Malware is a constant threat to everyone. Thankfully, there is no shortage of security programs available to deal with it. If you’re having trouble deciding which solution is right for you, then be sure to have a look at our expert guide. The large selection of programs may seem intimidating at first, but you’re bound to know what makes a reliable malware protection system by the time you finish reading it.
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.
Rated #1 best antivirus software of 2023. Provides excellent virus protection, includes an extensive list of great features, and has minimal impact on system performance.
BEST ANTIVIRUSVisit Bitdefender
High-accuracy, low-impact antivirus solution with online backup capabilities
Award-winning antivirus solution featuring privacy & performance tools for all your devices
VERY GOODVisit TotalAV
Highly accurate security solution for computers and mobile devices
VERY GOODVisit McAfee
Powerful security protects you from numerous forms of online and offline danger
VERY GOODVisit Panda
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.
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.
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.
A free antivirus solution may seem tempting, but typically they don't offer the same level of protection as a paid service. A premium package will keep you safe from much more than “harmless” viruses that will slow down your computer. These programs can prevent targeted attacks from sophisticated hackers and viruses.
With a premium package, you can protect your entire network and identify any potential security gaps in your system which hackers exploit to gain access to your personal files. You’ll also be able to detect hidden viruses that can't be detected and removed through conventional means. Furthermore, should you encounter any technical difficulties, a professional technical support team will be standing by to assist you.
Avoiding suspicious websites and emails is not enough to protect you from viruses. Malware can find its way onto your system and corrupt your files via any means necessary — the naked eye alone is not enough to keep you safe. In addition, there may be security gaps in your system which hackers love to exploit to gain access to your files and/or banking information. This is why the importance of having a top-rated malware protection system installed on your computer cannot be overstated.
Reliable malware protection doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg. You can find a program that will satisfy much more than basic security needs, even on a tight budget. This will give you the peace of mind required to surf the web and enjoy your favorite online games without worrying about malware infecting your system and stealing your information.
With a proper malware protection system in place, you’ll be able to tell the legitimate websites from the fake ones whose sole purpose is to steal your passwords and personal details. These solutions scan and block suspicious websites and files automatically. Better yet, you won't have to deal with "once-in-a-lifetime offers'' flooding your inbox. These security programs work independently so you can work and relax in peace.
You don't have to look for the most expensive program, even if you’re only interested in the top malware protection solutions. There are more critical factors to consider other than price. Real-time protection and behavior analysis features are non-negotiable if you want the best. These features block threats that haven't even been documented yet before they have the chance to do damage to your system. Also, be sure to consider what other protection features a program has to offer in addition to its baseline detection and virus disposal capabilities.
The best malware protection programs include a wide variety of unique features. In addition to their primary scanning and detection capabilities, they also offer various tools to protect you against specific threats, including hacker attacks and phishing attempts. Be sure to take a close look at what each solution has to offer to see which one suits your needs. If you have a family, then consider an antivirus with a parental control feature to protect your children from harmful online content. Be sure to keep an eye out for diagnostic tools, as these will allow you to protect the smart devices in your home.
Each antivirus solution is available in several packages, all designed to address different user concerns. A basic package is sufficient for a single computer and a mobile device; however, if you want a complete security system for the entire household, then a mid-range package will be your best bet. When it comes to business-related data and projects, a top-tier package will provide you with everything you need, including backup and restore features.
When comparing antivirus packages, it’s not uncommon to come across some good deals. Ideally, you’ll want a package that includes safe online banking, enhanced web protection, parental controls, and security for your entire network. Antivirus developers offer different features included within their packages, so be sure to choose the solution that matches your needs.
If you avoid malware protection solutions because of performance concerns, then you’ll be glad to know that modern-day antivirus programs barely affect system performance. You can stream videos and play games online while your solution actively scans for malware quietly in the background without experiencing lag or choppy framerates.
The best antivirus and malware protection programs stay up-to-date with the latest threats to protect your system and private data. From Trojans, rootkits, and ransomware, you’ll remain safe with the malware protection solutions we’ve selected for you.
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.