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    Best Cloud Antivirus of 2020

    Cloud antivirus is your network’s first line of defense - here’s how to select the option that matches your security needs.

    Antivirus for Mac

    Cloud-Based Antivirus: The Future of IT Security (Entrance)

    Cloud-based services have become commonplace across several IT industry sectors - and now the antivirus market is being transformed by these trends as well.

    As businesses shift from antivirus packages installed individually on each computer to cloud-based, network-wide solutions, knowing which cloud-based antivirus package to choose has become essential.

    If you’re not familiar with cloud-based antivirus software, we’ll give you the info you need to make the best possible buying decision. Let’s find out more about cloud-based antivirus by taking a closer look at some of the most popular antivirus offerings available from the market.

    What is Cloud-Based Antivirus?

    Cloud-based antivirus uses a cloud server and AI functionality to detect unusual software behavior on your computer network.

    Unlike traditional antivirus software that was installed on each computer separately using a site license, cloud-based antivirus resides in your server.

    By monitoring all software activity on the network, cloud-based antivirus is more likely to detect viruses, trojans, and malware than traditional antivirus software. Instead of simply comparing applications installed on each computer to a virus database, it literally keeps an eye on your network and acts proactively to contain and clean potential infections.

    Best Cloud Antivirus 2020

    Provider
    Features
    • Real-Time Antivirus Protection
    • Online Security
    • Unlimited VPN
    • Advanced Threat Protection
    • High level of online protection
    • Gaming mode
    • Users seeking a single cross-platform antivirus
    • UEFI Firmware protection
    • Threat detection from sophisticated malware
    • Encrypted online browsing and transactions
    • Encrypted online browsing and transactions
    • Recovering damaged files

    Before you decide on an antivirus package, you’ll need to know whether its specific features suit your needs. We’ve put together a list of seven industry-leading cloud-based antivirus solutions. Read on for the low-down on each one.

    Symantec EndPoint Protection

    Symantec is an established provider of antivirus software, and the company’s EndPoint Protection offering builds on decades of expertise to provide comprehensive virus protection.

    Pros:

    • Endpoint Protection functions by monitoring a huge data set gathered from 200 million computer systems worldwide. This allows the software to identify viruses, malware and other undesirable software around the world and give each common file a security ranking.

    Cons:

    • While Symantec’s offering is reliable and well-supported, it does offer limited customization for individual users. If your IT manager is responsible for your network’s security, this package may be ideal for your business.

    Panda

    Panda is another long-time player in the antivirus industry. Their software features fast scanning times, a large detection database, and other features that make it ideal for home users.

    Pros:

    • Panda’s antivirus offering is reasonably priced, with features that include firewall protection, WiFi security, malware protection and privacy defense.

    Cons:

    • Some users have reported that Panda’s malware scanner sometimes returns false positives - supposedly infected files that turn out to be safe. This is a small drawback to using what is otherwise an excellent antivirus package.

    ESET Endpoint Security

    ESET has an excellent reputation for the thoroughness of its scans and virus database, as well as the quality of its firewall protection.

    Pros:

    • The software is highly engineered, with minimal false positives and the ability to detect a very high percentage of trojans and other malware that may evade detection by other antivirus software.

    Cons:

    • The main drawback of ESET’s thoroughness is that the software is resource-intensive and can slow down system performance when running.

    Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud

    Kaspersky is another household name in the antivirus industry, and its Endpoint package builds on decades of expertise.

    Pros:

    • With excellent protection against viruses, malware, ransomware and password breaches across the network, Endpoint is an exceptionally well-rounded solution for business or organizational settings.

    Cons:

    • As with ESET, the detection and monitoring power that Kaspersky Endpoint offers comes at the expense of system performance.

    Avira Antivirus for Endpoint

    Avira is a fast, efficient antivirus system that offers good overall protection without demanding too much in terms of processing power and system resources.

    Pros:

    • Another positive aspect of using Avira Endpoint is its effective email protection features. You’ll be able to scan mail on both POP and SMTP servers in real time.

    Cons:

    • While Avira may not be an industry-leading brand with a decades-long track record, it offers great value and more than adequate protection for most users.

    Sophos Endpoint protection

    Sophos is a reasonably priced, feature-rich antivirus software package that uses AI and machine learning to track and trace viruses, malware and other security breaches.

    Pros:

    • Sophos stands out for its use of smart scanning and root cause analysis. Should a virus or malware be detected, the software will not only alert you to its presence but also trace how and when it entered your network.

