Picking the best antivirus program for your computer is a very important choice. If you don’t select the right one many bad things could happen including: slowing down of your computer, not enough protection so you get a virus anyway, poorly updated virus definitions makes the program out of date right away.
As you can see knowing which antivirus solution you need is not always that easy. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular antivirus software for 2017 and reviewed the features to help determine what is the best antivirus for your needs.
But before we go to the most popular antivirus softwares, remember that these softwares update per year. Their licenses usually need to be renewed if you want it to continue to protect you. The reason behind this is that there are lots of new viruses created per year. The antivirus’ goal is to continue to protect the computer against these viruses.
The Top 5 Best Antivirus of 2017:
To pick the one that is right for you make sure you review all the features that the antivirus program offers and compare those with your desired features. Also make sure you look at the system requirements and ensure your computer meets the requirements or you won’t be able to install the program.
We’ve recommended 5 of the best here for you to look at so have a look around and you’ll know when you’ve found the winner.
For more information, click on the software name.
BitDefender Antivirus (Premium):
BitDefender antivirus has been crowned as the best antivirus software for Windows and it is compatible with the latest versions of this operating system including Vista, XP, 7, 8 and 10. This antivirus got top marks in the most important aspects such as the protection it offers, ease of use and repair features.
- Improved Online Protection: The new BitDefender scans all web, e-mail and instant messaging traffic for viruses and spyware, in real-time. This entails increased privacy protection through IM Encryption which supports Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger. BitDefender antivirus also ensures you that no one can eavesdrop on instant messaging traffic between two PCs with BitDefender installed. Peer-2-Peer and IM Applications Protection filters against viruses that spread via instant messaging and file sharing software applications.
- Advanced Laptop and Gamer Mode: The new laptop mode of BitDefender prolongs your laptop’s battery life. BitDefender detects when your laptop is switched to battery power and automatically enters Laptop Mode. The new gamer mode temporarily modifies protection settings to minimize impact on gaming performance. These modifications include disabled alerts & pop-ups, updates aren’t performed, scheduled scans are disabled, and real-time protection level uses less resources.
- Better Family Network Protection and Configuration: With the new BitDefender, you can manage the protection of your home network from a single computer. BitDefender from other computers in the network can be remotely configured, while maintenance tasks like scans, back-ups and updates can be scheduled to run on idle hours.
- User-friendly Interface: The developed dashboard of BitDefender is as simple as it can be. The big green icons display when things are functioning correctly, and big red icons show when something’s wrong. For the most part, this is great. It takes all the guess work out of enabling or disabling settings.
- New Automatic Scanning: The new BitDefender offers automatic scanning of devices attached to your PC. For example, when you plug in a USB drive or insert a CD, the antivirus will offer to scan it. This is very handy if you use a lot of devices provided by strangers and don’t want to risk infecting your system. If that’s not the case and you find the pop-ups very annoying, you can easily turn them off.
- Identity Privacy Feature: The new dashboard doesn’t make it clear how or why you should keep the identity privacy enabled. It requires you to enter some personal information like your social security number which many people may not be comfortable with, especially if they aren’t perfectly clear on how the identity privacy feature works.
- Lengthy Installation Process: Considering that the other antivirus softwares have competitive installation duration especially Norton which installs in less than a minute, the BitDefenders’ two and a half minutes of installation process is relatively lengthy and requires a system reboot after installation.
- Degraded Performance: After installing BitDefender, the average boot duration went up to by more than a minute compared to Kaspersky and Norton which added just 15 seconds to the boot time. After the installation of BitDefender, there was a 40 percent increase in the time needed to visit URL’s and moving, copying large number of files took 25 percent longer. The full system scan is also slower compared to Norton and Kaspersky.
- Improved online protection.
- Advanced gamer and laptop mode.
- New automatic scan settings.
- Compatibility issues with GMail.
- User-reported problems in initiating a scan.
- Degraded computer performance.
Norton™ Antivirus (Premium):
Symantec developed Norton antivirus to provide real-time protection from viruses, spyware, worms, keyloggers, rootkits and many other forms of malware. Norton antivirus was completely revamaped for 2017 which now make it an excellent choice for antivirus protection.
