The Best Antivirus for Windows in 2021

Want a robust antivirus to protect your Windows computer?

We found the top choices available in 2021.

Here’s how:

  1. We researched the market.
  2. We tried the top options to see how they handle common security threats.
  3. We evaluated if the pricing is fair for single or multiple devices.

Ready to make your Windows security impenetrable? Let’s jump into the top anti-malware systems.

The Best Windows Antiviruses in 2021

1. ESET

ESET is one of the most powerful security suites that packs powerful scans and robust identity theft protection. It’s also very unobtrusive and easy on PC resources. Add the affordable pricing plans, and ESET is easily one of the top solutions in the game. FULL REVIEW

  • Extremely powerful
  • Low resource requirements
  • Identity theft protection included
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ESET is one of the most powerful security suites that packs powerful scans and robust identity theft protection. It’s also very unobtrusive and easy on PC resources. Add the affordable pricing plans, and ESET is easily one of the top solutions in the game. FULL REVIEW

Free plan

30 days trial

Malware Scanning

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

Extra features

File encryption tools, password manager

2. Bitdefender

With tons of different features and affordable multi-device pricing, Bitdefender is already an attractive option. Its incredible ease of use makes it one of the best options for beginners. If you want a simple, powerful solution, you can’t go wrong here. FULL REVIEW

  • Lots of features
  • Great for multiple devices
  • User friendly
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With tons of different features and affordable multi-device pricing, Bitdefender is already an attractive option. Its incredible ease of use makes it one of the best options for beginners. If you want a simple, powerful solution, you can’t go wrong here. FULL REVIEW

Free plan

30 days trial

Malware Scanning

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

Extra features

File shredder, password manager, VPN, parental controls

3. Norton

Tech enthusiasts love Norton. Heaps of security features and granular controls plus multiple add-ons make it a dream come true for power users. It’s not the most affordable option, but it’s worth every penny. FULL REVIEW

  • Very powerful
  • Granular controls
  • Lots of add-on tools
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Tech enthusiasts love Norton. Heaps of security features and granular controls plus multiple add-ons make it a dream come true for power users. It’s not the most affordable option, but it’s worth every penny. FULL REVIEW

Free plan

7 days trial

Malware Scanning

Great

Ease of Use

Average

Extra features

Many add-ons

4. McAfee

McAfee is a feature-rich anti-malware solution capable of protecting you both online and offline. It’s also very beginner-friendly and reasonably priced. Starting at $34.99 for the first year, it’s a great deal. FULL REVIEW

  • Lots of features
  • Very user-friendly
  • Reasonable pricing
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McAfee is a feature-rich anti-malware solution capable of protecting you both online and offline. It’s also very beginner-friendly and reasonably priced. Starting at $34.99 for the first year, it’s a great deal. FULL REVIEW

Free plan

30 days trial

Malware Scanning

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

Extra features

VPN, file encryption, password manager

5. Kaspersky

Kaspersky is a solid antivirus that covers everything from extremely powerful malware scanning to system optimization and password management. It’s also well-designed and independently audited, so you can rely on its protection. FULL REVIEW

  • Very robust
  • Great add-ons
  • Idependently audited
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Kaspersky is a solid antivirus that covers everything from extremely powerful malware scanning to system optimization and password management. It’s also well-designed and independently audited, so you can rely on its protection. FULL REVIEW

Free plan

Yes

Malware Scanning

Excellent

Ease of Use

Excellent

Extra features

VPN, file shredder, password manager, process optimizer

6. Heimdal Security

Heimdal Security dispenses with fancy add-ons and focuses on what antivirus services are meant for—ardent system security. It has awesome tools to catch and clean up malware and protect browsing sessions. It’s one of the top solutions for multiple devices. FULL REVIEW

  • Great system security
  • Awesome for multiple devices
  • Banking details protection
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Heimdal Security dispenses with fancy add-ons and focuses on what antivirus services are meant for—ardent system security. It has awesome tools to catch and clean up malware and protect browsing sessions. It’s one of the top solutions for multiple devices. FULL REVIEW

Free plan

30 days trial

Malware Scanning

Excellent

Ease of Use

Great

Extra features

Online banking protection

7. Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes is one of the most affordable high-quality antivirus. You can get it at just $3.33/month. This fixed cost protects your machine without degrading its performance. FULL REVIEW

  • Great malware removal
  • Resource-friendly
  • Very affordable
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Malwarebytes is one of the most affordable high-quality antivirus. You can get it at just $3.33/month. This fixed cost protects your machine without degrading its performance. FULL REVIEW

Free plan

Yes

Malware Scanning

Great

Ease of Use

Great

Extra features

VPN

The Best Windows Antivirus for Windows

Wondering if your PC is safe from malware?

