Security Software For Computer

Computer security software is used to eliminate or prevent viruses, spyware, and other malicious code from infecting your computer. Security software helps safeguard personal information by scanning for spyware and adware installed on your computer. Security software is also designed to protect data from identity theft by blocking keyloggers that record data as you type. There are many reasons to use security software on your computer every day.

People are vulnerable to computer hacking. They use the same password for different devices. This article discusses the best security software for computers, which is to use a combination of two-factor authentication along with strong passwords.

There are many security software out there in the market, aiding you to protect your computer from viruses and malicious software. But, what exactly are these magical items? Well, you must be thinking: A security program is a software that comes packed with a bunch of tools that help to guard your system when threats like viruses attack. Since, they store information in one place and sweep the whole computer quickly, they often allow you to get rid of unnecessary programs that take up valuable space in your computer.

Security Software For Computer

There are hundreds of antiviruses out there — and they all claim to offer the best protection at the best price. But I tested the top antivirus software on the market and only a few of them are strong enough, secure enough, and effective enough to be considered one of the best antiviruses of 2022.

Most antivirus programs nowadays include more than just a virus scanner — they also come with features that add additional protection, like a network firewall, phishing protection, a virtual private network (VPN), a password manager, parental controls, as well as dedicated protections for mobile devices.

But a lot of antiviruses don’t exactly work as advertised — they have poor malware detection rates, they don’t consistently block malicious sites, and their extra features are badly designed and virtually useless (despite charging you an extra fee).

So how do you know which antivirus products offer the best security, the best malware protection, and the best value? I compared the top antiviruses on the market and ranked them on security, functionality, speed, and price.

🥇1. Norton 360 — Best Antivirus for Windows, Android & iOS

Norton 360 offers unbeatable virus and malware protection. It’s a well-built and well-maintained internet security suite that fully ensures all information stays secure, private, and protected — and it works well across all operating systems. It’s the best choice for home users looking for a complete, intuitive antivirus with some of the best cybersecurity protections out there, all for a low-cost yearly subscription.

Norton’s antivirus software uses a unique scanning engine powered by heuristic analysis and machine learning, making it capable of scanning, finding, and removing all of the newest and most advanced types of malware. It scored a 100% protection rating during all of my independent tests, and it consistently scored higher on detection and threat prevention than built-in antiviruses (like Windows Defender).

🥇1. Norton 360 — Best Antivirus for Windows, Android & iOS

Norton 360 comes with a wide range of additional features — and they’re all easy to use and work just as promised. The features include:

  • Secure firewall.
  • Password manager
  • Webcam protection.
  • VPN (with unlimited data).
  • Dark web monitoring.
  • Cloud storage.
  • Ransomware protection.
  • And a lot more…

My favorite extra is dark web monitoring (it’s by far the best dark web monitoring tool I’ve ever tested). It constantly scans the dark web for a wide range of personal information, including credit card details, insurance documentation, home addresses, phone numbers, gamer tags, and more, and it immediately alerts you if it detects any stolen data.

🥇1. Norton 360 — Best Antivirus for Windows, Android & iOS

Norton provides excellent value across all of its packages. Priced at $19.99 / year, its entry-level AntiVirus Plus plan doesn’t come with a lot of features, but it still has real-time malware protection, a firewall, a password manager, and 2 GB secure cloud storage. Norton 360 Standard is also a pretty good deal — it adds unlimited VPN access, 10 GB secure cloud storage, and dark web monitoring for $39.99 / year.

Norton 360 Deluxe is the best-value package for most users — for $49.99 / year, you get more licenses (up to 5), more storage space (up to 50 GB), and access to some of the best parental controls on the market. Starting at $99.99 / year, Norton 360 with LifeLock also adds identity theft protection and credit monitoring via Norton’s sister company, LifeLock — but these advanced plans are only available for US customers.Norton

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Bottom Line:

Norton 360 provides the best antivirus protection in 2022. It offers one of the strongest cybersecurity packages around — complete protection from all malicious threats alongside a ton of excellent extra features, like a VPN (with unlimited data), a password manager, secure cloud storage, parental controls, and a lot more. You can try Norton risk-free with the company’s 60-day money-back guarantee.

