Best Antivirus Software: Review of 15 Antivirus Programs

Author
Janis von Bleichert
Last update
5. Sep 2023

Antivirus programs identify and neutralize threats before they can damage your computer or mobile device. Since malware is constantly evolving, antivirus software offers a reactive solution rather than a proactive one.

We carefully reviewed 15 of the most popular antivirus programs to see how they stack up against one another.

Ad disclaimer: For links on this page, EXPERTE.com may earn a commission from the provider. This supports our work and has no influence on our editorial rating.
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Best Overall 2024
Bitdefender Antivirus
Bitdefender Antivirus
(253,731 )
Our 'best in test' antivirus program Bitdefender boasts strong security, confirmed by independent test laboratories, along with a flawless user interface and a comprehensive set of features.
flawless user interface
excellent lab results
configurable quick actions
good support with 24/7 live chat
many features
9.6
excellent
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
up to 3
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
$23.99
yearly price
Visit Website*
Kaspersky Antivirus
Kaspersky Antivirus
(4,174,165 )
Kaspersky Internet Security is a user-friendly antivirus tool with a ton of features. However, some Western governments are currently warning against its use.
great test lab scores
a lot of features
intuitive interface
keylogging & webcam protection
some governments warn against use
9.1
excellent
Plan
Antivirus
Devices
up to 5
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Kaspersky Antivirus
$29.99
yearly price
Visit Website*
Free Trial Version
Avast Antivirus
Avast Antivirus
(7,291,633 )
Avast impresses with a great free version covering all the essentials, and a huge set of features that offer well-rounded antivirus protection and some nice extras. Scans can slightly impact performance, however.
many features
Sandbox and WiFi-Inspector
solid free version
intuitive app
scans can impact performance
8.6
good
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Avast Free
$0.00
Visit Website*
Download for Free
Norton Antivirus
Norton Antivirus
(1,853,439 )
With its robust set of features, lean applications, and a 100 % antivirus guarantee, Norton Antivirus is definitely worth a look. Sadly, the testing labs aren't unanimously impressed, and one or two features are missing.
learn, user-friendly apps
customizable child protection
100 % antivirus guarantee
no anti-theft features
mixed test lab results
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
1
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Norton Antivirus Plus
$19.99
yearly price
Visit Website*
G Data Antivirus
G Data Antivirus
(11,249 )
G Data offers virus protection "made in Germany" with solid test lab scores, lots of customization, and great support. The user interface, however, could use a facelift.
many configuration options
great support
handy status bar
interface somewhat outdated
test lab scores "only" solid
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus
Devices
up to 5
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
G Data Antivirus
from $29.95
yearly price
Visit Website*
Trend Micro Antivirus
Trend Micro Antivirus
(142,454 )
Trend Micro delivers a solid overall antivirus package with lots of features and some nice extras, such as social media protection. However, the testing labs are a bit divided on the reliability of its protection.
some good lab results
plenty of features
social media protection
no firewall, webcam protection
uneven lab scores
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus+
Devices
1
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Trend Micro Antivirus+
$19.95
yearly price
Visit Website*
F-Secure Antivirus
F-Secure Antivirus
(15,790 )
F-Secure focuses on the essentials and delivers reliable protection from most malware, as demonstrated by its results in the testing labs. But some features, such as webcam protection, are missing.
good lab grades
DeepGuard detects new Malware
VPN and password manager
no firewall
no webcam protection
8.1
good
Plan
Internet Security
Devices
up to 25
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
F-Secure Internet Security
$49.99
yearly price
Visit Website*
show all

The Internet can be dangerous, with cybercriminals waiting to deceive, trick, steal, rob, and manipulate unsuspecting users through ever-mutating viruses, worms, Trojans, and other malware.

Because criminals prey on the least prepared, carelessness and ignorance are two of their greatest allies. To be on the safe side online, protect yourself with a good antivirus program.

Top Antivirus 2024
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per month
Bitdefender
from $2.50
per month
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Antivirus Test: Comprehensive Reviews of 15 Providers

Antivirus programs identify and neutralize threats before they can damage your computer or device. Since malware is always evolving, it's locked in a never-ending cat-and-mouse game with antivirus apps.

There are plenty of providers to choose from and each promises the best, most user-friendly, or smartest solution. We carefully examined 15 of the most popular antivirus programs to see how they compare with one another.

After presenting our Top 10, we'll show you our full ranking, explain our testing criteria in detail, and answer some common questions about antivirus software.

1.

