Anti-Malware Software

Best Malware Removal and Protection

Malware comes in many forms, and you certainly don't want it attacking your computer. You must choose a well-rated anti-malware solution to protect your device.

There are multiple anti-malware solutions available, so it can be hard to know which one is the right one for you. We are here to advise you on which malware protection and removal tools are the best solutions for you.

Short On Time? We have picked #1 anti-malware software for you:

We recommend Malwarebytes for malware protection.

Read Malwarebytes Review | Visit Site | See All Our Reviews

Anti-malware programs protect your device against malicious software such as ransomware, spyware, malware, trojans, and others. Malware protection is designed to get rid of and protect your device from this harmful software that might damage your device.  

It is important to choose the right malware protection solution for your computer in 2021. You need to protect your data and files from the ever-evolving digital world and its cybercrimes.

Our Top 5 Anti-Malware Software for 2021

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  • Quick scan times
  • 60-day money-back 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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  • Affordable browser protection
  • Blocking ransomware
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What Is Malware?

Malware simply stands for malicious software. Any software that is designed to infiltrate and damage your computer or mobile device without your informed consent can be classified as malware. Malware is categorized in the following sub-categories:

  • Spyware - It is unwanted software that steals your internet usage data and other sensitive information. System monitors, Trojans, Tracking Cookies, and Adware fall under the category of spyware.
  • Rootkit – This is malicious software that enables unauthorized users to access a computer and restricted software areas. It includes Antivirus disablers, DDoS attack bots, banking credential stealers, and key loggers.
  • Adware - This software installs itself into your device without your consent. Adware is known to serve you unwanted advertisements and monitor your online behavior to collect marketing-related data about you.
  •  Ransomware - This is an emerging type of malware that blocks the user from their files or computer and then demands an anonymous online payment to restore access.
  •  Botnets - An abbreviation for robot networks, botnets affect a network of computers or devices that can connect wirelessly. The aim is to steal data, send spam, and DDoS attacks while accessing the devices and connections
  • Malvertising - Cybercriminals inject malicious code into legitimate ad networks, thus affecting both small and large websites. These seemingly genuine ads are used to deploy ransomware, crypto mining scripts, and Trojans.
  • Phishing Attacks - This fraudulent use of electronic communication (mostly emails) attempts to gain confidential and sensitive information. There are 6 different types of phishing - deceptive, spear, CEO fraud, vishing, smishing, and pharming.
  • Trojan Malware - One of the longest-reigning malware, Trojans acts like a bona fide application that takes control of a computer. It is ideally designed to disrupt, damage, and steal data from devices or networks.

The question is, how do these harmful malicious software infect your computer? Well, it can infect computers and devices in several ways, such as infected emails, fake websites or apps, harmful URLs, and the list goes on. Every computer user must know how to recognize and protect their information from malware in all of its forms. Good malicious software removal begins with effective anti-malware software.

Malware detection

Why Do You Need Malware Protection

There are a lot of reasons why you need malware protection. Anti-malware software is a necessity these days because hackers and cyber attacks are becoming more out there. You never know when hackers will have access to your computer and your personal information. 

There are so many advanced hacking techniques; malware, viruses, and other threats can easily be installed on your computer without your knowledge. Most of them remain undetected until they do major damage to your computer. Don’t leave your computer vulnerable!

With anti-malware software, malware, worms, or viruses will have no time to infect your computer. You never want to be in a situation where your data and information get stolen if it does, it will cause you all sorts of problems.

To keep this from happening, make sure you choose a well-rated anti-malware solution to protect your device. These things have been around a long time and will continue to be around, trying to infiltrate our devices.

Viruses and Malware

How Does Malware Removal Software Work

Anti-malware software does its job using a few different techniques.

Behavior Monitoring

Behavior Monitoring is a technique anti-malware software uses to identify malware based on its character and behavior. What happens is, the anti-malware software will compare the file to any known threats. If there are any suspicious behaviors, the software will flag the file as a threat.

The behavior monitoring feature makes it easier to detect malware on your device because an anti-malware program doesn’t have to scan a file anymore. The malware will be identified by the behavior of the file.


Sandboxing is also a technique an anti-malware software uses to isolate files that seem suspicious. The anti-malware program will hold the suspicious file in the sandbox to further analyze it. If there are any threats, the file will instantly be removed. 

Sandboxing is a great way to prevent malware infection. Your anti-malware program will immediately separate malicious software from your legitimate applications to prevent it from damaging your computer.

Malware Removal

This is the most obvious technique that anti-malware systems use. The malware will be identified, the anti-malware software removes it to prevent it from executing and infecting the computer. If the same type of file reaches the computer, it will automatically be eliminated. An anti-malware will prevent it from installing.

