Best Antivirus

Protection for your computer is significant in today’s world, where malicious malware and viruses run rife. Softonic has compiled a list of the top 10 best antivirus software in 2020.

Disclaimer: Softonic receives a commission for purchases made through the links on this comparison.

Vipre
8/10

Vipre

Sunbelt Software developed the Vipre software to protect your device from viruses and spyware, ensuring that your privacy remains safe. You have the option to subscribe to the Home or Business versions, which provides different features for optimal internet security.

Main Features

Vipre is a lightweight antivirus and anti-malware program designed with easy installation in mind. The interface is uncomplicated, which means that you don’t need to be a genius to operate it on your computer or smartphone. What makes it more appealing is that it has a cheap subscription model for covering multiple devices.

The Home package features Vipre Identity Shield and Vipre Advanced Security. The former prevents someone from stealing your identity, while the latter contains detection protocols for ransomware, viruses, and malware. You can schedule scans for when it’s convenient, and it also shields your emails from threats.

If you’re running a business, you can opt for the Cloud Edition. It provides security for all company hardware remotely, since the management is in a cloud networking system. Where there’s a server involved, you could go for the Server Edition.

There’s a free antivirus trial for all of the Vipre bundles except the Ultimate Security Bundle. Many scanning options are available, which mostly depends on the package you install. The unfortunate part is that there’s no adware prevention, and the free version only covers basic threat detection.

Vipre is a standalone antivirus program. Once you start it up, you’ll see three sections. The MyVipre page is where you’ll run your scheduled scans and view the status of your device. The Manage area covers all the security settings, while the Account tab lets you play with the theme colors and background lighting.

Overall, Vipre is worth trying if you’re looking for good antivirus software for Windows 10, Mac, and mobile devices.

License: Free trial, followed by an annual subscription.

Pros
Malicious downloads blocked
Cost-effective for multiple devices
Effortless to set up
Different scanning options
Compatible with desktops and mobile devices
Cons
Basic threat detection in the free version
McAfee-Total-Protection
8/10

McAfee Total Protection

Many people changed from the McAfee Internet Security entry-level package to McAfee Total Protection. McAfee LLC does an excellent job maintaining its virus and malware database, which is why it’s considered one of the best antivirus software. As a bonus, it also has a VPN service with no bandwidth limit.

Main Features

McAfee Total Protection provides numerous features that aid in device protection. Not only does it focus on virus eradication, but it also blocks other malicious intrusions. The antivirus program defends against ransomware, adware, spyware, phishing, and malware.

One of the browser tools available is an early threat detection warning system. When you’re on the internet, it’ll alert you if the site or download is dangerous. It also provides you with detailed information regarding the security risk to your privacy.

You may be one of the many readers wondering what’s the difference between McAfee Total Protection and McAfee LiveSafe, and for a good reason. Both have extensive anti-malware and virus protocols with the same qualities. They also cover multiple devices, such as desktops and mobile devices.

While McAfee Total Protection provides the same functions, it brings more to the table. It’s McAfee LLC’s premium service, which means you’ll receive all the bells and whistles. You can look forward to password management, parental control, VPN, as well as web and email security.

You can start with a free antivirus trial, but ultimately you’ll pay an annual subscription. The price differs depending on the plan you select. At the moment, it includes choosing between one, five, or ten devices for the software to cover. The renewal cost is more than double the rate of the first year.

You can cancel your subscription at any time before the renewal date. There’s also a money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the service, which you don’t often find with antivirus software. It’s become one of the most trusted brands available today.

License/Price: Free trial, followed by an annual subscription.

Pros
Maintained virus database
Money-back guarantee
Includes VPN
File encryption
Parental control
Cons
Basic encryption security questions
Slow boot time
McAfee Total Protection
McAfee Total Protection
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Avira-Antivirus-Pro
8/10

Avira Antivirus Pro

Avira Antivirus Pro is the paid upgraded version of Avira Free Security. You can manually set when you want the software to scan or let it perform automatic scheduling. Besides the variety in scan options, it also has tools for device optimization and browser protection.

