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Best Antivirus Protection 2023

Looking for the best antivirus software to protect your devices? Check out our top picks for July 2023. Discover powerful solutions with advanced features and high malware detection rates

CR Staff
By Updated: 2024, Mar 14

What is An Antivirus?

An antivirus is a type of software designed to detect, prevent, and remove malicious software, commonly known as malware, from computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices. Its primary purpose is to protect your device and data from various cyber threats, including viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, spyware, and adware.

Best Antivirus Protection 2023

Antivirus software works by scanning files, programs, and system processes for any signs of malicious code or behavior. It uses a database of known malware signatures and heuristic analysis to identify and quarantine or delete infected files. Some advanced antivirus programs also employ real-time protection, monitoring your device in real-time to detect and block emerging threats.

In addition to malware detection and removal, antivirus software often offers additional features to enhance your digital security. These features may include firewall protection, web browsing protection, email scanning, secure file shredding, password managers, and virtual private network (VPN) services.

By regularly updating the virus definitions, which contain information about the latest malware threats, antivirus software ensures that your device remains protected against newly discovered threats. It is important to keep your antivirus software up to date to defend against evolving cyber threats and maintain the security of your device and personal information.

Antivirus software plays a crucial role in safeguarding your digital life. It provides a vital layer of defense against malware and helps you maintain a secure and protected computing environment.

Quick Summary

Image Antivirus Description Price
1
mc-afee-total-protection
McAfee
McAfee Total Protection is a feature-rich antivirus software that offers real-time protection against various threats. It includes robust malware detection, web protection, secure VPN, and a password manager.
2
norton-antivirus-plus
Norton Antivirus
Norton Antivirus Plus is a comprehensive antivirus software designed to provide robust protection against various cyber threats. With its advanced features and powerful malware detection capabilities, Norton Antivirus Plus offers peace of mind for users seeking reliable security for their devices.
3
bitdefender-antivirus-plus
Bitdefender Antivirus
Bitdefender Total Security is a comprehensive antivirus solution known for its excellent malware detection rates and minimal impact on system performance. It offers real-time protection against various threats, including viruses, ransomware, spyware, and phishing attacks.
4
panda-dome-premium
Panda Dome Antivirus
Panda Dome is a feature-rich antivirus software that offers comprehensive protection against various cyber threats. With its advanced security features and user-friendly interface, Panda Dome is a popular choice for users seeking reliable antivirus protection for their devices..
5
surfshark-antivirus
SurfShark Antivirus
Surfshark is a popular virtual private network (VPN) service that offers a range of features to enhance your online privacy and security. With its user-friendly interface and robust security measures, Surfshark is trusted by users worldwide to protect their internet connections and safeguard their sensitive data..
6
eset-antivirus
ESET Antivirus
ESET Internet Security offers reliable antivirus protection with advanced features to safeguard your devices. It provides real-time protection against malware, phishing attacks, and ransomware. With its user-friendly interface and low system impact, ESET Internet Security is a solid choice for comprehensive protection.
7
avira-antivirus
Avira Antivirus
Avira is a well-known antivirus software that offers comprehensive protection against malware, viruses, and other online threats. With its range of security features and user-friendly interface, Avira is a popular choice for users seeking reliable antivirus protection for their devices.
8
avg-avast
Avast Antivirus
Avast Premium Security offers a wide range of features, including real-time protection, intelligent threat detection, and a sandbox for running suspicious files. It also includes a firewall, webcam protection, and secure browsing features. With its user-friendly interface and customizable options.

How Does Antivirus Work?

Antivirus software works by employing various techniques to detect, prevent, and remove malware from your devices. Here’s a general overview of how antivirus software works:

Signature-based detection: Antivirus software maintains a database of known malware signatures. When it scans files or programs on your device, it compares them against these signatures. If it finds a match, it identifies the file or program as malware and takes appropriate action, such as quarantining or deleting it.

Heuristic Analysis: Antivirus software also uses heuristic analysis to detect malware that doesn’t have a known signature. It analyzes the behavior and characteristics of files or programs to identify potential threats. For example, if a program tries to modify system files without authorization or exhibits suspicious behavior, the antivirus software may flag it as potentially malicious.

Real-time protection: Many antivirus programs provide real-time protection by monitoring your device and its activities in real-time. They continuously scan files, programs, web pages, and incoming emails, looking for signs of malware. If they detect anything suspicious, they intervene to block or quarantine the potential threat before it can cause harm.

