TEvery internet user uses multiple devices on a daily basis living a digital connected lifestyle. As a consequence, there is literally tons of data going through your computer for each individual user, including sensitive personal, financial and health data.
With the increase in malware threats, including particularly lethal ransomware, users would be wise to step up their game, and take their antivirus protection to the next level. However, this is a crowded market segment, making the choice of antivirus software a challenge.
We’re here to help, with some great choices for an antivirus program below. This type of software is typically sold as an annual subscription as the software and virus signatures need to be kept up to dat
Best antivirus: the top 10 you can get today
1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019
Well rounded everyday protection
Operating system: Windows only | Maximum devices covered: 3 | Stand out features: Ransomware protection and remediation, privacy tools, optional VPN, Safepay
Antivirus Plus 1 Year
Password managerSubscription includes frequent updatesOption for integrated VPNCan be resource intensiveOnline account requirement
Our top antivirus software pick is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 that boast over 500 million users, and offers a full featured package.
Also, comparing test results, such as from leading antivirus testing labs like AV Test, and AV Comparatives, the Bitdefender antivirus products score high ratings.
it pro portal editor’s choice
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 is easy to get up and running with a simple installation process. However, be aware that creating an online account, including an email address is required prior to the initial download and install.
This program does have some weaknesses which include only protecting three devices without additional licenses, although there are some competitor products only protect one device. Also, this program only works on Windows 10 devices. It is also resource intensive when running, which is a downside for older and less robust systems.
The annual subscription includes automatic upgrades throughout the year for $34.99. This keeps the program always up to date to meet the threats of the latest malware. Multi-year discounts are also available.
Bitdefender’s VIP antivirus deal
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 | $59.99 Now $23.99 (or £39.99 £19.99) a year
60%. That’s the saving that Bitdefender is promising for the start of 2019 (or 50% if you’re in the UK). So that means that the awesome Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019 is down to around $20/£20 for an entire year of PC protection. A smashing bargain for security-minded users.
2. Norton AntiVirus Basic
Smooth protection for your system
Operating system: Windows only | Maximum devices covered: 1 | Stand out features: Advanced privacy security, financial security, global civilian intelligence network
Norton AntiVirus Basic 1 Year
at Norton by Symantec
Stays up to date with latest malware threatsLite on system resourcesAffordable subscriptionUnreliable browser extensions
Norton Antivirus Basic is their entry level antivirus program. Norton has been around for ages, with a solid reputation earned over decades. Adding to the reputation, Norton offers an excellent value with their annual subscription available at a cost of $29.99.
Norton AntiVirus Basic offers quite a few customization options to control the settings. We also like the URL blocker that can protect from even acquiring the malware by protecting user by blocking visits to known malicious websites. The antivirus program is ever vigilant, and runs continuously, with scanning also available on demand.
Norton AntiVirus Basic also has their Norton Identity Safe, which is a password manager for the browser. However, some users have reported issues with this Chrome extension, including that the password manager randomly stops working, preventing Norton from taking the pole position in our rankings.
Norton Antivirus Basic 2018 for $14.99 per year
3. F-Secure Antivirus SAFE
Easy to use antivirus protection
Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: 3 | Stand out features: Browsing and banking protection, Family Rules, ransomware protection
F-Secure 1 Year
at F-Secure US
User-friendlyStrong valueMobile device finderHas some false positives
Here is F-Secure Antivirus SAFE’s winning formula: start with strong antivirus software, and then include even more features to fully protect a user’s system. These tools include banking protection for the safest online shopping, and safety tools that are family centered. Another useful feature looking beyond your Windows computer is a locator for the loss of your Android or iOS mobile device, Additionally, if the device can’t be found, there is the option to remotely lock or delete it which at least keeps the data safe.
On AV-test’s analysis, they found that F-Secure Antivirus SAFE got a high score, although in some cases it was a little overly sensitive as they noted some false positives. However, the pluses include that it runs ‘resource lite,’ and has a easy to use, and simple interface.
The annual subscription of F-Secure Antivirus SAFE runs $34.99 for protection of up to 3 devices.
F-Secure Antivirus SAFE for $34.99 per year
4. Kaspersky Anti-Virus
A solid security choice for all comers
Operating system: Windows only | Maximum devices covered: 5 | Stand out features: Automatic scans, drive-by cryptomining infection prevention, simplified security management
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 1 Year
at Kaspersky Lab
One of the best performing security packagesSupremely easy to useKaspersky’s full suites offer better value
For those that seek more of just antivirus protection, and not a full security suite, tha, Kaspersky Anti-Virus is worth a serious look. A side benefit of this approach is that it keeps the cost more affordable, as this program is $29.99 for the annual subscription.
Rather than focusing on too many peripheral features, Kapersky Anti-Virus hones in on the basics of malware prevention and detection, and does them well indeed. Features include blocking of malicious URL’s via web filtering, antivirus scanning for threat removal and detection, and smart monitoring technology to find malware before it brings down your system.
Giving them credence, when tested, AV-Comparatives scored Kapersky Anti-Virus highly.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus for $29.99 per year
5. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security
Strong antivirus protection
Operating system: Windows only | Maximum devices covered: 1 | Stand out features: Ransomware protection, advanced AI learning, email scam safeguarding, Pay Guard
Trend Micro AntiVirus+ 1 Year
at Trend Micro
Affordable pricingSimple to useStrong protectionResource intensiveSlightly limiting options
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security has a strong reputation for effective antivirus prevention, with expertise in spam and ransomware. It is also noted to be easy to use, and the major antivirus labs give it high marks in their testing suites.