This all may sound like a lot of work but it takes place within seconds. In an instant, malware will be removed from your computer and you can know that your computer is safe.

The 5 Best Malware Removal And Protection Software For 2021

#1 Malwarebytes - Best for malware removal


Businesses looking to keep their computers safe from ransomware, threats and infected sites should get Malwarebytes. It’s a recognized name in anti-malware solutions whose latest version can perform comprehensive scans even when computers are not in use. 

Operating Systems: Operating systems

Supported Devices: Supported devices

1 device per license

User Type: Home and office use

Top Features:

  • Excellent malware protection
  • Established solution
  • Deals with all malware
  • Deep scanning
  • Daily updates
  • Comes with Adwcleaner
  • Free version available

Pricing Plan: From Free - $59.98

Subscription Options: 1-year or 2-years

  • Excellent scores in our hands-on malware protection and malicious URL blocking tests
  • Includes exploit protection, ransomware protection, behavior-based detection
  • Few and poor independent lab test scores
  • Phishing protection ineffective
  • Ransomware detection results mixed

Overall, Malwarebytes is a good antivirus, offering some of the best protection out there (making it onto the list of the best antiviruses of 2021). You can get the free version after a 14-day trial of the premium version, and there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee to help you decide if it’s the right antivirus for you.


Want to know more? Find out results of our reasearch and testing in the comprehensive Malwarebytes Review.

#2 Norton - Best for multi-platform support


Norton uses a massive malware directory as well as heuristic analysis and machine learning to detect malware. Norton combines one of the world’s best anti-malware engines with a huge variety of internet security tools.

Operating Systems: Operating systems

Supported Devices: Supported devices

Up to 10 devices

User Type: Home and office

Top Features:

  • Real-time Threat Protection
  • Anti-Spyware, Antivirus, Malware & Ransomware Protection
  • Password Manager
  • Parental Control
  • Excellent Firewall

Pricing Plan: $19.99 - $149.99

Subscription Options: 1-year or 2-years

  • Excellent malware protection
  • Backup software, online storage, password manager, webcam protection
  • Unlimited VPN service
  • Optional LifeLock ID identity protection
  • Light background performance impact
  • Gets expensive quickly
  • Heavy slowdown during full scans

Overall, Norton’s malware scanner is excellent — the full system scan detected all of my test malware without slowing down my PC, and the real-time protection blocked all of the malware samples I tried downloading. I also like that Norton offers several scanning options, including a quick and custom scan, and I found it very easy to schedule scans.

NortonNeed more info? Visit our Norton Review and find out why we recommend this leading antivirus provider.

#3 TotalAV - Best for real-time malware protection

TotalAVTotalAV offers a good, user-friendly internet security package with near-perfect malware detection rates and cybersecurity extras like anti-phishing protection, a VPN, and a password manager.

Operating Systems: Operating systems

Supported Devices: Supported devices

Up to 6 devices

User Type: Home and office use

Pricing Plan: 

  • Total Security: $59 per year
  • Internet Security: $39 per year
  • Antivirus Pro: $19 per year

Subscription Options: 1-year

  • Strong protection against malicious URL
  • Solid phishing protection
  • User-friendly apps for all four major platforms
  • 24/7 Super Fast Support
  • Offers an impressive list of optimization tools
  • Speedy full scans
  • Advanced firewall protection is only available with the paid plans
  • No Independent Test results; average scores in hands-on malware tests
  • No real-time protection with the free version

TotalAV’s real-time protection engine is fast and secure. It was built by Avira, so you know it is going to be good. With one of the strongest scanning engines, this one is worth a look if you need top-notch malware removal and protection.

TotalAVStill not convinced? Read our TotalAV Review and find out how we tested and rated features, performance and prices of this leading antivirus provider.

#4 Bitdefender - Best for integrated VPN


Bitdefender comes with a lot of built-in options that are both eye-catching and effective in the fight against malware. It comes with a one-click device optimization option, loaded Internet security tools, gaming and movie modes, and microphone and webcam breach protection.

Operating Systems: Operating systems

Supported Devices: Supported devices

Up to 5 devices

User Type: Home and office use

Top Features:

  • Complete data protection – protects against viruses, malware, worms, Trojans, ransomware, zero-day vulnerabilities, spyware, and rootkits.
  • Secure browsing
  • Multi-layer ransomware protection to keep your files safe
  • Secure VPN for complete online privacy
  • Password manager 
  • Minimal impact on your system performance

Pricing Plan: $29.99 - $44.99 

Subscription Options: 1-year, 2-years, 3-years

  • A newly designed interface is easy to understand
  • 24/7 tech support is available via phone, email, Twitter, live chat, and via the Bitdefender forum
  • Solid protection against phishing attacks
  • Proactive scanning of social networking profiles
  • Privacy protection and online transaction security
  • Top of the line anti-phishing protection (aced many independent tests)
  • Password management features for your digital wallet can be improved
  • Installation requires a time investment.

