Best Antivirus Software 2024: protect, find, and destroy

geared toward preventing malware from harming your computer or other electronic devices.

Now that we live in a digital world, I understand that the chance of a cyberattack is higher than ever. More and more parts of our lives are connected to the internet. This means that our personal information is more likely than ever to get into the wrong hands. I have made it a priority to protect my devices by making sure they have the best antivirus software available since I first learned this.

All of the Windows antivirus programs on this list have their own engines for finding malware, but the extra cost is worth it for the extra features. A company that makes antivirus software might have a free program, a basic paid program, a middle-of-the-road program with extra features, and a high-end product with all the bells and whistles. But you can also get antivirus software for Mac and antivirus apps for Android along with them.

For users of Windows operating systems like Windows 10 and Windows 11, finding reliable antivirus software is crucial. According to the most recent Statcounter data, three out of every four laptop or desktop operating systems are Windows-based, which puts a greater focus on such devices. Malware that targets Windows has a broader device base to infect, which increases its potential in the eyes of hackers which antivirus programme best meets your needs. This list is routinely updated based on our ongoing research and testing to identify which software is the best in its class.

What is the Best Antivirus Software?

But there are some well-known antivirus programs that have been popular and reliable in the past.

Effectiveness: Look for antivirus software that has a good track record of finding and blocking viruses, ransomware, spyware, and other types of malware.

Features: Think about the features that the antivirus software has, such as real-time scanning, firewall protection, email filtering, and protection while you’re browsing the web.

Use of Resources: Choose software that doesn’t use too many of your computer’s resources, as this can slow it down.

Ease of Use: Interfaces that are easy to use and settings that are easy to understand are important for a good user experience.

Customer Support: If you have any problems with the software, good customer support can be very important.

Independent Testing: Check independent testing and reviews from reliable sources like AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives, which rate the performance of different antivirus programs.

Best Antivirus Software Comparison Table

The comparison table shows the best antivirus software and rates it on things like how well it finds malware, how it affects the system, what features it has, and how well it helps customers. It helps users choose the best protection for their devices by giving them an overview of the most important features and giving them the information they need to make an informed choice about how to protect their digital environment.

FeatureMcAfeeBitdefenderNorton 360AvastMalwarebytesKasperskyAviraWebrootPanda DomeIntego
Real-time ProtectionYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Malware DetectionExcellentExcellentExcellentGoodGoodExcellentGoodGoodExcellentGood
Antivirus EngineYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
FirewallYesYesYesYesNoYesNoNoYesYes
System OptimizationYesYesYesYesNoYesNoNoYesNo
VPNYesYesYesYesNoYesYesNoYesNo
Official LinkVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website

McAfee

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Real-time protection against malware, viruses, and online threats.
  • Firewall and web protection for safe browsing.
  • Identity theft protection and secure VPN.
  • Parental controls for safe online experiences for kids.
  • Performance optimization tools.

Although McAfee’s malware detection has improved significantly in recent years, it is still not top-notch. Nevertheless, the basic version of McAfee AntiVirus Plus is inexpensive: For $60 a year you can purchase the software for up to 10 (actually unlimited) Windows, macOS, iOS or Android devices. It also includes a two-way firewall and a file shredder. To get parental control or one of the industry’s best password managers, you must purchase McAfee Total Protection or its sibling McAfee LiveSafe, which is preinstalled on many new PCs.

Multi-device licenses of these two security suites also include an identity protection service. However, none of the McAfee packages offer the webcam or secure browser protection that you often get with other high-end antivirus software. The best option is McAfee Total Protection Ultimate, which also offers unlimited VPN service without any restrictions. Hardcore PC gamers may want to take a look at McAfee Gamer Security, which for $60 a year offers low-cost security for a single computer.

Pros

  • Offers a range of security features.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Provides good malware protection.

Cons

  • Can be resource-intensive.
  • Some reports of false positives.

Bitdefender

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Powerful real-time antivirus and anti-malware protection.
  • Advanced threat detection using behavioral analysis.
  • Multi-layer ransomware protection and anti-phishing features.
  • Secure VPN for private browsing.
  • Minimal impact on system performance.

