Best Antivirus

Best Antivirus Software 2021

Have you ever asked yourself what type of antivirus software is best for your use? Our Experts tested more than 50 antivirus software providers and ranked them by security, functionality, system performance and prices, in order to help you pick the best protection for your devices.

Written by Ria du Plessis - Web and Security Expert, Updated on November 17, 2021

So how would you decide which provider offers the best security, the best malware protection, and the best value for your expectations?

According to our tests, we have come to the conclusion that McAfee is the best antivirus software thanks to their easy to use interface, personal protection with a free built-in VPN option and having all-in-one protection just for $39.99 for 5 devices for the first year. 

How to Choose the Best Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software is a program that is built to prevent, detect, and remove software viruses, and other malicious software like worms, trojans, adware, and more.

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

  • Malware threats - It’s essential to have real-time protection to ward them off.
  • Several layers of protection - Different levels of scanning and termination of unwanted viruses
  • Adequate privacy and data protection - Antivirus systems continuously collect data to increase their efficiency.
  • Performance - The software must be light enough not to lower the performance of your computer
  • Pricing - As affordable as possible with the necessary features included. 
  • Interface - Ease to tackle for every level of user.

Best Antivirus for All Your Preferences

Are you a Mac user? or Windows? Are you working from home? Would you like to learn more about which antivirus would be suitable for your needs? For more information click on the links below! 

Best Antivirus by Operating System

Best Antivirus by Device

Best Antivirus by User Type

Other Types

Interested in getting more information about our top 10 antivirus providers for 2021? Keep on reading our mini reviews and see our comparison table below in order to help you decide which provider fits you best!

Top 10 Antivirus Solutions For 2021 [Full Analysis]

 #1 McAfee - Best for Malware Detection Tool with Add-ons

McAfee Antivirus

Overall Rating 5/5

Operating Systems: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

Free Version: Yes

Price: $59.99 (Antivirus Plus), $84.99 (Basic plan), $124.99 (Premium plan), $159.99 (Ultimate plan)

McAfee is a leading name in the antivirus market and one of the solutions with the highest malware detection rates. There are more than 300 million people worldwide who rely on this antivirus across multiple platforms and for multiple devices.

The software performs very well in malware detection tests and can swiftly identify even the latest threats. The subscription is based on auto-renewal, through the Virus Protection Pledge, which you get by automatically renewing your subscription, the company promises 100% malware removal or a money-back guarantee. 

The antivirus checks potential threats against its own malware database and also uses behavior-based detection. The quick scans can be completed in less than 3 minutes while the full scans can take up to one hour.

McAfee also offers a free, unlimited VPN that’s compatible with all major operating systems and works fast (can connect in five seconds or less). You can connect to numerous servers located in over twenty countries. 

Safe parent controls are other nice additions to McAfee’s rich suite of tools. They allow you to easily filter web content based on your kid’s age or your personal preferences and to set a specific screen time or locate your device. 

This strong antivirus with add-ons also includes identity theft protection tools, which monitor the dark web for personal information leaks. Moreover, the company also offers $1,000,000 identity restoration insurance with its upper layer. 

McAfee’s performance optimization features include tracker remover, web boost, app boost.

Good forNot very good for
  • Malware detection rate 
  • Level of intuitiveness 
  • Number of devices it can cover 
  • Customer reviews and number of users worldwide
  • Remote control features 
  • Unlimited VPN
  • Advanced features require extra subscription
  • Some features only available with auto-renewal

Bottom line: McAfee offers excellent malware detection results and a robust set of extra features, as well as unlimited VPN. 


Read our Full McAfee Review

#2 Norton - Best for Multi-platform Support

Norton Antivirus

Overall Rating 4.8/5

Operating Systems: Windows, iOS, Android, macOS  

Free Version: no, but offers a 7-days free trial 

Pricing:  4 packages from $59.99 to $344.99 per year, discounts available 

Norton is one of the oldest and most reliable antivirus tools. It is compatible with multiple operating systems and provides a generous range of packages for individuals, families, or businesses. 

The provider offers comprehensive protection while browsing on any device thanks to its powerful features such as the smart firewall, suspicious URL blocking, privacy monitoring, or dark web monitoring. It also has a great product with multiple layters of protection for PC gamers which is designed by gamers them selves.  