Sure, you have Windows Defender, but does that really offer the best protection?

We at HostingTribunal scoured the security world and found the best antivirus programs for Windows 10 users.

If you want to find the right solution for your computer, scroll down to the reviews below.

How We Found the Best Antivirus for Windows 10—Our Review Process

Want to know how we found our top picks? Let’s go through all the steps.

  • We constantly monitor the antivirus market to keep up with the top services and the most competitive offers at all times.
  • We test out all eligible solutions. The features should perform as the provider states. Malware detection rates and low resource consumption play a crucial role in antivirus rating too.
  • Performance impact is important too. We confirmed that our top picks wouldn’t slow down your PC.
  • Ease of use is a big deal too. Antivirus tools perform extremely complex tasks behind the scenes. However, it should still be clear how to use the features and protect yourself.
  • Many anti-malware tools include extras like storage or password manager services to make their offers even more attractive. We took all the bonuses into account.
  • The pricing is the last big part to look at. We made sure we included nothing but the best deals in our reviews.

Want to know our antivirus ratings? You’ll find them below.

The Top Antiviruses for Windows

ESET
ESET
ESET

BEST ANTIVIRUS OVERALL

Starting at
$ 79.98
  • FREE PLAN 30 days trial
  • MALWARE SCANNING Excellent
  • EASE OF USE Excellent
  • EXTRA FEATURES File encryption tools, password manager
  • Great scanning capabilities
  • Firewall with spam filter
  • Network scanning
  • HIPS system
  • Intuitive interface
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Great extras
  • Basic starter plan

With 34 years in the industry, ESET is one of the oldest antivirus companies. It’s almost as old as Windows itself!

Let’s see if the leader from Slovakia is going strong today.

ESET Best Features

ESET uses its famous NOD32 antivirus for Windows 10 as the base malware scanning and removal tool. It has a few scanning options—checking specific files, an external device, or a full system.

Better yet, ESET’s scans are cloud-based, meaning your computer doesn’t have to sift through a massive malware database. This dramatically lowers the resource overhead, making it one of the most lightweight systems.

Complete scans are admittedly a bit slower than those of other Windows 10-compatible antiviruses, but NOD32 has excellent detection rates.

ESET combines a firewall and a spam filter with protection from phishing and suspicious sites to keep you safe online.

It has several levels of warning if you try to visit a potentially unsafe site or download a suspicious file. ESET goes further than most systems, adding webcam protection and encrypting keystrokes to prevent websites from spying on you.

The system can track your home network, detect intrusion signals, and warn you if the connected devices are vulnerable (or have weak passwords).

It might even catch your neighbor connecting to your WiFi.

The antivirus for Windows 10 can be used to encrypt your files so no one with access to your computer can get to them. And if you’re worried about theft, ESET includes quite a few tools to track your device, prevent thieves from getting to the data, and even message whoever has it.

ESET’s host-based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) monitors processes, files, and registry keys on your computer.

It hardens your system against uncommon attacks, safeguards weak points like browsers, and prevents malware from disabling the antivirus protection.

Lastly, ESET throws in a password manager with the antivirus for Windows 10. You have to install it separately, but it can help keep track of all your security codes.

The lack of a VPN aside, ESET’s features are quite powerful.

ESET Ease of Use

ESET has a fairly intruitive interface. The main page is mostly taken up by its Android mascot with links to easily access separate ESET services, like malware scanning and the password manager.

Still, the antivirus is easy to use and non-obtrusive. It will only notify you when necessary, with few false alarms.

Best of all, it’s light on the resources and has a gaming mode that stops all notifications when running a program on fullscreen. It’s the top antivirus for Windows 10 in terms of user experience.

Another handy feature is ESET’s Running Processes. You can think of them as the Windows Task Manager on steroids. It gives you a much better idea of what kind of processes and drivers are running and lets you optimize system performance.

Overall, the solution is straightforward to use. Let’s see if it’s also affordable.

ESET Pricing

ESET has three pricing plans:

  • ESET NOD32 Antivirus—$79.98 for three years
  • ESET Internet Security—$109.98 for three years
  • ESET Smart Security Premium—$139.98 for three years

You can also pay annually or biennially. Smaller installments are an option, but this makes the service more expensive compared to the other entries in our list of the best antiviruses for Windows 10.

