Best Antivirus

Best Antivirus Software 2021

We've tested more than 50 antivirus software providers and ranked them by security features, functionality, system performance and prices. This review will analyze the 10 best antivirus available, to help you pick the best protection for your devices.

Written by Ria du Plessis - Web and Security Expert

Updated on October 2, 2021

What is the Best Antivirus Software For October 2021?

McAfee Total Protection

Premium antivirus with safe web browsing, PC optimization, suitable for all operating systems! Plus comes in with a VPN!

For the first 12 months $55 discount! only $49.99! Try Now! 

Read McAfee review

Nowadays antivirus softwares can do more than just keeping your computer safe from unwanted attacks and scanning for infected files. Most antivirus packages include password management, VPN, firewall, parental controls, internet security, protection against identity theft and more.

As an internet user, you may be looking for an all-round protection software that can protect you against the latest cyber threats.

So how do you know which antivirus products offer the best security, the best malware protection, and the best value?

We reviewed below the top antivirus on the market that are currently available

Our Top 10 Antivirus Picks

  • Complete Protection For All Devices With a single License
  • Configurable Firewall
  • Virus Protection Pledge Or Full Refund Guarantee
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  • Real-time malware protection
  • Around-the-clock support
  • Strong privacy protection
  • Safe web browsing
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  • Real-time malware protection
  • Safe-browsing using Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Remote Firewall
  • Multi-device use
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  • Multi-layered malware protection
  • Fast system scans
  • Secure web browsing
  • Enhanced security suite and advanced features
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  • No-Commitment Subscription.
  • Extensive Device Optimization.
  • Duplicate and Junk File Removal.
  • Tracking and Ad Blocking.
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  • AI technology for scanning and data protection
  • Remote access to the system
  • 30+ years of experience
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  • Enhanced ransomware and malware detection
  • Multiple devices (up to 25)
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Pocket-friendly pricing
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  • High level of online protection
  • Gaming mode
  • Users seeking a single cross-platform antivirus
  • UEFI Firmware protection
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  • Device boost and optimization
  • Real-time protection
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Advanced firewall protection
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  • Real-time protection
  • Full-featured firewall
  • Live scanning files as you access them
  • Detecting PC-based malware
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Top 10 Antivirus Solutions - Full Analysis For 2021

Our team of experts conducted hundreds of tests over several months to find which antivirus solutions offered the best level of security, protection and reliability. We browsed, downloaded, streamed, and tested for weeks on end to bring you these confirmed results.

#1 McAfee - Best for malicious software detection

McAfee Antivirus

McAfee is a good and well-known antivirus program. It is mostly known for being a mid-range, but effective protection solution. This antivirus software is packed with many features and extra add-ons.

Top Features:

  • Offers secure VPN
  • Performance Optimization
  • Home Network Security
  • Multi-device Compatibility
  • Password Manager
  • Safe Web Browsing
  • Encrypted Storage
  • Identity Theft Protection
  • Quick installation and easy set up
  • Inexpensive multi-user plans
  • Big range of features
  • Customer support is great
  • Limited password manager
  • Unwanted notifications and pop-ups

McAfee Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Supported DevicesPC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet
Amount of Devices Coveredup to 10 devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing Plan

>Antivirus plus $24.99

McAfee total protection $24.99

Individual / Couple $39.99

Ultimate $69.99

Family Coverage: $44.99/mo (1 year)

Subscription Options1-year or 2-years

McAfee is a good antivirus program that offers the necessary protection solution to its users. It is a familiar name and is quite popular with its competitors. It's an effective protection solution that is not that expensive.

More info needed? Take a look at our expert McAfee Review including info on features, lab test results and extensive research on this software.


#2 Norton - Best for multi-platform support

Norton Antivirus

Norton is a great antivirus solution offering 100% protection from malware, spyware, phishing threats, digital surveillance, and identity theft. While it's known for its malware protection capabilities, it also manages cybersecurity with integrated features like a password manager, cloud backup, and a VPN. Norton is the antivirus solution that has some of the best parental controls on the market.

