Best Antivirus Software – Top Antivirus Software Reviewed for 2024

The best antivirus software ensures your system is always protected against malware, spyware, and ransomware. With top antivirus software extending real-time protection, you can block suspicious ads and phishing attacks and browse the internet securely without worrying about any data leakages.

However, the market saturation of antivirus software makes it difficult to determine the best one for your needs and budget. That’s why we’ve found and reviewed the best antivirus software, rating them on criteria such as scan speeds, online protection, affordability, system compatibility, and customer support. Read on to see why industry leaders like TotalAV, McAfee, and Norton give others a run for their money.

Best Antivirus Software Shortlist

There are a wide range of excellent antivirus solutions on the market today. However, TotalAV came out on the top of our list as the best top rated antivirus thanks to its features, like phishing protection, cloud scanning, and WebShield extension. Plus, its reputation for providing first-class customer support. There are a number of other strong contenders for different use cases, though – here’s how they compare against each other:

  1. TotalAV – Overall, the best antivirus software for complete protection. A strong free tier gets you started, and the premium features keep your system locked up tight.
  2. Surfshark Antivirus – Great value antivirus protection with a VPN to secure your browsing all included. Surfshark knows its cybersec and prevents ransomware, too.
  3. Norton  – The best PC antivirus software for real-time protection, you won’t even know it’s running. Uniquely, it also monitors your webcam use to prevent spying.
  4. Nord Threat Protection – A dual protection tool with a VPN plus antivirus, you can be sure your devices are protected across all threat vectors.
  5. TrendMicro – With AI-led threat detection, TrendMicro is constantly protecting your device without affecting performance. You can get extra protection to chose folders on your computer and cloud storage.
  6. Intego – The best Mac antivirus software, with a package of six apps including malware and ransomware protection. Helpful for beginners to navigate protecting their device for the first time.
  7. Avast – The best free antivirus software, you’ll question whether you need to upgrade with its in-depth scanning and detection. A premium firewall and ransomware protection do add value.
  8. Kaspersky – A family-friendly anti-virus tool that’s easy to use, checks your devices and all hardware for issues, and works across 20 devices on one plan.
  9. McAfee – The best antivirus software for Windows 10, you get real-time protection from an industry mainstay with strong scanning features included.

Top Antivirus Software Solutions Reviewed

We now delve into the details of our top recommendations, including their best features, pros, cons, and pricing.

1. TotalAV – Overall, The Best Antivirus Software for Complete Protection

Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
$19.00/Year Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android 6 – Total Security Plan A free scan 30 days

TotalAV tops our list of the best antivirus platforms with superb malware detection rates. Plus, its interface is suitable for both beginners and advanced users. Besides that, it also has an impeccable free smart scan that’s perfect for getting started.

While the free version lets you scan and remove malware safely, it doesn’t have real-time protection. For that, you can move up to any of its paid plans, which are all reasonably priced – another reason over 25 million people trust TotalAV.

The real-time scanning feature is switched on by default, so your device enjoys protection against viruses, trojans, ransomware, and more the moment the antivirus is installed. Of course, you’ll be free to go to the control panel and turn it off, but we don’t recommend doing that.

What makes TotalAV so good at identifying malware is its cloud-scanning feature. Anytime it finds a file suspicious during a scan, it’ll compare it with the known malware in its cloud database.

With lightning-quick identification, TotalAV can develop a fix for the attack much faster than competitors. The best part is that this cloud database is constantly expanding.

As soon as a new digital threat is recorded in any of the 25+ million devices that TotalAV is currently protecting – it’s added to the database to protect the rest of the users.

Enjoy 360-degree protection while browsing the internet, thanks to the WebShield extension – an add-on compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Edge. We like how it constantly searches for harmful websites and redirects you from any site that could hide malware or viruses.

For additional security, we recommend using TotalAV’s Safe Search feature. It’ll redirect all your searches through the TotalAV search engine. The safe sites will be marked with a green tick, and the unsafe ones will be flagged with a red cross. This reduces the chances of accidental visits to malicious websites to zero.

That said, if there is one drawback, it’s the lack of specific identity theft protection – but the platform has plenty of other tools.