Scanning Modes: Antivirus software typically offers different scanning modes. A full system scan examines all files and programs on your device, checking for malware infections. A quick scan focuses on critical areas where malware is more likely to be found, such as system files and startup programs. You can also perform custom scans to target specific files or directories.

Sandboxing: This technique executes suspicious programs in a secure environment that prevents them from causing harm.

In order to function, antivirus software scans your computer for viruses and then eliminates them. Some even assist in real-time attack neutralization and infection prevention. The finest software employs a number of security measures, utilizing a unified strategy to protect your machine.

How To Choose the Best Antivirus Software?

Choosing the best antivirus application might be challenging because there are so many options available. What kind of protection you require is the most crucial factor to take into account. While some software is better at finding infections, other software is better at stopping malware attacks. Additional factors to take into account are the frequency of software updates, device compatibility, and customer support.

Threat Protection You Can Trust
The degree of protection it offers against dangers is the most crucial factor to take into account while selecting antivirus software. The top antivirus programs safeguard your computer using a range of techniques, such as artificial intelligence, behavior monitoring, sandboxing, signature-based detection, and heuristic-based detection.

Some threats, like ransomware, are challenging to identify and necessitate a tiered protection strategy. Others, like viruses, are simpler to spot but can still cause significant harm if they are not immediately eliminated. In addition to making sure the antivirus software uses a multilayered strategy to threat prevention, detection, and removal, you should also have a look at independent lab results and user reviews to see how trustworthy it is.

Periodic Updates
The top antivirus programs are updated frequently to remain on top of the most recent dangers. This is significant since both new threats and existing ones are always changing. You should opt for an antivirus program that updates its database of known viruses frequently if you want to make sure your machine is protected.

Additionally, your software must update its virus definitions at least once every day; however, more regularly is preferable. While some programs update automatically, others can be programmed to update at a specific interval. You can usually find out on the sales site how frequently the software is updated. If it doesn’t, find out before you buy.

Cost
An antivirus application that offers dependable threat protection, frequent updates, and helpful customer service should cost users between $30 and $40 for a year’s subscription. Depending on the features the software offers, this cost may change. For instance, a company will typically pay more than a home user for priority service.

The number of devices covered and the frequency of updates are the two key cost determinants for antivirus software. While some programs charge extra for updates that happen more than once each day, others give discounts for many devices.

Performance and System Load
You should take into account the antivirus software’s compatibility with your operating system and how much of your computer’s resources it uses when making your selection. All of the most popular operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, are compatible with the top software.

The amount of resources the software uses on your computer is another crucial factor to take into account. Some applications demand a lot of memory or CPU resources, which might slow down or even crash your computer. To avoid affecting the speed of your computer, find an antivirus program that is resource-efficient.

Customer Service
If you need assistance utilizing the product or have any issues with it, customer support is crucial. The top antivirus products provide live chat and phone help around-the-clock. Additionally, they have sizable online knowledge libraries that you can use to troubleshoot any problems you may have.

You should search for programs that give a money-back guarantee in addition to customer support. This way, you can be certain that you’re purchasing a product you’re happy with and that, if you’re not, you can get your money back.

Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

McAfee

mc-afee-total-protection
  • Why We Picked It?

    It’s a good idea to install antivirus security on your primary production machine. Even better is to extend that security to all of your other hardware. You can install protection software with McAfee AntiVirus Plus on every Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and ChromeOS device in your home with only one subscription. The entire network gains when all of your devices are protected from assault.

    Despite a few lapses, McAfee consistently receives top marks from independent laboratories. Its performance in our own practical tests is just stunning. Additionally, it includes Ransom Guard, a basic firewall, a mechanism to prevent cryptojacking, and other features that go beyond mere antivirus protection.

  • Who It’s For

  • How many computers and other electronic gadgets do you have at home? McAfee AntiVirus Plus is the antivirus you require if you have lost count or if you are unable to even begin to estimate how many. Until your entire network is protected, you can use any protected device to send an invitation for installation to any unprotected device.

Pros

  • Comprehensive protection against a wide range of malware and threats.
  • User-friendly interface and straightforward setup process.
  • Additional features like firewall protection and web browsing safety.
  • Strong malware detection and removal capabilities.
  • Regular updates to keep up with emerging threats.

Cons

  • Some users may find the user interface overwhelming with multiple features.
  • Customer support may not always meet expectations.

Norton Antivirus Plus

norton-antivirus-plus
  • Why We Picked It?

    Norton AntiVirus Plus is the zenith of Norton’s decades-long evolution as an antivirus powerhouse. It has favorable ratings from the independent labs and succeeds in all of our practical tests, including one that uses 12 actual samples of ransomware.

