Windows is the most targeted operating system mostly because it exists forever and is widely used. The popularity of this OS is the main reason why hackers focus on creating malware for it. It is much easier to attack devices running on Windows because there are a lot of them.
That’s why avoiding potentially dangerous websites is not enough if you use this OS. You need the best antivirus software for Windows PC if you want security for your data. Remember, that a virus can not only corrupt your files but give a hacker access to personal information like passwords and credit card details as well. So, you need always need to install one of our top.
1. TotalAV – Best security for Windows
We don't like:
This antivirus software will provide you with lots of features like VPN, ad blocking, and many others. Still, it lacks the main feature – reliable protection from viruses and ransomware protection.
As TotalAV review shows, the app doesn’t recognize quite a lot of malicious files as malware. So we wouldn’t say that this software will protect you from viruses and ransomware. It offers pretty good protection from phishing. But still, it’s not enough.
The software has a System Boost section where you can find features that allow you to set up some settings. You can manage the list of programs that are running on the startup, uninstall programs and manage cookies and history of your browser. It is nice, but it can be done with built-in Windows tools. And you can always delete cookies and history in settings of your browser.
Another feature, Disc Cleaner, will scan your PC for trash and delete it. Again, there are programs like CCleaner that can do it. As for extra-cost features, TotalAV offers good ransomware protection, malware protection, VPN, password manager, ad block, and Identity Protection.
The pricing is as follows (save up to $90 for the first year of subscription):
- Ultimate Antivirus Protection – $59.95 for the 1st year;
- Antivirus Pro – $39.95 for the 1st year;
- Essential Antivirus – $19.95 for the 1st year.
2. McAfee – Best for Overall Antivirus Protection
We don't like:
As one of the oldest and most reliable antivirus brands, McAfee Total Protection is making it into international top-5 lists. The intuitive interface, customer-oriented support, and, of course, impressive lab test results turn it into a sure pick. Thorough virus removal, industry-leading ransomware protection, and anti-phishing protection turn it into an even more attractive antivirus solution.
McAfee isn’t particularly cheap, especially if you go for multiple device protection. Furthermore, while it’s not at all demanding when working in the background, during a scan. It has quite a high system impact. On the bright side, the software is available for all the four major platforms (Win, Mac, Android, and iOS), offers a personal firewall, parental controls, and more.
In the past, McAfee used to be one of the least consistent products on the market. But that’s not the case anymore. It was confirmed by steady results in independent lab tests. Summing up, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use, reliable, and well-respected antivirus solution, McAfee Total Protection might be precisely what you need. Along with Kaspersky antivirus, Bitdefender antivirus, and Norton Security antivirus, it is among the biggest names in the industry.
Currently, McAfee offers to protect up to 10 devices for a special price $44.99/year. It will save you $50 and allow to keep your PC, Mac, iPhone or any Android device protected. Here are the available packages and their prices:
- McAfee Total Protection: $34.99/year;
- McAfee LiveSafe: $114.99.
3. Bitdefender Antivirus: Best for basic phishing protection
We don't like:
This antivirus provider is constantly hitting perfect or almost perfect scores during tests. Bitdefender Antivirus offers its users a wide range of instruments leaving most other providers behind. And in the new edition, the provider implemented even more enhancements.
Bitdefender Antivirus has a truly impressive list of features. It protects users from malware, ransomware, and phishing. The Network Threat Protection component will guard the network and keep an eye on the most vulnerable applications. The TrafficLight feature will show you which websites are safe and which are not when you’re using search systems. Also, Bitdefender antivirus has good ransomware protection and malware protection.
Thanks to the Advanced Threat Defense, Bitdefender will perform the scanning for viruses based on their behavior. Also, the software has a password manager that will protect your passwords, personal data and credit card details. And the Safepay feature will secure the connection when you’re buying things online.
To ensure you have as many layers of protection as possible, this provider offers you a VPN as a separate program, on top of the antivirus software. The list of features Bitdefender Antivirus has is almost endless. Users can study them all once they install the software.
A number of packages are currently available with 56% discount:
- Antivirus Plus – $29.99/year;
- Internet Security – $34.99/year;
- Total Security – $39.99/year.
4. Norton Security – The Best Antivirus Software in Terms of Flexibility
We don't like:
Friendly, intuitive, easy to download-install, and secure against modern-day threats – that’s Norton in a nutshell. It provides a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. Norton is excellent apps for the most popular platforms, and has a very low impact. The core antivirus engine has always been this software’s strongest suit. Over the years, the team has perfected it with constant updates.
Plus, it is configurable, and you can “fine-tune” it to your liking. While the regular users will be more than o.k. with the default settings, the advanced users will definitely appreciate this. Parental controls are another standout feature of the Norton Security anti virus protection. As for the cons, while both the quick and the fast scans are thorough, they also take a long time to complete.
