The Best Antivirus Software in the UK − Best Virus Protection Tools Reviewed for 2024

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The best antivirus software in the UK will ensure your devices and personal information are protected from malware and viruses.

To stop hackers and third parties from accessing your data, you need a secure, reliable antivirus solution that can block malware and protect you from ransomware, phishing attacks, and identity theft. To help you make the right choice, we’ve identified the best antivirus software for the UK and have reviewed and compared the top picks.

Best UK Antivirus Software

Editors' Choice

TotalAV – Best antivirus for real-time protection

TotalAV – Best antivirus for real-time protection

  • Starting From £19/year
9.6
5 Stars
VISIT SITE

Surfshark Antivirus – Best antivirus with a high-speed VPN

Surfshark Antivirus – Best antivirus with a high-speed VPN

  • Starting From £29.57/year (2-year plan)
9.5
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

Norton – Best antivirus with a virus protection promise

Norton – Best antivirus with a virus protection promise

  • Starting From £19.99/year
9.3
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

NordVPN Threat Protection – Best antivirus with a global VPN network

NordVPN Threat Protection – Best antivirus with a global VPN network

  • Starting From £43.07/year (2-year plan)
9.0
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

Intego – Best antivirus for Mac

Intego – Best antivirus for Mac

  • Starting From £37.50/year
8.6
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

Avast – Best free antivirus

Avast – Best free antivirus

  • Starting From £32.49 /year
8.6
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

Bitdefender – Best firewall protection

Bitdefender – Best firewall protection

  • Starting From £19.99/year
8.4
4 Stars
VISIT SITE

McAfee – Reliable antivirus software for Windows 10 users

McAfee – Reliable antivirus software for Windows 10 users

  • Starting From £29.99/year
8.5
4.5 Stars
VISIT SITE

Best Antivirus Software for the UK

  1. TotalAV – Best antivirus software in the UK for comprehensive protection
  2. Surfshark – Best UK antivirus for online privacy
  3. Norton – Best antivirus for UK families
  4. NordVPN Threat Protection – Best UK antivirus solution with a high-speed VPN
  5. Intego – Best antivirus for Mac in the UK
  6. Avast – Best free antivirus in the UK
  7. BitDefender – Best lightweight antivirus for UK systems
  8. McAfee – Best UK antivirus for identity protection features

The Best UK Antivirus Software Reviewed

Here are our reviews of the contenders for best antivirus in the UK – the antivirus reviews UK users need.

We’ll cover the best antivirus software for UK users for various use cases so you can see exactly what the different providers offer and choose the one that’s best for you.

1. TotalAV – Best Antivirus Software in the UK for Comprehensive Protection for PC

TotalAV Logo

Cheapest Plan £1.58/month (annual)
Free Trial Free scan
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Antivirus Testing Results Protection: 5.5/6, Performance: 5.5/6, Usability: 6/6
Max Devices 8
Why We Picked It

TotalAV is the best antivirus software in the UK for comprehensive protection. It provides robust security features to keep your devices safe from a wide range of online threats.

Features

One of TotalAV’s core strengths is its real-time threat detection capability. It continuously monitors your operating system for potential dangers and swiftly neutralises them before they can cause harm.

The software employs advanced algorithms and regularly updated virus definitions to identify and eliminate the latest malware and viruses.

TotalAV goes beyond basic antivirus protection and includes a built-in VPN in its higher-tier plans, allowing you to encrypt your internet connection. This feature is particularly valuable when using public WiFi networks, as it safeguards your data from third parties.

TotalAV also offers anti-phishing protection, which alerts you to suspicious websites that may attempt to steal your personal information.

In addition to its security features, TotalAV offers a range of system optimisation tools to enhance your device’s performance.

These include a disk cleaner to remove unnecessary files and free up storage space, a startup manager to disable resource-hungry applications, and a browser cleaner to eliminate tracking cookies and browsing history for improved privacy.

Pricing

TotalAV offers three subscription packages. The entry-level Antivirus Pro plan starts at an affordable £1.58/month for the first year.

For users seeking enhanced privacy and security, TotalAV offers the Internet Security plan at £3.25/month, which includes the VPN service alongside antivirus protection. The top-tier Total Security package is priced at £4.08/month and includes an ad blocker and a password manager.