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🥈2. Bitdefender Total Security — Advanced Malware Protection With Tons of Additional Features

🥈2. Bitdefender Total Security — Advanced Malware Protection With Tons of Additional Features

Bitdefender has an extremely advanced antivirus engine — it uses a massive malware database together with machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect and protect against malware more effectively than almost any other competitor on the market.

During my testing, Bitdefender found and removed every single malicious threat from my system. And because its engine is cloud-based, all of the malware scans take place on Bitdefender’s cloud server, offloading the strain on your device. Bitdefender caused virtually zero system impact to both my Windows and Mac laptops, even during intensive, full-disk scans.

🥈2. Bitdefender Total Security — Advanced Malware Protection With Tons of Additional Features

Similar to Norton, Bitdefender includes advanced settings for users who know how to customize their antivirus protection. You can set custom scan settings for specific areas of your computer, like scripts, network shares, boot sectors, and even new/modified files. Bitdefender’s advanced settings help further its reputation as one of the most powerful and customizable malware scanning engines out there.

🥈2. Bitdefender Total Security — Advanced Malware Protection With Tons of Additional Features

But Bitdefender isn’t just an anti-malware scanner — it’s one of the most comprehensive security suites available, providing some of the best protection for both computers and mobiles, with features like:

  • Web protections.
  • System optimizer
  • VPN (200 MB/daily).
  • Parental controls.
  • Password manager.
  • Webcam protection.
  • Ransomware protection.
  • And a lot more…

Bitdefender’s web protections are excellent — the anti-phishing protection blocked the vast majority of phishing sites in my testing, and I’m a big fan of Safepay, which is a secure, encrypted browser window for online banking and shopping. I particularly love Bitdefender’s multi-layer ransomware protection, which adds a data-protection layer over your important files so that they can’t be encrypted during a ransomware attack.

Bitdefender’s VPN is also one of the best on the market, providing lightning-fast access to encrypted servers around the globe — unfortunately, unlike Norton’s VPN, Bitdefender’s VPN limits your daily data usage on all but the most expensive plan.

Speaking of plans, Bitdefender has several low-cost packages to choose from. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, which is priced at $17.99 / year, has many of Bitdefender’s premium features (except webcam protection, parental controls, and a device optimizer), but it’s only available for Windows. Bitdefender Internet Security adds on parental controls, a firewall, and coverage for up to 3 Windows computers for $25.50 / year.

My favorite plan is Bitdefender Total Security, which includes up to 5 licenses for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS for $28.50 / year.  There’s also Bitdefender Premium Security, which includes all of Bitdefender’s features, plus the VPN with no limitations — at $59.99 / year, it’s pricier than some competitors, but considering the VPN is as good as the top standalone VPNs, I still think it’s worth it.Bitdefender

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Bottom Line:

Bitdefender offers cloud-based antivirus scanning and a wide range of cybersecurity tools for a cheaper price than most competitors. I recommend Bitdefender if you’re confident with computers and looking for a comprehensive cybersecurity suite with extras like a VPN, parental controls, and a password manager. And you can try out Bitdefender risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee..

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🥉3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Online Security (+ Great for Families)

🥉3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Online Security (+ Great for Families)

McAfee Total Protection has almost every internet security feature you’ll ever need — malware protection, anti-phishing protection, a password manager, a VPN, and identity theft monitoring and coverage. And all of its features are intuitive, easy to use, and work just as promised.

🥉3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Online Security (+ Great for Families)

Its excellent virus protection abilities alone make Total Protection a great product — scoring a perfect 100% detection rate against all of the malware samples during my series of tests. McAfee detected, blocked, and removed both simple and advanced threats, including viruses, trojans, spyware, keyloggers, and rootkits.