Finally, the majority of the features is rather basic and won’t be of much help to you. File storage, backup, webcam protection, and Power Eraser are some of the most useful available tools. The verdict: with Norton Security, you can rest assured that your device will be well-protected against all known threats.
Let’s take a look at the Norton Security packages with current discounts:
- Norton 360 Standard: $39.99/year;
- Norton 360 Deluxe: $49.99/year;
- Norton 360 With LifeLock Select: $89.99;
- Norton 360 With LifeLock Ultimate Plus: $259.99.
5. Avast: Best for Those Who Love Free Stuff
We don't like:
This is one of the few antivirus providers that offer software for free and don’t limit its possibilities. You can install a free version of Avast and enjoy solid protection without paying any money.
The software has a simple and intuitive interface that is really easy to work with. If you want to have an occasional scan, just hit Run Smart Scan – a big green button on the home screen of Avast. The antivirus will go through your files quickly and make no impact on the performance.
This antivirus runs in Passive Mode by default. To decrease the number of conflicts, it doesn’t run a real-time scan and doesn’t perform actions until there is a need. Avast uses this tactic because a native Windows Defender monitors the system. So there is no need to create an additional load for the system.
Avast will protect you from malware, ransomware, and phishing, protect your hard drive. It will scan your network and find vulnerabilities, it has really perfect ransomware protection and malware protection. It will help you manage your passwords and protect them. If you allow it, the antivirus software will even install an extension in your Chrome or Firefox to protect you from malicious sites.
With the paid versions you will get additional tools. Internet Security comes with Real Site, Sandbox, and Anti-Spam features. A firewall is also included in the deal. Premier adds webcam protection and a file shredder to the deal. With Avast Ultimate you get a bundle of antivirus software, a cleanup tool, advanced password manager and a VPN.
Currently, you can get Avast Internet Security with a special 20% discount paying $47.99 instead of $59.99.
6. Kaspersky Antivirus: Best for Reliable Protection of Home PC
We don't like:
This is one of the oldest and most reliable antiviruses. Everyone knows Kaspersky Antivirus (check out our review), many of us used it. But unlike many old players, this provider gets better over time.
The interface of this software is simple and intuitive. Main features – scanning, database update, reports, and on-screen keyboard – are placed on the left as buttons. Clicking on the Scan button, you can choose whether you want to run a quick or a full scan. Here you can specify areas of scanning as well. Also, you can schedule scans, so that they run automatically.
With an on-screen keyboard, you can protect your passwords and data from being stolen. It’s impossible to record anything that is typed if you use this keyboard. Another useful feature is the Vulnerability Scan. It searches for security patches that are missing, wrong system settings, etc. When issues are detected, you can tell the program to fix them.
Additional features are fairly useless. Privacy Cleaner and Kaspersky Rescue Disk can be replaced with any other tool. Browser Configuration Wizard works only with Internet Explorer. And the Windows Troubleshooting Wizard is hard to test, so we couldn’t prove its usefulness.
The cost of the Kaspersky Antivirus starts from $29.99 per year for one device with 50% off. You can choose the number of devices, and for how many years you need your license, and the price will go up accordingly.
- Kaspersky Anti-Virus – $29.99/year;
- Kaspersky Internet Security – $39.99/year;
- Kaspersky Total Security – $49.99/year.
7. ESET – The Best Lightweight Antivirus with Automatic Scanning
We don't like:
ESET might not be as popular as the leading antivirus products, but it have a lot to offer. First of all, it is lightweight and can work flawlessly even on older desktop and mobile devices. Secondly, the 100% free SMS (Social Media Scanning) tool is an excellent feature and serves as an extra layer of defense.
The Linux users will also be happy to learn that ESET fully supports this OS and the team regularly releases new updates for it. The most significant downside of this software is the limited list of extra features (especially compared to the likes of Kaspersky and Bitdefender). You won’t get a VPN, Tune-up tools, or optimization for your Smartphone, but there are a firewall and parental controls.
Furthermore, while most products are cheaper when you buy protection for several connections, the ESET multi-device packages are unreasonably expensive. Malware protection isn’t perfect, but well above average. There’s no free version available, but, the entry-level package is relatively affordable.
With ESET, you can choose one of the following packages:
- ESET NOD32 Antivirus Protection: $39.99;
- ESET Internet Security: $49.99;
- ESET Smart Security Premium: $59.99.
2-year subscription comes with 25% discount, for instance, to protect 1 PC will cost you $79.99 instead of $99.98.
8. ScanGuard: Best for Those Who Value Privacy
We don't like:
ScanGuard focuses not just on the protection from viruses, ransomware protection and malware protection, but on the privacy of the user as well. With a quite reliable VPN service and additional firewalls, you will be perfectly safe.