Main Features

If you’re looking for lightweight software with an easy-to-use interface shielding you from the worst viruses, malware, and ransomware, try Avira Antivirus Pro. It’s a good program for enhancing your computer or mobile system with advanced detection alerts. It’s also one of the best antivirus software for internet security.

You’ll enjoy the range of scan options that the paid suite provides over the free version. Some of the most noticeable scans include rootkit, local drive, external devices, and active processes. Avira Cloud Protection takes advantage of cloud technology to scan suspicious files.

Prevention is better than a cure, which is why there’s real-time scanning of local files, websites, and downloads. Independent testing labs have taken Avira Antivirus Pro for a test drive, with most of them reporting that the antivirus software blocks 99.9% of known malware and viruses. They performed analyses on all relevant platforms such as Android, iOS, and computer devices.

When it comes to USB drives, the program whitelists and blacklists them depending on whether it finds any malicious content. This feature is helpful when you’re not sure if you can trust someone else’s USB drive. The only issue is that you can’t whitelist an unknown drive or one that your hardware struggles to detect.

Of all its attributes, you’ll love that it has fast installation and setup, and the interface provides quick access to the most useful tools. There’s also a VPN service to protect your identity from hackers or prying eyes. As far as Avira Antivirus Pro’s cost is concerned, it may be worthwhile paying for three years up-front rather than an annual renewal.

License/Price: Annual subscription.

Pros
Blocks malware-hosting sites
Whitelists and blacklists USB drives
Fast with low memory consumption
Includes VPN
Advanced scan options
Cons
Can’t whitelist foreign USB drives
Separate modules for different tools
Avira Antivirus Pro
Avira Antivirus Pro
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BullGuard
7/10

BullGuard

It isn’t every day you come across an antivirus program that boosts game performance and protection. BullGuard is available in three different paid subscription packages, featuring extra add-ons for higher prices. Not only does it have anti-malware and phishing-prevention properties, but it also guards you against botnets.

Main Features

One of BullGuard’s top qualities is that it’s extremely good at catching malware. It also traps ransomware, spyware, and rootkits. With regards to botnets, it’s exceptional at preventing denial-of-service attacks and has a well-maintained spam filter.

Many video gamers state that BullGuard is the best antivirus software for online gaming. While playing your favorite game, the program optimizes your device while scanning for malicious attacks. The primary way that it does this is by transferring background processes and memory away from the processing cores that the games are using.

There’s a powerful firewall that you can manage in the BullGuard dashboard. While it may clutter the interface, you can organize the rules, read the incoming and outgoing traffic logs, share remote and local IP addresses, and change advanced settings. You can also run a network scanner, which has similar features to the firewall system.

BullGuard doesn’t have a built-in VPN service. You can buy it separately, but it creates a disadvantage when compared to the other programs in this list. It’s also slower in terms of online speed and scanning capabilities.

Returning to the advanced tools, you’ll want to check out the parental controls. You can filter content by blocking specific websites and create passwords for apps. If you’re worried about how much time your child spends on a device, you can schedule lock-out times.

In terms of subscription packages, there is the basic antivirus program, advanced protection with browser security, and the premium selection with identity guard. Each plan increases the number of devices it covers. There’s no free option, but you’ll receive a 30-day money-back guarantee.

License/Price: Annual subscription.

Pros
Game booster
PC tune-up tools
Parental controls
Money-back guarantee
Spam filter
Cons
Cluttered user interface
VPN in a different product
BullGuard
BullGuard
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Avast-Free-Antivirus
8/10

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus is the developer’s answer to an industry saturated with free trials, money-back guarantees, and subscriptions. While it limits advanced functionality to paid packages, it’s still a trustworthy program that removes all known viruses from your device. Of course, the best quality is that it’s free forever.

Main Features

Free antivirus tools are known for delivering sub-par performance with only a few features available. It usually forces you to upgrade to the premium version within a specific time to take advantage of all the software abilities. The complete opposite is true when it comes to Avast Free Antivirus.

The program is optimized to remove viruses, malware, and ransomware, while also providing file security. It scans your Wi-Fi to see if there are any weaknesses or breach opportunities, ensuring that intruders cannot access your system. The software is both safe and easy to use.