The downside of seeking out every virus like nobody’s business is that it can be a little overly sensitive, with a higher number of false positives when compared to the competition. Furthermore, Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security runs slower and requires more resources than some other products, making this a less preferred choice for an older system.
The upside is that this program is worth the free 30-day trial to fully clean up your system, and see how your system performs with Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security. If you like what you seem then the cost is $29.95 for single device antivirus protection via an annual subscription.
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security for $29.95 per year
6. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
A lightweight antivirus solution
Operating system: Windows and Mac | Maximum devices covered: 1 | Stand out features: Always-on security, identity protection, real-time anti-phishing, firewall monitor
Webroot AntiVirus 1 Year
at Webroot Inc.
Quite light on system resourcesSuper fast scansLacks testing data
A significant con is the major testing labs have not tested Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus for several years now. However, for those with an older system, and want antivirus software that runs lighter, should consider Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. The annual subscription is an affordable $19.99 which protects a single device.
Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus takes the lighter approach to antivirus software. Their program is a teensy 2 MB download, and has no need for bulky signature updates, making this ideal for folks with a slower internet connection. A great plus of this small software, is that it runs really fast, and won’t bog even an older system down.
While the program is small, the protection is still plentiful, able to meet all the malware threats: ransomware, real time anti-phishing tech, identity security, while monitoring the firewall and network for attacks.
Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus for $19.99 per year
7. ESET NOD32 Antivirus
Antivirus software for the expert user
Operating system: Windows only | Maximum devices covered: 5 | Stand out features: Ransomware Shield, UEFI Scanner, Exploit Blocker, cloud powered scanning
ESET NOD32 1 Year
Free trialCloud based scanningUEFI scannerLacks extra features
ESET NOD32 Antivirus offers a free 30-day trial, and if it performs to your satisfaction, then the subscription costs $39.99 for the year of protection.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus is is a useful security suite that includes the features of real-time malware protection, excellent heuristic detection, an anti-ransomware layer, exploit protection, and URL filtering to block malicious websites. It also has modules for preventing attacks using PowerShell, defense against malicious scripts, a scanner for USB mass storage devices, and a UEFI scanner for protection during the boot process.
Other functions that are found in some antivirus suites such as a password manager, software firewall, file shredder and vulnerability scanner do not make the cut as ESET NOD32 Antivirus focuses more on core features.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus for $39.99 per year
8. G-Data Antivirus
Antivirus software from the Germans
Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android | Maximum devices covered: 1 | Stand out features: automatic scanning of USB sticks, hourly program updates, 24/7 English phone support
Phone supportAutomatic inspection of USB flash drivesUpdates hourlyIntensive on resources
G-Data Antivirus goes back to the mid-1980’s, and has enjoyed popularity in the European market, while being a relative newcomer to the antivirus market in the United States. Their entry level offering for antivirus software is G-Data Antivirus, and has quite a bit to recommend.
G-Data Antivirus in testing by independent labs gets high marks at detecting many types of viruses, although noted to be less of a superstar at malicious URL blocking. The list of pros is long, and includes online shopping and banking protection, hourly updates, protection from phishing emails with attachments, automatic USB flash memory inspection, and a 24/7 phone hotline for English support.
A con is the high system resource requirement, making this program more suitable for more powerful systems.
G-Data Antivirus has a cost of $29.95 for the annual subscription, and protects a single device.
9. Comodo Windows Antivirus
A full protection suite
Operating system: Windows only | Maximum devices covered: 1 | Stand out features: Cloud-based scanning, secure shopping, game mode
24/7 tech supportFirewall includedRealtime protectionMore complicated setup
Comodo Windows Antivirus’ more complicated setup makes this solution better suited for an expert user, rather than a newbie. The reward is that once this program is installed, it is very effective at virus detection, and then keeps them totally isolated with a feature called Auto Sandbox Technology.
An additional feature is the cloud based antivirus scanning which can detect the latest viruses from across the internet, and not rely on local virus signatures being up to date. Gamers will also appreciate the software’s Game Mode which makes sure that video games are not interrupted by antivirus software alerts.
Comodo Windows Antivirus costs $39.99 for the annual subscription. The higher cost can be easily justified by the expansive feature set.
10. Avast Pro
The pro version kicks the free offering up a serious notch
Operating system: Windows only | Maximum devices covered: 1 | Stand out features: Wi-Fi inspector, browser cleanup, smart analytics virus detection
URL protectionSandbox technologyPassword managerExpensive
Avast has a longstanding, and excellent reputation in the antivirus area, particularly for their free offering. However, it also has a paid offering, Avast Pro, which adds more protection, making it a worth considering to upgrade.
Avast Pro has additional features, such as sandboxing of suspicious files, protection from hijacking your DNS, Wi-Fi inspection against wireless poaching attacks, and browser cleanup for unwanted toolbars and malicious browser extensions. In case support is needed, there is convenient messaging from within the Avast Pro software.
A downside is that the paid version costs more than the free version, and we note that Avast Pro is more expensive than some other antivirus solutions. A single Windows PC subscription costs $49.99 yearly, but it can be tried for free for a full 30 days, and the option of multiyear discounts can make it more affordable.