Although surfing the internet and visiting several websites seem to be safe, there are lots of threats nearly every user faces during the process. These threats are composed of various malicious attacks and stealing of user data by spying on all their internet activities. Hackers and unauthorized users that perform the same use various strategies, including:
- Viruses for altering the computers to make damages.
- Adwares in the appearance of advertisements more often and causes an interruption.
- Spywares to check and monitor computing activities in real-time.
- Ransomware for blocking the computer and keeps it unusable until the user pays the ransom.
- Worms exploit vulnerabilities and replicate frequently to spread from one computer to another.
- Phishing for stealing the personal data of users with the help of fake websites.
However, to save users from getting trapped into such issues, a lot of antiviruses are there to run regular scans for all the incoming and outgoing files and data from computing devices that are shared while surfing the websites, via emails, watching videos, or performing any other activity over the internet.
A lot of antivirus software also comes with Virtual Private Networks or VPNs for keeping the identity of the users anonymous while surfing online to protect the personal information from the prying eyes of third parties.
What is Antivirus Software?
Antivirus software is programmed mainly developed for protecting computer devices from malware, viruses, spyware, rootkits, keyloggers, etc. An antivirus software scans detects and removes viruses that can harm files and internal data. Various types of anti-virus programs are available in the market, but their prime objective is to protect computers and remove viruses right after the detection.
These are also tailored with automatic and manual filter options along with the ability to scan the downloaded files from the web instantly. In addition, they also check the discs into the computer and files that come with installers. The scanning process also runs through the entire hard drive on a regular cycle along with checking every single document available on the complete network.
Must-haves for Antivirus Software
1. Malware Protection
Ensure to choose an antivirus software that has robust and reliable malware protection that can provide strong protection against even the most dangerous threats. For example, spyware, rootkits, ransomware, etc. can deal real damage to the computer device.
2. Speed and Efficiency
For an antivirus to provide the best services, it is necessary for the same to adopt a lightweight infrastructure for smooth functioning. This way, it can also run on devices with lesser configurations along with having better compatibility with various operating systems.
Antivirus is a necessity for nearly every person using the internet, which is composed of various amateurs as well. Therefore, it becomes necessary for a good antivirus to have an easy-to-use interface that makes things accessible easily.
4. Good Value
Since purchasing antivirus software is a big investment, users should check the value they’ll get in return. Few crucial features such as web browsing protection, virus detection, and scanning, password managers, data backups, etc should be available.
Best Antivirus Software in 2021
1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
This antivirus is a top preference for users when it comes to entry-level antivirus products. It comes with efficient malware detection, runs a robust yet lightweight system scan and comes with various unique features. It also offers an unlimited password manager along with support for securing Wi-Fi networks to let an individual utilize public wifi securely.
It also provides complete protection against encrypting ransomware’s latest web privacy software and provides strong Internet Security with parental controls, webcam protection, a two-way firewall, etc. Moreover, Bitdefender has an anti-theft feature for preventing devices from getting stolen.
- Bitdefender is a strong antivirus software that comes with a lot of features.
- It is tailored with an unlimited password manager.
- The team continuously works on optimization and improvement and therefore, Bitdefender gets frequent updates.
- Users can adopt the use of VPNs and surf the internet safely.
- It comes with ransomware rollbacks.
- It offers a Wi-Fi scanner for users to use public wifi without exposing the data.
The premium subscription provides complete 360-degree security along with unlimited VPN use up to 200MB per day. Also, you can use the software on 15 devices simultaneously with their family pack.
2. Norton 360 Deluxe
Norton has 9 antivirus products dedicated to various aspects of antivirus needs. All of them offer excellent malware protection along with light system resource requirements. Every product has different features that vary according to the price. However, the most robust one among them is Norton 360 Deluxe.
- Comes with robust malware protection to save users from various threats.
- Offers various features like parental control, data backups and cloud storage, password manager, webcam protection, and unlimited VPN service.
- Provides LifeLock identity protection.
- Keeps with the latest online threats to protect computer devices from the same.
- Has a lightweight infrastructure to run smoothly on devices.