Bucharest, the country’s capital, is home to Bitdefender, which was established there in 2001. With locations all over the world, the company employs more than 1,600 people. Since Antivirus Plus is the company’s entry-level antivirus software option, it is perfect for non-technical home users who want simple threat protection. Antivirus Plus includes a variety of security-first features, including ransomware avoidance, monitoring of online purchases and web-based transactions, protection against fraud and phishing, all controlled through an intuitive dashboard, because viruses aren’t the only cybersecurity concerns.

Although Antivirus Plus is only accessible through Windows, comparable antivirus programmes are also accessible through Mac and Android. A free version of Bitdefender for Windows provides web protection against phishing and fraud, as well as computer scans and other antivirus functions. Safepay for financial transactions, many layers of ransomware defence, and vulnerability scans are all included in the commercial edition. With higher tier services, a virtual private network (VPN) is additionally provided.

Pros

  • Excellent malware detection and prevention.
  • Minimal impact on system performance.
  • Wide range of features.

Cons

  • Can be expensive.
  • User interface might be overwhelming for some.

Norton 360

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Comprehensive antivirus and malware protection.
  • Intelligent firewall and webcam privacy.
  • Secure VPN for online privacy and anonymity.
  • Dark web monitoring for compromised personal data.
  • Automatic backup and 50GB cloud storage.

One of our best anti-malware tools is Norton 360 antivirus. Independent testing laboratories found that it completely caught zero-day malware, had little to no impact on performance, and detected no false positives. Norton’s real-time protection feature in our tests immediately stopped all threats as soon as we unleashed them. The full scan was quite heavy, taking more than a minute to complete, and had a significant impact on system resources. Given how successfully it can identify malware, this is not surprising.

On each of them, the user interface is well-organized and simple to use. However, some of the added functions launch in separate tabs, which some people may find inconvenient. Numerous security features are available with Norton 360 antivirus, including a smart firewall, encrypted cloud backup, a VPN, and a password manager. In addition, you can obtain features like SafeCam and Dark Web Monitoring, as well as alternatives for parental control and family school scheduling.

Pros

  • Comprehensive security suite.
  • Strong protection against various threats.
  • Cloud backup and VPN included.

Cons

  • Can slow down older systems.
  • Some features require additional payment.

Avast

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Real-time threat detection with a large threat-detection network.
  • Wi-Fi security scanner and a built-in firewall.
  • SecureLine VPN for encrypted browsing.
  • Password manager for secure password storage.
  • Browser cleanup to remove unwanted extensions.

The most extra features of any free antivirus product are offered by Avast Free Antivirus, which also includes a gaming mode, a Wi-Fi network scanner, and a recently added ransomware defence. Sadly, the unlimited password manager is no longer available. Additionally, you may easily customise the program’s features and design to fit your preferences. Even limited access to Avast’s VPN service is available.

In contrast, Avast Free Antivirus took a long time to scan and put a significant strain on the system during our testing. Additionally, it constantly bugging us to upgrade to Avast’s paid antivirus protection and used features that appeared to be free but weren’t as a bait-and-switch. Most importantly, Bitdefender’s or Kaspersky’s malware protection is a notch higher than Avast Free Antivirus’, whose free products also troubled us less about paid upgrades and had lighter system loads.

Pros

  • Free version available.
  • Decent malware protection.
  • Offers a wide range of features.

Cons

  • Privacy concerns due to data collection.
  • Can be resource-heavy on some systems.

Malwarebytes

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Specializes in anti-malware and anti-spyware protection.
  • Real-time threat blocking and removal.
  • Anti-exploit technology to prevent zero-day attacks.
  • Lightweight and designed to work alongside other antivirus software.
  • Fast scanning and removal of existing infections.

Malwarebytes was established in 2008 and has its main office in Santa Clara, California. It’s free edition is powerful but has some restrictions. It only recognises and gets rid of malware; it doesn’t have many sophisticated features and safeguards. It does not safeguard your computer from dangers, to be clear. Only infected computers’ virus is removed by it. Malwarebytes excels in locating, containing, and eliminating malware that is causing havoc on your computer. The free edition allows you to run rapid or thorough scans whenever necessary, and it will provide a report on your system.

