An estimated 64 % have been impacted by at least one data breach, according to recent estimates. 1 Personal information, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, bank account information, and credit card details, is at risk of being compromised. That information is then made public on the dark web, where it can be used to cause financial devastation. As a matter of fact, personal information on people who have a good credit score can be sold on the dark web for a relatively low price.
Cyberattacks on businesses are also quite expensive. Compromised records, attack mitigation, downtime and repairs, and other expenses amounted to a total of $4.24 million in 2021, with the majority of the costs falling under this category. 2 Installing the appropriate antivirus software at your residence or place of business is one step you can take to guarantee that you do not become a statistic in the future. Antivirus software has evolved beyond simply detecting viruses to also protecting users against malware and other types of attacks. It might be difficult to select which antivirus software solution is the best for you when there are hundreds of options available.
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As part of our investigation, we looked into 20 solutions that cybersecurity professionals had recommended as their software of choice, taking into account the software’s antivirus, malware, and ransomware protection. We also took into consideration features such as numerous device safeguards and the availability of a free version. Here are some of our favorites.
The 6 Best Antivirus Software of 2022
- Bitdefender Antivirus Plus: Best Overall
- Norton 360 With LifeLock: Best for Windows
- Webroot SecureAnywhere for Mac: Best for Mac
- McAfee Antivirus Plus: Best for Multiple Devices
- Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security: Best Premium Option
- Malwarebytes: Best Malware Scanning
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
Because its commercial edition provides the most comprehensive protection, it is our recommendation for the best overall antivirus software.
- Detection of ransomware
- Provides a “Do Not Track” option for improved data privacy.
- Manager of passwords
- With a subscription, you get frequent updates.
VPN service is available, however it requires a separate subscription.
Bitdefender was created in 2001 and is based in Bucharest, Romania’s capital. The company employs over 1,600 people and has locations all around the world. Bitdefender Plus is the company’s entry-level antivirus software, making it suited for non-technical home users and anyone looking for basic threat protection.
Because viruses aren’t the only cyber-threats, Bitdefender Plus includes a number of security-focused features, such as ransomware protection, monitoring online purchases and web-based transactions, and password management, which allows users to create unique passwords for everything, all of which can be controlled from a single dashboard. Bitdefender Plus is a security program that works on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
Bitdefender delivers real-time detection, advanced threat defense, web attack prevention, and anti-fraud/anti-phishing protection in its free version. Safepay for financial transactions, multi-layer ransomware protection, and vulnerability evaluations are all included in the commercial edition. A virtual private network (VPN) is also available for an extra charge.
The cost of a year’s worth of coverage for one device is $39.99. A 30-day free trial is available.
Norton 360 with LifeLock
With its PC maintenance capabilities, Norton 360 with LifeLock continues to build on its reputation as a top antivirus choice, making it the best for Windows machines.
- Firewall and backup protection for your computer
- Excellent anti-malware defense
- Manager of passwords
- Identity theft protection from LifeLock
- The detection of ransomware could be improved.
- During thorough scans, the machine slows down.
- One of the more costly options
Under the Symantec umbrella, Norton released its first antivirus software in 1991. LifeLock was purchased by Symantec in 2018, and the name was changed to NortonLifeLock in 2019 after the company’s enterprise business was sold. The headquarters of the corporation are in Tempe, Arizona.
Because of how it has continued to improve on its legacy of defending Windows machines, Norton 360 with LifeLock was named best antivirus for Windows. LifeLock’s identity theft protection features alone provide it an advantage.
Users can choose from many editions of this program, each with different capabilities, but even the most basic version includes PC maintenance functions (including the ability to speed up bootup) and 2GB of cloud backup. Dark web monitoring, a VPN, and 100GB of cloud backup are all included in Norton 360 Standard.
The quantity of cloud storage available rises as the package level increases. The mid-tier Norton 360 with LifeLock Select costs $149.99 per year and includes licenses for up to five devices (including Mac) as well as 100GB of cloud storage. Parental controls, school time/remote learning controls, VPNs for all devices, and webcam protections are all available. With one license, Norton Antivirus Plus costs $84.99 per year.
