The Best Computer Antivirus 2021

Antivirus Guide Author

Richard Wade

Published on July 24, 2020
Compare & Find The Best Antivirus Program For Your Computer

Computers are indispensable tools. It's imperative to protect them against virus attacks if you wish to keep your private documents, banking details, or your life's work safe from harm. Finding the best computer antivirus can be a challenging ordeal due to the vast number of solutions available. However, with our guide and expert reviews, you’ll be able to find the best computer antivirus to meet your needs and budget.

What’s The Best Antivirus Solution?

Bitdefender, the antivirus brand trusted by 500 million-plus users across 150 countries, is one of the world's leading providers of consumer cybersecurity products and a pioneer in antivirus protection. This brand has won multiple antivirus awards from leading online test laboratories, including AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, PCMag, and The Anti-Malware Testing Standard Organization.

#1 BEST ANTIVIRUS
Bitdefender

Bitdefender

5/5
4846 User Reviews
Compatibility:
Apple Compatibility iOS Compatibility Windows Compatibility Android Compatibility
30 Days Money Back Guarantee

Rated #1 best antivirus software of 2021. Provides excellent virus protection, includes an extensive list of great features, and has minimal impact on system performance.

BEST ANTIVIRUS

Visit Bitdefender
Detailed Information
#2
Norton

Norton

4/5
4168 User Reviews
Compatibility:
Apple Compatibility iOS Compatibility Windows Compatibility Android Compatibility

High-accuracy, low-impact antivirus solution with online backup capabilities

EXCELLENT

Visit Norton
Detailed Information
#3
McAfee

McAfee

4/5
3021 User Reviews
Compatibility:
Apple Compatibility iOS Compatibility Windows Compatibility Android Compatibility

Highly accurate security solution for computers and mobile devices

VERY GOOD

Visit McAfee
Detailed Information
#4
Panda

Panda

4/5
2685 User Reviews
Compatibility:
Apple Compatibility iOS Compatibility Windows Compatibility Android Compatibility

Powerful security protects you from numerous forms of online and offline danger

VERY GOOD

Visit Panda
Detailed Information
#5
BullGuard

BullGuard

4/5
2126 User Reviews
Compatibility:
Apple Compatibility iOS Compatibility Windows Compatibility Android Compatibility

Fast and efficient antivirus program that is affordable and easy-to-use

VERY GOOD

Visit BullGuard
Detailed Information
See All

Compare The Best Antivirus Software

Bitdefender
Norton
McAfee
Panda
BullGuard
Scroll
Rating
Detection Capabilities
System performance
Features
Value For The Money
Protection
Real-Time Protection
Removes Malware
Removes Spyware
Removes Adware
Dedicated Ransomware Protection
Anti-Phishing
Anti-Fraud
Rescue Mode
Features
VPN
Safe Online Banking
Webcam Protection
Parental Advisor
Vulnerability Scanner
Firewall
Quiet Mode
Social Network Protection
Password Manager
Anti-Theft
Data Shredder
Battery Mode
Support
Phone Support
Live Chat
Compatibility
Windows
Mac
Linux
Android
iOS
9.8
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
Visit Site
9.3
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Good
Visit Site
9.2
Excellent
Excellent
Good
Good
Visit Site
9.2
Good
Good
Good
Fair
Visit Site
9.0
Fair
Good
Good
Good
Visit Site

Why You Should Trust Us

One of the most critical factors when choosing the antivirus solution that’s right for you is who you should trust. With so many fly-by scams and fake review websites across the web, finding a trustworthy and reliable source can be difficult. Unfortunately, most of the teams behind the online antivirus review websites have never actually installed or tested any of the products they recommend. And who wants to purchase an antivirus solution from a Top 10 software list compiled by a team of fake researchers?

Keeping true to our original goal of becoming the most trusted and respected buyer’s guide for antivirus software, we wanted to do things differently right from the get-go. Rather than compiling a quick Top 10 list consisting of the latest best-paying antivirus affiliate programs, we began by researching the market and identifying the most reputable antivirus solution providers. We decided only to include established brands with proven track records in excellence combined with industry-wide recognition. After purchasing a premium package from each brand, we began researching online, benchmarking each product using a proprietary scoring system (more about this in our blog).

But who are we? We are a team of experts specializing in software testing and reviewing with a combined experience of over 30 years. We aim to take an entirely new approach to the world of antivirus software reviewing based on integrity, trust, and transparency.

Finding The Best Antivirus

We’ve spent hours researching the most reputable antivirus testing labs, compiling all the virus and malware detection data we could find.  AV Comparatives  and  AV Test  have proven to be reliable sources, but our research didn’t stop there. We’ve also studies countless white papers and articles published by groups and institutions like  The Anti-Malware Testing Standard Organization,  PcMag,  Google's Project Zero,  Ars Technica, to name just a few. This approach allowed us to identify the key technical components and requirements of antivirus software and attribute a detection score to each solution.