The commercial edition of Malwarebytes provides round-the-clock monitoring, guards against malicious websites, inhibits ransomware, prevents vulnerabilities from being exploited until the software is fixed. Unlike the free edition, the premium version is a full-featured antivirus programme. On-demand malware scanning and removal are available in the free edition, but it should always be used in conjunction with more robust antivirus software.

Pros

  • Specializes in malware removal.
  • Effective against adware and spyware.
  • Can work alongside other antivirus software.

Cons

  • Not a full antivirus replacement.
  • Free version offers limited features.

Kaspersky

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Award-winning antivirus and anti-malware protection.
  • Advanced anti-phishing and anti-ransomware features.
  • Virtual keyboard to protect against keyloggers.
  • Secure online banking and shopping protection.
  • Parental controls and privacy protection features.

The two most crucial factors in our rankings—excellent malware detection scores and a light-to-moderate impact on system performance—appear in Kaspersky’s Windows solutions. Kaspersky Anti-Virus, the entry-level product, features specialised ransomware protection, a virtual keyboard, and a practical online account site (beginning at £12.49 UK/$29.99 US). Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, which has much more functions, defeats it.

Among midrange solutions, Kaspersky Internet Security ($39.99 US/£17.49 UK) is our top pick. In addition to a limited-use VPN client that activates when you connect to an open Wi-Fi network, it has a secure browser, laptop anti-theft protection, webcam protection, and other security features. Software for macOS, Android, and iOS are also included. Kaspersky Total Security ($44.99 US/£19.99 UK), a premium antivirus programme, also includes backup software, parental controls, file encryption, a file shredder, and an infinite password manager. It is, in our opinion, the top antivirus programme available right now.

Pros

  • Strong malware detection and prevention.
  • Offers various levels of protection.
  • Additional features like VPN and parental controls.

Cons

  • Privacy concerns due to Russian origins.
  • Some features may require additional configuration.

Avira

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Real-time malware detection and removal.
  • Privacy tools like VPN, browser tracking blocker, and safe shopping.
  • USB device protection against autorun-based malware.
  • System optimization tools for improved performance.
  • Free version available with basic protection features.

One of the top antivirus software programmes, both in the free and premium divisions, Avira Antivirus provides excellent security. Independent test laboratories gave it remarkable results, successfully preventing 99.2% of online attacks. Regarding the tests we launched, Avira distinguished itself with an incredibly quick comprehensive scan that took just 3 minutes, 30 seconds. But get this—all 10 malicious files were successfully blocked. Although the CPU usage was high the entire time, since it just takes a short while, it shouldn’t be viewed as a negative.

Compatible with the most widely used operating systems is Avira antivirus (Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS). But not all capabilities are accessible on macOS; for example, email protection and download scans are only available to Windows users. Regarding features, you can receive a VPN, a firewall, and a password generator without having to dig into your money, even if you usually have to pay extra to get some or all of them. In addition, this antivirus offers a file shredder, email protection, web protection for secure online shopping, and powerful ransomware protection. Along with standard virus protection measures, there is also an automatic software update feature, a tool for browser safety, and a password manager.

Pros

  • Free version available.
  • Good malware detection capabilities.
  • Minimal impact on system resources.

Cons

  • Free version lacks some advanced features.
  • Limited customer support.

Webroot

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Cloud-based antivirus with fast scans and minimal impact on system resources.
  • Real-time threat intelligence to identify new and emerging threats.
  • Identity theft protection and webcam security.
  • Multi-layered protection against malware and phishing attacks.

Additionally, Webroot produces a SecureAnywhere variant specifically for gamers. It offers a system optimizer tool to “scan your devices and the operating systems to discover system faults, wipe away all traces of online activity, and make deleted information unrecoverable,” which sets it apart from the ordinary version. In actual use, we only observed it deleting temporary files to make room on the drive. SecureAnywhere also courteously operates in the background so that you won’t experience game-interrupting updates or additional slowness.

