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Every computer requires robust and reliable antivirus software for their computer and other devices. With the increase of cyber threats and attacks, one faces the risk of losing their sensitive data and personal information to cybercriminals.
We have compiled a list of the best home antivirus software plus features and tips to consider when you are finally ready to invest in your chosen program.
1. BullGuard Antivirus: Editor’s Pick
Established over 18 years ago, BullGuard offers full-featured, robust, and reliable anti-malware products with the most basic protection. BullGuard antivirus is suitable for home use because it is easy to use and has a low impact on your system.
Additionally, this antivirus software is a good option for regular home users looking for above-average protection on all major platforms. And most importantly, Bullguard antivirus is very sensitive to things, so rest assured your child won’t access sites with harmful content.
- Compatible on multiple platforms.
- Safer browsing.
- Multi-layered protection.
- Integrates artificial intelligence.
- Vulnerability scanner.
- Game booster.
- BullGuard Antivirus – $19.49/year
- BullGuard Internet Security – $29.99/year
- BullGuard Premium Protection – $40.00/year
Top Product AV-Test Certified Windows 2020.
AV-Comparatives Malware Protection 2018.
AV-Comparatives Advanced+ Performance Test 2018.
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2. McAfee Total Protection
McFee provides premium antivirus software with safer browsing and ID theft protection. This is why over 500 million customers trust the antivirus software. McAfee home usage has increased, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Take a look at the screenshot below to see their report regarding McAfee usage:
- Secure VPN to browse safely at home.
- Encrypted storage – allows you to safely and securely store your files.
- Safe web browsing – blocks malicious sites.
- Two-way firewall – protection against bots and spyware.
- Password manager – You can safely manage your online passwords in one location.
- Performance Optimization – blocks autoplay videos and minimizes bandwidth usage.
- Parental controls – key features that allow you to monitor your children’s online activities, block specific websites, and applications.
Identity theft protection.
McAfee Total Protection Pricing
- Single device – $19.99
- Individual/couple – $24.99
- Family – $29.99
- Single device – $39.99
- Individual / couples – $49.99
- Family – $59.99
AV-Comparatives Advanced Malware Protection 2020.
AV-Test Certified Windows Top Product.
PCMAG Editor’s Choice 30 TIME WINNER.
3. ESET NOD32 Antivirus
ESET NOD32 Antivirus has been ranked as one of the top home antivirus products by the selected testing lab because it is fast, efficient, and reliable. This product is the entry-level product version of ESET, but remains one of the best antiviruses for home use. It has become known for its impeccable ability to target and disable malware without affecting your computer’s performance or slowing it down while working from home.
- Using the Microsoft Outlook application, it blocks out suspicious emails from computers.
- Identifies every connected devices and flag suspicious activity.
- Blocks malware and malicious sites from accessing your sensitive details without your permission.
- A firewall protects network ports from potential hackers and sends an alert confirming the suspicious activity.
- Has a secure browser. You can safely and securely enter your banking and financial details without worrying about hackers stealing your information.
ESET NOD32 Pricing
- 1 year – $39.99
- 2 years – $59.99
- 3 years – $79.98
AV-Comparatives Advanced+ Malware Protection 2020.
AV-Comparatives Advanced+ Performance 2020.
MRG Effitas Certified Online Banking Q1 2018.
AV-Comparatives Best Overall Speed 2019 GOLD.
4. Panda Antivirus
Panda Security is a well-known and industry-leading security service provider. It offers products with excellent features that guard your home devices, secure your data, and help with performance optimization. Besides, Panda Antivirus is available for most operating systems.
Even more, this home antivirus employs cutting-edge technologies such as AI and cloud computing to provide you and your family an outstanding protection. This antivirus is, therefore, an excellent option if you are looking to protect multiple devices in your home.
- Web guard when surfing the internet.
- Firewall for protection against threats and hacker attacks.
- A built-in VPN.
- Dome Advanced to protect your computer from ransomware, malware, and viruses.
Panda Antivirus Pricing
- Essential – $3.41
- Advanced – $4.50
- Complete – $6.75
- Premium – $11.59
Awards not available.