    This program is more than simply antivirus software. Its firewall guards against both external attacks and internal betrayal without pummeling the unaware user with perplexing pop-up questions. By identifying and preventing exploit attacks, a different module improves firewall defense. A backup system that can archive your files locally or in the offered online storage is among the other features. There is also a spam filter for those who still require one, a tool for software updates, and more.
    .

  • Who It’s For

  • Since the MS-DOS era, Norton’s technology has been battling viruses and other malware. Norton AntiVirus Plus is the ideal choice if you want security from a well-known company that has built its reputation over many years.
    .

Pros

  • Strong malware detection and removal capabilities.
  • Robust firewall protection and advanced security features.
  • User-friendly interface with easy setup and navigation.
  • Excellent customer support and timely updates.
  • Multi-platform compatibility for comprehensive device protection.

Cons

  • Some additional features may require separate subscriptions.
  • Occasional false positives during scanning.
  • Installation process can be time-consuming.

Bitefinder Antivirus Plus

bitdefender-antivirus-plus
  • Why We Picked It?

    Antivirus Plus from Bitdefender. In this context, the Plus denotes a variety of qualities. A simple password manager, automated detection of missing security patches, ransomware protection, a hardened browser for financial transactions, VPN protection for connections, a function that thwarts ad trackers—the list is endless. Despite having an antiviral name, this product’s feature set surpasses that of many security suites.

    Additionally, it works well as an antivirus. It consistently receives perfect or nearly perfect results from independent testing labs, and it aced several of our practical tests. In tests, its defensive system against ransomware also succeeded. And because to its Autopilot feature, all of this occurs with the least amount of hassle for you, the user.
    .

  • Who It’s For

  • Simply launch Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and enable its Autopilot if you want the best antivirus protection with the least amount of effort. You are now free to relax and do, well, whatever you like!

Pros

  • Top-notch malware detection and removal capabilities.
  • Minimal impact on system performance with optimized scanning.
  • Robust real-time protection against various cyber threats.
  • User-friendly interface and easy setup process.
  • Additional features like VPN and password manager included in higher-tier packages.

Cons

  • Advanced features may be limited to higher-priced packages.
  • Occasional impact on system boot time during startup scans.

Panda Dome Premium

panda-dome-premium
  • Why We Picked It?

    Comprehensive Protection: Panda Dome Premium offers comprehensive protection against a wide range of threats, including malware, viruses, ransomware, phishing attacks, and more. Its advanced security features work together to keep your devices and personal information safe. With Panda Dome Premium, you benefit from real-time threat detection capabilities. It continuously monitors your device, scans files, and detects any suspicious activities, ensuring prompt action against emerging threats.

    Privacy and Identity Protection: Panda Dome Premium prioritizes your privacy and identity protection. It includes features like VPN (Virtual Private Network), which encrypts your internet connection and masks your IP address, enhancing your online privacy and security.

  • Who It’s For

  • How many computers and other electronic gadgets do you have at home? Panda Dome Premium AntiVirus Plus is the antivirus you require if you have lost count or if you are unable to even begin to estimate how many. Until your entire network is protected, you can use any protected device to send an invitation for installation to any unprotected device.

Pros

  • Comprehensive protection against a wide range of malware and threats.
  • User-friendly interface and straightforward setup process.
  • Additional features like firewall protection and web browsing safety.
  • Strong malware detection and removal capabilities.
  • Regular updates to keep up with emerging threats.

Cons

  • Some users may find the user interface overwhelming with multiple features.
  • Customer support may not always meet expectations.

Surfshark

surfshark-antivirus
  • Why We Picked It?

    It’s a good idea to install antivirus security on your primary production machine. Even better is to extend that security to all of your other hardware. You can install protection software with McAfee AntiVirus Plus on every Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and ChromeOS device in your home with only one subscription. The entire network gains when all of your devices are protected from assault.

    Despite a few lapses, McAfee consistently receives top marks from independent laboratories. Its performance in our own practical tests is just stunning. Additionally, it includes Ransom Guard, a basic firewall, a mechanism to prevent cryptojacking, and other features that go beyond mere antivirus protection.

  • Who It’s For

  • How many computers and other electronic gadgets do you have at home? McAfee AntiVirus Plus is the antivirus you require if you have lost count or if you are unable to even begin to estimate how many. Until your entire network is protected, you can use any protected device to send an invitation for installation to any unprotected device.

