Securing your devices with one of the best antivirus services around today is more important than ever these days as a growing number of cyber threats target businesses and consumers alike.
However, in a crowded market segment, picking the best antivirus software for your business or home can be a tricky challenge.
Don't worry though - ITProPortal is here to help, with some great choices for the best antivirus software here in our guide. We'll also keep updating with all the latest deals and new releases, so be sure to stay tuned for all the best antivirus information!
If you're looking for an antivirus solution for you business, then take a look at our guide to the best business antivirus (opens in new tab).
Best antivirus: the top picks for any use(opens in new tab)
Our top antivirus software pick is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus that boasts over 500 million users, and offers a full-featured package.
Comparing test results, such as from leading antivirus testing labs like AV Test (opens in new tab), and AV Comparatives (opens in new tab), the Bitdefender antivirus products score high ratings wherever you look.(opens in new tab)
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 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.) Once installed, the high ease-of-use continues - Bitdefender makes it really easy to protect your PC and keep you informed as to what threats are attacking you and when they're vanquished.
The sheer amount of features on offer in Bitdefender's entry-level antivirus package are manifold: Wi-Fi security scanning; banking protection; secure file deletion; vulnerability scanner; password manager; even the option to add a VPN into the mix.
Down sides are few and far between, but Antivirus Plus only protects three Windows devices without paying more for additional licenses, although there are some competitor products only protect one device. It is also resource intensive when running, which is a downside for older and less robust systems.
If you want a more all-encompassing package then it doesn't cost much to upgrade to Bitdefender Internet Security or Total Security. The latter is particularly impressive covering up to five devices including Mac, iOS and Android - so a one-stop shop for antivirus on all your online gadgets.
The annual subscription includes automatic upgrades throughout the year. This keeps the program always up to date to meet the threats of the latest malware. Multi-year discounts are also available if you're happy to commit..
Bitdefender's VIP antivirus deal
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 (opens in new tab) |
$59.99 Now $23.99 (or £39.99 £19.99 (opens in new tab)) a year
60%. That's the saving that Bitdefender is promising for 2020 (or 50% if you're in the UK). So that means that the awesome Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 is down to around $20/£20 for an entire year of PC protection. A smashing bargain for security-minded users.
Norton Antivirus Plus is the company's latest entry-level antivirus program. Norton has been around for ages, with a solid reputation earned over decades. Adding to the reputation, Norton offers decent value with its annual subscription costs.
Norton AntiVirus Plus 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 Plus 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.
Like Bitdefender above, Norton also gives you the option to upgrade to its more complete online security suite - that's called Norton 360 Deluxe and again covers multi-platforms and devices.(opens in new tab)
We'll be honest from the outset...the main reason Avira Antivirus Pro ranks so high in our best antivirus countdown is the price. We've arranged an online exclusive price that you won't find on other websites that brings the price of a year down to a mere $9.99 (£7.99). That's pretty special.
But it doesn't mean that you have to compromise on quality. Yes, Avira Antivirus Pro doesn't have quite the bells and whistles that Bitdefender and Norton do, but it's no less powerful. In fact, it ranks first on AV-Comparatives' charts of pure threat prevention.
And there are at least some extra handy features, including dedicated anti-ransomware, extra protection for when you bank or shop online and email protection to keep phishing scammers at bay. Considering the cost, this is a fantastic value antivirus package.
Our EXCLUSIVE Avira antivirus deal
Avira Antivirus Pro (opens in new tab) |
$44.99 Now $9.99 (or £29.99 £7.99 (opens in new tab)) a year
The exclusive pricing that we've arranged with Avira makes it a really eye-catching option in a busy antivirus crowd. As well as the sub-$10 pricing for a whole year of internet security, you still get to take advantage of Avira's 30-day money back guarantee, too.
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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.
What about free antivirus?
Considering how little the best antivirus packages cost these days, the first thing we'd suggest you do is to go for one of them. When a whole year of trusted, fully-featured virus protection software is on offer for around £10/$10, we don't see much point in selling yourself short.
When we say 'sell yourself short' we're not talking about the virus protection itself. Even (most) free programs still come with potent cyberthreat vanquishing tools - they basically use the same shielding and seeking that the paid versions do.
But we're more concerned about the added extras. Free downloads often fall short when it comes to supplying even basic extras like email protection, anti-scam, password management and VPNs. So free antivirus will help you with virus scanning, but not a lot else. Plus, they tend to make up for their subscription-free model by going hard on ads and pestering you with upsell popups. Far from ideal.
So, as we say, we'd always recommend going for one of the premium packages above. But if you just can't stomach the cost, one free antivirus plan does impress us above all others...
Avira Free Antivirus is the #1 best free antivirus (opens in new tab)
Avira Free Antivirus laughs in the face of our main issues with other free software. It loads in the extras, including anti-ransomware, scam protection, password manager and even a free VPN (opens in new tab). But, like its contemporaries, you will still have a battle on your hands with constantly annoying popups urging you to upgrade.