Do you feel safe?
What if I tell you someone can be spying through your webcam as you read this article?
What if I tell you your personal data is on the black market at this very moment?
What if I tell you every day there are 3.4 billion suspicious emails waiting to hit your mailbox?
Do you STILL feel safe?
Cybercrime is set to become a $6 trillion problem. To survive it, you’ll need the best antivirus software you can get.
And TechJury is here to help.
I tested 10 of the best antivirus programs on Earth to give you the ultimate protection list.
How do I know these antivirus brands are the best?
Apart from skimming through market shares, expert opinions, and user feedback, I examined each product’s capabilities. This is the methodology I used:
- I install the software on a malware-free laptop
- I bombard it with dangerous URLs and files
- I test its customer support
- I examine its user interface and impact on system performance
You can see the detailed methodology below. Here is a case study with the test results.
Why You Should Buy Antivirus Software in 2019
There were times when computer viruses acted like normal viruses. They spread through devices, modifying system files, deleting data, and causing crashes.
The solution was simple. All the user had to do was install an antivirus software. That was enough to prevent infection or at least minimize the damage.
Those times are gone.
It’s 2019 and viruses have evolved into thousands of malware families. You’ve got ransomware, cryptominers, spyware, rootkits, adware… you get the idea.
Apart from that, you have phishing, identity theft, botnets, spam, etc. The list just keeps on and on. Anyone in the cybersecurity field will tell you the same.
Cybercrime has become a multi-billion industry.
Read the last sentence again.
Computer viruses used to be about causing damage. Now, it’s about money.
And when there’s money involved, cybercriminals will not hesitate to use their entire arsenal to attack their victim. This means you.
It is not a question of if, but when you’re going to be on the receiving end of an attack.
It is inevitable, and you need computer virus protection. This is where your antivirus comes into play.
But not just any antivirus. An old-school antivirus cannot protect you anymore. Nowadays, you need software that can shield you from various online threats.
It should be able to:
- Guard you against malware in real-time
- Block dangerous websites, links, and downloads
- Protect you from phishing emails and spam
- Look after your kids’ activity online
- Keep your data safe
- Secure your financial transactions
- Protect against ransomware
Our Top Picks
These brands came up on top of our list:
- Trend Micro
Most vendors offer an antivirus, which is your basic protection tool.
Then they add more features to it and it becomes an internet protection product.
Then they add even more features, and it becomes their “complete” (total, ultimate, and so on) pack.
TechJury’s list of best antiviruses contains internet security products, as well as complete packs.
That may seem like comparing apples to pears. After all, you should compare products that do the same thing, right?
A complete pack is more expensive than an internet security pack, but that doesn’t mean it has more value for the user. It’s not about how much you pay, it’s about what you get for your money.
How to Choose the Best Antivirus
Let’s get something straight. There is no 100% cybercrime-proof solution on the market. There never will be.
Malware is evolving fast. Cybercriminals are finding new ways to slip malicious code into the target device.
There are, however, a few things you should have in mind when you choose antivirus software.
High malware protection and phishing detection rate
Make sure the product you’re buying can recognize malware. Anything with malware detection rate above 99% can be considered higher than the industry average.
But how do you find out an antivirus’ malware detection rate? You can always check an independent research lab’s test results of the product. That’s what I did, and you can find all the results in the detailed reviews.
A good antivirus will effectively block phishing websites. Hackers spit out thousands of phishing pages every day, so the antivirus must know how to detect them.
Easy to Use
An antivirus shouldn’t baffle you. Some vendors go to extremes with adding menus, buttons, and ticks: enough to completely confuse the user.
A simple, clean interface with an easy to understand menu items is a must. What’s the point of having a full-featured cybersecurity solution, if you can’t easily find its settings?
Test the Virus Protection Before You Spend Money on It
Most antivirus vendors offer free trial versions of their products. You can download the trial version and test them before you make the final decision.
Most trial versions have a free 30-day period. It should be more than enough to get to know the product. After all, you don’t want to end up paying for something that doesn’t suit your needs.
Another option is to download a free product like Avast or AMG. If you like what you see, you can then upgrade to a premium version with more features and enhanced protection.
