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    The Best Antivirus for Gamers 2020

    Antivirus for Gamers 2020

    Avid gamers can’t deny that the device’s performance is of the utmost importance when it comes to a seamless gaming experience. This is why most gamers compromise on security and avoid using antivirus to protect the device from malware and other threats.

    Luckily, with advancements in technology, cybersecurity companies have started building antivirus solutions with dedicated gameplay features. These products ensure that your device stays protected without any impact on performance. 

    Read on to learn more about the game mode and the best antivirus for gaming in 2020.

    Can’t Wait To Get Your Gaming Antivirus Now? See Our Top 5 Picks

    The best antivirus for gamers will have the perfect balance between performance and protection. After testing dozens of security solutions, here are our picks for the top five gaming antivirus products of 2020 that you should check out:

    • Webroot - Minimal CPU impact, system optimizer, and other features packed into a cloud-based antivirus suite built exclusively for gamers
    • Avast - Prioritizes the CPU focus on the game you’re playing while muting incoming notifications and pausing updates
    • Norton - Multiple modes for optimized performance as per need. It runs in the background providing fast-scanning while you’re playing
    • Avira - Allows you to pause all alerts and updates while the antivirus engine and firewall protection runs silently in the background
    • Bullguard - The first company to include a gameplay mode in its security solution. Allows you to create multiple profiles for a seamless experience and provides history logs

    The Best Antivirus for Gaming PC

    PC gamers want protection from digital threats without having to endure pop-ups and slowdowns. While most traditional online defense solutions consume a lot of the device’s memory, antivirus for PC gamers includes dedicated features for those engaged in online sport. 

    When choosing the best antivirus for gaming, here are the features that you must consider:

    • Should have a fast antimalware-scanning engine that runs silently in the background
    • Offers a dedicated gameplay mode/autopilot mode that blocks all notifications, alerts, and updates during gameplay
    • It’s lightweight and doesn’t consume much of the system’s resources
    • Provides value for money
    • Is user-friendly and allows you to customize and adjust the settings as needed

    Antivirus Software With Game Mode

    Gaming mode temporarily blocks notifications, system alerts, and updates while you’re in a game or doing any other task. Hence, it allows you to enjoy a seamless online experience while protecting your device from threats in real-time. 

    Here’s how this feature works in each of the brands we listed above:

    Webroot

    Webroot gaming mode allows you to enjoy PC games without any interruptions or lags. It optimizes your computer while protecting you from online threats and loss of personal data. The company claims to use industry-leading endpoint technology that doesn’t hog system resources.

    One of the standout features of this security solution is that it doesn’t need a dedicated ‘gamer mode’ because it works in the background by default

                   Read the detailed review of Webroot antivirus

      Provider
      Features
      • Game mode
      • Smartphone optimizer
      • Real-time monitoring of malware
      • Fast scanning

      Norton

      This antivirus suite automatically reduces the CPU load as soon as you start a session. Norton gaming mode provides two options for you to enjoy uninterrupted gameplay: silent and quiet mode. Using the silent setting, you’ll be able to configure alerts and temporarily suspend background tasks.

      Whenever you open an app/game in fullscreen, the software can auto-detect it and turn on this mode. Likewise, the quiet option is automatically enabled whenever you’re performing tasks that require more memory and resources 

                    Check out our full review of Norton

      Provider
      Features
      • Real-time malware protection
      • Around-the-clock support
      • Strong privacy protection
      • Safe web browsing

      Avast

      Avast is one of the best internet security suites available in today’s market. Avast game mode is an additional feature that can be manually activated, or you can set it to auto-detect and have it open as soon as you start your online sport session.

      When you turn on the game mode, the antivirus engine ensures that all other background applications remain closed, thus freeing up system resources for optimal gameplay.

      Using this feature, you can prioritize CPU tasks, pause updates and notifications, disable Avast pop-ups, and switch your computer’s battery consumption to high-performance mode. 

                   Make sure to check out our detailed review of Avast for more details

      Provider
      Features
      • Real-time malware protection
      • Advanced security features
      • Cross-platform compatibility
      • Value for money

      Avira

      Avira Game Mode is only available with premium versions. Using this setting, you can easily suspend irrelevant notifications and pop-ups while you’re online. While this feature is enabled, the antimalware engine and firewall security run silently in the background. All alerts and updates are displayed once you leave the game.

      However, compared to other brands, Avira doesn’t offer automation. This means that you’ll need to manually turn off the mode after gameplay to enjoy the full potential of the internet security suite

                   Check out our detailed review of Avira to learn more about its pros and cons

      provider
      Features
      • Enhanced ransomware and malware detection
      • Multiple devices (up to 25)
      • Cross-platform compatibility
      • Pocket-friendly pricing

      Bullguard

      This is the first internet security brand to offer a dedicated game mode with its antimalware solution. It provides you with an unparalleled experience without shutting off your security suite. Over the years, this company has gathered feedback from gameplay communities to develop modern and upgraded versions of its Bullguard gaming mode.

