Safeguarding your devices with the best antivirus software is the need of the hour, especially with cyberattacks at an all-time high. Here’s our take on what makes antivirus software worth your money, and some top-rated options for you to choose from.
Out of all the trouble that we collectively as the human race has unleashed out there, is a result of carelessness or greed. You could blame the COVID-19 pandemic on global warming on our interference with the natural order, but computer viruses aren’t an act of God. First created in the 1970s just for kicks and giggles, viruses, worms, malware, and adware have exploded across the world. What was once limited to computers, has now made its way even to mobile devices, with plenty of exploits and vulnerabilities exposed.
A robust security system is necessary to fight against invasions, which is why antivirus software exists in the first place. There’s no denying the fact that cyberattacks are all the rage right now, with more than 4,000 being executed daily. If you’re a Windows 10 user, their basic firewall of Windows Security along with real-time protection is a good start, but it simply isn’t equipped to handle insurgencies from connected mobile devices.
What Makes an Antivirus Software Worth the Money?
Supply comes with a demand, and since billions of users are looking to bolster cybersecurity, there’s no shortage of antivirus software. But the more choices you have, the more complicated it becomes to settle on the best antivirus software out there. A few pointers to keep in mind when reviewing the right antivirus for your personal needs have been listed below:
Light on the System
The way antivirus apps are designed, all you need to do is set it and forget it, while it acts as your silent protector. However, when the system has limited hardware resources, using a process-intensive antivirus even in the background can hamper its functionality.
On older computer machines, installing a mammoth antivirus can cause every other app and process on the system to choke up. We recommend that you invest in an antivirus service that is not only equipped for all-round protection but also light no the system.
High Detection Rate
Like how operating systems are constantly updated to bring optimizations and new features, your antivirus should do the same. At a bare minimum, the malware detection expectancy should be set for 95 percent, while not being laced with false positives.
Independent testing shows that there Norton, Bitdefender, and Kaspersky Lab were some of the renowned names that brought back high malware detection. Apart from premium service providers, the free versions of this antivirus software brought back similar results in virus detection, even if there were additional features offered with it.
Look for Multiplatform Support
We’re no longer limited to just desktop computers and laptops, and neither are adware and viruses. Mobile security is just as important as PC security, and some would argue it is even more crucial since you store direct personal data, financial information, and so much more on your smartphones.
If you are paying a premium for the best antivirus software, getting the bang for your buck with a multi-platform service is the way to go. Sure, it might cost you a bit extra for the complete package, but if you are hot and bothered for complete cybersecurity, keeping the Android phones and tablets secure with quintessential.
5 Best Antivirus Software to Check Out
At the front of the pack is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, which certainly isn’t a stranger to the world of cybersecurity. The antivirus is backed by a solid track record and hundreds of millions of active subscribers in its base, and standing tall in every independent test. With a close to 100% detection rate, it filters out every exploit, vulnerability, and virus in the system. Apart from complete support for zero-day attacks via the internet and emails, you’re safeguarded against spyware, malware, phishing, and untrustworthy websites.
It brings a slew of features such as Privacy Protection to keep your online presence secure, Parental Controls for a moderated device usage, and Password Management to help you securely keep a hold of those account passwords. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus even offers special mobile-centric features such as anti-theft, and a built-in VPN into the mobile app, with a multi-device license to keep all of your computers and mobile phones safe and secure.
This particular pick is brought to you by another veteran of the cybersecurity industry and built on the foundation of the premier Norton Antivirus. Making lofty claims of near 100% detection rate and living up to it too, Norton 360 rides the wave of popularity but is supported by a feature-rich software and user-friendly interface. Rather than hogging on the hardware, Norton 360 allows you to streamline the system with a Startup Manager.
For starters, you’re always at an arms’ length from all sorts of phishing emails, malware, tracking adware, and even unauthorized cookies. Designed to be an all-inclusive service, Norton 360 one of the best antivirus software because you can run it on multiple devices. Available for Android OS and iOS as well, you get features such as a free VPN thrown into the mix, along with 100GB of cloud storage free of cost.
Striking the balance between feature-rich antivirus software and a layman’s software that easy to use on any machine, Kaspersky Total Security stays true to its core competency. Offering real-time protection to stop cyberattacks and threats right in its tracks, Kaspersky comes packed with tweakable scanning options, so you can set and forget scheduled scans, which surprisingly don’t take a ton of processing resources in the background.
Instead of losing focus by diverting resources to add-on features, Kaspersky manages to keep things light and crispy with a simplified UI and minimal process-hogging. Revered for being more affordable than other best antivirus software on the market, Kaspersky does not skim on additional features such as webcam monitoring, safe web browsing tools, and despite the fact that Kaspersky received some flak in the United States a few years ago, it continues to be a trusted name across the world.
Bagging the AV-TEST Best Protection award back in 2018, F-Secure SAFE has a reputation that precedes its name among consumers. Staying true to its core, the antivirus is built from the ground up with extensive ransomware, spyware, adware, and trojan protection. Bolstered with safe web browsing and banking protection to keep your online transactions as tight as it can be, F-Secure SAFE is built around the end-consumer.
An antivirus service that is built for families, you enjoy a diverse Parental Control feature that eliminates inappropriate content. Thanks to splendid mobile support across iOS and Android, you can also control the screen time for younger users, while offering next-level features of Wi-Fi protection, VPN service, and a password manager, all backed by a no questions asked money-back guarantee.
A living proof that you don’t need a decade-old presence in the world of cybersecurity to make a name for yourself, Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security is a simple solution against complex threats. The buttery smooth user interface is what draws you in, but the minimal load on the system processes and deep customizations are drawn you in.
An affordable price is supported by a limited range of add-on features, which manages to keep your web browsing and mobile experience secure. Attributes such as webcam protection, dark web monitoring, a built-in VPN service, and password manager helps it stay in the competition with the big guns in the game.
Apart from the premium best antivirus services you can find online, there are a handful of reliable free ones too. Bitdefender and Kaspersky are the top free choices too, and in all honestly, Microsoft’s very own Windows Defender Antivirus does a pretty decent job of keeping your Windows 10 computer safeguarded against malware, offers real-time online and offline security, but there is no built-in VPN, mobile support, or password manager like the premium names in the business.
Which of these top antivirus services will find a permanent home on your computer or smartphone? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments section below.