Defending your computer from viruses and multiple other types of predatory breaches is simply essential in modern times. Cyberattacks on consumers are on the rise. You need one or more of the best antivirus software programs available to protect all your Wi-Fi or data network-connected devices from online threats. Continue reading to learn how to protect your devices using one or more of these 8 best antivirus software options available today.
The Best Computer Security Protection Programs You Need to Know About Now
While some malware breaches are mild and even undetectable, others are severe. Even severe breaches are sometimes undetectable until it is too late. The best malware protection for Mac and Windows systems helps prevent damage and rid your computer or other applicable devices of threats. The top 10 programs on the market today are:
2. Windows Defender.
4. Norton Antivirus.
5. Kaspersky Antivirus.
7. Avast Antivirus
8. ESET Antivirus.
9. McAfee Antivirus.
10. Sophos Home.
While Bitdefender specializes in protecting against ransomware, it also works well for detecting and protecting against multiple other types of threats. Bitdefender is in fact considered by many experts as the leading ransomware antivirus protection program on the market today.
Tiered programs include Antivirus Plus, Internet Security, and Total Security packages. Bitdefender programs also monitor your online purchases and transactions and assist with password diversification. A free version with limited features is also available for customers looking for additional layers of reliable protection at no cost.
Windows Defender is a free antivirus software, which is included with Microsoft Security Essentials. Windows Defender was ultimately included as a promotional tool combined with a security feature. Many PC users felt better buying a product they knew had built-in virus protection. Defender has been improved by Microsoft over the years. An element of “you get what you pay for” still applies to this program, however. Features are limited and efficacy is not always reliable (at least historically, although recent improvements do help).
The best part of this program is its free availability. Ultimately the fact it is available overall is another benefit. This is because virus detection and device protection are increasingly important in modern times. Kudos to Microsoft for including some type of protection at no charge to its customers and increasing consumer awareness of the necessity to apply viable protection to their data and devices.
The ClamAV program is a downloadable open-source antivirus scanner. ClamAV works with Linux in addition to Mac and Windows systems. Not many competitor programs do, which makes ClamAV an excellent choice for Linux users. While this program is not designed to provide full-service antivirus protection, it is designed to detect malware, viruses, trojans and several other potential threats. ClamAV is also a free antivirus program, which makes it a solid addition and extra layer of protection for compatible systems
Norton offers a variety of device protection programs. Norton LifeLock and antivirus programs are top choices with consumers to keep their systems and personal information free from online threats. The Norton 360 Deluxe program includes no VPN limits, streamlined mobile apps and hosted online data backup storage options.
Limitations include no parental control options for macOS users and limited protection for iOS devices. Online backup features are also only available for Windows users. Still, the Norton 360 Deluxe is available for only $19.99 per year as an introductory offer. The Norton antivirus protection is also backed up by multiple money-back and claims guarantees.
The protection provided by the Kaspersky Anti-Virus platform prioritizes functionality over form. The program is not loaded with a ton of extra features, although the features it does provide are executed at a high level. Recent large and independent lab tests reached conclusions supporting the Kaspersky Anti-Virus program as one of the most efficient protection platforms available. Likely the only con to using this company’s services is the overall limited features. Malwarebytes free protection is also limited but adequate for what it provides.
The Kaspersky Antivirus program costs between only $12 and $35.99 per year (new customer pricing only), however, and includes usable features such as password management, automated Dropbox/local backups and smart parental controls.
Avira supplies a free antivirus option, which is highly popular with consumers today. The Avira Free antivirus program is considered one of, if not the best free antivirus protection program available. Right now, the Avira Pro paid program is on sale for a whopping seventy-eight percent off its normal price of $44.99 per year.
This means if you purchase it now, you will pay only $9.99 for the first year of protection for a highly popular and reliable program. The Avira programs are neither the best nor the worst at providing protection from various online threats. At $9.99 for an entire year, however, you get a nearly-free added layer of protection, while simultaneously testing the program’s ability to protect your devices.
Avast antivirus programs allow a high level of flexibility and customization to your protection configurations. Flexible options include proprietary Wi-Fi Inspector and file shredder programs. The firewall works adequately, and the proprietary Sensitive Data Shield defends sensitive and personal information from more specific threats.
A Real Site DNS hijack-prevention program is also featured. Avast antivirus programs include Avast Premium Security ($59.99 per year) and Avast Ultimate ($99.99 per year). These programs tend to slow down Windows system CPUs, however. On the positive side, up to ten devices are protected at once. A free version is also available for users to test Avast’s features on their systems before buying.
ESET pricing tiers start at $39.99, $49.90, and $59.99 per year for the ESET NOD32, ESET Internet Security and ESET Smart Security Premium programs respectively. All EST programs are highly customizable and barely dent your CPU usage. Features are plentiful and include cloud-powered scanning and proprietary features such as:
- Exploit Blocker.
- Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Scanner.
- Ransomware Shield.
ESET programs cover up to five Windows devices. Because the programs are light on CPUs, they are a solid choice for adding a layer of protection (Mac and Linux are not supported) to your system(s). Functionality is not always reliable, however, and setup for the programs requires overcoming a learning curve. If you are a Windows user with multiple devices looking for an extra layer of highly customizable antivirus protection, the ESET antivirus programs are worth your consideration.
When it comes to software programs designed for antivirus McAfee is a name many consumers know and trust. The McAfee Total Protection Single Device protects one device. The McAfee Total Protection covers multiple devices depending on the tier you purchase. The McAfee firewall is intelligently designed and reliable.
The spam filter and VPN features are also excellent. The VPN service is powered by TunnelBear, which uses standard encryption methods to secure your connections. The McAfee antivirus engine is not as powerful as those offered by some of its top competitors. Up to ten devices are protected at once, however.
Prices are affordable ($39.99 – $49.99 per year). The Total Protection Family plan also includes top-notch parental control options, which is especially useful for households with growing children who spend time online.
Sophos Home is an affordable option to add a reliable layer of protection for multiple devices in your home. Ransomware and general virus protection are reliable, although overall features are somewhat limited. If you have a large family or your household simply has numerous devices to protect, the Sophos Home protects up to ten devices on both Mac and Windows computers (no Linux support).
A free version is available although features are more limited. The paid version (at only $44.99 per year) is a quite affordable bang-per-buck option, especially considering how the price breaks down to $4.50 per year per device (when used to full capacity).