The base plan includes just antivirus and anti-ransomware software. Going up to Internet Security, you get local network protection, phishing protection, HIPS, and more.

The largest plan adds a password manager and a file encryption tool on top of the previously mentioned features. It provides an extra security layer and it’s perfect if you want nothing but the best security for Windows 10.

Verdict

ESET is a fantastic service for the average user. It has a nigh-impenetrable set of protection features, as well as a few nice add-ons like a password manager. This, plus the relatively affordable per-device prices, makes it an excellent choice.

Bitdefender
Bitdefender
Bitdefender

BEST FOR MULTIPLE DEVICES

Starting at
$ 34.99
  • FREE PLAN 30 days trial
  • MALWARE SCANNING Excellent
  • EASE OF USE Excellent
  • EXTRA FEATURES File shredder, password manager, VPN, parental controls
  • Awesome scanning tools
  • Great for multiple devices
  • Automatic backup in case of ransomware
  • System optimization
  • Remote tools
  • Easy to set up
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Plans get more expensive on renewal

With 20 years in the business and millions of customers, Bitdefender is one of the biggest antivirus providers in the world. It boasts about checking 30 billion threat queries against its database daily.

Let’s see if it offers the best antivirus for Windows 10.

Bitdefender Best Features

The Bitdefender antivirus system can perform quick or full-systems scans or only go through custom files. It checks potential threats against a massive cloud-based database, meaning the service is both effective and light on PC resources.

Real-time protection works in a similar manner, scanning new files for malware. It stops keyloggers and safeguards webcams from unwanted access.

Bitdefender will also automatically back up your files if ransomware gets in, making it the best computer antivirus for Windows 10 in this regard.

The phishing protection will warn you about suspicious sites.

If you are sure a site is safe, you can whitelist it with a single click. There is also an array of security measures to ensure you can log into sites and pay for services online safely.

The larger plans include a system optimization tool. It can delete residual or unnecessary files to make your OS run faster.

This security software for Windows 10 also includes a password manager and VPN. Although only the most extensive plan comes with unlimited VPN traffic, it’s still a pretty sweet deal.

Remote features include locating your device on a map and locking or wiping files if it’s stolen.

A nice touch that other top antiviruses for Windows 10 lack is that Bitdefender can shred files permanently, making them unrecoverable. That can come in handy if you want to sell your device or are worried about tech-savvy thieves.

Lastly, Bitdefender has robust parental controls. You have a bunch of options to limit device usage and block apps or websites.

As you can see, Bitdefender is one of the most feature-rich security programs for Windows 10.

Bitdefender Ease of Use

Bitdefender is relatively easy to set up. Once you download the file, it will take you only about five minutes to get it up and running. The program will take you through the key parts of the interface and offer to run an initial scan.

From there, using the security software for Windows 10 is self-explanatory. Everything is arranged into neat pages accessible from the sidebar. Bitdefender is entirely beginner-friendly.

In fact, it’s so beginner-friendly, it might annoy advanced users. The program doesn’t always give you the full details of potential threats and lacks the granular controls of ESET, for example.

If you want an easy setup, though, Bitdefender is the best antivirus for Windows 10 in 2021.

Bitdefender Pricing

Bitdefender has three standard pricing plans. 

  • Bitdefender Internet Security—three devices, $34.99 for the first year, $79.99/year afterward
  • Bitdefender Total Security—five devices, $39.98 for the first year, $89.99/year afterward Bitdefender Premium Security—ten devices, $64.99 for the first year, $149.99/year afterward 

Device optimization is reserved for Total Security. The most advanced plan adds VPN usage and priority support.

Still, the key features are there even on the entry plan. If you want to install Bitdefender on up to 15 devices, you can get a largely discounted deal with a family plan.

Bitdefender has a range of business plans too. They include much more robust features, network defense, risk analytics, and a cloud dashboard to monitor the status of your systems.

Verdict

Bitdefender has a comprehensive suite of services, terrific ease of use, and affordable plans. Plus, it is a good antivirus for Windows 10 if you want to protect multiple devices, be it at home or in a business environment.

Norton
Norton
Norton

BEST FOR EXPERIENCED USERS

Starting at
$ 24.99
  • FREE PLAN 7 days trial
  • MALWARE SCANNING Great
  • EASE OF USE Average
  • EXTRA FEATURES Many add-ons
  • A ton of features
  • Backup storage
  • Lots of extra features
  • Excellent identity theft protection
  • Fairly affordable
  • Most features included in the starter plan
  • Short free trial
  • Unintuitive dashboard

Norton is one of the most famous antivirus programs. It is owned by NortonLifeLock, previously known as Symantec and a giant in the security world.