And if you don’t, you can simply keep the free product for as long as you like.
How I Sift Through All Products to Find the Best Antivirus
- I do some initial research to indicate how long the software product has been on the market. I take a look at the system requirements needed to run the product.
- I install the software on a clean Lenovo ThinkPad T440 laptop with Intel Core i5-4300U 2.50 GHz, 8GB RAM, and 500 HDD with 50 GB of data on it.
- I examine the product’s scanning speed, so I can see if it slows down the device’s performance.
- I test the product’s real-time protection capabilities.
- I take a look at the user interface to see how easy it is to use the product.
- I evaluate the vendor’s customer support.
Antivirus comparisons are useless unless there’s a valid methodology involved. This is how we do it in TechJury!
Price and System Requirements
Price is an important factor when deciding on а security product. We evaluate the price by comparing it to other products with similar functionality. A high price can be a turn-off, even if the software does a great job.
We also explore the minimum requirements for the tested product to run. If it needs a lot of resources to function, it makes it unsuitable for older machines. Unfortunately, not all users can afford the latest, most powerful PCs.
The best antivirus software needs to protect from viruses as well as all kinds of other online threats – like ransomware, phishing, cryptojacking, etc. Whenever a software product has a lot of functions, it also needs top-notch navigation. Otherwise, things will get messy.
We work our way around the menus, checking how intuitive the user interface is. Are the menus organized in a logical and easy-to-understand pattern? Are most functions a couple of clicks away from the user? The answers determine our evaluation of a product’s UI.
The best malware protection can be resource-consuming. This, in turn, can slow down the computer or cause other problems.
We try to see how much time it takes for an antivirus to complete a full scan and how it affects overall system performance. We perform a full scan, while at the same time we use the test laptop in a matter most users would: playing music, browsing the web, etc.
Detecting threats in real-time is a vital characteristic of the best antivirus products. We test our picks in a couple of ways.
We open the latest phishing samples on phishtank.com to see how many of them the antivirus will detect.
If the product has parental controls, we test it by trying to open websites with adult content, violence, drugs, gambling, etc.
To improve the evaluation, we use the EICAR test file. It is a harmless virus and a standardized tool for checking if an antivirus software is properly configured to recognize malware.
Finally, we look up each product’s latest test results from AV-Test. This is an Austrian independent research institute, specialized in antivirus testing.
A perfect antivirus will have an AV-Test score of at least 5.5 (out of 6.0 possible) and malware detection success rate not lower than 99%.
We take into account these scores when we choose our picks.
No antivirus solution is complete without excellent customer support.
Cybersecurity is still uncharted territory for most users. A sloppy customer support service can turn even the best cybersecurity solution into a useless piece of code.
First, we test the solution’s customer care service by checking its knowledge database. Then we look at how easy it is to contact a customer care agent. Is there a live chat or a customer care phone line? How easy is it to find the contact form? If contacting an agent takes too long or if the agent is unresponsive, rude, or unwilling to help, it rings an alarm.
The Top 10 Best Antivirus
What is the best antivirus, you ask? Here are our top picks.
Bitdefender Total Security has a great balance between speed, functionality, and ease of use. It is a replete security pack that will protect you from most cyber threats out there.
It thoroughly scans your disk for viruses and other malware, while also providing real-time protection from incoming online threats.
Bitdefender scored a perfect 10 in our phishing webpage detection test. It has ransomware protection to keep away malicious code from encrypting your files. This makes it one of the best internet security suites I’ve seen.
If you shop or do a lot of banking on your device, you have another reason to use Bitdefender. Its secured browser Safepay is designed to shield your connection so no data will get stolen.
Scared of keylogging? No need to worry. Safepay can protect you from keyloggers.
There are a few other tools in Bitdefender that make it so valuable to home users.
One of them is the antitheft tool, which is not available in the Bitdefender free version.
This tool provides an easy way to localize your device in case it gets lost or stolen. Should someone try to use the machine, its webcam will take pictures and send them back to you. Not only will you know where your device is, you’ll also see how the person who has it looks like!