TotalAV Antivirus Pro £19/year
TotalAV Internet Security £39/year
TotalAV Total Security £49/year
Who It's Best For

TotalAV is an excellent choice for individuals, families, and small businesses looking for robust, all-in-one antivirus protection for PC. With its introductory pricing, it’s also very affordable.

Pros

  • Comprehensive real-time protection
  • System optimisation tools boost performance
  • Disables tracking cookies
  • Compatible with a range of devices and operating systems

Cons

  • Advanced features limited to higher plans
  • Higher prices on renewal
TotalAV UK
9.6
Review

2. Surfshark – Best UK Antivirus for Online Privacy

A logo of Surfshark VPN

Cheapest Plan £2.19 per month (two years)
Free Trial 7 days for VPN
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Antivirus Testing Results Protection: 4.5/6, Performance: 4.5/6, Usability: 6/6
Max Devices 5
Why We Picked It

Surfshark is the best UK antivirus for online privacy. It offers a comprehensive set of features to safeguard your digital footprint, including one of the best VPNs available today, along with the tools necessary to securely navigate the internet.

Features

Surfshark includes a full antivirus suite, providing real-time protection, checking downloads, and allowing you to run scans on your system.

The security package also includes one of the best VPN services available today. This enables you to encrypt your internet traffic and mask your IP address while still accessing high-speed connections.

This is enhanced by the CleanWeb feature, which blocks ads, trackers, and malicious websites, preventing intrusive advertisements and tracking scripts from loading. This makes your bandwidth go further while reducing the risk of falling prey to adware that could result in malware infections or data theft.

Complementing this, Surfshark Search allows you to enjoy a private and ad-free search experience. This enables you to securely search the web without your queries being tracked or logged, providing objective, unbiased search results so you can find the information you need while maintaining your privacy.

To further protect you, Surfshark includes an alert feature that notifies you of data breaches, allowing you to take action to secure your accounts.

Surfshark’s webcam protection feature, meanwhile, prevents unauthorised access to your webcam, preventing malicious actors from spying on you or capturing compromising footage.

For users needing a higher level of privacy, there’s a Data Removal feature. This helps you to remove your personal information from online databases used by data brokers, reducing your digital footprint and minimising the risk of third parties accessing or misusing your data.

Pricing

Surfshark offers two plans with antivirus protection. With a two-year plan, Surfshark One is £2.19/month, while Surfshark One+ is £3.29/month. Both plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to test the service risk-free.

24 months + 3 free 12 months + 3 free 1 month
Surfshark One £2.19/month £2.49/month £12.69/month
Surfshark One+ £3.29/month £3.89/month £14.29/month
Who It's Best For

Surfshark is perfect for individuals who value their privacy and anyone who frequently accesses sensitive information online. It’s also an excellent pick if you want a top VPN along with a full antivirus product.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Excellent VPN service
  • Disables ads, trackers, and cookie pop-ups
  • Data breach notifications and webcam protection

Cons

  • Not available on iPhone
  • Antivirus only protects five devices
Surfshark Antivirus UK
9.5
Review

3. Norton – Best Antivirus for UK Families and Households

Cheapest Plan £1.67/month (annual)
Free Trial 30 days
Money-Back Guarantee 60 days
Antivirus Testing Results Protection: 6/6, Performance: 6/6, Usability: 6/6
Max Devices 10
Why We Picked It

Norton is the best antivirus UK families and households can find. It offers protection against online threats while providing a range of features tailored to the needs of modern families.

Norton ensures that every device in your household remains safe from malware, viruses, and other potential dangers.

Features

Norton is a very established antivirus provider and offers excellent security with real-time protection and in-depth system scans. Its parental control features are also among the best in the industry, allowing parents to monitor and manage their children’s online activities.

The platform enables you to set time limits, block inappropriate content, and track your child’s location using GPS.

With Norton’s secure cloud backup feature, meanwhile, you can rest assured that your family’s files and documents are protected against loss or damage. It automatically backs up your files to the cloud – with up to 200GB of storage – making it easy to access them from any device, anywhere in the world.

Norton’s password manager is another great feature for families, helping you create strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts and securely storing them in an encrypted vault.

In addition to these features, Norton offers a smart firewall that monitors your network for suspicious activity, a VPN for secure and private browsing, and a SafeCam feature that prevents unauthorised access to your webcam.