Bitdefender Antivirus: EXPERTE.com's Winner

Best Overall 2024
Bitdefender Antivirus
Bitdefender Antivirus
(253,731 )
Our 'best in test' antivirus program Bitdefender boasts strong security, confirmed by independent test laboratories, along with a flawless user interface and a comprehensive set of features.
flawless user interface
excellent lab results
configurable quick actions
good support with 24/7 live chat
many features
9.6
excellent
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
up to 3
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
$23.99
yearly price
Visit Website*

Bitdefender is an antivirus program from Romania, whose developer has offered a wide range of cybersecurity solutions for individuals and businesses since 2001. These days, Bitdefender's products protect more than 500 million systems worldwide.

Its antivirus software is available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Windows users can take advantage of a free version that includes basic features. All premium subscriptions can be tested for 30 days, with a 30-day money-back guarantee for new customers.

What we like

Bitdefender is intuitive, loaded with features, and offers excellent, independently verified security. One of its most innovative aspects is the ability to customize the user dashboard by adding or removing modules.

Bitdefender impresses with its ease of use and excellent security.

How is Bitdefender different from other providers?

Bitdefender impresses across the board: No other provider from our antivirus sample does so much right. Its strong testing lab scores underline its powerful security, with a VPN and a password manager among its many features.

When it comes to ease of use, Bitdefender is a few steps ahead of its competitors: Its customizable quick-access modules help to personalize your antivirus experience. Rounding things out are its solid support (chat, email, and hotline) and good mobile apps.

Who is Bitdefender for?

Since it's likely the best all-around antivirus solution on the market, Bitdefender is a good fit for practically anyone. Whether you want proven protection, custom scans, or enhanced security features (for your webcam or microphone) Bitdefender does not disappoint.

What we don't like

Even among antivirus programs, Bitdefender has too many different subscriptions and tiers. Although it offers a nice variety of bonus features, in terms of quality, these can't really compete with dedicated VPNs or password managers.

Bitdefender Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Straightforward user interface with customizable quick actions

  • Excellent testing lab scores

  • Huge selection of features, including protection against ransomware and brute force attacks

  • Intuitive mobile apps with powerful anti-theft tools

  • No free version for macOS users

  • Extras (VPN or password manager) can't compete with dedicated solutions

Review
9.6
excellent
Visit Website*
Check Review
Support
10 / 10
Configuration & Usage
10 / 10
Security & Performance
9.4 / 10
Features
9.4 / 10
2.

Kaspersky Antivirus: Versatile Antivirus With Top Testing Lab Scores

Kaspersky Antivirus
Kaspersky Antivirus
(4,174,165 )
Kaspersky Internet Security is a user-friendly antivirus tool with a ton of features. However, some Western governments are currently warning against its use.
great test lab scores
a lot of features
intuitive interface
keylogging & webcam protection
some governments warn against use
9.1
excellent
Plan
Antivirus
Devices
up to 5
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Kaspersky Antivirus
$29.99
yearly price
Visit Website*
Free Trial Version

Many governments warn against or prohibit the use of Kaspersky's antivirus software owing to concerns about the company's ties to the government of the Russian Federation. In the US, the Federal Communications Commission blacklisted Kaspersky in March 2022, citing it as a threat to "the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons."

EXPERTE.com's reviews are performance-oriented and we have no definitive evidence of Kaspersky's misuse or abuse of data. For that reason, although we can no longer recommend the service based on the warnings from the German and US governments, it remains part of this review.

Kaspersky is one of the most well-known names in the world of antivirus software. The Russian company offers a range of different security solutions, however, the fight against viruses and malware remains its primary focus.

What we like

The app is easy to use and comes loaded with practical features. Independent testing labs also awarded the Russian service good-very good scores, underlining its reliability.

There aren't many antivirus developers that enjoy as much recognition as Kaspersky.

How is Kaspersky different from other providers?

Kaspersky Internet Security is one of the most versatile antivirus programs on the market. It offers several interesting features that you won't find elsewhere: With Network Monitor, you can follow all of your apps' activities, while the on-screen keyboard helps thwart keyloggers.

Who is Kaspersky for?

The program is a good choice if you're interested in a feature-rich antivirus solution that received excellent testing lab scores, can protect all of your devices, and offers numerous extras, like anti-theft tools and webcam protection.

What we don't like

Those who decide to use Kaspersky products ignore both governmental warnings as well as the Russian Federation's illegal invasion of Ukraine. In addition, they also put themselves at risk owing to the firm's proximity (both implied and actual) to the Russian Federation's state security and intelligence services.

