When you are using a Windows computer, one of the most important things you could do is install an antivirus for Windows. Mind you, your PC is vulnerable to hackers and malicious attacks. Hacking it is the best way they can steal your data and misuse it against you. But if you have a reliable antivirus installed on your device, the risks are lower.
With the user shifting towards Windows OS, it has become much more prone to malicious phishing attacks. That’s why if you are using a Windows computer, it’s essential to have security software installed. An antivirus can protect your PC from malicious files, trojans, ransomware attacks, and other unscrupulous activities.
When it comes to installing an antivirus, most of us tend to be confused about which one to use. Especially with so many free and paid tools available, it’s never been easy to select the best antivirus for Windows 7. Breathe easy, we are here to make it easier for you. Check out our list of best Antivirus for Windows and get the best one as per your requirement.
10 Best Antivirus for Windows
1. Best Free Antivirus: Microsoft Defender
Microsoft Windows Defender is an in-built antivirus for Windows that is free and has an advanced paid version for endpoint security. However, even if you use the free version, you can still keep your machine from getting hacked or attacked by malicious files and trojans.
Wondering how? Well, Microsoft Defender protects your PC as long as you follow some safety practices. For example, you need to keep your operating systems and all software programs updated. Also, use strong passwords on your different online accounts.
As far as remembering several passwords is concerned, keep a powerful password manager to store the passwords. Also, clicking on suspicious links or opening suspicious emails can make your system vulnerable to potential online threats. Thus, be aware of your online activities as a part of safe computing.
Windows Defender antivirus is turned on by default on your Windows system. When you are using your PC, it is automatically working to keep your system safe. Microsoft releases regular updates for Microsoft Defender to keep your PC safe against the latest threats and vulnerabilities. However, when you install a third-party antivirus, Windows Defender will be disabled on its own.
- Free to use
- Comes in-built in most Advanced Windows systems
- Easy to use
- Provides effective security features
- Not as advanced as the third-party antivirus
2. Norton 360
Norton has various versions, such as Norton Plus, Standard, Delux, and more. However, Norton 360 is the best antivirus for Windows. Norton is well-known for its multi-layered security protection that protects your PC and from outside malicious attacks easily. It is available for Mac OS, iOS, and Android as well, and it costs $150 per year for using it on 5 devices. But sometimes they discount the price and make it available for $100.
Norton Security or NortonLifeLock has performed well on AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and SE Labs that examine the efficiency of virus detection and protection of an antivirus. But malware detection and protection is not the only thing Norton is good at. It offers 100 GB of cloud storage where you can back up your browsing data. Also, it provides a variety of browsing tools for safe internet browsing. Norton provides a VPN security service, a password manager, LifeLock identity theft protection, parental controls, and fraud alert. Getting all these useful services in just one antivirus subscription is just irresistible.
- Provides advanced security features
- Secure and reliable antivirus
- Comes in different subscription plans
- The free antivirus version is not that great
3. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Bitdefender antivirus is available for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android for free. However, the paid version is also there with extensive functions like powerful virus removal. Even the free version of Bitdefender analyzes threats in real-time and protects your PC against ransomware, malware, and spyware. You can set up Bitdefender antivirus easily on your computer, and it also provides some great useability for new users.
One thing that we liked the most about the Bitdefender antivirus is that it does not bother you with unwanted notifications every now and then. It will only alert you about real threats and eliminate them on its own. The AV-Test, an independent testing lab, puts this antivirus on top in terms of usability. The free version of Bitdefender covers your Windows computer, but if you want to cover more devices, you will have to opt for its subscription.
Bitdefender Total Security is available at $40, and one subscription will let you protect up to five devices. You can use it on Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS and enable the parental controls for your kids and the VPN connection. That makes it one of the best free antivirus for PC operating on Windows 10.
- Provides an additional VPN feature
- Cross-platform availability
- Simple to use
- The free version does not offer good features
Malwarebytes is, as the name suggests, a great solution for removing malware from your Windows PC, just like Microsoft Defender. Apart from Windows 10 though, it is available for Mac OS and Android with a 14-days free trial. But once the trial period is over, you will have to buy it for $30 per year if you want to use it on one device at a time.
It scores well in the AV-Test independent testing lab in terms of protecting your devices against malware attacks. The Malwarebytes Premium version comes with ransomware protection and exploits protection tools. The security software can block malicious links and phishing URLs so that your online activities remain safe.
The best part about the antivirus is that it seamlessly works with other security programs installed on your system. You can keep the Microsoft Windows Defender enabled while using Malwarebytes on your Windows PC.
- Reliable, Efficient, and lightweight
- Offers a 14-day free trial
- Easy to use
- Lacks premium features compared to its peers
5. McAfee Total Protection
We cannot simply leave out the world’s one of the most important antivirus companies, McAfee. We should have even mentioned it sooner in the list. McAfee Total Protection is available on Windows 10, Mac OS, Android, and iOS and costs around $100 a year if you want to use it on five different devices. McAfee has been serving users for more than two decades, but in 2017, Intel collaborated with McAfee to boost its security offerings. Since then, Mcafee has been improving with new robust security features added regularly.
