Antivirus software is important to have, as malware threats are released every day. Not to mention security flaws within the Windows operating system itself. With so much of our personal information stored in our browsers and apps, it’s simply not reasonable to not have antivirus security on your computer.
Securing your computer from unwanted and unauthorized threats is an important aspect in this digital era. One of the pillars of computer security is antivirus programs that allow you to use your PC without being at risk of risking your privacy and security. As such, having an antivirus program installed on your computer is critical.
Software is susceptible to viruses and malware, and Windows comes in this category as well since it essentially is system software. Therefore, ensuring the privacy of the data on your computer and keeping yourself safe overall should be a priority.
There is a ton of malware out there for Windows which can affect your system. This is because Windows occupy most of the market share when it comes to computers, and so it is only natural for hackers and scammers to target Windows machines in general.
Windows has been fighting these types of threats via security updates and patches, along with strengthening the built-in Windows Defender. However, what are your options if you are to look for a third-party antivirus program that offers additional features? In this article, we will go through the best 5 antivirus programs for Windows that you can install right now.
It is important to note that all of these antivirus programs are not identical. This is because some offer additional protection layers and features at the cost of an extra sum. However, if you opt for any of the provided antivirus software, you should not have to worry about keeping your system secure as the security program will do that job just fine. Here’s our list:
|🥇Best Overall Antivirus:
|🛡️ Best Antivirus for Malware Protection:
|🔐 Best Antivirus for Ransomware Protection:
|💸 Best Antivirus for Price:
|🆓 Best Free Antivirus:
1. Malwarebytes Premium
MalwareBytes is one of the best antivirus solutions available, and it has been around in the market for a while now. The program offers all of the features that you would expect from an all-out antivirus program aimed at keeping you safe and secure. Malwarebytes Premium comes along with various scan options that allow you to schedule scans on your computer for regular checks, and on-demand scans which you can use to scan your system at any given moment to remove malware from your system.
In addition, you can configure the program to perform scans on file access as well. Another great advantage of Malwarebytes is the speed of its scans. While they are effective and keep you safe from malware, it is relatively fast and quick. These scans use a number of different methods to keep malware away from your computer such as real-time detection, ransomware activity detection, and more.
Malwarebytes is also packed with features that keep you secure while you are browsing the internet. Your browser will be protected against malicious and scam pages, which is a need of the hour these days.
The free version of Malwarebytes is often recommended after a PC is infected to deal with the problem. However, for a more thorough approach, you should go for Malwarebytes Premium which comes with a ton of additional features.
2. BitDefender Antivirus Plus
BitDefender Antivirus Plus is another easy option and choice when it comes down to the best antivirus program for Windows. With budget-friendly pricing, BitDefender is a complete security suite with a wide range of features that will keep viruses and malware away from your computer.
BitDefender boasts an excellent antivirus core engine which provides you protection from all sorts of ransomware, which even includes zero-day threats. Included in the package is a secure browser, Safepay, that allows you to perform your financial transactions without any worries, along with a VPN that protects your privacy online, further boosting your security.
There are various third-party antivirus testing labs out there that rank various antivirus programs against threat protection, and BitDefender is no stranger to these labs. AV-Comparitives, an antivirus testing lab, awarded BitDefender for its exceptional performance against real-world protection tests in 2021.
Thus, with BitDefender, you get a very capable antivirus program on your system that operates at a high level to keep your system safe from outside access. The pricing point of BitDefender, starting at $25 for the first year (three devices) really gives it an edge.
3. Norton Antivirus Plus
Norton Antivirus Plus is a great option if you do not wish to secure a bunch of devices, but rather your requirement is only one Windows device. If that is the case, Norton Antivirus Plus is one of the best options you have. This is because it comes at a cheap price for providing all of the computer security essentials required in this day and age.
Norton offers a bunch of other antivirus plans, with different price ranges and qualities. The Antivirus Plus is their initial premium product which is not just an antivirus program, as it includes features such as a protective firewall that safeguards your system from both outside and inside threats.
The program scores a good result in independent lab tests which proves its efficiency against modern malware and capability of keeping your computer out of reach. Should you be looking for an option that is cheap, concise with its features and your protection requirements are restricted to only one Windows device, Norton Antivirus Plus is the go-to option.
McAfee+ (or McAfee Plus) is an option to consider if you would like to protect a number of devices in your household. The company has been around in the antivirus industry for quite a long time and offers one of the best antivirus protection available.
Not only does the McAfee antivirus program keep your computer safe from unwanted threats, but it also keeps your online activity in check, protecting your personal information from fraudulent hands. A subscription to the McAfee Antivirus Plus program allows you to secure all of the devices in your household, be it a smartphone, a Windows device or even macOS.
McAfee performs superbly in independent test results, however, there may be an occasional slip. The number of features included in your package will increase, should you decide to go for a better plan. This will, naturally, come at the cost of higher subscription prices.
For example, McAfee Total Protection offers features like a file shredder that allows you to safely delete files from your devices beyond recovery, while also packing a vulnerability scanner that points out any weak points in the network, and more.
Finally, TotalAV has been making some sound in the antivirus software market, and for good reason. The program is exceptionally secure and reliable and does a pretty good job of keeping your computer secure from ransomware and other potential threats.
It comes with both free and paid versions that you can use with all the essential features for keeping a device safe. TotalAV boasts a 100% success rate against 4-week malware and numbers in the high nineties against zero-day malware threats. This not only proves the reliability of the antivirus program but also shows why it has been going up the rankings recently.
Furthermore, not to stay behind its competition, TotalAV also provides security features that protect you while you are online on the internet, from keeping you away from malicious websites to protecting you from phishing emails, and more. A VPN connection is also provided for masking your online presence and keeping your identity secure as you browse the internet.
These features are very easy to access with the TotalAV application as it uses a minimal user interface that makes it easy for consumers to use the various features without any interference.
6. Honorary Mention – Microsoft Defender
Before we end, it would be unfair to not mention Microsoft Defender in this list. This is simply because of how good the built-in antivirus protection of Microsoft Defender has become over the last few years it doesn’t cost a penny it’s completely free. While Microsoft Defender used to be non-existential compared to its peers, it has quickly gained notoriety for its ability to prevent malware and keep your computer safe.
This has all been due to the number of security patches and updates that are pushed by Microsoft to Microsoft Defender which allows it to stay on top of all of the malicious threats and activities. If you are someone who knows his way around the computer and can identify obvious malicious and phishing threats, you do not need to go all in by installing a third-party antivirus program.
In such a case, the Microsoft Defender program is more than enough to keep you safe from any malicious threats that might be targeted at your computer.