Protecting your computer or laptop is something that everyone should do to ward off malware, spyware, phishing, or ransomware content. If you want to keep your device virus-free, don’t miss our ranking of the best antivirus for Windows this year.
There are many different types of malware – viruses, spyware, phishing, ransomware and the ideal would be to find software capable of detecting and eliminating each one of them. In this article, we will review the top 10 antiviruses for Windows this year.
If you have come this far, it is probably because you have just made the right decision to protect your Windows computer or laptop against possible computer attacks. For this, as you know, there is nothing better than an antivirus.
But first, take your time to read the introduction that precedes the ranking and thus know why it is important to have an antivirus installed, how to know which of them is better and if free programs really do their job.
On the other hand, you may need an antivirus for Mac. In effect, Apple devices can also catch a virus and for this, you will need one of these antivirus available for Mac or the steps to follow to eliminate it.
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How to determine which antivirus is best for Windows
Why do you need an antivirus?
All Windows computers and laptops are vulnerable to virus infections unless they have installed some type of program that protects their security. Thus, the best solution against a possible attack is an antivirus.
In effect, the antivirus can detect -and therefore prevent-, stop and eliminate malicious programs or content. While they certainly aren’t the perfect solution against viruses, they do act efficiently as a first layer of protection.
It is essential, therefore, to have an application of this type installed and update it often. This will help you fight viruses and, even more importantly, protect your personal information against ransomware attacks.
So much so that in recent times this has been the main focus of hackers. Before, what they mainly pursued was to feed their own ego, but now they are looking to use malware to fill their pockets.
Also, today, to be a computer criminal, you don’t necessarily have to have a great deal of knowledge on the subject. Simply, all you need to do is buy the required software and have millions of email addresses to infect.
How does antivirus protect you from zero-day attacks?
The main objective of an antivirus is to prevent malicious content from being installed on your computer. Although the most modern programs manage to do so to a large extent, it must be borne in mind that this malware is constantly evolving.
Always keeping in mind that there is no fully effective antivirus on the market, we can assess their protection capacity by determining how fast they are capable of acting against so-called zero-day attacks.
As the name suggests, this refers to those attacks for which, being so new and unknown, an application has not yet been designed to stop them. Antivirus programs are usually capable of detecting them, even in less than an hour.
A factor that seems to be determined in this regard today is synchronization with the cloud, which usually speeds up the process of detecting zero-day attacks. On the other hand, artificial intelligence and behavioral analysis are beginning to be used.
In this way, newly installed programs are monitored, suspicious activity is searched for and potential damage is acted upon. The ransomware is detected, for example, after several unexpected attempts to encrypt files.
How do you know if an antivirus is good?
To make this ranking of the 11 best antiviruses this year, we have had the invaluable help of the AV-TEST Institute, an independent German organization dedicated to antivirus analysis, and the British computer security company SE Labs.
Both companies are highly respected in the industry for their rigorous testing of antivirus products made by leading security companies. Its evaluation processes are made up of several levels.
On the one hand, the ability of antivirus to detect malware using rather traditional methods is examined. Then your ability to stop new malicious content attacks is determined. It is also evaluated whether it is capable of cleaning an infected PC.
Should you trust a free antivirus?
All the products on this list are quality and worth investing in. The most important thing of all is that you have one of them installed. You can also choose one of our most recommended free antivirus for Windows.
In fact, even leading companies like Kaspersky have their free version. It is true that paid products tend to offer better benefits, but that does not mean that we can find free products that are much more worthwhile.
Comparative: What is the best antivirus for this 2020?
1. Norton 360 Deluxe
$ 9.99 (1 month), $ 59.99 (1 year)
Norton 360 Deluxe antivirus receives this name because it offers complete security to protect all your devices, as well as alert you in case your access codes and passwords are for sale on the dark web.
This application is available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, so this antivirus is intended for any user. In the 2019 AV-Test reviews, it achieved great results in terms of performance, protection and ease of use.
It features excellent virus protection, as well as protection for web browsing, protection against phishing, a VPN service and a password manager. You also have 50 GB of cloud storage and tools to speed up your computer.
2. Bitdefender Total Security (2020)
The Bitdefender Total Security package includes everything. In addition to giving you the ability to scan documents and systems, there is a scanner dedicated to finding software that needs updating, as well as weak passwords.
In addition, this antivirus also offers protection against new and emerging threats such as ransomware. This is the Network Threat Prevention feature that removes threats before they take effect.
When you buy this software you will also get a password manager, a parental control, anti-tracking tools and a VPN with 200 MB per day per device. In the latest AV-Test report, it managed to remove all the malware.
3. ESET Internet Security
$ 49.99 (1 year), $ 79.99 (2 years), $ 109.98 (3 years)
Affordable and with excellent results, the ESET Internet Security antivirus is undoubtedly one of our favorites, with features as useful as a scanner for social networks or a manager to know the current state of security on your PC.
