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The best online security suite of 2020

(Image credit: Pixabay.com)

In this day and age when crime has spread into the technological sphere and has been active there for quite some time, your devices’ online security should never be taken lightly. There are some truly outstanding basic antivirus solutions that will keep your individual devices safe but sometimes the best approach is ‘one suite to rule them all’ - yours and your family’s desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

In addition to protecting multiple devices at the same time, these bundles often have other perks that make them attractive as your go-to comprehensive security systems. Depending on the provider, they may include a virtual private network (VPN), password manager, firewall, file vault, webcam protection, parental controls, rescue disk feature, and other extras. Regardless, opting for an online security suite will surely get you more than basic functionality.

One of the best things about it is that you only need to pay for one plan - no hassle and juggling with all the different devices, subscriptions and accounts.

Image Source: Bitdefender

Image Source: Bitdefender (Image credit: Bitdefender)

1. Bitdefender Total Security

Outstanding online security suite for all of your security requirements

Operating system: Windows and Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: 5 | Stand out features: Web protection module, spam filter, ransomware protection, Wi-Fi security advisor, online banking protection, parental controls, password management, file shredder

Ultimate browsing protection 
Risk-free 30-day free trial 
Extensive feature set 
Might take toll on resources 

Bitdefender Total Security comes from the big name in the Internet security industry which in itself guarantees you won’t go wrong if you choose to entrust it with your devices’ safety.

It will get you the classic virus protection along with robust ransomware protection mechanisms, as well as a firewall, email spam filter, and vulnerability scanner. All the usual, right? This is where the typical stops and extras begin, including a highly secure browser for online banking, handy password manager, Wi-Fi security advisor, and an impressive set of parental controls.

This isn’t all, by far. Users opting for Bitdefender Total Security will also have at their disposal a file shredder, microphone and webcam protection, as well as an outstanding website defence system which blocks malicious URLs from harming your devices. There are also some practical PC optimisation tools like deleting unnecessary files and lowering loading times. 

This all sounds fine and dandy but nothing beats the first-hand experience which you can get during a risk-free 30-day trial period that doesn’t even require your credit card details. That said, all the power this online security suite provides might take some toll on your resources.

Image Source: Kapersky Lab

Image Source: Kapersky Lab (Image credit: Kapersky Lab)

2. Kaspersky Total Security

Plenty of squid for your quid

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: 10 | Stand out features: Parental controls, secure web browser, smart adaptive protection, password management, file backup, software updater, webcam protection, VPN

Offers great value for money 
Outstanding parental control system 
Rich with features 
Modest efficiency of spam filter and troubleshooting 

Kaspersky Total Security has been around for a long time and has all the expertise to protect your multiple devices at the same time on a single licence. It goes beyond that with some features, like alerting you if you’re trying to create a weak password or when your Wi-Fi is at risk, telling you how to best protect it.

On top of the basics like detailed and customisable virus scans, this online security suite package will provide your devices with a secure web browser, password manager, smart firewall that doesn’t depend on user input, webcam defence, file backup, as well as software updater.

The plan will protect your privacy by blocking webcam spying, as well as using easy VPN encryption to hide your data from ISPs and hackers.

It even has a module focused on your children’s safety called Safe Kids - a set of parental controls that includes smart social media monitoring. And while the spam filter and troubleshooting wizards aren’t super-efficient, the overall platform is worth every penny.

Image Source: Norton

Image Source: Norton (Image credit: Norton Antivirus)

3. Norton 360 Deluxe

Lightweight and inexpensive, yet comprehensive

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: 5 | Stand out features: VPN, parental controls, online backup, password management, webcam protection

Competitive pricing 
Built-in VPN 
Isn’t heavy on the resources 
No free trial 

Norton 360 Deluxe is one of the most comprehensive and valuable packages if you require protection for more than one device. It’s packed with superb features including real-time threat protection, smart firewall, webcam protection for your PC, and an extensive set of parental controls for both your kids’ smartphones and PCs.

A fully-integrated no-log VPN allows you to browse anonymously and more securely, adding bank-grade encryption to your sensitive financial details. There’s also a password manager for generating, storing and managing all your passwords and credit card information.

