What Is The Best Antivirus Software
25 august 2015
Ratings Coming Soon
What is the best antivirus?
Do I need to buy an antivirus or is a free alternative better? This is the question people should ask themselves before choosing an antivirus. Unfortunately, due to advertising and antivirus programs preinstalled on operating systems, this is not always the way. Resulting with most people using a substandard antivirus.
I repair and sale PCs and laptops for an occupation. Malware and viruses are one of the main problems to come into the shop. A high percentage of the time these computers have active antivirus software installed but still manage to develop these problems just showing you that antivirus programs are not foolproof.
Do you need to pay for antivirus software?
If you search for results to this question most websites will be recommending paid antivirus programs. Some of these sites may be making these suggestions purely for financial reasons as they may be affiliates to the antivirus companies and being paid for each customer they send their way. It is also a bit suspicious that most of the top ten recommended antivirus programs on these sites vary tremendously to other sites.
The reputable sites will more than likely also recommend paid antivirus programs such as Bitdefender, Kaspersky, McAfee, and more of the numerous antivirus software products out there. In many ways these paid antivirus software programs will be vastly superior to their free version or other free antivirus software. But most of these benefits will be unnecessary and cumbersome.
Many programs such as AVG and Norton will include monitoring software that monitors areas like processor usage and search engine results safety. All of this is not necessary as your computer will monitor your processor and your web browser will make sure that websites are safe. Nearly all of the paid antivirus programs and their free counterparts will contain unnecessary software that only hinders your computers speed and functionality.
If you are a business and security is of the utmost importance then I would suggest purchasing a paid version of an antivirus for the added protection. If you are just looking to protect your personal computer then you don't need to buy an antivirus. You probably don't need to download a free version either. If you have windows 8 or later then you will have Windows Defender preinstalled and either already running or waiting to be activated which will require all other antivirus software to be removed. Most sites will advise against using Windows Defender, or Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 and Vista, due to it being basic and not including the extra features. As stated before these extra features are not entirely necessary and Windows Defender works perfectly well defending your computer.
Do I need antivirus software for my Apple Mac?
This question has been around a long time now. The current and previous answer to this question is that they don't need antivirus installed. The reason I say current is that theoretically the main reason that Apple don't need antivirus is due to the market. Apple have less than 8% of the global computer sales. With such a low percentage using the OS X operating system and with nearly all the global sales using Windows it is obvious which operating system the criminal gangs will focus on when developing malware and viruses. Mac are not invulnerable but they are more complicated to hack than Windows leading to even a larger incentive for the criminal gangs to focus on Windows. Mac OS X makes it very difficult to install non Apple approved software and has now removed java and flash plug-ins increasing its security. For these reasons it would just not be cost effective for criminals to develop viruses and malware for devices in the single market percentage figures when there is more vulnerable targets. With Apples popularity slowly increasing things may change in the future. With that said, if you are using Apple for your business and safety is important then it would be advisable to purchase an antivirus product just to be safe.
Do I need antivirus software for my mobile device?
Apple claim that their iOS software is secure and except for a few breaches they seem to be right. The problem is that these breaches were quite extreme. One of the more famous breaches was iCloud getting hacked in 2014 and some compromising photographs of celebrities being released. Antivirus software would probably have not have made any difference in stopping these attacks. There is antivirus software available in the Apple store but is generally not needed.
Android devices are known not to be as secure as iOS and malware infections are not that uncommon. In saying that it is of the opinion that you do not need an antivirus for an Android device. Instead it is recommended to install an all round security app. These apps can usually scan for viruses or malware if you feel your device is infected. Some of their other features usually include increasing battery life by closing background apps or freeing up storage space. Most of the popular security apps are developed by antivirus software companies such as Avast, Eset, Avira, and more.
What is the best setup for antivirus?