Pros

  • Comprehensive protection against a wide range of malware and threats.
  • User-friendly interface and straightforward setup process.
  • Additional features like firewall protection and web browsing safety.
  • Strong malware detection and removal capabilities.
  • Regular updates to keep up with emerging threats.

Cons

  • Some users may find the user interface overwhelming with multiple features.
  • Customer support may not always meet expectations.

ESET Antivirus

eset-antivirus
  • Why We Picked It?

    You can tell you have high-tech protection when you see the blue-eyed cyborg mascot of ESET staring serenely from the ESET NOD32 Antivirus screen. We usually like to see both top marks in independent lab exams as well as in some of our own tests. Additionally, ESET outperforms several rivals with novel high-tech features like its UEFI database. Yes, using and comprehending these high-tech features requires some technical knowledge. The Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS), which seeks to identify and thwart attacks that make use of flaws in the operating system or well-known programs, accomplishes the same goal.

  • Who It’s For

  • Some antivirus tools do their best to work in the background with no technical involvement by the user. That’s not ESET NOD32 Antivirus. This product is great for those who want to get their hands dirty, taking an active role in security protection. If you have the knowledge and skills to use them, ESET has the features for you..

Pros

  • Some excellent scores from independent labs.
  • Some good scores in our hands-on tests.
  • HIPS component blocks exploits.
  • Comprehensive device control.

Cons

  • Poor score in our hands-on malware blocking test
  • Device control too complex for most users
  • Ransomware protection not effective in testing.

Avira Antivirus

avira-antivirus
  • Why We Picked It?

    Strong Malware Protection: Avira Antivirus offers robust protection against malware, including viruses, ransomware, Trojans, and other threats. Its advanced scanning algorithms and extensive malware signature database ensure effective detection and removal.

    Real-Time Protection: Avira Antivirus provides real-time protection, continuously monitoring your system for new threats and preventing infections before they can cause harm. This proactive approach keeps your devices secure while you browse the internet or use applications.

  • Who It’s For

  • Individual Users: Avira Antivirus is ideal for individual users who want to safeguard their personal computers, laptops, smartphones, or tablets. Whether you use your devices for work, entertainment, or personal use, Avira Antivirus offers robust malware protection and additional security features to keep your devices secure.

Pros

  • Comprehensive protection against a wide range of malware and threats.
  • User-friendly interface and straightforward setup process.
  • Additional features like firewall protection and web browsing safety.
  • Strong malware detection and removal capabilities.
  • Regular updates to keep up with emerging threats.

Cons

  • Some users may find the user interface overwhelming with multiple features.
  • Customer support may not always meet expectations.

Avast Antivirus

avg-avast
  • Why We Picked It?

    It’s a good idea to install antivirus security on your primary production machine. Even better is to extend that With the second-largest market share globally, Avast is the industry leader in anti-malware software. For SMBs, Avast provides comprehensive endpoint and network security solutions. Since their antiviral solution is entirely cloud-based, managing it from a single integrated platform is simple. The cutting-edge security engine from Avast detects malware threats fast and accurately using machine learning, behavioral analysis, and signature-based detection. To stay one step ahead of bad actors, they gather intelligence from roughly half a billion endpoints, crowdsourcing knowledge about more serious dangers before it becomes known to the general public.

  • Who It’s For

  • Avast’s antivirus software is easy to install, has strong threat detection capabilities and its interface is user-friendly and easy to manage ideal solution for small- to midsized teams and self-employed individuals looking for a strong antivirus software solution to cover desktop devices

Pros

  • can be set up for cloud or on-premise environments.
  • a simple-to-use administration interface for controlling security on all devices.
  • Systems and programs are automatically updated to offer security against the most recent threats.

Cons

  • It’s possible that the pricing options are too expensive for small and midsize organizations.
  • The speed of the system may sluggishly during updates and scans.
  • Limited alternatives for assistance for users of Essential Business Security.

What Security Threats Can Antivirus Protect Against?

The most effective antivirus programs can defend against a variety of dangers, including viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, rootkits, keyloggers, and more.

