Best Antivirus For Windows

Antivirus Guide Author

Richard Wade

Published on July 24, 2020
Compare & Find The Best Antivirus For Windows

Windows is the go-to operating system of millions of computer users worldwide, so it makes sense that most viruses target it. Fortunately, there are numerous security solutions out there to fight back. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, these reviews will help you find the best Windows antivirus solution available. You could have a modest work laptop or a powerful machine with hundreds of applications being installed and uninstalled every day. Regardless of what you do or how you use your computer, there’s bound to be a Windows antivirus solution on our list 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
McAfee

McAfee

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

Highly accurate security solution for computers and mobile devices

EXCELLENT

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#3
Norton

Norton

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

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

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
Panda

Panda

4/5
2126 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

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See All

Compare The Best Antivirus Software

Bitdefender
McAfee
Norton
Kaspersky
Panda
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?

Despite its many advantages, the Internet can be a dangerous place. Anything can happen, from malicious files to full-fledged identity theft. Although some threats are quite obvious, others remain camouflaged. With one wrong step, you could quickly fall victim without even realizing it — that’s why you need antivirus protection installed.

Often, there’s no way of telling if you’ve been infected with a virus until it’s too late. However, with proper security software installed, you can shield yourself from virtually any threat the Internet can throw your way. The best part is, you don't have to spend a fortune, even if you’re interested in the best Windows antivirus on the market.

With an antivirus solution in place, you can focus on your work and enjoy any form of entertainment in peace with the reassurance that nothing bad will happen to your computer. You can count on the best Windows antivirus solutions to keep your data safe at all times without taking a blow to your system’s performance.

There are certainly many security solutions to choose from, including several free ones. But the best Windows antivirus solutions come with a price tag. If you want high-end protection for your system, then you’re going to want to take a close look at the various packages each antivirus company has to offer. Many solutions offer a heightened defense system against numerous threats in addition to viruses, including safe and secure online bank transactions, home network security, and data encryption, just to name a few.

Sometimes, you won’t be able to tell if a virus has infected your computer. This is why the importance of having an antivirus solution working in the background cannot be overstated. Instead of relying on your intuition to determine which websites are safe, why not allow one of the best Windows antivirus solutions to do the work for you? Not to mention, should anything go wrong, you can always count on professional support to assist you.

Choosing the best Windows antivirus solution

Windows’s built-in security system is full of holes. The best Windows antivirus protection comes from third-party developers. There are several antivirus solutions to choose from, each geared toward particular needs. Although all of the solutions feature the same powerful scanning and detection engines, each solution relies on its own set of unique tools to provide a safe and convenient environment.

Performance is a big concern when selecting the right antivirus solution. The good news is, presently, the best Windows antivirus programs barely impact performance anymore. This allows you to work and/or play as usual, without extended loading periods. This is particularly impressive as all modern antivirus programs, including the most basic solutions, include several layers of security to prevent attacks — even from undocumented viruses.

Antivirus companies offer several software packages to address specific requirements. A basic package should be enough to protect your operating system and personal files from viruses and other attacks. However, premium packages are available that include specialized protection modules designed to detect and correct potential vulnerabilities in your defense system, protect sensitive documents, and much more. In addition, these packages make online shopping much safer thanks to dedicated browsers and extensions.

The extra protection features a solution offers in addition to its main scanning and detection capabilities is what separates the second-rate security applications from the best. Sure, a powerful scanning engine that’s able to fend off zero-day malware threats sounds amazing, but you may also want to lock important documents and ensure hackers can’t access your home network.

Antivirus companies are constantly improving their products to keep up with the latest online threats, including spyware, adware, worms, Trojans, rootkits, ransomware, and other dangers. Every Windows device, no matter how basic or advanced, deserves protection from one of the best Windows antivirus solutions.

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.