McAfee Total Protection also performed well in a recent AV-Test, and the results testify to its high performance and security protection. If you subscribe to Mcafee Total Protection, you can easily safeguard your devices against viruses and prevent your computer from entering malicious websites. McAfee subscription also includes a password manager and McAfee ID Theft Protection Essentials that analyzes fraud IDs for enhanced protection.
- McAfee is a renowned brand
- Offers excellent security features
- Includes password manager
6. Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows
Kaspersky Antivirus for Windows is a highly configurable antivirus for Windows that has little impact on the performance of your computer. Kaspersky has improved a lot over the years. That includes your laptop’s minimizing battery drain when the antivirus is running in the background. Kaspersky Free antivirus version is also readily available.
The software is quite efficient when it comes to battling against malware and other types of viruses that might harm your system or damage your personal data. Kaspersky Antivirus for Windows also has a high rating in the independent test labs and has achieved the ‘Product of the Year’ award in 2020 from the AV-Comparatives.
In addition, Kaspersky provides a System Watcher module in the antivirus software that helps the service identify threats as soon as they enter your computer. Simply put, Kaspersky antivirus does a decent job in keeping your device safe with parental control, password manager, and the virus protection system.
- A decent antivirus
- It comes with a free version
- Reliable and Secure
- Doesn’t fare well against McAfee
7. Avira Antivirus Pro
Avira Antivirus, based in Germany, is rated highly for its performance. However, we like the Avira Antivirus Pro version the most because it is easy to set up and comes with a simple user interface. It’s easy to navigate even for beginner-level computer users.
You won’t have to wonder how to scan and protect your device against malware or other viruses as long as you have an Avira Antivirus Pro subscription on your PC. The Avira Pro comes with several tools for safe internet access on your Windows computer. The Browser safety Component features available with Avira can successfully block malware-hosting URLs to keep your system secure. Plus, the software offers protection against Ransomware attacks. The Avira Pro comes with free VPN services and a 30 days money-back guarantee.
- Comes with a free version
- Reliable and secure
- A fast and instantaneous antivirus that shows threats in real-time
- VPN service is not that effective
8. Avast Premium Security
Avast Premium Security is a strong antivirus for Windows, keeping your PC safe against viruses and hackers. One subscription of Avast for $99.99 per year covers up to 10 devices, which is more efficient than any other antiviruses we have previously met.
The best features of Avast Premium Security are a secure browser, wifi inspector, and web protection. We like Avast Premium Security because of its easy-to-operate interface and highly configurable settings. You can even customize the virus scan and run them at the same time whenever required.
Avast Antivirus scores well in the independent lab testing. The web protection in Avast antivirus is a powerful feature that does not let you worry about your regular internet activities. It also gives you an unlimited free VPN service to safeguard your internet activities from the prying eyes of advertisers and the government.
- Does a decent job in keeping your devices safe
- Provides browser security, wifi inspector, and many other cool features
- Allows VPN connectivity
- Does not have a free version
9. BullGuard Antivirus
BullGuard Antivirus is one of the best antivirus programs of all time, especially for gamers. It only costs $39.98 per year. With a Bullguard antivirus subscription, you can only use it on one device. Bullguard offers quality antivirus protection on your web browser and outside.
BullGuard does not interfere with games, which makes it the best choice for gamers. Bullguard Game Booster runs in the Windows 10 background, but at the same time, it adjusts the processes to allow other apps and games to use the CPU. as such, those apps don’t slow down on your system.
So, you can play games on full screen, and still, your computer will work fast and efficiently. However, unlike other antiviruses in this list, Bullguard does not have that many features.
- A perfect antivirus for online gamers
- A lightweight tool that does not interfere with your system performance
- Does not provide many features
10. ESET NOD32 Antivirus
ESET NOD32 Antivirus is another great option for hardcore gamers who don’t like to be interrupted. When running in the background, it does not interrupt your gameplay. It offers great protection at only $33.95, so it’s quite affordable as well. ESET Antivirus free download is readily available, with no credit card required.
ESET NOD32 is a fast, effective, cheap, and lightweight antivirus software that you can install on your new PC anytime. It clears out malware and other types of viruses thoroughly from your system. Also, it checks every registry for possible threats so that your computer does not stay vulnerable to malicious activities. On the downside, it does not offer a password manager or VPN and firewall like other paid alternatives.
- A good option for hardcore gamers
- Fast, cheap, and lightweight
- Thoroughly looks for virus on your device
- Does not provide VPN services or a password manager
One thing people ask a lot is whether to go for a paid antivirus or a free one. Well, we would suggest that you can try a free option from these best Antivirus for Windows and figure out which one is the best for you. If you like the services while using the trial plan, then you can opt for their subscription. But if the trial does not suit you, then you can go ahead and try as many others as you can.
That’s all. Hope you find the article useful as you can choose the best antivirus for Windows computers easily. Tell us which one you are using in the comment section below.
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