It allows you to customize malware scans and choose between quick, full-system, or custom scans. The good part is that it can run quick scans in less than 3 minutes and have a low impact on the device’s memory. In other words, your device won’t be burdened by the scans, which run quietly in the background. Full scans are also efficient, although, naturally, they take more time. During multiple tests, Norton proved it doesn’t significantly increase memory utilization for full scans either.  

The antivirus is packed with useful tools including a password manager, secure VPN, webcam protection, parental control, and others. It ensures sturdy protection against any type of malware and phishing attempts. 

It’s also worth noting that Norton is pretty intuitive. The user interface is clean and straightforward, and you can see all the basic details on your device’s status at a glance. The tool shows you which areas of your device enjoy the highest level of protection and which ones still need improvement. 

Finally, if you need help managing your Norton subscription, the company can assist you 24/7 via live chat. Overall, this is a robust, safe, and efficient antivirus used by millions of people worldwide. 

Good forNot very good for
  • Fast and efficient scans
  • Comprehensive suite of features
  • Cloud-based approach 
  • Modern, intuitive interface 
  • Multiple price options 
  • Those who want a free antivirus
  • PC resources consumption 

Try Norton Now!

Read our Full Norton Review

#3 TotalAV - Excellent Anti-Phishing & Safe Browsing Tools

TotalAV Antivirus

Overall Rating 4.7/5

Operating Systems: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac  

Free Version:  Yes 

Pricing:  $99 - $149

This award-winning anti-malware tool offers total protection and high levels of privacy on any device, even on the go. TotalAV is used by millions of people worldwide and it is available on any of the most popular operating systems. You can install it on up to 3 devices. 

There are three different TotalAV packages - Antivirus Pro, Internet Security, and Total Security. Antivirus Pro normally costs $99, but you can pay as little as $29 during promotional periods. The Internet Security plan normally costs $119, and the Total Security plan is $149. 

The software provides good malware detection rates in most tests. TotalAV’s antivirus protection can work round the clock by scanning devices for any type of malware threats and automatically blocking them. The advanced cloud scans are flexible, and you can choose when you want to schedule them. 

To protect users against phishing attempts and scams, TotalAV’s first line of defense is its powerful WebShield. This software offers a rich package of extra features. One of its useful bonuses is the Ad blocker. We were pleased to see how the Total AdBlock tool successfully prevented annoying pop-ups and ad-related video interruptions. 

TotalAV also offers an excellent web browser cleaning tool that eliminates tracking cookies and a whole suite of system tune-up tools. You can also benefit from advanced identity protection and data breach monitoring tools that can monitor email addresses for potential threats. 

An built-in VPN is also available. It can connect quite fast to more than 7- servers located in over 30 countries across the globe. There is also a useful password vault that boasts clever automatizations. 

Good forNot so good for
  • Malware detection abilities
  • Robust set of extra features 
  • Ease of use 
  • VPN and safe browsing features
  • Pricing plans 
  • Basic plan which excludes some features
  • Malicious URL blocking 

 Bottom line: Overall, TotalAV ensures comprehensive protection against any type of malware, is easy to use, and offers plenty of bonus features.

Read our Full TotalAV Review 

#4 Bitdefender - Best for VPN integration

Bitdefender Antivirus

Overall Rating 4.5/5

Operating Systems: Windows, Android, iOS, Mac  

Free Version:  Yes 

Pricing: $59.99 (1 year plan), $ 89.99 (2 years plan), $119.99 (3 years plan) 

Bitdefenderis one of the biggest players in the antivirus industry. This solution has been available since 2001 and many security experts recognize it as the best antivirus on the market. This antivirus has won numerous awards over the years due to its excellent malware detection capabilities.

Bitdefender features an accurate and reliable scanner that has minimal impact on system performance.

This antivirus offers real-time protection against any internet threats by continuously scanning the files on your devices and the emails you access. Some of the main areas targeted by Bitdefender’s powerful scannerinclude potentially unwanted applications, keyloggers, modified or new files, remote networks, apps, archives.

The provider also has plenty of useful features for safe browsing and anti-phishing protection. All websites deemed fake, suspicious or unreliable are automatically blocked and Bitdefender immediately notifies you once you access one of them.

We also scrutinized this tool’s system optimization features, and we were pleased with how many it offers and how they perform. The software’s optimizer swiftly removes unnecessary files, junk files, browser registry items, etc.

