The Best Antivirus Software for Windows 10 in 2020
Windows is the most targeted operating system mostly because it exists forever and is widely used. The popularity of this OS is the main reason why hackers focus on creating malware for it. It is much easier to attack devices running on Windows because there are a lot of them.
That’s why avoiding potentially dangerous websites is not enough if you use this OS. You need the best antivirus software for Windows PC if you want security for your data. Remember, that a virus can not only corrupt your files but give a hacker access to personal information like passwords and credit card details as well. So, you need always need to install one of our top antiviruses for Windows 10.
1. Best security for Windows: TotalAV The Ultimate Antivirus
- Decent protection from phishing
- Disc cleanup
- Fast scan
We don’t like:
- Unreliable protection from malware
- High price
This antivirus software will provide you with lots of features like VPN, ad blocking, and many others. Still, it lacks the main feature — reliable protection from viruses and ransomware protection.
As TotalAV review shows, the app doesn’t recognize quite a lot of malicious files as malware. So we wouldn’t say that this software will protect you from viruses and ransomware. It offers pretty good protection from phishing. But still, it’s not enough.
The software has a System Boost section where you can find features that allow you to set up some settings. You can manage the list of programs that are running on the startup, uninstall programs and manage cookies and history of your browser. It is nice, but it can be done with built-in Windows tools. And you can always delete cookies and history in settings of your browser.
Another feature, Disc Cleaner, will scan your PC for trash and delete it. Again, there are programs like CCleaner that can do it. As for extra-cost features, TotalAV offers good ransomware protection, malware protection, VPN, password manager, ad block, and Identity Protection.
The pricing is as follows:
- Total Security — $59 for the 1st year;
- Internet Security — $39 for the 1st year;
- Antivirus Pro for one device — $29 for the 1st year;
- Total AV Free version.
2. Best for Overall Antivirus Protection: McAfee Antivirus
- User-friendly, easy to download and install
- Industry-leading real-time antivirus protection
- Thorough virus removal
We don’t like:
- Not the most affordable offer on the market
- Requires more resources during scans than the rivals
As one of the oldest and most reliable antivirus brands, McAfee Total Protection is making it into international top-5 lists. The intuitive interface, customer-oriented support, and, of course, impressive results during the testing turn it into a sure pick. Thorough virus removal, industry-leading ransomware protection, and anti-phishing protection turn it into an even more attractive antivirus solution.
McAfee isn’t particularly cheap, especially if you go for multiple device protection. Furthermore, while it’s not at all demanding when working in the background, during a scan. It has quite a high system impact. On the bright side, the software is available for all the four major platforms (Win, Mac, Android, and iOS), offers a personal firewall, parental controls, and more.
In the past, McAfee used to be one of the least consistent products on the market. But that’s not the case anymore. It was confirmed by steady results in independent lab tests. Summing up, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use, reliable, and well-respected antivirus solution, McAfee Total Protection might be precisely what you need. Along with Kaspersky antivirus, Bitdefender Internet Security, and Norton Security antivirus products, it is among the biggest names in the industry.
Currently, McAfee offers to protect up to 10 devices for a special price $44.99/year. It will save you $75 and allow to keep your PC, Mac, Android and ios device protected. Here are the available packages and their prices:
- McAfee Total Protection: Individual ($34.99 per year), Multi-Device ($39.99 per year, 5 devices); Family ($44.99 per year, 10 devices)
- McAfee LiveSafe: $119.99 per year.
3. Best for Basic Phishing Protection: Bitdefender Antivirus
- Perfect scores during tests
- A huge amount of features
- VPN service included
We don’t like:
- Parental control only in more expensive versions
- You have to get a separate subscription for a VPN
This antivirus provider is constantly hitting perfect or almost perfect testing scores. It offers its users a wide range of instruments leaving most other providers behind. And in the new edition, the provider implemented even more enhancements.
Bitdefender Antivirus has a truly impressive list of features. It protects users from malware, ransomware, and phishing. The Network Threat Protection component will guard the network and keep an eye on the most vulnerable applications. The TrafficLight feature will show you which websites are safe and which are not when you’re using search systems. Also, this antivirus has good ransomware protection and malware protection.