- Its subscription plan is affordable and provides a good value for money spent.
Norton 360 Deluxe comes with various features, such as password manager, VPN services, privacy protection even on the dark web, parental controls, and 50GB cloud storage for data backups. If a user is mainly looking for robust identity protection, they can look for other bundles that come with more privacy and a bigger space for online storage.
3. McAfee Internet Security
McAfee has experienced a lot of modifications and improvements in the past years and offers some of the best features available in the market. It has one of the best password managers along with robust parental controls and other features.
However, you have to get different products for getting different services or features. Although all of its security suites offer identity-protection services, they lack in providing secure browser and webcam protection to the users.
- Protects every PC with a personal firewall to provide a defense against hackers.
- Blocks all the spam and the threats associated with them by analyzing junk mails and phishing attacks in the inbox.
- Allows users to never lose their data by providing online backups to save the important files that can be accessed from anywhere.
- Its QuickClean feature removes all the unnecessary files and data delivering better performance.
- Users are allowed to set up scans in a timely manner.
- Runs real-time scanning for detecting the threats on spot and removing all the harm.
Its premium suite offers an unlimited VPN service with no strings attached, which is an amazing feature for all hardcore PC gamers.
Kaspersky is best-suited for users who are mainly looking for antivirus instead of a complete security suite. The best in such software is that they come at affordable prices along with various lesser but powerful features and an easy-to-use interface.
Instead of offering various peripheral features, this antivirus focuses on providing strong malware prevention and detection that efficiently blocks malicious URLs through web filtering, removes threats, and runs smart monitoring for detecting threats in early stages.
- Secures online transactions.
- Saves the personal information of users from getting exposed to third-parties.
- It blocks advertisements and comes with webcam protection.
- Monitors all the applications running in the operating system.
- Compatible to work on all the popular OSs, such as Windows and macOS. Also available on Android devices.
- Comes with a stalkerware protection feature along with a robust password manager and parental controls.
Moreover, Kaspersky offers an anti-phishing feature as well that detects all the risky websites that are intended to steal user data. Its Rescue Disc feature is extremely efficient in disinfecting the computers that are exposed to lots of malware and also allows users to surf the web more securely and use a virtual keyboard for making secure payments.
This free antivirus comes as a powerful package for users that is composed of a lot of amazing features, such as an unlimited password manager, secure browser surfing, gaming mode, and a Wi-Fi network scanner along with a ransomware shield.
Avast also offers tons of customization options for users to tweak things as per the needs and modify the appearance accordingly. Also, users are empowered to use avast’s VPN service but with a few restrictions.
- It comes with a robust Wi-Fi scanner along with a password manager.
- Allows users to make interactive customizations as per the need.
- Offers CyberCapture feature for capturing suspicious files that may cause harm to the users.
- Provides 360-degree security to all the home networks.
- Runs frequent smart scans along with regular browser cleanups.
- It secures passwords with the help of a password manager.
However, this free antivirus is a bit bulky and runs all the tests and scans for a longer time than usual. Also, users will often get pop-ups and messages for upgrading to the paid subscription.
6. Sophos Home
Sophos Home protects Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android phones from all the cyber threats at extremely low prices. This antivirus provides security against all types of spyware, ransomware, trojans, rootkits, and viruses and is accessible remotely by 10 devices simultaneously.
It comes with a web-filter system and an online management console for managing and modifying various settings. Its minimalistic desktop app allows users to perform a few basic actions along with accessing the online dashboard.
- Comes with robust endpoint protection for users to have an intuitive experience.
- Secures the online shopping and banking process from fraud and phishing.
- Comes with robust web protection and privacy protection.
- Offers ransomware security along with end-to-end encryption of data.
- It is a real-time antivirus for eliminating the threats before they make any loss.
- Enables users to reach out to desk support in case of any issues via email and live chat.
The complete antivirus suite comes with a free trial that users can avail without the requirement of any credit or debit card details. Also, Sophos Home flaunts a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Avira is best known for its lightweight infrastructure that includes a variety of easy-to-use and powerful tools that run on various systems such as Windows, iOS, Androids, and macOS. This antivirus ranks on top of the list of AV-Comparatives charts for high-end threat prevention.