A Hotspot Shield-powered VPN is also included, and it is available with all the plans. The VPN connects you to random locations and has a limit of 200 MB per day. Other bonus features include safe online banking, parental control, password manager, anti-spam protection.

Good forNot very good for
  • Virus detection ability 
  • Extra features included even in the basic package 
  • Safe browsing features
  • Device battery life extension 
  • Safe files feature 
  • Anti-Phishing & Anti-Spam 
  • URL-Blocking 
  • The multitude of features that make it hard to understand what the plans offer
  • The pricing plans 

Bottom line: Bitdefener is one of the most efficient anti-malware tools. Besides protecting your device from viruses and hackers, it also does a great job at optimizing its performance.


Read our Full Bitdefender Review

#5 BullGuard - The Ultimate Identity Protection for Pcs

Bullguard Antivirus

Overall Rating 4.5/5

Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Free Version: No, buit it offers free trial for all its versions

Price: $29.99 (Antivirus), $ 59.99 (Internet Security), $99.99 (Premium Protection)

BullGuard is a popular antivirus solution. Easy to use even for absolute beginners, this antivirus offers good protection and useful add-ons. It is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android. Some of the features you will find in BullGuard ’s package includes safe browsing, parental controls, cloud backup, identity protection, home network scanner.

The provider offers sturdy protection against viruses and other malware. This software runs continuous scans on malware codes to make sure it can detect the newest threats If a type of malware is present on your device, the tool automatically quarantines it and sends you a notification. Then, you can decide what you want to do with it.

BullGuard also includes a pretty good vulnerability scanner that assesses your device and lets you know if you have outdated and potentially dangerous apps. Unsecured networks are also immediately signaled, as well as drivers that are not signed.

To further enhance its protection barrier, BullGuard also has a secure browsing tool that safeguards your browsing history or banking data and a firewallwith end-to-end encryption.

BullGuard is a lightweight anti-malware tool that won’t slow down your device or affect its performance. In fact, it excels at optimizing devices thanks to its rich optimization features such as its game booster

This antivirus also stands out for its robust identity protection capabilities. If you purchase BullGuard Premium Protection, your sensitive data will be safe as the tool warns you in case of data leaks. Moreover, you get to choose the specific information you want it to monitor (phone numbers, email addresses, etc.).

Good forNot so good for
  • Identity protection
  • Ransomware/spyware detection 
  • Customizable scans
  • Game booster tool and other optimization features
  • Ease of use
  • Number of devices it covers
  • Fewer features for Mac compared to its competitors 

Bottom line: BullGuard is a reliable solution to staying safe while browsing. It offers plenty of useful identity protection tools, and it is lightweight.

Try Bullguard

Read our full Bullguard Review

#6 Intego - Best for Mac Protection


Overall Rating 4.4/5

Operating Systems: Windows, macOS

Free Version: No

Pricing: from $35.99 to $95.99

Intego has been around for more than 20 years. It was initially designed for macOS devices but is now available for Windows as well. It comes in three different plans: the Personal plan ($35.99), the Family plan ($47.99), and the extended plan ($95,99). Discounts may be available for any of these packages. All the plans can cover multiple devices. 

Intego excels at antivirus scans, especially on Mac devices. This software’s Virus Barrier feature can efficiently run quick or full scans in little time. Moreover, it will scan your computer as well as any other devices connected to it. You can also have it scan your email account for viruses.

This antivirus features an efficient system cleaner and optimization tool, the Washing Machine. This tool allows you to organize your files, eliminate duplicates and delete old and unused files that only take up hard disk space. It can find and easily delete any junk files. 

Intego’s package of extras also includes a customizable backup feature that enables you to secure important files. You can save the desired files in a separate internal or external hard drive. This tool also allows you to synchronize files on different devices and restore them. 

Just like many of its competitors, Intego also offers parental controls. However, you don’t get a free VPN with this antivirus. If you want one, you need to purchase Intego’s Premium VPN separately. The company offers prompt and reliable customer support by email, phone, and live chat.

Good forNot very good for
  • Accurate and swift scans 
  • Powerful VirusBarrier and Net Barrier
  • Good system cleaner and optimizer
  • Reliable and easy-to-use parental controls
  • Customizable file backup
  • Configuration process, which can seem a bit confusing 
  • Identify theft features

Bottom line: Overall, Intego seems to be a robust and effective anti-malware solution, especially for Macs, and it offers good system cleaning and optimization tools.