Pricing

Norton offers a variety of plans. For families, we recommend the Norton 360 Advanced plan. It provides comprehensive protection for ten devices, social media monitoring, and 200GB of cloud backup storage for £34.99/year and is generally ranked above competitors like Trend Micro Antivirus Security.

Norton’s plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee for annual subscriptions. All plans cater to PC, Mac, and mobile and many rate Norton as the best antivirus for Android.

Norton AntiVirus Plus £19.99/year
Norton 360 Standard £24.99/year
Norton 360 Deluxe £29.99/year
Norton 360 Advanced £34.99/year

See our Malwarebytes vs Norton guide for further analysis of the product.

Who It's Best For

Norton is the ideal UK antivirus for families looking to protect their devices and data from online threats. The virus protection promise – offering a refund if the company can’t remove a piece of malware – is also an excellent recommendation for the service.

Pros

  • Virus protection promise
  • Robust parental control features
  • Secure VPN and a strong firewall
  • Secure cloud backup for family documents
  • Best value antivirus software UK users can find

Cons

  • System scans are resource-intensive
  • Starter plan only supports one device
Norton UK
9.3
Review

4. NordVPN Threat Protection – Best UK Antivirus with a Global VPN

A logo of NordVPN

Cheapest Plan £3.19/month (two years)
Free Trial 7-day trial on Android
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Antivirus Testing Results No lab tests available
Max Devices 10
Why We Picked It

NordVPN Threat Protection is the best UK antivirus with a global VPN service, delivering an all-in-one solution for security and privacy.

Features

NordVPN’s threat detection tool monitors incoming traffic and blocks malware, ads, and trackers, preventing malicious content from compromising your system. It can also stop you from accessing dangerous websites known to host malware, phishing scams, and other online threats.

The URL Trimmer, meanwhile, is a handy feature that removes tracking parameters from URLs, preventing websites and advertisers from collecting your browsing data.

The security tool also includes a Dark Breach Scanner, which scans the web for leaks of your personal details. If the scanner detects your sensitive data has been compromised, it alerts you, allowing you to take action to secure your accounts and prevent further damage.

Of course, NordVPN also comes with a first-class VPN, which has 6,300+ servers spread over more than 110 countries around the world. To further enhance your privacy, NordVPN uses obfuscated servers, which disguise your VPN traffic and make it difficult to detect that you’re even using a VPN.

Pricing

For £3.19/month, you can subscribe to a two-year plan that offers both the antivirus and VPN services, along with three extra months of protection at no cost.

NordVPN Threat Protection also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and Android users can take advantage of a seven-day free trial to test it out.

24 months + 3 free 12 months + 3 free 1 month
NordVPN Plus £3.19/month £4.39/month £11.19/month
NordVPN Ultimate £5.19/month £6.39/month £13.09/month
Who It's Best For

NordVPN provides an excellent global VPN service, and that’s on top of all its great security features. NordVPN Threat Protection is also ideal for individuals who frequently use public WiFi networks, such as remote workers, students, and travellers.

Pros

  • Comprehensive online protection
  • Substantial global VPN network for added security
  • Blocks ads, trackers, and malware
  • One of the best VPN providers

Cons

  • Can’t run system scans
  • Limited free trials
NordVPN Threat Protection UK
9.0
Review

5. Intego – Best Antivirus for Mac in the UK

Cheapest Plan £3.12/month (annual)
Free Trial 30 days
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Antivirus Testing Results Protection: 5.5/6, Performance: 5/6, Usability: 6/6
Max Devices 5
Why We Picked It

Intego stands out as the best antivirus for Mac in the UK, delivering robust protection and a suite of features tailored to safeguard your Apple devices.

Features

Intego’s NetBarrier firewall acts as a first line of defence, monitoring and controlling network traffic to prevent unauthorised access and potential intrusions.

The VirusBarrier malware scanner complements this by identifying and eliminating threats and conducts thorough scans of your system to quarantine and remove malware. Intego can also proactively identify and mitigate novel vulnerabilities, ensuring your Mac is protected against emerging threats.

Intego also offers parental controls for parents looking to safeguard their children’s online activity. This feature enables parents to monitor and regulate their children’s internet usage, block inappropriate content, and set time limits to promote responsible digital habits.

It also includes an anti-predator chat monitoring feature, which employs sophisticated algorithms to analyse conversations in real time, identifying potential threats such as online predators attempting to engage with children.

The Web Shield feature, meanwhile, scans websites, blocking access to malicious sites and phishing links that could host malware.