If focusing solely on the software, there are fewer concerns. Still, Kaspersky's password manager was shown to be vulnerable to exploits. Even though these have since been rectified, digital security experts will still view the antivirus program critically.

Kaspersky Antivirus Advantages and Disadvantages

  • High testing lab scores

  • Huge selection of features including webcam and keylogging protection

  • Quick setup, intuitive to use

  • VPN has data limits across all subscriptions

  • Unimpressive password manager

Review
9.1
excellent
Visit Website*
Check Review
Features
9.4 / 10
Support
9.4 / 10
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.6 / 10
3.

Avast Antivirus: The Best Free Option

Avast Antivirus
Avast Antivirus
(7,291,633 )
Avast impresses with a great free version covering all the essentials, and a huge set of features that offer well-rounded antivirus protection and some nice extras. Scans can slightly impact performance, however.
many features
Sandbox and WiFi-Inspector
solid free version
intuitive app
scans can impact performance
8.6
good
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Avast Free
$0.00
Visit Website*
Download for Free

Avast Antivirus is a popular freemium solution for Windows macOS, Android and iOS. Its basic version is free, however, some advanced security features, like ransomware or webcam protection, are limited to paying customers.

Premium subscriptions can be tested for 30 days, and new subscribers get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

What we like

Avast's antivirus suite offers a wide selection of security features in a user-friendly package as well as a practical free version. Among testing labs, the software did well, with its real-time protection particularly impressive.

Avast offers one of the best antivirus programs with its free version.

How is Avast Antivirus different from other programs?

In addition to its relatively feature-rich free version, Avast's premium subscription includes a number of uncommon security tools: Network Inspector makes it possible to scan the network you're currently on to identify any potential dangers or risks. Sandbox is another practical feature that provides a secure environment where suspicious apps or files can be opened, without endangering your device.

Who is Avast Antivirus for?

The software is a good option for anyone on the hunt for a free antivirus package: Free users can perform manual scans and take advantage of Avast's real-time protection, which includes features like Web Shield and Email Guardian.

What we don't like

We're less enthusiastic about Avast's support: Free users aren't given any way to get in touch with the software's support team, and premium subscribers can only send emailed requests. On top of that, we noticed considerable performance issues during manual scans.

Avast Antivirus Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Huge selection of features including Sandbox and Network Inspector

  • User-friendly apps

  • Feature-rich free version

  • Excellent help center

  • Scans can slow down your computer

  • Limited support options

Review
8.6
good
Visit Website*
Check Review
Features
9.4 / 10
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.0 / 10
Support
8.0 / 10
4.

Norton Antivirus: The Best Solution for Families

Norton Antivirus
Norton Antivirus
(1,853,439 )
With its robust set of features, lean applications, and a 100 % antivirus guarantee, Norton Antivirus is definitely worth a look. Sadly, the testing labs aren't unanimously impressed, and one or two features are missing.
learn, user-friendly apps
customizable child protection
100 % antivirus guarantee
no anti-theft features
mixed test lab results
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
1
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Norton Antivirus Plus
$19.99
yearly price
Visit Website*

Norton is another big name in the world of antivirus software. Since the creation of Digital Inc. (formerly Symantec and Norton LifeLock), it's also part of the same family as Avast, AVG, and Avira.

The provider's antivirus suite, Norton 360, offers protection for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices. There's no free version, however, you can test out its premium subscription for 30 days, and request a refund up to 60 days after purchase.

What we like

Its sleek and user-friendly apps are complimented by solid protection. Norton's range of features is also impressive, with advanced tools like Dark Web Monitoring and a full-fledged VPN offered alongside more standard options like manual scans and real-time protection.

Norton's antivirus empire continues to grow.

How is Norton Antivirus different from other programs?

One feature that stands out is Parental Control, which makes it possible to limit what content and apps your children can access or use, and for how long.

In addition, the developer offers a 100% virus protection promise: If it's unable to remove a virus from your computer, you're entitled to a full refund.

Who is Norton Antivirus for?

Norton Antivirus is a good choice for families with multiple devices. Thanks to its parental controls, you can monitor your children's online activities and screen time.

What we don't like

Despite the positives, Norton lacks some features that its competitors include. Among these is a file shredder for permanently deleting data from your system, or anti-theft tools for mobile devices. Other features that are accessible to Windows users are nowhere to be found in the macOS version.