Read our Full Intego Review

#7 Kaspersky - Great Malware Detection Rates & Extra Features

Kaspersky Antivirus

Overall Rating 4.4/5

Operating Systems: Windows, iOS, Android, macOS  

Free Version: Yes  

Pricing: Starts at $29.99 per year for first-time customers 

Kaspersky is a leading name on the cybersecurity scene. The company has been on the market since 2004 and it has somewhere around 400 million users worldwide. This antivirus is available for different operating systems. Two of the main features that make Kaspersky a world-class antivirus are the real-time malware protection and antivirus scanning capabilities. 

This powerful antivirus uses a dual approachcloud-based and database. Thanks to its machine-learning features, it’s able to keep up with the latest threats and successfully spot and block them. In most tests, ours included, this tool managed to detect 100% or nearly 100% of the malware it encountered. This software features 5 types of scans: quick, full, selective, removable, and vulnerability scans. You’ve got plenty of scan customization options, so you can choose if/when you want to scan your device for viruses.  

Kaspersky is packed with web protection features such as malicious URL-blocking, anti-phishing features, anti-tracking tools, and a virtual keyboard. An efficient PC cleaner is also included, as well as a free or premium VPN with 25 locations and kill switch, parental controls, webcam protection, gaming mode, rescue disc, file shredder, data encryption, and other useful features. 

Kaspersky’s pricing plans depend on the number of devices you want to protect. You will pay $29.99 per year for one device if you’re a first-time customer, otherwise, this subscription costs $59.99. The maximum number of devices you can use a subscription for is 10 and if you pay for 2 years, the price is $129.99, which is good value for money. 

Good forNot very good for
  • Excellent malware detection rates
  • Efficient ransomware protection 
  • Privacy and performance features 
  • Multi-channel customer support
  • Vulnerability scans information it provides
  • Not all plans include identity protection

Bottom line: Kaspersky offers efficient, customizable malware scans, and lots of useful web protection and data privacy tools.


Read our Full Kaspersky Review

#8 Avira - Great Results in Malware Detection Tests

Avira Antivirus

Overall Rating 4.3/5

Operating Systems: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Free Version: Yes

Price: $44.00 (Pro plan), $57.99 (Internet Security plan), $99.99 (Avira Prime)

Avira is one of the most renowned antiviruses on the market. This tool has emerged in the early 2000s and it is used and appreciated worldwide for its robust malware protection and reliable free version. 

Avira is able to detect and block nearly 100% of malware as indicated by numerous lab tests, which also brought it several awards. This tool features a very intuitive interface that shows your device’s security status at a glance. You can instantly see how many outdated apps you’ve got, if your network is safe, or if there are privacy settings you should fix. 

With this antivirus, you can run two types of scans – full and quick. The scans are customizable, so you can schedule them at the most convenient time. With real-time protection capabilities, Avira automatically monitors and scans the apps and files you access to protect your device each time you log in. 

For safe browsing, Avira provides anti-phishing and anti-spam features. For example, it helps you steer clear of phishing emails by blocking unsafe attachments. Furthermore, the software automatically blocks suspicious URLs. Ransomware is a common internet threat people dread these days and Avira’s in-depth and efficient scans also target this type of malware. 

System optimization features are also present. However, they belong to the paid plan. One of them is the software update, which evaluates apps and lets you know which ones need updates. Other features include safe shopping (a tool that prevents scams and helps compare prices), a file shredder, a free VPN (with a limit of 500MB per month), a firewall, password manager, privacy features, and others. 

Good forNot very good for
  • Malware detection capabilities 
  • Very intuitive interface 
  • Free version and affordable price
  • Those who use multiple devices 
  • Mobile features
  • Ransomware protection
  • No web protection in the free version
  • Customer support is not always prompt 

Bottom line: Avira is an excellent antivirus solution. It’s packed with useful add-ons, offers reliable malware protection, and it’s very easy to use.