If you have children, you’ll appreciate Bitdefender’s parental control feature. By creating a profile for your children, you can monitor their activity online, restrict their access to the web, or block content you don’t want them to view.
Not only that, but you can browse anonymously with a VPN for free. That way you hide your traffic and protect your privacy online. The only downside is the free version of the VPN service has a daily limit of 200 MB traffic.
It sucks, I know, but it’s still something.
Bitdefender Total Security costs $44.99 for a 1-year license and up to 5 devices. This is an introductory price, which means you’ll have to pay more when you renew your license.
But you get the benefit of a multi-device product (you can use it on Windows, iOS, Android), and you can pay upfront for 3 years, which will save you some money.
That’s more than enough to turn Bitdefender into one of the best antimalware deals you can get.
- Great balance between features and performance
- Excellent customer support
You remember that old saying “Never bring a knife to a gunfight?” Well, it’s the same with cybersecurity.
Nowadays, hackers use nasty malware, and the only way to protect yourself from it is to have a fully-packed antivirus with the best internet security possible.
The guys from Kaspersky Lab have put a lot of effort to give you just that.
Kaspersky Total Protection is a combination of a hardcore scanning tool and a nearly impenetrable malware shield.
When I say hardcore, I mean it. Kaspersky goes deep looking for all kinds of threats hiding in your system. During tests, it had the longest-running scans among all antivirus products examined.
Kaspersky has powerful malware protection and results from independent research lab AV-Test prove it. The suite scores the highest possible result for real-time protection, with a detection rate of 100% for both zero-day malware attacks and widespread malicious code.
Apart from that, Kaspersky offers everything you could expect from a home cybersecurity product. It comes with tightened privacy protection, including prevention of unauthorized access to your webcam, and private browsing.
Your online payments are safe because of the built-in secure browser. It fends off phishing attacks, traffic sniffing, and keylogging; thus making sure hackers don’t compromise your transactions.
TechJury’s antivirus reviews focus on privacy just as much as malware detection. Kaspersky supports privacy with a password manager. It’s a great tool that keeps all your passwords in one place and protected. That way you don’t have to remember them all, and you know no one is going to steal them.
Kaspersky’s parental control tool is also worth mentioning as it was flawless during TechJury’s tests. Kaspersky Total Security is the only product in our Top 10 list to score a perfect 10 for parental control.
There is even an encryption tool. It locks the data on your disk with a password. When data is encrypted, no one but you can see the contents of the files on the disk.
This feature is super valuable if someone gets their hands on your device.
The AV-Test antivirus test assigned a flawless 6.0 score and a 100% success rate in detecting real-time threats. How awesome is that?
With a price tag of $44.99, Kaspersky Total Security comes with a 50% discount for the first year. For that money, you can protect up to 5 devices, which is a bargain for sure.
- A great all-in-one home cybersecurity solution
- Powerful scanning and malware protection
If you don’t like wasting time with technical details, Trend Micro Internet Security might be just what you need.
This security suite has all the necessary features, but at the same time working with it is very easy. You don’t need to spend hours browsing through settings and options. Navigation is simple, so you can click a few buttons and let the software do its magic.
Trend Micro scored 10/10 for detecting phishing pages during our tests. AV-Test assigned a perfect 6.0 score to the product for real-time protection.
These are the best scores possible for one of the best antivirus products there is.
If that doesn’t convince you, perhaps a quick look at Trend Micro’s features will.
Not a lot of people think about their privacy online, so Trend Micro takes care of it instead. The suite’s browser toolbar protects your data when you are surfing online.
When it comes to privacy, nothing is less private than social networks. Trend Micro’s toolbar shows you how much information about you is being shared through social media.
Do advertisers know what websites you’ve visited? Do they know your sexual orientation? The toolbar gives you information about what’s happening.
The best cybersecurity solution should have the best ransomware protection. So is the case with Trend Micro. Its Folder Shield tool protects certain folders from ransomware attacks.
Ransomware usually strikes folders that are known to contain valuable data: for example, the Documents and the Pictures folders. The antiransomware tool blocks any attempt by an unauthorized program to change the files in those folders.
Trend Micro costs just $29.95 for the first year, making it the cheapest premium product on our list. But be warned, the price more than doubles after the first year.
