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Last UpdatedFeb 2023

Best Antivirus Software 2023
Secure your personal data

Installing antivirus on your computer means your family will never compromise data or security. Get the best antivirus software & stay protected online.

Suggested antivirus protection for your computer
Our Best Deal
Aura
Aura
excellent
9.6
Save up to 42% off select plans
Get It Now
Norton
Norton
exceptional
9.8
Save 66% on select products
Get It Now
McAfee
McAfee
excellent
9.0
Get up to $120 off select plans
Get It Now
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Our Top Choice for February 2023

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Who Needs Antivirus Software?

These days, everybody needs antivirus software.

Computer viruses don’t just come from streaming or downloading movies. Many people think that they can avoid potential threats by making sure they don’t visit certain websites or download certain files.

The truth is computer viruses can make their way onto your computer or any other device in a number of ways. You can pick up viruses and malware simply by checking your email, browsing the web or from putting a USB memory stick into your laptop.

Virus protection is a requisite of having your own personal computer. Luckily for you, there are hundreds of choices of antivirus software – each with its pros and cons. Making a choice between internet security software can be difficult, but that’s what we’re here for!

How Antivirus Works

Most antivirus software works on a signature database, monitoring the internet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every time a new virus is reported – it’s indexed, catalogued and added to the software’s database. Once your antivirus software is up-to-date it is equipped to tackle the new virus should it ever reach your device.

How to Handle Viruses

You often have three options when faced with a threat on your computer: delete the threat, quarantine it or ignore it.

Deleting is almost always the best option, but some viruses make themselves "un-deletable" and quarantining becomes your only option. Your quarantine folder will keep the virus isolated and prevent it from spreading or causing damage to other files. Antivirus software can be passive or active – passive requires you to make scheduled or manual virus scans, while active runs in the background; detecting and fighting threats in real-time.

Free vs Paid Antivirus Software

If you are deciding on a new antivirus software and may want to try a free version, keep in mind that there are pros and cons for both paid and free versions. Using a free antivirus software can cost you more in the long run and most experts suggest that it’s better to use a paid version. Free versions can be great to try a new software or set of features, but will never provide the same level of protection - and your service most certainly won’t include internet security software.

Paid versions of antivirus software will cover both online and offline activities, permanently delete sensitive digital files and provide extra encryption to protect your most private files from malware like Trojans, worms and ransomware.

A paid antivirus software is especially helpful if you have a PC or device that has already been infected. Many paid versions offer virus removal and cleanup tools, in addition to the highest-quality prevention and detection rates.

Extra Features

There are a few key features that you should look out for when looking for antivirus software, and it will vary depending on your needs.

Online Protection - If you’re online, then you probably want an internet security software with a built-in firewall.

Email Protection - If you’re a heavy email user then you’ll want be on the lookout for anti-spam, spyware and phishing.

Parental Controls - Parents need to look for software with easy-to-use parental controls and restrictions.

Gaming Protection - Gamers can look forward to a "gaming mode," which prompts the internet security software to use less resources.

Compatibility - You will want to check the compatibility of your chosen software with your operating system, whether that be Windows protection, Mac OS antivirus and everything in between.

How We Review & Score

Choosing the best antivirus software should be much easier with our expert reviews. Our experts have analyzed some of the best choices on the market, and each review covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Pricing
  • Features
  • Ease of use
  • Overall value for money
  • Customer support
  • User experience
  • Independent testing

But it’s up to you to decide which is the most applicable for your needs. If you need more help, check out all of our in-depth, expert reviews. These will help you understand what you should look out for and how to find the perfect antivirus solution.

Our Top 3 Picks

  • 1
    Aura

    Aura

    excellent
    9.6
    • FeaturesFull featured protection
    • Support24/7/365 expert support
    • Guarantee60-day money-back guarantee (with annual plans)

    Aura’s combined antivirus and VPN plan provides protection for your device and Wi-Fi network along with 24/7 expert support for as little as $18 per year. Its all-in-one plans offer additional protection such as $1 million identity theft insurance, online account monitoring, and social security number monitoring. Aura offers all its antivirus and VPN features in one easy app for Windows and MacOS (with VPN also available for Android and iOS).

    Aura’s tiered pricing model gives you the choice of using antivirus and VPN only or getting additional protection against threats like ID theft and financial fraud.

  • 2
    Norton

    Norton

    exceptional
    9.9
    • FeaturesPremium safety features
    • SupportFree 24/7 customer support
    • Guarantee60-day money-back guarantee

    Norton gives you easy-to-use protection with in-depth parental controls. Depending on the package, Norton Security includes full antivirus protection, firewall protection, identity and financial protection, parental controls, email and spam blocking, password manager, PC optimization tools and 25 GB online backup storage for up to 10 computers or devices.

    When it comes to virus protection, while the Norton Security's detection rates may leave something to be desired, the solid parental controls and ease of use make it a great choice for users looking for average virus detection coupled with top of the line parental controls for their family.

    Pros
    • Easy to install and use
    • Protect up to 5 devices
    • Includes ID theft, VPN, and more
    Cons
    • Average detection rates and protection
    • Overall, average performance
  • 3
    McAfee

    McAfee

    excellent
    9.0
    • FeaturesFull featured protection
    • Support24/7 technical support
    • Guarantee30-day money-back guarantee

    McAfee is one of the biggest and most trusted names in antivirus software. McAfee provides secure total protection for your computer and devices. No matter which package you choose you will have access to free 24/7 support, parental controls and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    When you spend a little more for the internet security and total protection packages, you get anti-malware, anti-theft and file protection for any Mac, Windows or Android device. You can also opt for parental controls, anti-spam to block dangerous emails and the True Key app to store your passwords and usernames.

    Pros
    • Easy to use, install and manage
    • Above average detection rates and protection
    • 100% guaranteed virus removal
    Cons
    • Above average price to its counterparts
    • Uses more system resources than other antivirus packages

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McAfee
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