It is a new provider, so no serious tests were held yet. However, users claim that ScanGuard can defeat even the most dangerous and strong viruses without overloading the system. And scans don’t impact the performance of the device which is rare. So even though we have no lab results to prove the reliability of this anti virus protection, satisfied users are the best proof.
With the simple and easy to use interface this new antivirus software will quickly make its way to the top. ScanGuard comes in three packages. The 1st one – Essential Antivirus – provides the user with the protection from malware, ransomware, and phishing. It also has features for the optimization of PC, remote firewall protection, VPN and much more.
The second package – ScanGuard Pro Antivirus – will protect up to three devices. Additionally to the basic set of tools, it has the Safe Password Vault feature. And the last package – Ultimate Antivirus – is packed with premium opportunities. In addition to the features of both previous packages, this one supports five devices and gives you priority customer support that is available at any moment.
There are 3 packages to choose from, and the pricing is as follows (you can save up to $90 as a new subscriber):
- Scanguard Essential Antivirus Protection – $24.95 for the 1st year;
- Scanguard Pro Antivirus Protection – $39.95 for the 1st year;
- Scanguard Ultimate Antivirus Protection – $59.95 for the 1st year.
Do you need an antivirus for Windows 10?
Windows always was a piece of cake for hackers because of the popularity of this OS. It is easy to target a large audience if you choose the most widely-used operating system as a medium. And even though Microsoft works hard on improving the safety of Windows, this OS remains vulnerable. However, it should be said that the security in Windows 10 is much better than the level of protection Windows XP had.
To keep your system protected, you have to update the antivirus database regularly. And, thus, you have to update the whole system. We all know how annoying and time-consuming this process is. That’s why we try to avoid it. But if you want to be safe, you have to go through it once in a while. Also check our top of best internet security suites.
So it is still crucial to have an virus protection on your PC, even if you use the latest update of Windows 10. Think about this – Microsoft works on various things improving its OS. Developers improve the performance, make the system more suitable for new apps and, of course, update the database of malware. That’s a lot of work.
Antivirus providers focus solely on protecting their users from attacks. So they, no doubt, give more time and efforts to it. Therefore, they can offer much more reliable security suites.
Which Antivirus software is best for Windows 10?
To pick the best antivirus for Windows 10, you have to understand what you are looking for. Here are several criteria that should define your choice:
- Full coverage. The antivirus software has to protect you from all kinds of malware that exist at the moment.
- The antivirus program has to have a minor impact on the performance of your system possible. If it slows down the computer – it’s not a good option for you.
- Some providers have higher rates, others – lower. Understand your budget and consider only options that fit it.
- User experience. It is important that you don’t struggle setting up the software and interacting with it.
- Look for reviews of the antivirus software you’re going to buy. See if in real life it is as good as the provider describes it.
Now, when you know how to choose the optimal antivirus for Windows, we can get to reviewing the most popular and reliable providers.
What about free Windows Defender alternative?
Windows Defender is not as unreliable as most people think. It existed since Vista and used to show little to no success. Lab tests of Windows Defender have shown very poor results – only 60-70% rate.
However, today best free antivirus software shows much better results than Windows Defender – 99.1%. It is not perfect. Windows Defender score is lower than most antiviruses mentioned above. But it protects your PC, and it is already installed and enabled. You don’t have to learn how to work with it as well as install anything. The Defender doesn’t take much place, doesn’t conflict with other apps and needs little resources.
Of course, there are issues. The protection is not perfect (especially ransomware protection and malware protection), but again – it is free. On the one hand, a good free Avast antivirus protection is also always here for us. But, on the other – if you have Windows 10 you don’t need to worry about protection a lot.
Top 10 Best Antivirus Software for Windows 10: Video Reviews
Nowadays antivirus protection is vital. It is one of the apps you simply can’t ignore. Malefactors are constantly working on new malware and other ways to get what they want. So you can’t just hope your PC will be fine. Especially if you use Windows OS. Sure, other operating systems are far from safe as well. But as we told earlier, since this system is so popular, it is a favorite target of hackers.
The good antivirus protection doesn’t cost that much for you to neglect it. Trust us, you will spend more money trying to resurrect the data damaged by a virus. And you are lucky if only some data will be the victim of malware. If hackers steal your sensitive information – credit card details, for example – you will lose much more. So just get one of the antivirus products especially including the fact that there are free options (best free antivirus software here).
Also, along with antivirus products, you will get some additional useful tools. And it is always nice to have instruments that help you get the most of your PC. So spending money on the protection of your device, you will have a full set of various features as a huge bonus: malware protection, spyware protection, VPN, phishing protection and etc.
To choose the best option for your needs first define your requirements and understand your budget. Then you will have to check the top antivirus review with a guideline that will help you pick the right solution that fits your needs and doesn’t leave you with an empty wallet.