All computers need antivirus software, and Windows systems are no exemption. Although Windows computers have built-in anti-malware known as Windows Defender, it might not measure up to other third-party offerings. That is why we believe that it’s worth investing in reliable antivirus software, so your computers get the best protection bundled with handy features.
Here are 10 security software for Windows that we highly recommend:
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At first, AVG wasn’t considered among the best. When it was released in 2014, the antivirus software struggled in different antivirus test performances.
However, in 2016, the software underwent a complete overhaul. Since then, it has surpassed expectations in its performance. As a matter of fact, its latest update earned the app a score of 5.5 out of 6 in terms of protection and a perfect 6 for other test categories.
In 2017, AVG was awarded the top product award by AV-TEST. Investing in this software more or less gives you the guarantee that your system is in safe hands.
Avast is AVG’s greatest rival. Even its basic scan feature is already fast and solid enough. But note that this software has introduced a number of screen pop-ups, especially in its recent releases.
This software offers different “shield” packages that protect your system against specific types of threat. Among all packages, the most popular is the behavior shield, which monitors all apps in your system in case they act up.
Another interesting feature of Avast is the game mode. When enabled, it preserves your system resources.
Avira has the good of both AVG and Avast. Compared to AVG, Avira is more lightweight; unlike Avast, it detects viruses better. However, it has lots of pop-up ads.
The free version of Avira includes a Virtual Private Network (VPN), keeping you safe online and allowing you to access content from other parts of the world.
Malwarebytes is available in two versions. While the free version only cleans up a computer after an attack, the paid one provides real-time virus protection.
If you opt for the paid version, any malware can be detected and eliminated right away. All other viruses that slipped through or have already affected your system will be quarantined and fixed as well. In addition, it offers ransomware and virus protection, along with identity safeguard.
The best thing about Malwarebytes is that you can use it alongside your current anti-malware program.
Among all paid security software for Windows, Kaspersky has obtained an excellent virus-detection score. Its basic version includes a dedicated ransomware protection package, with an online account portal and a virtual keyboard.
Kaspersky also has an Internet Security package that comes with a secure browser, parental controls, webcam protection, and a VPN client that automatically launches when you connect to a public WiFi network.
The premium package offers file encryption features, an additional backup software, a password manager, and a file shredder.
In Europe, ESET is one of the biggest names in anti-malware. However, its virus-detection score isn’t as impressive as other security software on this list.
ESET’s entry-level package called ESET NOD32 comes with all the basic features you can ask for from an antivirus, but it has few handy tools. The premium package, in contrast, boasts a number of features, including file encryption, a password manager, and a virtual keyboard.
If you plan to use ESET in different operating systems and platforms, you need to get the ESET Multi-Device Security Pack.
Norton is quite an established name when it comes to antivirus products, but their packages seem to have fewer features than other popular security software.
For instance, the basic package only has a password manager. But do not expect any tech support in case problems arise. If you want access to help and a firewall, you can get that with the Norton Security Standard package.
If you ask us about our top choice among all security software that have basic antivirus features, we’d choose Bitdefender. We believe in it for a good reason. Not only does it have a perfect virus-detection score, it is also very lightweight, which means it does not affect your system performance.
It also comes with a secure browser, a password manager, a file shredder, ransomware protection, and a VPN client, which other basic packages do not have. Even better, if it detects that you are playing a game, it automatically stops any scan to allocate more resources to what you’re doing.
If you upgrade to the midrange version, you’ll get parental controls, webcam protection, a two-way firewall, and parental controls, which is necessary if you have kids accessing the web. For complete protection, Bitdefender offers the Total Security package that comes with an anti-theft feature, ideal for laptops and other handy devices.
Over the past few years, the malware detection score of McAfee has significantly improved. Unfortunately, until now, it still slows down computers during scans.
Despite that, this security software is still considered a bargain. For $60 a year, you or an entire organization can protect 10 devices at once. It doesn’t even matter if they run on OS X, Android, Linux, or Windows platforms.
In case you didn’t know, McAfee offers the best password managers to date. It comes in their Internet Security package.
10. Outbyte PC Repair
Outbyte PC Repair may sound new to you, but it is slowly making a name for itself not only in the security software category, but also in the system cleaner aspect.
This tool was primarily designed to diagnose Windows systems and locate any junk files and speed-reducing issues that result in crashes and errors. Eventually, with research and testing, the developers of the tool managed to add interesting features like privacy and security protection.
In a typical scenario, when you enter your credit card details or password, data are automatically saved on the hard drive. The data may be invisible to you, but they can be easily captured by professional hackers. With Outbyte PC Repair, you can get rid of your activity traces and secure your sensitive information.
Security Software Are Essential
Hate them or love them, security software are considered essentials on every Windows device. It does not matter whether you choose to use the free ones or opt for the paid tools. What’s important is that you have a reliable security software that provides the features and protection levels you need.
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.