Its anti-phishing protection is also excellent, preventing me from accessing known phishing and malicious sites. It identified the vast majority of risky sites, outperforming both built-in protections from browsers like Chrome and Firefox and web protection from most competing antiviruses.

🥉3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Online Security (+ Great for Families)

I’m also a huge fan of McAfee’s Wi-Fi protections. This provides an easy-to-read map of all devices on your home Wi-Fi network, giving you total control over your online security and allowing you to lock out intruders.

McAfee’s parental controls are also some of the best on the market — in addition to blocking inappropriate and unwanted content and apps, they also come with advanced location tracking, which allows you to track your child’s device with almost perfect accuracy (this feature works much better than Google or Apple’s tools for locating devices).

The only thing I don’t like about McAfee is that it slowed down my computer a bit during full system scans (unlike Norton and Bitdefender). While I was able to browse the internet, use Microsoft Office, and watch videos on YouTube (but there was some buffering), I couldn’t play CPU-intensive games as my screen kept freezing during gameplay.

McAfee’s plans, which start at only $39.99 / year, offer excellent value. The Plus plan ($39.99 / year) provides coverage for up to 5 devices, and the Premium family package ($64.99 / year) adds parental controls and coverage for an unlimited number of devices. There’s also the Advanced plan ($89.99 / year), which adds anti-theft coverage of up $1 million and other anti-theft protections.

Bottom Line:

McAfee Total Protection offers an impressive range of internet security protection for all computers and mobiles. Its anti-phishing and Wi-Fi protections are exceptionally good, blocking all risky sites and offering centralized security control over every device on your network, and its parental controls are some of the best on the market. This makes McAfee Total Protection particularly great for families looking to keep a highly secure Wi-Fi network and improve their children’s safety both online and offline. All Total Protection packages include a commitment-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

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4. TotalAV — Easiest Antivirus Software to Use

4. TotalAV — Easiest Antivirus Software to Use

TotalAV has an excellent antivirus scanner and a couple of really good extras, all inside a very intuitive dashboard — making TotalAV a particularly great choice for beginner users who don’t want to deal with complicated menus and settings. However, TotalAV also includes many customization options that advanced users will appreciate.

4. TotalAV — Easiest Antivirus Software to Use

TotalAV’s antivirus scanner is fast, reliable, and has near-perfect malware detection rates. The scanner caught 99% of all of my test malware, from viruses and trojans to ransomware, missing only a couple of tricky files (which Norton and Bitdefender managed to catch).

4. TotalAV — Easiest Antivirus Software to Use

You also get a full range of extra internet security features. I particularly like TotalAV’s performance optimizer — during my tests, it cleaned up more space on my computer than most other competitors. I also like TotalAV’s VPN — it’s secure, works with popular streaming sites, and maintains pretty fast speeds across all servers (which is why it ranks as one of the best antivirus-bundled VPNs on the market).

The only feature I’m not too happy about is the password manager, which I think needs a lot of improvement — if you want a good password manager bundled with an antivirus, I recommend Norton or Avira, both of which provide high security, unlimited password storage on unlimited devices, and extras like password security auditing. Norton’s password manager even has an automatic password changer, which no other password manager on the market currently offers!

My favorite TotalAV plan is Internet Security, which covers up to 5 devices for $39.00 / year. TotalAV Antivirus Pro is a good entry-level package for users looking to protect up to 3 devices, and it costs $19.00 / year, whereas TotalAV Total Security adds a password manager, ad blocker, and protection for up to 6 devices for $49.00 / year.