Top Features:

  • Anti-Spyware, Antivirus, Malware, and Ransomware Protection
  • Online Threat Protection
  • Smart Firewall
  • Cloud Backup
  • Password Manager
  • Virus Protection Promise
  • Secure VPN
  • SafeCam
  • Dark Web Monitoring
  • Easy to download, install, and use
  • With Norton LifeLock Ultimate Plus, you’ll get protection for unlimited devices
  • Parental control features are industry-leading
  • This antivirus solution will have no negative impact on your system’s performance
  • Security Scans can sometimes be a little slow
  • If you choose to use Norton for a 2nd-year, the prices are a little steep compared to the first year

Norton Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Supported DevicesPC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet
Amount of Devices Coveredfrom 3 to unlimited amount of devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing Plan

Antivirus Plus $34.99 ( 5 devices )

Norton 360  Standard: $35.99

Norton 360 Deluxe: $44.99

Norton 360  Premium: $49.99 ( 10 devices)

Norton 360 for Gamers - $34.99/year NEW ( up to 3 devices)

Subscription Options1- year or 1-month subscription

Norton consistently ranks among the top-performing antivirus programs on the market. There’s no doubt that it’s a powerful and popular antivirus solution that will work for anyone.

Need to know more? Check out our Norton Review and find out how we tested, reviewed and rated this software provider.

Try Norton Now!

#3 TotalAV - Best for real-time malware protection

TotalAV Antivirus

TotalAV is an excellent antivirus program. The software has an antivirus scanner and a couple of great extra features. It is a great choice for beginner and non-technical users.

TotalAV’s antivirus scanner is powered by Avira’s antivirus protection technology. The scanner is fast, reliable, and has near-perfect malware detection rates. 

Top Features

  • Phishing protection
  • Performance optimization
  • VPN
  • Password manager
  • Strong protection against malicious URL
  • Solid phishing protection
  • User-friendly apps for all major platforms
  • One of the least demanding antiviruses in terms of system resources
  • Offers an impressive list of optimization tools
  • Good value for money
  • Around-the-clock customer protection
  • There is a free version available
  • Speedy full scans
  • No Independent test results, you only get overall average scores 
  • Advanced firewall protection is only available with the paid plans
  • No real-time protection with the free version
  • Quick scans can take up to 15 minutes to complete

TotalAV Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Supported DevicesPC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet
Amount of Devices Covered3-6 devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing Plan

Antivirus Pro $19

Internet Security $39

Total Security $59

Subscription Options1- year protection

The software demonstrates average results in virus detection, and the anti-phishing module is not the most effective. But for the cost of TotalAV, you get more pros than cons.

Want to know more? Explore our TotalAv Review to see the full results of our research and testing.

#4 Bitdefender - Best for VPN integration

Bitdefender Antivirus

Bitdefender is an advanced antivirus software system. It uses a big malware database that uses machine learning to detect the malware on your computer more effectively than its competitors. Bitdefender’s engine is cloud-based, so your device will not be slowed down during scans.

Top Features:

  • Web protections
  • System optimizer
  • VPN (200 MB/daily)
  • Parental controls
  • Password manager
  • Webcam protection
  • Bitdefender offers great web protection
  • The software has ransomware protection
  • You get banking protection, so you can use internet banking with peace of mind
  • You get a VPN that can be added as an add-on
  • The unlimited VPN access requires you to purchase a separate subscription

Bitdefender Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Supported DevicesPC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet
Amount of Devices Covered3-5 devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing Plan

    Antivirus Plus: $29.99

Total Security: $39.98

Total Security (Mac) $39.98

     Internet Security: $34.99

Subscription Options1- year protection

Bitdefender provides all of the antivirus protection features that most users need. It is also one of the most affordable internet security solutions on the market.

Want to know more? Check out our Bitdefender Review and find out how we reviewed and rated this software.


#5 MacKeeper - Best for cleaning and enhanced security features

MacKeeper Antivirus

MacKeeper is an antivirus protection program that was created for Mac users. Installing antivirus software on your Mac is important, not a lot of Mac users realize this, but your Mac is not protected without protection software.

It will be even better when your security software protects you beyond only malware. MacKeeper includes features related to security, privacy, and performance.

