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However, none of Trend Micro’s programs include a two-way firewall or webcam protection, which are standard with other brands’ midrange offerings. Nor does the premium product have the cloud storage or backup software that some of the best antivirus brands like to add as enticements to their flagship packages.

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It’s also perfect if you need to protect the computer of an elderly relative but don’t have time to manage antivirus software from afar. If you want features such as an unlimited password manager or a hardened web browser, then Avast Free Antivirus might be for you.

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Avast’s Premium Security adds a hefty load of features on top of the firm’s famous free antivirus offering. That includes – but isn’t limited to – an effective Ransomware Shield, very thorough anti-phishing protection, a secure browser, password manager, file shredder, and even a Wi-Fi Inspector to look for vulnerabilities on your network. You may be more familiar with names such as Norton, McAfee and AVG – but at the moment, we think Bitdefender is the best antivirus available after its superb performance in our testing. It combines watertight security tools with an array of other excellent security features.

It’s also super easy to use and, best of all, offers extremely good value for money. Antivirus software has been an online security staple for years now. And with phishing scams, hacks and malware numbers growing by the day, it’s as important as ever to make sure that your PC or laptop is protected by the best antivirus possible. At the top are the premium "security suites," which toss in all the extra security tools an antivirus brand can offer, such as password managers, VPN client software, backup software, online storage and even identity-protection services. Many antivirus products are sold online for much less than their list prices.

  • The global pandemic has only heightened this need further, with bad actors trying to take advantage of more and more people working away from the office and home schooling.
  • Avira’s antivirus solutions have a great detection engine but the suites offer the most value.
  • Windows Defender is a powerful and reliable antivirus program native to Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10.
  • These antivirus solutions provide a great deal of functionality while being laudably lightweight.

But each brand offers basic, midrange and premium configurations of features and pricing, with every step up adding more features. Malwarebytes Free, formerly called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, is not antivirus software. It’s the best free antivirus software if you want a security solution that you can set up and then forget about.

Antivirus makers normally offer multiple paid Windows products with identical malware protection but different numbers of extra features that get added as the retail price goes up. Paid antivirus suites offer you a plethora of features that often go far beyond basic malware protection. We test, evaluate, and compare the latest antivirus software to find the best protection for your device.

Unlike some of the other best antivirus software makers, Norton doesn’t offer a file shredder, file encryption or secure web browser with any of its products. Yet every other digital-protection service you could possibly ask for is included with at least some of its bundles. It also offers the most value, with an unlimited password manager, a secure browser, a Wi-Fi network scanner, a file shredder, protection against encrypting ransomware and Bitdefender’s new web-privacy software. The premium antivirus suite, Kaspersky Total Security, adds backup software, file encryption, a file shredder and an unlimited password manager.

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But its malware protection isn’t as good as the previous three, and its performance impact is heavier. Defender is still fairly short on features compared to paid antivirus programs, or even a few free ones, but its malware-detection rates beat those of many paid brands. You’d either have to tolerate a lot of ads or allow your programy dawnload personal data to be collected to get malware defenses that nonetheless fell short of the best paid programs.