The Best Antivirus Software for Windows 10 {2020}

Your Windows PC needs protection against malware, and free antivirus software may be enough!

Here's the best antivirus protection to get for Windows 10, and what's worth paying extra for. 
An online security quiver needs plenty of arrows.

best anti virus software for windows

VPN  to protect your internet traffic, a password manager to keep track of login credentials, and an end-to-end encrypted messaging app to keep people from spying on your communications.

But for Windows users, that list also needs to include antivirus software that monitors downloads and observes your system's activity for malicious software and suspicious software behavior.

And here's the first thing to know about searching for the best antivirus software and antivirus products: Microsoft Defender Antivirus

The free virus protection program and Internet security software that comes with Windows 10 and until recently was called Windows Defender -- does a good job of protecting your PC and providing Internet security. (Amazingly, Microsoft provided no built-in protection for Windows back in the days of Windows 98 and XP.) Using Microsoft Defender should be your starting point for the best antivirus security on Windows, and most users will find they don't need to go any further.

However, guarding your privacy and keeping your personal data safe extends beyond virus protection, and that's where third-party antivirus software shines. A full protection package can monitor your Windows computer as well as macOS, iOS, and Android devices and include a password manager, a VPN, parental controls, secure online backup, identity theft protection -- all worthwhile tools that can guard your privacy and keep your data secure.

Best free Windows antivirus 

Microsoft Defender

Free version? Yes, built into Windows 10

Paid version: Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection is available to corporate users for a fee

Honestly, if you practice safe computing -- you keep your software up to date, you use strong passwords (with the help of a password manager), you steer clear of unexpected emails and you don't click suspicious links -- you probably can avoid zero-day attacks and ransomware attacks. 

With the free Microsoft Defender Antivirus software running on Windows 10, you have a safety net if you do let your guard down. (Note that Microsoft changed the name of Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender and has expanded the service to other platforms.)

This antivirus program is built into Windows and it's turned on by default, so just let it do its thing, and this antivirus solution will cover the basics. Microsoft pushes new updates frequently. 

The defender also lets you tune the level of protection you want, giving you control over blocking potentially unwanted apps and protecting folders and files from a ransomware attack. 

Best antivirus subscription for Windows 

Norton 360 with LifeLock Select

Platforms: Windows 10 plus macOS, Android, iOS

Cost: $150 per year for five devices, on sale for $100

For a long time, Norton Security -- now called NortonLifeLock, and no longer part of Symantec -- has earned high marks from AV-Test, AV-Comparatives, and SE Labs for virus and malware detection.

A five-device subscription for Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is normally $150, but you can sign up for $100 for the first year to get coverage across PCs, Macs, Android devices, and iPhones and iPads. (Note, we don't think antivirus protection is terribly useful outside the Windows realm.)

In addition to malware and virus protection, this security suite provides 100GB of backup to the cloud, safe-browsing tools, a VPN, password manager, parental controls, and LifeLock identity theft protection and a fraud alert. While not all of those services are necessarily best in their respective class, getting them all in one package is a pretty compelling option.

Best free antivirus alternative for Windows 

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Platforms: Windows 10 plus macOS, Android, iOS

Free version? Yes

Paid version: $45 per year for five PCs

If you'd like to take a step up in securing your PC without taxing your wallet, it's hard to beat Bitdefender's free antivirus software for Windows 10. 

Windows security software offers real-time monitoring for viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware protection. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is easy to set up and stays out of your way until you need it.

The protection this antivirus product offers is solid. Bitdefender consistently earns top marks for its antivirus protection and usability from the respected AV-Test independent testing lab. The free antivirus version covers one Windows PC. For broader protection, Bitdefender Total Security 2020 is usually $90 and available at the moment for $45 for the first year. The subscription lets you protect five devices (Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android), set up parental controls on a kid's computer, and run a VPN.

Best on-demand Windows malware removal 


Platforms: Windows 10 plus macOS, Android

Free version? Yes, after the 14-day trial expires

Paid version: $30 per year for one device, $80 per year for five devices

Malwarebytes does protect your PC from a virus or malware attack, scoring reasonably well in recent independent testing for guarding against malware infections. But that's not really what Malwarebytes is known for.

If you find yourself in trouble, the go-to disinfectant for many is Malwarebytes. You can get protection and disinfection for one device for $30 a year, regularly $40. To cover five devices -- any combination of Windows, macOS, and Android -- it's $80 for a year. 

To get the free antivirus version, download this trial version, which "downgrades" to a no-fee on-demand cleaner with fewer features that detects and removes viruses and malware when you run an on-demand scan after 14 days.

After reading this article, I am pretty sure there must be a few questions in your mind. We are here to answer those questions! Just comment below!

Find us on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest to stay updated.

Post a Comment