Anti-virus software protects computers from incoming viruses. While these may infiltrate your computer through infected emails and online spam, the tactics are always changing. High-quality anti-virus software should detect existing viruses, as well as prevent incoming threats, via comprehensive scanning of all incoming data. Investing in anti-virus software is a smart choice for everyone with an at-risk computer. However, Windows operating systems (OS) are generally more susceptible to viruses than Apple OS.

When choosing the software that best fits your needs, it is important to take into account both features and performance. While most software options scan documents in real-time, install automatic updates, and auto-clean infected files, certain premium features can set some software apart from the others. These can include two-way firewalls and network monitoring.

Before purchasing an anti-virus software package, it is essential to be certain that  it will provide peak performance on the user’s operating system. If the software dramatically slows down a computer, it is likely not optimized for that specific operating system. It is also important to learn what systems the software developer has set in place in the event that a virus is able to bypass the software. The best software developers should also offer clear communication and 24/7 customer support.

Top 10 Companies

Our Partner
9.7 / 10
  • 100% Guarantee: Your money back if they fail to remove a virus!
  • Protects your PC, Mac, smartphone and tablet
  • Defends against viruses, spyware and malware
  • Stops online threats before they can do damage
  • Grows with you and your devices to fit your changing needs
  • Block spam, unsafe websites, and unwanted calls/texts
  • 24/7 free support
Our Partner
9.5 / 10
  • Free Trial Available
  • Multi-Device Security for PC, Mac, and Android Users
  • Child-Friendly ESET Parental Control
  • Free Upgrade for the Duration of the License
  • Split Protection Among 3 or 5 Devices
  • 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • Multiple Lines of Features Included
Our Partner
9.5 / 10
  • 30 day Money Back Guarantee
  • Two way firewall
  • McAfee Shredder
  • McAfee Quick Clean
  • Vulnerability Scanner
  • Network Intrusion Security
  • Social network protection
Our Partner
8.9 / 10
  • Real-time security and advanced firewall
  • Protection for all your family
  • Safeguard your identity and online purchases
  • Complete control, quarantining, flagging, and eliminating cyber threats
  • 30 days money back guarantee
  • System booster
  • Supports PC, Mac, iOS, and Android
Our Partner
8.6 / 10
  • 30 day free trial
  • Highly scalable solution
  • Two-way firewall
  • Parental control
  • Low computer performance impact
  • Password management feature
  • More secure online banking
  • Auto pilot
Our Partner
8.5 / 10
  • Boost memory space
  • Improved browsing performance
  • Internet protection against cyber threats, adware, and malware
  • Supports multiple devices and operating systems
  • Real-time protection
Our Partner
8.5 / 10
  • Starts at $39.99 (Avast Pro)
  • Better financial transaction security
  • USB/ CD/ DVD rescue
  • Run shady files in a virus-proof environment
  • Advance anti-phishing feature
  • Military grade file deletion
Our Partner
8.2 / 10
  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Cross platform compatibility
  • Quick or full system anti-virus scan
  • Real-time security
  • Advanced two-way firewall
  • System boost
  • Multiple license packages
Our Partner
8.2 / 10
  • Starts at $26.99 (Anti-virus Pro)
  • 30 day free trial
  • Cloud detection technology
  • Network drive protection
  • Browser tracking blocker
  • Mobile device compatibility
Our Partner
8.1 / 10
  • Security for multiple devices
  • PC recovery system
  • Cloud technology
  • Multimedia/ gaming mode
  • Rescue kit
  •  Mobile device protection
  • TruPrevent
  • Social media protection
  • Remote PC access
  • Online backup
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How We Compare Anti-Virus Software



Access to information has become easy because of the internet, and even easier through mobile devices such as your smart phone or laptop. However, this has also opened a new avenue for threats through emails and phishing attacks. The best anti-virus software doesn't just detect threats, but also actively scans every bit of information entering your device.

  • Real-time scanner
  • On-access scanner
  • On-demand scanner
  • Compressed file scanner
  • Scheduled scans
  • Quarantine infected files
  • Auto-clean infected files
  • Script blocking
  • Webmail scanning
  • Instant messaging protection
  • Automatic updates
  • Bootable rescue
  • External storage devices scanning
  • Registry protection

Premium Features

  • Data encryption
  • Two-way firewall
  • Parental controls
  • External storage scans
  • Gaming mode
  • Network monitoring



Anti-virus software provides different levels of security. The amount of security features are based on the different security packages they offer. Some anti-virus software provides a trial period where users can take a test drive. Some even offer a free version, albeit with limited security functions. For those who connect on multiple devices, or those working within a network, it's a good idea to check if their anti-virus software offers access for multiple users on a single license.

  • Free version available
  • Maximum users per license

Performance Test


Anti-virus software was created for one single purpose, and that is to protect your data from viruses and other types of attacks. This is done by identifying potential threats, preventing data from being infected, and cleaning your system. Anti-virus Comparative (AV Comparatives) checks each anti-virus software's performance against current viruses in order to verify how each anti-virus actually performs.  

The best anti-virus software packages are those that work without you even knowing. Some anti-virus software is so intrusive that it can eat up a considerable chunk of your computer’s performance. Opening a browser takes a few seconds longer, and games become sluggish.   

  • AV comparative score
  • PC Mark score
  • Impact score

System Compatibility


A common problem when installing new software is its lack of support for your operating system. Although newer versions are totally compatible with Windows 7 and 8, some might have problems working with older versions. This can be a nightmare for those who have purchased anti-virus software that allows multiple-access for a single license. Computers in your network might not be using the same operating system.  

Help and Support


The best anti-virus software identifies and neutralizes threats as soon as they are detected. But even the top anti-virus software is not immune to the most determined attacker. It is often a game of cat and mouse, where virus developers try to up the ante by finding ways to bypass anti-virus software. Help and support services makes the recovery process less painful.

  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Telephone support