Have you ever lost important documents or had your computer data corrupted? Whether you have or not, it is crucial that you prepare adequately for malware attacks against your device.

Malware is a major problem globally, and due to the constant fight between cybercriminals and security professionals, it is ever evolving. According to SonicWall, there were a whopping 10.52 billion malware attacks in 2018 [1].

Big data breaches have been on the increase with over 1.7 billion records being hacked in January 2019 alone. As a result of this outrageous increase, the current cost of malware globally is estimated to be $2 trillion. And at the current trajectory, it might reach $6 trillion by 2021.

One of the most effective ways to prepare for such attacks and avoid adding to the statistics is by choosing the right antivirus for your devices. Antivirus provides two-way protection, checking both outgoing and incoming data as well as flagging suspicious activity.

Antivirus software differ in features and capabilities. In order to help you make the best choice, here is a comprehensive analysis of the top 10 best antivirus software in 2019.

Top 10 best antivirus software for 2019

Looking for the best antivirus software might be an uphill climb if you don’t know what you’re looking for. BitDefender, Norton Antivirus Plus and Kaspersky Anti-Virus are currently in the top spots for the best antivirus for 2019. But what is the best antivirus for you?

Take a look at some of the top performers in the market and the features that make them superior to the rest:

#1 BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2020

The most versatile malware protection program

    • Supported Platforms: Windows only
    • Supported Devices: 1
    • Pros: includes password manager, cost-effective subscription, banking protection, offers optional integrated VPN, Safepay, frequent updates
    • Cons: resource-intensive, Windows only
    • Price: $23.99 per year
    • Free Version Available? Yes

BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2020 takes the day as the most comprehensive antivirus software. With a reputation for high accuracy, the software offers multi-layer protection. These include virus detection, a secure browser for online transaction security and a password manager.

It will also highlight malicious links in search engine results and block unsecure sites.

Unfortunately, it consumes more than its fair share of resources. And unless you choose the Total Security package, your protection is limited to Windows PCs.

But overall, the benefits outweigh the cons, making it a great choice with matchless performance.

#2 Norton Antivirus Plus

Great value at a decent price

    • Supported Platforms: Windows only
    • Supported Devices: 1
    • Pros: frequent updates on the latest malware threats, goes easy on system resources, cost-effective subscription, lots of great bonus features
    • Cons: has unreliable browser extensions, takes extremely long on the first scan
    • Price: $27.50
    • Free Version Available? No.

Norton Antivirus Plus is great at hunting the latest malware. Among its key extra features are its 2GB of cloud backup, full tech support, and a password manager. Moreover, it has a URL blocker for malicious sites and plenty of customization options.

If you’re a hands-on user, you might appreciate the opportunity to schedule scans and other tweaks and options. In case its URL blocker misses a threat, it uses a file reputation system to note malicious downloads. And with intelligent behavior monitoring, it’s rather fast at quarantining threats at the earliest sign.

However, some users have reported malfunctions with its Chrome password manager browser extension. It also takes painfully long on its first scan.

With the exception of these weaknesses, it could easily have clinched top spot as its pluses far outweigh its minuses.

#3 Kaspersky Anti-Virus

Excellent security features for beginners and experts

    • Supported Platforms: Windows only
    • Supported Devices: up to 5
    • Pros: very easy to use, comprehensive security package, pocket-friendly, high-performing, great support
    • Cons: lacks bonus features, full suites offer the best value
    • Price: $29.99
    • Free Version Available? No

Kaspersky Anti-Virus gets high antivirus ratings from security experts for good reason. Though it focuses only on the essentials, it offers great performance in these aspects. It is one of the best at malware blocking and removal from infected PCs.

Some of its outstanding features include dangerous URL blocking through web filtering and smart monitoring. The latter feature makes it capable of tracking malicious actions and reversing them.u

It’s easy-to-use, intuitive interface makes it great for novices. Additionally, it offers live chat and 24/7 phone support.

