Choosing The Best Option
What goes into being the best, you may ask. The criteria we've looked at include:
What is the best antivirus software?
Not all antivirus software is created equally. We’ve scoured the web and evaluated the top 10 antivirus platforms online based on what matters most – their value to customers. We analyzed antivirus software based on the protection they provide, ease of use, cost after discount, customer satisfaction, reputation, and more to create our antivirus ratings.
Across the board, the best-rated antivirus software came from household names including McAfee, Norton, Webroot, and Bitdefender. We stand by all the products we feature in our antivirus reviews, but finding the best anti-virus software depends on your needs.
To determine the best antivirus software for your needs, consider the number and type of devices you want to cover, your budget, and how you behave online. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when finding computer virus protection software to fit your needs:
Are you inundated by email? Consider a program like Trend Micro, Bullguard, or ESET with advanced spam filters. Spend a lot of time on social media? Anti-phishing may be your priority. Downloading free music, apps, games, and other files? You’ll want an internet security program like Norton with a 100% virus removal guarantee in case you download a malicious file. Work with sensitive data? Kaspersky provides up-to-the-minute protection against spyware while McAfee allows you to delete sensitive files permanently. Do you need antivirus for Windows, Mac, Android, or an iPhone? Make sure to get the coverage that covers all your devices.
Ask yourself what you need then consult our expert antivirus reviews to compare McAfee vs Norton, Webroot, ESET, and more. We’ve tested and reviewed the best antivirus software so you don’t have to.
Do I really need antivirus software?
Cybercrime is big business. There are over 1.5 million annual cyber attacks – 3 every minute. Criminals use increasingly advanced techniques to implement malware, phishing, scams, and other schemes to steal money and personal information – to the tune of $400 billion annually according to internet security experts at McAfee. In fact, cybercrime affects upwards of 17% of the online population, whereas physical crime rates are below 5%.
Save yourself the cost of dealing with a digital attack before it costs you big. For a low annual cost, you can get complete antivirus protection from trusted companies with decades of experience keeping customers safe online. With prices under $20 a year, how can you afford not having antivirus software?
Is free antivirus software good enough?
Even the best free antivirus software falls short compared to paid protection. Though you can get a free antivirus download from trusted companies including AVG – they do not provide the same level of real-time protection and malware removal as the best antivirus software.
Most free antivirus software, like the ESET Online Scanner, use state-of-the-art technology to scan your computer and detect any malicious files or vulnerabilities. They even provide instructions on how to eliminate threats. This process, however, can be difficult and there are plenty of other things that can go wrong putting you at even greater risk. Paid antivirus programs make it easy by automatically detecting and eliminating threats that could put your identity, files, and money at risk.
Wickfire earns commissions from Norton LifeLock from buying links on this page.
We recommend that you skip the free virus protection and get antivirus software that makes keeping your computer safe easy. Compare the 10 best antivirus programs and get protected today!
Trusting our top pick
Navigating the many choices for every consumer purchase can be challenging. Our team spends hours doing research, combing through forums, and reading consumer reviews on even the most basic of household items, and we summarize that information in clear, precise comparisons.
Join the millions that have trusted BuyersGuide.org to help them make smarter buying decisions. We help our readers spend their money wisely and find the right product to suit their specific needs. Our independent expert reviews and data-driven shopping recommendations empower you find the antivirus software that's right for you.
What sets us apart?
We leverage user data to understand decision-making and put the best products in front of each user. We tailor our comparisons to what matters to our user's needs, specific or broad. We keep our content up to date, we are constantly looking for new merchants and products to compare, and we are quick to remove any that are outdated or no longer meeting our standards. Our rankings change day-to-day based on our proprietary algorithms, that crunch data to identify top-performing products and tailor recommendations to exactly what our readers are looking for.
Have a question or want to make a recommendation? We love to hear from our readers and are always looking for new products to include on our site. Get in touch!