Bitdefender beats all other security software in both Best Protection and Lowest Impact on Performance. Protect your devices against malware without compromising speed.

BitdefenderNeed more details? Visit our Bitdefender Review and get an in-depth overview of what this provider has to offer.

#5 Emsisoft - Best for browser protection


Emsisoft Anti-Malware is a light-weight anti-malware program to clean and protect your PC from all internet threats: viruses, ransomware, spyware, trojans, adware, and other malware.

Operating Systems:  Emsisoft

Supported Devices: Supported devices

up to 5 endpoints

User Type: Home and office use

Top Features:

  • Application Security
  • Device Management
  • Signature Matching
  • Whitelisting/Blacklisting
  • Behavioral Analytics
  • Web Threat Management

Pricing Plan: $ 19.99

Subscription Options: 1-year, 2-years or 3-years

  • A good score in our malware protection test
  • Behavioral detection successfully blocked ransomware
  • Cloud Console allows full remote management
  • Surfing protection is browser-independent
  • New browser extension detects phishing
  • Almost no scores from independent labs
  • Phishing protection not for all browsers
  • Cloud Console may be too complicated for some

Emsisoft’s super-clean user interface and powerful security protections impressed me — in terms of malware detection and ease-of-use, Emsisoft is a top-quality product.


Want to know more? Read our Emsisoft Review and learn about the final results of our research on this software provider.

How To Choose The Right Malware Removal Tool?

There are a lot of factors to take into account when you’re trying to select the best malware solution that will suit your needs. You need to be sure that the malware solution you choose has all the features you need. What should you know before you buy anti-malware software? 

Considerations to keep in mind:

  • Price -  Price is one of the most important things to consider when purchasing anti-malware software. There are a lot of different options that offer protection over a broad scale of different prices. Some software is free, while others cost hundreds of dollars. 
  • Speed -  It is important to pay attention to how fast the malware tool will scan your computer. Any anti-malware solution that offers “quick scan” or “speedy scan” may be a good option if you want to be able to run a quick check. 
  • Compatibility - When purchasing anti-malware software you should make sure that it is compatible with your computer. If you aren't sure, you risk wasting money on something that cannot properly scan and protect your device.
  • Real-Time Information - It can be very handy to have a real-time scanning option. Some programs run in the background and give you the option to pause them or turn them on and off at scheduled times. 

Anti-Malware Choice

Main Anti-Malware Software Types

When removing malware from your computer it's important to know how the different types of malware spread. This is vital to containing and removing them.

When purchasing anti-malware software, make sure you get a trustworthy software type that will remove any threats from your device.

Malware Scanner

Malware scanners are an essential tool for defending your device against computer viruses. 

Every time a file enters your device, the malware scanner will scan the file for any possible threats. The scanner will analyze the file and collect the file code. Every malicious file contains a unique code or signature that is used to identify it.

When choosing a malware scanner, you want your scanner to:

  • Detect a wide range of existing malicious programs that may be on your device.
  • The scanner should be able to detect when new modifications of known computer viruses, worms, and Trojan viruses are made.
  • Detect malicious software that may be located in packaged files on your computer. 

When choosing a malware scanner, you need to make sure that the scanner is well-rated. You can't afford to buy a malware scanner that will let malicious threats slip through and steal your data.

Read more about our recommended malware scanner software.

Malware Remover

Malicious files contain certain signatures that can be stored so that they can be identified when trying to infiltrate your device at a later stage. 

As soon as the malware scanner picks up malicious files on your device, it will send the code to the database that contains the virus signatures.

The code is then compared to the other codes listed in this database. If it matches any of the codes or signatures, the software returns with a verdict that the file is malicious. If a file is identified as a threat, the anti-malware deletes it immediately.

You want to use a malware remover that is updated with the latest information on different malware that might exist. Make sure the malware remover that you choose is well-rated.

Read more about our recommended malware scanner software.

Spyware Remover

Spyware can sometimes be hard to recognize. The word, "spyware", says it all, it should be hard to find. But the great thing is, some clues can help you identify whether or not your device has been infected by spyware. 

You may have a spyware issue if your computer shows these symptoms:

  • Your device is slower than usual or crashes for no reason. 
  • Your device is running out of hard drive space. 
  • You get pop-ups when you are online or offline.

As soon as you think your device may be infected with spyware, you can run a scan with your anti-spyware removal tool to make sure it has cleaned up everything it can. 

When choosing anti-spyware removal software, make sure that it can continuously monitor your computer in the background to make sure spyware can’t modify or monitor your information.