You’ll have browser protection for optimal internet security. There’s also a decent password manager, despite limited functions and no central master password. The Avast developers ensure that you receive daily updates to the virus database and system settings.

Of course, the free antivirus software offers limited options. For instance, you can gain access to file shredding, multiple device licenses, remote access shield, and so much more with paid versions. Be that as it may, Avast Free Antivirus does an excellent job even with the few features at your disposal.

The interface is colorful and easy to read. The main section holds the device status, indicating where it’s defended or not. You can run a quick smart scan from this panel. Between the Performance, Privacy, and Protection tabs, you’ll find 18 other tools. The icons with padlocks indicate functions for which you’ll need upgraded paid packages.

In the end, the program is perfect if you have a single device that you want to guard against harm. For more sophisticated setups or businesses, it’ll be worth looking at the subscriptions.

License/Price: Free

Pros
Free forever
Browser protection
Detects Wi-Fi weaknesses
Daily updates
Password manager
Cons
Limited tools for the free version
Single license per user
Avast Free Antivirus
Avast Free Antivirus
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Panda-Antivirus
8/10

Panda Antivirus

Panda Security is the company behind Panda Antivirus, which uses cloud technology and artificial intelligence to deliver protection from malicious files. You’ll receive online and offline security, parental controls, VPN, data and password shielding, and so much more. There are three subscription suites, depending on the features you need.

Main Features

When you sign up for the Panda Free Antivirus Package, which is the entry-level suite, you’ll have three main benefits. The most significant aspect is that it provides anti-malware and antivirus services, but only for Windows computers. It’ll also scan external devices and has a free VPN limited daily to 150 MB.

Upgrade to the Essential suite, and you’ll have three more modules added to the above tools. It includes a strong firewall, while adding Mac and Android devices into the equation. You’ll also have defense on your Wi-Fi network against prying eyes.

The Panda Advanced Package delivers further options if you’re willing to pay more for it. You’ll have parental control to manage and restrict what your children watch online and which apps they use. Identity protection shields your online shopping sprees from hackers, while it’ll prevent ransomware and other advanced threats.

Moving further up the chain, you’ll find the Panda Complete Package with three more features. Data Shield encrypts your files, and there’s a password manager with a master key. To improve your device’s performance and ensure low-impact scanning, you can activate the cleanup tool.

Finally, there’s the Premium Version. You’ll receive unlimited VPN as well as an Update Manager. Panda Security also mentions that you’ll have access to 24/7 premium technical support. For the amount you’ll pay for these additional services, it’s surprising that they aren’t included in the suites mentioned earlier.

Overall, Panda provides a good security service, but it’s worth looking at the other options on this list before signing up.

License/Price: Free, with subscription upgrades.

Pros
USB scan and vaccination
User-friendly security tools
Intuitive password management
Low impact on PC performance
Includes VPN
Cons
Limited daily free VPN
Few configuration options
Panda Antivirus
Panda Antivirus
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Bitdefender
8/10

Bitdefender

You have the choice to download the free Bitdefender antivirus software with basic tools, or pay for the Antivirus Plus, Total Security, and Internet Security packages. The top benefits you’ll enjoy include safe browsing, different modes, anti-malware, anti-phishing functions, and a personal firewall.

Main Features

Bitdefender has an impressive array of features against which many entry-level software packages struggle to compete. Besides the standard war on viruses, it’ll also ward against ransomware while ensuring that you enjoy your online experience. You can even tweak the security settings to suit your needs with many configurations available.

While Bitdefender’s interface is easy to use, there’s a lengthy setup process compared to other antivirus protection like Norton and McAfee. The free version has an extensive range of tools, but the best Bitdefender package to buy is Total Security. You can cover up to five devices with an annual subscription, shielding platforms such as PC, Mac, Android, and iOS.

If you’re a beginner in the antivirus community, you can switch on Auto-pilot mode. The system will manage all the tools for you, which includes creating backups and automating your security functions. There’s also a rescue mode and the ability to tweak settings if you’re an expert.