Bottom Line:

TotalAV has a powerful antivirus engine and a good range of features inside a user-friendly dashboard — I recommend TotalAV for first-time users just needing something safe, secure, and easy to use. TotalAV’s packages all have a wide range of features, and they’re all designed for maximum ease of use. And all TotalAV purchases have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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5. Intego — Best Antivirus for Mac

5. Intego — Best Antivirus for Mac

Intego is the best macOS antivirus out there. Most antivirus brands only focus on protecting Windows PCs — even competitors like Norton and Bitdefender offer far fewer features for their macOS programs than they do for their Windows versions — but all of Intego’s Mac antivirus packages were exclusively designed to provide high-quality internet security and optimization tools to macOS — greatly enhancing Apple’s built-in safety features with things like:

  • Real-time malware protection.
  • Mac optimization and cleaning tools.
  • Advanced Mac backup options.
  • Network security options.
  • Parental controls.
5. Intego — Best Antivirus for Mac

Intego’s antivirus engine scored a perfect detection rate against all of my test malware (both macOS and PC malware). And its scans are fast — scanning over 800,000 files in under 2 hours. I also really like that subsequent scans take only a few minutes, thanks to Intego’s file caching system that ignores already-scanned files (Norton uses the same technology to skip over previously scanned files).

I’m also a huge fan of Intego’s customizable smart firewall — it monitors both incoming and outgoing network connections and alerts you to programs trying to connect to the internet, which prevents programs from sending data from your Mac without you knowing (perfect for stopping hidden spyware attempting to send sensitive information to hackers). The firewall also adjusts its settings automatically depending on your environment — if you’re at home, work, or using a public Wi-Fi network — ensuring you have the most appropriate settings switched on.

5. Intego — Best Antivirus for Mac

Intego has a lot of pretty cool additional features — I particularly like how you can connect an external drive or an iOS device to your Mac and run an antivirus scan of it with Intego’s virus scanner. Because Intego doesn’t offer internet security protection for mobile, this saves you from needing to get multiple antivirus packages to protect your iOS devices — but if you want to do more than run antivirus scans on iOS, you’ll need to get a separate iOS antivirus app.

Intego’s excellent Mac Premium Bundle X9 bundle comes with all of Intego’s best features, including disk optimization tools and parental controls. There’s also Mac Internet Security X9 plan, but it only has real-time malware protection and a firewall. Starting at $19.99 / year, Intego is a bit more expensive than the competitors, but then again, most competitors offer very basic programs for Mac users (typically only malware scanners).

Intego also has a Windows product, Antivirus for Windows, but it’s just a simple virus scanner and not full-suite security software like Intego’s Mac products. If you need a Windows antivirus, any of the other ones on this list are better choices.Intego

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Bottom Line:

Intego’s excellent protection against Mac-based malware makes it the best antivirus for macOS in 2022. It greatly enhances and improves upon Apple’s already built-in security and device optimization tools, and it comes at a great price. And there’s a 30-day no-risk money-back guarantee, so you’ll be able to see if it offers the best protection for you.

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6. Avira Prime — Excellent Antivirus Scanner + System Optimization

6. Avira Prime — Excellent Antivirus Scanner + System Optimization

Avira has one of the strongest and most robust antivirus engines on the market — it consistently earns high scores during independent testing (and scored a 100% detection rate during all of my tests), and it’s so good that Avira’s anti-malware technology has been licensed out to several competitors, including TotalAV.

6. Avira Prime — Excellent Antivirus Scanner + System Optimization

Avira Prime also comes with a lot of really good additional features, such as:

  • Privacy optimization.
  • System optimization.
  • VPN.
  • Password manager.
  • Premium apps for Android and iOS.

Avira’s system optimization tools are some of the best on the market. While many antivirus products include tune-up tools designed to help your device run smoothly and free up hard drive space, Avira comes with the most advanced tune-up and clean-up tools bundled with an antivirus, including:

  • Startup optimizer. Saved a full 2 minutes from my PC’s start time!
  • Game booster. Automatically allocates system resources and stops background processes to improve system performance.
  • Junk file cleaner. Removes duplicates, unused files, and some cached files.
6. Avira Prime — Excellent Antivirus Scanner + System Optimization

Avira Prime is a particularly good antivirus if you have an old or slow PC that’s often low on hard disk space. Avira’s system optimization tools had my old Windows 7 computer running like new — in fact, it almost seemed faster than my new Windows 10 PC! And since Avira’s antivirus engine operates entirely in the cloud, it won’t slow down your devices like many other competitors that download bulky software packages to your system.

