The Best Antivirus Software Options



antivirus software

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Are you in the market for new antivirus software? If so, you’re in luck! There are a number of great options to choose from, and each has its own unique set of features. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best antivirus software available. So, whether you’re looking for total protection, malware protection, or just want something to keep your computer safe from attack, read on for the info you need!

Selecting the Right Antivirus Software: Our Methodology

To assist you in making an informed choice, we’ve devised a comprehensive methodology for selecting the best antivirus software that caters to your specific needs. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and criteria necessary to fortify your digital security.



Here’s our methodology for evaluating and selecting the right antivirus software, along with a scale of importance for each criterion, with ten representing the most important elements:

  1. Malware Detection (Importance Scale: 8/10):
    • The software’s ability to detect and remove malware, viruses, spyware, and other threats is paramount. A high detection rate ensures your data’s safety.
  2. Real-time Protection (Importance Scale: 8/10):
    • Real-time scanning and protection should be available to prevent malware from infecting your system immediately.
  3. Price (Importance Scale: 6/10):
    • The cost of the antivirus software should align with your budget while offering the necessary features for robust protection.
  4. Password Managers (Importance Scale: 6/10):
    • Integrated password managers can enhance security by helping you manage strong, unique passwords for various accounts.
  5. Performance Impact (Importance Scale: 6/10):
    • The antivirus software should run efficiently without significantly slowing down your computer’s performance.
  6. Identity Protection (Importance Scale: 6/10):
    • Features like identity theft protection and privacy safeguards are essential to safeguard sensitive personal and business information.
  7. Customer Support (Importance Scale: 6/10):
    • Access to reliable customer support for assistance with any issues or queries is crucial.
  8. Compatibility (Importance Scale: 4/10):
    • Ensure that the antivirus software is compatible with your operating system and devices.
  9. Additional Features (Importance Scale: 4/10):
    • Consider extra features like VPNs, parental controls, or optimization tools if they align with your needs.
  10. Ease of Use (Importance Scale: 4/10):
    • An intuitive interface and user-friendly experience can make managing your antivirus software more convenient.

Best Antivirus Software Options in 2022

Our Top Picks for Antivirus Software

Let’s dive into our top picks for antivirus products, which we came up with based on price, malware detection, real-time protection, password managers, performance, identity protection, and more.

1. Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe is a really complete antivirus security software with Norton antivirus being among the most trusted brands on the market.


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Pros

  • Parental controls
  • 100% virus protection promise
  • Use on up to five devices (Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android)
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Password manager

Cons

  • Cloud backup is only available on Windows
  • Full scans may slow down your computer
  • Renewal is a bit on the pricey side

Price: $49.99 for the first year, renews at $109.99 per year.

2. AVG Internet Security

AVG Internet Security provides award-winning antivirus protection to keep users safe online. This software includes a customizable firewall, ransomware protection, and much more.



Pros

  • 99.98% malware protection rate
  • Their interface is very simple
  • Has a lot of valuable features
  • AVG antivirus free version available
  • Has both chat and phone support

Cons

  • The knowledgebase isn’t very helpful
  • Premium support costs as much as $204.99 per year
  • Not available for Linux

Price: $46.68 for one Mac or PC for the first year or $59.88 for the first year for up to 10 devices, including mobile.

3. Bitdefender Antivirus free edition

Bitdefender is a good, free antivirus software option. The one drawback to both the free version and the paid version is that neither includes a password manager.



Pros

  • The free version has the same core antivirus protection as the paid, Plus version
  • Independent testing labs report great scores
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Virus signatures are updated hourly
  • Bitdefender Central mobile app lets you scan your network from practically anywhere

Cons

  • Performing a full scan for the first time can be very slow
  • The free version does not include a VPN
  • For complete protection, you’ll need to upgrade to their paid version

Price: Free, with an option to upgrade to Bitdefender Antivirus Plus for $19.99 the first year.