Let’s see how it measures up against the best computer security software for Windows 10.

Norton Best Features

Norton is one of the most feature-packed antivirus programs for Windows.

Let’s start with the more standard tools. It comes with:

  • Malware protection
  • Ransomware protection
  • Blocking suspicious sites
  • An array of scanning options
  • Phishing protection
  • A smart firewall
  • A webcam blocker

What’s more, Norton is so confident in its protection measures that it will refund you if any malware gets past its antivirus for Windows 10.

And it doesn’t stop there. Norton throws in quite a few other features.

For one, you get 10/50/100GB of cloud backup storage. You can copy the most important files to it for safekeeping.

It also comes with a full password manager. You can generate secure passwords and always have access to them from the software.

All plans include a VPN. The number of devices you can use it on depends on your antivirus plan. Norton has the best internet security for Windows 10 if you need extra online security.

The two larger plans include robust parental controls and dark web monitoring. The latter means Norton monitors common dark web marketplaces for personal info and notifies you if anything is stolen.

Norton has the edge over most solutions on this list. It has real agents infiltrate dark websites and collect stolen data, so you will learn faster if your info does fall into someone’s hands.

And if you’re really worried about identity theft, the largest antivirus for Windows 10 plan comes with LifeLock.

It includes a whole slew of features to help, like credit monitoring, ID verification monitoring, data breach alerts, stolen wallet protection, identity restoration service, and more.

The ID theft protection company even guarantees to reimburse customers for personal expenses and lawyer fees. Note that LifeLock is only available for the US and certain countries of Europe.

If you think that’s a lot of features, you’re right. Norton is one of the best anti-malware for Windows 10 in this department.

Norton Ease of Use

Norton’s interface is… well, alright. The features aren’t exactly hidden but are sometimes hard to find. Plus, it is possible to get a bit lost in a sea of windows when doing a security scan.

The fact that the program is extremely feature-rich doesn’t really help. For every option you click, there are dozens of sub-tools to explore. It can be the best antivirus for Windows 10 for power users but not the most encouraging for beginners.

Norton Pricing

Norton has a range of plans and sells many of its services separately from the antivirus. For this review, we’ll cover the three major antivirus plans. Just know that you might find another suitable offer if you’re looking for a specific tool.

Here are the plans:

  • Norton 360 Standard—one PC, $24.99 for the first year, $84.99/year after that
  • Norton 360 Deluxe—five PCs, $24.99 for the first year, $104.99/year after that 
  • Norton 360 with LifeLock Select—five PCs, $79.99 for the first year, $149.99/year after that

The Standard plan includes the key features and will be great for most users. The Deluxe offer adds parental controls and the privacy monitoring tool, so it’s the best antivirus for Windows 10 if you’re using it for the whole family. LifeLock Select is there if you need identity theft protection, too, hence the higher price.

Verdict

Norton is a true power user tool with robust malware removal options, cloud backups, a VPN, and identity protection services. You’d be hard-pressed to find such a complete suite of security features.

McAFee
McAFee
McAFee

BEST FOR BEGINNERS

Starting at
$ 34.99 /mo
  • FREE PLAN 30 days trial
  • MALWARE SCANNING Excellent
  • EASE OF USE Excellent
  • EXTRA FEATURES VPN, file encryption, password manager
  • Lots of features
  • Performance optimization
  • Awesome malware removal
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Gamer security trial included
  • Limited scan options
  • No file quarantine

McAfee is one of the most popular antivirus programs, established back in 1987 by McAfee associates, which, in turn, is founded by the notorious John McAfee. The antivirus went through many iterations and was owned by multiple companies.

Here, we review McAfee Total Protection by McAfee Corp—a public company owned mainly by Intel and TPG Capital.

Let’s see if it offers the best PC protection for Windows 10.

McAfee Best Features

McAfee starts with fairly basic scanning tools. It can do a full or a quick scan, and any suspicious files get automatically deleted. Unfortunately, there’s no quarantine option, so you won’t be able to investigate potentially unwanted files.

The software adds network protection and a safe browsing tool—pretty standard features to protect you at all levels. Overall, the service does a decent job of protecting you from malware, ransomware, and phishing.

McAfee’s performance optimization is a welcome surprise. Not only can its antivirus compatible with Windows 10 ensure key apps have enough system resources, but it also optimizes browsing sessions.

This includes stopping websites from doing certain things like autoplaying videos (handy on sites with video ads). It prevents cryptojacking attacks, too—hijacking PC resources to mine crypto.