At $59.99 / year, Avira Prime is a good value, but it’s pricier than some top-rated antivirus packages. Avira does have cheaper plans, including Internet Security ($45.99 / year), but Prime is the only package that includes advanced system optimization, the VPN, and mobile apps.

Avira’s free version is the best free antivirus software on the market — if you don’t want to spend any money right now, Avira Free can help keep your device protected with real-time protection, ransomware protection, and even a free version of Avira’s VPN.

Bottom Line:

Avira’s cloud-based scanner and excellent system optimization tools make it the most lightweight security suite on my list. It also has a VPN, password manager, and coverage for up to 5 devices across all operating systems. You can try out Avira risk-free with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

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7. Kaspersky Premium — Best for Online Shopping + Banking

7. Kaspersky Premium — Best for Online Shopping + Banking

We currently have no evidence to suggest that Moscow-based Kaspersky is a threat to users. You can read more about our decision to continue recommending it on our website here.

Kaspersky Internet Security takes Kaspersky’s well-known antivirus protection and adds some impressive bonus features, like dangerous site protection, that will help keep you safe online. Its antivirus engine consistently delivers some of the best results in the industry against all types of malware — the program was 100% effective in all of my anti-malware testing.

7. Kaspersky Premium — Best for Online Shopping + Banking

Kaspersky also includes a good variety of cybersecurity features, such as:

  • Anti-phishing protections.
  • Safe Money secure browser.
  • VPN (unlimited data).
  • Password manager.
  • Smart Home monitor.

I really like Kaspersky’s Safe Money feature — the program detects when you’re about to make a payment online or access a banking website, offering to launch a safe, sandboxed browser window that’s impenetrable to malware and spyware. While I’m a fan of Safe Money, I slightly prefer Bitdefender’s secure browser, Safepay, which loads much faster than Kaspersky’s. Kaspersky also lets you use a virtual keyboard when handling online payments to avoid keyloggers.

7. Kaspersky Premium — Best for Online Shopping + Banking

In my opinion, Kaspersky Premium is the best-value plan, providing malware scanning, web protections, the Safe Money secure browser, an unlimited-data VPN, a password manager with unlimited password storage, home Wi-Fi monitoring so you can keep track of who connects to your network, and 1 free year of Kaspersky parental controls for up to 3 users, for only $22.99 / year — this is a good deal and there are also options to cover 5, 10 and even 20 users.

Bottom Line:

Kaspersky offers a well-designed antivirus package with a good anti-malware scanner. In addition, you get useful extras like a secure browser for online finances, a VPN, a password manager, and 1 free year of parental controls. All of Kaspersky’s plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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8. Panda Dome — Best for Flexible Pricing

8. Panda Dome — Best for Flexible Pricing

Panda offers its advanced virus scanner and easy-to-use interface across 5 different pricing plans — I love that Panda provides its excellent security solution to everyone, regardless of budget. I’m also happy that Panda’s malware scanner performed well during testing (95% malware detection rate and 100% ransomware detection rate), and I also liked most of the additional features.

8. Panda Dome — Best for Flexible Pricing

One Panda extra I really like is the Rescue Kit, which is a bootable version of Panda that can be operated from a thumb drive (in case your computer gets heavily infected by malware).

8. Panda Dome — Best for Flexible Pricing

Panda’s flexible pricing options include:

  • Free. Includes real-time virus protection for Windows and an app scanner for Android, plus a Rescue Kit and a VPN (limited to 1 server and 150 MB per day).
  • Essential ($23.99 / year). Adds Android and macOS real-time malware protection, a Windows firewall, and Wi-Fi protection.
  • Advanced ($28.49 / year). Adds parental controls for Windows, protection against ransomware, and safe browsing.
  • Complete ($42.99 / year). Adds a password manager, device optimization tools, and a file encrypter and shredder.
  • Premium ($66.99 / year). Adds unlimited VPN access, an update manager, and 24/7 priority technical support.