Given all this, many point to Intego as the best anti-virus UK Mac users can buy.

Pricing

Intego’s cheapest plan starts at £3.13/month, billed annually. Users can take advantage of a 30-day trial to test the full range of features before committing to a subscription. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.

1 year, 1 device 2 years, 1 device 1 year, 3 devices 2 years, 3 devices 1 year, 5 devices 2 years, 5 devices
Mac Internet Security X9 £39.99/year £37.50/year £54.99/year £50/year £69.99/year £62.50/year
Mac Premium Bundle X9 £69.99/year £65/year £94.99/year £87.50/year £119.99/year £110/year
Mac Premium Bundle + VPN £89.99/year £75/year £114.99/year £97.50/year £139.99/year £120/year
Who It's Best For

Whether you’re a casual Mac user, a professional working with sensitive data, or a parent concerned about your children’s online safety, Intego is a great pick for Mac. Many rate it as the best Mac antivirus for the UK.

Pros

  • Protection tailored for Mac devices
  • Robust defences against malware
  • Comprehensive parental controls
  • Automatically scans external drives

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Limited support beyond Macs
Intego UK
8.6
Review

6. Avast – Best Free Antivirus Software UK

Cheapest Plan Free / £2.71/month (annual)
Free Trial Free plan
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Antivirus Testing Results Protection: 6/6, Performance: 6/6, Usability: 6/6
Max Devices 30
Why We Picked It

Avast offers a comprehensive set of security features, a user-friendly interface, and robust protection against various threats without compromising system performance. It also has an excellent free plan, making it the best free antivirus solution for UK users.

Features

Avast’s intelligent threat detection system employs advanced algorithms and machine learning to identify and block malware, viruses, and other malicious software.

The Network Inspector feature, meanwhile, monitors your network traffic in real-time, alerting you to any suspicious activity or attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in your connected devices.

Avast’s Behavior Shield feature is able to mitigate the risk of zero-day attacks exploiting vulnerabilities by analysing the behaviour of applications and processes in real time.

The Avast free antivirus package with Avast One includes a limited VPN as well as tools to optimise your device’s performance and security.

The Smart Scan feature performs a comprehensive scan of your system, identifying potential issues such as outdated software, browser add-ons, and network vulnerabilities. It then provides personalised recommendations to address these problems.

Pricing

While Avast Free Antivirus is a great package, you get a lot more if you upgrade. The Avast One Silver tier separates security, privacy, and system optimisation into separate modules, so the best option is to get the Avast Premium Security package, covering one PC for £39.99/year or ten devices for £54.99/year.

Avast One doesn’t provide a free trial for its paid plans, but it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Avast Free Antivirus Free
Avast One Silver Individual (for security, privacy, or performance) £32.49/year per module
Avast One Silver Family (for security, privacy, or performance) – 30 devices £49.99/year per module
Avast Premium Security – 1 device £39.99/year
Avast Premium Security – 10 devices £54.99/year
Avast Ultimate Security – 1 device £42.49/year
Avast Ultimate Security – 10 devices £64.99/year
Avast One Gold Individual – 5 devices £69.99/year
Avast One Gold Family – 30 devices £109.99/year
Who It's Best For

Avast Free Antivirus is a great choice for UK users on a budget looking for comprehensive protection. It also gets strong lab testing results, and it’s one of the top Reddit-recommended antiviruses.

Pros

  • Excellent free antivirus
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Protects you from ransomware and spyware
  • Prevents unauthorised users from accessing your home WiFi

Cons

  • May slow down lower-end devices
  • Some advanced features only available on paid plans
Avast UK
8.6
Review

7. Bitdefender – Best Lightweight Antivirus for UK Systems

Bitdefender Logo

Cheapest Plan £1.67/month (annual)
Free Trial 30 days
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Antivirus Testing Results Protection: 6/6, Performance: 6/6, Usability: 6/6
Max Devices 10
Why We Picked It

Bitdefender is an excellent lightweight antivirus solution for UK systems. It offers protection without compromising on performance, and its minimal resource usage makes it an ideal choice for users searching for seamless security.

Features

Bitdefender’s Autopilot feature streamlines security management by automatically adjusting protection settings based on the user’s activities and system configuration, ensuring optimal protection without constant user intervention.

Bitdefender’s multi-layered protection also includes advanced threat detection, real-time monitoring, and proactive defences against malware, ransomware, and zero-day exploits.

