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4 Best Antivirus Protection Services

The online world is a dangerous place and your devices, including computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, need antivirus protection. 

All of the antivirus programs listed can scan computers or devices for hostile software (called malware), can detect if you’re visiting a harmful website, and even warn you if you might be entering your information into a site that isn’t legitimate.  


The software: Kaspersky.
Cost: $38.99 – $69.99 annually.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android. 

Kaspersky software is simple to use and offers comprehensive security. They offer extra layers of security when you’re doing things like banking and shopping, and they have some parental controls. Their toughest product, Total Security, also has a password manager and a feature called Safe Kids, which gives you different ways to monitor your child’s devices. Their Anti-Virus and Internet Security programs offer protection for three devices, while their Total Security program offers protection for five devices—but you can add more devices to any program for an extra charge. 

Windows Defender

The software: Windows Defender.
Cost: Free. 
Platforms: Windows 10. 

Don’t ignore Windows Defender as a software security program just because it’s free and comes with Windows 10. Independent labs have found that Windows Defender is very comparable to other antivirus software on the market and some IT professionals prefer it to any other antivirus software. Indeed, many argue that Windows Defender is a solid anti-virus choice


The software: Bitdefender.
Cost: $39.98 – $59.99 annually.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android. 

The Bitdenfender family of home security products do very well in independent lab tests of their protection. They offer multi-layer ransomware protection, file encryption, a password manager, webcam protection, a file shredder, and a host of other bonus features. With their Family Pack, you can add up to 15 devices. One especially useful feature is a VPN, or virtual private network. However, they have a daily limit on the amount of traffic that can pass through their VPN, and unlimited traffic will cost more. Another potential drawback is many of the security features offered for other platforms are missing from their iOS version. 


The software: Webroot.
Cost: $24.99 – $49.99 annually.
Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android. 

Webroot security programs offer fairly extensive services, including ransomware protection and anti-phishing protection that does very well in independent lab tests. Their products are also noted for not using up very much of a computer’s processing capacity,running quietly in the background. However, their regular AntiVirus program doesn’t offer smartphone or tablet protection; you can only get that with their Internet Security Plus program. Their toughest program, Internet Security Complete, also offers you 25GB of secure storage, available to you from anywhere. 

The Bottom Line

It’s important to note that good antivirus software isn’t a good substitute for good security practices. After all, the world’s strongest front door with the world’s toughest lock is easy to beat if you were to lend out a spare key and lose track of it. 

So use simple but effective passwords. Avoid bad passwords like the name of your hometown or your year of birth. Get rid of old accounts and passwords and simplify your list of online accounts. If you have too many accounts, consider a password manager. For really important accounts, use two-factor authentication

Keep your software, especially your operating system, up to date. Don’t get into the bad habit of ignoring updates. Don’t abuse public WiFi. Secure your router. Be more skeptical of emails, links, social media claims, and other online stuff. Educate yourself about scams, and make sure you teach your kids about them too. Do all that, and you’ll be well protected.