More critically, the testing labs we consulted didn't agree on Norton's security: AV-Test awarded full points, but, AV-Comparatives recorded too many false positives as well as a less-than-optimal protection rate. Even though Norton does a lot right, we feel that there are more reliable antivirus solutions out there.

Norton Antivirus Advantages and Disadvantages

  • User-friendly Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS apps

  • Practical parental controls with lots of options

  • 100% virus protection promise

  • No anti-theft protection

  • Testing labs didn't agree on its security

Review
8.4
good
Visit Website*
Check Review
Support
10 / 10
Configuration & Usage
8.6 / 10
Security & Performance
8.0 / 10
Features
7.4 / 10
5.

Trend Micro Antivirus: Affordable Virus Scanner With Social Media Protection

Trend Micro Antivirus
Trend Micro Antivirus
(142,454 )
Trend Micro delivers a solid overall antivirus package with lots of features and some nice extras, such as social media protection. However, the testing labs are a bit divided on the reliability of its protection.
some good lab results
plenty of features
social media protection
no firewall, webcam protection
uneven lab scores
8.4
good
Plan
Antivirus+
Devices
1
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Trend Micro Antivirus+
$19.95
yearly price
Visit Website*

Trend Micro is most likely the least familiar name in our Top 5. Nevertheless, the US/Japanese company has provided security solutions for both private individuals and businesses since 1988.

Its antivirus software is available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Chromebooks. To protect all of these, you'll need the Maximum Security Package, which can be installed on up to five devices.

What we like

We were completely satisfied with the service, which received good-very good security scores from the testing labs we consult, and has a visually appealing interface. Beyond that, Trend Micro offers a solid feature package and plenty of options for getting in touch with its support staff.

Trend Micro offers a solid overall package.

How is Trend Micro different from other antivirus programs?

Because it offers a few features that some of its competitors lack, Trend Micro picked up some extra points: Social Media Protection prevents you from inadvertently clicking on suspicious links while browsing Facebook. The software's Privacy Scanner keeps you informed about your privacy settings on social networks.

Who is Trend Micro for?

Trend Micro is a good choice for those interested in a relatively affordable antivirus solution with reliable protection and a user-friendly interface, but not as many configuration options as elsewhere.

What we don't like

The US/Japanese software cannot compete with other antivirus solutions further up our list when it comes to features. There's no firewall, webcam protection, or VPN. The free password manager also isn't part of the antivirus suite, but an extra, and not particularly impressive.

Unfortunately, there are also some concerns about Trend Micro's security, at least according to the testing labs we consult. AV-Test awarded it maximum points, whereas AV-Comparatives identified too many false positives.

Trend Micro Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Multiple positive testing lab results

  • Lots of extra features, such as Social Media Protection

  • Beginner-friendly app

  • Some poor testing lab results

  • No firewall or webcam protection

Review
8.4
good
Visit Website*
Check Review
Configuration & Usage
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.6 / 10
Support
8.0 / 10
Features
7.4 / 10
6.

F-Secure Antivirus: Reliable Threat Identification

F-Secure Antivirus
F-Secure Antivirus
(15,790 )
F-Secure focuses on the essentials and delivers reliable protection from most malware, as demonstrated by its results in the testing labs. But some features, such as webcam protection, are missing.
good lab grades
DeepGuard detects new Malware
VPN and password manager
no firewall
no webcam protection
8.1
good
Plan
Internet Security
Devices
up to 25
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
F-Secure Internet Security
$49.99
yearly price
Visit Website*

F-Secure Corporation is a Finnish cybersecurity company that specializes in business antivirus solutions. However, it also offers some security tools for individuals and families. Apps are available for Windows and macOS, as well as Android, and iOS devices.

There's no free version of F-Secure, however, you can try out its premium software for 30 days without having to input payment information. In addition, there's a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

What we like

F-Secure's antivirus solutions offer access to all essential security features. Among the testing labs we consulted, the provider did well, grabbing a few perfect scores in terms of security and performance. Turning to support, wait times were short both in the live chat and on the phone.

F-Secure offers a solid, but limited range of features.

How is F-Secure different from other providers?

Like most of the software near the top of our list, F-Secure offers a few features that you won't find elsewhere. Banking Protection embeds F-Secure into your browser, so that whenever you log in to online banking, a green banner appears around your browser, with certain apps and websites deactivated until you close the page.

New and sophisticated malware threats for which solutions have not yet been developed are identified with F-Secure's recognition system, DeepGuard, based on suspicious system changes.

Who is F-Secure for?

