If you have been around computers for any length of time, you know that antivirus protection is important. However, with so many different options these days, how do you determine which one is the best? Gone are the days when there used to be huge differences in companies. Just like with mobile networks, the products have grown to a time when very little separates the brands. That is why you have to take a look at your goals and ask yourself some questions like the ones we have below.
Do you want just basic coverage? Do they have extra features included? Do they all offer similar protection? How many devices and what platforms does it support? and others. In the sections below, we will try to answer these questions and a few others for you. That will help you make the best decision possible. Please note that all of the options we list below are close in performance, so only small factors separate them. Here, we will help you find the best antivirus for your needs. The top two sections show our choices for the best performance overall.
How did we determine our list of the best Anti-virus Options?
Of course, we like to be transparent so we can provide you with information on the best possible fit.
- Support for multiple platforms – You should be able to have a solution to cover all of your devices no matter what they are.
- Ease of operation – It is important to know how easy it is to remove a virus. Does the service build special tools or integrate them into their software?
- Number of licenses per account – Whether you are trying to protect your whole family or just a number of devices, there are different numbers.
- Pricing plans and payment options – If the AV offers family plans or add-on accounts, you will want to compare prices and how you can pay for the service.
- Technical support – Trustworthy services should be available 24/7 to help you through various channels if you need help with anything.
- Additional Protection Features – Does the AV have features to protect you or is it just basic coverage?
- Scanning lag – Does the service quietly and lightly run in the background, or does it make itself the primary function your device needs to perform right then?
Now, we will show you our choices based on those factors and more.
#1 – Intego
Whether you are looking for a Windows or Macintosh solution to your antivirus needs, Intego has you covered. While they have offered antivirus for your Macintosh since the beginning, their Windows software is a relatively new edition. Both products are labeled well and easy to navigate, and they typically score near the very top of the scale on independent tests. We also found it to live up to its reputation in our tests.
Even though their Windows software is new, Intego excels at Macintosh security. Again, the company has a long history of software for your computer and it is clear that it is highly tuned and polished. The program easily found the artificial viruses we planted, and it dealt with them handily. You can’t go wrong by choosing it as an option.
You will see different pricing for the platforms and the number of computers you want to protect. With the Macintosh version, you get several options. That includes a one or two year plan. For one year and one Mac, the price is $24.99 for a year. The two-year plan is $42.99. Compare that to the one PC protection plan for a year for $29.99. Although they offer coverage for up to 5 PCs, they only seem to offer a year of service for $79.99.
#2 – Vipre Antivirus
Vipre Antivirus has been around for more than 25 years. However, since 2017, they have combined several different tools to protect email, offer endpoint protection, and more. Of course, there are different tools available in the different versions. While it may not be as well-known as some of the other services, everything is easy to read, clearly labeled, and easily found artificial viruses in our tests.
You will also be glad to see that Vipre Antivirus updates their database frequently. From checking every 15 minutes to once daily, the system has you covered. Additionally, you will appreciate that you can set the total scan times for a specific time of the day to once week. If you are busy doing something online, that can be a real benefit. No one wants their game, movie, TV show, or other things to grind to a halt because of antivirus scanning.
For the best security, we suggest you go with Vipre Ultimate Security. That way, you can take advantage of real-time antivirus and ransomware protection along with VPN on up to 10 devices. When you choose that option, you save with a price of $48.99 for a year. That works out to $4.08 or so a month and is a great deal when you compare it to the regular price of $139.99.
#3 – AVG Internet Security
AVG is well-known in the antivirus industry. They have branched off from their popular antivirus software and are now considered to be an internet security company. There are several tools that are included with the different versions. Additionally, they offer a la carte features that may be added to the option you choose.
Some of the features we like include their enhanced firewall for safer shopping, the anti-spam feature to block email spam, and the data safe. There are not many differences between the AVG AntiVirus and the AVG Internet Security products. If you are looking for the enhanced firewall and anti-spam features, you will want to choose the Internet Security version. The A la Carte features are nice and include a VPN service, PC Tuneup, and Web Tuneup. Those provide additional security and keep your computer running well. AVG can be slower than the industry average when trying to open websites. However, we did not encounter any issues.
