Antivirus for Laptop

The Best Laptop Antivirus 2021

The internet presents the biggest threat to the safety of laptops. There are a lot of threats like viruses or malware. Windows and macOS do come with built-in security features, but it is important to make your device secure by investing in a good antivirus.

Written by Adam Stevenson - Technical Content Editor

 Updated on July 15, 2021

Before you make a decision on what antivirus for laptops you should invest in, you need to take a look at certain factors. These factors include things like pricing, features, and what your exact needs are. Have you got a lot of devices to cover? Do you have a family and need to keep your kids safe when they go online? When buying the best laptop antivirus software, consider all of the devices you want to keep protected and the family members who use these devices.

We have selected the best laptop security software for you to choose from. You can choose the right laptop antivirus from our list of recommendations.

10 Best Laptop Security Software Providers - Quick Look

  • Multi-layered malware protection
  • Fast system scans
  • Secure web browsing
  • Enhanced security suite and advanced features
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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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  • Real-time malware protection
  • Safe-browsing using Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Remote Firewall
  • Multi-device use
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  • AI technology for scanning and data protection
  • Remote access to the system
  • 30+ years of experience
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  • Real-time malware protection
  • Around-the-clock support
  • Strong privacy protection
  • Safe web browsing
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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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  • Complete Protection For All Devices With a single License
  • Configurable Firewall
  • Virus Protection Pledge Or Full Refund Guarantee
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  • Device boost and optimization
  • Real-time protection
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Advanced firewall protection
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  • Enhanced ransomware and malware detection
  • Multiple devices (up to 25)
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Pocket-friendly pricing
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  • Multi-device protection
  • Game Booster
  • Extremely lightweight software
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Do Laptops Need Any Different Protection Than Other Devices?

These days, there are no differences between laptops and PCs when it comes to antivirus software. The fact is, it's important to have a good antivirus software package that can protect your Laptop and PC from threats while you browse online. Viruses, malware, ransomware, and phishing threats are all potential dangers when you're online. 

The only difference that can come into play when it comes to choosing antivirus for your Laptop, is the operating system preferences. There is no shortage of options out there for protecting your Laptop, you just need to find the right solution for you.

Laptop Antivirus

How To Choose A Good Antivirus For A Laptop?

When looking at the best antivirus security software available to choose from, there are a number of key factors you should consider when trying to pick out the best laptop antivirus. There are many options to weigh when shopping for antivirus laptops. 

This is a list of features to look for in good antivirus for laptop:

  • Good browser protection 
  • Protection against phishing and malicious links
  • A reliable firewall that blocks threats
  • Parental controls
  • Efficient identification and removal of viruses
  • Minimal memory usage to keep your laptop performing at optimal speed
  • Frequent updates
  • Virus cleanup mode that removes viruses to a secure area before deleting them from your device
  • Computer backup options

The 10 Best Laptop Antivirus Solutions

#1 Bitdefender

Bitdefender pic

Bitdefender has earned its place among the best antivirus providers. It has over 500 million users, mainly because of its great free version, but the premium options are well-worth your money.

Top Features:

  • Protects you while surfing the web
  • File shredder
  • Ransomware Protection
  • Anti-webcam hijack
  • Parental controls 
  • Two-way firewall
  • Best malware protection
  • Frequent updates
  • If you have an old device, Bitdefender might slow your system down while running in the background

Bitdefender Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS & Android
Pricing PlanFrom $17.99/yr , Free Version Available
Subscription Options1-year

Bitdefender found the courage to do things differently and packed the most features into its cheapest version, making it more than an afterthought for most home users. Indeed, when you provide quality for a fraction of the price, it’s hard not to reach the top.

Visit our Bitdefender Review and find out about features, anti-malware capabilities, pricing plans and lab test results of this provider.


#2 Intego


Intego is one of the leading providers of Mac cybersecurity software. It consistently scores high marks in independent testing labs and offers great features.

Top Features:

  • Antivirus
  • Firewall
  • Data protection
  • Anti-spam software
  • Excellent protection
  • Almost no speed impact
  • Mac only

Avast Specifications

Operating SystemsMac
Pricing PlanFrom $34.99/1-year
Subscription Options1-year

Need more info? Find all you need to know in our detailed Intego Review.