While a solution’s detection capability plays a significant role, there is still much more to consider when selecting the best antivirus solution. Other important factors that need to be considered include software features, ease of use, and system performance. We set out to test these factors on the various PCs and Macs located in our office. After settling on a list of features to analyze and agreeing on a scoring system for each function, we installed the individual antivirus solutions. The testing process proved to be more time-consuming than expected, but eventually, we could harvest some interesting insights when comparing products. (Some of these insights will be featured in our blog over the following weeks, so be sure to keep an eye out.) Eventually, our scoring table was ready. But we still needed to consider another factor — pricing.

The Right Price

It’s not uncommon for a fully-stocked antivirus solution with premium features to come with a hefty price tag. Some companies will even include “exotic features” in an attempt to justify a higher sales price. The question is, are all of those extra features even worth the extra cost? Along with highly sought-after detection capabilities, we’ve agreed to only consider the must-have features included in each package, including usability, system performance, and the total price. Throughout the research phase, we realized that a handful of virus protection packages that were swimming in exotic features were actually highly overpriced.

Most antivirus companies offer significant discounts, but unfortunately, they’re not visible when visiting the websites directly. As some prices may drop as low as 50% off (for various reasons), the dynamics of selecting the best antivirus solution constantly fluctuate. Who wouldn't want a solution with the same must-have features as a competing brand but for half the cost? By partnering with various affiliate programs, we can provide direct links to antivirus offers at discounted prices. We’ve taken these prices into account when compiling our antivirus software lists to help you make an informed decision when choosing the right solution to protect your digital footprint.

Why Should You Buy The Best Computer Antivirus Software?

There are numerous security solutions to choose from. Although you may be tempted to go with a free one, if you want the best computer antivirus, then you’ll have to consider a paid package. Online threats don't stop at malware. Keep an eye out for a solution that provides extra protection against hackers, phishing attempts, and even identity theft.

With a paid plan, you’ll benefit from much more than basic scanning and detection features. You’ll have a smart system that identifies and patches security gaps in your security which hackers love to exploit. You’ll also be able to detect and remove threats that are difficult to trace. The best part is, with a paid package, you’ll have access to professional assistance from talented technical support teams.

You may think that avoiding dangerous websites and suspicious emails is enough to protect your system, but many threats don’t need any "assistance" to find their way onto your system. Without a reliable antivirus program in place, hackers can easily access your private files and steal your banking information, not to mention, your identity.

Your computer could be infected with a virus and you wouldn’t even know it. Fortunately, you don't have to spend a fortune to get the best computer antivirus. Even if you're on a tight budget, you can still get adequate protection and avoid having to deal with the devastating aftermath of fraud.

Installing an antivirus solution on your computer will give you some much-needed peace of mind when surfing the web or shopping online. Any virus that comes your way won't be able to do you harm with one of these solutions in place. Fake websites that attempt to deceive you out of your banking details will become obvious. Even your children will be safe from online fraud and harmful content.

Choosing the Best Computer Antivirus Solution

You shouldn’t define the best computer antivirus by its price but rather by what it can do for you. There are many things to look for in an antivirus solution, but a few factors stand out from the rest. Consider a solution that employs real-time protection and behavior analysis to prevent new, undocumented threats from finding their way onto your computer.

Aside from standard defense features, the best computer antivirus programs include a wide variety of features to combat specific threats and prevent hackers from gaining access to your network. If you have children, then you should consider purchasing an antivirus with parental controls. Have a look at a program's network defense capabilities, especially if you live in a smart home. You just may find a solution that’s capable of protecting all of the devices on your network, ensuring your entire family remains safe from online threats.

Antivirus programs are available in several packages, all with various price tags. Take a close look at the features included with each package to decide which solution is best for you. There are usually three or four packages to choose from, each addressing a specific user category. You can get a basic package that covers one computer and a mobile device, or you could opt for a mid-range package if you’re interested in protecting an entire household. You could also go for a top-tier package if you require professional security for your business laptop and sensitive documents.

Each antivirus solution comes with a selection of unique features. Be sure to take a close look at them as you may spot a good deal. If a program includes secure online banking features, web protection, parental controls, and network security, then you’ll definitely want to keep it on your shortlist.

You don't have to worry about performance when searching for the best computer antivirus program. These solutions are designed to have a minimal impact on your system, even while actively scanning for threats. With a quick look at our reviews, you’ll notice that the top products have excellent scores in this regard. So, while your antivirus is busy performing routine scans, you can continue surfing the web without lagging or interruption.

Viruses are constantly evolving — but so are the best computer antivirus programs. You can rely on our selection of antivirus solutions to keep your computer and other devices safe from the latest online threats. All of our featured solutions offer a variety of features and services dedicated to protecting you from theft and online fraud. Take a closer look to find the product that's best for you.

Transparency Disclosure

The reviews, classifications, and content presented on AntivirusGuide.com represent the informed opinions of our reviewers. Our mission is simple: to help our visitors choose the antivirus solution that’s right for them. Our company receives monetary compensation when users buy the products that we recommend by clicking the links featured on our website, AntivirusGuide. Our editorial team puts countless hours of effort into providing accurate information regardless of the amount of monetary compensation received from affiliate links.