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Find the Best Antivirus Software Companies

Antivirus software is used to detect, prevent and remove viruses and spyware, stop hacking and phishing attacks and protect consumers from identity theft. If you’re comparing options, use our guide to research the best antivirus software company for you. We explain why this type of software is essential to prevent loss of data and personal information and to keep computers and mobile devices running effectively.

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MyCleanPC.com
Read 438 Reviews

MyCleanPC is a downloadable tool that will optimize your computer by removing unnecessary files and repairing system errors. It’s available for computers running Microsoft Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10.

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Tech to Us
Read 1,272 Reviews

Tech to Us offers a password manager and antivirus protection with its Diamond support plan. It includes unlimited US-based technology support for a flat fee. Home support plans are backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.

Get Started Call Now Toll Free (860) 616-1109
Total Defense
Read 1,675 Reviews

Total Defense protects all your internet-connected devices from viruses, malware, identity theft and more, PCs, Macs and Android Devices. Free setup and installation and free phone support from their friendly support team.

Get Pricing Call Now Toll Free (877) 906-8816
Norton
Read 867 Reviews

Norton AntiVirus is a virus-protection program developed by Symantec. It offers an array of security services for computer protection and also provides consumers with educational resources on how to stay safe online.

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McAfee
Read 908 Reviews

McAfee specializes in comprehensive anti-virus solutions and technology-security services for both consumers and businesses worldwide. The company, based in Santa Clara, California, is a subsidiary of Intel.

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Avast Antivirus
Read 352 Reviews

Sells antivirus software. Has free and paid protection options. Website claims over 400 million users. Available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Offers 30-day money-back guarantee. Provides 24/7 customer support.

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AVG Antivirus
Read 350 Reviews

Antivirus software for Windows, Macs and Android devices. Plans for PCs and mobile devices. Offers a free version. Virus scanning, malware removal and antivirus downloads included in some plans.

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Kaspersky Anti-Virus
Read 115 Reviews

Kaspersky's anti-virus software provides real-time protection from known and emerging security threats and helps improve the performance of PCs. The company first released this product in 2006.

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Trend Micro
Read 84 Reviews

Trend Micro offers a wide range of security solutions for protecting consumers and businesses on multiple devices. The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in the Las Colinas area of Irving, Texas.

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Bitdefender
Read 77 Reviews

Bitdefender is a Romanian internet security company. It offers computer security software including anti-virus and anti-spyware programs to protect your laptop, PC and any connected devices. It also has free software options.

What to consider before selecting an antivirus software

Security service

security service

Consumers should decide what type of antivirus service they are interested in. There are three basic types of antivirus software.

  • Installed software: Many companies offer software via download or DVD that’s installed on the computer and device. The software detects existing viruses and stops new infections.
  • Cloud-based: Other companies provide cloud-based services that monitor devices and scan suspicious files in the cloud in order to speed up response times.
  • Parental monitoring: Some virus protection companies also offer parental monitoring that can track the websites that are visited and limit access to certain sites.

Warranty

Warranties are good to have no matter what type of service a consumer is paying for. They help to cover different aspects of the service in the event something goes wrong.

  • Unhappy with service: If a consumer is unhappy with antivirus software, some warranties offer a refund within a certain period of time.
  • Data protection: Some antivirus companies offer money back if a virus or malware is found and the software can’t remove it.
  • Software glitch: A warranty may also cover issues with the software or offer free upgrades if a known issue occurs.

Pricing

pricing-stacked-coins

Antivirus companies can have vastly different pricing structures. Depending on the needs of the consumer, certain plans might be more appealing than others.

  • One-time purchase: Many antivirus software companies offer a one time download or a software DVD for a flat fee with upgrades being required annually or later. Antivirus signatures that define what the software blocks are updated as they become available.
  • Subscription services: Customers who opt for a subscription service get software updates as they happen along with antivirus signature updates. Subscriptions are annual and can renew automatically, and some companies offer a discount for multiple-year subscriptions.
  • Tiered pricing: Many companies have different tiers of pricing, usually with a basic but effective antivirus software version and one or more higher-priced versions with more features.

History

A company's history can be very informative when it comes to choosing which antivirus software company to work with.

  • Former clients: Check out the company's list of former clients to see if they have worked with any clients in your industry before.
  • Reputation: Working with established companies will sometimes result in fewer issues than brand new ones that are still working out issues.
  • Rate of progress: Consumers should pay attention to how often a company comes out with new products and updates its existing products and try to work only with companies that are constantly progressing.

Business vs. individual

woman on laptop

Some companies focus on home computer security while others deal with businesses. Most antivirus companies serve both markets but prioritize one.

  • Parental monitoring: Home computers and other devices used by households with small children should look for companies that offer parental monitoring of computers.
  • 24/7 emergency assistance: Businesses should look for companies that can respond to security breaches immediately in order to minimize their effect.
  • Fast scans: Businesses should look for companies that perform fast scans daily or hourly to catch any security issues before they infect users.

