A reliable antivirus program should safeguard you from all kinds of malware including worms and Trojan horses. In addition, it should be able to recognize and stop the spread of potentially unwanted software (PUPs) which could modify your browser settings or fill your screen with ads. Certain premium antiviruses provide additional features, including dark web monitoring, ID theft alerts and parental control.
If you’re a Windows user Microsoft’s built-in malware defense known as Windows Defender on older computers or Windows Security on newer machines is able to do well in keeping your machine safe. However it’s not as efficient or efficient in malware detection as standalone antivirus brands that consistently have good results in independent lab tests. It doesn’t include additional security features, such as password managers or software that can be used on other devices.
The best antivirus for Windows, based on protection against malware as well as system impact, and ease of use it is Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. It has a high score in the AV-Test labs, which are renowned and is easy to install and run. It protects one PC at a low cost, however for a few extra dollars you can get more comprehensive protection with Bitdefender Total Security and Antivirus Plus.
A good paid antivirus suite typically bundles in plenty of additional features, including the use of a VPN and tools for optimizing performance and applications for Mac, iOS and Android. If you’re looking to stick to the basics and get the best malware protection, Sophos Home Premium is a good option. It offers a few additional features for reasonable prices.