Anti-Ransomware - Top 3 Defenders Against Ransomware

Janis von Bleichert

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 2021
Bitdefender Antivirus Test
Bitdefender Antivirus
(312,376)
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
Free
Devices
1
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
0
Bitdefender Free
$0.00
Visit Website »
Best Overall
4.8 / 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
4.8 / 5
09/2021
excellent
Visit Website
Installation & Usage
5.0 / 5
Support
5.0 / 5
Features
4.7 / 5
Security & Performance
4.7 / 5
2.

Norton Anti-Ransomware

Norton Antivirus Test
Norton Antivirus
(1,664,413)
elegant-intuitive application
good protection performance
great support
incl. password manager and VPN
missing standard features on macOS
Plan
Antivirus Plus
Devices
1
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
3
Norton Antivirus Plus
$19.99
yearly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
4.2 / 5
good

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
4.2 / 5
09/2021
good
Visit Website
Support
5.0 / 5
Installation & Usage
4.3 / 5
Security & Performance
4.0 / 5
Features
3.7 / 5
3.

Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware

Kaspersky Antivirus Test
Kaspersky Antivirus
(3,696,103)
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
Kaspersky Total Security
from $44.99
yearly price
Visit Website »
Free Trial Version
Review Score
4.5 / 5
excellent

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
4.5 / 5
09/2021
excellent
Visit Website
Installation & Usage
4.7 / 5
Support
4.7 / 5
Features
4.7 / 5
Security & Performance
4.3 / 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:

Filter
Sort By
Avast Antivirus Test
Avast Antivirus
(6,738,116)
many features
easy to use
functional free version
excellent support area
Avast überzeugt mit einer Gratis-Version, die bereits die wichtigsten Funktionen abdeckt. Lediglich bei der Performance gibt es leichte Abzüge.
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
1
Avast Free
$0.00
Visit Website »
Download for Free
Review Score
4.3 / 5
good
Trend Micro Antivirus Test
Trend Micro Antivirus
(109,110)
intuitive Benutzeroberfläche
gute Schutzleistung
gute Performance
viele Features
keine Firewall oder Webcam-Schutz
Plan
Antivirus+
Devices
1
Protection Features
5
Premium Features
1
Trend Micro Antivirus+
$29.95
yearly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
4.2 / 5
good
G Data Antivirus Test
G Data Antivirus
(1,206)
many configuration options
great support
interface somewhat outdated
desktop app complex to use
Plan
Antivirus
Devices
up to 10
Protection Features
4
Premium Features
0
G Data Antivirus
from $35.35
yearly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
4.2 / 5
good
F-Secure Antivirus Test
F-Secure Antivirus
(14,914)
easy to use
reliable protection
good performance
VPN and password manager
some missing features
Plan
SAFE (3 devices)
Devices
up to 3
Protection Features
4
Premium Features
1
F-Secure SAFE (3 devices)
$34.99
yearly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
4.1 / 5
good
Panda Antivirus Test
Panda Antivirus
(41,909)
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 $42.74
yearly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
4.0 / 5
good
Avira Antivirus Test
Avira Antivirus
(642,807)
free version with basic protection
freely configurable scans
easy to use
weak performance in test lab
no ransomware protection for free users
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
3
Premium Features
0
Avira Free
$0.00
Visit Website »
Download for Free
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
ESET Antivirus Test
ESET Antivirus
(931,205)
simple and intuitive interface
many features
many configuration settings
offers UEFI scanners
mixed results in the lab
Plan
Internet Security
Devices
up to 10
Protection Features
6
Premium Features
2
ESET Internet Security
from $49.99
yearly price
Visit Website »
30 Days Free Trial
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
AVG Antivirus Test
AVG Antivirus
(7,233,231)
very easy to use
free version with basic protection
very secure
weak support
slight performance impact during scan
Plan
Free
Devices
unlimited
Protection Features
4
Premium Features
0
AVG Free
$0.00
Visit Website »
Download for Free
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
Sophos Antivirus Test
Sophos Antivirus
(45,207)
easy to use
many features
affordable premium licenses
only offers basic features
few options for manual scan
Plan
Home Premium
Devices
up to 10
Protection Features
5
Premium Features
0
Sophos Home Premium
$45.00
yearly price
Visit Website »
Download for Free
Review Score
3.8 / 5
good
Malwarebytes Antivirus Test
Malwarebytes Antivirus
(376,958)
user-friendly application
solid results in the test lab
pricing easy to understand
missing functionalities
noticeable performance issues
Plan
Premium
Devices
up to 5
Protection Features
4
Premium Features
0
Malwarebytes Premium
from $39.99
yearly price
Visit Website »
Download for Free
Review Score
3.2 / 5
satisfactory
BullGuard Antivirus Test
BullGuard Antivirus
(7,735)
Game Booster for gaming
Vulnerability scanner
clunky user interface
some missing features
average lab results
Plan
Antivirus
Devices
1
Protection Features
5
Premium Features
0
BullGuard Antivirus
$29.99
yearly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
3.0 / 5
satisfactory
360 Total Security Test
360 Total Security
(16,774,479)
intuitive handling
low price + free version
several designs to choose from
privacy raises questions
no current lab results
Plan
Premium
Devices
up to 3
Protection Features
5
Premium Features
3
360 Total Security Premium
$35.98
yearly price
Visit Website »
Review Score
2.7 / 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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