Best Antivirus Software For Staying Protected Online

Cybercriminals are constantly releasing new threats, and without the right antivirus software, your computer can become infected.

Luckily, there are plenty of good options out there that can protect your computer, your mobile device and your entire family from malware, ransomware, phishing attacks and more. These products offer reliable threat protection, frequent updates and good customer support.

I- Avira

Avira offers a free antivirus product that works well and passes third-party lab tests. It also has a few premium features that might be worth looking into, such as a VPN service and a system optimizer.

Avira’s antivirus protection is backed by an excellent real-time scanner, which can catch malware in the blink of an eye. It also includes heuristic monitoring to examine code for signs of an infection.

In our latest AV-Comparatives test, Avira earned three Advanced+ ratings. Those results compare well with competitors like Kaspersky and Bitdefender.

Its heuristic malware detection is fast, lightweight, and effective at blocking viruses, ransomware, spyware, and rootkits. It also comes with a free “rescue disk” that you can boot your PC into to sanitize it from any threats.

Avira’s phishing protection is pretty good, too. It scored a 97% detection rate against verified frauds on both Windows and macOS.

The software uploads suspicious files to its labs for analysis, and it adds the findings to its malware-signature updates that go out to 400 million users every day. You can opt out of this data collection, but you’ll need to email the company to do so.

Another important feature is Avira’s built-in file shredder, which can overwrite files several times to prevent forensic recovery by hardware or software. It’s not as powerful as competitors, but it still does a fine job of ensuring your data stays safe.

Avira’s free version also offers a password manager, a secure web browser extension, and the Avira Phantom VPN service. All of these are trialware, but you can upgrade to a paid plan for the password manager, unlimited VPN use, and a system optimizer.

II- Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is a robust antivirus program that protects you against malware, ransomware, spyware, and other malicious software. It can also scan files for security issues and block suspicious websites. The program comes with a number of features that make it easy to use and manage.

Unlike many other antivirus programs, Malwarebytes offers a free trial period that allows you to test the product’s functionality without spending anything upfront. However, once that trial expires, it will revert to its free plan and all real-time security features are disabled.

The premium version of Malwarebytes is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. It includes a Threat Scan that can detect existing malware and malware-infected files, plus it offers an advanced tool for removing and blocking ransomware.

In my testing, I was impressed by the malware detection rate. During the first 24 hours of testing, Malwarebytes detected 99.1% of new threats that I spotted online. That’s a much higher detection rate than the industry average, which is 97%.

For extra protection, Malwarebytes includes a ransomware scanner that identifies new ransomware infections in real-time. It also blocks suspicious apps and websites, and lets you run a privacy audit to find out which third-party services are monitoring your calls or tracking your location.

While Malwarebytes isn’t quite as good at malware protection as some of the best antivirus programs, it’s worth a try for those looking for simple yet effective protection against viruses. Its 14-day free trial and 60-day money back guarantee will give you a chance to test out the product’s capabilities before making your purchase decision. If you decide to cancel, it’s easy to do so.

III- Kaspersky

Kaspersky offers the best antivirus software for staying protected online, and its products are a good option for both personal and business users. Its security features include anti-virus, phishing protection, parental controls, a password manager, and VPN.

The software can also help you remove malware, as well as clean and disinfect infected devices. The program offers both a quick scan and a full scan of your computer. You can also schedule a scan in advance, which is useful if you’re worried that your system may have been infected.

If your device gets infected and doesn’t respond to traditional antivirus tools, you can use the Rescue Disk (opens in new tab) to reboot it. This requires downloading a bootable disk image from Kaspersky, which can be transferred to a CD, DVD, or USB stick.

Another helpful feature is Kaspersky’s Notification Center, which allows you to quickly resolve security issues without having to open an app or go to a separate tool. The layout of the Notification Center is a little different from other antivirus apps, but it’s easy to use once you get used to it.

While Kaspersky has a reputation for user identification ties to Russian secret services, the company continues to offer excellent protection against malware. In the November-December 2020 evaluations by AV-Test, for example, Kaspersky detected 100% of new “zero-day” malware and missed just one piece of widespread malware.

If you’re not sure which antivirus is right for you, Kaspersky has a free trial version and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Unlike other antivirus programs, it won’t be automatically renewed after the free trial period ends, and you can cancel at any time by contacting customer support.

IV- Trend Micro

Trend Micro is a popular cybersecurity company that focuses on protecting the internet. It has a range of security products for home and business users, including antivirus software.

All of Trend Micro’s security programs start by scanning for known malware, then augment this with heuristic analysis to spot any early signs of an attack. Any suspicious files or programs get uploaded to the company’s labs for analysis. You can opt out of this data collection if you don’t want Trend Micro to have access to your personal information.

The antivirus software also has dedicated defenses against specific threats like fileless malware that lives only in memory, tech-support scams and phishing, and cryptocurrency-mining malware. It can back up key files if they are encrypted by ransomware and fights these attacks if it detects them.

Another feature is social network privacy protection, which checks your Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn settings to see if they’re open to identity theft. You can configure this to run automatically or as a scheduled checker.

In our tests, Trend Micro performed well against a wide range of malware samples, including those from the Objective Test Library. It scored 99 percent in our malware detection tests and avoided erroneously flagging real-world sites or programs as malicious, which is a big plus.

Its scans are fast, and you can schedule them to run at any time – whether it’s in the morning or during the night. You can also choose to do a full scan or a quick one.

The program’s interface doesn’t have the flashy look of some rivals, but it is easy to use and offers a variety of option screens to help you tailor the settings for your computer. You can also mute notifications, and the program can even be used to optimize your computer’s performance.

V- McAfee

McAfee is one of the best antivirus programs out there for staying protected online. It offers a variety of security features, including a firewall and a VPN. You can even buy McAfee Total Protection, which comes with antivirus, firewall, web protection, and identity protection.

Another feature that McAfee is known for is its automatic cleanup of background processes. This helps clean up your system’s resources without slowing it down. It’s a good option for people who use their computers a lot or for those who use a laptop for work.

However, the downside is that it requires a fair amount of computer resources. When McAfee is scanning your files and other data, it will use a lot of CPU and memory resources, which can negatively affect performance.

It also collects and stores your personal information, unless you opt out. This is because it needs your information to maintain a current database of threats, according to McAfee.

If you have questions about McAfee or want to learn more about its features, you can get in touch with customer support through email and chat. The company’s website also has a FAQ section and video tutorials.

Using McAfee can help prevent real-time cyber threats like phishing attacks, malware, and ransomware. It also protects your devices from adware and spyware.

Its anti-malware scanner can scan your PC for malware, both with quick and full scans. You can also set up automated scheduled scans at fixed times to keep your machine protected.

In addition to being the best antivirus software, McAfee also has a wide range of additional features, including a firewall and a password manager. Its prices are super affordable, and it has a 30-day money back guarantee.

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