Support

Customer support is a very important part of choosing an antivirus software company. Consumers should be confident that they are working with a company that has their best interests in mind and is available to assist them.

  • On-call assistance: If something goes wrong with the software or security service, the best companies will not only have technical experts on call to help but will have dedicated support personnel for each account in order to ensure that these issues are handled in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Sales: The sales process should go smoothly, but if you run into any problems support personnel should be available to help you find the product you need.
  • Warranties/refunds: The company should be able to quickly process warranty issues and refunds.

Types of antivirus software

PC

PC antivirus software works by scanning your system for viruses. It runs in the background of your computer at all times, scanning Internet downloads, zip files, even Word documents, for suspicious activity including viruses, worms and malware. In addition to scanning every download, antivirus software will perform full-system scans on a set schedule, usually once a week. During these full-system scans, your software will make sure there aren’t any viruses hanging around dormant in unused files on your computer. You can buy PC antivirus software on a disc or have it downloaded and installed on your hard drive. Some PC software is available as a free download, while other systems come at a price. Typically, the free PC antivirus software will do the major tasks you need including checking for viruses and malware and performing routine system scans. The benefits of paying for PC antivirus software include access to a 24/7 help desk, parental controls and more elaborate firewalls to block intrusions.

Mac

Many antivirus companies develop software for Mac computers. They provide virus protection that works on Mac desktops, MacBooks, iPhones and iPads.

Cloud-based

Many companies provide cloud-based services. These are real-time services that detect something happening on a device and copy a fingerprint of it into the cloud in order to scan it immediately for viruses. This helps reduce the time it takes to detect suspicious activity or malware. The cloud works incredibly fast, making it a good choice if you have high-speed Internet. Another benefit of using cloud antivirus software is that cloud updates are done automatically by the cloud system, which means updates won’t interfere with your downloads or otherwise slow down your personal computer’s processing.

Mobile Devices

Most antivirus companies now offer virus protection apps for keeping smartphones and tablets free of malicious code with apps for Android, iOS and Windows Mobile devices. You can use one antivirus brand on your computer and another on your mobile devices if you like.

People who should use antivirus software

Businesses

Many businesses, both large and small, run the risk of having their entire systems infected with viruses. This can cause the company to be unable to operate, sometimes for days at a time. It's important for businesses to make sure their computers are protected with antivirus software.

Individuals

Individuals who use computers or mobile devices to connect to the Internet at home or away from home should make sure their devices are protected from viruses. Antivirus software will help ensure that they don't have to make costly replacements to products that have been compromised.

Highly sensitive information

Some people or groups have to deal with highly sensitive information such as medical records, police files, financial information, etc. These groups need to have antivirus software that is even more secure than average users need along with the infrastructure to support the software across a large network.

Families

In addition to the needs of individuals working on home computers or mobile devices, families or households with children will need extra virus protection that monitors and filters Internet usage. This helps keep children safer while they are using the Internet and is a feature that many antivirus companies offer.

Antivirus software FAQ

Is there any free virus protection software?
Yes, several companies offer free virus protection. Most of these programs are streamlined and may not provide the added features you receive with a paid subscription, but most adequately protect your computer from malicious software.
What is virus protection software?
Virus protection software’s primary function is to:
  • Protect your computer from various external threats, such as viruses, worms and Trojan horses
  • Identify and remove any malware from your computer

Some software has added features, such as ad-block, anti-phishing and anti-spam functions.

Does antivirus protect against spyware?
Antivirus software typically protects against spyware, but this service may be an added feature that requires purchasing a copy or subscription. If you are looking to protect against spyware, make sure to check the features before you download any antivirus software.
Do you need antivirus software?
Antivirus software is essential when you’re using the internet. Antivirus software protects you from malware that you may encounter or that is already infecting your computer.
Is it worth paying for antivirus software?
There are several benefits when purchasing software versus utilizing free antivirus software:
  • Several companies include added ID theft protection.
  • When you pay for antivirus software, it often includes comprehensive customer service.
  • Paid antivirus software is ad-free.
  • With paid antivirus software, you can protect multiple devices — your computer, phone and tablets — on one account.

Not sure how to choose?

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    Antivirus software author reviews

    VIPRE Security

    VIPRE is an award-winning internet security solution for your home or business. It uses advanced AI systems, cloud-based threat assessment systems and real time behavior monitoring to protect you against cyber attacks.

    Read More
    Total Defense

    Total Defense software protects your internet-connected devices from malware and viruses. It is a subscription service that you can renew annually for optimal protection, and the company guarantees results.

    Read More
    Panda Security

    Based in Spain, Panda Security is a multinational company focusing on antivirus software and cyber-security technology. Panda Security operates in over 180 countries and boasts more than 30 million users.