#3 TotalAV


otalAV may be fairly new in the cybersecurity scene but it’s already competing with some of the biggest brands. And with its strong protection against all kinds of viruses, trojans, ransomware, and worms, TotalAV can definitely hold its own as one of the best antivirus programs around.

Top Features:

  • Real-time protection
  • Ransomware protection
  • Safe Browsing (VPN)
  • WebShield extension
  • Password manager
  • Excellent protection against all forms of internet threats
  • Great desktop app
  • Real-time protection to keep you safe at all times
  • Only protects a maximum of six devices
  • The browser extension isn’t particularly user friendly

TotalAV Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Pricing Plan

From $19.00/year, Free version available

Subscription Options1 year

TotalAV is one of the safest antivirus programs out there. It uses strong antivirus technology to deliver a powerful and extensive security package. It offers robust protection against viruses, trojans, ransomware, phishing scams, and malware.

Want to know more? Read our TotalAV Review and find out why we recommend this software provider for laptops.


#4 SophosSophos Antivirus

Sophos is a basic antivirus with high malware detection rates, an intuitive dashboard, and a couple of excellent features, including remote management.

Top Features:

  • Ransomware protection
  • Anti-phishing capabilities
  • Banking protection
  • Privacy tools (including webcam protection)
  • Advanced malware scan and clean
  • Convenient new mobile management app
  • Protects against ransomware, keyloggers, exploits
  • Advanced features require uncommon tech expertise
  • Parental control and webcam protection limited

Sophos Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Pricing PlanFrom $ 49, Free version available
Subscription Options1- year, 2-years, 3-years

The affordable Sophos Home Premium expands on basic antivirus with protection forged in the company's enterprise-level products, including a new remote management app. However, the advanced features may be too complex for some users.

Visit the full Sophos Review and get insights on what else we have found out during our extensive research on this software.

Sophos Antivirus

#5 Norton


Norton is a reputable name in the antivirus industry.This provider packages arguably the most extensive list of cybersecurity tools. This is an amazing service, but it’s among the most expensive suites in 2021 and also doesn’t have a free version.

Top Features:

  • Firewall
  • Cloud backup
  • VPN
  • Password manager
  • SafeCam (Windows only)
  • Identity Protection
  • Powerful identity-theft suite
  • Easy-to-use
  • Does not include a file shredder, file encryption, or secure browser

Norton Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Pricing PlanFrom $39.99/yr
Subscription Options1, 2, 3 Years

Norton 360 offers excellent protection while not overloading your device. It’s easy to use but at the same time provides plenty of options for advanced users. And while the prices are high, one would be hard-pressed to find a better deal when buying all the components one-by-one.

For more info on how Norton could protect your laptop, visit our detailed Norton Review.

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#6 ESETESET Antivirus

Not only does it include robust anti-malware protection, but it’s also supported on a wide array of devices. It’s also not a memory hog and will run smoothly on weaker machines.

Top Features:

  • Anti-malware protection
  • Cloud-based
  • Gaming mode, which suspends all scans and notifications
  • Webcam protection
  • Network monitoring
  • Ransomware protection
  • Password manager
  • Cloud-based
  • Remote device control option
  • Only manual updates
  • Some settings might be too confusing for common users

ESET Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, macOS, Android
Pricing PlanFrom $450 (1-user, 1-year) to $1569 (10-users, 2-years)
Subscription Options1- year or 2-year subscription

ESET aims to be a lightweight solution for your devices. It's perfect for those who need a quick scan once in a while to make sure their devices are clean.

Take a look at our ESET Review and learn more about our extensive research, testing and rating of this leading brand. 


#7 McAfee

McAfee Antivirus

You will find McAfee Total Protection on most antivirus lists. The company was owned by Intel from 2010 until 2017 when Intel and TPG Capital closed a strategic deal to convert Intel’s Security division into a company called McAfee.