- Better Installation Process: Symantec’s Norton has a streamlined and improved the installation process. We all had a terrible time installing the previous versions which required us to reboot several times and it took the process more than twenty minutes to finish. The all new Norton antivirus installed in a minute, didn’t need a system reboot, and the computer was immediately ready for use.
- Symantec’s Improved Norton Live Updates: Norton antivirus now has pulse update which updates your virus definitions every 5-15 minutes unlike the previous versions which updated virus definitions on a weekly basis. This current rate of virus definition update is on the top of our list of antivirus softwares. In the corporate edition of the Norton, there is a client/server strategy in updating virus definitions were the different workstations will not have to update separately, but will be linked to the server that will actually update itself and distribute the updates to the managed workstations.
- New “Insight” Feature: This new feature of the Norton allows the software to recognize and remember safe and trusted files on your computer that will not require scanning which greatly decreases the amount of time needed to perform your computer scans. The only downside of this feature is that you will have to perform an initial, thorough, and lengthy scan for the software to perform its whitelisting process. After this, you will experience around 85% reduction in scanning duration. This is such a great improvement over the previous versions.
- User-friendly Interface: Norton’s new interface is much more instinctive, spontaneous, simplified, pro-looking, and easy to use. For instance, version 2017 is much easier to turn components on and off directly from the general screen.
- Better Performance: The previous versions of Norton were know to be computer resource hogs but in the new Norton 2017, tasks like downloading new virus definitions or scanning for malware are performed only when the system has been idle for a while with a default of ten minutes. People also used to complain about slow boot processes but the new Norton will just add a piddling 15 seconds to your boot process.
- Incompatibility Issues: During installation, the purchaser receives warnings that ZoneAlarm and Spy Sweeper and other antivirus software are incompatible, and should be uninstalled from the system before continuing the installation. Since the purchaser is also advised to uninstall other antivirus programs, this would leave very little security for anyone connected directly to the internet during installation. Another problem stemming form incompatibility issues is that Norton antivirus has on occasion identified other software incorrectly as “viruses” or “trojans” and deleted them.
- Customer Support: Customers have long complained about the lack of acceptable support from Symantec. Norton is only offering one year of free phone support to their customers. They are still pushing paid support on people when the first line of their customer support representatives does not have the answer. While their website maintains a decent knowledge base, most antivirus companies offer free and extensive support at no extra charge.
- Relatively High System Requirements: Norton antivirus requires 1GB of random access memory(RAM) and 300MB of available hard disk space. These requirements are high compared to the requirements of the other antivirus softwares available in the market.
- Resolved computer resource hogging and improved user interface.
- Improvement to the Norton Live Update through the introduction of “Pulse Updates”.
- New “Insight” feature that whitelists trusted files which gives faster and more efficient computer scans
- Persistent incompatibility issues.
- Lack of acceptable customer support from Norton.
- Relatively high system requirements.
Kaspersky Antivirus (Premium):
Founded in 1997, the company has mainly been involved in antivirus solutions for home and business users. Kaspersky antivirus provides you with traditional antivirus protection based on the latest protection technologies.
- Express Installation Process: The first impression that a user establishes is through the installation process of the software. Kaspersky’s installation takes only a few minutes of your time. Moreover, the initial and default settings were configured to grant the best performance and the finest security. This means all you need to do is install the program and you can immediately proceed with your usual activities. If ever you decide that you want to further configure the settings of the program, Kaspersky has extensive and flexible configuration choices that will allow you to fine-tune the settings just as you desire.
- User-friendly Interface: The main screen of the new version of Kaspersky is more attractive, more modern and much better structured. Kaspersky antivirus has a very simple and insightful design. The common left-hand navigation like a usual website makes it easier to locate what you are looking for. The new four tabs or categories of the product protection are so much better than the eight tabs of the previous version.
- Innovative Antivirus: Kaspersky Labs has been in the AV business since the late 90′s, and this experience is reflected in the power and flexibility of their software. If you have to interrupt a scan it can resume where it left off. You can set it to shut down or reboot the computer on scan completion, or put it in sleep or standby. Most impressively, it doesn’t have to re-scan files that haven’t changed. In testing this feature, the first full scan took a bit over a half-hour, which is about average. But subsequent full scans took less than two minutes. A very big improvement in scan time!