Thanks to the Advanced Threat Defense, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus will perform the scanning for viruses based on their behavior. Also, the software has a password manager that will protect your passwords, personal data and credit card details. And the Safepay feature will secure the connection when you’re buying things online.
To ensure you have as many layers of protection as possible, this provider offers you a VPN as a separate program, on top of the antivirus software. The list of features Bitdefender Antivirus has is almost endless. Users can study them all once they install the software.
A number of packages are currently available with 50% discount:
- Bitdefender Free Version;
- Bitdefender Antivirus Plus — $29.99 per year;
- Bitdefender Internet Security — $39.98 per year;
- Bitdefender Total Security — $44.99 per year.
4. The Best Antivirus Software in Terms of Flexibility: Norton Security
- Excellent protection for all platforms, superb parental controls
- Highly configurable, low little system impact
- 60-days money-back guarantee
We don’t like:
- Not the fastest scans among rivals
- Most of the extra features are average at best
Friendly, intuitive, easy to download-install, and secure against modern-day threats — that’s Norton in a nutshell. It provides a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. Norton is excellent apps for the most popular platforms, and has a very low impact. The core antivirus engine has always been this software’s strongest suit. Over the years, the team has perfected it with constant updates.
Plus, it is configurable, and you can “fine-tune” it to your liking. While the regular users will be more than o.k. with the default settings, the advanced users will definitely appreciate this. Parental controls are another standout feature of the Norton Security anti virus protection. As for the cons, while both the quick and the fast scans are thorough, they also take a long time to complete.
Finally, the majority of the features is rather basic and won’t be of much help to you. File storage, backup, webcam protection, and Power Eraser are some of the most useful available tools. The verdict: with Norton Security, you can rest assured that your device will be well-protected against all known threats.
Let’s take a look at the Norton Security packages with current discounts:
- Norton Antivirus Plus;
- Norton 360 Standard: $39.99 per year;
- Norton 360 Deluxe: $49.99 per year;
- Norton 360 With LifeLock Select: $99.99 per year;
- Norton 360 With LifeLock Ultimate Plus: $299.99 per year.
5. Best for Those Who Love Free Stuff: Avast
- High reliability
- Free version is available
- A lot of additional features
We don’t like:
- The password manager has limited options
- You have to buy several features separately
This is one of the few antivirus providers that offer software for free and don’t limit its possibilities. You can install a free version of Avast and enjoy solid protection without paying any money.
The software has a simple and intuitive interface that is really easy to work with. If you want to have an occasional scan, just hit Run Smart Scan — a big green button on the home screen of Avast. The antivirus will go through your files quickly and make no impact on the performance.
This antivirus runs in Passive Mode by default. To decrease the number of conflicts, it doesn’t run a real-time scan and doesn’t perform actions until there is a need. Avast uses this tactic because a native Windows Defender monitors the system. So there is no need to create an additional load for the system resources.
Avast will protect you from malware, ransomware, and phishing, protect your hard drive. It will scan your network and find vulnerabilities, it has really perfect ransomware protection and virus protection. It will help you manage your passwords and protect them. If you allow it, the antivirus software will even install an extension in your Chrome or Firefox to protect you from malicious sites.
- Avast Free Antivirus;
- Avast Premium Security (Single and Multi-Device);
- Avast Ultimate.
With the paid versions you will get additional tools. Avast Premium Security comes with Real Site, Sandbox, and Anti-Spam features. A firewall is also included in the deal. Premier adds webcam protection and a file shredder to the deal. With Avast Ultimate you get a bundle of antivirus software, a cleanup tool, advanced password manager and a VPN.
6. Best for Reliable Protection of Home PC: Kaspersky Antivirus
- Reliable protection
- Recovery of damaged files
- Simple interface
- Free 30-days trial
We don’t like:
- Can’t be precisely customized
- Not many extra features
This is one of the oldest and most reliable antiviruses. Everyone knows Kaspersky Antivirus (check out our review), many of us used it. But unlike many old players, this provider gets better over time.