Pricing

TotalAV offers a free scan, to begin with. At $0, you can run a smart scan and quarantine any threats found. The best paid plan is the $19.00/year one, as it’ll give you protection for 3 devices, zero-day cloud scanning, PUA protection, and much more.

Antivirus Pro Internet Security Total Security
Features Real-time protection, Web Shield extension, ransomware protection, zero-day scanning, phishing protection Adds a VPN Adds Total AdBlock, password vault, device protection
Devices 3 5 6
Lowest Price $19.00/Year $39.00/Year $49.00/Year

If you’d also like an ad blocker and protection for multiple devices, upgrade to a premium plan – we recommend the Total Security package.

Try TotalAV risk-free today with the 30-day money-back guarantee. Don’t like it? Get a full refund.

Pros

  • Doesn’t burden system resources
  • Offers unlimited bandwidth VPN with paid plans
  • Provides excellent phishing protection
  • Access to real-time website tracking tools

Cons

  • No identity theft protection

2. Surfshark Antivirus – Affordable Antivirus with Top-Tier Protection Against Ransomware Attacks

Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
$3.49/month Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android 5 Free scan 30 days

Surfshark is one of the safest antivirus solution on the market right now. As an added bonus, it also offers a first-class VPN, which offers a whole range of additional features and functionality.

This means you can browse securely and privately, with additional protections against cybercriminals, advertisers, authorities, and ISPs snooping on your data.

Surfshark sets out to offer a simple and effective security service with advanced protection against viruses and zero-day threats. You can run manual and scheduled scans, and the product also analyzes unknown files to prevent infections.

It’s easy to set up and configure and is also a lightweight service, so it should never take over your CPU or slow down your system. Another great feature is breach notification: if your email, password, personal ID, or bank details turn up in a breach, then Surfshark will let you know about it.

We love that Surfshark provides AES-256-GCM encryption for your connection. This is the toughest encryption option available, meaning the service can protect your device from all types of possible tracking and interference.

Surfshark takes data security seriously and even goes a step ahead of the competition with its SHA-512 encryption. This will scramble your authentication details into 512 binary digits, making your data incomprehensible to outsiders.

Surfshark’s VPN service also comes with a no-log policy. Independent third parties have audited this and given it a resounding vote of confidence” After all, security shouldn’t come at the cost of your data.

Subscribing to this package means that you get the protection of one of the best antivirus software plus the anonymity of a VPN in a single subscription, saving you the cost and trouble of managing a separate VPN account.

Pricing

Surfshark, like Nord, is an antivirus + VPN combo, meaning you can get two products for the price of one. But as you can see, Surfshark is cheaper:

Surfshark One Surfshark One+
Features Secure VPN, ad blocker, Alternative ID, Webcam protection, anti-spyware and malware protection Adds data removal service
Devices 5 5
Lowest Price $3.49/month $5.49/month

The best thing about Surfshark is that it doesn’t reserve any premium features for its costlier plans. The plans only differ in their duration and prices, not their features. Get started with Surfshark risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Top antivirus software, bundled with a VPN
  • Provides access to a private search engine
  • Excellent GPS spoofing to unlock streaming content
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Private data exposure alerts

Cons

  • ID check isn’t available in all countries

3. Norton – The Best Antivirus for PC With Real-Time Protection

Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
$29.99/year Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android 1 7 days 60 days

Norton, in the latest AV-Test, got the highest score of 6 points in protection, performance, and usability. It’s not tough to see why it’s in our top 3 recommended antivirus software.

In simple terms, Norton will detect a zero-day attack without failure –zero false positives and minimal impact on your device performance.

What we particularly like about Norton is how it can run quietly in the background without jeopardizing your system’s processing speed or taking up too much battery power.

In another test, Norton was able to detect custom-made ransomware in seconds. No matter what kind of attack you’re dealing with, Norton is the best antivirus to save the day.

Norton’s biggest USP is its SafeCam protection. It’s perhaps the only antivirus software that protects your device’s webcam from being hacked. A hacked webcam gives intruders access to some of your most personal details, making it all the easier for them to blackmail you.

Thanks to Norton, you don’t have to worry about it. Beyond this, another unique feature that Norton provides is Norton Insight. This tool will dig out files and apps that look suspicious so that you can run a custom scan on them – so a sneaky virus won’t escape Norton’s radar.