All of Panda’s features are great, but I was pretty disappointed with Panda’s VPN — it didn’t perform well in speed tests, and the unlimited VPN is only available on the most expensive plan. If you’re looking for a VPN included in an antivirus package, I’d recommend Bitdefender or TotalAV.

Bottom Line:

Whether you want a simple free malware scanner with real-time protection or a full-featured internet security suite, Panda has an option for you. Panda comes with lots of extras, including advanced ransomware protection, a Rescue Kit for saving malware-infected PCs, a password manager, parental controls, and a file encrypter and shredder. And all of Panda’s premium plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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9. Trend Micro — Best Web Browser Security Extension

9. Trend Micro — Best Web Browser Security Extension

Trend Micro has a decent anti-malware engine as well as an excellent web browser extension that monitors security risks, blocks online scams, and checks websites for unsafe content. The antivirus scanner scored pretty well in my testing, catching the majority of viruses, trojans, ransomware, and spyware on my system, though it didn’t score as well as top competitors like Norton and Bitdefender. Trend Micro also offers several scan customization settings, allowing users to adjust the malware protections.

9. Trend Micro — Best Web Browser Security Extension

Trend Micro detected more phishing websites in my testing than Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. In addition, it detected scam links, unsafe content, malicious code, and even misinformation, and it also blocked ads and scanned my browsing history for any dangerous sites I may have visited accidentally.

9. Trend Micro — Best Web Browser Security Extension

Starting at $19.95 / year, Trend Micro offers several plans to choose from. Trend Micro Antivirus + Security protects 1 Windows device with malware protection, advanced ransomware protection, and a secure browser for online finances. Trend Micro Internet Securityprotects up to 3 devices (PC only) and adds device optimization tools, social networking protection, and parental controls. Trend Micro Maximum Security protects up to 5 devices (including Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Chromebook) and adds a password manager.

Bottom Line:

Trend Micro offers a strong set of malware and internet security features for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Chromebook users. It’s particularly good at web protection, and its browser extension will help you avoid malicious websites, scam links, and detect suspicious content. All Trend Micro plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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10. Malwarebytes — Minimalistic Antivirus (With Good Web Protections)

10. Malwarebytes — Minimalistic Antivirus (With Good Web Protections)

Malwarebytes is a simplistic, easy-to-use antivirus that offers good virus protection for all operating systems and devices. During my tests, Malwarebytes’s advanced malware scanner detected around 90% of my test malware, which is pretty good (but not as good as top competitors like Norton or Bitdefender).

10. Malwarebytes — Minimalistic Antivirus (With Good Web Protections)

Malwarebytes also comes with excellent web protections, which successfully identified and blocked most of the phishing sites I tried visiting during testing, as well as ads, trackers, and other potential scams.

10. Malwarebytes — Minimalistic Antivirus (With Good Web Protections)

And Malwarebytes also offers a VPN with unlimited data, servers in 30 countries, and decent speeds. However, Malwarebytes’s VPN isn’t a good choice for streaming or torrenting (if you’re looking for a good VPN to access streaming sites and torrent files, I recommend ExpressVPN).

Unfortunately, Malwarebytes doesn’t have any additional features that the other antiviruses on this list offer (like a firewall, PC optimization tools, parental controls, etc.). While I’d like to see Malwarebytes add some of these extra features, I still think it’s a pretty good choice for users looking for a minimalistic antivirus program that they can install and forget about. Malwarebytes starts at $37.49 / year.

Bottom Line:

Malwarebytes offers a good malware scanner, excellent web protections, and a decent VPN, but not much else. While Malwarebytes lacks a lot of the features I’d like to see in a premium antivirus in 2022, it’s still an overall good choice for users looking for a simple, no-frills antivirus. Malwarebytes comes with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.