Ten Best Antivirus Software Programs You Need To Know About

Only an antivirus software can provide you complete online protection.

If there is one piece of software that is absolutely critical for your machine then it is an antivirus software.

If you don’t use one, then you should.


Because without an antivirus software you expose yourself to not only hackers but all kinds of cybercriminals.

And that can mean a lot of things.

Most of them bad.

Like taking the risk to lose all your private information to hackers.

Things like your personal files, work files, bank account information (along with the money in it), are all exposed to hackers if you don’t use an antivirus software.

Now, we have tested a lot of antivirus software programs.

We’ve researched even more.

And hence have come up with a guide that will help you decide which antivirus software is best for you.

Of course, you’ll make the final decision.

Our aim is to provide you with all the information you need to pick the best one.

And remember, the best antivirus software program isn’t necessarily the one that is most expensive. Or with the most features.

With that said, let’s move forward.

It Is Absolutely Vital That You Protect Yourself And Your Computer With The Help Of An Antivirus Program

You’ve been through the winter right?

All the thunderstorms, floods, disease, colds, tornadoes and not to mention those blizzards.

Needless to say, winter is tough.

You’ve probably watched all seasons of Game of Thrones just to see how bad the winter gets for all the show’s characters.

But what about spring?

Spring isn’t as nice as it is made up to be or is it?

When young people, who use the internet all the time, think about spring, they should always think about malware.


Not flowers or falling leaves.

But malware.

Besides, you have to admit that it is probably true.

No matter what time of the year it is, you’re computer machine is always at risk from all kinds of viruses and malware.

Who makes these malware programs?

Of course, programmers.

Just like the ones who work at Google and Amazon.

It’s just that they don’t get paid a lot and most of the time have evil intentions behind their programs.

Coders all over the world, hopefully not in great number, will continue to do their job.

Which is to make new malware code.

And just like you, they are not going to waste their time in plucking flowers in Spring.

Or any other season for that matter.

Should You Worry?

No, you shouldn’t.

Because you can go out of your house and enjoy the bright sunshine in the winter season with full confidence.

No cold is going to come in your way and put you to bed for, likely, two weeks.

But there is a condition.

You can only do the above if you’re computer is protected by an antivirus software program.

And not just any antivirus software program.

We’re talking about a great, powerful, state-of-the-art, up-to-date antivirus software program that can rattle any malware’s ancestors.

But there is a good chance that you might already be using an antivirus software right now.

In that case, how do you know if you have signed up for the right one?

In fact, how do you even know that your current antivirus software program is even effective?

If you don’t know the answers to any of the above questions then don’t panic.

We’re here to help.

As always.

As mentioned earlier as well, we have tested a lot (and we do mean a lot) of antivirus software programs and utilities.

And because of our experience and hard work we can confidently recommend the best antivirus software programs in the market today.

Antivirus Isn’t The Only Thing That’s Out There to Hurt You.

Did you think we were only talking about antiviruses when mentioning threats to your computer?

Well, you thought wrong.

For the most part.

Because getting infected with an antivirus is old news.

Old news don’t make much money.

Hackers along with other cybercriminals know that fact.

And hence, now, it is unlikely that you’re computer is going to get whacked by a computer virus.

These days, all the rage is about malware.

Malware code is a brilliant way to make money.

Illegal money that is.

As far as viruses are concerned, there is no easy way to make money off them.

And hence, hackers have moved away from infecting computer machines with antivirus.

Malware is their new darling now.

So what’s new in the world of cyber crimes apart from malware if spreading viruses isn’t paying off for hackers?

Well, you already know about malware.

Let’s introduce its cousins.

Ransomware And Trojans

Make that, trojans that steal your data.

More specifically, data-stealing trojans.

These are the two problems that have become much more common than simple computer viruses.

And we haven’t even touched bots.

Bots are like bad landlords.

Have you heard of the term bot-herder?

Don’t worry, it doesn’t really matter.

What matters is if you know what it does.

Bot-herder is one type of bot that will basically put your computer machine up for rent.

And then use it for someone’s wicked purposes.

So what now then?

Should you just get rid of your computer machine because of all these problems and threats?

Or should you never go online again?

Neither of those.

The thing is, most, if not all, modern antivirus software programs can manage the likes of Trojans, adware, spyware, ransomware and rootkits relatively easy.

They can also do much more and we’ll touch upon those features a bit later in this guide.

We here at SecurityZap have tested all major antivirus software programs.

Do take note that not only have we tested commercial antivirus programs that are available in the market, but we’ve also tested many free antivirus software programs as well.