- Reliable Malware Removal: Through the use of Kaspersky’s Intrusion Prevention System, the program can white-list known good programs in the Trusted category while the known malware programs are marked as Untrusted and will never be allowed to run at all. Furthermore, it imposes limits that should prevent malicious actions. Harmless but unknown software will probably end up in the Low Restricted category. An unknown program with doubtful features will end up in the High Restricted. Kaspersky was reported to have wiped out malwares from computers and have deleted even data files and registry information of the malware. The malwares that were not wiped out were prevented from launching.
- Extensive E-mail Protection: If your are using this best antivirus, your email is secure no matter which email program you are using because Kaspersky scans email traffic in real-time including POP3, IMAP and NNTP for outgoing mail and SMTP for incoming mail.
- Unreliable Protection aAainst Phishing: We found that Kaspersky Internet Security is an unreliable antiphishing mechanism. Internet Explorer and Firefox have better chances of blocking phishing websites. Because both Internet Explorer and Firefox have better built in protection against phishing websites, we advice that you just rely on your IE and Firefox for Antiphishing.
- Inefficient Antispam: The filter of Kaspersky allowed a lot of spam into the Inbox and also blocked a lot of valid mail from several individuals. The only improvement over last year is that this time it hardly trashed any of the newsletters and valid bulk mail.
- Unchanged Parental Control: This feature is almost completely unchanged! If you every find a need for parental control, leave this feature of Kasperky turned off and get another fully functional parental control program.
- Slowed Internet Browsing: System performance degrades drastically when browsing the internet after the installation of Kaspersky. Browsing the net took 60% longer after the installation of Kaspersky. If you are a heavy internet user you may want to take this into account.
- Streamlined user interface.
- Reliable malware removal and defense.
- A very flexible and efficient antivirus.
- Unreliable protection against phishing.
- Inefficient Antispam mechanism.
- Slowed internet browsing.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus (Premium):
ESET develops software solutions that deliver instant, comprehensive protection against evolving computer security threats. Built on the award-winning ThreatSense® engine, ESET NOD32 antivirus is a tightly integrated security solution that users can trust to protect their computers.
ESET NOD32 Likes:
- Hitch-free Installation: The antivirus installation setup process is fast and smooth. Novice users need not worry about various requests for information for these were clearly and simply stated. For those who want to configure and fine-tune their installation, a more advanced setup process is also available like those of proxy settings, firewall configuration etc. In practically no time the antivirus was fully installed and ready to go, with no reboot requested. The default settings are also ideal for average customers.
- Lightning Fast: NOD32 antivirus is built for speed. You won’t even notice that it is installed on your computer. Even disk-intensive operations like performing a full disk scan can run smoothly in the background while you work. Its speed and reduced lag make it the perfect solution for gamers too.
- User-friendly Interface: ESET NOD32 is easier to use than the previous versions which have a very technical interface. From the current compact and intuitive user interface to its minimal use of alerts, you’ll be up and running in a snap. You will receive the best possible proactive detection against malware, without enduring excessive system slowdowns and alerts, reboots or annoying false alarms.
- Unrivalled Protection: The award-winning ThreatSense Technology used by ESET employs multiple layers of threat detection that gives you the most effective protection against new attacks. And ThreatSense is smart; it raises far fewer annoying false alarms than any other products that use heuristics. Plus, it offers integrated virus, spyware, and adware protection, where some other programs require two separate scans: one for antivirus and another for antispyware. The multithreat engine can also detect malware-hiding rootkits.
ESET NOD32 DisLikes:
- Slow and Sometimes Unresponsive Customer Support: Customers are becoming more and more unimpressed with the level of service that they are receiving from ESET. Customers have reported long waits in response to issues. Some customers have resorted to reinstalling the previous version for better performance.
- Vista SP2 Updates crash NOD32: After applying SP2 Vista updates via Windows Update, you will get a message from NOD32 telling you that the real time scanner has encountered an error and NOD32 needs to be reinstalled.
- Awarded “The Best Antivirus On-demand Detection” that gives you multiple layers of threat detection to deliver the most effective protection possible against new attacks.
- ESET NOD32 antivirus is lightning fast.
- New and better user-friendly interface and keyboard shortcuts.
- Slow and sometimes unresponsive customer support.
- Vista SP2 updates crash NOD.