Still, it’s a great option to consider as your antivirus product of choice.
Oh, and if you’re looking for free virus protection, Trend Micro has a free version as well. (Even though it’s quite bare-bones compared to the premium one.)
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Excellent threat detection results
Norton is one of the oldest and best-known cybersecurity products on the market. It’s no surprise, then, that the Norton 360 Deluxe pack is one of the most complete and powerful solutions out there.
It has its smart firewall that monitors both the incoming and outgoing traffic, looking for suspicious behavior. This easily makes it the best firewall for home internet security among our picks.
And what about scanning? Norton has a handful of scan types, giving you enough information about your system. If waiting for a full scan eats too much of your time, you can also only scan certain folders.
Speaking about waiting, Norton’s full scan of the system took just 15 minutes during our tests. No other product on the list was so fast in performing a thorough scan.
Using its LifeLock technology, Norton can check if sensitive data like your passwords or bank account details have leaked somewhere on the dark web. The Dark Web Monitoring feature probes the dark web and notifies you every time it finds data that matches your private information.
Your Norton antivirus subscription comes with 50 GB of cloud storage. You can use it to backup data from your device. That way you won’t lose precious data if your disk fails or gets infected with ransomware.
Whatever you put in the cloud is encrypted. No one, not even Symantec employees, will be able to see the contents of your backup. This kind of compensates for the lack of an encryption tool in Norton.
A 1-year license costs $59.99 for the first year, which puts Norton in the mid-range in terms of pricing. You can also pay $9.99 for a monthly subscription.
Norton is one of the few best Windows antivirus products that have neither a free version nor a trial. However, the vendor does have a 60-day money-back guarantee. It gives you plenty of time to test the program and ask for a refund if you’re not happy with it.
- An all-in-one cybersecurity solution
- Checks for data leaks on the dark web
Webroot is a cloud-based cybersecurity solution. Normally, an antivirus stores its database of known threats on the user’s device. Whenever the program detects suspicious code, it checks it with the database. If it finds a match, the antivirus blocks the code.
With Webroot, that database is located in the cloud, making it a lightning-fast internet security solution. You’ll need just 15 MB of disk space to install it, and scanning only takes seconds, making it the best malware scanner in terms of speed.
The suite’s Webshield is responsible for detecting phishing and all sorts of online threats. TechJury’s tests assigned a 9/10 score for recognizing phishing pages, which is quite good, albeit not perfect.
Webroot has a decent firewall, but it only monitors outgoing traffic. For incoming traffic, you’ll have to rely on Microsoft Defender. This is not a problem; it just comes to show that Webroot’s firewall is not a complete solution.
Webroot has some disadvantages. For example, it lacks some goodies like parental controls or VPN.
There is a password manager, but it’s LastPass and not a standalone product.
For an introductory price of $44.99, Webroot is still a top antivirus in 2019, especially if you want a light and fast product. While not the typical complete, feature-loaded security pack, it does a great job protecting you from cyber threats.
- Very light, doesn’t have an impact on system performance
- Fast scanning
Perhaps it has happened to you too.
You buy an antivirus only to realize you have to install additional software. Why? Because the product you just bought doesn’t have a particular functionality.
This can be annoying.
But with ESET Internet Security, the chances of this happening are pretty small. TechJury put it in its best PC security software list because it has a huge set of tools to keep you safe from malware, phishing, spying, spam, and so on.
ESET has a good scanning capacity, letting you search for malware not just on the hard disk but also in the UEFI (BIOS’s successor).
That, combined with many layers of protection such as real-time file system protection, cloud-based protection, and Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS), creates a strong shield for your devices.
With ESET, you can create system reports to see if there are problems that need to be taken care of. ESET’s SysInspector will notify you for software issues, hardware incompatibility, outdated drivers, or an unpatched OS.
You can also monitor your entire Wi-Fi network for unauthorized devices.
ESET is much more than just a virus detector. If your device is stolen or lost, the software will localize it. And if someone is using it, you will see snapshots of their face from the webcam.
ESET did great on TechJury’s phishing pages detection test, although parental controls testing showed some room for improvement. But, hey, nobody’s perfect.