Out of all that experience and research, we’ve selected the ones our editors think are the best ones.

Commercial Antivirus Programs

Not all antivirus programs are free.

In fact, most antivirus programs that are of use cost a little money.

And you can rest assured that several commercial antivirus software programs have proven themselves to be extremely effective against all threats.

And hence earn high ratings from our editors.

From all the antivirus programs, we have curated a list of then.

All of these antivirus programs will blast away your regular malware and spyware.

But are all these right for you?

Only you can decide that.

By the time you’re done with our list, you’ll be able to make an informed choice.

Rather easily.

All of the antivirus software programs that we’ll list here are full-scale antivirus tools.

They are traditional as well as modern in their features and user interface.

Most of these best antivirus software programs have added capabilities like,

  • Ability to scan files on your machine and check them for malware.
    Some also check for malware at the precise moment of access.
  • On-demand malware scans.
  • Scheduled malware scans

But I Have Windows 10. It Is The Best Version Of Windows In History.

Maybe not.

There is certainly no objective way to decide if Windows 10 is a great operating system or not.

The point we’re trying to make here is that the antivirus program that is built into Windows 10 (or Windows 8.1 if you didn’t upgrade) is not enough.

In fact, we’ll stretch out even more and say that relying on the default Windows Defender is not a bright idea.

Windows Defender has the honor of consistently performing poorly in independent lab tests and in our research as well.

But that isn’t to say that it is of no use.

Indeed, the current version of Windows Defender is probably the best Windows Defender ever.

It ranked pretty well in some recent tests held this year and last year.

However, we still recommend that you should not rely on Windows Defender.

Our most recent evaluation of Windows Defender says that you are better off leaving Windows Defender alone.

And sign up for a great third-party antivirus software solution for your PC.

Why Should You Listen To Independent Labs?

If you want to make sure that your computer is safe from all kinds of nasty stuff you should take independent labs seriously.

More specifically though, you should give proper consideration to their results and reports.

And it’s not like independent labs include every antivirus that exists under the sun in their tests.

In fact, for most antivirus software a mere mention in their lists means a vote of confidence.

Not totally but you get the picture.

When an independent lab picks an antivirus software, it means that the lab considered that antivirus software as significant.

The labs deemed the antivirus software as an important piece of software product.

That should give any business a lot of belief in his/her company’s product.

Besides, it’s not just about confidence.

Vendors feel a sense of accomplishment when included in an independent lab’s report.

They feel that all their hard work and cost of testing the antivirus software was for something.

Of course, getting to the list is only half the battle.

To succeed, an antivirus software company has to score high.

And of course, that is important.

So which labs should you follow?

From our research, we have found out that these are the top five independent labs that you should follow,

Apart from that, it is a good idea for antivirus software companies to get themselves registered or certified from institutes such as West Coast Labs and ICSA Labs.

But there is more to an antivirus software program than just independent lab results.

Let’s talk about how we measure an antivirus software program’s effectiveness.

How Should Everyone Test Their Antivirus Program?And What Is Our Way?

We here, at Security Zap, have our own way of ranking antivirus programs as well.

And because we have to recommend the best antivirus programs out there in the market, we must make sure that the antivirus program can test well against malware.

That it can block malware effectively.

As far as the end user is concerned, ti is a good idea to first sign up for the free product of any antivirus software company.

Or sign up for the trial version just to get a feeling for how the antivirus program works.

All antivirus programs are ranked on how thoroughly they can handle and block malware installation attacks.

In other words, malware blocking is a big part of how good an antivirus program really is.

To check an antivirus software for malware blocking ability, one has to test the product with samples of malware.

Sometimes for months.

One must also check the antivirus product for how it handles day one malware.

Moreover, antivirus programs should also be subjected to malware-hosting URLs.

Some of these malware-hosting URLs are provided by MRG-Effitas.

When an antivirus software is tested with these URLs, the percentage of blocked malware should be recorded.

Antivirus software programs that block an equal amount of these malware URLs should be awarded equal points.

But that’s not all.

Antivirus programs must be able to handle malware during activities such as downloads as well.

All of this is done because an antivirus software program is a crucial part of your online privacy and security.

Some Fail Both, Some Fail One

There are antivirus programs out there who score remarkably well in independent labs results.

Many of these antivirus programs are not able to pass our tests and research.

If an antivirus product fails our tests but passes the lab’s with flying colors, then we defer our ratings to the labs.


Because the labs have significantly more resources to throw at testing antivirus products.