Many of articles online say to use one of the main antivirus contenders such as McAfee, Norton, Bitdefender, and so on. From my experience most of these programs will do more harm than good. Most of them contain many features that will slow your computer down and are unnecessary. I have personally repaired many computers that were acting strangely and after some investigation found that the cause was an antivirus feature. Usually the firewall is to blame but can also be other components. Most of the popular antivirus software are also very difficult to remove. In many cases you need special software hidden in their site to remove them but even then there are still remnants left. This can be very problematic as laptop manufactures are selling their laptops with antivirus software preinstalled, usually McAfee or Norton, that only come with one to three months subscription. The problem with this is that Windows has the built in Windows Defender that cannot activate until the other antivirus has been fully removed leaving people defenceless.
In my opinion the only time you will need antivirus software for personal use is on a Windows computer. Since you are using Windows why not stick with Microsoft's security. If your computer is Windows 8 or later then the best option is to use Windows Defender for your antivirus and Windows Firewall for your firewall. If you are using Windows 7 or Vista then download Microsoft Security Essentials. If you get malware then delete it manually from Programs and Features in the Control Panel. I have seen malware removal software create more problems by only partially removing malware and making it extremely difficult to remove the remnants manually. To keep your computer fast use a registry cleaner such as Piriform CCleaner. Be careful though, most of these registry cleaners are actually malware. Even Google are using a cleanup tool to remove annoying adware from your browser. There is really no need to pay for antivirus software.
If you use your computer or device carefully and do not click on suspicious ads or open dangerous emails you should not have many problems. Nearly all viruses are preventable and just take a degree of common sense to avoid.
The Last of Us Remastered
4 January 2015
Authors Rating of Media
What we feared has come to pass and the world is in a post apocalyptic state where the survivors kill on sight and the infected roam in search of their next meal. This is the setting of Naughty Dog's critically acclaimed third person shooter survival horror title The Last of Us. The main factor for such acclaim for The Last of Us is due to its superb visuals and brilliant script and voice acting. As Naughty Dog is a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment The Last of Us is only available on PlayStation. This is the same for their other hugely successful series Uncharted. The game was originally brought out on PlayStation 3 in June 2013 but then rereleased as The Last of Us Remastered in July 2014 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
The moving intro of The Last of Us demonstrates the quality and brilliance of the acting and script of the entire game. You control Joel, played by Troy Baker, as he is trying to protect his family as the mysterious outbreak reaches his home town in Texas and sends them running for safety in whichever way they can.
After the emotional introduction the game jumps 20 years in the future where America is now in ruin. Joel has become a smuggler based in a military run quarantine zone in Boston. He soon finds himself reluctantly hired to smuggle Ellie, a fourteen year old girl played by Ashley Johnson, for the resistance movement called The Fireflies.
The clash of characters between the two soon becomes apparent with Joel a bitter cold hearted damaged man and Ellie a post pandemic born wide eyed teenager who still sees the beauty in the world as they set out on their travels. Throughout the game their travels lead them west across the United States over the best part of a year while their friendship blossoms like a protective father daughter relationship . This character development is portrayed flawlessly through the outstanding script and fantastic voice acting which is probably the main reason why The Last of Us has gotten such recognition.
In The Last of Us you travel on a linear path and will frequently come across a group of not so friendly humans or infected. The goal is usually to get past them either by stealth, guns blazing, or both. Each of the two types of encounters are different as in the behaviour and tactics of your opponent. For example when dealing with a hostile human encounter they will be armed with melee and firearm weapons and will hold their ground with their guns and try to flank you. While a battle with the infected can be completely different due to the fact that as soon as they detect you they will charge straight for you by instinct.
Your enemy will usually have a predestined path which they keep to until they are alerted. These paths can be learnt using your listen ability which allows you to hear their movements through walls and other obstacles. This can take some time though as you wait for the enemy to navigate their way but is necessary on the harder difficulties as ammunition will be in short supply. The goal, both against infected or human, is to silently take out as many as you can without being detected. You can creep around picking them off one by one thinning their numbers which is the smartest way as you don't waste your precious bullets. It is always good to clear the area as you can then search it for supplies and ammunition.
The first few encounters in The Last of Us are against humans. They typically carry guns so if they are alerted they will go for cover and shoot you when you come out of yours, which is whenever you want to fire at them. Meanwhile there will probably be a couple of them sneaking around to flank you. The enemy AI can be quite smart and make it very difficult if none were dealt with quietly.