Webroot SecureAnywhere for Mac
Webroot SecureAnywhere for Mac is a phishing detection and scanning solution created exclusively for Macs.
- Phishing detection is excellent.
- Virus scanning that is quick
- During online searches, harmful links are labeled.
- Limited testing data
Webroot is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, and has offices throughout the world, including Japan, Europe, Australia, and California. The company was established in 1997, and its first antivirus product was released in 2006. The company was purchased by OpenText in 2019.
Webroot SecureAnywhere for Mac is the finest antivirus protection for Mac machines in our opinion. While most viruses are designed to infect Windows machines, Macs are vulnerable to other malware, ransomware, phishing attempts, and even Apple-specific viruses.
This software has a little footprint on your computer’s operating system, but it does lightning-fast security assessments and is one of the best at detecting phishing. When you install Webroot, you can provide an email address to get warnings about new dangers. Webroot’s UI is more similar across platforms than other antivirus software for individuals who use both Windows and Mac. The biggest distinction is that Webroot for Mac does not come with a firewall.
SecureAnywhere products from Webroot include antivirus (Mac/PC), Internet security (for mobile devices and Mac/PC), and Internet comprehensive, which includes backup storage.
Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus is now on sale for $29.99 for a year, although the regular price is $39.99. This pricing is for a single device. A 70-day money-back guarantee is included.
McAfee Antivirus Plus
McAfee Antivirus Plus is our best pick for multiple devices since its subscriptions provide affordable protection for all of your devices.
- Protects all devices, including Android and iOS devices.
- Malware detection that is effective
- a strong firewall
- Price includes a number of extra features.
- Apple goods have less features.
McAfee Antivirus Plus is the only antivirus solution that identifies the expanding number of devices in a single household, which may comprise four or more operating systems. While the security and functionality for Windows and Android are superior, the protection is still enough for all devices, removing the need for families to acquire multiple antivirus memberships.
The base package includes support, safe web browsing, and antivirus for up to ten devices. The MTP 10 Device plan covers 10 devices for a year and includes features including comprehensive home network protection, a password manager, encrypted storage, and identity theft protection. One-year subscriptions with unlimited device protection are also available.
The basic one-year subscription is $24.99 the first year and then $79.99 per year after that. The MTP 10 Family plan costs $34.99 for the first year and $119.99 every year after that. The first year of unlimited device protection is $69.99, after which it costs $159.99. One to five VPN licenses are included in each plan. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security is our top recommendation for premium options since it includes an aggressive antivirus system at a fair price.
- Reasonably priced
- Dashboard that is simple to utilize
- Secures financial transactions made over the internet
- There are numerous extra features.
- Expensive in terms of resources
- The majority of versions are only compatible with Windows.
Trend Micro was formed in the United States in 1988, but is now based in Tokyo, Japan. The company operates on a global scale and has a slew of IT sector collaborations. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security not only provides an aggressive antivirus system at a reasonable price, but it also includes a number of security tools, such as layered ransomware protections, a firewall booster, and the Pay Guard browser, which offers the safest levels of protection for online banking and purchases.
Trend Micro’s Advanced AI Learning feature is included in every edition of this antivirus software, and it detects new ransomware strains and other emerging threats and stops them before they do damage to the computer network. Only the highest tier of the product family offers password management and protection.
For individuals who don’t want to micromanage their security, this is the antivirus software alternative. This version is exclusively available for Windows, although Trend Micro also sells a Mac version. Mobile operating systems are also supported by the highest tier plan.
Antivirus+ Security costs $29.95 for a year’s membership. A 30-day money-back guarantee is offered by the company.
Malwarebytes, our top pick for malware scanning, is the best at eradicating malware on demand of any supplier.
- Removes malware
- Ransomware is prevented.
- detection in real time
- The free version offers far less protection and functionality.