All but the smallest plan also includes a one-year trial for McAfee Gamer Security.

This is a standalone software that offloads malware detection to the cloud, prioritizes game access to system resources, and includes resource and performance monitoring. It provides the best Windows 10 virus protection for gamers.

Each plan includes a password manager. McAfee is partnered with True Key here, which is a solid solution. Note that you can only store 15 passwords without paying extra, which is quite limited.

A VPN service is included across the board too. You can enjoy private browsing with industry-standard encryption. It guarantees the best internet security for Windows 10 on all plans.

All subscriptions let you encrypt the files in your storage as well. It’s a very handy security measure if you share a computer with someone or are worried about theft. The same goes for deleted files—you can shred them to prevent data recovery software from getting to them.

The three larger plans include identity theft protection. It monitors the web for any leaks of personal info. It also has reimbursement for stolen services and insurance covering recovery costs (up to $1 million).

It’s the best antivirus for Windows 10 in terms of ID protection.

Lastly, the larger subscriptions include McAfee Safe Family, which is mostly a basic parental control tool. It can limit access to various websites, restrict device usage time, and monitor activity.

Overall, McAfee is a relatively feature-rich solution, although it relies on add-on services a bit more than on actual malware prevention and removal.

McAfee Ease of Use

McAfee is designed with beginners in mind. You can find all the significant options easily enough and get a good overview of security measures.

That said, finding the more advanced features of the antivirus for Windows 10 is a bit more complicated. The more granular options are jumbled under the gear icon on the main page.

The naming conventions are inconsistent with other major systems as well. It all makes it hard for power users to configure the antivirus.

If you just want an easy setup, though, McAfee is as good of antivirus as any.

McAfee Pricing

McAfee Total Protection has four pricing plans.

  • Single Device—One device, $34.99 for the first year, $79.99/year afterward
  • Individual/Couples—Five devices, $39.99 for the first year, $99.99/year afterward
  • Family—Ten devices, $44.99 for the first year, $119.99/year afterward
  • Ultimate—Unlimited devices, $69.99 for the first year, $159.99/year afterward

Overall, this top Windows 10 antivirus software offers good value for money.

The features in the subscriptions are mostly the same. The only difference is that the smallest plan doesn’t come with the VPN and gamer security add-ons.

The two plans in the middle also have ID theft protection, but there’s a catch. It only works if you have auto-renewal turned on, except on the largest plan. McAfee uses the same trick for its VPN service.

Verdict

McAfee grew to be a solid antivirus program over the years. It has plenty of extra features and is one of the best antivirus software for beginners.

Kaspersky
Kaspersky
Kaspersky

MOST POWERFUL ANTIVIRUS

Starting at
$ 29.99
  • FREE PLAN Yes
  • MALWARE SCANNING Excellent
  • EASE OF USE Excellent
  • EXTRA FEATURES VPN, file shredder, password manager, process optimizer
  • Very robust security
  • System optimizer included
  • Great extra features
  • Indepentently audited
  • Very sleek design
  • Affordable across all tiers
  • Decent multi-license deals
  • Limited VPN traffic

Kaspersky is an antivirus established by Kaspersky Lab, a security company from Russia. The first version of the antivirus was made in 1987 as a response to the Cascade virus.

It has made significant improvements over the years, so let’s see how they work now.

Kaspersky Best Features

Kaspersky has various scanning options, including full, quick, selective, and system vulnerability scans. They are all fairly good at catching and removing known malware.

And if the best computer security software for Windows 10 finds something suspicious that’s not in its database, it uploads it for further evaluation. This system works so well, it once caught and uploaded a hacking tool from an NSA researcher’s computer.

The vulnerability scanning is generally not amazingly effective, though.

Kaspersky’s browsing protection includes phishing blockers, webcam protection, encryption of payment details, and more. The antivirus goes a step further than most and includes an ad blocker and anti-tracking features. This ensures top virus protection for Windows 10 in terms of privacy.

Kaspersky also includes a fully-featured VPN tool with its plans. However, it only comes with 300MB of daily traffic without purchasing a separate VPN plan, which is slim for most users.

Kaspersky has a cleanup option for killing unnecessary processes, deleting unused files, and erasing common bloatware. The latter are mostly unneeded programs included with the OS by default (Windows 10 has no shortage of those).

And if you want something deleted permanently, just use Kaspersky’s shredder to put it beyond the reach of data recovery tools. If you’d just like to lock your info, the antivirus software for Windows 10 has nice encryption tools.

