With the exponential rise in the number of cyberattacks, antivirus programs have become as crucial as the PC’s operating system. Cybercriminals are constantly posing a threat to your personal information and are looking for ways to dent your privacy.
Even if you are practicing extreme caution, there is a chance of malware attacks that cannot be prevented without the help of antivirus software.
Antivirus software is designed to scan and remove infected files, viruses, and malicious software like worms, ransomware, trojans, and more.
Why do you need protection software?
Recent surveys and data show a dramatic rise in cyberattacks in the past few months. Even reputed organizations like the WHO has reported a fivefold increase in cyberattacks since the start of the pandemic. With over 60,000 new malware pieces created every day, an unprotected system gets infected within no time after it is connected to the internet.
You may know how to code or reset your network settings, but the technical knowledge is still insufficient to protect your data and PC. You will need to be aware of VPN, protection software, and antivirus programs to secure your system against viruses, malware, and online attacks.
However, picking the best AV software can be tricky because of the number of options available on the market. There are thousands of antivirus programs, and they all claim to be the best. But which one should you choose?
To lend a helping hand to non-commercial users, we have reviewed dozens of antivirus programs and come up with some great choices in this guide.
The resource contains five pieces of protection software along with their features, prices, and other details. So, you can be sure that the recommendations in this blog can be trusted as the best solutions to protect your PC and other devices.
List of Top 5 Virus Protection Software
1. Microsoft Defender
The Microsoft Defender, also called Windows Defender, does an excellent job at securing your PC against viruses, malware, and online attacks. It is an antivirus solution and internet security program that comes pre-installed on all PCs using Windows 10.
As a built-in solution, Microsoft Defender should be a starting point for all non-commercial users since it is free and provides all the basic protection. After using the product, most Windows users will find that they do not need a paid program to protect their systems.
Some of the key features of Microsoft Defender include:
- Virus and threat protection
- Account protection
- Firewall and network protection
- Parental control options
- App and browser control
- Device health and performance
Microsoft Defender is enabled by default if no other antivirus is available on the system. Users can administer the product in the Update & Security menu in system Settings.
2. Norton antivirus
The Norton antivirus solution is among the best when it comes to system protection. With its intuitive UI and rich features, Norton antivirus meets all your security needs, whether you are working on the web or offline.
The software is equipped with anti-phishing technology and is capable of tracking user behavior and detecting both known and new threats. Basic security features of Norton’s antivirus software include:
- Cloud backup
- Device security
- Secure Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
- Password manager
- Parental control option
The antivirus program currently comes in four different categories, each priced differently. Here is an overview of the four categories:
- The Antivirus Plus provides all the online security protection to one PC or Mac at $39.99 per year.
- Norton 360 Standard can support up to 3 PCs, Macs, or mobile devices and is priced at $49.99 per year. It provides 10 GB of cloud backup and additional security measures.
- The 360 Deluxe provides 50 GB of cloud backup, parental control, and online security and comes at a yearly subscription price of $59.99. It can support up to 5 Macs, PCs, or mobile devices.
- Norton 360 with LifeLock Select, provides 100 GB of cloud backup, credit monitoring, and LifeLock ID alerts, among other benefits. It can be used on up to 20 Macs, PCs, and mobile devices for a subscription price of $99.99 per year.
Overall, the Norton antivirus is an all-in-one package and provides good security for the money.
Looking for Antivirus Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best antivirus software.
3. Avast antivirus
The Avast antivirus is a popular security suite that provides excellent protection against all kinds of viruses, malware, spyware, adware, and more.
The antivirus suite includes an active spam filter, a robust firewall, and a host of other features. Avast has a free and premium version of the product with cross-platform protection. The premium product is priced at $55.99 per year and includes the following features:
- Ransomware protection
- Spam filter
- Android security
- AntiTrack premium (for an additional $1.49 per month)
- Password manager
4. Kaspersky Total Security
Kaspersky Total Security is a security suite that provides complete protection for Windows, Mac, and mobile devices. The product is available in two categories:
- Personal edition: available at $89.99/year for three licenses
- Family edition: available at $149.99/year with protection for up to 20 devices
Kaspersky Total Security provides robust parental control, password manager, and backup software, among other features.
It also features webcam protection, a secure web browser, and two-factor authentication for online accounts. It can encrypt, backup, and shred files as well as protect against ransomware attacks. Other features include:
- Kaspersky VPN
- Data encryption
- Protection for kids
- App Lock
- Call filter
- Anti-theft option
- Password manager
5. AVG Antivirus Software
AVG antivirus is a renowned protection program, with more than 200 million users. It uses the same technology as Avast programs but with additional benefits and a unique UI design.
The free version of the software provides basic protection against viruses and offers performance checks and security updates. However, you’ll need premium software to access more useful tools such as enhanced firewalls, webcam protection, and e-commerce web protection.
The premium AVG Internet Security is currently available at $55.99 for one device with a money-back guarantee. It offers the following features:
- Web and email protection
- Payments protection
- Hacker attack protection
- Android security
- File Shredder
In addition to your system protection, AVG software can also be customized in the way it works. This makes it superior and easy-to-use, in comparison to its rival Avast free antivirus.
Essentials of Online Security
Having antivirus on the lookout for your online and offline safety is a great thing. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t ensure 100% protection against all possible threats. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have had so many hacker attacks over the last few years.
Your online security also depends a lot on your own actions. Knowledge plays a big part too. It’s important to be able to detect malware, spot phishing email scams, and avoid situations that could compromise your personal data.
Here are three essentials you need to know:
1) Keep all devices up-to-date
The thing is that, with every software update, you get new security advancements, which also play a crucial role in protecting you online. For instance, the latest Windows update brought in security features for Windows Apps, Authentication, and User Account Control. So, if you’re using Windows, make sure this update is installed.
2) Apply two-factor authentication wherever you can
Two-factor authentication helps you control all log-ins to your software and devices and protects the private data they contain. Usually, you need to add your phone number to receive phone calls or messages with security codes to confirm a log-in.
3) Avoid unsecured Wi-Fis
If you work remotely, you probably love spending work hours in a cafe near your house. But be careful – your productive workday can turn into a nightmare if you connect to a public Wi-Fi that could compromise your safety. It’s always better to have a secured connection.
Wrapping it up
Microsoft Defender is a great product for basic protection. It includes a decent firewall and secures your system against viruses. However, it does not protect against other cyberattacks like phishing and ransomware. To enjoy protection, try the antivirus software mentioned in this blog and see which one works best for you.