3+ best antivirus options for software developers

by Afam Onyimadu
Afam Onyimadu
Afam Onyimadu
Author
Afam is a geek and the go-to among his peers for computer solutions. He has a wealth of experience with Windows operating systems, dating back to his introduction... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • We have discussed the best antivirus for software developers that allow for easy customization and flexibility. 
  • Marking a specific folder as safe is a great way to manage development when you have a running antivirus. 
  • Unlike other software discussed in this article, Windows Defender comes pre-installed on your Windows PC and remains a great option that allows for easy tweaks. 
best antivirus for developers

ESET Antivirus comes with all the security tools that you may ever need to protect your data and privacy, including:

  • Anti-theft support
  • Webcam protection
  • Intuitive setup and UI
  • Multi-platform support
  • Banking-level encryption
  • Low system requirements
  • Advanced anti-malware protection

An antivirus program needs to be fast, efficient, and cost-effective, and this one has them all.

Using antivirus (AV) software remains a best practice in computer maintenance. It keeps viruses at bay and signals you when there is an intrusion into your computer.

In this day and age, you dare not browse the internet without some form of protection. Browsing the web means you have to interact with other connected devices, you may share files and resources, and you might have a malicious user try to compromise your network and steal critical data. These and more are reasons why you need an antivirus.

But from a developer’s viewpoint, an AV is not always the white angel. In many testing scenarios, they may stop critical programs from running, or increase the testing duration. False positives become a nightmare, and shutting the AV may be the solution to running a smooth software test. Learn more on our guide for best antiviruses without false positives.

In this article, we like to explore some of the best antivirus software for developers.

Should developers have antivirus software on their machines?

There are no reasons why software engineers shouldn’t have antivirus software installed on their computers, and there are compelling arguments for this.

However, for this protection software to not be a bother during development, keep the following in mind:

  • Set up your antivirus software to recognize the development folder (the one associated with the code repository) as a trustworthy folder.
  • Ensure that files transmitted through email have a different extension to get past most email clients’ attachment regulations. Many antivirus programs will warn you if you open an executable file.
  • For development, use a virtual machine. This has a performance cost, but the benefit is that if anything goes wrong, all you have to do is delete the VM or restore it to a week-old snapshot and execute a git pull. It’s a lot simpler to accomplish this than to retain actual machine snapshots, particularly when the hardware is changing.

If these elements apply to your situation, then having good antivirus software will surely have a great impact in the long term.

What are the best antivirus apps for developers?

ESET Internet Security – The best all-rounder

best antivirus for software developers

Webcam protection, parental controls, enhanced network security, network monitoring, and an anti-theft tool for Windows devices are all included in ESET Internet Security. The ability to monitor your whereabouts is an intriguing advantage.

Linux, as well as Mac and Windows machines, are all supported in this AV.

ESET also has a lot of configuration options, which may appeal to developers, but it may be difficult for beginners to grasp in certain areas. So, developers will be able to use these alternatives to get the most out of their software development process.

This AV is reliable. It’s also worth mentioning that Live Guard, an additional layer of cloud analysis to identify freshly discovered threats, has just been added to the suite’s protections.

It also includes some intriguing extras, such as the password manager and a safe, encrypted file vault, which are likely to be quite beneficial to software developers.

Additional features:

  • Improved network inspector
  • Firewall
  • Anti-Phishing

Get ESET Internet Security

Malwarebytes – Extremely efficient against malware

best antivirus for developers

After installation, there is not much to do; Malwarebytes operates in the background to protect you without you having to do anything.

Just double-click its system tray icon, choose Scan and wait for the results to appear to perform a scan. It’s straightforward, which is great for experienced developers, but even tech beginners will feel right at home.

Malwarebytes’ primary Scan tool swiftly scans your startup items, RAM, and essential file system regions.

A distinct Custom Scan lets you choose which objects to scan, including individual files, and allows you some flexibility over how they function (such as whether to scan within archives and what to deal with possibly harmful applications). This feature is essential for the developer who will want to mark some folders as safe. 

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Malwarebytes also includes basic URL filtering, detecting and blocking fraudulent link attempts. This secures all of your applications at the network level and does not need browser add-ons.

Its Settings dialog is primarily for turning the features on and off (updates, notifications, malware protection, web filtering, etc.), but it also allows you to fine-tune Malwarebytes’ exploit protection. This is great as you can shut down the antivirus during testing in very few clicks. 

Additional features:

  • Cloud management console
  • Threat hunting, isolation, recovery
  • Brute Force Attack prevention
  • Ransomware, zero-day exploits, phishing protection

Get Malwarebytes

Bitdefender – Most user-friendly

best antivirus for software developers

To begin with, the overwhelming number of functions included in Bitdefender is quite astounding. Even if you get Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, you will receive online banking protection with Safepay, which is a secure browser that protects you from all perspectives.

A vulnerability scanner, password manager, and a high-quality VPN with a daily limit of 200MB are also included in this package.

Bitdefender is very user-friendly, with a professional and well-balanced UI that’s appropriate for total novices as well as specialists looking to adjust things. This flexibility is ideal for a developer who has to alter settings to enable specific applications.

The antivirus includes all of the above and capabilities to increase PC speed and locate lost mobile devices.

Bitdefender Total Security is the company’s flagship product. It includes various PC maintenance tools and support for Android and iOS devices, Mac, and Windows PCs – in other words, it’s a one-stop shop for your whole family’s online security requirements.

Regardless of the Bitdefender edition, you select, you’ll receive a lot of value for your dollar, especially if you have a lot of devices. 

Additional features:

  • Fast scan
  • Configurable interface
  • Advanced threat defense

Get Bitdefender

Windows Defender – Low impact on system resources

Microsoft Defender antivirus does not seem to get the respect it deserves for its security features. This tool has constantly evolved since its release in Windows Vista.

Microsoft Defender offers a comprehensive variety of options for scanning, including a full system scan, a fast scan, a custom scan to examine specific folders and files, and a boot scan to eliminate the most persistent threats before Windows completely boots.

Defender’s Controlled Folders function adds a second degree of security. When you enable this feature, it automatically prevents unauthorized applications from reaching essential folders (these folder lists can always be updated). This is a practical method of safeguarding test software.

Antivirus isn’t the only thing to look at when it comes to Windows Defender; there are plenty more. The firewall is most likely at the top of the list. 

This firewall performs an excellent job of defending you from incoming network threats, but it’s less concerned with managing outward access; if a program has administrator privileges, it may tweak the firewall by adding its own rules.

You may wish to create unique rules for some of your test applications.

Additional features:

  • System performance reports
  • Real-time threat detection
  • Hardware security

Get Windows Defender

Regardless of your computer use habits, we recommend you employ an antivirus to keep you safe. However, we understand that it may come with some drawbacks for a developer, notably the considerably slower times it takes to test and run applications. Still, these do not outweigh the many benefits.

We have not made this list in any particular order, but we have shed some light on some of the antiviruses that allow flexibility and customization. These are great for developers who may need to tweak some settings to run programs.

If you want to explore further and seek out some free solutions, you should read our guide on 5+ truly free antivirus software.

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