SecureAnywhere functions best when there is an Internet connection because it is cloud-based. For many individuals, especially gamers, it won’t be an issue in the era of ubiquitous broadband. Additionally, SecureAnywhere has a surprising number of parameters that may be adjusted despite being lightweight and having low local storage needs.

Pros

  • Very lightweight on system resources.
  • Fast scans and real-time protection.
  • Cloud-based technology.

Cons

  • Might not have as extensive features as others.
  • Some users prefer more traditional antivirus methods.

Panda Dome

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Real-time antivirus protection with behavioral analysis.
  • USB device protection and process monitor.
  • Parental controls for content filtering and online safety.
  • Data shield to encrypt and protect sensitive files.
  • VPN for secure browsing on public networks.

All of the premium antivirus packages have extra tools, but if we were to single out one that excels in this area, it would be Panda Dome Complete. It includes the typical PC maintenance tools, such a starting apps manager and a disc defragmenter for hard drives. A VPN, Wi-Fi network scanning, process monitor, virtual keyboard, application control feature, and other features are also included.

Since it employs a tiled interface on a single screen, it also makes it incredibly simple to find anything, and the protection is very good. Panda Dome Complete does cost more than some other good antivirus products, but power users will find it to be quite beneficial.

Pros

  • Offers a range of security tools.
  • USB protection and process monitor.
  • VPN functionality available.

Cons

  • Mixed results in independent tests.
  • Can be confusing to navigate for some users.

Intego

Best Antivirus Software

Features

  • Focuses on antivirus and security solutions for macOS and iOS devices.
  • Real-time protection against Mac malware and viruses.
  • Parental controls to safeguard kids’ online experiences.
  • Mac cleaning tools for optimizing performance.
  • Firewall network protection for added security.

Intego’s antivirus engine detected every piece of test malware with 100% accuracy (both macOS and PC malware). Additionally, it scans quickly, completing over 800,000 files in under two hours. And because Intego’s file caching technique ignores already-scanned files, subsequent scans only take a few minutes (Norton uses the same technology to skip over previously scanned files).

I like how you can connect an external disc or an iOS device to your Mac and use Intego’s virus scanner to conduct an antivirus scan on it in particular. This saves you from having to purchase several antivirus packages to secure your iOS devices because Intego doesn’t provide internet security protection for mobile. However, if you want to do more than perform antivirus scans on iOS, you’ll still need to purchase another antivirus product.

Pros

  • Specializes in Mac security.
  • Offers real-time protection.
  • Includes Mac optimization tools.

Cons

  • Limited Windows compatibility.
  • Might not be as recognized as other brands for general users.

How to Choose the Right Antivirus Software for You?

To keep your computer safe and your personal information safe from cyber threats, you need to make sure you have the right antivirus software for your needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed choice:

Check Your Needs: Figure out how much protection you need. Are you a casual user who only needs basic protection, or do you deal with sensitive information that needs a higher level of security? Think about things like what you do online, how sensitive your data is, and the devices you use.

Look for antivirus software from companies that are known to be good. Read reviews, compare features, and look at the results of independent tests at AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives. Compare things like how often malware is found, how it affects system performance, how easy it is to use, and what other features it has.

Compatibility: Make sure the antivirus software works with your operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.) and any other devices, like smartphones and tablets, that you want to protect.

Malware Detection and Removal: Malware detection and removal is the main job of antivirus software. Look for software that scans in real time, automatically updates, and has a strong engine for finding malware.

FAQs

Which antivirus is best and why?

Bitdefender: Bitdefender antivirus is at the top of our list. It has several antivirus software packages for Windows that are well-liked by independent testers and are priced reasonably. The basic Antivirus Plus software can protect up to three Windows devices in real time for a year.

Does McAfee actually stop viruses?

Antivirus software like McAfee Total Protection can help in this situation. It protects you from malware, viruses, phishing, ransomware, and other online threats all the time. It also updates itself, so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!

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