The antivirus incorporates machine learning algorithms to identify and neutralise emerging threats, ensuring comprehensive protection against the latest cyber dangers.

The anti-tracker browser extension enhances online privacy by blocking trackers and preventing unauthorised data collection, while microphone and webcam protection features safeguard users from hackers.

There’s also a VPN service, which secures online activity, protecting user privacy, and a file shredder that permanently deletes sensitive files, preventing unauthorised access and data leakage.

Pricing

Bitdefender offers affordable plans, with the cheapest option starting at £1.67/month, billed annually, for a single device.

You can also take advantage of a 30-day free trial to experience the full range of features, and Bitdefender provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus £19.99/year
Bitdefender Internet Security £29.99/year
Bitdefender Total Security £49.99/year
Bitdefender Premium Security £59.99/year
Who It's Best For

Bitdefender is an ideal choice for anyone in the UK who requires reliable protection without slowing down their devices during resource-intensive tasks. Its lightweight build makes it perfect for users with older or less powerful systems – and it also performs very well in independent testing.

Pros

  • Minimal impact on system performance
  • Great independent lab tests
  • Autopilot features automatically optimises services
  • Various plans for different needs and budgets

Cons

  • Mixed feedback on customer support
  • Limited customisation options for advanced users
Bitdefender UK
8.4
Review

8. McAfee – Best UK Antivirus with Identity Protection Features

Cheapest Plan £2.92/month (annual)
Free Trial 30 days
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days
Antivirus Testing Results Protection: 6/6, Performance: 6/6, Usability: 6/6
Max Devices Unlimited
Why We Picked It

McAfee offers a suite of identity theft protection features that continuously monitor your personal information across the web and promptly notify you of any suspicious activity.

This approach allows you to take immediate action to prevent identity theft and minimise potential damage.

Features

McAfee’s antivirus software includes real-time malware protection, a secure firewall, and a VPN for safe and private online browsing. Meanwhile, McAfee’s Protection Score indicator evaluates your online security and provides recommendations to enhance your overall security.

The product has a huge range of features, but where McAfee really excels is with its identity protection tools. The Personal Data Cleanup feature helps you remove personal information from data broker sites, reducing the risk that cybercriminals will exploit your data.

For users who opt for higher-tier plans, McAfee also offers a Social Privacy Manager that helps you manage your social media privacy settings, ensuring your personal information remains secure.

McAfee’s AI-powered Scam Protection spots and blocks scams in real time by instantly identifying dangerous URLs in your text messages, emails, and social media.

In the event of identity theft, McAfee’s Advanced plan provides $1m in identity theft coverage to help you recover from any losses incurred.

Pricing

McAfee’s most affordable plan starts at £2.92/month (billed annually), providing essential antivirus protection for five devices.

McAfee not only provides a 30-day free trial for users to test the service, though, but it also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

McAfee Basic £29.99/year
McAfee Plus £34.99/year
McAfee Total Protection £34.99/year
McAfee Premium £39.99/year
McAfee Advanced £74.99/year
McAfee Ultimate £169.99/year
Who It's Best For

McAfee is ideal for individuals who frequently shop online, use social media platforms, or share personal information digitally and for anyone concerned about identity theft.

It’s also an excellent choice for business owners, freelancers, and remote workers who need to safeguard sensitive data.

Pros

  • Comprehensive identity theft prevention
  • 24/7 real-time threat protection
  • Personal data cleanup
  • $1m identity theft coverage
  • One of the best Windows 10 antiviruses

Cons

  • Relatively expensive to access all security features
  • Fairly basic VPN
McAfee UK
8.5
Review

Best UK Antivirus Apps Compared

Here’s a quick comparison table of the best UK antivirus apps so you can easily compare the key features of each anti-virus software provider:

Best Internet Security UK Cheapest Plan Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee Antivirus Testing Results Max Devices
TotalAV £1.58/month (annual) Free scan 30 days Protection: 5.5/6, Performance: 5.5/6, Usability: 6/6 8
Surfshark £2.19 per month (two years) 7 days for VPN 30 days Protection: 4.5/6, Performance: 4.5/6, Usability: 6/6 5
Norton £1.67/month (annual) 30 days 60 days Protection: 6/6, Performance: 6/6, Usability: 6/6 10
NordVPN Threat Protection £3.19/month (two years) 7-day trial on Android 30 days No lab tests available 10
Intego £3.12/month (annual) 30 days 30 days Protection: 5.5/6, Performance: 5/6, Usability: 6/6 5
Avast Free / £2.71/month (annual) Free plan 30 days Protection: 6/6, Performance: 6/6, Usability: 6/6 30
Bitdefender £1.67/month (annual) 30 days 30 days Protection: 6/6, Performance: 6/6, Usability: 6/6 10
McAfee £2.92/month (annual) 30 days 30 days Protection: 6/6, Performance: 6/6, Usability: 6/6 Unlimited
Methodology

How We Review And Test Antivirus Software

15 Antiviruses Tested

20 Datapoints Measured

300+ Hours Testing

500+ User Reviews Read

We base our recommendations on first-hand experience and in-depth testing. All the Antivirus products we suggest, have been tested based on the following criteria:

  • Core Security Features: We make sure that the antivirus software is fully equipped with features like real-time protection, scanning, a firewall, web protection, and more.
  • Malware Detection Rates: We test malware detection rates ourselves by running both in-depth and quick scans on our devices. Additionally, we check independent lab tests.
  • Compatibility: We check which devices and operating systems the antivirus software is compatible with. Often, different-looking dashboards and slightly different packages of features may be available.
  • Performance Impact: A reliable and functional antivirus should not slow down your device significantly. So, we examine our device performance with and without the antivirus running.
  • Customer Experience: Alongside our own experience, we are curious to know what real users have to say regarding the services. So, we’ve scoured the web for feedback on each of our tested antiviruses.
  • Value for Money: We always consider value for money and how much each product is offering for the set price point.

What Are Viruses, Malware, and Ransomware?

Malware can include any kind of malicious software that is working against you. Viruses are programs that infect your machine and then propagate across networks and the internet to find more victims.

These programs include spyware and keyloggers, which track your use of your device and expose you to identity theft and fraud.

Adware programs, meanwhile, may just want to spam you with advertising, while cryptomining malware may attempt to steal your bandwidth and processing power to generate cryptocurrency for third parties.

Victims of ransomware, on the other hand, will find that a hacker has locked their devices and encrypted their data, holding them to ransom.

The best computer security software comes with tools to combat all of these threats, and many leading antivirus tools have specific features to combat ransomware, phishing attacks, and webcam hacking.

How Does Antivirus Software Work?

Antivirus software scans your device for malware, looking for software signatures that indicate seemingly harmless programs may be infected or may be malware. Real-time protection, meanwhile, conducts behavioural analysis to identify unusual patterns of behaviour on your device and detect previously unknown threats.

Antivirus programs often also have features to block potentially dangerous email attachments and downloads.

The best anti-virus software products today typically also include a firewall, monitoring incoming and outgoing network traffic. This allows the system to block hostile actors from gaining access and can flag infected programs that may be attempting to send data out of the network.

Do You Need Antivirus Software in 2024?

With cybercrime on the rise and increasingly sophisticated attacks targeting individuals and businesses alike, investing in an antivirus is essential. In the United Kingdom alone, the number of tech-based crimes jumped by more than 30% over three quarters in 2022/2023.

While you might think that your device is secure enough with built-in security features, the reality is that these measures often aren’t sufficient to combat the increasingly sophisticated tactics employed by cybercriminals.

An antivirus will actively scan for potential threats and neutralise them before they can wreak havoc on your system. Many security products also provide multi-layered defences, including tools to block phishing attacks and ransomware and provide features such as password managers, VPNs, and data breach monitors to enhance your security.

Additionally, antiviruses offer protection beyond one device. With the widespread adoption of smartphones, tablets, and smart home devices, our digital lives are more interconnected than ever. A comprehensive antivirus solution can extend its protection to these devices, ensuring your entire digital ecosystem is secure.

How to Choose Antivirus Software

There are a range of factors that separate the best antivirus companies and products from the also-rans. Here’s how to compare antivirus software and what to look for if you want the best computer protection for the UK, whether you’re considering Trend Micro Maximum Security or AVG Antivirus free software:

Core security featuresUsabilityExtra security toolsCustomer experiencePrice

Core security features and malware protection

First and foremost, security tools need to be able to detect and isolate malware and block incoming threats with robust scanning, real-time protection, and firewall protection features.

