The best antivirus for Windows are constantly updated, easily customized, and ready to defend you from the online world. Lesser antivirus fail to do so, are constantly behind, and will surely lead to your device getting infected. If you end up with a weaker antivirus software, you may wake up one day and find your device full of malware and other viruses!
These are just a few reasons that you need an antivirus for Windows program you can trust, and luckily, we’ve put together a list of the most trusted antivirus for windows programs!
The most important security features we always examine:
- Immediate virus scans and device cleanup/optimization
- Real-time defense, and firewall
- Detecting suspicious behavior
- Protection from spyware – possibly with a built in VPN
- Defense against phishing and ransomware
- Wi-Fi inspection
- Protection from keyloggers
For instance, some antivirus software protects against ransomware, while others help speed up your machine. Others make sure to secure your most important data from any suspicious activity.
Best Performer with Reliable protection
Can be resource-hungry
Take a look at any rankings of big independent antivirus and Bit defender’s premium security products always rise to the top.
It tends to be reliable and accurate in its virus detecting, featuring web filtering to block access to malicious sites, a secure browser that keeps your online banking and shopping transactions safe, and there’s a password manager which auto-completes credit card details in web forms. It also scores high for its excellent anti-phishing module, which alerts you about malicious links in your search engine results and blocks access to dangerous sites.
New for the 2019 version of Antivirus Plus are multi-layer ransomware protection that heuristically learns the behaviour of such threats to keep you safe as well as the ability to scan all your linked devices via the Bit defender Central mobile app.
There are one or two issues – it grabs more resources than average, and might conflict with some programs – but Bit defender Antivirus Plus 2019 is still a likeable package which offers excellent detection rates, great performance, and more than enough bonus features to justify the price.
Protection with best PC performance
Blocks even brand new malware
Low impact on system resources
Browser extension extras can be unreliable
Norton AntiVirus Plus is a top quality malware hunter which can automatically protect your PC all on its own.
The newly named product was introduced in the US in late April 2019 as a direct replacement for the old Norton AntiVirus Basic. Unfortunately, the company hasn’t made things easy…the same product is still called Basic in the UK. Although the Plus package has added on a couple of extra functions – more on which further down this article.
Norton offers plenty of tweaks, options and settings for those who need them, as well as features like a handy URL blocker that keeps you away from malicious websites. If that misses something, an excellent file reputation service heuristically recognises suspect downloads immediately. And if malware still finds a way through, intelligent behaviour monitoring uses its up to date virus definitions to quarantine threats at the first sign of trouble.
If you’re a more hands-on type, you can easily run scans on demand. Maybe set up and save custom scans to check just the areas you need. Even schedule them to run at a particular time, but only if your system is idle, and it’s not running on battery power.
So what does Plus do that Basic didn’t? Only a couple of things really: a bonus 2GB cloud backup and a password manager. The big negative is that the price has flown up since the package change came into effect.
The most user Friendly Program
Extremely light on system resources
No testing data from the top labs
Just about every antivirus tool claims to be ‘lightweight’, but Web root Secure Anywhere Anti Virus is the only one to really deliver on this front. Installation takes seconds, the program files barely grab 2MB of your hard drive, RAM footprint is tiny, and there are no bulky signature updates to tie up your bandwidth.
There’s no compromise on features, though. Along with the core protection, there’s smart behaviour monitoring, accurate real-time antiphishing, a firewall and network connection monitor, enhanced anti-ransomware, and other interesting extras.
It’s not easy to compare Web root’s accuracy with the competition, as the big testing labs rarely evaluate the company’s products. But when they are reviewed, they generally score well, and our own tests show solid and reliable protection.
For Experienced User with Expert Level Protection
Device access control
Not for beginners
If you judge antivirus software on the length of its feature list, ESET NOD32 Antivirus might be a disappointment. There’s no firewall, password manager, file shredder, vulnerability scanner or any of the bundled extras you’ll often find elsewhere.
This doesn’t mean the package is short on power, it’s just more focused on the fundamentals. ESET NOD32 Antivirus comes with real-time malware protection, some of the best heuristic detection around, an anti-ransomware layer, exploit protection, URL filtering to block malicious websites, and modules to prevent attacks using PowerShell and malicious scripts.
