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Best antivirus for Windows 10 in 2024

Despite its popularity, Windows 10 PCs remain susceptible to numerous cyber threats. Its huge amount of users is exactly why hackers target it. While Windows Defender offers basic protection, it falls short against sophisticated malware and emerging threats

Due to this, you need to find a reliable solution. You will receive top-notch protection by using the best antivirus for Windows 10. Thanks to its regular scans, you will be immediately notified if there’s any suspicious activity.

So, let’s discover the top antivirus options for Windows 10, explore their effectiveness and additional features like VPNs and password managers, and find the perfect solution for your security needs. Read on for my top Windows 10 antivirus list and more.

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 Best antivirus software for Windows 10: shortlist

  1. The best antivirus for Windows 10 in 2024
    9.6
  2. Best reliable antivirus for Windows 10
    9.3
  3. Best virus protection for Windows 10
    9.2
  4. Best Windows 10 antivirus with robust performance
    8.9
  5. Best internet security for Windows 10
    8.5

How I choose the best Windows 10 antivirus software

Choosing the right antivirus for Windows 10 is crucial if you want to stay protected from various cyberattacks and data theft. To make the best antivirus choice, you need to focus on some essential features, like a high malware detection rate, real-time protection, ransomware protection, and performance optimization. So, let’s get into more detail:

  • Malware detection: Your chosen Windows 10 antivirus needs to have a high cyber threat detection rate to effectively detect any malware. It’s best if you consult independent test results to get an accurate picture. 
  • Real-time protection: You should go for an antivirus that protects your device in real-time and comes with firewalls. This is because uninterrupted monitoring will detect any threat before it causes harm to your Windows 10 device.
  • Ransomware protection: Your Windows 10 devices should offer safe file backups, file protection, and vulnerability scans. As ransomware is the most common threat at the moment, your device should always be protected from cyber criminals who would like to steal your files. 
  • Performance: Besides the robust security features of your chosen Windows 10 antivirus, you should keep in mind that it needs to minimize the system impact. Therefore, we suggest selecting TotalAV or Norton, which come with minimal burden. 

Each of the abovementioned antivirus features is of great significance for the protection of your device. So, if you want unparalleled protection, conduct thorough research before choosing the best antivirus for Windows 10. 

Shield your Windows 10 with a robust antivirus

If you’re worried about malware, ransomware, or any other type of cyberattack, TotalAV will put your worries to sleep. With its high-end ransomware protection, scans in real-time, and robust malware detection, TotalAV stands out as the best antivirus for Windows 10 in 2024.

9.7 /10
Real-time scans
Robust malware detection
Protects from ransomware

Top 5 antivirus software for Windows 10: overview

  1. TotalAV – best antivirus for Windows 10 with high-end ransomware protection
  2. Norton AV – best secure Windows 10 antivirus with regular scans
  3. Bitdefender – best all-in-one antivirus for Windows 10

To provide you with the best antivirus for Windows 10, I tested 22 leading providers. After an in-depth review and hands-on testing of their most prominent features, I finally got the list of the top 5 antivirus software for Windows 10!

1. Total AV - best antivirus for Windows 10

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$29.00/year
  • WebShield for safer online browsing
  • Beginner-friendly setup
  • Near-perfect malware detection
  • No firewall

TotalAV is the overall best antivirus for Windows 10 because it comes with superb security practices. On top of that, it’s straightforward to use and offers a bunch of customization options. According to experts, TotalAV detects 98% of all threats

This excellent software has incredible malware protection rates. More precisely, it detected trojans, phishing attempts, and other malicious practices. Aside from this, some of its plans are equipped with a VPN, WebShield, System Cleanup, Secure Password Vault, and an ad blocker.

What’s even better is that TotalAV has a minimal system impact. We didn’t even notice that background scans were ongoing. 

TotalAV starts at $29.00/year for those who want robust protection of their Windows 10 device. If you’re not a tech-savvy user, then its free version will be more than enough. Ultimately, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee for testing its services.

2. Norton AV – highly secure antivirus software for Windows 10

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$19.99/year
  • Lightweight Android app for Chrome OS
  • All-encompassing online & offline protection
  • Parental control for families
  • No free version

Norton is one of the top Windows 10 antiviruses in 2024. Ever since Norton merged with Avast, their cybersecurity has been unbeatable. Norton AV comes with incredible protection measures that will protect all Windows 10 users from the various threats that target them. 