The antivirus generally has a low impact on system performance, but you may see a slight slowdown with older machines.

Pricing

Norton’s best value-for-money package is also priced at $29.99 for the first year. Although its renewal cost is lower than McAfee’s, it can only cover a single device instead of McAfee’s 5.

Norton AntiVirus
Plus
Norton 360
Standard
Norton 360
Deluxe
Norton 360 with LifeLock
Select
Features Malware, ransomware, and hacking protection, 2GB cloud backups, password manager Adds a VPN and dark web monitoring Adds parental control and privacy monitoring Adds LifeLock identity theft protection
Devices 1 3 5 10
Lowest Price $29.99/Year $39.99/Year $49.99/Year $99.99/Year

This plan will give you a PC cloud backup of 2GB, a password manager, online threat protection, and more. That said, you can protect up to 5 devices with the Norton’s premium Select + LifeLock plan.

With a 7-day free trial plus a whopping 60-day money-back guarantee, you’ll have ample time to judge Norton’s suitability for your needs before making any financial commitments.

Pros

  • Automatic cloud backups
  • Promises a 100% best Virus Protection rate
  • Top-notch identity protection features
  • Offers password manager and firewall protection
  • Best Reddit-recommended antivirus

Cons

  • Heavy on older systems

4. Nord Threat Protection – Best Antivirus With VPN

Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
$3.39/month Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 6 No 30 days

Nord Threat Protection is a free add-on to the popular VPN platform, NordVPN. Available in a regular and lite version, it’s all you need to keep hackers and viruses away from your system.

The regular version works even without a VPN connection, whereas the Lite version requires your system to be connected to the VPN. Both versions come with their own USPs.

For example, the regular edition of the software automatically runs real-time scans of your executable files so possible threats can be detected fast and countermeasures can be taken.

The Lite version, on the other hand, works on the DNS level, filtering out and blocking the IP of websites known for malicious activities and shady ads. That said, Nord Threat Protection is likely best known for its wide coverage.

For instance, it automatically blocks all intrusive pop-up ads so that you can have an uninterrupted browsing experience without the risk of accidentally clicking on a malicious link.

To prevent targeted ads and data theft, Nord Threat Protection takes special steps against third-party data trackers. It does a great job of preventing data leaks by blocking trackers on every site you visit and leaving no trail behind for them to follow.

Of course, you also get a leading VPN service included alongside malware protection – giving you access to a secure, private, and generally high-speed connection.

Another great feature, available with Complete and Plus plans, is a cross-platform password manager, so you can securely access and store all your login information. It’s this comprehensive feature set that puts it ahead of the competition and more basic packages.

Pricing

You can get Nord Threat Protection only when you purchase NordVPN – the two are inseparable. The best bang for your buck lies in getting a 2-year + 3 free months plan, of which the Standard plan below is the one we recommend.

Standard Plus Ultimate
Features Secure VPN, malware protection, ad blocker Adds password manager and data breach scanner Adds encrypted cloud storage and identity theft recovery
Devices 6 6 6
Lowest Price $3.39/month $4.39/month $6.39/month

If you’d like the full package, including a data breach scanner, a cross-platform password manager, and around 1TB of cloud storage, upgrade to the Nord Ultimate plan. The best part? You get a 30-day money-back guarantee. Try it risk-free and see if it’s for you.

Pros

  • One of the fastest antiviruses
  • Comes with a VPN and password manager
  • Facilitates remote LAN connections
  • Follows a strict no-logs policy
  • Advanced features like split-tunneling and MeshNet

Cons

  • Slow servers in some locations

5. TrendMicro – AI-Led Antivirus Threat Detection

Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
 $19.95/year Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS Unlimited Yes No

TrendMicro uses cutting-edge AI technology to automatically detect and remove digital threats from a system. Our favorite thing about TrendMicro is its advanced security features that don’t compromise your device performance.

It runs on minimal CPU power, takes up significantly less space, and hardly impacts the device’s processing speed. So, unlike low-quality antivirus software, it won’t make your system crash or freeze.

As a preventative measure, TrendMicro has a unique Folder Shield feature that protects your files from viruses and malware. Its protective shield extends to files stored locally and those on the drives such as Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, and more.

