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What's the Best Antivirus/Anti-Malware Software?

Posted on by Dawna M. Roberts in SafetyMarch 01, 2021
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antivirus software 

These days it’s not safe to keep a mobile device, computer, or anything connected to the internet without antivirus/anti-malware installed on it. Hackers are everywhere, and your best defense is common sense and protecting your online life 24/7 using antivirus software. Here are the best antivirus solutions for you.

Why Use Antivirus/Anti-Malware Software?

Whenever you go online to visit your favorite websites, shop, or log onto your bank to make a deposit, you are at risk. Cybercriminals infect legitimate websites and use other tactics to trick you into downloading malicious files, viruses, Trojans, and malware. If you fall for one of their ruses, you could end up with a big problem on your hands.

Not only will your device not work correctly, its performance may drastically be affected, but the hacker could also take over your computer or cell phone, spy on you, capture login details, or steal information for identity theft or fraud. The dangers of getting caught by any type of virus or malware are huge.

One of the worst types of malware on the market today is ransomware. That is when criminals infect your device, encrypt your data (locking you out of your own files) and then demand a ransom to return control back to you. If you don’t pay, they may post your private and sensitive information online as punishment.

That is why it is critically important to have all your devices protected by good, strong antivirus/anti-malware software.

Read on to learn about the best antivirus products you can use for free or buy today. 

Best Free Antivirus/Anti-Malware to Use

Tech companies routinely give the nod to the Microsoft Defender program built into the Windows 10 operating system. It has a password manager included, blocks you from visiting websites with malicious infections, and warns you before you click any potentially dangerous links in email. It comes preloaded with all copies of Windows 10, but if you install another paid antivirus program, it automatically disables itself to avoid any conflicts.

Best Paid Antivirus Solutions

Most antivirus solutions are going to be paid versions where you may pay as little as $30/year or as much as $150/year. Some of the absolute best options you can find out there to protect all your devices are:

  • Kaspersky Total Security - Experts agree that Kaspersky Total Security is one of the best antivirus software solutions out there. It works on Mac, Windows, and mobile operating systems and has one of the best malware-detection features around. It even keeps you safe against ransomware, which is a big bonus.
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus - Bitdefender also volleys for first place with a suite of tools that rivals all other options. Not only does it include enhanced ransomware detection, security for online transactions, and it even has a built-in VPN. Its price point at $40 also won’t break the bank. Bitdefender is all about security; you can’t go wrong with this one. 

anti-malware software

  • Norton 360 Deluxe - Independent testing labs love Norton 360 Deluxe because it has earned a reputation over many years as the go-to solution for antivirus. Along with protecting all your devices, Norton 360 Deluxe also offers a VPN, 100GB of backup storage, parental controls, and a password manager. However, Norton comes with a hefty price tag of $150/year. 
  • McAfee Internet Security - The price of a subscription for McAfee ($30) will protect all your devices from viruses and malware. It works on macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS platforms. It also prevents you from visiting malicious websites, has a built-in firewall and ransomware protection. 
  • Trend Micro Maximum Security - Trend Micro Maximum Security is for budget-conscious individuals and small businesses who want reliable protection against various online threats. It also helps you avoid phishing attacks and protects your online payment transactions. You can get a subscription for less than $30.
  • Eset NOD32 Antivirus - Another heavy hitter with the test labs is Eset NOD32 Antivirus. Eset is excellent for small businesses and individuals who want to take control of their online security. Eset is vigilant about online threats, works on all devices, and aggressively monitors for intrusions. It’s a bit more expensive than some but not as pricey as others. You can purchase a subscription for just under $60.
  • Malwarebytes Premium - Another top-rated contender in our lineup is Malwarebytes Premium that uses behavior-based detection to find and stop those sophisticated attacks before they affect your devices. It includes ransomware protection, antivirus, and exploit-blocking features for just under $40 a year.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of the protection you choose, you should at least have something running on all your devices to protect your online presence. These threats not only cause nuisance, but they can also result in identity theft, fraud, and other consequences that are avoidable. Review the list above to find the product that fits your budget and your needs. 

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