Read more about our recommended spyware remover software.

AdWare Remover

Adware is unwanted software that is designed to spam you with advertisements, most often within your web browser. Adware disguises itself as legitimate or piggybacks on another program to trick you into installing it onto your device.

If you suspect that adware may have compromised your device, there are a few steps you can take to remove the infection; 

  • Regularly make sure that your files are backed-up. 
  • Try to remove the adware through the pertinent utility on your operating system (i.e., Add/Remove on the Windows platform). 
  • Run a scan and, if any nasties are hiding away in your machine, it’ll bag, tag, and dump them for you. 

As soon as you think you may be infected, you should change your password on your PC, email, social media accounts, and your online billing centers. 

Before purchasing an adware remover, make sure it is well-rated. Read more about our recommended adware removal software.

Trojan Remover

A Trojan is a type of malicious code or software that can take control of your device. Trojans are designed to damage, disrupt, steal, or inflict some other harmful action on your data or network.

You may think that you are downloading a legitimate application or file, but in reality, it may be a Trojan, acting as a bona fide application to trick you. Trojans want to deceive you into loading malware onto your device. 

As soon as it has access to your device, it can perform the action it was designed to do. Cybercriminals will usually place these Trojans on unofficial and pirate app markets for people to download. Never download apps from pirate app markets as you may be infecting your device.

It is always a good idea to use a Trojan remover that can detect and remove any Trojans on your device. Make sure the Trojan remover you are looking at has great reviews by other users.

Read more about our recommended Trojan removal software.

Software protection

Additional Ways To Protect Yourself From Malware

Antivirus is one kind of security for your computer, but there are many other possibilities.

Ransomware Protection

If your regular antivirus misses a brand-new Trojan and thereby lets some crook steal your credit card number, that's bad. But you can get a new card, and an antivirus update (or a remote remediation session with tech support) should wipe out the Trojan. But if the antivirus misses a ransomware attack, that's it. Your files are hosed, and removing the ransomware won't help. Because of that, we recommend a second line of protection against ransomware.

You may find that your antivirus or security suite has some degree of ransomware-specific protection built-in. Some products simply ban unauthorized programs from making changes to files in certain protected folders.


A firewall fends off hack attacks from outside and prevents programs from abusing your network connection. Firewalls also protect your computer from malware threats. It monitors the internet and network traffic to and from your computer and blocks suspicious connections. You can adjust the firewall protection as needed to allow necessary network traffic to pass through unimpeded.

Password management tools

Password management helps you attain the goal of using a strong, unique password for every website. Most security companies offer a higher-level suite that adds many more security-related features. We call these feature-packed products mega-suites, to distinguish them from the basic, entry-level suites.


VPNs protect us against network and Wi-Fi bullies. If you are connected to an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot, another user or the sneaky owner of the hotspot could sift through your data stream. 

By installing a VPN program on your device, your data will be protected in transit. You will also be able to mask your IP address, so it will be hard to identify your device. 

A lot of security companies are beginning to include a VPN component into their antivirus and ant-malware solutions. Full access to a VPN may require an additional subscription.

Bottom Line

Will you ever want to damage your computer with your own hands on your own will? If not, then get anti-malware software as soon as possible so you can use your computer without the constant fear of falling prey to a virus attack.

We've identified a variety of products that will help keep malware far, far away from your computer. We made a point of including a variety of program types, from many different security companies.


1. What is the difference between anti-malware and antivirus software?

Antivirus and anti-malware were both created to detect and protect against malicious software. While the term antivirus denotes that it only protects against computer viruses, its features often protect against the many common forms of malware today. Antimalware goes one step further and focuses on broader, more advanced, software threats. Read more: Malware Remover vs Antivirus.

2.  Do I need malware removal software if I already have an antivirus?

Not necessarily. A lot of antivirus programs contain features that can help you get rid of the malware. The fact is, anti-malware programs will protect your device on a more in-depth level so you can be sure that your device is safer. It all depends on your needs.

3. Can I use multiple malware protection programs on my device?

The short answer is yes you can, but it is not recommended. These programs shouldn’t run at the same time. For effective malware protection, against computer viruses, worms, Trojan viruses, and more, the software has to be able to penetrate to a suitable level within the computer.

4. Do I need anti-malware software on my mobile phone?

It depends, with a well-managed smartphone, basic anti-malware protections aren’t going to come into play very often. Yes, smartphones can be infected, it will only happen through web browsing. The most dangerous types of malware are linked to infected applications. If you download your apps from a play store, you won't necessarily have to stress about malware.

5. Which anti-malware software is the best for business?

There are various types of anti-malware solutions out there. You must do your research before purchasing a solution for your business. You can check out our review page to see our thoughts on things.