The main downside has to do with the fact that it is rather stripped back. But if all you need is malware protection without all the bells and whistles, it is a compelling choice.

#4 Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus

Great features in a lightweight package

    • Supported Platforms: Windows and Mac
    • Supported Devices: 1
    • Pros: light on system resources, super-fast performance, advanced security features,
    • Cons: limited data from top labs
    • Price: $19.99
    • Free Version Available? No

Though most antiviruses claim to be light, few can match up to Webroot. Requiring only a 2MB download, its installation literally takes seconds. The RAM footprint is minimal and it does not include bulky updates that would consume huge chunks of bandwidth.

In spite of the small package, it delivers superb features and performance. Apart from core virus protection, it offers smart behavior monitoring and a network connection monitor. Enhanced anti-ransomware and great anti-phishing features are also noteworthy extras.

Notably, it’s one of the programs with the best virus protection for Mac computers. Unfortunately, there are no antivirus ratings for the program from top labs. This makes it difficult to compare its accuracy and performance against others.

But the creator’s 70-day money-back guarantee suggests confidence in the product. And independent tests reveal its reliability, making it a great choice. Overall, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

#5 F-Secure Antivirus SAFE

The comprehensive and intuitive security package

    • Supported Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
    • Supported Devices: 3
    • Pros: intuitive and easy to use, high scores from independent labs, has mobile device finder
    • Cons: false-positive issues, a bit more expensive than competitors
    • Price: $34.99
    • Free Version Available? No

F-Secure Antivirus SAFE offers an extensive combination of features in a single package. Apart from its virus protection, it has banking security tools and family safety provisions. It’s also one of a few programs with a device finder.

You can track your lost device and, if necessary, delete or lock it remotely. Its interface makes it a great choice for beginners thanks to its intuitive features. Furthermore, it has a minimal effect on PC performance and requires minimal intervention to function.

The only major downside to it is that it generates a higher number of false positives than its competitors, and its price is also a bit steep. But it still remains a great choice as the benefits are greater than these flaws.

#6 ESET NOD32 Antivirus

The ultimate choice for expert users

    • Supported Platforms: Windows
    • Supported Devices: up to 5
    • Pros: highly customizable, offers device access control, great scores from independent labs
    • Cons: not ideal for beginners, relatively costly, limited number of features
    • Price: $39.99
    • Free Version Available? No

ESET NOD32 Antivirus did not qualify for the best antivirus for PC list due to its features. In fact, it has a disappointingly short feature list.

Rather, its strength lies in the powerful fundamentals that define the program. It incorporates real-time protection against malware, anti-ransomware and URL filtering for blocking suspect sites.

Additionally, it boasts some of the most outstanding heuristic detection features. This antivirus program can also block attacks that use malicious scripts and power shells with its modules.

A major highlight is the Device Control module that controls access to external devices to limit risk. These include devices connecting via FireWire and Bluetooth.

However, its interface is not the most intuitive as it does not target beginners. But the configurability is matchless, which wins the hearts of experts. Based on this, it gets our recommendation for pro users as its benefits are greater than its flaws.

 #7 Trend Micro Antivirus+Security

The king of ransomware protection

    • Supported Platforms: Windows only
    • Supported Devices: 1
    • Pros: compelling price point, user-friendly, great scores in anti-ransomware, lots of bonus features
    • Cons: heavy on the system, requires user intervention for some features
    • Price: $29.95
    • Free Version Available? 30-day free trial

Trend offers one of the best computer protection packages against ransomware. It makes use of an effective module, the Folder Shield, for this express purpose. Other features include protecting online transactions using Pay Guard and email scam guarding.

Most of the top independent labs give it a high rating. But they highlight that it has a slightly higher number of false positives than its competitors. It also runs a bit slow and is resource-intensive.

Another downside is that its banking protection will not activate automatically and requires intervention. And the spam filter can only work with Outlook.

