Safeguarding electronic devices from cyber threats is an important step everyone needs to take. Before you start surfing online, install antivirus software to protect yourself and your sensitive data from malware, hackers, cybercriminals and all the latest online threats.
The tech marketplace has an ample supply of different antivirus software programs, which makes choosing a trustworthy option trickier than downloading the first one you find. No need to sweat the hard stuff — we’ve rounded up some of the best antivirus software programs based on cost, benefits, features and reviews.
Important Things You Should Know About Using This Software:
Whether you have a Mac or Windows computer, a tablet or a smartphone, you need antivirus software for it. Even the most updated systems can be breached, so it’s best to keep your laptop, computer or mobile device safe.
According to digital security firm Norton, "Antivirus software isn’t just for computers that are attacked from the Internet. Viruses can be spread via portable storage drives." For instance, malware can spread to your computer if it’s connected to an infected device at a library or school. Antivirus software works by warning users about these detected threats in files.
You can buy physical products in stores or download digital versions in the comfort of your home. There are also high-quality free versions available, but they may not be as efficient for your needs. So, let’s shop for the right antivirus software for your situation.
Best Antivirus Software for the Price: Webroot Internet Security Complete With Antivirus Protection
If you plan on securing your Windows, Mac and Android devices, consider using the latest version of Webroot Internet Security Complete With Antivirus Protection, which offers comprehensive internet security protection from malware and viruses. It includes 25 GB of online storage and a System Optimizer to ensure your devices run better each time you use them. With many positive reviews, this antivirus software is a must-have at a budget-friendly price.
Best for Newcomers: McAfee AntiVirus Plus
Are you in search of simple device-protection software? McAfee AntiVirus Plus offers award-winning protection for online and cross-device data. Follow the procedures to easily download and install the software using the 25-digit activation code sent directly to your email address. The majority of users love how this antivirus software works on PCs, Macs and mobile devices.
Best for Identity Theft Protection: Norton 360 LifeLock Select
NORTON 360 LifeLock Select should be at the top of your list when it comes to identity theft protection. Compatible with PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones, this software sends alerts about possible threats to your identity. The best part is that Identity Restoration Specialists are ready to help you with problems if anything suspicious happens. The software even tracks when someone is answering your security questions for company verification or when a business with your data experiences a security breach.
Best for Public Wi-Fi Users: Kaspersky Internet Security 2020
Using public Wi-Fi can lead to costly and dangerous intrusions from hackers and webcam spies. A strong program like Kaspersky Internet Security prevents those types of cyberattacks and so much more. You can surf and socialize freely, knowing that your communication and data are protected with the help of premium, cloud-assisted features to block threats. This antivirus software sends alerts to your PC, Mac or smartphone when the Wi-Fi you’re using is compromised.
Best Free Antivirus Software: Malwarebytes Premium Security
A free antivirus program should protect your device from malware without reducing the efficiency of your system’s performance, but that can be a tall order in the realm of free software. Malwarebytes Premium Security antivirus software is the best example of a program that pulls this off. This application offers free malware and spyware removal, but if you want real-time protection from adware, ransomware and phishing scams, you’ll need to purchase the premium package. Extra bonus: It’s also easy to install and use on both PCs and Macs.
Best Parental Control Features: Norton 360 Deluxe
With the increase of cyberattacks and prevalence of harmful content on websites, safeguarding your kids should be at the top of your internet security goals. Install Norton 360 Deluxe to ensure your children are safe from cyberattacks at all times. The software’s Smart Firewall helps safeguard your kids from oversharing information like passwords and files. Buyers appreciate the outstanding features it offers and the ease of use on Macs, PCs and smartphones.
Best Privacy Protection Antivirus Software: McAfee Total Protection
In today’s world of growing online security threats, it’s hard to maintain privacy when surfing the web. McAfee Total Protection aims to break this trend — and the corresponding fear — with features like a personal, customized firewall and sophisticated filters. The antivirus software blocks dubious incoming internet traffic that could potentially steal your data while also monitoring all the information shared on the network. Buyers rate this software highly, calling out features like the SiteAdvisor, True Key, mobile app and anti-spam protection as big positives. If you’re considering this antivirus software, it works on Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS operating systems.
Best Antivirus Software for Older Computers: Kaspersky Internet Security 2015
If you’re in search of an older version of a premium antivirus software program, take a look at Kaspersky Internet Security 2015. It still offers real-time internet protection, a two-way firewall, anti-banner protection and technical support. This program is still one of the best with advanced protections like parental-control and anti-spam features. On the negative side, this antivirus software is only compatible with Windows operating systems.
Best Overall: Avast Ultimate 2020
With antivirus software like Avast Ultimate 2020, threats like malware and malicious websites will be things of the past. The software is compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS and Android systems. Different options are available at different price points, including one year of protection for 10 devices. Bundled protection for multiple devices usually comes with a substantial discount. Using an activation code, you can set up your software immediately after purchase. Customers praise its advanced tune up tool, automatic cleanup and quality performance.