Suppose you buy a new PC, carefully protecting it from physical harm, ensuring it remains clean and scratched-free. But what about its internal and digital security? In today’s digital world, thousands of lurking hackers are just waiting for an opportunity to breach your computer’s defenses. This is where antivirus software acts as the guardian of your digital realm, protecting your system from malicious threats, viruses, and cyberattacks. Finding the best antivirus software to shield your digital haven is crucial. In this article, we’ll explore the top of antivirus software, helping you make an informed choice to keep your PC safe and sound.
Table of Contents
Things should be considered before buying antivirus software
- Features: What features are important to you? Do you need basic protection from viruses and malware, or do you also need features like ransomware protection, parental controls, and a password manager? Make a list of the important features for you and then compare different antivirus software programs to see which ones offer those features.
- Performance: Antivirus software can sometimes slow down your computer, so choosing a lightweight program that doesn’t use many system resources is important. You can read reviews of different antivirus software programs to see how they perform on various computers.
- Compatibility: Ensure the antivirus program you choose is compatible with your computer’s operating system. You can usually find this information on the software vendor’s website.
- Price: Antivirus software programs can range from free to over $100 annually. It’s important to choose a program that fits your budget. However, don’t just choose the cheapest program you can find. Choosing a program with the features and protection you need is more important.
- Support: Make sure that the software vendor offers good customer support. You want to be able to contact the vendor if you have any problems with the software. You can read reviews of different antivirus software programs to see what other users say about the vendor’s customer support.
Best Antivirus Software
Avast Antivirus Premium is a comprehensive antivirus software that protects your PC from many malware threats, including viruses, ransomware, phishing attacks, and more. It also includes various other features, such as a firewall, password manager, and VPN.
- Real-time protection: Avast Antivirus Premium scans your PC for threats in real-time, so you can be sure you’re always protected.
- Malware detection: Avast Antivirus Premium uses advanced machine learning technology to detect even the most sophisticated malware threats.
- Web protection: Avast Antivirus Premium offers VPN services that help block malicious websites and phishing attacks so you can browse the web safely.
- Ransomware protection: Avast Antivirus Premium protects your files from ransomware attacks, so you can be sure your data is always safe.
- Smart Scan: Avast Antivirus Premium’s Smart Scan feature scans your PC for viruses, malware, and other performance issues in a single scan.
With a 30-day money-back guarantee, Avast Antivirus Premium costs $50.99 per year for one device. You can also get a multi-device license for up to 10 devices for $69.99 annually. Click here to know more.
McAfee Antivirus Plus is a comprehensive antivirus software suite that provides protection against a wide range of malware threats, including viruses, spyware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. It also includes several features to help you protect your privacy and online security, such as a VPN, password manager, and identity theft protection.
- AI-powered technology: McAfee Antivirus Plus uses AI to learn and adapt to new threats. This means that it can protect you even from the latest malware attacks.
- Keep Me Private Online: It is a feature that helps you protect your privacy online by blocking trackers and cookies. It also encrypts your traffic when you’re using public Wi-Fi networks.
- Personal Data Cleanup: Personal Data Cleanup is a feature that helps you remove your personal information from data broker sites. This can help protect you from identity theft and fraud.
- VPN (Virtual Private Network): A VPN encrypts your traffic and routes it through a secure server, making it difficult for hackers to track your online activity. McAfee Antivirus Plus includes a built-in VPN, so you can use it to protect your privacy whenever you’re online.
- Safeguard My Identity: Safeguard My Identity is a feature that helps you protect your identity from theft. It includes identity monitoring, credit monitoring, and a security freeze.
McAfee Antivirus Plus Essential plans start from $39.99 annually to Advanced plans at $89.99 annually. Click here to learn more.
3. Norton 360
Norton 360 Antivirus is a comprehensive antivirus software that protects your devices from a wide range of threats, including viruses, malware, ransomware, and hacking attacks. It also offers many other features, such as cloud backup, password management, and VPN protection.
- Antivirus protection: Norton 360 Antivirus uses advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect and block the latest malware threats. It also offers real-time protection to keep your devices safe from new threats as they emerge.
- Ransomware protection: Norton 360 Antivirus protects your devices from ransomware attacks by preventing attackers from encrypting your files and demanding a ransom payment.
- Hacking protection: Norton 360 Antivirus protects your devices from hacking attacks by monitoring your internet traffic and blocking malicious websites and connections.
- Cloud backup: Norton 360 Antivirus offers cloud backup to protect your important files from loss or corruption.
- Password manager: Norton 360 Antivirus includes a password manager to help you create and manage strong passwords for all of your online accounts.