This Is The Age of Multi-Level Antivirus Software Protection

Normal antivirus products offer features such as on-demand scanners and real-time virus/malware protection.

But the industry is very competitive.

To make a name for themselves, antivirus products try to distinguish themselves by offering something more.

Some antivirus products, to get ahead, show users URL ratings for the sites the user visits.

Some also show rating on search engine results page.

You must have seen the coding system consisting of yellow red and green to indicate the trust level of a given site.

There are antivirus products out there that actively block any processes that try to connect your system with malware-hosting URLs.

Some go even further and increase the protection to phishing pages as well.

If you don’t know what a phishing page is then, for now, know that it is a fraudulent website page.

But even the best of antivirus products have flaws.

Sometimes, these same flaws can cause your system to come to a halt.

Savvy users keep themselves safe by keeping their Windows updated.

That holds true for all other installed programs as well.


Because updates fix these flaws at their earliest convenience.

As a result, you have a super secure computer machine.

You might have heard about a modern feature by the name of vulnerability scan.

Given that not all antivirus products offer this feature, nevertheless, it is a highly effective one.

The main function of the vulnerability scan is to make sure, and verify, that all programs are patched up properly.

In other words, all programs including the operating system are up to date sufficiently.

The vulnerability scan feature also moves in when it discovers a vulnerability and patches it up with the required update.

Software Programs Are Tricky

You might be inclined to think that all an antivirus program has to do is to first identify bad programs.

And then remove them from your system.



But that’s not all.

Antivirus programs are also supposed to leave the good software program alone.



That was simple enough.

But what about programs that fall in the unknown category.

What about software applications that the antivirus product can’t put in a good or bad basket.

This is where behavior based detection comes in.

At least in theory, it does.

Behavior-based detection protects users against many kinds of malware.

Most of the time, it looks out for malware that is so new that even researchers haven’t had a chance to look at it.

In other words, it is currently invisible because no one has encountered it in the wild.

However, using features such as behavior-based detection isn’t always so easy.

In fact, it sometimes can hinder your work.


By flagging completely innocuous software programs as malware.

Therefore, sometimes you might end up uninstalling legitimate programs and not have a clue about the fact that they were clean programs.

Another Problem

Then comes the problem of whitelists.

Antivirus programs that work on whitelist-based security allow only the well-known good software program to run on the system.

This approach isn’t that bad.

Except for the fact that unknown programs get banned automatically.

Needless to say, this form of protection does not suit every kind of situation.

With that said, it can come in handy in some.

Another technique you should know about is the sandboxing technique.

Unknown programs can simply run in a sandbox and that basically ensures they are isolated from the system.

And hence don’t have access to critical files.

As a result, these unknown programs can’t harm your machine on a permanent basis.

All these types of techniques join together to form a layered structure to online security.

In other words, antivirus products offer these features to enhance a user’s defense against online malware.

Bonus Antivirus Software Features Are Important

What are bonus features?

For now, keep these two in mind,

  • Spam filtering
  • Firewall protection

Granted, these aren’t exactly commonplace features.

Only the top antivirus products offer them as a part of their bonus features.

But there are other antivirus products who go beyond the call of duty and offer even more feature-packed versions of their antivirus products.

These products are more commonly known as security suites.

Security suites come with a lot of bonus features.

What kind of features are we talking about exactly?

We’re talking about,

  • Secure browsers which are suited to individuals who want to engage in financial transactions
  • Safe and sound delete feature for files that are considered to be sensitive
  • Completely annihilating browser and computer history.
  • Online virtual keyboard to thwart keyloggers
  • Ability to monitor credit transactions
  • Protection for more devices than one
  • Protection for more platforms than one
  • And some more

What do you know, there are antivirus products who go even further.

Some antivirus products try to double up their automatic protection against malware with technicians.

Living, breathing human technicians who help users out with their security problems.

So that was it for the bonus features.

Just to recap,

Keep an eye out for features such as,

  • Vulnerability scan
  • Sandbox feature
  • Whitelist-based security feature

So Which Is The Best Antivirus Software Of Them All?

So which one should you go with?

Which is the best antivirus program on the market?

Well, there isn’t a single answer.

Instead, you get a lot of great options.

There is the old timer in the form of Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

Then there is Bitdefender Antivirus Plus.

These two are considered to be the two best antivirus products by all independent labs.

But hang on.

Let’s not rule out other contenders such as,

  • Norton Antivirus Basic
  • McAfee Antivirus Plus

Both of these are legitimately good products.