This feature will also prevent unauthorized apps from changing these protected files, which further drives down the chances of an external virus attack. For web protection, it constantly checks the URL and blocks your access to the website the moment it detects suspicious activity.

You’ll receive a warning pop-up with the type of malware detected if you want to know more about it. One downside is that the platform doesn’t provide a firewall, though it does provide plenty of other security features.

Pricing

TrendMicro has a free antivirus software called HouseCall which tags along with threat reports and loads of custom scan options.

Antivirus+ Security Internet Security Maximum Security Premium Security Suite
Features Ransomware protection, advanced AI learning, Trend Micro pay guard Adds online children protection, secure social media tool, system optimization Adds password protection and management and secures mobile devices Adds a VPN, dark web monitoring, identity fraud insurance, remote diagnosis and repair, and 24/7 support
Devices 1 PC 3 PC 5 devices 10 devices
Lowest Price $19.95/Year $39.95/Year $49.95/Year $54.95/Year

As far as the paid plans are concerned, we love the Antivirus+ Security plan for its advanced AI learning and protection from email and internet scams.

Pros

  • A cloud-based antivirus solution
  • Offers URL-level detection
  • AI-backed malware detection
  • Offers a basic free plan
  • A feature-laden browser extension

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with an integrated firewall

6. Intego – The Best Mac Antivirus Software

Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
$39.99/Year Mac, Windows 5 30 days 30 days

Intego is a popular antivirus solution designed specially for Mac devices. After all, breaking into a Mac isn’t quite as easy as Windows. So if a virus manages to enter your Mac device, you need best malware removal for Mac specifically.

The antivirus solution is available under the name VirusBarrier –designed to protect your device from virus attacks in real-time. Intego’s virus detection rates are also highly accurate and have been tested by independent testing agencies.

For instance, in a test run by AV-Comparatives, Intego passed with flying colors and could detect all the malware planted by the antivirus testing organization.

Along with antivirus protection, Intego will also help you keep your device clean and optimized with its Washing Machine feature.

Under this, it’ll run a scan and dig up all the junk files taking up unnecessary space in your device, such as cache files, logs, downloads, and duplicates.

Plus, you can then choose which files to keep and which to delete permanently. The more free space you have on your device, the better your device will run.

If there’s one addition we’d love, it would be having a secure browsing option.

Pricing

Intego has different pricing for Mac and Windows. The best Mac plan is the Mac Internet Security X9 plan, but the premium bundle is worth a look for those that need parental controls and smoother system performance.

Mac Internet Security X9 Mac Premium Security X9 Mac Premium Bundle + VPN
Features Virus and malware protection, automatic scanning, real-time protection, firewall, VirusBarrier, NetBarrier Adds Mac washing machine tool and personal backup Adds a VPN
Devices 1 Mac PC 1 Mac PC 1 Mac PC
Lowest Price $39.99/Year $69.99/Year $89.99/Year

Windows users should opt for the Family plan since it can cover 3 PCs:

Personal Family Extended
Features Virus and malware protection, automatic scanning, real-time protection, firewall, VirusBarrier, NetBarrier Adds Mac washing machine tool and personal backup Adds a VPN
Devices 1 Windows PC 3 Windows PC 5 Windows PC
Lowest Price $39.99/Year $54.99/Year $69.99/Year

Pros

  • Private Internet Access-based VPN
  • Offers excellent parental controls
  • It comes with an inbuilt firewall
  • One of the best antiviruses for Apple users

Cons

  • No secure browsing option

7. Avast –The Best Free Antivirus Software

Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
$49.99/Year Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 10 – Premium Security plan Free plan – Avast One Essential 30 day

Avast is one of the few reputed antivirus solutions alongside TotalAV to offer a generous free version. The free version has a Smart Scan functionality that fetches hidden vulnerabilities and viruses that are overlooked in Quick Scans.

You also get a File Shield that alerts you about suspicious activity in a file before you open it. If a file is corrupted, this feature will prevent it from spreading to the rest of the device.

Similarly, Avast’s intuitive Behavior Shield alerts you if any of your apps start misbehaving – you can either quarantine or delete them before the virus spreads. Avast’s expertise with malware detection and removal isn’t just self-proclamation.

