We review antivirus software, so that you can decide which is the best for you!


The 5 Best Antivirus for Windows Vista

Windows Vista was not exactly Microsoft’s finest hour. The operating system is well-known for being quirky and sluggish, and when it was released, many users felt like it was a big step back from Windows XP, which by that point delivered a smooth and stable user experience.

In some ways, public opinion did Vista a disservice. The operating system is inherently more secure than Windows XP, and ultimately the popular Windows 7 uses much of the same core code. It’s just a shame that it took Microsoft two goes to get it right.

Some people still use Windows Vista, and we assume you are one of them if you’re reading this round-up. Vista users are, however, part of an increasingly small minority. A recent “usage share” study, published on Wikipedia, revealed that only 3.98% of those browsing the Web still use Vista. This compares to 46% running Windows 7, 31% still using Windows XP, and 7.5% using Mac OS X.

One thing that is for certain is that you need a good antivirus package, regardless of which Windows version you are running. The good news is that all of our favourite five packages are all compatible with Vista. This has the added benefit that it you decide to upgrade your Windows version, you can still stick with the package you choose.

Due to this level of compatibility, it’s no surprise that the programs we recommend here tally exactly with those we recommend in our generic Windows antivirus roundup.

There is one thing you must take into consideration: all of these packages require you to have a certain level of Vista service pack installed. While some, such as VIPRE, only require Service Pack 1, others, such as ZoneAlarm, require Service Pack 2.

You can check your Vista service pack level by visiting the “System” section of the Windows Control Panel. It’s always advisable to run Microsoft’s most recent service pack revision.


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Winner – Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus


Positives: Low resource use – helpful when running Vista!

Negatives: Not the cheapest product on the market

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus earns its place at the top of our Vista antivirus product roundup, even though its pricing is above average. If you have multiple computers, the pricing does become more competitive for multiple licenses.

SecureAnywhere feels very modern, and the user interface successfully manages to put a vast range of features at your fingertips without an overwhelming number of options. However, techies who do want to get to the “nuts and bolts” of the software will find advanced settings just a few clicks away.

Another thing we like about the Webroot product is easy access to technical support. The vendor offers live chat from the front page of the product website.

Most importantly of all, SecureAnywhere dealt perfectly with every one of our real-world virus threats, whilst barely making a dent in our system resource usage.

Installation on Windows Vista requires Service Pack 1 or higher.

Visit Webroot

2. VIPRE Antivirus 2014

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Positives: Very fast, very effective

Negatives: Some products have more extra features – but you may not want them

VIPRE Antivirus 2014 is a good choice for Vista users, as it’s very lean in terms of system footprint. With Vista already known for being sluggish, the last thing you need is an antivirus product that slows things down.

VIPRE is also great value, although the value shows itself best if you choose a multiple PC or lifetime subscription.

Many businesses use antivirus software based on the same technology and it works extremely well, steaming through all of our tests with no issues.

If you wish to use VIPRE Antivirus 2014 under Vista, you must be running Service Pack 1 or higher.

Visit Vipre

3. ZoneAlarm PRO Antivirus + Firewall

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Positives: Far more than just an antivirus package

Negatives: Requires Vista Service Pack 2

The clue is in the name with ZoneAlarm PRO Antivirus + Firewall! Here you get a well-known firewall package, as well as highly effective antivirus, all for a very keen price.

Admittedly, the installation of ZoneAlarm lacks panache, and was a little time-consuming, but this was balanced out by loads of features and a very pleasing user experience.

ZoneAlarm also throw in 5GB of online backup space. While this is easy to come by from other places, it’s a pleasant addition.

ZoneAlarm does require Vista Service Pack 2, so if you choose this product, make sure your Vista computer is up to date before purchasing.

Visit ZoneAlarm

4. Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus Plus

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Positives: The rare inclusion of antispam in an entry-level product

Negatives: Scans are sluggish

Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus Plus is a product we strongly recommend, and the inclusion of an antispam component is a nice touch.

The product also made easy work of our test viruses, and we liked the user-friendly interface.

The only real downside is that the pricing is above average, and (despite the antispam), you don’t get quite as much for your money as you do with other products higher up our league table.

Even so, this is a great choice for Vista – just make sure you’re running Service Pack 2, which is required for successful installation.

Visit TrendMicro

5. Norton AntiVirus 2014

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Positives: Feature-packed and fast

Negatives: Ease of use could be improved

Don’t let anyone tell you that Norton doesn’t deserve consideration. Yes, the product went through some dark times when it became slow and bloated, but those times are long gone.

Norton Antivirus 2014 is a great enthusiasts choice; there are loads of features here and it’s possible to configure the software to the finest detail. The trade-off for this is that it can seem a touch overwhelming for novices, not helped by Symantec’s love of using impressive buzzwords for plenty of the features.

Still, this is a fast and effective product, and one that deserves your attention. It works fine on Vista too, and unlike some products only requires Service Pack 1 or later.

Visit Norton


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