After a few encounters you will come across a handful of infected. The combat with these is quite different. If they are disturbed then they will all charge at you at once which can be challenging. This particular room catches most people out as they figure out how to deal with the infected. If you are lucky you can eliminate them all stealthy but it will take some time to study the path they walk. One thing to know is that you can always run. There is nothing wrong with running in The Last of Us.
The human enemy are generally all the same with the only difference being how they are armed. They can either be unarmed and attack with their fists, have a melee weapon such as a plank of wood or a lead pipe, or they can have a firearm. This generally stays the same as the game progresses. Except that they will be better equipped and may also have some explosives and Molotov cocktails.
The infected enemy you will encounter on the other hand are a little more complex. There are four altered types, all at different stages of the infection, and a single encounter may include a combination of the four. Runners are in the first stage of the mutation and are the weakest of the infected. They hunt on sight with their glowing red eyes. Stalkers are similar to runners but at a more advanced stage of infection. They are very aggressive and will attack on sight. The fungal growths have started to appear on their face. Clickers are the third stage of the infection which has left them completely blind due to the fungal infection on their face. They now hunt by sound and can navigate about using a kind of echolocation which causes the clicking noise they make. They are quite deadly as they can kill with one bite and cannot be killed by bare hands. A shiv is needed to kill them stealthily or to protect yourself from being bitten. Bloaters are the final stage of the infection and are huge creatures covered in thick fungus which acts as armour. They are also completely blind and rely on echolocation and move at a slower pace than the others. They too kill with one blow but can also throw toxic fungus that damages health.
Scavenging is very important in The Last of Us as you do not have very much supplies. The main objects to find are ammunition and materials for crafting shivs, health kits, and explosives. You will have multiple weapons all of which take different ammunition and have a limited maximum shell count. You can also scavenge supplements, which allow you to permanently increase your skills, and parts that are used for upgrading your weapons and equipment. The harder the difficulty level the less there is to scavenge forcing you to have a more defensive approach to encounters with enemies.
Joel will amass multiple weapons, from pistols to a flame-thrower, during his travels. All of which can be upgraded at workbenches. As ammunition is scarce all weapons will need to be used. They can be switched between during the game which can take a bit of time so it is a good idea to be in cover when changing weapon. He also collects materials for crafting shivs, health kits, smoke bombs, nail bombs, and Molotov cocktails. All of which are very useful.
The Last of Us Remastered includes The Last of Us and downloaded content including the single player expansion Left Behind. This is a prequel telling the none linear story of Ellie (Ashley Johnson) and Riley (Yaani King). The character controlled is Ellie as the story jumps from a time during Ellie and Joel's travels to a time before events of the main story. The visuals of The Last of Us Remastered has also been updated for the PlayStation 4.
There is no surprise that The Last of Us was the second highest selling game for the PlayStation 3 in 2013 after Grand Theft Auto V. The visuals are amazing, even on the PlayStation 3. Some scenes are so detailed it leaves you thinking do we even need next generation consoles. Even though the graphics are so good I feel the best aspect of the game is the voice and motion acting. Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson give the characters and game a emotional depth I have never experienced in a game before. Most movies would not even come close. Other characters throughout the game have also displayed fantastic motion and voice acting such as Annie Wersching who plays Tess, Joel's smuggling partner, and Jeffrey Pierce who plays Tommy, Joel's brother and former Firefly.
Even though the script was well written I felt the storyline was a bit weak. The story has them travelling from one location to another then to another and so on without much story development. During this time their characters are developing but not so much the story. Another aspect of the game which could have been improved is the combat. I was not aware there would be so much stealth involved which can make the encounters quite tedious and repetitive. One example would be when clearing out an area and only have one Clicker left out of about ten infected and it notices you and manages to bit and kill you leaving you to do the whole encounter again and quite frustrated. Besides these issues I feel The Last of Us is an amazing game and has significantly raised the bar in certain areas. Hopefully with the massive success due to this other game development companies will improve these areas.