It’s been backed by tests for independent facilities. For instance, the German institution AV-Test ran a test on Avast’s paid and free versions  between May-June. During the test, Avast detected 100% of the attacks, both old and zero-day, earning the “Top Product” certificate.

In another test run by AV-Comparatives on Avast’s free version in February-May 2022, it blocked and safely removed 99.6% of all the malicious samples embedded in the test device. In 2024, much remains the same. On the whole, Avast has one of the best test scores in the industry, only behind Norton and TrendMicro.

Pricing

TotalAV offers a free scan, but Avast is easily the best free antivirus software out there. The free Avast One Essential plan comes with data leak alerts, an advanced firewall, ransomware protection, and more.

On the Premium Security plan, Avast doubles up as a VPN, too, and covers ten devices simultaneously for $69.99/year. Is Avast Premium Security the one for you? Find out with the 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can read our in-depth Avast antivirus review for more details and see our list of the best free antivirus solutions for more recommendations.

Pros

  • High antivirus detection scores
  • Offers a special Boot time scan
  • Comes with a secure and fast web browser
  • It has a built-in ad blocker
  • Fast background scans

Cons

  • Slow installations

8. Kaspersky – Family-Friendly and Accessible Antivirus Software

NOTE: In April of 2024, Joe Biden and Donald Trump signed an order to prohibit Kaspersky Lab from providing certain products to U.S. companies and citizens. While nothing has been fully confirmed yet, the change might result in Kaspersky Lab products being banned in the U.S. For more details, see our full breakdown of Kaspersky’s U.S. ban.
Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
$34.99/year Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 20 – Premium plan No 30 days

Kaspersky has 20+ years of experience in the cybersecurity industry. What adds to its popularity is the quick installation process and user-friendly interface.

Speaking of its security protocols, Kaspersky offers a few additional scans along with the quintessential Full Scan, Quick Scan, and Custom Scan. For starters, it lets you scan removable drives such as USBs and hard drives, so you don’t accidentally expose your device to viruses.

In addition to that, you can also run a vulnerability scan to identify the possible areas in your device that a hacker might exploit. This way, you can stop virus attacks before they happen.

For mobile devices, Kaspersky provides an App Lock feature, which restricts access to selected mobile apps such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and so on, ensuring maximum privacy of your data.

Note that this feature is only available in the premium version of Kaspersky’s Internet Security Plan. Kaspersky also provides a VPN, though there are some limits on usage.

Pricing

The Kaspersky Standard plan will allow you to cover up to 3 devices. In contrast, the Premium plan is one of the best family antivirus software tools, with coverage for 20 devices plus a parental control app.

Kaspersky Standard Kaspersky Plus Kaspersky Premium
Features Anti-malware and anti-ransomware protection, safe web browsing, virus removal, firewall, anti-phishing, online payment protection, and more Adds hard drive health monitoring, data leak checker, a VPN, and password manager Adds identity protection wallet, remote access detection, expert virus check & removal
Devices 3 5 10
Lowest Price $34.99/year $47.99/Year $67.49/Year

Try Kaspersky risk-free with the 30-day guarantee to see if it meets your needs without putting any money on the line.

For more details, you can read our full Kaspersky review and our guide to the best Kaspersky alternatives.

Pros

  • Excellent detailed scan reports
  • Offers useful browser extensions
  • Multilayered malware protection
  • Top-notch exploit detection feature
  • Comes with a virtual keyboard

Cons

  • VPN usage limits

9. McAfee – The Best Antivirus Software for Windows 10

Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
$39.99 for 2 years Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android Unlimited – Family Premium plan 30 days 30 days

McAfee is a good antivirus software highly praised for its usability, affordable plans, and over three decades of experience.

Along with the usual scanning options, McAfee offers a unique Vulnerability Scan option that looks up security patches for areas of attack on your device and lets you know when an app needs to be updated to reduce the risk of an attack.

To prevent cyber attacks, McAfee has a firewall that filters out all malicious files and downloads that could be hiding viruses. This tool identifies and removes viruses even before they reach your system.

The best thing about this firewall is its beginner-friendly nature – you can easily navigate its interface, and every feature is easy to find and use. Beyond this, McAfee also provides exceptional security against ransomware through its intuitive layer of real-time protection.