Standard parental protection features are in the mix too.

Lastly, the software includes a password manager. However, this is limited to 15 different logins without paying extra, which is quite slim.

It’s worth noting Kaspersky had some issues a few years back when the US government banned its use due to potential affiliations with the Russian government. But according to security experts, Kaspersky is completely safe to use, and there is no evidence of data theft.

Despite this, Kaspersky moved its infrastructure to Switzerland data centers and got SOC 2 Type 1 certified, ensuring proper measures to reliably and securely handle operations. It’s nice to see one of the best antivirus software go above and beyond to reassure its customers.

Kaspersky Ease of Use

Kaspersky’s interface is very well-designed. You can access everything through easily noticeable buttons and all notifications are stored in one place. Moreover, the platform only displays the functions unlocked under your plan, so you never have to trudge through tools you can’t use.

A nice addition is Kaspersky’s built-in virtual keyboard, which safeguards you from keyloggers. You can access it directly from the antivirus and use it to input important data (like your social security number).

Overall, it’s easy to toggle the options and use all tools. It’s definitely among the top ten antivirus programs.

Kaspersky Pricing

Kaspersky has three main pricing plans:

  • Kaspersky Antivirus—$29.99 for the first year, renews at $39.99/year
  • Kaspersky Internet Security—$44.99 for the first year, renews at $59.99/year
  • Kaspersky Total Security—$59.99 for the first year, renews at $79.99/year

Note that the prices above reflect annual deals for one device. You can also pay for multiple devices or prepay for two years and get a hefty discount.

The initial plan is very affordable but fairly basic, including antivirus, phishing protection, and performance optimization features. It’s a good choice if you only want standard security software for Windows 10 without bells and whistles.

The Internet Security package is much more robust, including various add-ons like a VPN, safe browsing tools, and some parental controls. The largest plan just adds file encryption, a password manager, and a child GPS locator.

The small and mid-range subscriptions have an awesome price tag for the features they offer. But since the password manager is somewhat limited, the Total Security plan isn’t really worth the extra $15.

Verdict

Kaspersky is a solid antivirus with affordable single-license and multi-license solutions. It’s a top-rated antivirus for Windows 10 with privacy and security guaranteed by third-party auditors.

Heimdal Security
Heimdal Security
Heimdal Security

BEST MALWARE PREVENTION & REMOVAL

Starting at
$ 59.95
  • FREE PLAN 30 days trial
  • MALWARE SCANNING Excellent
  • EASE OF USE Great
  • EXTRA FEATURES Online banking protection
  • Awesome antivirus scanning
  • Powerful malware prevention
  • Browsing protection included
  • Fairly straightforward
  • Few features outside malware scanning and prevention
  • Pricing is sort of complicated

Established in 2010, Heimdal Security is a relatively young cybersecurity company. Its home antivirus went through multiple iterations over the years and today comes in two flavors.

We cover both.

Heimdal Security Features

The first part of the suite is Heimdal Next-gen Antivirus. It covers the more traditional features like malware scanning and a robust firewall.

Heimdal might just have the best virus scanner for Windows 10. It can perform seven different scan types, quarantine files, erase them, and group them by risk category.

Heimdal Threat Prevention takes care of the passive measures to ensure your security is tight. For one, it automatically patches common entry points for malware, like web browsers.

It scrubs all traffic for various malware, ransomware, and spyware. It also features real-time protection that not only scans files but inspects traffic at the packet layer too. It can kill connections to potential threats before anything gets into your PC.

The antivirus software for Windows 10 also has various browsing protection measures. It automatically blocks phishing sites and other websites known for spreading malware.

Lastly, it allows you to securely input personal info like banking details and detect potential data leaks. That way, you can ensure no one gets their hands on your critical info.

Other than that, the software doesn’t include many over-the-top extras. It focuses more on strong threat removal and patching up potential holes in your system.

Heimdal Security Ease of Use

Heimdal Security is fairly easy to set up and use. The interface is divided between the antivirus and threat prevention features. All are easily accessible and won’t give you any trouble.

Overall, it’s one of the better-designed security programs for Windows 10.

Heimdal Security Pricing

Heimdal Security has three pricing plans—one for the antivirus, one for threat prevention, and one that combines the two.

  • Heimdal Next-gen Antivirus Home—$59.95
  • Heimdal Threat Prevention Home—$69.95
  • Heimdal Premium Security Home—$99.95

These costs are for a one-year license and up to three devices. You can go up to ten devices or prepay for two or three years and get lower rates.