Usability

It’s important to find a product you’re comfortable with that’s easy to use and that will support all your devices to protect your whole digital ecosystem. Solutions with insufficient compatibility, awkward menus, and limited device support may not be worth your time.

For more information by region, check out our guide to the best antivirus software for Canada and the best antivirus software in India.

Extra security tools

Many of the best anti-virus software packages include additional features like password managers, VPNs, and data breach monitoring, which can all be invaluable for securing your digital sphere and ensuring you aren’t vulnerable to threats.

You can see our guide to the best antiviruses with VPN software for more details on their capabilities, and we also have guides covering the best business antiviruses and the best server antiviruses.

Customer support and user feedback

A factor we always consider is how easy it is to get help with issues and what real customers have said about a firm. Complaints about poor support can indicate there’s a problem.

Price

Value for money is important, whichever end of the scale you’re looking at, and more expensive options will often provide far more value for the price you pay.

Is the Best Free Antivirus Software UK Good Enough? Free vs Paid Plans

When it comes to protecting your digital life, finding reliable antivirus software is crucial, especially if you’re on a tight budget. In the UK, there are several free antivirus software options available, but the question of whether they are good enough to keep your devices secure remains.

One popular choice is Avast Free Antivirus, which offers a range of features such as real-time protection, web and email monitors, WiFi network scanning, and a limited VPN. It consistently performs well in independent lab tests, detecting and blocking most malware threats, and many rate it as the best free antivirus for Windows 10.

However, like many free antivirus solutions, Avast’s free version has limitations compared to its paid counterparts. Free antivirus software generally provides basic protection against common threats but may lack advanced features like ransomware protection, firewalls, and parental controls.

Free providers may display ads or try to upsell you to their premium plans, which can make their platforms more difficult to use. Another concern with free antivirus software is privacy. Some providers may collect and sell user data to third parties to generate revenue, ironically putting your browsing habits and personal information at risk.

Even worse, some free antivirus products may be part of an adware scam and will attempt to download additional software or malware on your system.

The best solution is to get a product that can consistently detect malware and comes with advanced security features like a firewall, an ad blocker, and a password manager.

How to Use Antivirus Computer Security Software

Here’s a step-by-step guide for setting up an antivirus and running your first scan, using TotalAV as an example:

  1. Get TotalAV

    Visit TotalAV and click/tap on the Protect Your PC Now button. Choose one of three available pricing plans and press Buy Now.

    <strong>Get TotalAV</strong>
  2. Complete the Purchase

    Check the box at the bottom of the screen to accept the Terms of Service. Press the Checkout With PayPal Now button to proceed. A new window will pop up. Enter your PayPal account information to log in and authorise the purchase.

  3. Download and Install TotalAV

    Download TotalAV from the official website and follow the simple installation instructions. Once the installation is complete, use the login credentials provided to you by the company via email.

    <strong>Download and Install TotalAV</strong>
  4. Initiate Your First Virus Scan

    From the dashboard, click Enable Protection to allow TotalAV to protect you against malware, viruses, and other cyber threats.

    If you have reason to believe your device is already infected, start a Smart Scan to have the TotalAV antivirus scan the critical files and folders on your device. If it detects any issues, you can quarantine the threats and remove them from your system.

    We also recommend running a full scan in this case. Otherwise, ensure TotalAV is enabled, and you’ll be protected while browsing the web, reading your emails, and downloading files from the internet.

    <strong>Initiate Your First Virus Scan</strong>

FAQs

What do antiviruses do?

What is the best antivirus software in the UK?

What is the best antivirus for Windows 10 in the UK?

Do free antivirus offer enough protection?

Can I install more than one antivirus?

Which is the fastest antivirus in the UK?

What’s the best free UK antivirus software?

What’s the best UK antivirus for Mac?

Will an antivirus slow down my device?

Jerry Makenzie
Technology Journalist
Jerry Makenzie
Technology Journalist

Jerry is a technology writer with over four years of experience, complemented by a CompTIA Security+ certification and a Bachelor's degree in English Language & Literature. His expertise covers cybersecurity, cloud computing, emerging tech trends, and digital transformation. Jerry's background as a Technology Writer at U Green has sharpened his ability to effectively communicate technical information, ensuring that even the most complex subjects are presented with clarity. Jerry's passion for technology stems from his curiosity about how things work. He loves deconstructing new products, apps, and services to understand their inner workings and impact on users' lives. When he's not…