5. Malwarebytes Premium
Malwarebytes Premium was developed by a US-based internet-security service provider called Malwarebytes Inc in 2006. This antivirus software was designed to target new threats that most of the most robust antivirus software may miss. That said, the Malwarebytes Premium antivirus is suitable for home use, especially during pandemics, such as the Covid-19.
- Documents, financial data, and files are protected from ransomware.
- Protects your computer from threatening and fraudulent websites.
- Prevents malware from affecting your computer’s optimal performance.
- Offers real-time protection.
- Malicious and Malwarebytes notifications are suspended while you game.
Malwarebytes Premium Pricing
- Premium (1 device) – $2.84/pm (billed annually).
- Premium (5 devices) – $5.79 / pm (billed annually).
- Premium + Privacy (5 devices) – $8.33 / pm (billed annually).
Awards not available.
Best Antivirus Buying Guide
Types of Antivirus Software
As an internet user, it is crucial to invest in antivirus software that’ll fight against all attacking viruses. Not only do antiviruses detect malicious software, but they also eliminate them. Antiviruses are classified into different types based on how they detect the virus, how they respond after detecting the virus, and the operating systems. Below are the different classifications of antiviruses:
1. Free Anti-Malware
An anti-malware is software that protects your computer and other devices from all sorts of malware such as viruses, Trojans, spyware, worms, spyware, etc.
Cybercriminals make use of this malware to attack and destroy businesses and compromise customer’s identities.
An anti-malware program is an excellent tool for safeguarding your computer and sensitive information of your business’ and clients’ from cyberhackers.
Antivirus software is necessary due to the constantly-emerging cyberattacks. Operating without an antivirus installed poses your computer to danger of getting attacked by malicious programs.
Antivirus software safeguards your computer against viruses and cybercriminals. It searches for threats in your device’s data (files, web pages, applications, and software), monitors your program’s behavior, and flags them for suspicious behavior.
Antiviruses perform these essential tasks:
- Remove malicious software;
- Schedule automatic scans;
- Notifies you of the safety of your computer and other connected devices.
3. Spam Filters
If you don’t have anti-spam software or spam filters installed, one wrong click could instantly endanger your device and entire network.
As much as our inboxes contain genuine email communication from trusted service providers and senders, they are unfortunately also infiltrated by impersonators. In the worst-case scenario, scams, and cyberhackers.
Spam filters block spam from entering into a system. With a spam filter, you can maintain a list of people whose email you wish to receive, and these emails won’t ever be mistaken for spam.
4. File Shredders
Most of us only worry about spyware and viruses but hardly think about hard drive data destruction.
File shredder software is for individuals who wish to permanently dispose of personal and personal files in the computer memory, leaving no trace.
In file shredding, the software will rewrite the data and files computer, rendering it impossible to retrieve the file.
5. Anti-phishing Toolbars
An anti-phishing toolbar safeguards from phishing sites and provides you with detailed reports about the site you are browsing on the internet. These toolbars are mostly available as plugins or browser add-ons. Additionally, they filter out deceptive emails from the inbox, display risk ratings on suspected phishing and fraudulent websites, and report and block risky websites.
Antivirus Software Features to Look For
1. IM Protection
Instant messaging is, no doubt, a preferred method of communication, especially by work at home professionals. However, instant messaging comes with more significant security risks since it can trap users into giving out sensitive and personal information, such as ID numbers, passwords, etc. Antivirus software needs to feature IM protection that can scan and destroy malicious attacks.
A large majority of antivirus software has a firewall feature. A firewall is a network security device that scans and analyses incoming and outgoing traffic and mitigate attacks. They act as a barrier between trusted and secured internal networks and untrusted external networks. No hacker can fish for any sensitive information from your system in the presence of a firewall.
3. Privacy Filter
Sophisticated spyware can silently operate in the background and steal sensitive data such as social security numbers, banking details, passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information. Antivirus with a privacy filter will prevent cyberhackers from accessing your sensitive data, ensuring that you securely shop and safely carry out your online banking.
4. File Backup
Work at home savvies who rely on computers to run their operation need an antivirus with file backup and data recovery to prevent the loss of their files, such as financial records. An accident or malicious cause may prevent you from accessing your files.