As you can imagine, the pricing gets rather complicated, so we won’t list all options here. You can check out all deals on HemidalSecurity.com.

Overall, the prices are reasonable, considering you get possibly the best PC protection in 2021.

Verdict

Heimdal Security is perfect if you want a solution specialized in powerful malware removal and intrusion prevention rather than a whole suite of colorful services. It can secure several devices easily and at an affordable price.

Malwarebytes
Malwarebytes
Malwarebytes

MOST STRAIGHTFORWARD SOLUTION

Starting at
$ 3.33 /mo
  • FREE PLAN Yes
  • MALWARE SCANNING Great
  • EASE OF USE Great
  • EXTRA FEATURES VPN
  • Decent malware scanning
  • VPN included
  • Easy to set up
  • Affordable monthly deals
  • Fixed price
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Limited in features

Malwarebytes was established in 2006, making it among the newer programs. It started off as free antivirus software but eventually expanded to premium services.

Let’s see what its home antivirus offers to Windows users.

Malwarebytes Best Features

Malwarebytes starts with standard malware detection features and the typical scanning options. It compares threats against a malware database and looks at crucial markers to find potential issues.

The system’s real-time protection tool scrubs the files coming in to block any malware, ransomware, and other potentially unwanted programs.

It can block phishing sites if you accidentally visit any. The best AV for Windows 10 has a browser guard extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge for this purpose. It can also stop ads and trackers and protect your online privacy.

Other than that, Malwarebytes includes a VPN into its largest plan.

The VPN is solid—it includes support for Wireguard tunneling, 30 locations, and some streaming services. However, there’s no killswitch and torrenting is prohibited, so it’s not the ideal choice for all uses.

All features are standard yet functional, making it one of the best virus software for Windows 10.

Malwarebytes Ease of Use

Malwarebytes is fairly simple to set up, has a very intuitive interface, and easy-to-find options. It also likes to boast about being easy on the resources.

The only annoying thing is that Malwarebytes has no full system scans, as opposed to most of the top Windows 10 antivirus systems. Instead, you have to go for a custom scan and just choose to check everything. It’s not a massive inconvenience, but it’s not the ideal way to go about it.

Despite that, Malwarebytes is a relatively user-friendly option.

Malwarebytes Pricing

  • Premium One Device—$3.33/month
  • Premium Five Devices—$6.67/month
  • Premium + Privacy Five Devices—$8.33/month

Note that the billing is done annually.

The plans have mostly the same features. The only difference in the Privacy package is that it includes the VPN with the deal.

Malwarebytes is one of the few antiviruses with fixed prices. This makes it the best antivirus for Windows 10 in the long term.

Lastly, Malwarebytes has a 60-day money-back guarantee, which is longer than standard. It gives you a solid window to test out the software before you commit.

Verdict

Malwarebytes is an affordable solution that focuses on basic features without many bells and whistles. If you want standard computer protection with basic VPN features, it’s very cheap in the long term.

Great Antivirus Software for Windows 10 That Didn’t Make the Cut

Those were the top options, but there are more awesome antivirus programs out there. Here are a few great solutions that are close to making it to our top seven list.

  • Avast—Avast is the top free antivirus for Windows 10. Its premium tier is a bit limited compared to other paid systems, but it is great if you want a basic free option.
  • Vipre—Vipre is one of the older and most beginner-friendly antivirus systems on the market. It might not be the most powerful solution, but it’s a great option for users with little tech knowledge.
  • Trend Micro—Trend Micro is a robust antivirus program on the security and privacy fronts. Its renewal costs are a bit high to list it among the top Windows 10-compatible antiviruses, but it performs well otherwise.
  • Intego—Intego is an awesome Mac-based antivirus that is expanding to Windows 10. It still doesn’t have a very long history on Windows, but it’s performing exceptionally so far.

Why Do I Need Antivirus Software for Windows?

Operating system security improved significantly over the recent years. While computer newbies would once get virus-ridden computers within minutes from visiting the internet, Windows is now better at stopping most threats by default.

Taking that into consideration, do you even need security software for Windows 10?

Well, despite the decent security measures, you should probably be running a third-party antivirus anyway.

The thing is that Windows Defender, the default anti-malware system, does a great job of stopping the most common threats. However, it’s far from foolproof and can often leave you exposed to various zero-day vulnerabilities, phishing scams, man-in-the-middle attacks, and other threats.

A third-party antivirus would do a much better job. Higher malware detection rates, robust firewall systems, and real-time scanning go a long way in stopping nasty attacks coming your way. Plus, the expert security team behind antivirus services is usually much faster at patching newly discovered vulnerabilities.