Part of the automated functions is detecting what you’re busy with when the system’s active. It’ll switch to game, work, or movie mode, which will prevent pop-ups from disturbing you unless it’s necessary. It also adapts your visual settings and pauses unessential background processes so that you can enjoy the full experience.

For a small premium, you can add Bitdefender VPN for secure browsing. With its strong firewall, you’ll have real-time protection 24/7 as long as the program’s running. Additional functions include parental control, privacy settings, spam filters, and tune-up tools, to name a few.

Ultimately, Bitdefender is a good antivirus program that will protect your devices from most malicious attacks.

License/Price: Free, with subscription upgrades.

Pros
Plenty of security configuration options
Impressive laptop and gaming modes
Backup tools
Rescue mode
Well-developed automated functions
Cons
Malware detection needs work
Long setup process
Bitdefender
Bitdefender
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Norton-Security
8/10

Norton Security

In 2019, Norton 360 Standard Edition replaced Norton Security. Symantec’s decision hailed from many user complaints about the system, specifically regarding its inability to completely protect against viruses. The new Norton Security features include SafeCam, VPN, and a backup cloud with 10 GB storage.

Main Features

Before 2019, Norton Security delivered a poor performance that many users found annoying. It included a constant barrage of notifications, slow performance, and a dismally complicated interface. For this reason, many people considered McAfee the better option or believed that Norton Security was hacked.

All that has changed with the improved Norton 360 Standard Edition. Not only will you see enhanced security features, but there are also some enticing add-ons. There’s now cloud backup with sufficient storage for the entry-level account, and you’ll have a secure VPN.

If you’re not a fan of online reviews, you can take the words of independent lab tests. The reports praise Norton 360’s ability to prevent threats from viruses, malware, ransomware, and other browser attacks. The protection covers Mac, PC, and all mobile devices, with different modules for various tools.

There’s no free Norton version available, but you can register for a free trial before paying for an annual subscription. As per the norm, you’ll receive a discount for the first year before coughing out the standard price at the time of renewal. You have the option to cancel your subscription before renewal, though.

One of the most praised attributes is that the new Norton Security provides faster threat detection than before. It also protects your webcam or laptop’s camera with the SafeCam tool.

While the multiple modes and functions justify this package’s price, there’s a slight disappointment that it only covers one device and a single license. However, you should bear in mind that Norton 360 Standard Edition is the entry-level suite, with the Deluxe and Premium versions providing defense for five and ten devices, respectively.

License/Price: Annual subscription.

Pros
Cloud backup
Includes VPN
Excellent lab test results
Exploit protection
Fast threat detection
Cons
Only covers one device
Different modules for various tasks
Norton Security
Norton Security
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IObit-Malware-Fighter
7/10

IObit Malware Fighter

IObit Information Technology’s IObit Malware Fighter is a safe antivirus program with a central focus on malware and ransomware. It also has tools for spyware, worms, adware, and Trojans. The developer states that it can even protect your devices from malware with coronavirus themes.

Main Features

IObit Malware Fighter is a free antivirus program that provides protection for Windows PCs only. The operating systems include Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. Unfortunately, it doesn’t indicate any coverage for Mac or mobile devices.

While it lists many viruses and malware in its security database, the primary focal point is triple guarding against ransomware. It also mentions that it covers malware hidden in malicious cryptocurrency software. Furthermore, IObit Malware Fighter collaborates with the Bitdefender engine so that you can have multi-core support.

The interface is user-friendly and easy to use. You can start a quick scan with the click of a button or toggle the settings for a more advanced search. Either way, you’ll receive a detailed analysis of any threats on your system from local or online sources. The benefit is that IObit Malware Fighter uses low system resources while performing its functions.

The free version is another example of antivirus software that limits most tools to the upgraded, paid editions. One feature you can look forward to, though, is the safe box. It lets you store your private files in a secure location with a master password, giving you another layer of defense against ransomware.

You’ll have access to browser security, whether you’re using the internet for entertainment or business. It guards your home page and extensions against phishing, frustrating adverts, and even clears any tracking cookies. Email Protection is a new addition to the service, looking at spam filters, phishing, malware, and other email alerts.