ESET costs $49.99, which is more than reasonable for all the tools you get with the suite.
- Fully-packed with tools
- Includes antitheft feature
Avast is best known as a free antivirus, but the premium products have great value as well.
In the case of Avast Premier, there’s plenty of tools included in the suite to give you a fantastic level of security.
Avast Premier uses a behavior shield to monitor for a suspicious file. Every time it detects dangerous behavior, the shield blocks the file to prevent possible infection.
Avast protects your files from ransomware, and it also has a mail filter to keep your mailbox safe from dangerous attachments. By the way, those are available in the free version too, which explains why Avast is considered one of the best free security software products out there.
The suite was impeccable during TechJury’s phishing test, scoring 10/10. On the other hand, AV-Test’s real-time protection testing returned a score of 5.5 out of 6.0, mainly because of misses in zero-day attack detection.
Even though it is a home user product, Avast Premier doesn’t include parental controls. There’s no adequate way of restricting unsafe content, although you can block websites and URLs containing certain words.
In 2019, every top antivirus software should have such a tool.
On the other hand, Avast has a Wi-Fi inspector that monitors your network and lists all devices connected to it. This is useful for catching your nosy neighbors while they hook up to your Wi-Fi. But what’s more important, this tool will warn you if hackers are connecting to your network to exploit it.
The Software Updater is another great feature. It checks for outdated software on your device and updates it. Outdated software has vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
Unfortunately, most users don’t have time for updates, which leaves them vulnerable to hacker attacks. The Software Updater takes care of this by automatically updating every piece of outdated software.
Being one of the most popular antivirus brands, Avast costs $69.99/year, but keep in mind there are certain features that require additional payment. For example, you’ll need to pay an extra $1.89/month, if you want to use SecureLine VPN, Avast’s VPN service.
For an extra $15/year you’ll get Premium Cleanup, Avast’s tool for detecting junk files on your device.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Great set of real-time protection layers
Malwarebytes Premium is your virus protection of choice if you’re looking for a light and fast cybersecurity solution.
One thing you shouldn’t do is expect a ton of features with Malwarebytes. It lacks some useful tools like parental controls and data encryption.
Which doesn’t mean it’s not worth the money. Malwarebytes goes easy on your system, and scanning is ultra-fast. A hyper scan, which is Malwarebytes’ equivalent of a fast scan, took just 15 seconds during our tests.
An enhanced custom scan with this antivirus software took considerably longer – almost 80 minutes. But it’s worth the wait since the tool scans the entire machine for rootkits: one of the most sophisticated tools in hackers’ arsenal.
Malwarebytes monitors every internet address you try to open. When the address is listed as suspicious, the program will block access to it. This is part of Malwarebytes’ Web shield, which also protects you from threats like phishing or dangerous downloads.
What about exploits, the little pieces of code that take advantage of security holes in your system? The best antimalware products can deal with those – is Malwarebytes in the same league?
Yes, it is. It monitors every application that you start on your device. If the app acts suspiciously, the exploit filter will block it.
A 1-year Malwarebytes license sells for $39.99, but you can save some money getting a 2-year license instead. That way the annual fee falls to $34.99.
- A light and fast security solution
- Many protective layers, including for rootkit protection
Like its bigger brother Avast (both brands are properties of Czech company Avast), AVG is best known as one of the best free antivirus products on the market.
However, the free product is a trimmed version of AVG Internet Security, a premium solution that costs $79.99 per year.
What do you get for that money? A powerful antivirus with a simple interface and lots of added benefits.
AVG did a splendid job during our scanning test. It was able to perform a deep system scan in 17 minutes, which is relatively fast. A quick scan took just a minute. The free antivirus version of AVG works just as fast.
The program scored a flawless 10 in our phishing pages detection test. What I like about this security suite is that it offered to perform a system scan every time it detected a phishing page. Some extra caution is always welcome!
AVG has a tool called Fake Website Shields that protects you from DNS hijacking. This is a type of scam that redirects you from a legit website to a fake one, to steal your credentials.
Although not common, this type of scam is very dangerous because it is hard to spot. But AVG makes it easier to notice fake websites, which is why this product offers so much more than plain virus protection.
