of things users don’t like about Avast though. First of all, the antivirus wants users to install the Chrome browser on their system. Being nudged to install an extra piece of software to enjoy the services of antivirus can be a turn off for most users. Also, Avast is known for its slow scans. It can take up to several hours to scan a disk, but in that time, Avast will get more than 95 percent of threats, if they are present.

5. Trend Micro

While Trend Micro malware detection engine takes a lot of system resources, it is one of the best antivirus solutions. It comes bundled with extra features such as a password manager, file encryption capabilities, a file shredding option, a firewall booster. It doesn’t include a hardened browser or webcam protection though. However, its one-time purchase license is quite popular with users.

6. AVG Antivirus

One of the most reliable free antivirus software in this list, AVG, has a long and outstanding history in malware protection. It works with other anti-malware software, to make up for some of the features AVG doesn’t offer. The software detects Trojans and rootkits before they download on your system, which makes it a pretty versatile malware protection suit. AVG quarantines any potential threat before it can embed itself in your computer.

Since AVG doesn’t offer any extra features, it’s a barebones system for keeping your files protected offline. It also scans websites to guard against online malware infections.