Even better, the real-time scans don’t affect your browsing experience. You won’t even notice it’s there unless you purposely look for it or run into a security issue.

The moment McAfee detects an attempt to encrypt your files, known as File Content Transformation in McAfee’s language, it’ll drive up your security. Plus, it’ll also create protected backups of those files.

This means that even if the intruder corrupts them, you don’t lose the documents and valuable information. Need we say more? We do. McAfee will also keep your device in the best shape with its system optimizer called QuickClean.

It’ll clean all cookies, temporary files, junk files, and every unimportant item hogging up space in your device.

You also get support for cloud backups – though, there are some limits to the service.

Pricing

McAfee’s cheapest plan is just $39.99 for the first year. Here are your other options:

Essential Premium Advanced
Features Scam Protection, web protection, VPN, password manager Adds personal data cleanup, online account cleanup (scans only), and identity monitoring and alerts Adds bank and credit card transaction monitoring and identity theft coverage
Devices 5 Unlimited Unlimited
Lowest Price $39.99 for 2 Years $49.99/Year $89.99/Year

We recommend picking the Premium plan for identity monitoring and security freeze features. Plus, you’ll also get protection for unlimited devices with this one.

Unsure? McAfee comes with a lengthy 30-day free trial and a money-back guarantee. Try it for a full 60 days without risking any money.

Pros

  • Offers a handy digital file shredder
  • Comes with a free VPN with all plans
  • Ability to customize scheduled scans
  • Integrated with a home network analyzer
  • Among the best Windows antiviruses

Cons

  • Limited cloud backup

Top Antivirus Tools Compared

This table highlights all the key differences between the top picks on our shortlist to provide you with all the details you need to make an informed decision when buying anti-malwaretools:

Antivirus Starting Price Compatibility Max Devices Supported Free Trial/Plan Money-Back Guarantee
TotalAV $19.00 for the first year Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android 3 A free scan 30 days
Surfshark Antivirus $3.49/month Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android 5 Free scan 30 days
Norton $29.99 for the first year Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android 1 7 days 60 days
Nord Threat Protection $3.39/month Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android 6 7 days 30 days
TrendMicro $19.95 for the first year Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS Unlimited Yes No
Intego $39.99 for the first year Mac, Windows 1 30 days 30 days
Avast $69.99 for the first year Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 10 Free plan – Avast One Essential 30 day
Kaspersky $34.99 for the first year Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 3 No 30 days
McAfee $39.99 for 2 years Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android 5 30 days 30 days

Do I Need Antivirus Protection?

Whether you’re using Windows or Mac, it’s a good idea to have an antivirus software solution installed on your machine. Some 89% of desktop users use antivirus software – and it’s the smart thing to do. Anti-malware software constantly scans your system in the background for viruses that might attack your computer or steal your data.

And there’s plenty to be afraid of, whether it’s hackers stealing the passwords for your bank account or unscrupulous individuals locking your computer and holding it to ransom. An antivirus program can shield you from the following threats:

Viruses

One of the benefits of antivirus software is that it protects computers against virus transmission. The program acts as a preventative measure, shielding computers against viruses before they eat memory and affect performance.

Currently, there are an estimated 970 million pieces of malware circulating the internet, worse, this is ever-increasing with 100 million threats added to this number every year. Just being online puts you at risk of welcoming a virus.

Spyware

Spyware, as its name indicates, is a kind of malware that intrudes on your computer and steals all of your personal data. These details include MasterCard information, passwords, and other financial details. Antivirus software can shield you against such spyware attacks.

Data Thieves and Hackers

Antivirus security provides a robust defense against cybercriminals who can get unauthorized access to systems and steal, corrupt, erase, or misuse files to hold victims for ransom.

Hackers typically do this through phishing emails, after which they may quickly access the applications and files they want.

Spam and Ads

Pop-up advertising and spam websites are two of the most common methods for viruses to enter your computer and corrupt your files. Once the virus manages to enter your system, it does permanent damage. An antivirus works by blocking these spam emails and advertisements.

Free Antivirus Vs. Paid – Which is Best?

The main difference between free and paid antivirus tools is the variety of features available. While paid software offers extra features for unbeatable security, free tools provide basic protection.

A paid version is an excellent investment in digital safety if you save sensitive data digitally, use a computer for work, or own many smart tech gadgets.