Read our Full Avira Review

#9 Panda - One of the Best Cloud Antivirus

Panda Antivirus

Overall Rating 4.1/5

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Free Version: Yes

Price: $47.99 (Essential Plan), $56.99 (Advanced Plan), $85.99 (Complete Plan), $133.99 (Premium Plan)
One of the things we immediately noticed while testing Panda is the eye-catching, intuitive user interface with a nice design and interesting backgrounds. 

Panda performs quite well in malware detection tests managing to achieve detection rates of more than 95% and in some cases even close to 100%. You can use this tool to run full scans or custom scans. However, compared to other antiviruses Panda’s scans typically require more time. 

Another highlight of this tool is that it can efficiently scan USB drives for malware. As soon as you plug a USB in your PC, Panda starts the scan and if it detects any type of malware, it wipes it by using its ‘rescue kit’. The same tool can clean your entire device for malware and works in conjunction with Panda’s Cloud Cleaner

All these features are essential because they help eliminate useless files that only take up memory space and slow down your PC. Another related feature that can boost your device’s health is the update manager, which analyzes apps and lets you know ones need updates. 

Panda also offers several safe browsing features that scan the web for malicious websites while you’re browsing. A powerful data shield adds another layer of protection. This shield prevents unauthorized access attempts that target your files. 

This antivirus teams up with HotSpot Shield’s VPN. Other features Panda offers include anti-theft, mobile features (call blocker, app lock, privacy auditing), parental controls, device tracking tools, file shredder, file encryption, password manager, gaming mode, anti-theft tools, and others. 

Good forNot very good for
  • 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

Bottom line: This is an intuitive and reliable antivirus that offers a generous suite of add-ons and can easily remove malware from any device or USB. 

Panda Antivirus

Read our Full Panda Review

#10 Scanguard - Great Choice for Adware Removal & PC Cleanup

Scanguard Antivirus

Overall Rating 4.1/5

Platforms: Windows, Android, macOS  

Free Version:  No 

Pricing:  $24.95 

Scanguard is a relatively good antivirus solution for Windows, macOS, or Android. This antivirus provides a robust suite of tools. 

The tool’s interface is straightforward and easy to use even for non-tech people. This antivirus allows you to carry out different types of scans including smart scans, custom scans, malware scans, and quick scans. The smart scan feature is one of the highlights of this tool as it helps you clean up your PC and improve boot sequence. Some of this software’s PC optimization features include startup manager, application uninstaller, and our favorites – browser clean-up and junk cleaner

Scanguard also has an built-in VPN that allows you to connect to 36 locations worldwide and is pretty fast too. You can enjoy powerful identity protection tools with this antivirus. However, the downside is that they are sold separately.  This applies, for example, to the software’s password manager (Scanguard Password Vault) and other security features. 

For safe browsing, this program offers WebShield, a feature that is by default included in all Scanguard packages. This antivirus offers a robust Ad blocker and removal too. However, this feature also comes at an extra cost.   

Scanguard seems to be competitively priced. On the official website, you will see that a subscription costs only $24.95. However, if you create an account to be able to purchase one of their plans (which is mandatory, otherwise you can’t see their packages), as previously highlighted, you’ll see that many of the extra security features are sold separately. 

Good forNot very good for
  • Adware detection and removal
  • Efficient PC clean-up tools
  • Sturdy identity protection
  • Advanced two-way firewall 
  • Suspicious URL blocking features
  • Password manager and other features cost extra 

Bottom line: Scanguard is a well-rounded tool that can successfully combat malware and block annoying ads, it also has a pretty good built-in VPN.

Scanguard Antivirus

Read our Full Scanguard Review 

Compare Our Top 10 Antivirus Software Providers of 2021

SoftwareOn-Demand Malware ScanPhishing ProtectionFirewallVPNMalicious URL BlockingBehaviour-based detectionParental ControlCloud Back-upStarting Price/Year

Interested to know the most popular antivirus provider's comparison reviews? Read more to find out

Why Do You Need Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software protects your computer against malware and cybercriminals. It scans through every file and line of code that your computer processes.

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. 

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

Our Methodology

While conducting our research for this article, we went through a variety of resources such as each solution’s official website and client testimonials. Our team of tech experts also tested these antiviruses to get the necessary insights on each one of them. Some of the main features they evaluated included malware detection capabilities, impact on system performance, safe browsing features, identity protection tools, mobile compatibility, and value for money.

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.

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


1.  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.

2. 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.

3. 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!

6. 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.

7. 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.