Top Features:

  • On-Demand Malware Scan
  • Vulnerability Scan
  • MacKeeper offers security, privacy, and performance features
  • It has an integrated VPN service
  • You get a speedy on-demand malware scan
  • All-inclusive premium services are available on subscriptions
  • There are no protection against malicious or fraudulent URLs
  • MacKeeper is quite expensive compared to competitors
  • Premium services disproportionately expensive

MacKeeper Specifications

Operating SystemsMac
Supported DevicesMac
Amount of Devices Covered1-3 devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing Plan

Starting at: $10.95

Subscription Options1- year or 1-month subscription

MacKeeper offers security, privacy, and tune-up features, but it lacks protection against malicious and fraudulent URLs. Its price is also nothing in comparison with its competitors.

Need more info? Read our MacKeeper Review and get a full overview of features, pricing and test results. 


#6 Sophos - Best for remote access

Sophos Antivirus

Sophos is a basic antivirus program with high malware detection rates, an intuitive dashboard, and excellent features. It is an easy-to-use antivirus solution.

Top Features:

  • Malware Scan and Clean
  • Threat Detection
  • Ransomware Security
  • Security Management
  • Privacy Protection
  • Web Protection
  • Real-Time PC Antivirus
  • Parental Web Filtering
  • Provides Premium Support
  • Offers protection against cyber attacks
  • Offers increased security of your home network
  • Can manage your devices remotely
  • Offers a FREE Trial period
  • The Sophos antivirus software may be too difficult to understand and use when you are a newby.
  • There are no quick scans available

Sophos Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Supported DevicesPC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet
Amount of Devices Covered3-10 devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing PlanSophos offers a FREE trial plan for 30-days, without any credit card details needed. Starting at $44.99.
Subscription Options1- year, 2-years, 3-years

Sophos Home Premium is an excellent choice for users looking for affordable and effective antivirus solutions. Sophos protects against a range of malware and internet security threats. It’s the perfect option for people to remotely manage their devices.

Want to learn more? Visit our Sophos Review and get insights on what we have found out during our extensive research on this software.

Sophos Antivirus

#7 Avira - Best for cloud protection

Avira Antivirus

Avira offers quite a wide range of features, including privacy tools and device optimization features like a game booster, advanced browser extensions, and a startup optimizer. It is a very lightweight antivirus solution. Included in your plan is a selection of easy-to-use tools for all major devices.

Top Features:

  • Detects malware & online threats in real time
  • Anonymizes & encrypts your web browsing
  • Cleans up your computers & mobile phones
  • Generates & remembers passwords for you
  • Great malware detection 
  • Device Protection whitelists or blacklists specific USB drives
  • Ransomware protection
  • Device Control can't prevent users from whitelisting unknown USB drives

Avira Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Supported DevicesPC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet
Amount of Devices Coveredup to 25 devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing Plan

Avira Antivirus pro $44.99

Avira Internet Security $57.99

Avira Prime $99.99

Avira Price ( for small businesses) $12.99

Subscription Options1- month, 1-year, 2-years, 3-years subscription

Avira has all of the essential security tools that you expect to see from an antivirus in 2021. It is an effective antivirus program for everyone.

Want to get more details? Check out our Avira Review for full research and lab tests results of this provider.


#8 ESET - Best for responsive tech support

ESET Antivirus

ESET is a powerful antivirus program, offering an anti-malware scanner, several additional security features, and an intuitive user interface.  It also offers great extra features, like device encryption, advanced diagnostic tools, and anti-theft protection.

Top Features:

  • Ransomware protection
  • Stop hackers from accessing your device
  • Make sure your online transactions are safe
  • Finds your device if it was stolen
  • Award-winning antivirus system
  • Protection against viruses and malware in real-time
  • Professionally designed and user-friendly interface
  • Seamless email scanning integrated with Windows Live Mail, Outlook, and Thunderbird
  • Protection when using social networking sites
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Advanced settings can be difficult to locate on the interface
  • Tech support is offered at no cost but its availability is limited and there is no live chat or phone support
  • You can’t tell how often the program checks for software updates

ESET Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, Android, Linux
Supported DevicesPC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet
Amount of Devices Coveredup to 10 devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing Plan Home

Premium $59.99

Advance $49.99

Essential $39.99

Small Office $59.99

Pricing Plan Business

Entry $239

Advanced $310.50

Complete $382.50

Mail Plus $132

Subscription Options1- year or 2-year subscription

Eset offers superior protection against all types of malware, using advanced technology to effectively remove threats from your computer without slowing it down.