4. Kaspersky Anti Virus

Kaspersky offers top-rated solutions to protect you against threats like hackers, ransomware, and cryptolockers while running seamlessly in the background. With their antivirus apps, you can protect your Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices.



Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Regularly updated database
  • Has little impact on system performance
  • Fast VPN
  • 24/7 support via chat, phone, and email

Cons

  • The lowest-priced plan protects Windows devices only
  • Protecting multiple devices can get expensive
  • October 2017 hacker scandal has hurt the brand

Price: $29.99 for the first year to protect up to three devices and up to $389.97 to protect up to 10 devices for three years.

5. Avira

Out of all of the free antivirus programs available, Avira is one that offers protection for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices even with their free version.



Pros

  • Free antivirus
  • VPN
  • Password manager
  • Protection Cloud that uses AI technology to analyze potential malware threats
  • Junk remover to free space on your device with one click

Cons

  • Free VPN only provides 500 MB per month
  • The premium mobile apps are only available on the paid plan
  • Browser extensions only for Avira Prime customers

Price: Free, with an option to purchase Avira Prime for $39.99 for the first year to protect up to five devices, and $99.99 per year after that.

Best Antivirus Software Options in 2022



6. Trend Micro Maximum Security

Maximum Security by Trend Micro protects Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Chromebook devices. With this antivirus software, your computers and mobile devices will be safeguarded against online scams and defended against the unknown.

Pros

  • Helps protect and manage passwords using their powerful password manager
  • Uses advanced AI learning technology
  • Protects up to five devices for a reasonable price
  • Ransomware protection
  • Uses Pay Guard to help protect your financial transactions

Cons

  • No true free version (only a 30-day free trial)
  • Parental controls could be better
  • Dark Web monitoring is only available with their Premium Security Suite

Price: $49.95 to protect up to five devices for one year, or $99.90 for two years.



7. TotalAV

TotalAV offers one of the best free antivirus software programs on the market. Their free antivirus program is trusted by millions of people worldwide.

Pros

  • The interface is simple, user-friendly, and well designed
  • Scored decently in lab tests and hands-on tests
  • Free version available
  • Adware cleaner
  • 100% Compatible with computers, tablets, and smartphones

Cons

  • Phishing protection is really poor
  • Renewal price is high
  • The free version doesn’t include real-time malware protection

Price: Free with an optional upgrade to Pro for $29 for the first year and a renewal price of $119 per year.



8. Avast One

The Avast antivirus software offers its users protection that’s beyond just antivirus. With Avast One, you’ll have advanced tools to protect your entire digital life.

Pros

  • Their free version is pretty good
  • Antivirus lab scores are excellent
  • Available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices
  • The VPN bandwidth limit is generous even on the free version
  • Help Connection advisor is included

Cons

  • Protection is limited on mobile devices
  • The best features require an upgrade
  • There isn’t a WiFi inspector to see all devices connected to your network

Price: Avast One Essential is Free with Avast One being $50.28 for the first year on the Individual plan (5 devices), and $69.48 for the first year on the Family plan (30 devices).



9. McAfee Antivirus Protection

The McAfee name and antivirus suite are well-known all over the globe. With McAfee Antivirus Protection, you can protect your desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Pros

  • Password manager
  • Parental controls (on Family plans)
  • 100% Virus Protection Pledge guarantee
  • Well-known and trusted brand protecting over 600 million devices
  • Security experts are available online 24/7

Cons

  • The very best features are available only on their highest plan
  • Slow scans on Windows computers
  • The Mac version isn’t as feature-rich as the Windows version

Price: The McAfee Total Protection first-year price is $29.99 for one device and up to $89.99 for unlimited devices.

10. Windows Security

With this free security suite, you can protect your Windows computer against viruses and malware. They only offer a free version of their security suite, so you can be sure you’re getting next-generation features at no additional cost.