      You’ll be able to create profiles that auto-activate when you start a session. You can then define how you want alerts and notifications, firewall pop-ups, and other tasks to run 

      The Best Free Antivirus for Gaming PC 

      Although many other security solutions offer modes for online sport, most of them come with a higher price tag. If you’re looking for the best free antivirus for gaming, your options are limited. Nonetheless, some brands offer a trial period at no cost, which helps you assess if the software is right for your needs. For instance, Webroot is so sure of its performance standards that it offers a 70-day guaranteed refund if you’re not satisfied with the performance.

      That said, let’s quickly take a look at the top features for the best antivirus software for gaming PC:

      Provider

      Game mode available?

      Does it interrupt gameplay?

      Available for multiple devices?

      Price estimation

      Free version available?

      Norton

      YES

      NO

      YES, up to 10

      Starts at $7.99/mo for 1st year

      30-day free trial

      Avast

      YES

      NO

      YES, up to 10

      $69.99 for 1st year (1 PC)

      YES, lifetime free version with ads

      Avira

      YES

      NO

      YES, up to 50

      Starts at $23.51 for 1st year (1 PC)

      30-day Free trial

      Webroot

      YES (default)

      NO

      YES, up to five

      $39.99 for 1st year (1 PC)

      70-day free trial with a full refund guarantee

      Bullguard

      YES

      NO

      YES, up to six

      $29.99 for 1st year (1 PC)

      30-day Free trial

      The Best Antivirus for Gaming Laptop

      If you’re running a Windows laptop, there’s no shortage of quality antimalware solutions, both free and premium. Usually, most solutions work seamlessly on PCs and laptops. To enjoy uninterrupted game time on your laptop, you can choose from one of the programs mentioned above. 

      The only thing you’ll need to consider is that the best antivirus for gaming laptops will include a game mode or a ‘do not disturb’ feature. Some companies may have these attributes in the free versions. However, such options will show ads. These ads can pop-up during gameplay; hence it’s best to go for the paid options.

      All of the above products are compatible across various platforms, including Windows, Android, and iOS. We recommend opting for free trials so you can decide which brand best addresses your needs.

      Antivirus Protection for Gaming Consoles

      Gaming consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, and so forth are less prone to online threats, mainly because there isn’t a direct way to download files from the internet on these devices.

      This, in itself, protects you from unwanted viruses and malware. Therefore, you won’t find any dedicated Xbox One antivirus or a Nintendo Switch antivirus.

      However, there are some other threats that gamers should be wary of. For instance, cybercriminals may send out phishing emails, socially engineered attacks, and in-game messages to obtain your PSN (PlayStation Network) or Xbox Live credentials.

      By gaining access to your Xbox or PS accounts, they can steal your in-game inventory or take control over your devices. 

      To keep yourself protected from these attacks, you can use security software to protect your network and filter spam. For instance, Norton 360 includes a password manager, firewall protection, anti-spam, and multiple layers of safety for your online sports account.

      Hence, it also doubles up as a PS4 antivirus or an additional security solution for your Xbox Live, Nintendo Switch, and Wii accounts.

      Bottom Line

      There was a time when gamers skipped protection on their gadgets because of annoying pop-ups and system slowdown.

      Fortunately, modern-day antiviruses overcame this problem. Most of the security suites available today come with dedicated game time modes that ensure that CPU resources are optimized for online sports.

      Furthermore, these solutions are designed to detect full-screen games and pause notifications, alerts, and updates to deliver an uninterrupted experience.

      We recommend testing the free trials of the products listed above to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each before you commit to a premium version. 

      Moreover, if you feel like your existing antivirus is slowing down games? Check out our guide on how to confirm and fix this problem.

      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

      Do I need to use antivirus on my gaming PC?

      Yes, it’s essential to keep your PC protected from online threats, phishing, and scams. If your PC is always connected to the internet and you download digital assets, protective software will help keep your device clean and optimized.

      Does having an antivirus installed slow down games?

      Modern-day security solutions rely on cloud-based technology. They offer dedicated game time and DND modes to ensure all resources are free for your device to achieve optimal performance when engaged in online sports.

      Does a gaming laptop need different antivirus protection than a PC?

      It isn’t mandatory. Usually, this software for PCs works the same way on laptops. If you’re concerned about performance, make sure to review the system requirements before installing the security suite on your computer.

      Which antivirus is the best for gaming PCs?

      Bullguard was the first company that started including a mode for gameplay. Over the years, it has modified the feature, relying on feedback from the global gaming community. Hence, it’s the most preferred security solution for PCs.

      Can my PlayStation and/or Xbox get a virus?

      Since there isn’t a direct way of downloading games and other software on a PS or Xbox, the chances of getting a virus are minor.