Computers and smartphones are an invaluable part of our everyday lives and if you’re like most people, you use your devices for everything from browsing to banking. Have you stopped lately to consider how your world would turn upside down if a virus wreaked havoc on your systems or malware stole your personal data?To help you decide what antivirus software will work best for you, we have put together a review of the best products on the market. By choosing one of our recommended antivirus products, your safety and security online is highly increased.
The Best Antivirus Software for Windows Users
First, we are going to take a look at the best protective software for those using a Windows operating system. Whether it is at home or at work, it is likely you have at least one Windows-based system that needs protecting. Windows operating systems are still the most popular worldwide. Despite competitors gaining a larger foothold, Windows is still the software of choice for schools, universities and businesses. There are 1.25 billion Windows systems in use right now, which makes it by far the single largest operating system for desktops. Not all antivirus software is equal though! In our testing, we tried many options for Windows PC’s and there were several that had fatal security flaws, leaving systems vulnerable. After a lot of trial and error, we found the best security software available for purchase.Now, let’s get into it and look at the top three pieces of protective software for Windows.
#3 AVG Unlimited
AVG is well known for its free antivirus software. However, for a better level of protection they also have their paid ‘unlimited’ version.
- Ability to block the latest and most malicious malware
- Regular updates to keep up with new and developing threats
- Effective spam and phishing blockers
- Free remote installation and optimization
- Strong firewall that is easy to install and manage
You may have a negative view of AVG due to the reduced capabilities of the free version. Rest assured that the paid version is a real step above their free offering and does give the full functionality you would expect from good antivirus software.This product comes in at third place for Windows virus protection because of price. But it’s still an excellent product for securing your Windows computer and contains all the necessary firewalls and filters to allow you to browse safely. All the features offered by AVG Unlimited work well, but other software provides similar capabilities at a lower price point.
#2 Trend Micro
Trend Micro has been making consumer security software for some time and always comes out with quality products. Their range of security software for Windows is extensive. While only their highest-range products cover Macs and mobile devices, even their cheapest offer is compatible with Windows. The main features of Trend Micro antivirus software include:
- Protection for up to five devices with the premium software option
- Updates that keep you safe from the most recent ransomware attacks
- Phishing and spam filters
- Options for adding parental controls to your PC
- System scans and optimisations
- Secure password management
Although some pieces of preventative software can slow down your system or become annoying by blocking the wrong things, Trend Micro is different. This software has been fine tuned over many years and runs very smoothly on Windows systems. You will not experience any noticeable slowdown when using it.This is great software but it still comes in at second place, primarily because at the cheapest price point, much of the functions are limited. You have to spend considerably more to get full functionality, which makes it poor value compared to our number one choice.
#1 Norton Antivirus Basic
Norton is probably the most well-known provider of antivirus software for Windows and they have not gained this reputation by chance. The company offers amazing value in even their basic antivirus package. Some of the main features of the software include:
- Streamlined setup process that gets you up and running fast
- Powerful software that allows you to easily review threats and browsing history
- Browser extensions that keep you safe online
- Real-time updates to your software to keep out the latest threats
Norton has a somewhat unfair reputation for being a resource hog, but you can rest assured this is not the case with the latest version. When tested, it uses system resources more efficiently and does not generate unnecessary notifications.Norton is our number one choice for providing a great mix of function and value. In fact, this software regularly catches malware with a 99-100% accuracy. Norton’s effectiveness is just as good across the board on all its products without compromising affordability. You only pay more to cover additional devices or for more in-depth technical support.
The Best Antivirus Software for Mac
Traditionally, those using Macs thought they were immune to computer viruses due to the small number of people using OSX. This could not be more wrong. There are countless threats to Mac computers out there! We researched many options for Mac antivirus software and found what we believe are the very best ones on the market. Not all the products we tested were satisfactory in keeping your computer safe, so if you want to make sure you are protected while using your Mac, take a look at our detailed and unbiased reviews.The following are our top three picks for Mac preventative software. We tried every one of these and thought they were great, but there could only be one winner!
#3 Norton Security Standard
Although originally making software just for PC’s, Norton has fully featured products for protecting Macs too. Some of the features you can expect include:
- Full protection when shopping online
- High-powered and accurate email filtering
- 24/7 phone support to help you configure and use your new software
- An award winning firewall that frequently scores 100% in malware or phishing tests
While some people are worried about the impact of Norton antivirus software on the performance of their Mac, this should not be a concern. The engineers at Norton have been careful to optimize their product for Mac.Unfortunately, Norton has only supported Macs in their mid or high range product offerings, making this an expensive choice when compared to other options. For this reason, we have put Norton Security Standard in third place in our Mac antivirus software roundup.