The interface of this software is simple and intuitive. Main features — scanning, database update, reports, and on-screen keyboard — are placed on the left as buttons. Clicking on the Scan button, you can choose whether you want to run a quick or a full scan. Here you can specify areas of scanning as well. Also, you can schedule scans, so that they run automatically.
With an on-screen keyboard, you can protect your passwords and data from being stolen. It’s impossible to record anything that is typed if you use this keyboard. Another useful feature is the Vulnerability Scan. It searches for security patches that are missing, wrong system settings, etc. When issues are detected, you can tell the program to fix them.
Additional features are fairly useless. Privacy Cleaner and Kaspersky Rescue Disk can be replaced with any other tool. Browser Configuration Wizard works only with Internet Explorer. And the Windows Security Troubleshooting Wizard is hard to test, so we couldn’t prove its usefulness.
The cost of the Kaspersky Antivirus Security starts from $29.99 per year for one device with 50% off. You can choose the number of devices, and for how many years you need your license, and the price will go up accordingly.
- Kaspersky Free version
- Kaspersky Anti-Virus for one device — $29.99 per year;
- Kaspersky Internet Security — $39.99 per year;
- Kaspersky Total Security — $49.99 per year.
7. The Best Lightweight Antivirus with Automatic Scanning: ESET Nod32
- Simple, intuitive, lightweight
- Offers a free tool for social media scanning
- Fully compatible with the Linux OS
We don’t like:
- The list of extras is quite limited
- The multi-device packages are rather expensive
ESET might not be as popular as the leading antivirus security products, but it have a lot to offer. First of all, it is lightweight and can work flawlessly even on older desktop and mobile devices. Secondly, the 100% free SMS (Social Media Scanning) tool is an excellent feature and serves as an extra layer of defense
The Linux users will also be happy to learn that ESET fully supports this OS and the team regularly releases new updates for it. The most significant downside of this security software is the limited list of extra features (especially compared to the likes of Kaspersky Internet Security and Bitdefender Antivirus Plus). You won’t get a VPN, Tune-up tools, or optimization for your Smartphone, but there are a firewall and parental controls.
Furthermore, while most products are cheaper when you buy protection for several connections, the ESET multi-device packages are unreasonably expensive. Malware protection isn’t perfect, but well above average. There’s no free version available, but, the entry-level package is relatively affordable.
With ESET, you can choose one of the following packages:
- ESET NOD32 Antivirus Protection: $39.99 per year;
- ESET Internet Security: $49.99 paer year;
- ESET Smart Security Premium: $59.99 per year.
2-year subscription comes with 25% discount, for instance, to protect 1 PC will cost you $79.99 instead of $99.98.
8. Best for Those Who Value Privacy: ScanGuard
- Has a built-in VPN
- Tune-Up tools to enhance the performance
- Extensive parental control
We don’t like:
- No free trial
- No extensive tests available because the provider is new
ScanGuard focuses not just on the protection from viruses, ransomware protection and malware protection, but on the privacy of the user as well. With a quite reliable VPN service and additional firewalls, you will be perfectly safe.
It is a new provider, so no serious tests were held yet. However, users claim that ScanGuard can defeat even the most dangerous and strong viruses without overloading the system resources. And scans don’t impact the performance of the device which is rare. So even though we have no lab results to prove the reliability of this protection, satisfied users are the best proof.
With the simple and easy to use interface this new antivirus security software will quickly make its way to the top. ScanGuard comes in three packages. The 1st one — Essential Antivirus — provides the user with the protection from malware, ransomware, and phishing. It also has features for the optimization of PC, remote firewall protection, VPN and much more.
The second package — ScanGuard Pro Antivirus — will protect up to three devices. Additionally to the basic set of tools, it has the Safe Password Vault feature. And the last package — Ultimate Antivirus Security — is packed with premium opportunities. In addition to the features of both previous packages, this one supports five devices and gives you priority customer support that is available at any moment.
There are 3 packages to choose from, and the pricing is as follows:
- Scanguard Essential Antivirus Protection for one device — $24.95 for the 1st year;
- Scanguard Pro Antivirus Protection — $39.95 for the 1st year;
- Scanguard Ultimate Antivirus Protection — $59.95 for the 1st year.