Still not sure if to choose ESET? Take a look at our ESET Review and make a decision based on our extensive research, testing and rating. 


#9 PC Protect - Best for quick and easy installation

PC Protect Antivirus

PC Protect is a fast, simple, and effective program that offers digital protection. This software is especially well suited for people who don’t have the time and skill to tweak settings or learn complicated computer knowledge. Instead, PC Protect builds its reputation on its simplicity. 

Top Features:

  • Advanced Antivirus
  • Firewall
  • System Boost
  • File Manager
  • Real-Time Protection
  • Smart Scan
  • Easy to use user interface
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Available on both desktop and mobile
  • Protect up to five devices
  • Get basic system boost tools
  • Scans take long to complete, but are thorough
  • Minimal impact on the system
  • Antivirus protection could be greatly improved
  • Customer support agents could be upskilled
  • Most optimization tools are copies of Windows Features
  • The VPN is slow and lacks stable connection speeds

PC Protect Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Supported DevicesPC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet
Amount of Devices Coveredup to 3 devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing PlanFrom $19.00 
Subscription Options1- year or 1-month subscription

PC Protect looks and works really well and is easy to use, which is a big plus point for users of all skill levels. Boosting and optimization tools are great and 24/7 chat and email support is available, too!

Want to know more? Explore our PC Protect Review and find out how we tested and rated this software provider.

PC Protect

#10 Intego - Best for Mac protection

Intego Antivirus

Intego has been protecting systems with leading antivirus tools for more than 20 years. Not only is it simple to use but it’s proven effective at thwarting the ever-developing malicious programs that are on the web.

Top Features: 

  • Firewall
  • Real-time scanning
  • Anti-spyware
  • Anti-phishing
  • Anti-Trojan
  • Real-Time Protection
  • Certified For iOS
  • Advanced VPN with paid plans only
  • Weak phishing protection

Intego Specifications

Operating SystemsMac, Windows, iOS, Android
Supported DevicesMac, PC
Amount of Devices Covered1-5 devices
User TypeHome, Office
Pricing Plan

Mac Internet Security $39.99

Premium Bundle X9 $69.99

Windows $1.67 / Monthly

Business VirusBarrier X9 $179.99

NetBarrier X9 $89.99

Subscription Options1- year subscription

With its enhanced firewall, anti-spyware, and anti-phishing features, Intego offers a solution that keeps its customers safe online. Just set it up and the software will operate in the background without any troubles, so you needn’t worry about anything. For just $39.99 a year, Intego customers can feel safe online.

Need more info? Visit our Intego Review and learn more about the features and level of protection guaranteed by this provider.


Bottom Line

There you have it! We’ve made it easy to find all the information you need about the top ten best antivirus programs on the market in 2021. Easily compare features and choose the right software for you!

Whatever antivirus you decide to use to protect your devices, you will be guaranteed to have a great protection experience as software becomes better with each year. We encourage you to compare features, pros and cons, and price points to determine the absolute best antivirus solution for your situation, as each user’s needs will be different.

What Does Antivirus Software Do?

Some people talk about antivirus software and expect you to know everything about it. Well, we are aware that not everyone might be as clued up with computer software. So, what is antivirus software, and what does it do? Antivirus software protects your computer against malware and cybercriminals. 

What the program does is it looks at your web pages, files, software, applications and constantly searches for any suspicious data, for threats on your computer or online environment. 

Computer viruses can infect your computer or device. They are designed to go from one computer to the next, spreading malicious codes and programs. While computer viruses are spreading through the cyber world, it can be so damaging as it keeps on copying itself. This can damage any operating system and device.

This is where antivirus software comes in, your computer and online behavior gets tracked constantly.  As soon as the software finds any suspicious behavior, it blocks or removes the virus and malware as quickly as possible without leaving any damage behind.

Antivirus Software

Why Do You Need Antivirus Software?

A device that does not have antivirus software has a lot of risks. You are running the risk of losing a lot of files and data that might be important to you. Without an antivirus, your device is unprotected against computer viruses. An unprotected device will attract unwanted malicious viruses to your computer and online devices. 