A Device Control module limits the risk of infection from other devices by controlling access to USB sticks, external hard drives, optical storage media, even devices connecting by Bluetooth and FireWire. It’s an unusual extra, but could make a difference if others are regularly plugging devices into your PC.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus isn’t aimed at beginners. The interface is clumsy sometimes, some features are very advanced, and even the Help isn’t always exactly helpful.
Experienced users will appreciate ESET’s power and configurability, though. Above-average protection does a good job of keeping you safe, and a lightweight design ensures the package won’t slow you down.
One of the new features in the latest update is the UEFI Scanner which protects you from threats that attack your PC before Windows has even started.
ESET Internet Security builds on NOD 32 and triples the number of devices covered plus offers firewall, botnet protection, webcam protection, antispam and more.
Alternatively, you can purchase the ESET Smart Security Premium edition for not much more. It adds all of the above as well as password management and secure data.
Solid security for beginners and experts alike
One of the best performing security packages
Supremely easy to use
Kaspersky’s full suites are better value
Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a stripped-back security package which focuses on the core security essentials: web filtering blocks dangerous URLs, an accurate engine detects and removes threats, smart monitoring technologies track and reverse malicious actions, and that’s about it.
Fortunately, what you do get works well. Very, very well. We’ve consistently found Kaspersky to be amongst the best at blocking malware, and removing it from an infected system, plus it’s regularly top-rated at sites like AV-Comparatives.
The program is easy to use, too. A well-designed interface has just the right number of buttons and options – not too basic, but not complicated or intimidating, either – and there are plenty of on-screen instructions to explain how everything works. Even a beginner will be at home right away.
If you just need accurate, reliable and consistent malware protection, Kaspersky Anti-Virus will serve you well.
A strong contender
Might slow you down
Sightly limiting options
Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security is a very capable package that’s simple to use with above average antispam and an effective ‘Folder Shield’ module to block ransomware. And it seems to get better and better as time goes on.
How good is it exactly? The top testing labs all rate it highly for protection, although there’s some disagreement on the details. In particular, AV-Comparatives says it gives a high number of false positives, which could be a real nuisance. But AV-Test reports high levels of accuracy and no issues with false positives at all.
If there’s a problem here, it’s likely to be performance impact. Pass Mark’s March 2019 Performance report assessed 14 security products on various performance-related benchmarks, and Trend Micro came towards the bottom part of the list.
Our experiences with the product are a little more favourable: protection levels appear similar to Bit defender, false positives are only marginally higher, and it doesn’t slow down our system noticeably more than anything else.
We’d recommend running the trial for its full 30 days before you buy, then, to see if you notice any problems. But if you’re unaffected, its high levels of detection and excellent bonus features make Trend Micro a good choice.
A user-friendly and very well-featured solution
Lots of features
Can cover unlimited devices
Interface won’t be for everybody
Protection test results inconsistent
Real-time malware detection, speedy cloud-based scanning, URL filtering to block malicious websites.Panda Dome Essential antivirus has all the goodies you’d expect from the best antivirus software.
That’s just the start. Panda Dome is jam-packed with added extras that some of the other plans on this list don’t match. From port scanning and ping handling to in-depth process monitoring and an integrated VPN.
When it comes to the main event – virus protection – there’s not a lot of Panda test results from the independent labs around right now, but the figures we’ve seen don’t exactly fill us with confidence as Panda came towards the bottom of the pile according to AV-Comparatives. This doesn’t mean that Panda Dome will put your devices in harm’s way, but you can understand why we’d recommend other providers over it on this basis.
The interface will be a little bit decisive, too. With so many weird and wonderful features included, Panda Dome does a very capable job of making sure that they can all be accessed and you can go as in-depth as you need. But on the other side of the same coin, this might put off users who just want a quiet, simple antivirus package.
One undoubted bonus is the price – Panda Dome Essential is one of the best value programs out there. And you even have the option of paying a little more and upgrading to cover an unlimited number of laptops, phones, tablets and desktops with a single subscription.