However, a free antivirus tool is a viable choice if you’re using your computer to check your email, read the news, and occasionally watch Netflix or YouTube. For this, we recommend you test the Total AV Free Edition, which offers on-demand scanning and minimal web filtering.

However, consider upgrading to its paid version for advanced features. Having said that, there’s no simple solution to whether paid antivirus is better than free antivirus.

How to Choose the Best Antivirus Program for You

There are a variety of different factors and elements that can make a big difference when it comes to choosing the right antivirus software for you and your devices. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most important factors to consider:

Detection Rates

The most important factor to consider when selecting an antivirus software solution is just how well it can protect your device against current and future threats.

With tons of great options on the market that can deliver protection rates significantly above 95%, there’s no reason to settle for services that do less – and the best tools will consistently catch and quarantine threats with few false positives.

It’s also worth considering that if you are using a free service that has poor detection rates, then you’re likely exposing yourself to threats and compromising the security of your device.

Privacy

Some companies gather information on how you use your computer to enhance their products. While simple product use telemetry is normally anonymized, certain products may transfer suspicious documents from your computer to the vendor’s scanning cloud.

We recommend looking for a vendor that will provide guarantees about the secure and appropriate handling of your files and data to minimize the chance that your privacy might be breached. The best antivirus products will ensure your system remains secure and private.

Some providers, such as Surfshark, offer both antivirus and VPN features, providing additional privacy for your internet connection.

Additional Security Measures

While it’s critical to have malware protection and a firewall, many of the top antivirus programs out there offer more than that. For example, you might look for support across browsers and devices and additional services, such as a VPN or a password manager.

Getting this functionality bundled with your anti-virus software adds convenience while keeping you secure, and it might also save you money, meaning you don’t have to run up additional subscriptions.

For more ideas, check out our guide to the best antiviruses with VPN tools.

Ease of Use

The usability of the antivirus application is another important factor. While some applications might be complicated to use, others are simple.

Try to find a security program that you feel at ease with – if you don’t use it or don’t make full use of it, you’re likely leaving yourself open to threats. In the past, some antivirus programs had a negative impact on device performance – so make sure this won’t be the case for the product you choose.

Before paying for a paid subscription, take advantage of any free trials or money-back guarantees to test the platform and read online reviews from other users to make sure you’ve got a grip on the product.

Support

You might not consider customer service as being an important factor when considering anti-virus software, but it can make a big difference.

If you’re trying to tackle a piece of malware that seems to have made it through your firewall or you’re trying to optimize your antivirus system, which seems to be consuming your entire CPU, then it’s good to be able to get ahold of expert assistance from an individual who can help you with your problem.

Look for tools with 24/7 customer support with multiple options like live chat, email, chatbots, toll-free numbers, and so on. If the service has a reputation for providing terrible support then it may be worth cutting it off your list.

How to Use Antivirus Software

Having conducted extensive research, we consider TotalAV to be the best antivirus software solutions on the market. It’s also a fairly easy process to install the program and get started. Here’s how to download and install TotalAV:

  • Step 1 – Visit the TotalAV website and download the software using your browser. TotalAV will recognize your platform and guide you to the appropriate download.
  • Step 2 – Install the app on your phone or computer. You might be asked to permit it to change your device settings.
  • Step 3 – Use your account information to log into the app. Use TotalAV’s free version if you’re not already a subscriber, or join up via the app.

And that’s it. Once the program has been downloaded, you can start setting up scans and ensuring your device is secure, so you can have complete peace of mind.

Best Antivirus Guides

Beyond this guide to the best antivirus software available on the market today, our experts have also put together antivirus guides in a range of other niches including:

Bottom Line

Our exhaustive list of the best antivirus software includes everything you could ask for. Whether you need an antivirus solution with an inbuilt VPN for safe browsing or one that can run fast background scans – our recommendations won’t disappoint you.

TotalAV fits the description of each of your requirements and stands out as the best antivirus software product in 2024. With features like complete ransomware protection, quick scans, browser protection, and quick customer support.

Give it a try now with the limited free plan, or test TotalAV in all its glory with the protection of the 30-day guarantee.

FAQs

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Krishi Chowdhary
Tech Expert

Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.