Norton regularly aces lab tests and gets top remarks from our editors as well.

If you subscribe to McAfee AntiVirus Plus for one year, you can protect all of your devices.

From Windows and Android to Mac OS and iOS.

There is Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus too which has an exceptional behavior-based detection technology.

It also is the smallest, in terms of size, antivirus product that we know of.

Now that does it for the five of them.

Are there more?
Indeed there are.

Not only are the other five antivirus products worth your consideration, they are actually reasonable products.

You can read more about each antivirus in its own review and then make up your mind accordingly.

Our Best Antivirus Software List

McAfee AntiVirus Plus


McAfee isn’t necessarily the most perfect of antivirus products as far as tests go.

But it more than makes up for it in its device coverage.

It offers protection for more devices and operating system than any other antivirus product.

And the best part is that, it offers that all-around protection within just one subscription.

It doesn’t matter if you want to protect your Windows, MacOS, Android or iOS, McAfee has got you covered.

A McAfee AntiVirus Plus subscription can cost you anywhere from $19.99 to $59.99 depending on your package.

You can read more about it here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus


As far as ratings go, Kaspersky Anti-Virus routinely ranks the highest in independent lab test results.

Moreover, it also tops many other anti-phishing tests.

It offers a great number of bonus features.

And most of all, it is fast.

Those reasons should be enough for anyone to rank Kaspersky Anti-Virus at the king of antivirus products.

It can cost you between $39.99 and $39.99 depending on your package.

Read more about Kaspersky Anti-Virus here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus


We’ve already mentioned this but here it goes.

Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is the smallest and the fastest antivirus in the world.

Moreover, it performs extremely well on most malware-blocking tests.

It can cost you anywhere between $18.99 and $39.99 depending on your package.

Read more about it here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus


Bitdefender Antivirus Plus has consistently topped all antivirus protection charts.

It also offers the most number of bonus features.

In fact, it is som complete that some consider this antivirus product to be a whole security suite.

It can cost you between $19.99 and $39.99 depending on your purchase.

Read more about Bitdefender Antivirus Plus here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic


Symantec had gone into hiding for quite a while.

Now it’s back and it is better than ever.

Of course, we’re talking about its latest standalone antivirus product.

The new Norton AntiVirus Basic edition.

This product earns its top spot in many independent lab results.

It also scores well on all of our criteria.

In short, the Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic package is a knockout winner.

It can cost you between $19.99 and $39.99 depending on the subscription plan.

Read more about Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security


This antivirus product also scored quite high in malware-blocking tests.

With that said, it does seem to have some weak spots and hence misses out on some tests from independent labs.

The main draw for Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security is its built-in ransomware protection feature.

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security can cost you between $19.95 and $39.95 depending on your luck.

Read more about Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

Avast Pro Antivirus


Avast Pro Antivirus is not a slouch by any means.

It offers an equal, if not more, amount of features than many of the antivirus products listed here/

Most of all, it’s free edition is a great option also.

But that’s the main problem with offering a great free option.

Your paid antivirus product doesn’t seem impressive when there is a great free product in the offerings as well.

Avast Pro Antivirus , regardless, is a great antivirus product.

But most people would want to sign up for the free version because it is so complete.

Bad business move.

But, potentially, great marketing move.

Avast Pro Antivirus should cost your around $39.99.

Read more about Avast Pro Antivirus here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus 10


Another antivirus products that puts in the hard yards and scores high in most independent lab tests.

It also scores high on our checklist.

The reason why people would want to sign up for ESET NOD32 Antivirus 10 is its fast full system scan.

But it is a well-rounded antivirus product otherwise as well.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus 10 should cost your around $39.99.

Read more about ESET NOD32 Antivirus 10 here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware 11.0


Again, Emsisoft Anti-Malware has some good scores from the independent labs as well.

Its key feature is its high number of configuration options.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware is also very competent in most malware-blocking and malicious URL detection tests.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware will cost you about $39.95.

To read more about Emsisoft Anti-Malware, you can go here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

F-Secure Anti-Virus


F-Secure Anti-Virus is one of those antivirus products that does everything well but not that well.

In other words, it is not remarkable. It’s just good. Maybe even very good.

In fact, even though it scored high on our checklist, it did not score high in all of the independent lab tests.

Apart from that, its ransomware protection feature is an enticing addition to its latest version.

F-Secure Anti-Virus can set you back anywhere from $19.95 to $39.95 depending upon your plan.

You can read more about F-Secure Anti-Virus here.

Click here to buy it from the official website now.

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