Another extra is the 50GB cloud backup storage where you can store files you want to protect against data loss due to device failures, theft, or ransomware. The US users have an additional bonus - they can take advantage of the suite’s dark web monitoring features which will help them stay safe from identity theft.

There are a lot of tools, but you won’t have to worry about Norton 360 Deluxe draining your devices’ resources - it’s very lightweight. That said, it can be run on half the devices that Bitdefender suite can - 5, but this just might be enough for most users, especially considering all the advantages it carries. On top of it all, it’s reasonably priced and users get 24/7 phone and chat support.

Image Source: Trend Micro

Image Source: Trend Micro (Image credit: PicClick UK)

4. Trend Micro Maximum Security

User-friendly and efficient in fight against malware and ransomware

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: 10 | Stand out features: Password management, ransomware protection, maintenance and optimisation, parental controls, social media privacy, encrypted vault

Beginner-friendly 
Several levels of defence against ransomware 
Lots of protection tools and features 
Somewhat lacking in user control 

Trend Micro Maximum Security will not only safeguard up to 10 of your devices with a complex defence system that includes several layers of powerful protection against ransomware. It will do so through an intuitive and straightforward interface, any beginner will quickly get accustomed to.

The next-level URL filtering capabilities will keep you safe while browsing the web while adjusting its efficiency to your own requirements. There are also excellent parental controls, social media privacy tools, as well as PC maintenance and optimisation mechanisms. 

The latter may not impress the more experienced user as it doesn’t have all the customisation tools boasted by some of the more complex suites but this makes it highly accessible to beginners.

To prevent data theft, Trend Micro’s suite product has effective measures in place and there’s also a secure vault for safekeeping your sensitive files. A standard in the industry, there’s an integrated password manager so you won’t have to worry about memorising and protecting all your different passwords.

This all sounds great, but you don’t need to believe us, try this online security suite yourself before buying, during the 30-day free trial.

Image Source: Avast

Image Source: Avast (Image credit: Future)

5. Avast Ultimate

Well-rounded protection

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: 10 | Stand out features: SecureLine VPN, Wi-Fi Inspector, Ransomware Shield, photo vault, anti-theft, webcam protection, battery saver, RAM booster, call blocker

Superb extras 
30-day money-back guarantee
Filled with superior features 
Tries to sell you other Avast products 

Avast Ultimate is a comprehensive bundle of security holding everything you might need - a full anti-malware protection, advanced firewall, VPN, cleanup and tuneup tool for eliminating junk and speeding up your devices, and more. 

Other advanced traits include a secure browser, password manager, data shredder, automatic software updater, web shield that blocks dangerous websites and downloads, webcam protection, as well as ransomware defence. Mobile devices will make use of a call blocker, app advisor, RAM boost, battery saver, sim security, anti-theft features, and a photo vault.

But wait, there’s (even) more. The Wi-Fi Inspector will scan your home and public networks for weaknesses, while sandbox will let you open suspicious files in a safe. Avast Ultimate will even let you safely use other virus protection on your PC alongside it.

Those more experienced in these waters will enjoy all the configuration options while not making it any difficult on the beginners either.

We only had a bone to pick with Avast’s attempts at peddling its other products through this platform and the fact that at moments it would consume more resources than we would have preferred.

Image Source: Webroot

Image Source: Webroot (Image credit: Future)

6. Webroot Internet Security Plus

Amazingly light apps for super-fast scans

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: 5 | Stand out features: Identity protection, password management, VPN, phishing protection

Includes a VPN 
Won’t put pressure on your devices 
70-day risk-free money-back guarantee 
iOS app cannot scan for malware 

Webroot Internet Security Plus is an efficient and light product for those who don’t want to waste their RAM and storage space on cumbersome software. It fits the description perfectly as it takes up minimal resources and keeps all of the virus definitions on the cloud.

Regardless of its light weight, it will give you peace of mind security-wise, thanks to the features like effective and predictive antivirus protection, password management, WiFi Security VPN, accurate phishing prevention, protection against identity theft and webcam spying, and other great features and options.

Interestingly, it won’t only cover the usual operating systems, but also devices running on ChromeOS. However, what impressed us the most was its unusually generous 70-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee should you end up disappointed with any part of the product or simply don’t want to continue for any other reason.