Pros

  • 100% free
  • Comes pre-installed on Microsoft devices
  • Easy to use
  • Much improved over previous versions

Cons

  • Works with Microsoft products only
  • Limited features
  • Not the best option to protect your devices

Price: Free

Antivirus SoftwareProsConsPrice
Norton 360 Deluxe- Parental controls - 100% virus protection promise - Use on up to five devices (Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android) - Dark web monitoring - Password manager- Cloud backup is only available on Windows - Full scans may slow down your computer - Renewal is a bit on the pricey side$49.99 for the first year, renews at $109.99 per year
AVG Internet Security- 99.98% malware protection rate - Simple interface - Valuable features - AVG antivirus free version available - Chat and phone support- Knowledgebase isn't very helpful - Premium support costs as much as $204.99 per year - Not available for Linux$46.68 for one Mac or PC for the first year or $59.88 for the first year for up to 10 devices, including mobile
Bitdefender Antivirus free edition- Free version has the same core antivirus protection as the paid, Plus version - Independent testing labs report great scores - Easy-to-use interface - Virus signatures are updated hourly - Bitdefender Central mobile app- Performing a full scan for the first time can be very slow - Free version does not include a VPN - For complete protection, you'll need to upgrade to their paid versionFree, with an option to upgrade to Bitdefender Antivirus Plus for $19.99 the first year
Kaspersky Anti Virus- User-friendly - Regularly updated database - Little impact on system performance - Fast VPN - 24/7 support via chat, phone, and email- The lowest-priced plan protects Windows devices only - Protecting multiple devices can get expensive - October 2017 hacker scandal has hurt the brand$29.99 for the first year to protect up to three devices and up to $389.97 to protect up to 10 devices for three years
Avira- Free antivirus - VPN - Password manager - Protection Cloud that uses AI technology - Junk remover to free space on your device- Free VPN only provides 500 MB per month - Premium mobile apps are only available on the paid plan - Browser extensions only for Avira Prime customersFree, with an option to purchase Avira Prime for $39.99 for the first year to protect up to five devices, and $99.99 per year after that
Trend Micro Maximum Security- Password manager - Advanced AI learning technology - Protects up to five devices for a reasonable price - Ransomware protection - Pay Guard to help protect your financial transactions- No true free version (only a 30-day free trial) - Parental controls could be better - Dark Web monitoring is only available with their Premium Security Suite$49.95 to protect up to five devices for one year, or $99.90 for two years
TotalAV- Simple, user-friendly interface - Scored decently in lab tests and hands-on tests - Free version available - Adware cleaner - 100% Compatible with computers, tablets, and smartphones- Phishing protection is really poor - Renewal price is high - The free version doesn't include real-time malware protectionFree with an optional upgrade to Pro for $29 for the first year and a renewal price of $119 per year
Avast One- Free version is pretty good - Excellent antivirus lab scores - Available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices - Generous VPN bandwidth limit even on the free version - Help Connection advisor is included- Protection is limited on mobile devices - The best features require an upgrade - No WiFi inspector to see all devices connected to your networkAvast One Essential is Free with Avast One being $50.28 for the first year on the Individual plan (5 devices), and $69.48 for the first year on the Family plan (30 devices)
McAfee Antivirus Protection- Password manager - Parental controls (on Family plans) - 100% Virus Protection Pledge guarantee - Well-known and trusted brand protecting over 600 million devices - Security experts are available online 24/7- The very best features are available only on their highest plan - Slow scans on Windows computers - The Mac version isn't as feature-rich as the Windows versionThe McAfee Total Protection first-year price is $29.99 for one device and up to $89.99 for unlimited devices
Windows Security- 100% free - Comes pre-installed on Microsoft devices - Easy to use - Much improved over previous versions- Works with Microsoft products only - Limited features - Not the best option to protect your devicesFree

Best Antivirus Software Options in 2022

What Does an Antivirus Program Do?