AVG Antivirus (Free/Premium):
AVG Antivirus, developed by AVG technologies has earned a reputation as an effective program that can offer protection for your computer. The program uses multiple layers of protection to enhance the security that is offered. Let’s see how AVG Antivirus works and what features they can offer.
- Effective Resident Shield Technology: Resident Shield is one of the greatest successes of AVG. AVG’s Resident Shield can detect dynamic malware in real time, even prior to the complete system scan. Resident Shield is very effective in keeping malware from launching and installing on your computer. You’ll notice that as soon as you open a folder containing malwares, the shield will start wiping them out. Even with the manually modified versions of the malwares, AVG was still able to wipe out most of the malwares. For all the remaining malwares, the utility completely prevented their launch and installation
- Accurate Dangerous Links Flagging: Another good addition in the arsenal of AVG is its LinkScanner technology. Its analysis happens in real time, so if a normally safe site gets hacked, the utility catches the problem immediately. The converse is also true: If a hacked site gets repaired, LinkScanner gives it a green light. LinkScanner’s toolbar installs in both Internet Explorer and Firefox so most of us will not have problems with compatibility. Its Search-Shield feature checks all search results from Google, MSN, and Yahoo! and inserts an icon identifying the site as safe, questionable, risky, or dangerous. If the site you’re about to visit is dangerous, the software displays a warning page instead of the requested page.
- User Friendly Interface: The new AVG features a streamlined and more intuitive interface. This version looks completely different from the previous version and most of the problems that the users have reported are gone. The core window now highlights three crucial areas: status, on-demand scanning, and program updates. The software gathers every setting into a tree structure of different depths, and many of the actual configuration pages contain just a single setting. But users will seldom have to dig into these complex settings.
- Reliable Antispam Technology: AVG just processes the incoming POP3 e-mail stream and prefixes the subject line of supposed spam messages with SPAM. For additional efficiency, you can import your address book into the whitelist, so your usual correspondents will never get blocked.
- Cleanup Leaves Nonactive File and Registry Traces: AVG Free doesn’t clean up all the mess associated with malware and spyware. Once AVG has wiped out the vital executable files, it thinks the job is done, but the fact is it leaves many Registry keys and data files behind.
- Lack of Additional Features: The new AVG still doesn’t include the parental control feature or privacy protection features found in many suites. This is a big thumbs-down since most of AVG’s competition offers these additional features.
- Malware and Spyware Removal Problems: Users have immediately noticed that Resident Shield frequently pops up to report that it had discovered a threat. Then, as all of us will do, they chose to remove the threat, but in many cases AVG reported the same threat again and again. This would indicate that the removal failed. Furthermore, we encountered instances were AVG detects spyware, but in many cases AVG just couldn’t seem to remove the detected spyware.
- Compatibility Issues: After installing AVG, users of Lenovo’s internet access connection complained that their connection failed to work properly. Their connection waited for over ten minutes to get the wireless connection. Another incompatibility issue with AVG involves the fact that it hasn’t quite caught up with a recent change in the format of Google’s sponsored links. This then causes problems with their LinkScanner feature.
- Efficient Rsident Shield Technology.
- Reliable dangerous site flagging mechanism.
- Accurate antispam technology.
- Clean up leaves nonreactive file and registry traces.
- Malware and spyware removal problems.
- Lack of parental control and antiphishing features.
So, What is an Antivirus?
An antivirus is a program that watches for viruses, catches them before they execute, and kills them. It works by comparing certain data activity and known virus file patterns against it’s database of known virus definitions. When it finds a virus, it kills or disables it based on instruction supplied in it’s database. Because antivirus software is only as good as it’s last database update, antivirus definitions must be downloaded and installed on a regular basis (preferably daily).
Why Antivirus Program is Essential?
The threat of having our laptops and PCs infected by malware and viruses is now at epidemic levels. Every time we go online we are putting our valuable data at risk. For this reason it is essential that you choose antivirus software that will minimize the threats.
Every single day there are new viruses which if were to get inside your hard drive or registry can give you with a headache that you struggle to remove. When it comes to dealing with malicious threats, prevention is a thousand times better than a cure. If a Trojan affects your system then it may quickly make your files unrecoverable.
By choosing the latest antivirus firewall you can be sure that you are protected against the latest definitions. Though you may be tempted to opt for a free application, these will not be so reliable or extensive in features.