Do You Need an Antivirus for Windows 10?
Windows always was a piece of cake for hackers because of the popularity of this OS and Windows Defender never help you with it. It is easy to target a large audience if you choose the most widely-used operating system as a medium. And even though Microsoft works hard on improving the safety of Windows, this OS remains vulnerable. However, it should be said that the security in Windows 10 is much better than the level of protection Windows XP had.
To keep your system protected, you have to update the antivirus database regularly. And, thus, you have to update the whole system. We all know how annoying and time-consuming this process is. That’s why we try to avoid it. But if you want to be safe, you have to go through it once in a while.
So it is still crucial to have an virus protection on your PC, even if you use the latest update of Windows 10 and Microsoft Windows Defender. Think about this — Microsoft works on various things improving its OS. Developers improve the performance, make the system more suitable for new apps and, of course, update the database of malware. That’s a lot of work.
Antivirus providers focus solely on protecting their users from attacks. So they, no doubt, give more time and efforts to it. Therefore, they can offer much more reliable internet security suite.
When connecting at home or work, we can safely assume that other computers in these network care free from viruses, but it doesn’t work that way when you’re on public Wi-Fi. By connecting to a Wi-Fi network in a cafe, hotel, airport, or subway, you open your data to everyone.
Anyone is capable of intercepting your traffic on the public network. That is why we strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with the rules of safe behavior on public networks and, of course, follow them. And, of course, it is always a good idea to spend some time and get the proper antivirus product that will do the job for you.
Which Antivirus Software is Best for Windows 10?
To pick one of the best antiviruses for Windows security, you have to understand what you are looking for. Here are several criteria that should define your choice:
- Full coverage. The security software has to protect you from all kinds of malware that exist at the moment.
- The antivirus program has to have a minor impact on the performance of your system possible. If it slows down the computer — it’s not a good option for you.
- Some providers have higher rates, others — lower. Understand your budget and consider only options that fit it.
- User experience. It is important that you don’t struggle setting up the internet security software and interacting with it.
- Look for reviews of the antivirus software you’re going to buy. See if in real life it is as good as the provider describes it.
Now, when you know how to choose the optimal antivirus for Windows, we can get to reviewing the most popular and reliable providers.
What About Free Windows Defender Alternative?
Windows Defender is not as unreliable as most people think. It existed since Vista and used to show little to no success. Lab tests of Windows Defender have shown very poor results — only 60–70% rate.
However, today best free antivirus software shows much better results than Windows Defender — 99.1%. It is not perfect. Windows Defender score is lower than most antiviruses mentioned above and even than best free antivirus solutions. It has pure security suite and no internet security features. But it protects your PC, and it is already installed and enabled. You don’t have to learn how to work with it as well as install anything. The Defender doesn’t take much place, doesn’t conflict with other apps and needs little resources.
Of course, there are issues. The protection of Windows Defender is not perfect (especially ransomware protection and malware protection), but again — it is free. On the one hand, a good free Total AV antivirus protection is also always here for us. But, on the other — if you have Windows 10 you don’t need to worry about anti virus protection a lot.
Nowadays antivirus protection is vital. It is one of the apps you simply can’t ignore. Malefactors are constantly working on new malware and other ways to get what they want. So you can’t just hope your PC will be fine. Especially if you use Windows OS. Sure, other operating system is far from safe as well. But as we told earlier, since this operating system is so popular, it is a favorite target of hackers.
The security suites don’t cost that much for you to neglect it. Trust us, you will spend more money trying to resurrect the data damaged by a virus. And you are lucky if only some data will be the victim of malware. If hackers steal your sensitive information — credit card details, for example — you will lose much more. So just get one of the antivirus products especially including the fact that there are free options (best free antivirus software here).
Also, along with antivirus products, you will get some additional useful tools and security suites. And it is always nice to have instruments that help you get the most of your PC. So spending money on the protection of your device, you will have a full set of various features as a huge bonus: malware protection, spyware protection, VPN, phishing protection and etc.