#2 Panda Internet Security
As a relative newcomer compared to other brands, Panda has really challenged the big software companies with their internet security software. The main features of this antivirus software include:
- Strong firewalls that block malware and ransomware
- Regular updates that target the latest threats
- Identity protection functions
- High quality data protection
- Good phone support
You may be cautious about using Panda software simply because it does not have the name or brand recognition of the bigger companies. However, you should not be concerned about this. In independent testing, Panda antivirus software has performed as well as the leading brands. Despite being great value, we put Panda Internet Security in second place. It was a tough choice, but we believe our number one pick provides slightly better value and protection.
#1 Malwarebytes Premium
Malwarebytes Premium is a high-powered online security software that is precision engineered to protect you while using your Mac. The main features of this product include:
- Quick detection and removal of malware and viruses
- Active checks and verification of links and emails while browsing
- Blocks on invasive popups and malicious websites
- New and improved protection against ransomware attacks
Despite the name, Malwarebytes is a fully featured online security program that blocks much more than just malware. When using this software, it fully protects against even the newest threats thanks to the regular updates.We have put this software in the number one position because it eliminates threats while also offering great value. Unlike other companies that price their products much higher for Mac users, this software is reasonably priced.
The Best Antivirus Software for Android
A high proportion of new computing devices run on Android because of the explosion in the popularity of mobile devices. Phones never used to need antivirus protection but now that they are as powerful as a regular computer, they have become a target for hackers.We now keep so much important personal data on our phones, protecting your Android device should be a top priority. Without the right software, you risk all your data being compromised.To help you find the best protection money can buy, we have reviewed all the popular options for Android antivirus software. The three best picks reviewed below are the top products we found during our extensive research and testing.
#3 Norton Security Delux
One of the first companies to offer software to protect phones is Norton. This high-quality software has features like:
- Support for up to five devices, including PC’s, Macs and Android operating systems
- A money-back guarantee
- Industry leading payment and identity protection
- Ability to cover all your devices with a single subscription
Some people have been doubtful about the ability of Norton to bring the full functions of their desktop software to mobile devices. In the past, it was true phone versions were less capable than their desktop counterparts, but the software has now matured and provides great protection.Norton Security Deluxe has come in at third based on value for money. If you only wanted to protect your phone, the price point really makes this an unattractive option. It may be worth it if you have many devices that you want to protect though.
#2 AVG Internet Security Unlimited
AVG has added Android protection to their popular software in recent years, making it a leading choice for anyone who wants to keep their phone safe. The main benefits of using this software are:
- Regular real time updates
- Effectiveness in blocking malware
- A strong firewall that is easily configured to your personal preferences
- Advanced blocking of unsafe links and emails
While the Android component of AVG’s software may seem like a bolted-on extra to some, it is actually a full-featured antivirus program. You can expect the same level of functionality and protection for your phone as you would expect when using AVG on your PC or Mac.We have put AVG in second place because of their generous unlimited offering. Although the price is high, your licence allows you to install on an unlimited number of devices. With this software, you can protect your whole family!
#1 Panda Antivirus Pro****
Panda Antivirus Pro is a great, full-featured solution for protecting Android devices. Just some of the benefits of this product include:
- Full optimization for Android devices
- Constant innovation and development to catch new threats
- Strong hacking and malware protection
- Easy to install and configure on your phone
- Responsive and helpful technical support
This offer by Panda may not have all the bells and whistles of other software at first glance, but on closer inspection you will realize it has everything you need. Panda has purposely kept their product light and fast, making it perfect for use on mobile devices. Based on the fast and responsive design of this software as well as the great price for a single licence, this is our number one choice for Android antivirus software.
#Choosing The Best Protection For Your Individual Situation
Here, we covered the best antivirus software from the biggest brands in antivirus and online security. As you may have noticed, there is no single product that provides the best value or protection across PC, Mac and Android.For PC, it was a tough choice but we rate the tried and true option of Norton Basic as the best choice. For Mac users, Malwarebytes came out ahead because of their competitive pricing and high-quality protection. For Android users, Panda Security has by far the best option with a fully featured and easy to use product that beats out the competition in terms of protection and maintaining speed on your device.All of the above reviews are based on our extensive research, testing and industry knowledge so you can rest assured that every one of our recommendations are fair, unbiased and impartial. Our goal is to promote secure browsing and help you protect your devices from unwanted phishing or hacking. The most important thing is to stay safe!