For any antivirus software program to work as desired it will need to update its database of virus signatures and definitions on a daily basis, if the application does not have information about the latest threats then it is as useful as bucket with a hole.
You will discover that most designers of PC security software release a new antivirus suite every year. If you already have an old edition then you can often upgrade to the latest version for only a small cost. It makes sense to choose a trusted provider as it for good reason that they have built up their reputation.
When you install any new antivirus software you may discover that certain applications do not work as before. To fix this you will need to alter the “exceptions” rule to allow specific programs access.
Antivirus Software Protection Features:
Finding the correct, let alone the good antivirus software for your computer system may be quite confusing if not totally difficult. This is primarily because much of the hype has been focused on advertising rather than the actual detection and protection capability of the antivirus program.
Unless a computer user is totally aware of the characteristics needed for an efficient software he might get caught in the hype and inadvertently leave the computer system vulnerable to attacks.
When considering the most effective antivirus it is best to refer to the following characteristics which are basic necessities for overall protection.
Updated Antivirus Database:
New viruses are coming out almost every day with varying properties from simply annoying to outright destructive. A virus database is the key component in the detection and protection mechanism of the software. When not properly updated, newer strains of old viruses or new viruses can slip through the security cordon and cause havoc in your machine.
Some computer users prefer free antivirus software application because they allow continued protection without a corresponding fee. Some antivirus developers have made it a habit to provide antivirus database updates in exchange for a fee after a certain period which many believe is detrimental to true computer security and contributes to the vulnerability of certain systems.
As technology changes so does the form of attack viruses employ. Many malicious programmers have resorted to abandoning the direct assault on computer systems but rather make use of stealth attacks by concealing dangerous codes in seemingly harmless computer programs. Once the carrier program has been installed into the machine by the unsuspecting computer user a command is executed which assembles all the components together and executes the attack on the compromised machine.
By using a heuristic analysis process, traditional virus detection and protection mechanisms are augmented with the inspection of bits and pieces of codes which may correspond to potential virus activities. Implementing this early detection procedure may lead to some false positives but ultimately the goal is to provide protection and in this context it is better to be sure than to be sorry afterwards.
Rootkit Scanning Functionality:
Rootkits are essentially are identified with Trojans which are designed to hide themselves to avoid detection and protection mechanisms of commercial antivirus programs. Using a rootkit scanning feature provides an additional layer of protection to the computer system resulting in preservation of data integrity.
Many potentially dangerous programs that use rootkit technology populate the Internet and are downloaded into the machine without the user’s consent or knowledge. Although some may dismiss these types of programs are harmless, in most instances they are used to lower the security of computer systems to allow more detrimental applications to cause have to the machine and its contents.
Fast Scanning Engine:
During the earlier stages of computerization, many computer users shied away from using antivirus applications because they tend to eat up majority of system resources and initiated scanning methods that took almost forever to finish.
However, as technology advanced, antivirus software developers learned how to properly appropriate system resources and provide a faster scanning engine. The faster the scanning process finishes the faster the allocated system resources are freed up and made available to other system critical processes. In the same manner, a faster scanning engine will be able to go through the bits and pieces of codes before any potential damage can be inflicted by the virus.
High Detection and Removal Rate:
Sometimes you feel that just because you have an antivirus installed you will never be in danger of being infiltrated by a virus.
You must remember that it is not only enough that your antivirus software can detect potential threats but must also have the capability of removing it. Because viruses are born every day it is important that your protection program will be able to keep in pace to ensure that you are truly protected at all times. This feature actually works in conjunction with the updating of the antivirus database which allows for high detection rate.
Identifying the potential problem should be followed immediately by the potential solution to prevent dangerous codes from spreading throughout your computer system and to other machines as well.
Smaller and Faster Update Files:
Majority of antivirus database updates are now done over the Internet. Because of this new transport mechanism it is important that update files be made smaller and faster to execute.
For one, it makes the exposure time (the amount of time antivirus database remains not updated) shorter. Another reason is that it prevents unnecessary bloating of antivirus software application related files. The bigger the file the longer it takes to load it and the more system resources it may require.
Not all computer users or owners have the same technical skill level as the programmers of the antivirus software. What this means is that the technical details should be left to run in the background and should lessen the involvement of the computer user. If possible, it should be as easy as just installing the antivirus and leaving it to run by itself. As much as possible it should also be self-maintaining with automatic updates and automatic scanning.