Norton scored a perfect 6.0 on the AV-TEST, showcasing the possibility of detecting 100% of zero-day and other common malware types. On top of this, it didn’t show any false positives, and the impact on the system was unnoticeable. 

When it comes to features, Norton AV comes with AI-powered real-time protection, which is why it’s so effective in detecting ransomware, malware, and any other viruses. There is even a firewall that monitors all the traffic on your Windows 10 device. 

Last but not least, Norton comes with a VPN that helps you encrypt your traffic and online activities, as well as store your most important files in the Norton PC file backup. 

Norton may not offer a free version, but it comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee. So, even if you pay $19.99, you reduce any financial risks.

3. Bitdefender – budget-friendly antivirus for Windows 10

Support
Support:
email, knowledge base
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$29.99/year
  • Lightweight on devices
  • Solid protection against malware
  • In-built VPN (200 MB/day)
  • Full VPN access costs an extra

The next antivirus software for Windows 10 that is worth checking out is Bitdefender. This all-in-one solution comes with a free version, impeccable security features, and affordable plans.  

Like our previous antivirus tool, Bitdefender also got a perfect score on the AV-TEST. Therefore, Bitdefender ensures you that it will catch all malware and ransomware types that may attack your device. 

In terms of system impact, Bitdefender can be slightly more robust, but it comes with outstanding benefits. Overall, you will benefit from real-time protection, web attack prevention, anti-phishing filters, and advanced threat defense. 

The list goes on with its privacy-oriented features, like Anti-tracker, Safepay, Password Manager, Parental Control, Video & Audio Protection, and the Bitdefender VPN. You can get all of this for $29.99/year and enjoy high-end security.

4. Surfshark AV – impressive Windows 10 antivirus

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$36.32/year
  • Full-service malware detection
  • Leightweight native Win 10 app
  • Reliable real-time protection
  • No vulnerability scanner

Surfshark is a renowned VPN service, but now it comes with a refreshment to its portfolio – Surfshark AV. Thanks to the robust cybersecurity features, your Windows 10 device will be protected all around the clock. 

Surfshark covers all of the basics, including customizable device scanning, real-time protection, and safe browsing. Thanks to all of these features, it detects and prevents various types of attacks, such as ransomware, malware, phishing attacks, and more. 

However, we shouldn’t forget about the security alerts, which notify you if your sensitive data (credit card numbers, email addresses, or passwords) has been leaked online. 

Surfshark AV is one of the most expensive software on our list, being priced at $36.32/year. Still, you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee and an unbeatable performance for your money.

5. Nord Threat Protection – excellent Windows 10 antivirus

Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, email, knowledge base
Minimal price
Minimal price:
$4.39/month
  • Great at fighting ads, malware, and viruses
  • App vulnerability scanner for Windows 10
  • Supports up to 10 devices simultaneously
  • No standalone firewall

If you want your Windows 10 device to be safe at all times, we recommend exploring NordVPN Threat Protection. With everything you may need in one application, you will enjoy high-end protection against cyber attacks.

The NordVPN Threat Protection continuously conducts background scans. Still, it doesn’t have a significant system impact. More so, this antivirus will safeguard your device and block any malware-hosting files from entering your Windows 10 system. Additionally, it even scans your downloads for malicious content. 

Its only drawback is that there is no real-time protection. Instead, you can get the whole NordVPN package and benefit from 24/7 top-notch security and Web traffic encryption

This amazing antivirus is available for $37.08/year and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you test its services before making the final decision.

Best Windows 10 antivirus: comparison

AntivirusOverall ratingMalware protection rateWindows 10 supportFree version & Money-back guarantee Lowest priceFirewall Number of devices
TotalAV9.7⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐98%YesYes

30 days

$29.00/year Noup to 6
Norton9.1⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐100%YesNo (but has a 30-day free trial)

60 days

$19.99/yearYesup to 10
Bitdefender9.4⭐⭐⭐⭐98%YesYes

30 days

$29.99/year Yesup to 5
Surfshark8.8⭐⭐⭐⭐99%YesNo (but has a 7-day free trial)

30 days

$36.32/year Noup to 5
Nord Theft protection8.2 ⭐⭐⭐90%YesNo (but has a 30-day free trial)

30 days

$37.08/yearNoup to 10

How I selected and tested top Windows 10 antiviruses

In order to provide you with the top antiviruses for Windows 10, I conducted detailed tests. First, I downloaded some malware on purpose so that I could be entirely sure that the software would work. Now that you’re familiar with this let’s move on to the criteria I followed:

  • Independent antivirus testing: One of the most important criteria is whether the antivirus software passed an independent test. As only some antivirus testing labs do this, I made sure that each of the providers on our list has shown promising results. 
  • In-house antivirus testing: Of course, my in-house tests are equally important, which is why I tested each antivirus once again. This is crucial for finding out whether the results from VPNpro expert team tests are biased and if there is protection against various cyber threats, such as malware, spyware, ransomware, adware, etc. 
  • False positive record: You wouldn’t like to get antivirus software with false positives, so I tested how many of the malware detection rates are accurate. This is a pretty challenging process, but according to my research, the rate didn’t exceed 0.1%.  
  • Additional features. Aside from the regular malware detection and real-time scans, I looked for additional features, such as firewalls, password managers, VPNs, and more. This will help protect your whole device at all times. 
  • Performance: While security is essential, the overall performance of the antivirus is also very significant. The best antivirus for Windows 10 should have little impact on your system, meaning it shouldn’t cause any lags or interruptions. Due to this, I constantly monitored the CPU during the tests and selected software with minimal impact. 
  • Price: The price is often the make or break of the deal, so I tried to find budget-friendly yet feature-rich antivirus programs. I also compared them to their competitors and decided if they were worth your money. 

Do I need Windows 10 antivirus?

Yes, you need Windows 10 antivirus for your device. Although these devices are already equipped with security features, hackers have learned how to overcome them and infect your device. So, here are some of the reasons why you need an antivirus: 

  • Malware protection: If you want to ensure a high rate of malware protection, you should definitely consider using a third-party antivirus program. During our tests, the chosen providers managed to detect between 10% and 40% of the threats. 
  • Browser protection: Aside from protecting your device from the outside, antivirus software protects you from all online threats. So, even if you’re browsing, they will be able to block any suspicious content and prevent damage to your Windows 10 device. 
  • Extra security layer: An additional layer of security is always welcome. So, by combining the Microsoft security features suite with an antivirus, you will ensure unparalleled data protection and privacy at all times. 

How to install antivirus on my Windows 10?

If you want to install antivirus on your Windows 10 device, you have nothing to worry about. The process is pretty simple and takes no time. Let’s check out our step-by-step guide:

    1. Select an antivirus with all the essential features. My top choice is TotalAV, now 80% OFF
    2. Create an account and select your preferred subscription. 
    3. Download the antivirus on your device.
    4. Open the installation prompts to complete the installation
    5. Launch the antivirus app and enter your login credentials
    6. That’s it! You’re now ready to run your first scan. 

TotalAV protection is best antivirus for Windows 10 overall

Stay protected with TotalAV

Is there a truly free Windows 10 antivirus?

Yes, you can get an entirely free antivirus for Windows 10. Although the free version of antivirus software doesn’t come with many features and may lack some crucial functionalities, TotalAV has you covered without overwhelming your budget. 

It comes with real-time scans, a high malware detection rate, and a lot of other perks that you don’t have to pay for. It even includes a Safe Site browser extension. Thanks to its incredible security practices, TotalAV stands out as the best antivirus for Windows 10. 

Conclusion

Windows 10 devices come with Windows Defender. However, this may be insufficient due to the advanced cyber threats that are circling around on the Internet. Therefore, you will need to find the best antivirus for Windows 10!

I recommend using TotalAV Windows 10 antivirus, as it has a free version with all the essentials. From a high malware detection rate to a browser extension, this software has you covered. Ultimately, you can pay for some of its premium subscriptions for even more robust security.

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You may also like to read:
Best antivirus for Windows 11
Bitdefender antivirus review
Best antivirus for Chromebook
Best antivirus apps for iPhone
Microsoft Windows Defender review


FAQ

Which antivirus is the best for Windows 10 PC?

TotalAV is the best antivirus for Windows 10 PC. It detects almost all malware types, phishing attacks, ransomware, and other cyberattacks. The best part is that all of this comes in its free version.

Does Windows 10 need antivirus?

Yes, Windows 10 needs antivirus. This is because it is one of the most targeted systems, putting all of your sensitive data at risk. With a reliable antivirus, you will receive robust protection against malicious threats.

Is Windows 10 built-in antivirus good enough?

No, Windows 10 built-in antivirus is not good enough. Even though Windows Defender provides a strong security layer, hackers have learned how to bypass it and harm your device. So, it’s best if you implement an additional security measure, a third-party antivirus. I recommend TotalAV.

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