Having said that, we were slightly displeased with the fact that the iOS app didn’t have a malware scanning option - it has a password management feature, secure browser, and backup option.

Image Source: Eset

Image Source: Eset (Image credit: ESET)

7. ESET Smart Security Premium

Superior multi-level and highly configurable protection

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, Linux | Maximum devices covered: 10 | Stand out features: Anti-theft, network protection, password management, 150 security profiles, parental controls

High optimisation capabilities 
Won’t drain your resources 
Risk-free 30-day tria 
No protection for iOS 

ESET Smart Security Premium provides all the features you’d expect from a respectable player in the online security field, and then some. If you opt for this security suite, you’ll get password management, parental controls, secure file encryption, as well as device anti-theft features like tracking and locating your device if it goes missing or shielding your identity from theft via your laptop’s webcam.

It won’t drain your resources to do all this either and there’s even a battery-saving mode for when you need it. Once you install it, it will keep a low profile and bother you only when absolutely necessary. You will be able to fine-tune your security profile with one of 150 detailed settings.

All this is available for users of Windows, Mac, Android, and even Linux devices. However, iOS users should look elsewhere as this product has no protection tools for their devices.

You can test out the service with all its features for free during a 30-day trial period and you won’t even have to leave your credit card details.

Image Source: McAfee

Image Source: McAfee (Image credit: Future)

8. McAfee Total Protection Multi-Device

Protects and boosts your devices

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: 10 | Stand out features: Performance boosters, customisable firewall, password manager, encrypted vault, safe web

Simple and intuitive UI 
Good price to value ratio 
Top-notch performance optimisation  
Modest protection 

McAfee’s Total Protection Multi-Device can protect up to 5 devices at the same time, be it Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android devices. With it, you can get your hands on a full suite of protective tools, accessible via a straightforward and user-friendly interface, albeit perhaps a bit overly modest for a more experienced user.

The app will provide all the usual (award-winning protection and configurable firewall) and some extras, such as password manager, app performance optimisation, encrypted storage, safe web browsing, and others. If you’re a customer in the US, you’ll even get access to the extra identity theft protection features. 

There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for everyone who finds this software inadequate and free phone and chat customer support for everyone requiring help with anything related to the platform.

Image Credit: Bullguard

Image Credit: Bullguard (Image credit: Future)

9. BullGuard Premium Protection

Strapping anti-malware and identity protection package

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: 15 | Standout features: Identity protection, secure browser, home network scanner, Game Booster

Protects up to 15 devices 
Great additional features 
Identity protection for more countries 
Lacks some features 

BullGuard Premium Protection stands out from the crowd for many reasons, primarily for its higher than usual number of protected devices at the same time - up to 15. Furthermore, all of its users get a custom-built secure browser, AI-powered threat detection, triple-layer protection against malware, home network scanner, and a solid range of parental controls.

The Game Booster mode lets you play games in a safe environment without sacrificing performance, while the heavy-duty firewall blocks any unauthorised attempts at connecting to the Internet and malware loading via downloaded apps.

Its comprehensive identity protection features aren’t limited to the US - they’re also available in Canada, the UK, Demark, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Finland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

Although all these features are excellent, some are missing, such as performance optimisation and encrypted file storage, for example.

Image Source: Panda

Image Source: Panda (Image credit: Future)

10. Panda Dome Advanced

Protects all of your devices, regardless of their number

Operating system: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Maximum devices covered: Unlimited | Stand out features: Identity protection, parental controls, limited VPN, USB rescue drive, anti-ransomware

Unlimited devices coverage 
One-month free trial 
Simple and lightweight 
A bit stingy on the features 

Panda Dome Advanced is a total surprise in the world of online security suites. It beats most of the competition in the device coverage, as it imposes no limitations on how many you can protect with it (although limitations on ‘reasonable home use’ are implied). 

Features covered by this security package include high-grade threat and ransomware protection, defences against identity theft, USB rescue drive, as well as parental controls. There’s even a free VPN thrown in, although it is limited to 150MB per day.

Some downsides are present, so you won’t really get a rich feature set as you might with some others - no password manager, automatic updates of your apps, cleanup tool, or unlimited VPN (you can purchase these separately though). There’s a 30-day free trial to see how this platform works out for you.