Top Features:

  • VPN 
  • Password manager
  • File encryption
  • File shredder
  • Identity protection
  • All plans support major platforms
  • Basic package is feature-rich
  • Great firewall
  • Performance could be better
  • Apple products have fewer features

McAfee Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Pricing Plan$34.99 - $119.99
Subscription Options1-year or 2-years

McAfee does great most of the time. However, there are more than a few below-average results from MRG Effitas that didn’t certify Avira and this antivirus in Q2 2020.

Take a look at our expert McAfee Review including info on additional features, anti-malware capabilities and lab test results of this software.


#8 PC Protect

PC Protect Antivirus

PC Protect is a great all round antivirus solution. It is a fast and effective way of protecting your PC. With no shortage of features and competitive pricing.

Top Features:

  • Antivirus Scanner
  • Internet Security
  • VPN
  • Password manager
  • Identity theft checker
  • Ad blocker
  • Firewall
  • Reliable virus protection
  • Easy to use
  • Scans can be lengthy
  • The free version is very limited

PC Protect Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Pricing PlanFrom $19/1-year, Free version available
Subscription Options1- year

PC Protect is a decent antivirus, with good malware scanning capabilities and device optimization tools. Some of the included internet security features are not the best, and I don’t like how things that should be included (ilke an ad blocker) need to be purchased separately.

Explore our PC Protect Review and find out how we tested and rated this software provider.

PC Protect

#9 Avira

Avira Antivirus

500 million users have made the right choice by choosing Avira Antivirus – it’s one of the best antivirus software available in both free and premium segments.

Top Features:

  • VPN
  • Firewall
  • Ad blocker
  • Password manager
  • Ransomware protection
  • Great free version
  • Not resource-intensive
  • User-friendly
  • Supports all popular platforms
  • Mobile apps available in Avira Prime only
  • Price-to-value ratio could be better

Avira Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Pricing PlanFrom $34.69/yr, Free Version Available
Subscription Options1-year, 2-years, 3-years subscription

What distinguishes Avira from other antiviruses is its system optimization tools. For example, you can speed up the booting of your device or concentrate the juice towards one resource-heavy task, such as video rendering.

Check out the full Avira Review for more info on the range of protection, pricing plans, lab test results and our expert opinion about Avira.


#10 Bullguard


BullGuard Antivirus sticks to the basics of antivirus, but adds a scan for vulnerable security settings.

Top Features:

  • Malware Protection
  • Firewall
  • Game Booster that prioritizes full-screen software processes
  • Secure Browser feature
  • ID Protection
  • Great free version
  • Not resource-intensive
  • User-friendly
  • Supports all popular platforms
  • Mobile apps available in Avira Prime only
  • Price-to-value ratio could be better

BullGuard Specifications

Operating SystemsWindows, Mac, iOS, Android
Pricing PlanFrom $29.99/yr, Free version available
Subscription Options1, 2, 3 Years

Overall, Bullguard is an exceptional service. However, it's more exceptional on some operating systems than on others. It's superb on Windows, but it isn't very impressive on macOS and iOS.

Check out the full BullGuard Review and find out why we recommend this provider for home, mobile and gaming.


Bottom Line

Overall, there are plenty of secure laptops that you can choose on the marketplace in today’s digital age. Security is more important than ever considering the number of data breaches and due to new technology being introduced every day. By having a secure laptop device, you should be able to protect and safeguard your data as well as possible.


1. Do laptops need any different antivirus from other devices?

No, Laptops and PCs can use the same antivirus software. Just make sure your operating system preferences are what they should be.

2.  Can I use a free antivirus on my laptop?

Some antivirus software has free versions and free trials available. Free versions come with a limited set of features, but they are usually good enough for detecting viruses and malware through on-demand scans.

3. Isn't my built-in antivirus protection on my laptop good enough?

If you’re using a Windows laptop, for example, you should install a third-party antivirus solution. Windows Defender is getting better, but it’s not up to the best competitors, even the best free ones.

4. Will antivirus software slow my laptop down?

Some people say that antivirus software will slow your computer down. While this may have once been true, it’s no longer a reality. The other fact is, that if you have a very old laptop, your computer will be slower because of the antivirus running in the background.

5. Are some laptops more scure than others?

Some laptop providers do prioritize security more than others, yes. Likewise, some operating systems will be inherently more secure than others, depending on your knowledge of the system.