In summary, IObit Malware Fighter is good enough for your essential antivirus needs. If you’re looking for additional tools, such as scanning for problems in RAM and USB drives and safeguarding your camera, try IObit Malware Fighter Pro.

License/Price: Free

Pros
Huge focus on ransomware
Free forever
Quick scanning with detailed reports
Simple and elegant user interface
Low resource usage
Cons
Challenging to uninstall files
No support for multiple operating systems
IObit Malware Fighter
IObit Malware Fighter
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Norton-360-Deluxe
7/10

Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe is the new name for Norton Security Deluxe. As with the Standard Edition, Symantec changed the brand to indicate a new selection of features absent in the previous product. The primary difference is that it now includes extra tools such as 50 GB cloud storage, SafeCam, and a premium VPN service.

Main Features

When comparing the Norton 360 Standard Edition with the Deluxe Edition, it’s clear that the latter provides more functionality than the former. While it unlocks a few more settings, you’re essentially paying for more devices and storage space. In that light, Norton Premium is better since it provides security for up to 10 devices with 75 GB cloud storage for a slightly higher fee.

Switching back to Norton 360 Deluxe, you’ll still receive real-time antivirus protection against malware, ransomware, and all known viruses. Symantec updates the databases daily, which means that it covers any new malicious content that may appear. It also has a powerful firewall that stands the test against most of the programs on this list.

Norton 360 Deluxe is more suited for people looking to protect more devices with one license. However, the upper limit is five, which is perfectly acceptable for a single person who has a computer and mobile devices. However, if you’re looking to add your family to the roster, you may find it a tough decision selecting which tech to secure.

One of the top benefits is the Virus Protection Promise. If the software is unable to keep your computer free of viruses or the support agents can’t assist you, you’ll receive a full refund. Since the subscription includes 24/7 technical support, they’ll work hard ensuring that they help you as best they can.

If you’re going to upgrade from Norton 360 Standard Edition, consider paying a bit more for the Premium Edition if you’re looking for the ultimate antivirus experience.

License/Price: Annual subscription.

Pros
More cloud storage than the Standard Edition
VPN with no limits
Powerful firewall
Supports multiple devices and operating systems
Includes Virtual Protection Promise
Cons
Extra cost merely for more devices and storage
Slow parental control linking to devices
Backup tools not available on Mac
Norton 360 Deluxe
Norton 360 Deluxe
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Final Thoughts

Finding the best antivirus software can be challenging with so much technology available today. It’s not only about what you want to protect, but also how you use your devices. Some people look at it from a business perspective, while others want to guard their online gaming platforms against malicious attacks.

For many people, it boils down to the price you’ll pay for the features available. Free antivirus programs only work if there’s enough protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, and phishing.

Another criteria to consider is the impact on your device’s performance. You don’t want to be in the middle of a project, only for the anti-malware software to kick in and cause lag. Moreover, you don’t want it to consume all the remaining memory, resulting in system failure. When comparing the above programs in our list, ensure that you pay attention to which ones use low system resources.

A few of the tools include device optimization. It usually entailed redirecting memory and background processes away from the cores. Some antivirus programs also clear your system for you and alter settings for better performance, but you need to ensure that you can manually adjust which functions it changes.

Of course, the most appealing packages offer bonus features that you won’t find in the standard or free edition. For example, the Norton 360 programs contain SafeCam, unlimited VPN, and cloud storage. Panda Antivirus steps up and provides a USB vaccination service.

So, how do you know which one to choose? Well, you could try the software that comes with a free trial and see if the features suit your needs. Others offer a money-back guarantee, but you’ll often only find issues after the initial 30-day period.

Here is a list of questions to ask when evaluating each program:

  • How many and what type of devices does it cover?
  • Does it defend against all major threats?
  • How often does it receive updates?
  • Is there real-time protection with quick infection removal?
  • What manual and automated scans options are available?
  • Are the scans efficient and the reports accurate?
  • Have independent labs tested it?
  • Does it have a user-friendly interface?
  • Are there any additional features that you won’t use?
  • What are the system requirements, and does it affect performance?
  • Is VPN included or available at an extra cost?
  • Does it cover both offline and online protection?
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