The version of AVG you decide on depends on your needs. If you need the additional features, you will want to choose AVG Internet Security. You may also want to add some of the extra features we talked about. For one year and one device the standard version is $39.99. One year of the Internet Security program for 10 devices is $49.99. AVG performs well, and you will like their console.
#4 – Norton Security
This one was a bit of a surprise to us. For years, many IT professionals have given Norton products a hard time. Despite its good name, there were issues with the way it performed and operated. However, now it seems those problems have been resolved. The performance has been improved over the years, and the system impact is less than the industry average.
We liked the ability to secure and manage multiple devices in the deluxe version. We also liked the dark web monitoring and password manager. It shows a commitment by Norton to keep their users safe. Other features are nice too, such as file backup and 50 GB of cloud storage. They are trying to set the bar high for Norton Security, and their modern products do a good job of keeping everything running well.
We advise using the Norton 360 Standard or Deluxe versions. Though the standard version will protect you from threats, we like the ability to manage multiple devices from a central location. Coverage for up to five devices is $49.99 for the first year. If you want identity protection then you might consider a plan with LifeLock. The Norton 360 Deluxe version is just $10 more for the year. For a solid performing, integrated solution, you will want to take a look at this one.
#5 – Kaspersky Internet Security
Though it may not be as well known as other antivirus programs, Kaspersky has a solid reputation in the industry. Because their primary focus is on businesses, they have taken the time to refine their product. They make their interface easy to use, and everything is labeled well. Their level of protection is second to none. Kaspersky performed well in our tests.
One of our favorite things about Kaspersky is it was the only one to detect the USB drive we inserted initially. It also gave us the option to scan the drive. Of course, the program found the fake virus we saved to the drive and eliminated the threat. We like the secure payment features and the child-friendly features. It is not hard to see why so many customers use Kaspersky for antivirus protection.
Again, we suggest getting at least the Internet Security version. While the basic will provide you with protection, it is nice to have the extra features so you can safeguard your web experiences. By choosing at least the Internet Security version, you can get protection on up to five devices for one, two, or three years. At $44.99 a year, that comes out to just $3.75 a month. Don’t miss out on great protection for a good price.
#6 – Avira Internet Security Suite
Avira is another well-known antivirus program. Though you may not have tried it before, you’ve probably heard of it. In 2021, Avira will celebrate its 35th year of antivirus software. Avira will protect you and what you do online, and the Internet Security Suite offers some nice features. They also have a gaming mode that will optimize your computer if you are a gamer.
All versions of Avira offer basic antivirus protection. However, our favorite is the Internet Security Suite. Instead of buying another program to help your computer run at top speed, they include their tools in the version. The only feature that separates the Total Security Suite is the addition of a VPN. It’s a nice thought, but there are better VPNs out there. Avira scored well in our tests and was above average in the independent lab tests we mention in our review.
In this case, we suggest using the Internet Security Suite. It provides a good mix of protection and cleaning tools to keep everything running smoothly. For one year which includes five devices, the cost is $69.99. Additional pricing may be found by clicking the button below. Avira is a good quality product, but their pricing is higher than some of the others we have mentioned.
#7 – Avast Pro Antivirus
Avast’s stated goal is to protect the user against all threats. They have some really good features built in, and some of them are unexpected. If you look at their software, the dedication they show to the user is clear. Their interface is straightforward, and everything is easy to understand.
We like many of the features with Avast, including the sandbox feature for testing suspicious programs. The password manager is also nice. There are three different versions of Avast. Those are Pro Antivirus, Internet Security, and Premier. Avast performed well on our tests and scored higher than the industry averages.
The version of Avast you choose depends on your needs. If you want spam and firewall protection, you will want to go with the Internet Security version. They offer multiple year/device protection. A year for three PCs is $55.99, with additional pricing listed in our full review. Avast is a good product that provides solid antivirus protection. Some of the features it offers are uncommon. If you are looking for good performance and additional tools, Avast should be on your short list to consider.
In conclusion, all of the antivirus programs are at the top of their game and worth taking a look at. The hard part is deciding what features you want and price range you want to be in. Many of the programs do more than just antivirus protection. Whether it’s the ease and quickness of Kaspersky, the sandbox feature of Avast, or the 25 gb of cloud storage from Norton, there is sure to be a feature that stands out to you. We hope the rankings have helped you make the best decision. For more information, please look at our individual product reviews.