On top of that, the best PC antivirus for Windows 10 systems usually include a whole suite of other security services. This can include browsing protection for blocking suspicious websites, VPNs for Windows to hide your internet activity, and network-level firewalls to prevent suspicious traffic.

Now you might be thinking that there’s no way you’ll pick up malware. After all, you’re always careful about the sites you visit and the files you download. But you don’t even have to be browsing the internet to get compromised.

Many hackers mass-ping swathes of random ports and IP addresses to find easy targets. Their automated systems will likely implement steps that can get around Windows Defender. In such cases, a third-party antivirus for Windows 10 is much more likely to get in the way.

In short, Windows implements some security measures by default, but you can’t have too much safety. It’s usually a good practice to have antivirus software by a reliable security company for extra protection.

How to Choose the Best Windows 10 Antivirus

You want an anti-malware solution but aren’t sure which is the best antivirus for Windows 10?

Not a problem. Just follow our step-by-step guide for evaluating an antivirus system, and you’ll know exactly which software is for you.

Detection Rates

The first thing to look at is malware detection rates. A few researchers keep stats on how often antiviruses catch malware and how often they trigger false alarms. Check out the stats to ensure your PC is well-protected.

Resource Overhead

Anti-malware systems are notorious for slowing down the computer.

The general rule is that AVs that are better at catching threats spend more resources. Make sure you are okay with how your PC performs before making a long-term commitment.

This is especially important if you’re looking for the best Windows 10 antivirus for a laptop, as you might get a significant hit on performance and battery life.

Do not try to run multiple AV programs. Not only does this pull an unnecessary amount of resources, but the tools might interfere with one another as well.

Go for Bundled Deals

Many antivirus companies don’t stop at plain old malware detection. They can include other solutions that boost protection and online privacy.

Some common ones are password managers, phishing protection, secure cloud storage, VPNs, ID theft protection, and more. Such deals get you much more at a reasonable price.

Parental Controls

If you’re looking for the best antivirus software for the whole family, you might want to look into more granular parental controls.

This can ban sites that are not necessarily malicious but might be inappropriate, track the device location, and log online activity. It’s a nice add-on feature that is included with most major antivirus solutions.

Ease of Use

Some antivirus programs are just a plain pain to set up and use. Configuring the settings can be tricky and dealing with false alarms—even more so.

Check out the systems’ interface and see if you are comfortable configuring everything. It’s a bonus if the AV sends helpful notifications without being too spammy.

Pricing

Let’s face it, everyone likes getting a good deal. Check out the prices and see which companies offer the best solutions.

Don’t be afraid to take advantage of free antivirus software plans or limited-time trials. The initial run should give you a pretty good idea of the interface and usability, though free options usually lack more advanced features.

Bottom Line

Phew, that was plenty of info to cover. The good news is that checking everything should be fairly easy. Just follow the points above, and you should have no trouble finding a system that fits your needs.

Wrap Up

That covers the best virus protection for Windows 10. You have the list of the top names and know what they can handle.

You also know how to recognize great malware systems and why you need to run one. Now it’s time to take one or two for a spin and improve your security.

FAQ

What is the best antivirus for Windows 10 for free?

You have a few good options that stay free forever, like Malwarebytes and Avast. In addition to that, most antivirus programs include a free trial to let you test out the system.

Just keep in mind a free antivirus for Windows 10 will typically be limited compared to paid options, so you might want to consider an upgrade down the road.

Do I still need antivirus software with Windows 10?

Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, which provides a pretty solid baseline level of protection. However, it’s not as robust as third-party antiviruses.

A lot of its web protection only works with the Edge browser. The basic security features work well enough, but it’s not really the best choice you can make.

Is Windows 10 Defender enough virus protection?

In recent years, Windows Defender grew to be pretty decent in stopping most malware. But it’s neither as powerful nor as feature-rich as the best antivirus software for Windows 10. It’s usually better to run separate antivirus and not rely on Windows Defender if you can.

How do I choose a good antivirus?

There are a few factors to consider, such as malware detection rates, protection measures, ease of use, and, of course, the price. If you’d like a more detailed breakdown, check out the section above.

Which antivirus software is best for Windows 10?

There are plenty of solid antivirus programs to choose from.

Our top picks for Windows 10 include ESET, Bitdefender, and Norton 360, due to their extremely feature-rich offers and affordable prices.

If you’d like to learn more, check out the candidates for the best antivirus for Windows 10 above, complete with reviews.