By eliminating the human factor in its daily operation it will be able to achieve optimum protection of the host machine.
Taking all of these into account you will be able to find the best antivirus software for your machine. Remember that not just because you are paying for it means you are getting optimum protection. Many viruses now disguise themselves as legitimate protection programs to trick computer users to installing and executing them.
Follow these guides to find better protection.
“Choosing the Right Antivirus Software”
What’s Better: Paid or Free Antivirus?
You may be asking yourself what’s the difference between free and paid antivirus and why anyone would pay to buy best one.
There are several similarities as well as some significant differences to consider.
Essentially, free antivirus are most often simpler and more basic versions of the antivirus software you have to pay for. There are no bells and whistles, but it’s free.
Two of the biggest differences to consider are: extra features, and customer support.
With most free antivirus, you only get antivirus and antispyware protection. There are a few free antivirus that have a couple of extra features, but you usually don’t get any phishing, IM, e-mail, or firewall protection. For some, this may not be a big deal, but in today’s dangerous Internet world, simple antivirus and antispyware isn’t always enough.
The other major difference between free and paid antivirus is the level of support you get. Most free antivirus companies offer a free user forum where other users can get together and troubleshoot common problems. Some companies will even offer some basic phone support for installation or other common issues.
More often than not though to get the best technical support, you may find you need something more than basic, free software, in which case here’s where you can find the best antivirus with commercial support.
However, if you need more technical support (in case you become infected, for instance), you’re not going to get the support you need. You’ll need to upgrade to their paid version to get any higher levels of support.
And of course there’s no firewall with free version. A firewall is your first line of defense against virus and malware attacks. Without a good firewall, a simple antivirus engine isn’t always enough.
So why bother with free antivirus program? There are still plenty of good benefits to consider. For instance, if you’re comfortable with the default Windows firewall, you may want to just add some basic antivirus and antispyware software for better security. Or maybe you don’t need high levels of support. Basic support and help forums can often be just as good or better than some companies’ paid support options.
You may also feel that the extra features you get with paid antivirus aren’t worth it. Most browsers’ built-in anti-phishing, for example, is often better than some paid antivirus.
And finally, free antivirus is a good way to try out alternatives to paid one. It’s easy to download and install several different free antivirus programs to see which one you like best and which one works best for you.
Any way you look at it, free antivirus has its pros and cons. On one hand, free antivirus is simple and basic with no frills. On the other hand, today’s threats are very sophisticated and often require better protection (with a firewall and extra features).
Commonly Asked Questions about Antivirus Software:
- Do I need antivirus software? Yes! You really can’t afford not to have it. The bad guys are getting smarter and more relentless. As we live our lives more online, the need for protection only increases. Threats change constantly, so we update our rankings and post the latest reviews to ensure you’re getting the absolute best protection and value.
- When is the best time to install antivirus software? When you get a new computer make sure you uninstall any bloatware and free demos of antivirus software. Install new antivirus software right after the previous step. This insures the that the computer will be much less likely to be infected with viruses or other malware.
- Is this antivirus software for my business, or can I use it for my home, too? Our antivirus software recommendations work great for your home or business.
- What about “free” antivirus software? We are all about value. While there are dozens of “free” solutions out there, you really do get what you pay for. Many of the features you absolutely need to keep your system secure are missing from these “free” versions. Additionally, you’ll find yourself peppered with annoying ads trying to up-sell you to their paid version. You will feel better and be better protected with one of the products we recommend.
- What about mobile security? Antivirus protection has become necessary software for home and business mobile devices over the last years. Your smartphone contains your vital personal and business information, so you should consider mobile security software as a must in protecting your smartphone from mobile threats. The best mobile security apps come from the names you’d expect, with Norton, Webroot, and Kaspersky. All companies provide excellent mobile security for your smartphone or tablet from cyber criminals, viruses, and malware.
- How are your reviews and ratings determined? Price, easy-of-use, and overall effectiveness. There’s a lot that goes into that, but those are the top things we look for in all our rankings.
If you want to choose the best antivirus software for your computer, then you should do more research. Be sure to read up on the different antivirus softwares through the Internet to make sure that your computer receives maximum protection.