The best antivirus software offers protection features that go far beyond basic malicious malware protection. You can get protection against ransomware and webcam hijacking, and extra functions such as file shredding or system optimization. Some antivirus software even includes features that compete with stand-alone services like password managers, cloud-backup solutions, VPNs, or identity-theft protection.

So, how important is your computer data and information to you? Wouldn't you want your personal information protected against scammers and computer bullies?

Antivirus Shield

What Are The Most Important Features That The Best Antivirus Programmes Should Have?

Using antivirus software is easy, but selecting the perfect software that caters to your needs, can be hard. There are a lot of important factors to consider while searching for the best antivirus software for your device.

Your antivirus software needs to protect your data and system from data thieves. It is easy for a user to click on the wrong button, unaware that they may download malware to their computer. Having protection in place to catch these mistakes is critical for anyone. When choosing antivirus software, you must consider all your devices being used. Even a USB drive should be considered as a vulnerable device that can be infected. 

The most significant exposure to computer viruses occurs when you are connected to the Internet. Most companies, especially these days, are constantly online. Antivirus programs should offer realistic, real-world solutions to their users. When choosing the best antivirus program for 2021, look at what the software offers, the price, and the reliability.

Antivirus Choice

How To Choose The Best Antivirus Solution?

To find the best antivirus software that matches your needs, you need to evaluate the following factors:

The most important aspect of any antivirus program is the fact that it needs to protect your system. This is why antivirus programs were created in the first place. The question is, how well does the software protect your device? Nobody wants a substandard product, especially when most products out there provide more than 95 % protection.

  • Malware threats - it’s essential to have real-time protection to ward them off
  • Several layers of protection - with different levels of scanning and termination of unwanted viruses
  • DNS based scanning and filtering - it have proven to be a great factor when it comes to defending your device
  • Signature-based scanners - helping to isolate known threats. This will be helpful when there is a footprint or when the danger has already been spotted
  • Ability to handle zero-day attacks - by using various methods such as behavior blockers. Behavior blockers can sense patterns that occur commonly. If these patterns are identified as malicious content, systems will be put up to improve the protection
  • Adequate privacy and data protection - antivirus systems continuously collect data to increase their efficiency
  • Ethical and responsible use of data - all data and sensitive information collected from your computer must be handled with care by your antivirus vendor. This is especially important for businesses

Interested to know all our list of antivirus solutions? Read more to find out


1. Which antivirus and internet security is the best?

It’s hard to determine one single antivirus software as being the best in the business. Top names come with competitive features and different price points depending on the software. It’s up to you as the user to choose the very best software for your unique setup.

2.  What is the difference between antivirus and internet security?

Antivirus software protects a computer from viruses and is the actual safeguard measure in place that keeps your computer free of threats in general. Internet security, on the other hand, is an extension of your browsing experience that protects your computer against spyware, hacking, spam, phishing, viruses, worms, and any other internet threats.

3. Is it worth paying for an antivirus software?

In short, yes! Antivirus software offers unmatched protection against threats to your computer and keeps your files safe. While free versions of antivirus protection are available, you won’t get the full protection experience and you run the risk of allowing malware attacks to slip through the cracks. Purchasing a complete antivirus solution means your data is 100% safe.

4. How to buy antivirus software?

Virtually every antivirus software is available for purchase from their website. While you can buy it from techn shops, it’s safe and easy to access software from home and install it yourself. Simply go to the website of the software you choose to use and go to their purchase links!

5. How does antivirus software work?

Antivirus software works by scanning through every file and line of code that your computer processes. Each move that is made on your network is tracked and scanned for traces of foreign data which could impose potential risks on your computer, tablet, or phone. Antivirus software companies are also able to engineer software tailored to flag and remove threats automatically and efficiently.

6. What should I look for in antivirus software?

Some things to look at include detection rates, which is how quickly a threat is found and eliminated, layered protection, which is necessary to detect very deeply hidden and complex malware, SSL (end-to-end encryption) or at least DNS-based filtering, and a behaviour blocker (usually a browser extension) that keeps unwanted ads and other spam and potential malware from plaguing your device.