In contrast, AVG’s test results from research lab AV-Test are not so good. The antivirus suite has a 98.6% success rate in detecting zero-day malware attacks, web, and email threats. This is lower than the industry average (99.3%).
Despite those numbers, AVG is a solid security solution. I recommend it because of its intuitive design, great scanning speed, and the extra layers of real-time protection, namely web, email, ransomware, and payment protection.
- Straightforward, easy-to-use interface
- Various layers of protection
If you’ve been looking for an antivirus for PC, McAfee is a name you’ve probably heard. You may know nothing about the antivirus, but you might have heard about John McAfee.
The software’s larger-than-life creator is currently running for president while hiding from the IRS for tax evasion, and is also suspected of murder.
McAfee is almost as impressive as its creator’s life story. It is an excellent internet security suite with an emphasis on privacy.
McAfee showed some remarkable results during TechJury’s tests. It got 9/10 for detecting phishing pages, and 8/10 for parental controls.
The suite holds a perfect 6.0 grade from AV-Test for real-time protection. It scores a 100% success rate both for detecting zero-day attacks and widespread malware.
These scores place it as a top antivirus in 2019.
McAfee has some great tools to keep your data private, like a file shredder to permanently destroy files you don’t need.
Simply deleting the files doesn’t remove them from the hard disk. With the shredder, you can scramble the data so no one will be able to read it.
And what if you don’t want to delete your data, but just want to hide it from others?
Encryption is a feature not supported by all antiviruses on the list, and it should be. It is one of the few ways to keep your private data truly private.
Enter МcAfee’s encryption tool File Lock. It encrypts data into password-protected vaults, so only you can view the content.
McAfee’s license is cross-platform, which makes it a great antivirus for Mac. The complementary price for the first year is $44.99 and you can use it on an unlimited number of devices (even though it says it’s for 10 devices only).
Oh, and there’s the famous McAfee virus protection pledge that promises to give you a refund if the software encounters a threat neither it, nor a McAfee expert can take care of.
If this sounds like your deal, check out McAfee’s detailed review.
- Fast scanning
- Good customer support
It’s not easy to choose AV software.
There’s plenty to pick from, but not all products are the same.
In the age of hyperconnectivity, you need a solution that will protect you from thousands of different threats. The more protective technologies it uses, the better.
At the same time, it should be light enough not to slow down your device.
Finally, you don’t want to buy an overpriced product that doesn’t do you any good. That’s like purchasing a TV set with 700 channels only to use it for watching Netflix.
As cybercrime evolves into a global multi-trillion economy, it will be the best antivirus product that will keep you safe.
So choose wisely, and choose today.
Q: Which is the best antivirus for Windows 10?
A: It’s hard to give a definitive answer to that question. It all depends on your goals. An SUV has great value in the mountains or on the highway, but it’s not very convenient to park in crowded city areas.
Each one of our picks for the best antivirus list is fully compatible with Windows 10. You can read the detailed reviews and decide which product suits you best.
Do I still need antivirus software with Windows 10?
Windows 10 is pretty secure. It has Windows Defender, which does a decent job detecting malware.
However, Defender is not perfect. An antivirus product adds more security to your devices and home network. So yes, it is a good idea to use antivirus for Windows 10.
With that said, finding a good antivirus for Windows can be time-consuming. Luckily for you, TechJury has done its homework and is giving you the ultimate antivirus software list!
Which is the best antivirus?
Again, it’s very hard to point out a single product as being “the best”. Each antivirus has comparative advantages, and there are too many factors involved such as speed, scanning technology, malware detection, feature set, etc.
Is PC Matic any good?
Most PC Matic reviews focus on the software’s different approach in detecting threats.
Usually, an antivirus will have a database of blacklisted files, URLs, links, etc.
Unfortunately, malware evolves so fast these days that it is hard to keep those databases up-to-date.
Instead, PC Matic has a database with whitelisted programs and files. If a piece of code is not whitelisted, PC Matic will block it, making it harder for malware to penetrate the antivirus’s protection.
To sum it up, PC Matic is a great antivirus for Windows.