Anti-Ransomware - Top 3 Defenders Against Ransomware

Ransomware isn't the most subtle type of malware. If you've been caught out by the software, you'll know about it fairly soon since a program will open basically telling you to pay up and do so quickly. Alternatively known as crypto- or extortion Trojans, ransomware locks your files or even system, only 'releasing' them after you've paid a hefty ransom. In this article, we'll show you how to prevent this from happening in the first place.

Every year, ransomware causes billions of dollars in damages around the world, making it easily the greatest malware threat to both private individuals and corporations. Like most other kinds of malware, ransomware conceals itself in executable programs or corrupt files on your computer.

Prevention is the best defense, and that starts with you, the individual user. If you think twice about opening email attachments from people you don't know, and regularly update your operating system and programs, you're already ahead of the game and better off than those who don't.

For even more security, most antivirus suites have integrated anti-ransomware features. We assessed 11 of the leading antivirus programs for you and without further ado, present our Top 3 in terms of protection against ransomware.

1.

Bitdefender Anti-Ransomware

Best Overall 2020
Bitdefender Antivirus
(265,104)
flawless user interface
excellent protection results
configurable quick actions
good support with 24/7 live chat
Our test winner Bitdefender not only offers high security, confirmed by independent test laboratories, but also convinces with its flawless usability and a comprehensive feature package.
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
up to 10
Protection Features
4
Premium Features
2
70%
Black Friday Discount
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
from $19.99
yearly price
Visit Website
Best Overall
4.7 / 5
excellent

Bitdefender was the overall winner of our evaluation, since the program does pretty much everything in terms of Internet security, without displaying any weaknesses. It affords excellent security, which is confirmed by independent test labs, has a sleek and customizable user interface, and offers bags of features to boot.

Alongside more extravagant extras like a VPN and password manager, Bitdefender also provides multi-level protection against ransomware. For example, you'll receive a notification if an encryption attempt of your files has been ascertained. Bitdefender also creates automatic backups of your files and removes ransomware from your system once it has been identified.

The basic version of Bitdefender is free, and includes protection against ransomware, however, for the multi-level security we've discussed above, you'll have to open your wallet.

Excellent user interface with customizable quick actions

Flawless test lab results

Good support featuring a 24/7 live chat

Review Score
4.7 / 5
01/2020
excellent
Visit Website
Installation & Usage
5.0 / 5
Features
4.7 / 5
Security & Performance
4.7 / 5
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
2.

Norton Anti-Ransomware

Norton Antivirus
(1,510,916)
elegant-intuitive application
outstanding protection performance
great support
incl. Password Manager and VPN
Norton Antivirus scores with a lean application, top results in the testing labs and unrivaled support with 24/7 live chat.
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
1
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
3
Norton Antivirus Plus
$14.99
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.5 / 5
excellent

Norton's Antivirus suite also performed very well with the test labs, offering excellent security. We found its user interface to be both elegant and intuitive since it conveniently makes all features accessible. Additionally, its live chat support is deserving of praise.

Like Bitdefender, Norton 360 also includes a VPN and a password manager, however, its catalog of features is less extensive than that of its Romanian rival. Anti-theft measures are nowhere to be found, and access to a file shredder requires paying an additional fee, even for premium clients.

Norton does provide most of the features that we look for: Alongside web, webcam, and email protection, there's also real-time monitoring and of course, anti-ransomware capabilities.

Ransomware protection is included in each of Norton's subscription packages, however, the provider doesn't offer a free version of its software, unlike Bitdefender.

Elegant and intuitive user interface

Provides excellent security, confirmed by test labs

Solid support

Review Score
4.5 / 5
01/2020
excellent
Visit Website
Customer Support
5.0 / 5
Security & Performance
4.7 / 5
Installation & Usage
4.3 / 5
Features
4.0 / 5
3.

Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware

Kaspersky Antivirus
(3,468,692)
quick setup
intuitive use interface
a lot of features
special features like VPN
Kaspersky Internet Security is a user-friendly anti-virus protection with perhaps the best feature package on the market.
Plan
Total Security
Devices
up to 5
Protection Features
5
Premium Features
2
50%
Black Friday Discount
Kaspersky Total Security
from $49.99
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.4 / 5
good

With its antivirus "Internet Security" suite, Kaspersky manages to pack a large number of features into a user-friendly interface. We were particularly impressed with the high degree of freedom in terms of configuring scans, as well as the ability to schedule them in advance based on user needs.

In terms of real-time protection, the software doesn't appear to have any deficits, and in contrast to Norton, Kaspersky does offer additional security for making payments online. Based on the subscription you choose, you'll also have access to useful extras like parental controls, cloud backups, as well as a VPN, and a password manager.

Ransomware protection is included in all subscriptions.

Like Norton, Kaspersky doesn't offer free versions of its antivirus suite, however, the developer does provide a free anti-ransomware tool for download.

Easy to install, intuitively designed

Offers a wide range of functions that are conveniently packaged

Good security scores from test labs

Review Score
4.4 / 5
01/2020
good
Visit Website
Features
5.0 / 5
Installation & Usage
4.7 / 5
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
Security & Performance
3.7 / 5

Alternatives

Alongside our Top 3 are a number of antivirus programs that afford protection against ransomware. Since ransomware is one of the biggest online threats confronting both individuals and organizations at present, all 11 programs offer some sort counter-measures:

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ESET Antivirus
(883,728)
simple and intuitive interface
many features
many configuration settings
offers UEFI scanners
Plan
Internet Security
Devices
up to 10
Protection Features
6
Premium Features
2
ESET Internet Security
from $49.99
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.2 / 5
good
Sophos Antivirus
(44,013)
easy to use
many features
affordable premium licenses
Plan
Home Premium
Devices
up to 10
Protection Features
5
Premium Features
0
Sophos Home Premium
$45.00
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.1 / 5
good
Avast Antivirus
(6,373,390)
many features
easy to use
functional free version
excellent support area
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
1
Avast Free
$0.00
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
4.1 / 5
good
Avira Antivirus
(587,634)
free version with basic protection
freely configurable scans
easy to use
very good protection
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
0
50%
Avira Cyber Sale
Avira Free
$0.00
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good
AVG Antivirus
(7,020,807)
very easy to use
free version with basic protection
very secure
weak support
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
5
Premium Features
0
AVG Free
$0.00
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.9 / 5
good
Panda Antivirus
(40,274)
good test lab results
free basic protection
many features
half-baked interface
Plan
Advanced
Devices
up to 10
Protection Features
4
Premium Features
1
Panda Security Advanced
from $53.24
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
Malwarebytes Antivirus
(311,279)
user-friendly application
solid results in the test lab
easy to understand pricing
missing functionalities
Plan
Premium
Devices
up to 5
Protection Features
4
Premium Features
0
Malwarebytes Premium
from $39.99
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
360 Total Security
(16,804,237)
intuitive handling
low price + free version
no bloatware
several designs to choose from
Plan
Business Essential
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
5
Premium Features
2
360 Total Security Business Essential
from $15.00
yearly price
Visit Website
Review Score
2.9 / 5
satisfactory

Conclusion

Ransomware is, unfortunately, here to stay: Digital extortion will continue, and according to experts, likely grow, owing to the ease at which susceptible users can be found as well as the practice's lucrativeness. For that reason, it's more important than ever to protect yourself against ransomware attacks. Browsing or surfing behavior, how often you install updates for your operating system and software, and your tendency to open emails from people you don't know all play an important role in making you either more or less susceptible to such attacks.

To protect yourself even further, antivirus software can provide a very formidable defense, particularly since real-time protection features of modern programs explicitly monitor against ransomware. The best programs that EXPERTE.com's evaluation found were Bitdefender, Norton 360, and Kaspersky Internet Security. However, you can check all of our reviews for yourself in our exhaustive antivirus software evaluation.

Author Janis von Bleichert
Janis von Bleichert studied business informatics at the TU Munich and computer science at the TU Berlin, Germany. He has been self-employed since 2006 and is the founder of EXPERTE.com. He writes about hosting, software and IT security.
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