With cybercriminals becoming increasingly bold and clever with their tools and strategies, the importance of having the best security software installed on PCs and other devices can only be considered common sense. However, because the best antivirus apps for PC are often created and designed to work best with specific features and setups, you should be informed about the best available options to determine which program best suits your needs. Learn more about the five best antivirus options for PCs (free and paid) and enjoy the comfort of some of the best digital security currently available to consumers.
Avast offers users three free and premium service plans, including Avast One Essential, Avast One, and Premium Security. Avast One Essential is the free version of Avast’s antivirus programs. It includes an advanced firewall to prevent unwanted intrusions, active monitoring of third-party applications to detect the presence of suspicious activity, and six layers of digital protection from viruses, malware, ransomware, and other threats.
Premium Security provides all the features of Avast One Essential and grants additional protection for sensitive files like photos and documents. It only allows verified, trusted apps to gain access to your webcam to prevent spying and prevents you from accessing fake websites and those that have been corrupted with malware. This service plan starts at $5.79 per month and covers up to ten devices, including Windows, Macs, iOS, and Android.
Avast One is the most comprehensive service plan and includes all features of Avast One Essential and Premium Security. It also provides the ability to prevent advertisers from tracking your online activities, offers automatic updates for your drivers, unlimited VPN with 55 locations to choose from, live monitoring of your online account to prevent breaches, and helps streamline and maintain your PC’s operations. This plan starts at $4.19 per month and covers up to five devices, including Windows, Macs, iOS, and Android.
Bitdefender offers users several free and premium service plans, including Bitdefender Free for Windows, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, and Bitdefender Internet Security. Bitdefender Free for Windows provides users customizable scans to detect viruses and other malware, internet browser protection against fraud and phishing, and excellent overall antivirus protection.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus includes all the features of Bitdefender Free for Windows as well as offering access to a Wi-Fi security advisor, simple password management capabilities, a scanner for detecting vulnerabilities, access to the Safepay secure browser for online financial activities, 200MB of VPN access per day, and a file shredder for permanent deletions. This plan costs $23.99 per year for the first year of service.
Bitdefender Internet Security includes all the features of Bitdefender Antivirus Plus while adding several options focused on providing enhanced digital security. These include access to an encrypted file vault for sensitive data, active protection for your webcam and microphone, parental controls to monitor online activities and limit screen time, defenses against malware shared over social media, spam filters, and firewalls. This plan costs $35.99 per year for the first year.
McAfee only offers a free 30-day trial for its antivirus program ad markets four premium Total Protection options, including Basic, Plus, Premium, and Advanced. Total Protection Basic includes a firewall and antivirus software, access to a digital File Shredder, protection against identity theft, a password manager, a browser extension for protection when surfing the internet, and access to software for PC optimization. This plan costs $29.99 per year for a single device.
Total Protection Plus includes all the features of Total Protection Basic, as well as extending the service for up to five devices, provides access to a VPN when autorenewal is selected and costs $39.99 per year.
Total Protection Premium includes all the features of Total Protection Plus, covers an unlimited number of devices, provides access to parental controls (location tracking, screen time limits, and safe browsing), and allows you to delete personal data from the internet manually. This plan costs $49.99 annually, and up to five devices can access the VPN with autorenewal selected.
Total Protection Advanced includes all the features of Total Protection Premium, automatic detection and removal of data from broker sites, and up to $1 million of coverage from identity theft damages. This plan costs $89.99 per year.
Norton offers free antivirus software trials and provides four premium plans, including Norton Antivirus Plus, Norton 360 Standard, Norton 360 Deluxe, and Norton 360 with Lifelock Select.
Norton Antivirus Plus offers protection for a single PC or another device. It protects from online threats, viruses and other malware and provides 2GB of cloud storage backup, firewall, password manager, and a 100% money-back refund if it cannot remove a virus. This plan costs $19.99 for the first year.
Norton 360 Standard includes all the features of Antivirus Plus and expands the coverage to three devices, provides access to a VPN for said devices, protects your webcam from unwanted intruders, and offers Dark Web Monitoring services for data breaches. This plan costs $39.99 for the first year.
Norton 360 Deluxe includes all the features of 360 Standard, covering up to five devices, Privacy Monitoring services to track the sale of your personal data, School Time for preventing distractions during remote learning, and robust Parental Controls for monitoring your children’s activities. This plan costs $49.99 for the first year.
Norton 360 with Lifelock Select includes all the features of 360 Deluxe as well as coverage of up to ten devices, membership in the Lifelock Identity Alert System, access to U.S.-based identity restoration specialists, credit monitoring services, up to $1 million of coverage, Stolen Wallet Protection services, ID Verification Monitoring, and alerts for suspicious activity with your SSN and credit. This plan costs $99.48 for the first year.
Trend Micro offers three premium antivirus plans, including Antivirus+ Security, Maximum Security and Premium Security Suite. Antivirus+ Security covers a single Windows device and protects against email scams, active daily threats, and ransomware. This plan costs $19.95 per year.
Maximum Security can cover up to five devices using Window, Mac, iOS, and Android and includes all the features of Antivirus+ Security. It also offers password management capabilities and parental security software options, detects and resolves system issues, and helps ensure privacy on social media. This plan costs $49.95 per year.
Premium Security Suite can cover up to ten devices using Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android and includes all the features of Maximum Security as well as access to a personal VPN, Dark Web Monitoring, and 24/7 tech and emergency support, including remote diagnostics and repairs. This plan costs $59.95 per year.
While there is no one-size-fits-all antivirus app, this information will help you determine which plan is best for you. Be sure to compare costs and features before finalizing your purchase.
*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.
About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of experience writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.