If you're in the market for a lightweight antivirus program that can be installed on up to ten devices and will help identify new and dangerous malware before it's cataloged, F-Secure is worth checking out. Just keep in mind that you'll have to make do without a feature or two.

What we don't like

F-Secure doesn't offer every feature that we like to see in an antivirus program. Dedicated webcam protection, a firewall, and a file shredder are three major tools that aren't included.

Although the VPN and password manager that come with the most expensive Total subscription are nice, they can't compete with dedicated solutions in terms of price or ability.

F-Secure Antivirus Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Good protection according to testing labs

  • DeepGuard identifies brand new and sophisticated malware

  • Complete package with VPN and password manager

  • Doesn't include all of the most important features (no webcam protection or file shredder)

  • Unimpressive VPN and password manager

Review
8.1
good
Visit Website*
Check Review
Support
9.4 / 10
Security & Performance
8.6 / 10
Configuration & Usage
8.0 / 10
Features
6.0 / 10
7.

Panda Security: Free Basic Protection in a Sleek App

Panda Antivirus
Panda Antivirus
(45,164 )
Panda Security isn't as feature-rich as the competition, but it offers good protection, backed by solid results in the testing labs. Its free tier is worth a look.
good test lab results
free basic protection
many features
half-baked interface
fewer features on iOS
8.1
good
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Panda Security Free
$0.00
Visit Website*

Panda Security was founded in Spain in 1990. Among the IT security company's portfolio are both free and premium antivirus solutions, the latter of which are offered as part of its Panda Dome package.

Panda Security's programs are available for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, however, iPhone users get far fewer features than those on Android. A paid Panda Dome subscription can be tried out at no cost for 30 days.

What we like

The provider offers a nice selection of free and premium packages, making it possible to purchase the one that best matches your needs. Panda Security also did well with the testing labs we consulted, even though it hasn't been checked as often as some of its competitors.

Thanks to the variety of contact options and 24/7 hotline for premium subscribers, we also approve of its support.

Panda Security's dashboard

How is Panda Antivirus different from other providers?

Panda's user interface is optically pleasing: Other antivirus services usually package their software in sterile-looking dashboards, which makes sense considering that no one hunts malware for fun. However, Panda's dashboard is sleek, and its mountainous background is calming.

Who is Panda Antivirus for?

Since Panda's premium subscriptions don't outperform those of its competitors, we can only recommend it as a free antivirus solution. This is definitely worth considering if you're looking for basic protection that's reliable.

What we don't like

Even though its user interface is visually appealing, navigating through the features it houses isn't always intuitive. On top of that, more features would certainly be welcome: Webcam protection is missing, and the integrated VPN has a very stingy 150 MB data limit.

Another drawback is that iOS users get access to far fewer features than those using the software on Android.

Panda Security Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Free basic protection

  • Solid testing lab results

  • Visually-appealing apps

  • Lots of paywalls owing to the large number of subscriptions

  • Interface isn't always intuitive

  • Fewer iOS features than on Android

Panda Antivirus
Panda Antivirus
(45,164 )
Panda Security isn't as feature-rich as the competition, but it offers good protection, backed by solid results in the testing labs. Its free tier is worth a look.
good test lab results
free basic protection
many features
half-baked interface
fewer features on iOS
8.1
good
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
Panda Security Free
$0.00
Visit Website*
8.

McAfee Antivirus: Protection for All Devices - Even Large Households and Families

McAfee Antivirus
McAfee Antivirus
(867,279 )
McAfee leaves a good overall impression, thanks to solid test lab results and an impressive range of features. Sadly, the speed and quality of its support couldn't keep up.
good lab results
many features
great family rates
somewhat clunky interface
missing features (webcam protection,..)
7.8
good
Plan
Total Protection (Plus)
Devices
up to 10
Protection Features
0
Premium Features
0
McAfee Total Protection (Plus)
$39.99
yearly price
Visit Website*

Like Norton, McAfee is a big name in the world of cybersecurity, with its antivirus solutions used on more than 600 million devices. Apps are available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and ChromeOS.

McAfee doesn't offer a free version of its software, however, you can test out its premium version for 30 days (and request a refund for 30 more after purchasing a subscription).

What we like

The antivirus program impresses with its well-rounded feature package and excellent, lab-verified protection. During our test, we didn't notice any performance issues.

It won't take long to familiarize yourself with McAfee's clear dashboard.

How is McAfee Antivirus different from other providers?

McAfee's more expensive subscriptions