Windows 7 offers some new security features, but a good antivirus program can provide additional protection. Greg Shultz put together a list of 10 solid Windows 7-compatible choices.

Now that Windows 7 is out, chances are that evildoers the world over are busily scheming and dreaming up new and horrendous malware to target the new operating system in yet an another attempt to bring the computing world to its knees.

Of course, one could say that Windows 7 is probably one of the most secure operating systems ever to come out of Redmond; however, that doesn’t mean that Windows 7 doesn’t need the extra protection provided by an antivirus program. And due to the success of the Windows Ecosystem Readiness Program, a lot of programs are vying for the opportunity to protect Windows 7. Here are 10 antivirus programs that have earned the Compatible with Windows 7 logo.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: AVG

AVG just released several editions of its version 9.0 product line: AVG Antivirus Free (Figure A) and the regular yearly subscription editions, AVG Antivirus, AVG Internet Security, and AVG Internet Security Business Edition (which provides various size site license packages). The Free edition offers basic antivirus and anti-spyware protection but lacks automatic updating — you are notified when new virus definitions and other updates are available, but you must manually click the update button. The Subscription editions provide the same protection as the Free edition and adds several other features, such as phishing protection and anti-rootkit protection. AVG Internet Security adds anti-spam and a firewall to the mix.

Figure A

The AVG 9.0 Free edition offers basic antivirus and anti-spyware protection.

2: avast!

The avast! product line, which is now at version 4.8 (version 5 right around the corner), includes a free Home Edition and a subscription-based Professional Edition, as well as a variety of business and enterprise level packages. The Home Edition, which is designated for noncommercial home use only, provides antivirus and anti-spyware protection, anti-rootkit protection, and automatic updates. The Professional Edition provides antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-rootkit, and much more.

3: McAfee

McAfee’s 2010 product line provides three home and home office editions: VirusScan Plus, Internet Security, and Total Protection, along with a host of business and enterprise packages. Each edition provides antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, and firewall protection. Each successive edition adds more security features.

4: Norton

Norton claims that its 2010 versions, Internet Security and AntiVirus, were built from the ground up for Windows 7. Both products block viruses, spyware, Trojan horses, worms, and rootkits. The Internet Security package adds a two-way firewall and a host of other security features.

5: Kaspersky

Kaspersky’s antivirus 2010 and Internet Security 2010 products are available for download with a 30-day trial. Both offer protection against viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, and bots as well as providing phishing and identity theft defense features. Internet Security includes advanced features, such as Safe Run, which lets you run applications and browsers in an isolated mode that prevents access to private data or computer resources, and Security Analyzer, which scans all applications to ensure that you’re running the latest and safest versions.

Figure B

Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 provides protection against viruses and spyware and includes additional security tools.

6: Trend Micro

Trend Micro offers a multitude of product packages, ranging from home to enterprise. The three main Trend Micro products are Antivirus + Antispyware, Internet Security, and Internet Security Pro, all of which offer a free trial. Each product provides antivirus and anti-spyware protection. Internet Security adds Web, email, and parental protection, and Internet Security Pro adds online commerce and advanced threat protection as well as performance features, just to name a few.

7: Panda Security

The Panda 2010 products, Antivirus Pro, Internet Security, and Global Protection, offer antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, and firewall protection. The Internet Security package adds anti-spam, parental controls, and backup, while Global Protection adds premium backup and PC tune-up features.

8: PC Tools

Spyware Doctor with Antivirus 2010 can detect, block, and remove viruses, spyware, adware, Trojans, worms, keyloggers, and host of other types of threats. The Internet Security 2010 package adds a firewall, spam protection, and more.

9: Sunbelt Software

Sunbelt Software’s VIPRE (Virus Intrusion Protection Remediation Engine) Antivirus + Antispyware product is compatible with Windows 7. If you are planning to use Windows XP Mode in Windows 7, you’ll want to investigate this security package, as the product description asserts that it is also compatible with XP Mode and that no extra license is needed for it.

10: Microsoft Security Essentials

The new kid on the block, Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download that offers protection against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, such as rootkits and Trojans. Security Essentials provides real-time scans of downloads and attachments, monitors suspicious file and program activity, runs unattended scans, and will automatically download virus and spyware definitions.

Figure C

Of course, Microsoft Security Essentials is compatible with Windows 7.


If you visit the Consumer Security Software Providers page on Microsoft’s Windows site and use the linked logos at the bottom of the page, you’ll discover that many of the companies are offering special pricing to visitors who arrive via these links. You’ll also discover that while I’ve covered 10 security products in my list, 10 more appear on the Consumer Security Software Providers page. (Keep in mind that not all of the packages listed on the page have the Compatible with Windows 7 logo.)

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