Malwarebytes is a cybersecurity company based in Santa Clara, California, that focuses on securing personal computers and mobile devices. Malwarebytes’ free edition is limited but effective. It doesn’t have a lot of advanced features or safeguards; all it does is identify and remove malware.
Malwarebytes is a great tool for catching, quarantining, and uninstalling malware that is wreaking havoc on your computer. You can use the free version to run a full or quick scan at any time, and it will provide a report on your system.
Malwarebytes’ commercial version includes 24/7 monitoring, protection against exploits until the software is patched, ransomware blocking, and protection from compromised websites. Antivirus software is available in the premium version. The free version scans for and removes malware on demand, but it should always be used in conjunction with more comprehensive antivirus software.
While the software is accessible for a variety of operating systems, the premium options are only available for Windows. A paid subscription for a year costs $29.99. A 14-day free trial is available, but the free version remains on your computer and can be used whenever you choose.
What Is Antivirus Software and How Does It Work?
Antivirus (AV) software detects, blocks, and removes harmful malware from a computer or a network. AV software is a recommended layer of any cybersecurity system since it is frequently the first line of defense to protect the computer before malicious malware has a chance to dig too deep. It protects a computer or network by preventing the virus or other dangerous code from propagating to other computers or networks.
Is Antivirus Software Really Necessary?
Hackers can exploit your personal information to buy products fraudulently, ruin your credit score, deplete your bank account, and overall cause financial chaos for you and your business. The very least you can do to protect yourself is install antivirus software on your PCs. In a study conducted between November 2019 and May 2020, it was discovered that having antivirus software thwarted up to 95% of threats. 3
Windows continues to fight viruses that exploit operating system flaws, and until those flaws are corrected, antivirus software is the first line of defense. Windows 10 is the first version of the operating system to incorporate its own antivirus software. Microsoft Defender is a decent free solution that provides basic security without requiring consumers to worry about it. However, if you require certain protections, the best alternative is to purchase a paid version that meets your requirements.
However, there is a long-held misunderstanding that Mac and Apple computers are impervious to viruses and other harmful software attacks. That was true two decades ago, but as Apple devices grew in popularity, fraudsters saw an opportunity to create viruses and malware for them. In addition, a rising number of assaults are bypassing the operating system and going straight to apps and web portals, putting any computer system at risk.
Installing anti-malware software, utilizing a VPN, strengthening your password, and setting up two-factor authentication on your devices are all things you should consider doing to protect yourself from hacks.
What Is the Price of Antivirus Software?
While there are free solutions, a premium subscription provides better protection and additional features. Paid versions include VPN, password management, and parental controls, among other things. Depending on the number of licenses, the number of devices you want protected, and the features you want, prices range from $20 to over $100 per year.
Is Antivirus Software Worth the Money?
Free antivirus software has vastly improved over the years, and anyone running Windows 10 already has free antivirus software that performs admirably. Free is good if all you want is software that detects harmful software, prevents it from causing damage, and checks your system.
Paid versions, on the other hand, will include web browsing security, identity protection, VPN services, password managers, and parental control across many devices and OS systems. As more people work remotely or use a single device for business and personal computing, these are becoming more important.
What’s the Difference Between Antivirus and Antimalware Software?
Viruses are created to multiply and propagate, whereas malware refers to any harmful code that is intended to harm a computer or network. Not all malware is a virus, but not all viruses are malware. Signature detections in antivirus software identify threats based on what is previously known in the signature database. This is why antivirus software must be updated on a regular basis.
More advanced malware attacks are detected by antimalware software. The two types of security software complement each other, and some antivirus software includes antimalware, but the two are distinct, and real safety requires protection against both.
How We Selected the Most Effective Antivirus Software
There are a plethora of antivirus software options to choose from. We looked over 20 notable solutions that are frequently regarded as the software of choice by cybersecurity professionals. The ease of use with all providers was key, making it something that any consumer could browse and use.
We then looked into if the company offered anything other than antivirus software. Malware protection, ransomware prevention, and numerous device protections were all incorporated. Those who had a free trial or version were given priority. We placed a premium on platforms that were simple to use and integrate.