  • Viruses: The most prevalent form of malware, viruses can seriously harm your computer if they aren’t eradicated right away. They can spread from computer to computer and are frequently used to steal or delete data.
  • Worms: Although they resemble viruses, worms can propagate without user engagement. Botnets, which are networks of compromised computers that may be used to launch attacks or send spam, are frequently made using them.
  • Trojans Trojans are malware that impersonates trustworthy applications in order to deceive users into installing them. Once installed, they provide hackers access to your computer and the ability to steal your personal data.
  • Ransomware: This sort of virus encrypts your files and demands a ransom in exchange for decrypting them. The attackers typically demand payment, but even if you give them, there is no assurance they would actually decrypt your files.
  • Spyware: Spyware is a type of software that is used to gather sensitive data about you, including passwords, credit card numbers, and surfing patterns. You can use it to keep tabs on your activities and movements as well.
  • Adware: Adware is a form of virus that causes unwanted advertisements to appear on your computer. It can be used to gather your personal information but is frequently used to bring in money for its founders.
  • Rootkits: Rootkits are a subset of malware that is made to elude detection. They can be employed to break into your computer, take your personal data, or start attacks on other systems.
  • Keyloggers: A type of malware known as a keylogger records every keystroke you make on your keyboard. This may include private data like credit card numbers and passwords. They can also be used to monitor your motions and activities.

What Security Threats Does Antivirus Not Protect Against?

  • Phishing: Phishing is a type of scam where attackers try to trick you into giving them sensitive information, such as your passwords or credit card numbers. They often do this by sending fake emails or messages that look like they’re from a legitimate company or website.
  • Social Engineering: Social engineering is an attack where the attacker tries to trick you into doing something, such as clicking on a malicious link or opening an attachment. For example, a person may call and pretend to be someone else while they forward you an email and ask you to click on a link.
  • Zero-Day Attacks: Zero-day attacks are attacks that exploit vulnerabilities that have not yet been patched. They can be very difficult to protect against since there’s no way to know about them in advance. Websites that include malware or attempt to deceive you into providing sensitive information are considered malicious websites. If you visit them, they can also try to place malware on your machine.
  • Malicious Ads: Ads that contain malware or attempt to deceive you into providing sensitive information are referred to as malicious ads. They are frequently employed to disperse malware or gather your data.
  • Drive-By Downloads: Without your knowledge or consent, malicious files are downloaded and executed. When installing malware on your computer, they frequently make use of flaws in your online browser or plugins.

Buying Guide: The Best Antivirus Protection

Is free antivirus software as effective as paid options?

While some free antivirus software can offer basic protection, paid options generally provide more advanced features and better overall security. Paid antivirus software often includes additional layers of protection, such as VPN services and password managers, which enhance your online safety.

Can I use more than one antivirus software on my device?

It is notrecommended to use multiple antivirus software simultaneously. Running multiple antivirus programs can lead to conflicts and system instability. It is best to choose one reliable antivirus solution and ensure it is regularly updated for optimal protection.

How often should I update my antivirus software?

It is crucial to keep your antivirus software up to date to ensure it can detect and defend against the latest threats. Most antivirus programs offer automatic updates, which should be enabled. Additionally, it is a good practice to manually check for updates regularly to stay protected against emerging malware and vulnerabilities.

Can antivirus software slow down my computer?

Antivirus software can have some impact on system performance, but modern antivirus programs are designed to minimize this impact. They utilize advanced scanning techniques and optimization algorithms to reduce resource usage. However, if you notice significant slowdowns, you can adjust the settings of your antivirus software to strike a balance between security and performance.

How often should I perform a full system scan?

Performing regular full system scans is recommended to ensure comprehensive malware detection. The frequency of full scans depends on your computer usage and the sensitivity of the data you handle. As a general guideline, performing a full system scan once a week is a good practice. However, you can schedule scans based on your specific requirements and preferences.

Comparison Table

Antivirus Software McAfee Total Protection Norton 360 Deluxe Bitdefender Total Security Panda Dome ESET Internet Security AVira Ultimate Avast Premium Security
product-img1 product-img1 product-img1 product-img1 product-img1 product-img1 product-img1
Editors Rating 4.9/5 4.9/5 4.8/5 4.8/5 4.8/5 4.7/5 4.7/5
Price $799 $999 (Full Kit) Not available Not available $599 $299 $299
Malware Detection High High High High High High High
Additional Features VPN, Password Manager VPN, Password Manager, Parental Controlss VPN, Password Manager VPN, Privacy Tools Firewall, Webcam Protection Performance Optimization
User-Friendliness User-Friendly User-Friendly User-Friendly User-Friendly User-Friendly User-Friendly User-Friendly

Conclusion

In a constantly evolving digital landscape, having reliable antivirus software is crucial to protect your devices and sensitive information from cyber threats. We have explored the top antivirus software options for July 2023, highlighting their features, performance, and user-friendliness. Remember to choose antivirus software that aligns with your specific needs and provides comprehensive protection against malware, viruses, and other malicious threats.