An antivirus program is a software application that helps protect a computer from being infected by viruses. It does this by scanning the computer’s files and programs for known or suspected viruses, and then either deleting or quarantining them. Most antivirus programs also include a firewall to help protect the computer from being accessed by unauthorized users.

Why Your Business Needs Antivirus Protection

Your business needs antivirus and malware protection to protect against a cyber threat. Especially if you have a Windows PC. Here are four reasons your business needs antivirus protection:

  • Protect your business. Malware and viruses can wreak havoc on your business. They can delete important files, steal sensitive information, and even bring down your entire network.
  • Keep your confidential information safe. If your business stores confidential information on its computers, it’s important to keep that information safe from cyber criminals.
  • Prevent data loss. Viruses and malware can cause data loss by deleting or corrupting important files.
  • Maintain customer trust. If your customers know that you take their privacy and security seriously, they’re more likely to do business with you.

Enhancing Cybersecurity: Key Features to Look for in Antivirus Software

When selecting antivirus software, prioritize the following key features for enhanced cybersecurity:

  • Comprehensive Protection: It should defend against viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware.
  • Real-Time Protection: The software must continuously monitor and safeguard against emerging threats.
  • Efficient Malware Detection and Removal: High detection rates for identifying and eliminating threats.
  • Regular Updates: Frequent updates to counter new security threats and vulnerabilities.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Easy navigation and management of security settings.
  • Minimal Impact on System Performance: The software should not significantly slow down your computer.
  • Firewall Protection: A built-in firewall to control incoming and outgoing network traffic.
  • Email Scanning: Detect and block malicious attachments and phishing attempts in emails.
  • Web Browsing Safety: Features to identify and block unsafe websites and downloads.
  • Multi-Device Compatibility: Protection for various devices, including PCs, Macs, and mobile devices.
  • Privacy Tools: Safeguards to protect sensitive data and personal information.
  • Customer Support: Reliable and accessible support for troubleshooting and guidance.

Which Antivirus Option is the Best for You?

The answer to this will vary from business to business. It really depends on what you’re looking for in an antivirus program and what your business needs are. However, the things all businesses should consider when making this decision are cost, features, and ease of use.

The Best Free Antivirus

Again, the best free antivirus will vary depending on your business needs. However, the best overall free antivirus software on the market has to be Avast One Essential. The free version allows installation on one machine and it works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

Best Antivirus Software Options in 2022

Antivirus FAQs

Should you pay for your antivirus Program?

The free version of antivirus programs does not normally offer enough security, particularly with something like webcam protection. If you’re concerned about the security of your computer and your privacy, it may be worth investing in a paid antivirus program.

Which antivirus is best for identity theft protection?

Aura is our top pick for identity theft protection. It helps protect both you and your family from online threats, fraud, and identity theft. They offer different plans, all of which come with $1 million in identity theft insurance.

Which antivirus is best for phishing protection?

While there are many antivirus software programs that provide phishing protection, our top choice has to be Webroot. With Webroot, you’ll have real-time anti-phishing protection that blocks bad websites and keeps you safe.

What is the Best Antivirus Software for a Mac?

The best antivirus software for Mac is Norton 360 Deluxe, which as mentioned earlier in this article, has a password manager, and Dark Web monitoring, among other useful security features. Norton 360 Deluxe provides protection features you don’t normally see in Mac antivirus software.

Should You Have More than One Antivirus Product on Your Computer?

Some people find that having multiple antivirus programs installed offers them better protection, while others find that this can actually lead to conflicts and decreased performance. Ultimately, the best decision is to experiment with different combinations of products to see what works best for you.

Image: Depositphotos


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Kevin Ocasio Kevin Ocasio is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, United States Marine Corps veteran, serial entrepreneur, and certified digital marketer, who writes for various online publications including his own Grind Boss blog.

One Reaction
  1. I think Microsoft Security is best and it’s also free. It can also detect Ransomware and some backdoor scripts in zip files too.

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