As you pay bills online, stream your favorite movies, and buy everything from groceries to a new car on the internet, you may not consider how vulnerable your data is or the likelihood of a cyberattack. If you’re one in a sea of billions of internet users, why would anyone pick on you?
Unfortunately, vicious malware attacks and online identity theft happen all the time. According to a study by the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds.
Thankfully, antivirus software constantly scans your computer for viruses, malware, ransomware, and more. If the program detects a threat, it notifies you, removes viruses and malware, and sometimes restores files to their original form, according to PCMag.
With so many options, it may seem overwhelming to choose the right program. We’ve rounded up five best antivirus software picks to help you decide.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus earned PCMag’s Best of the Year 2022 Antivirus Software rank. The program provides virus protection for Windows PCs and a host of extra security features like multi-layer ransomware protection that keeps your photos, documents, music, and videos safe from a ransomware attack. Plus, the Bitdefender Virtual Private Network (VPN) keeps your data and browsing history private, and Safepay secures your banking and shopping transactions to prevent fraud.
Protection plan prices range from one year to three years and cover one to 10 devices. For example, you can cover three devices for a year for $19.99.
McAfee Antivirus Plus
McAfee Antivirus Plus allows you to secure up to 10 devices (with specific plans, an unlimited number) with a single subscription. Compatible platforms include Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Features include unlimited VPN service, identity theft monitoring, malware protection, file encryption, a file shredder, parental controls, a password manager, and more. McAfee also offers a virus removal pledge.
PCMag named the software as an Editor’s Choice pick, and a Tom’s Guide review gives it four out of five stars.
A basic one-year subscription for a single device starts at $29.99. The Ultimate plan also features credit monitoring tools and currently goes for $199.99 for unlimited devices.
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Sophos Home Premium
If you’re the security go-to for your family and friends, Sophos Home Premium provides “business-grade security” for up to 10 Windows or Mac PCs, and you can manage them all from a remote online dashboard.
The program earned a perfect score on PC Mag’s malware protection tests. Its deep malware scan uncovers threats and then wipes them from your computer. Using AI prediction, the software also identifies new and unknown malware. The ransomware rollback feature restores your files to pre-attack status.
Tom’s Guide included Sophos in their Best Antivirus Software 2022 list, citing keylogging protection, webcam defense, parental controls, and a low price as key features.
Sophos offers a 30-day free trial and affordable plan pricing to cover up to 10 PCs for a sale price of $44.99 per year.
Norton 360 Deluxe
If you want a comprehensive security package, Norton 360 Deluxe offers robust spyware, antivirus, malware, and ransomware protection.
Coverage also includes a VPN for up to five PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets, webcam protection, a privacy monitor to guard your personal information, a password manager, parental controls, online storage, and Dark Web monitoring.
Tom’s Guide says Norton 360 Deluxe has “almost everything you could ever need,” giving it 4.5 stars and the No. 1 spot on its 2022 Antivirus Software list. The software also earned PC Mag’s Best of the Year 2021 rank, and testing lab SE Labs named it Best Consumer Anti-Malware 2021.
The special introductory rate is $49.99 for the first year for up to five devices, with September 2022 annual renewal at $109.99.
Avast offers top-rated antivirus protection in the free program and includes many additional security features in the Premium Security or Avast One Individual/Family bundles.
Advanced firewall protection, Sandbox, which allows you to open files in a “safe” space before running them on your PC, Real Site fake site detection, and Webcam Shield are some extra protection you receive for the latter two plans.
U.S. News named Avast their No. 1 pick for Best Antivirus Software for Mac 2022 and No. 5 for Best Antivirus Software of 2022. Forbes dubbed the software Best for Solopreneurs and Remote Workers in their 2022 antivirus ranking.
The software supports Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Avast Premium Security offers a free 30-day trial and an introductory subscription price of $49.99 annually for up to 10 devices. Avast One’s Individual introductory subscription is $50.28 per year for up to five devices or $69.48 for up to 30 devices under the Family plan.
Don’t fall victim to cybercriminals. Any of these top-rated antivirus software programs will keep your devices and data safe from multiple online threats.