antivirus software

Optimal Protection: The 5 Best Anti-Virus Software in 2023

There are hundreds of anti-viruses out there — and they all claim to offer the best protection at the best price. Most antivirus programs nowadays include more than just a virus scanner — they also come with features that add additional protection, like a network firewall, phishing protection, a virtual private network (VPN), a password manager, parental controls, as well as dedicated protections for mobile devices.

But a lot of anti-viruses don’t exactly work as advertised — they have poor malware detection rates, they don’t consistently block malicious sites, and their extra features are badly designed and virtually useless (despite charging you an extra fee). Here is a list of the top 5 that are actually worth your money:

1. Norton 360

Norton 360 offers unbeatable virus and malware protection. It’s a well-built and well-maintained internet security suite that fully ensures all information stays secure, private, and protected — and it works well across all operating systems. It’s the best choice for home users looking for a complete, intuitive antivirus with some of the best cybersecurity protections out there, all for a low-cost yearly subscription. Norton’s antivirus software uses a unique scanning engine powered by heuristic analysis and machine learning, making it capable of scanning, finding, and removing all of the newest and most advanced types of malware.


2. Bitdefender Total Security

Bitdefender has an extremely advanced antivirus engine — it uses a massive malware database together with machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect and protect against malware more effectively than almost any other competitor on the market. And because its engine is cloud-based, all of the malware scans take place on Bitdefender’s cloud server, offloading the strain on your device.

But Bitdefender isn’t just an anti-malware scanner — it’s one of the most comprehensive security suites available, providing some of the best protection for both computers and mobiles. Similar to Norton, Bitdefender includes advanced settings for users who know how to customize their antivirus protection. You can set custom scan settings for specific areas of your computer, like scripts, network shares, boot sectors, and even new/modified files. Bitdefender’s advanced settings help further its reputation as one of the most powerful and customizable malware scanning engines out there.

3. TotalAV

TotalAV has an excellent antivirus scanner and a couple of really good extras, all inside a very intuitive dashboard — making it a particularly great choice for beginner users who don’t want to deal with complicated menus and settings. However, TotalAV also includes many customization options that advanced users will appreciate. TotalAV’s antivirus scanner is fast and reliable, with near-perfect malware detection rates.

The password manager is pretty good, too. Total Password provides a secure way to store all of your passwords and other bits of sensitive information in an encrypted space. You get all of the standard features, like auto-saving and auto-filling, a customizable password generator, cross-device synchronization, and more.

4. McAfee Total Protection

McAfee Total Protection has a great range of internet security features — malware protection, anti-phishing protection, a password manager, a VPN, and identity theft monitoring and coverage. And all of its features are intuitive, easy to use, and work just as promised. Its excellent virus protection abilities alone make McAfee a great choice — McAfee detects, blocks, and removes both simple and advanced threats, including viruses, trojans, spyware, keyloggers, and rootkits.

Its anti-phishing protection is also excellent, preventing users from accessing known phishing and malicious sites. It identified the vast majority of risky sites, outperforming both built-in protections from browsers like Chrome and Firefox and web protection from most competing antiviruses.

McAfee’s parental controls are also some of the best on the market — in addition to blocking inappropriate and unwanted content and apps, they also come with advanced location tracking, which allows you to track your child’s device with almost perfect accuracy (this feature works much better than Google or Apple’s tools for locating devices).


5. Intego

Intego is the best macOS antivirus out there. Most antivirus brands only focus on protecting Windows PCs — even competitors like Norton and Bitdefender offer far fewer features for their macOS programs than they do for their Windows versions. But all of Intego’s Mac antivirus packages were exclusively designed to provide high-quality internet security and optimization tools to macOS.

Intego’s antivirus engine scored a perfect detection rate against all of test malware (both macOS and PC malware). And its scans are fast — scanning over 800,000 files in under 2 hours. Intego’s customizable smart firewall is also a fan-favourite — it monitors both incoming and outgoing network connections and alerts you to programs trying to connect to the internet, which prevents programs from sending data from your Mac without you knowing (perfect for stopping hidden spyware attempting to send sensitive information to hackers). The firewall also adjusts its settings automatically depending on your environment — if you’re at home, work, or using a public Wi-Fi network — ensuring you have the most appropriate settings switched on.

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