Unless you are a hands-on user, it might not be the ideal choice for you. You should also steer clear of it if you are using an older PC. But if you can circumvent those challenges, it might be worth a shot if you are particularly ransomware-conscious.

#8 G-Data Antivirus

A hands-on, full feature superstar

    • Supported Platforms: Windows, Android, Mac
    • Supported Devices: 1
    • Pros: offers phone support, performs automatic USB inspections, hourly updates
    • Cons: resource-intensive
    • Price: $39.95
    • Free Version Available? No

Although a relative newcomer to the US market, G-Data is a worthwhile contender in the best virus protection for PC race. Ideal for multiple platforms, it’s also a versatile option.

It gets high scores for protecting against ransomware, Trojans, keyloggers and exploits. And the software includes spam filters. Other highlights include banking and online shopping protection and automated USB scans.

The program gets hourly updates, which is a big plus given the rapid rise and evolution of threats. However, it takes quite a toll on system resources and as such conducts a very slow full scan.

In view of the positives though, it is worth considering as long as you are not using an older computer.

#9 Avast Pro

Taking the Avast free offering to a whole new high

    • Supported Platforms: Windows only
    • Supported Devices: 1
    • Pros: password manager, Sandbox technology, URL protection
    • Cons: costly
    • Price: $49.99
    • Free Version Available? Yes

A majority of PC users, particularly online gamers, are well acquainted with Avast’s free antivirus. The paid version really kicks things up in comparison, taking Avast to a whole new level.

Among its key features are suspicious files sandboxing, DNS hijacking protection and wifi inspection to prevent poaching. It also cleans up your browser of unwanted toolbars as well as malicious URLs.

The support team is conveniently accessible via in-app messaging facilities. Its greatest downside is the price, but you can get around that with a multi-year subscription.

#10 VIPRE Advanced Security

Intuitive and non-invasive program

    • Supported Platforms: Windows
    • Supported Devices: 1
    • Pros: easy to use, great support for US users, email security, system-friendly
    • Cons: no password manager, costly
    • Price: $38.49
    • Free Version Available? 30-day free trial

VIPRE Advanced Security is a US-based antivirus with a great reputation for user-friendliness. The user interface is clean and intuitive, making it easy to find the tools you need.

It’s also big on security features, offering email protection, ransomware defense, and security against most emerging threats. Customization features make it great for expert users who prefer a hands-on approach.

However, a password manager is notably lacking from its feature-full package and it falls on the costly end of the spectrum. But in view of its performance, it is recommended.

No security suite is complete without a VPN

Though having an antivirus software is essential for keeping out malware, it is far from sufficient as its capabilities are limited to your device. For complete protection when you are online and for data on transit, you need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with your antivirus.

A VPN is a service that allows you to access the internet privately and securely. It does this by routing your internet connection through a server and hiding your actions on the internet.

When you initiate the service, the software starts by encrypting your data so that not even your internet service provider can see it. The data then goes to the server and eventually to your destination.

Your destination sees the server as coming not from your location or computer but from the VPN server and its location. Additionally, if someone was able to intercept your data, they would only see encrypted, jumbled information.

In the simplest sense, a VPN is like a subway tunnel. You might know for sure that there is a train passing through it but unless you are inside, other details of the train and its passengers remain obscure. Similarly, the VPN creates a secure tunnel for transmitting your information as you bank, shop or do anything else online.

It is an effective way to avoid sharing your personal or business information on the web.

Conclusion

So how can you avoid becoming yet another victim of malware and adding to the worrying cybersecurity trends? The answer is as simple as selecting a suitable antivirus software plus a VPN.

The only way to effectively protect yourself from cyber-attacks in the long term is by adopting an effective proactive, preventative strategy. And the first step is in choosing your security software wisely.

In this article, we identified specific features that can help guide your choice of antivirus based on your circumstances. The responsibility now is on you to review your individual needs and compare the existing solutions to find the most ideal choice.

[1] Annual SonicWall Cyber Threat Report details rise in worldwide, targeted attacks