Using antivirus software is essential for computer security in this day and age of rampant malware and phishing scams. Antivirus software is an important aspect of modern digital security. It helps users avoid, scan for, detect, and remove viruses and other malicious digital stuff from their computers and mobile devices. That’s why we put in the time and effort to compile this list of the best antivirus software available in 2023 to help you narrow your selections.
Several of Bitdefender’s Windows antivirus packages have received high marks from third-party tests and may be purchased for a reasonable price. The Antivirus Plus basic version offers a year of continuous protection for three Windows computers. In addition, you can utilize the included VPN to hide your online activity and take advantage of Bitdefender’s frequent virus signature updates. Phishing, ransomware, and network threats are just some things the Standard Protection Suite neutralizes. It can also reboot a machine infected with malware into a “rescue environment” designed to facilitate repair. Antivirus software with added capabilities, such as a firewall, password manager, and privacy shields for microphones and webcams, is available as an upgrade. Windows antivirus software costs between $59.99 and $159.99 per year.
Norton’s antimalware offerings are among the best available, and they no longer burden system performance disproportionately. Norton 360 Deluxe provides the best balance of price and functionality among the bunch. It has a password manager that is cross-platform compatible, unlimited VPN service, the ability to track users’ activities in the dark web, parental controls, and storage space of up to 50GB. With Norton 360 Premium and Norton 360 Platinum, you can protect up to 10 and 20 devices with cloud storage and antivirus/VPN protection, respectively. Unlike some leading antivirus software makers, Norton does not include a file shredder, file encryption, or encrypted web browser with any of their packages. However, all other digital security features you could want are included in some of its packages.
Kaspersky’s Windows offerings excel in our primary metric, detection rates, and suffer a mild to moderate impact on system performance. Kaspersky Antivirus offers a virtual keyboard, online account management, and ransomware protection even in its most basic (and cheapest, at ?12.49 UK/$29.99 US) form. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus offers more tools, though, so it wins. Among mid-range suites, we recommend Kaspersky Internet Security (?17.49 UK/$39.99 US). It protects your webcam, prevents unauthorized access to your laptop, and activates your VPN when you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Software for macOS, Android, and iOS are included as well. Kaspersky Total Security, the premium antivirus suite, costs ?19.99 in the UK and $44.99 in the US and additionally includes backup software, parental controls, file encryption, a file shredder, and an infinite password manager. We consider it to be the finest antivirus program currently available.
Antivirus software from ESET comes in multiple editions. NOD32 is the entry-level program, and for $39.99 a year, you get basic malware identification and the option to stop malware, anti-phishing protection, and a guarantee that your computer won’t slow down. Upgrade to ESET Smart Security Premium or ESET Internet Security Advanced Protection for even more protection. Webcam security, a protected web browser, and AES-256 encryption are just some of the features included in these bundles. In addition to offering multiyear discounts, ESET allows you to add devices to your protection package for only $10.
Antivirus, anti-phishing, and ransomware defenses are all strong points of AVG (now a part of Avast). Experts have found that AVG’s antivirus software effectively removes stubborn infections and performs well in virus detection tests. Free antivirus software is a great defense mechanism against malicious software. The added features of Internet Security are defenses against phishing and other forms of online fraud and protections against unwanted remote access and malware. TuneUp and a VPN service are now included with AVG Ultimate. The antivirus engine is shared between the free and paid versions and is also used by Avast. For one device, AVG AntiVirus Free is completely free. Pricing for the premium plans ranges from $79.99 to $129.99 per year.
Avast provides both free and premium virus protection options. A virtual private network (VPN) and optimization and maintenance apps are included in the premium tier. Experts agree that Avast’s free antivirus software is among the best available for detecting and eliminating malware such as viruses, ransomware, and other forms of spyware. That’s partly because Avast’s virus detection engine is shared across all its product tiers. There is also built-in security to prevent hackers from accessing your Wi-Fi network or causing harm. More advanced versions add capabilities like blocking specific IP addresses, securing saved passwords in the browser, and detecting and blocking malicious websites. The annual cost of Avast antivirus software ranges from $69.99 to $139.99, depending on the number of devices you want to protect and the features you want.
McAfee’s free antivirus software can protect a single device. Antivirus protection for an infinite number of devices is a perk of premium antivirus subscriptions. In addition to antivirus protection, all plans include services like a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and identity monitoring. There are also family plans that have restrictions for kids. Identity theft restoration costs can be covered, up to a million dollars, by the highest plan tier. Professional reviews agree that McAfee’s suite of security solutions, including its antivirus software, is among the best available. Some critics have pointed out that McAfee’s antivirus software is slower than some of its competitors. Renewal costs range from $84.99 to $179.99 per year, making it not the lowest option available.
While most of Trend Micro’s efforts go toward protecting enterprises, the company also makes consumer antivirus software. Antivirus software from Trend Micro has been praised for its ability to identify and eliminate viruses, ransomware, and other types of malicious software. Some functions, such as parental controls, must be added to the company’s Antivirus+Security bundle ($39.99 per year). Trend Micro’s Maximum Security ($89.95 annually) protects up to five devices and includes parental controls. At $129.95 per year, Trend Micro’s Premium Security Suite is the most expensive option. Includes VPN and dark web surveillance for up to 10 devices. Password managers, ID theft protection, and VPN services are available for an additional fee.
The company’s free, feature-rich antivirus software is a strong selling point. Avira’s cloud-hosted software protects users from ransomware and other threats like phishing. The free edition of the company’s software also features a firewall, disk space cleaning, startup optimizer, and battery saver. There are three affordable paid options available from Avira. The major caveat is that the premium Avira Prime service costs $99.99 yearly, more than many other services in our rankings if you want to protect more than one device. Experts have found Avira’s virus detection capabilities fall short of its competitors. However, Avira remains unrivaled regarding free, basic antivirus protection for a single device.
Webroot is the industry standard for antivirus software, threat intelligence services, and endpoint protection. Webroot’s antivirus scans are lightning-fast and won’t impact your computer’s performance. In addition, it safeguards your computer from malicious software and other online dangers. Webroot’s real-time protection against phishing attempts is another way to be safe online and keep your sensitive information to yourself. Webroot Antivirus comes in four different tiers of protection Basic Antivirus, Internet Security Plus, Internet Security Complete, and Webroot Premium. Webroot’s comprehensive cloud-based security suites include antivirus, antimalware, phishing, ransomware, and firewall protection. More expensive packages typically offer protection for both mobile devices and personal computers. One year of service for the base plan’s included device costs $39.99. For an annual fee of $129.99, you can protect up to five devices with Webroot Premium, including Webroot’s Identity Theft security services.
Malwarebytes provides basic, always-on security for your devices at an affordable price. However, it needs more features like a free VPN, password manager, or parental controls offered by several antivirus software businesses that are placed higher than it. Malwarebytes provides a very limited free version to detect and clean an infected device, while subscription versions start at $39.99 monthly. The trial edition includes some premium capabilities, such as real-time malware protection, phishing email detection, and ransomware protection.
Sophos Home is designed to be user-friendly and inexpensive. Like other antivirus programs, Sophos Home will scan your computer for malware and viruses and prevent new attacks as they happen. Since the free version has been removed (although a trial version is available), only one product is now available for both Windows and Macintosh machines. Although a mobile control app exists, Sophos Home Premium does not work on mobile devices. There is also a free trial period of 30 days. After the first year, paid plans for up to 10 PC or Macintosh systems cost $59.99 annually. However, Sophos Home has been panned by experts because of its sparse functionality and larger-than-average footprint on system performance.