Best Antivirus Software

Antivirus Guide Author

Richard Wade

Published on July 24, 2020
Compare & Find The Best Antivirus Software For Your Devices

Choosing the best antivirus software for your computer can be a daunting task due to all the criteria that must be considered. You may be interested in a basic security solution for your PC or laptop, or a highly advanced system that’s capable of protecting your entire household against viruses, hacker attacks, and fraud. If you can't decide on a particular solution, be sure to check out our reviews to determine which antivirus solution is best for you.

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

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#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

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#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

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#4
Kaspersky

Kaspersky

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

Comprehensive antivirus solution that covers all your security needs

VERY GOOD

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#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

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See All

Compare The Best Antivirus Software

Bitdefender
Norton
McAfee
Kaspersky
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 Antivirus Software?

The Internet may be a good source of information and entertainment, but it can also be a dangerous place with all sorts of threats lurking around every corner. You may think that simply avoiding dangerous files and downloadables is enough to keep you safe, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

Viruses can slip into your system without warning. Before you know it, you may find yourself the owner of an inoperable system, or worse, discover that your personal data has been stolen. Often, by the time you even realize you’ve been victimized, it's already too late. We protect everything that matters in life: we lock doors; shield our bank pin when withdrawing cash; and make use of home security measures — why wouldn’t you want to protect your online life? Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of amazing antivirus solutions that feature adequate protection capabilities.

Installing antivirus protection across your devices is the best way to protect your software and personal data. A viable solution ensures your files stay safe from corruption and your computer remains shielded from any number of direct hacker attacks. It's the only way to truly have some peace of mind while working, streaming videos, or online gaming.

Although there are plenty of free antivirus solutions out there, purchasing a solution is always a recommended course of action due to the many advantages it brings. Think about it — would you trust a free home security system to protect your family? With a premium antivirus solution, you’ll have access to a much wider range of features and services than you would with a free, generic solution. For starters, you’ll be able to shop online safely, shield your children from inappropriate content, and secure your entire home network.

There are viruses out there that will slow down your system and make it almost impossible to open your files. Often, these viruses are so discreet that it’s extremely difficult to tell if something malicious has infected your computer. Relying solely on your intuition to avoid threats is simply unrealistic. With an efficient antivirus solution, you can relax, knowing that you’re safe from threats — even ones that are difficult to trace. Furthermore, should you encounter any difficulties or experience an attack, you can count on professional assistance from an experienced technical support team to help you get things back on track.

How To Compare The Best Antivirus Protection

There’s a lot to consider when choosing the best antivirus solution for your computer. Most of them offer similar protection mechanisms, involving comparing files to malware signatures, analyzing application behavior, and analyzing samples of zero-day malware so that everyone can benefit from more effective protection. However, what differentiates a GOOD solution from the BEST revolves around what it has to offer in addition to its basic protection capabilities.

A common reason people cite for avoiding some of the best antivirus solutions on the market includes the notion that such software will slow down their computer, making it difficult to perform routine tasks. This is not the case nowadays. The latest antivirus programs have evolved significantly over the past few years alone. They are no longer the resource hogs they once had a reputation for being. From the most basic to the best antivirus solutions, all of them feature a series of advanced mechanisms which can identify viruses and other threats before anything bad happens to your system and data.

Now, you could protect your computer from various forms of malware with a standard base package, but the best antivirus software will provide you with more than one solution, each tailored for a specific task. Many companies offer premium packages with additional features designed to help you plug security gaps to prevent hackers from gaining access to your personal files. They’ll also warn you if you’re about to connect to a fraudulent website where you could end up relinquishing a password or credit card details. It can’t be considered one of the best antivirus solutions if it doesn't include online banking and shopping features.

The best antivirus solutions are defined by their features that are designed to address particular needs. Depending on your needs, you can opt for a basic package designed simply to protect your system, or you could choose to spend a little more and opt for a solution that provides security for the entire family, protecting all of your devices from data theft and viruses.

Security products are in a constant state of evolution. New features and better protection measures to fight against the latest spyware, adware, worms, Trojans, rootkits, ransomware, and many other threats are always being developed. Regardless of the level of protection you seek, there’s an antivirus solution suitable for everyone — regardless of budget.

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.