5. Child Filter
A child filter is a monitoring tool that comes in handy for parents who can’t see what their children are doing on the internet. A child filter blocks content that is offensive and inappropriate for your family/children.
This feature comes in handy for when viruses sneak into your computer utilizing spam email and advertisement. An antivirus will block these unsolicited emails and ads.
7. Browser Toolbar
Accessing malicious websites can weaken your computer and expose it to spyware, hackers, ransomware, and other cyber threats. You run a risk of losing your data and files. An antivirus will limit and restrict access to unauthorized websites.
Antivirus Software Buying Tips
When purchasing antivirus software, most people have no clue what exactly to look out for. Below are a few tips to guide your purchase:
1. Make Sure it is Compatible With Your Device
When purchasing antivirus software, you need to consider the compatibility of the software with your computer. There are many versions of antivirus programs. Therefore, customers need to pay attention to the exact operating system. Failing to do that, you face the risk of wasting money on software that cannot work properly and protect your computer.
2. Jump on the Free Trial First
Consider investing in an antivirus program that offers a free trial, allowing you to know how the software works and covers your needs. Note that some free trials do not come with full features. Shop around for the one that will give you unrestricted access to what is available.
Users need to be vigilant about whom they give their data to. Unfortunately, some manufactures of antivirus and computer security programs are sharers of sensitive and personal data. Read and understand companies’ privacy policies that you’re thinking of buying from, and do not hesitate to contact your provider to inquire about how your data is shared.
4. Check for Malware and Spyware Scans
In addition to protecting you against viruses, antivirus software tools lookout for spyware and malware scans that can compromise your system. A scanner for malware and spyware will guard you against hidden threats.
1. Which antivirus slows down the computer the least?
According to a report, antiviruses can slow down your computer by up to 50 percent. Among many tested home antivirus software, Kasperksy hardly slows down your system. However, Kaspersky’s products, Bitdefender and Qihoo 360 can cause low loading on Windows.
2. Is it worth paying for antivirus software?
A paid antivirus software comes with a guarantee, outstanding customer service, and increased security options and features. These features come with benefits like file backup, secure browser, anti-spam filter, anti-phishing protection, etc. These paid-for layers of protection can come in handy for less tech-savvy users.
3. Do you need antivirus for Windows 10?
Windows 10 comes with a built-in Windows Defender that serves as antivirus featuring a parental control system, helps with your computer health and general performance issues. However, it is not obsolete. Windows 10 offers below-average protection against malware. It fails to prevent Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP) or adware, leading to data loss, invasion of privacy, and empty bank accounts. Most of the antivirus software at least gives you the option for malware protection.
4. Do you need virus protection?
Yes, you need antivirus protection (even in 2021). You might be careful and safe when browsing the internet, visiting and downloading from reputable websites. But consider this: you are never careful when you are browsing the internet completely unprotected. Antivirus programs aren’t necessarily to stop viruses, and there are all kinds of bad individuals out the who may want to steal and cause havoc by getting inside your computer. Having a paid or free antivirus software installed is ALWAYS better than nothing.
5. Can I use Windows Defender as my only antivirus?
Windows Defender is a built-in antivirus on Windows 10. It is much better than not using any antivirus at all. However, it may still leave you vulnerable to spyware and other types of malware that could be provided by additional antivirus software.
6. Are paid antivirus better than free?
Free and paid antivirus essentially provide the same general protection against viruses and malware attacks.
The difference is that paid antivirus software comes with additional features that may not come with free packages.
However, you can still grab a free antivirus from a reputable antivirus and security service provider that will provide you with average protection for your devices.
Final Verdict: Which is the Best Antivirus Software in 2021?
BullGuard is, without a doubt, the most powerful home antivirus software. It offers both home network and child protection – typically what every other person looking for a home antivirus would want. Additionally, BullGuard offers capable and robust parental protection that features content filtering and location tracking.
McAfee Total Protection touches all the bases for security. McAfee provides the best malware protection with minimal system performance. In addition to that, it has extensive privacy features, making it one of the best home antivirus software. The program is quick to install and easy to set up and an attractive dashboard and user interface. Overall, McAfee Total Protection is an outstanding home antivirus software with excellent value for money. Home users that need protection on multiple devices won’t regret purchasing it.