The best antivirus software 2021: 

Thankfully, both Windows 10 and Windows 11 come with built-in Microsoft Defender Antivirus (aka Windows Defender), which has gone from useless to one of the best free antivirus programs available in the last few years.

If you just want to stop malware, Microsoft Defender will do the job. But it can’t quite match the extra protection and features that come with the highest paid antivirus software or even some free programs.

If you have young children at home and want to monitor their online activity, or if you’re looking for a VPN provider or password manager, then buying an antivirus program may save you money in the long run. 

Paid antivirus software adds specialized defenses against ransomware and webcam hijacking, has additional features like file shredding or encryption built in, and often includes things you’d normally have to buy separately, including password managers, cloud backup solutions, VPNs, and identity theft protection.

The top 3 best antivirus softwares

1.Norton 360 Deluxe


 Norton AntiVirus Plus gets impressive scores in independent lab tests and our own hands-on tests and offers a wealth of useful features. However, it’s expensive and doesn’t offer deals for multiple-computer households.

Almost everything you could ever need


Norton 360 Deluxe $24.99/year


+Excellent malware protection

+Parental controls, backup software, online storage, password manager, webcam protection, unlimited VPN+LifeLock identity protection with top tiers

All nine of Norton’s antivirus products offer excellent malware protection and a much lighter performance load on once-heavy systems. The number of extra features in each program varies by price, but the best place in the lineup is Norton 360 Deluxe.

Norton 360 Premium and Norton 360 Platinum, both retail-only products, give you more online storage and extend antivirus and VPN coverage to 10 and 20 devices, respectively. devices.

If you want full identity protection, Norton offers three bundles that include varying levels of LifeLock services and more online storage. Their annual subscriptions can be priced in the triple digits, but still cost less than buying identity protection, password managers, cloud backup storage and antivirus software separately.

Unlike some of the other best antivirus software manufacturers, Norton does not offer file shredders, file encryption or a secure Web browser with any of its products. However, all other digital protection services you may need are included in at least some of their bundled packages.

2.Bitdefender Antivirus


Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is our top choice among entry-level antivirus products. It has very good, if not perfect, malware-detection scores. Its active scans don’t add much to the background system impact, but that background load is a bit heavy.

The best value antivirus software.



Bitdefender Antivirus Plus $29.98


+Very good malware protection+Lots of useful extra features+Light system impact with active scans

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is our top choice among entry-level antivirus products. It has a very good (if not perfect) malware detection score. Its active scanning does not increase the impact on background systems, but the background load is a bit heavy. 

It also offers the most value with an unlimited password manager, a secure browser with virtual keyboard, a Wi-Fi network scanner, a file shredder, encrypted ransomware protection, and Bitdefender’s new Web privacy software — features usually only available in higher-priced antivirus packages.

Mid-range Bitdefender Internet Security adds parental controls, webcam protection and a two-way firewall, while Bitdefender Total Security is available through Laptop Anti-Theft, System Optimizer and Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac and Bitdefender Mobile Security licenses stand out in the lineup. Android. 

The fourth product, Bitdefender Premium Security, is basically Total Security with unlimited VPN usage and priority technical support. (Other programs limit your use of Bitdefender VPN to 200MB per day.) 

But the best deal is the Bitdefender Family Pack, which offers Total Security for $120 per year (often discounted) for up to 15 devices.

3.McAfee Antivirus


McAfee’s malware detection has improved greatly in the past couple of years, but it’s still not quite top-of-the-line. 

The best value antivirus software.


Mcafee Antivirus $44.99/year


+Protects lots of machines for cheap+Password manager+Improving malware protection

McAfee’s malware detection has improved considerably over the past few years, but it’s still not best-in-class. 

That said, the entry-level McAfee AntiVirus Plus is a good deal: $60 per year buys the software for up to 10 (virtually unlimited) devices, whether they run Windows, macOS, iOS or Android, and the software comes with a file shredder and two-way firewall. 

McAfee Internet Security adds one of the industry’s best password managers, but to get parental controls, you must immediately use McAfee Total Protection or its sibling, McAfee LiveSafe, which comes pre-installed on many new PCs. 

The multi-device licenses for both security suites also come with identity protection services. However, none of the McAfee products have secure browser or webcam protection, which other advanced antivirus programs typically offer.

At the top is McAfee Total Protection Ultimate, which adds unlimited VPN services with no strings attached. Hardcore PC gamers may want to consider McAfee Gamer Security, which offers low-overhead protection for a single device at $60 per year.

How to choose the best antivirus software for you

Before you buy anti-virus protection, find out what you need. If you have young children at home, consider a mid-range anti-virus product, most of which include parental controls. 

Do you want an all-inclusive security solution? Many quality products include identity theft protection, password managers, backup software, and/or VPN services. 

Or are you a technical person who understands the risks of Internet use? Then a low-cost basic program may be just what you need.

Once you have prioritized, you can determine the number of machines that need protection. 

Most vendors offer single-device licenses for Windows PCs. However, multi-device, multi-platform licenses for five, ten or more computers and mobile devices are available in mid-range and advanced antivirus packages covering Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and sometimes even Linux. some vendors offer plans that cover an unlimited number of devices.

Gone are the days when you could walk into a store and pay a one-time fee for an off-the-shelf antivirus product. Now, all vendors sell their software licenses as annual (or multi-year) subscriptions. The benefit is that you’ll always have the latest software, which you can download and install directly from the Internet.

Anti-virus Pricing and Features

Many antivirus products are sold online for much less than their list price. But each brand offers basic, mid-range and premium features and pricing configurations, adding more functionality at each step.

Think of a car at a dealership. You can get a basic model car that will get you from one place to another just fine. For a little more money, you can get a car with satellite radio but no heated side view mirrors, alloy wheels or in-car Wi-Fi hotspot. Or you can spend even more to get a car with all the fixtures.

Anti-virus manufacturers also want you to get additional options, whether you need them or not. You can’t trade up for a bigger engine: All Windows antivirus products in a given brand lineup will use the same malware detection engine and offer the same level of basic protection.

The basic paid antivirus software is usually referred to as “Antivirus” or similar and costs $40-$60 per year for a subscription. The software will have basic malware protection and may also have a password manager or two-way firewall.

Mid-range anti-virus packages are usually labeled “Internet Security” and start at $60-$80 per year. They usually add parental controls, some of which are very good, and some other features such as webcam protection. They usually include multi-device licenses and antivirus software for Mac and Android devices.

At the top is a premium “security suite,” which includes all the additional security tools that antivirus brands can offer, such as password managers, VPN client software, backup software, online storage and even identity protection services. 

Prices start at $80 to $100 per year, but make sure you really need those extra tools you’re paying for. Password managers are usually very good, but online storage can be trivial, and VPN services usually don’t provide you with unlimited data.