    Cons:

    • Modifying Sophos’ basic policies to allow certain file types or to facilitate saving to USB or external hard drives can be cumbersome. However, the standard setup offers excellent protection.

    Webroot

    Affordability, ease of use, light system requirements and comprehensive antivirus and anti-malware features are some excellent reasons to consider Webroot cloud-based antivirus.

    Pros:

    • At $30 a year, Webroot is competitively priced and affordable for virtually every business and most home users too.

    Cons:

    • Webroot is a good software package, but the company’s technical support has disappointed some users. The number of devices that can be protected under a single subscription is also limited.

    How to Choose the Right Cloud Antivirus?

    Choosing the right antivirus software for your needs is essential and with the advent of cloud antivirus, there’s never been a better selection of packages available.

    The most important question to ask yourself when you choose between the various options is, does this antivirus suit my needs, my budget, and my hardware setup?

    Let’s consider those three factors in a little more detail.

    What are your antivirus needs?

    Everyone needs antivirus software to detect viruses, malware, trojans - not to mention the recent scourge of ransomware.

    More specifically, your antivirus requirements will differ depending on how many computers make up your network, how much email traffic you generate, and your company’s web browsing and downloading policy.

    What kind of budget are you working with? A home office or small business setup can benefit from the protection offered by an affordable cloud antivirus subscription.

    Options like Webroot, Panda, and Avira will cost you just a few dollars a month. In exchange for a small investment, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with a fully functional antivirus solution.

    On the other hand, larger organizations with multiple computers, servers, and data storage devices will need to invest in a more comprehensive antivirus package. With sensitive data and dozens - or even hundreds - of computers at risk, it’s worth looking at options like Kaspersky, ESET and Sophos.

    Finally, it’s important to remember that as the sophistication and features of an antivirus package increase, so do its system requirements.

    A simple, lightweight package like Avira won’t use up nearly as much CPU power, RAM, and storage space as a comprehensive antivirus package.

    By weighing up your security requirements against the hardware and budget you have to work with, you’ll be able to find the cloud antivirus that best suits your business.

    Remember, when in doubt, you can always opt for a free trial whenever possible and try out the software before you buy it.

    What Do We Think About Cloud Antivirus?

    Now that we’ve introduced you to some of the best cloud antivirus software available today, you should have no difficulty choosing the one that best suits your needs - but is cloud antivirus the best choice for your business?

    The main advantage of cloud antivirus compared to traditional antivirus software is the benefit of lower system requirements and access to an international network of security data.

    Traditional vs. Cloud Antivirus - What’s The Difference?

    While traditional antivirus software requires a fair amount of storage and processing power - which usually has to be supplied by your server - cloud antivirus takes those requirements offsite.

    Another benefit of cloud antivirus has to do with the way it scans the computers on your network and identifies threats.

    Traditional antivirus packages were designed around a checking and comparison model, where the antivirus would scan your computer for files that were listed on its virus database.

    Unfortunately, the sheer number of viruses and malware out there means that virus databases are outdated almost as soon as they are updated.

    Cloud antivirus works by accessing a global network of real-time virus data, based on both a virus database and viruses detected on computers of other antivirus users. This network approach allows cloud antivirus to keep pace with the viruses and malware that are created every day.

    Read More On: Traditional antivirus or Cloud-based: Which one is better?

    Is Cloud-Based Antivirus As Effective As Traditional Antivirus?

    Cloud-based antivirus relies heavily on the internet for its functionality - and critics of the technology see this as a potential weakness.

    It’s true that cloud-based antivirus relies on an internet connection to access the cloud, and that malware that disables the internet could cause it to malfunction - but that’s true of traditional antivirus software too.

    Another potential issue with cloud-based antivirus is offline protection - is your computer safe when it’s not connected to the internet? While the first generation of cloud-based antivirus did have this disadvantage, almost all the latest releases have features that allow for offline protection.

    Panda, Symantec, Kaspersky, and virtually every other antivirus package featured in our review includes innovative caching that keeps an offline record of viruses and malware and detects them on your network.

    In our view, most of the arguments against cloud-based antivirus are outdated. The software has evolved and improved significantly in recent years, and now offers users the best of both worlds.

    If you run a small to medium-sized business, your number one priority is probably uptime and productivity. Cloud-based antivirus will provide you with the protection you need against viruses and malware without draining your hardware resources.

    That way, your team can get on with their priority tasks without having to take breaks while antivirus software scans their computers.

    Bottom Line 

    With a range of software brands and monthly subscriptions, there’s a cloud-based antivirus out there for every business. Feature-rich, updated in real time, and easy on system resources, this type of security software is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses seeking robust protection.