Norton 360 AntiVirus Plus offers four types of plans depending on your need. All plans include a 100% Virus Protection Promise, 2GB cloud backup, and a password manager. Select plans include a VPN, dark web monitoring, privacy monitor, parental control, and LifeLock identity theft protection.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is a comprehensive antivirus software that offers a wide range of features to protect your Windows PC from all types of online threats, including viruses, malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and more. It also has various privacy tools, such as a VPN and safe banking features.
- Complete and real-time data protection: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus protects your files and data from unauthorized access, modification, or destruction. It also includes ransomware protection to help you recover your files during a ransomware attack.
- Network threat prevention: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus helps to protect your PC from network-based attacks, such as malware infections and data breaches.
- Advanced threat defense: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus uses advanced technologies to detect and block even the most sophisticated malware threats.
- Ransomware protection: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus employs a multi-layered approach to protect your PC from ransomware attacks. It includes features such as ransomware detection, prevention, and recovery.
- Vulnerability assessment: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus scans your PC for known vulnerabilities and provides recommendations on how to fix them.
- Autopilot: Bitdefender Autopilot mode automatically configures your security features and settings.
- Bitdefender Photon: Bitdefender Photon is a new technology that improves Bitdefender’s performance and efficiency.
According to AV-Test.org, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is a better antivirus software program than Norton 360 and McAfee Total Protection in terms of performance and security. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus offers a 30-day free trial; after that, their plans start from $39.99. Click here to know more.
TotalAV Antivirus Pro is a comprehensive antivirus software that provides real-time protection against viruses, malware, and other online threats. It also includes features like WebShield, Total AdBlock, and Data Breach Monitoring to help you stay safe online.
- Real-Time Protection: TotalAV Antivirus Pro scans your downloads, installs, and executables for viruses and threats in real-time, so you can be sure your computer is always protected.
- WebShield: WebShield blocks malicious websites, phishing attacks, and other online threats to keep you safe when browsing the web.
- Total AdBlock: Total AdBlock blocks unwanted ads, pop-ups, and notifications so that you can enjoy a more streamlined and ad-free browsing experience.
- Data Breach Monitoring: Data Breach Monitoring proactively monitors your email address and sends you a notification if your data is compromised in a data breach.
- Device Protection: TotalAV Antivirus Pro protects up to 3 devices, so you can keep your entire family safe online.
TotalAV Antivirus Pro is available for $29 per year for 1 device, $39 per year for 3 devices with a secure VPN feature, and $49 per year for 5 devices with additional features such as password vault and device protection. Click here to know more.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus is a lightweight and fast antivirus software that provides comprehensive protection against all types of malware, including viruses, ransomware, spyware, and adware. It is known for its low system impact and high detection rates.
- Multilayered protection: ESET NOD32 Antivirus uses various technologies to protect your computer from malware, including machine learning, heuristics, and behavioral analysis.
- Ransomware shield: ESET NOD32 Antivirus includes a ransomware shield that protects your files from being encrypted by ransomware.
- Anti-phishing protection: ESET NOD32 Antivirus protects you from phishing attacks by blocking malicious websites and emails.
- Advanced memory scanner: ESET NOD32 Antivirus scans your computer’s memory for malware, which can be difficult to detect by traditional antivirus software.
- Advanced Security: ESET NOD32 offers advanced security features such as password management, privacy and banking protection, and sensitive data encryption.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus is available in various pricing plans, depending on the number of devices you must protect and the subscription length. With a 30-day free trial, ESET NOD32 offers 3 types of plans. If you refer one of your friends, then after a successful referral, your trial period extends to 6 months. Click here to know more.
Webroot AntiVirus is a lightweight and easy-to-use antivirus software program that offers comprehensive protection against a wide range of malware threats. It uses various advanced technologies, including cloud-based malware detection and real-time protection, to keep your PC safe from viruses, Trojans, ransomware, and other online threats.
- Virus protection: Webroot AntiVirus provides real-time protection against viruses, Trojans, ransomware, and other malware threats. It also includes various features to help you remove malware infections, including a malware scanner, a quarantine feature, and a removal tool.
- Data privacy: Webroot AntiVirus includes a number of features to help protect your privacy, including Wi-Fi security, DNS protection, and endpoint protection. Wi-Fi security helps to protect your data from being intercepted when you’re connected to public Wi-Fi networks.
- DNS protection: Blocking malicious websites helps protect you from phishing attacks. Endpoint protection helps to protect your PC from malware infections that may be spread through removable media devices, such as USB drives and external hard drives.
- Security awareness training: Webroot AntiVirus also includes security awareness training, which can help you learn how to stay safe online.
Webroot AntiVirus is available in various pricing options; personal plans start from $39.99, and business plans start from $150. Click here to know more.
Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus is a lightweight and affordable antivirus software that provides comprehensive protection against malware, ransomware, and other online threats. It uses advanced technologies to detect and block even the most sophisticated malware.
- Real-time protection: Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus provides real-time protection against malware, ransomware, and other online threats. It scans all incoming and outgoing traffic for suspicious activity, and it blocks any malicious threats before they can cause damage.
- On-demand scanning: Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus can also be used to perform on-demand scans of your entire system. This is a good way to check for malware that may have already infiltrated your system.
- Web filtering: Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus includes a built-in web filter that blocks malicious websites and phishing attacks.
- Ransomware protection: Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus includes ransomware protection that monitors your files for any unauthorized changes. If it detects any suspicious activity, it will lock down your files and prevent them from being encrypted by ransomware.
- Email protection: Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus includes email protection that scans all incoming and outgoing emails for malware and phishing attacks.
With a 30-day free trial, Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus is available for a subscription fee of $29.99 per year. Click here to know more.
Sophos Home Premium is a comprehensive antivirus software suite that provides protection against malware, ransomware, and other online threats. It is designed for home users and small businesses and offers a wide range of features to keep your devices safe.
- Malware Scan and Clean: Sophos Home Premium uses a combination of signature-based and heuristic detection to identify and remove malware from your devices. It also includes a real-time scanner that continuously monitors your system for new threats.
- AI Threat Detection: Sophos Home Premium uses artificial intelligence to identify and block even the most sophisticated malware. It can detect malware that signature-based detection methods may miss, such as zero-day attacks.
- Ransomware Security: Sophos Home Premium protects your devices from ransomware attacks by preventing malicious software from encrypting your files. It also includes a ransomware rollback feature that can restore your files to their original state if they are encrypted.
- Security Management: Sophos Home Premium makes it easy to manage your security across all of your devices. You can use a central dashboard to view the security status of all of your devices, and you can remotely manage security settings and run scans.
- Web Protection: Sophos Home Premium blocks malicious websites and phishing attacks. It also filters web content to protect children from inappropriate websites.
- Parental Web Filtering: Sophos Home Premium allows you to block specific websites and categories of websites. This can help to protect your children from inappropriate content.
Sophos Home Premium offers a plan that costs $44.99 with a 30-day free trial. Click here for more.
Trend Micro Antivirus+ is a comprehensive antivirus software program that protects your PC from a wide range of threats, including viruses, malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. It also includes several other features, such as parental controls, web filtering, and a password manager.
- Real-time protection: Trend Micro Antivirus+ scans your PC for threats in real-time, so you can be confident that your data is always protected.
- Ransomware protection: Trend Micro Antivirus+ protects your files from ransomware attacks, which can encrypt your data and demand a ransom payment to decrypt it.
- Phishing protection: Trend Micro Antivirus+ helps you to avoid phishing scams, which are attempts to trick you into revealing personal information or clicking on malicious links.
- Parental controls: Trend Micro Antivirus+ allows you to block websites and apps you don’t want your children to access.
- Web filtering: Trend Micro Antivirus+ can block malicious websites and ads so that you can browse the web safely and securely.
- Password manager: Trend Micro Antivirus+ includes a password manager that helps you create and manage strong passwords for all your online accounts.
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security plans start from $19.99 for one device annually. Click here to know more.
Protecting your computer from digital threats is more crucial than ever in today’s interconnected world. Malware and cyberattacks can lead to loss of data, identity theft, and compromised privacy. Installing a robust antivirus solution guards your system against these risks. Programs like Avast, Norton, and Bitdefender offer real-time scanning, firewalls, malware prevention, and other security layers. Consider factors like performance impact, pricing, and extra features as you select antivirus software tailored to your needs. With a trustworthy antivirus guarding your digital realm, you can compute and browse worry-free, ensuring your system and data remain safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need antivirus software?
Antivirus software provides essential protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, and other cybersecurity threats that could steal your data or damage your devices.
Will antivirus software slow down my computer?
Some antivirus programs use more system resources and can cause minor slowdowns. However, most modern antivirus software is designed to have minimal impact on performance.
Why do I need third-party antivirus software if Windows already comes with Windows Defender?
While Windows Defender provides basic antivirus protection, most cybersecurity experts still recommend using a dedicated third-party antivirus program because Defender may miss some malware and viruses that third-party antivirus software can detect. Independent testing shows third-party options tend to have higher malware detection rates.
What’s the difference between paid and free antivirus programs?
Paid antivirus software offers more robust security, a wider range of features, and better technical support than free versions. Free apps provide basic protection.
How do I choose the right antivirus software for my needs?
Consider your budget, the features you need, system resource usage, and independent testing lab results to select antivirus software tailored to your use case.