    Read More
    McAfee

    Founded in 1987, McAfee is a longstanding and trusted name in antivirus software for consumers and business because of how the company has continued to advance products to keep up with a changing industry over the years. Now a part of Intel Security Group, the brand will be eventually be renamed.

    Read More
    AVG Antivirus

    AVG Technologies specializes in software for consumer and business internet security, personal privacy and identity protection. Founded in 1991, AVG now serves over 200 million monthly active users.

    Read 350 Reviews
    Norton

    Norton Antivirus has been protecting computers since 1982 and was purchased by the software development company Symantec in 1991. The Norton Security division offers antivirus and other security solutions for home and business.

    • Works across devices: Norton Security works across all PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets, but you will have to upgrade to the deluxe or premium version to protect multiple devices. Annual subscriptions range from $59.99 to $89.99 across three versions, and discounts are offered for the first year of protection.
    • Norton Power Eraser: If you suspect that traces of malware remain after scanning your computer, you can use the Power Eraser to restart your computer and then dig even deeper to detect the most aggressive malware.
    • Strong anti-phishing: Norton uses several layers of security to detect fraudulent websites that try to steal your personal information. This stops identity theft.
    • Award winning software: Over the years, Norton has been awarded by PC Magazine as a top choice in antivirus software. Awards were granted after thorough testing.
    • 100% guarantee: If Norton Security can’t clean a virus from your computer or device at any time during your subscription, you will get your money back.
    Read 867 Reviews
    Trend Micro

    Trend Micro is a global security software company that was founded in Los Angeles, CA, in 1988. They develop security software for the home, business and cloud computing environments.

    Read More
    Kaspersky Anti-Virus

    Kaspersky Anti-Virus was developed in 2006 by Kaspersky Lab, an international security company that operates worldwide with 300 million users. Kaspersky Lab is based in the U.K. with U.S. headquarters in Massachusetts.

    Read More
    Webroot AntiVirus

    Webroot Inc. is the largest private company that provides Internet security for individuals and businesses. Founded in Boulder, CO, in 1997 with offices around the world, over 7 million consumers, 1.5 million business users and 1.3 million mobile users are protected by Webroot.

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    ESET Antivirus

    ESET is an IT security company headquartered in Slovakia that  that was founded in 1992.  ESET produces a number of antivirus products for PC, Mac, Linux and Android, and iOS protection for businesses, all with a 30-day money back guarantee.

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    Avira Antivirus

    Avira Antivirus is a German multinational antivirus software company that offers Internet security for many different devices worldwide. In business since 1986, Avira launched one of the first antivirus programs.

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    Malwarebytes

    Malwarebytes.org - Malwarebytes started in 2004, and since then it has detected and removed over 5 billion pieces of malware while running alongside antivirus software. Today, more than 200 team members across the globe contribute to keeping Malwarebytes effective and up to date.

    Read More
    Avast Antivirus

    Czech-based Avast was the first company to offer home network security and is dedicated to providing free antivirus protection to homes, schools and businesses around the world. Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic, Avast also has locations in the USA, Germany, China, South Korea and Tawain.

    Read 352 Reviews
    Bitdefender

    Headquartered in Bucharest, Romania, Bitdefender is an internet security company. Its partners and subsidiaries provide anti-virus and anti-spyware software for consumers and businesses. Bitdefender was founded in 2001.

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    Compare Antivirus Software Reviews

    Malwarebytes
    Read 70 Reviews

    Malwarebytes is a company committed to giving consumers a way to be malware-free. Their benefits are that they clean infections, prevents future infections, blocks malicious websites, scans fast and hides from malware.

    Webroot AntiVirus
    Read 238 Reviews

    Webroot's SecureAnywhere is a cloud-based anti-virus product that protects PC users from viruses, malware, identity theft and more. The company was founded in 1997, and it is headquartered in Colorado.

    VIPRE Security
    Read 26 Reviews

    VIPRE Security was founded in 1991 and offers affordable internet security for home or business computers. VIPRE keeps your computers safe from viruses with an interface that is easy to use. You can contact VIPRE for a free trial.

    Shop Now
    ESET Antivirus
    Read 21 Reviews

    ESET is a company dedicated to providing virus-protection solutions for both home and corporate users. It creates different types of anti-virus security products that work across a range of platforms.

    Avira Antivirus
    Read 25 Reviews

    Avira Antivirus is a product that is dedicated to keeping your technology devices safe and data private. The company that created the product, Avira, has been in existence for more than 25 years.

    Panda Security
    Read 156 Reviews

    In business since 1990, Panda Security offers antivirus and malware prevention technology to home users and businesses in over 180 countries.

    by Shelley Elmblad Financial Software Contributing Editor

    Shelley Elmblad is a freelance writer with years of experience covering small business, personal finance and tax software and mobile apps. Shelley’s goal is to help others choose the best software to run a small business, track personal finances and save money.