Its scanner utilizes Avira’s Protection Cloud, which is configured by default for using the cloud technology and detecting doubtful files, if any, automatically. Also, the smart scan feature starts working with a single click and efficiently fixes all the privacy issues, removes unwanted data, updates the outdated applications, etc. Following are some of the features of Avira in brief:
- Enables individuals to use VPN for surfing the internet with more privacy with free 100 MB per day.
- Ranked higher among various antivirus tests and works smoothly on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices.
- Regularly runs scans for detecting and removing viruses, spyware, and malware.
- Optimizes and updates the applications of a system along with cleaning the device memory and storage.
- Protects the identity of users by checking the email addresses for any leakage.
- Alerts users from the applications or websites that are requesting sensitive data.
- Its Network Scanner helps users to use public Wi-Fi without risking exposing personal data.
Avira also comes with various handy features, such as anti-ransomware and provides high-end security when a user is making bank transactions or doing online shopping. Therefore, it provides a good return on investment.
It is a safe, secure, and extremely robust antivirus in the market that comes with all the necessary features such as malware scanners and various web security features as well. In addition, it offers data privacy protections that take the privacy of an individual to the next level. It has an easy-to-use and interactive user interface to help users access things easily.
- It offers real-time malware protection for detecting threats before it’s too late.
- Its anti-phishing feature helps users never get into any type of online frauds.
- Comes with a powerful system clean-up to remove unnecessary data and speed up the system’s speed.
- Offers a VPN (Virtual Private Network) for users to surf the web anonymously.
- Comes with amazing features such as a password manager and data breach monitoring.
- Detects and alerts users about any website or app that is asking for crucial information.
This strong anti-malware software comes at a reasonable price and offers a 7-day free trial to every user along with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Therefore, it is the best choice for users who are looking for a simple-to-use antivirus with various good features in parallel.
BullGuard Antivirus emphasizes all the important and quality basic features without offering tons of useless features. It has an amazing interface and design and allows users to perform various activities without leaving this main window.
For example, running a full scan will display the progress bar on the panel and users don’t have to leave the page. It has a gaming mode as well which is currently the best in the market that increases the speed of the game along with removing all of the interruptions.
- It has a real-time malware scanner that catches 100% spyware, ransomware, malware, and rootkits efficiently.
- It enables users to have a personal firewall along with a network scanner for preventing data exposures.
- Comes with a gaming mode for providing various advantages for gamers.
- Its pricing plan is extremely pocket-friendly.
- It detects ransomware quickly before they do any harm.
- Allows users to surf the web browser more securely.
- Empowers users to achieve high-level anonymity with the help of a VPN while using the web.
Bullguard has a network scanner that displays all the devices that are connected to a Wi-Fi network along with associated information for users to check them for security issues. Also, it automatically downloads all the latest and required updates instead of waiting for users to perform the required actions.
10. AVG AntiVirus
AVG is one of the most decent antiviruses that comes with an extremely lightweight build along with robust system performance. It also has a free version that has lesser but useful features as compared to the pro version.
This antivirus has a lot of customization options for users to modify the experience as per their needs along with features like a file shredder and a system optimizer. Its easy-to-use interface allows every person to use the software without any issues.
- Its anti-theft feature prevents devices from getting lost or stolen.
- Comes with webcam protection.
- Increases the computer’s speed and productivity.
- Secures all the emails and blocks all the incoming threats through the email shield.
- Tailored with a smart scanner for detecting threats promptly.
- Offers strong Ransomware protection.
Having the AVG AntiVirus installed on the system ensures businesses have better data security and protection from all malware and hackers. Also, it scans all the web pages before they get opened on the browser, this helps users in staying away from any type of phishing.
Antivirus programs save users from various online threats such as adware, spyware, and viruses. They come with lots of advanced functionalities and features to prevent such issues along with any type of malicious attacks and data exposure to third parties.
Before making any decision, users should check for basic things in any antivirus such as the level of malware protection, speed and efficiency, user-friendliness, and in-built VPN. Along with these basic requirements, users should make decisions according to their needs.