The interface of this program is very simple, without frills, but this can lead to confusion. At first glance it may seem that this antivirus only offers the basic protection, but in fact it is even capable of scanning all your devices at once.
The ESET package is capable of blocking web pages with phishing content and includes functions such as a spam blocker and a system to verify the content of your email account.
4. Kaspersky Security Cloud
$ 89.99 (1 year)
At first glance, there is nothing that makes us opt for the Kaspersky Security Cloud or the Kaspersky Total Security. Both have the main tools of an antivirus, so betting on one or the other seems like a good idea.
What makes the Security Cloud antivirus different is that it has a security technology that automatically adapts to your use. Thus, your settings will be adjusted according to what activities you do using the Internet.
This antivirus will also help you detect unauthorized devices or somewhat dubious web pages and block adware, as well as create strong and secure passwords and manage them effectively.
Also, now more than ever, you are interested in choosing Kaspersky as your antivirus. The company offers a 35% discount on its ‘Complete Protection’ package (€ 32.47 instead of € 49.95), and also on its ‘Premium Protection’ package (€ 38.97 instead of 59.95).
5. McAfee Total Protection (2020)
$ 44.99 (1 year), $ 154.98 (2 years)
McAfee Total Protection promises “total protection” (just see what it’s called). The truth is that McAfee users can rest easy, and this antivirus lives up to its name and offers protection in many aspects.
Its multiple functions will be useful, from the new cryptojacking protection to its password manager, as well as the possibility it offers to create a password protected folder in which to save all your important files.
Logically, the protection against malware is also excellent, although we do not recommend that you pay extra money to also get the McAfee VPN. You’ll find much more powerful options in our article on better VPNs.
6. BullGuard Premium Protection
$ 29.98 (1 year), $ 47.98 (2 years), $ 59.98) (3 years)
Designed especially for homes, BullGuard Premium Protection has a network scanner that will protect any device connected to the Internet, as well as offering rapid detection of malware.
Another highlight is a search engine that will track any leaks on the web of your name, email and bank details. It will also offer you advice in the event that your personal data has been violated.
If you have children, you will be interested to know that the parental control option can be activated on the smallest mobile devices, with which you can see their calls, messages and photos, as well as control their location.
7. AVG Ultimate (2019)
$ 99.99 (1 year)
For users who are only concerned with the speed of their browsing, the solution is to purchase the AVG Ultimate antivirus, specialized in making the experience with your computer faster and safer.
Specifically, this application will lengthen battery life, deactivate unused programs and eliminate everything you no longer want. And the best thing is that you can anticipate and correct small bugs before they become a real problem.
Compared to other antivirus on this list, AVG Ultimate may seem a little insufficient, but its artificial intelligence system is capable of identifying malware. It also keeps you away from malicious pages and apps.
8. Sophos Home Premium
$ 30 (1 year), $ 60 (2 years)
The Sophos Home Premium is a more or less affordable antivirus with which you can protect up to 10 devices at a time. We must also highlight its cloud management service, as well as the application compatible with smartphones and tablets that is also included in the pack.
The protection it offers covers many aspects. As it happens with more and more antivirus, it also has a module dedicated exclusively to fighting against ransomware, so you will not have to worry about the security of your data.
We must recognize, however, that there are some features that we would like to see included, such as the possibility of scanning local Wi-Fi networks or deleting documents forever.
9. Avast Premier
$ 69.99 (1 year), $ 139.99 (2 years), $ 209.99 (3 years)
At first glance, the paid version of Avast antivirus did not differ much from its free version, but the truth is that Avast Premier (or Avast Premium Security) offers other tools that will help detect and eliminate possible threats.
In this sense, the ‘Smart Scan’ function searches for viruses, obsolete software and accessories with a bad reputation, but it also uses your network to find threats on other devices. You can use their smart analysis to find out if your passwords are secure.
One of the most positive points of this antivirus is the possibility that it offers you to scan all downloads for ransomware. Recently, a shield against this type of malware has been added to protect the folders you want.
10. Avira Antivirus Pro
$ 34.99 per year
In addition to the typical tools that any antivirus offers to scan malware and protect a computer against malicious content, Avira Antivirus Pro will also allow you to analyze Wi-Fi networks and detect unauthorized devices connected to your router.
The ‘Privacy Pal’ function will also serve to scan any digital trace that you can leave and can be used to track you or to identify yourself. You will also find a password manager, a plug-in for your browser and much more.
However, there are many other features that are not offered in this version of Antivirus Pro and you will need to purchase the Prime service. Among other things, this version includes a VPN connection. You can also purchase the Internet Security Suite or Prime pack.