The Best Antivirus Software of 2023 (Free and Paid Explained)
To help protect your Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer, Here we have collected the Best paid and Free Antivirus Software to install on your PC
Choosing a good antivirus is never easy, given the large offer on the market for security software against the cyber threats that attack computers used in business and home every day. The choice has become more difficult over time because many competitors have appeared in this sector. To clarify which paid antivirus to choose, we have made a list of the Best antivirus 2022.
How an antivirus works
The first question you are probably asking yourself is How an antivirus works. Without going into too technical details, we can say that this type of software analyzes every file or program that is about to enter the system.
Basically, an antivirus scans that data and blocks it if it matches the “virus signatures”, which is the signature archive where information about malware is entered.
Non-suspicious files or programs are allowed to enter a security first place, present in some antivirus: this is the HIPS (Host Based Intrusion Prevention System). In this space a further scan takes place: reliable data is circulated, while unrecognized data can enter the system, but only in “isolated” environments. At that point it will be the user who decides to open them or not: if he decides not to do so, those files will end up in quarantine, which is the same fate as malware.
The detection engine
In this sense, the detection engine of each antivirus plays a fundamental role. It has a real task as a scanner: it is up to him to protect the computer from potentially dangerous or otherwise suspicious applications. Some antiviruses use the detection engine developed by other manufacturers.
Why Install Antivirus Software?
The answer to this question is simple: because there are vulnerabilities on any electronic device we use, and on any browser, program and site we open every day. For this reason, having an antivirus will be the salvation of your device.
This security software is the last defense that remains before these malicious files actually enter the system. The antivirus will actually detect the intrusion attempt, defending your device.
How to choose the best antivirus?
The criteria for choosing to have the best antivirus are different, and we will see them in more detail in the next lines and guides. When we will analyze the characteristics that cannot be missing because the software of this type can be defined as such.
However, we can tell you that on a general level a quality antivirus must have a good relationship between the protection offered and its size (which should not burden the system too much). Furthermore, an excellent antivirus should not report harmless files: it would be a completely useless activity. Therefore it is good that it is accurate and not approximate in its action.
What features should the best antivirus software have?
Great, now you should have a clearer idea of how a good antivirus works. In the following paragraphs, we go into what are the main features that cannot be missing because the antivirus can be defined as the best with respect to your needs and expectations. The specifications in question are:
- Malware protection
- Integration of useful and effective tools
- Speed and efficiency
- Easy to use
- Good quality/price ratio
Perfect, let’s go through each of these points by point.
It is obviously the first aspect to take into consideration: an excellent antivirus must know how to protect your PC from the malware that try to enter it. On the net there are several comparators able to evaluate how much software is able to offer protection: in this way you will surely find the one that you think best suits your expectations.
Integration of useful and effective tools
Another important element is linked to the presence within the antivirus of tools that can prove to be very useful. Among these, there are, for example, periodic scans that can be programmed according to need, but also the perfect integration with e-mail programs, the presence of a live scanner and frequent upgrades.
Speed and efficiency
This is one of the most relevant factors when choosing to buy an antivirus. The latter must be fast and efficient, and above all it must be able to carry out its protective activity without affecting the performance of your device. In summary, the action of the antivirus cannot cause slowdowns at the system level: if this happens, then you will know with certainty that you have relied on a poor-quality antivirus.
Easy to use
Obviously an antivirus, for the delicate task it performs, cannot be difficult to use. This would involve wasting time, and also possible errors. Therefore, it is better to opt for easy and performing solutions.
Good quality/price ratio
Finally, the last aspect that we advise you to evaluate is the value for money. There are several antiviruses on the market that cost a lot and are not that phenomenal.
Continuing reading, you can refer to the products we have selected, certainly the best in terms of efficiency and convenience.
What Kind of Security Software Should You Buy?
Let’s say that those antiviruses that incorporate all the features described above deserve more than a little thought. However, there are two macro-types of security software: antivirus and antimalware. The difference is increasingly blurred, so much so that the terms are often used interchangeably.
In fact, modern antivirus includes all malware protection tools. Antimalware, for their part, try to detect potential cyber threats of various kinds and tend to be more advanced. So it is not the same thing, but anyway we call them all “antivirus” for convenience.
Why use antivirus and not Windows Defender
Before getting into the heart of the guide, we want to dispel one last doubt that someone surely has arisen: why use an antivirus when Windows Defender is already there? This is the security software pre-installed on Windows operating systems, but which by the same admission of the latter turns out to have fairly limited effectiveness.
There are several reasons why we recommend installing other software: Defender is not fast enough to remove threats, fails to block malware in most cases, and Microsoft still does not release enough regular updates to the Defender software.
Do Windows 10 need antivirus?
Yes, Although Windows 10 has built-in antivirus protection in the form of Windows Defender, it still needs additional software, either Defender for Endpoint or a third-party antivirus.
Free or Paid Antivirus
You may also be wondering whether it is better to opt for a free or paid antivirus. There is no universal answer, or rather: it can be said in general that paid software are obviously more complete than free ones, but some of the latter do not demerit at all.
It depends a little on what your needs are, which system you want to protect, and what you expect an antivirus to do. Below we have identified the best paid antiviruses and the best free antiviruses. Here is our selection, let’s go!
The best paid antivirus of 2022
Now here we are: we can really go and find out which are the best paid antivirus 2022. We have selected eight software that in our opinion can be absolutely considered as the best there is in the market.
Let’s start our list with one of the most efficient, reliable and complete antiviruses: we are talking about Avast, available in both free and paid versions. It is one of the perfect software to protect the system in its entirety since it performs capillary and constant control functions on everything that happens, both online and offline. Other than that, it removes outdated and problematic files
Let’s continue with our list and come to another antivirus must, or Kaspersky. It enters by law because it represents one of the most reliable and complete solutions in the entire panorama of security software. Kasperski provides only paid solutions, specifically designed for both private users and companies. We recommend that you visit the company’s official website to view all the offers and promotions available right now.
Norton does not need much introduction either, since it is one of the most popular antiviruses. It guarantees real protection against viruses, malware, phishing and other suspicious files, as well as excellent parental control that helps manage your children’s online activities. In addition, a Secure VPN is also available to browse online safely and anonymously.
We are almost at the end of the list of the best paid antivirus, to which we add Bullguard. It is a highly regarded software that offers several next-generation protection tools, including a powerful firewall and a very effective scanning system.
We close the selection with Panda Security, a powerful antivirus, equipped with a suite of programs that works in the cloud and therefore represents one of the best solutions for its lightness and ability not to overload the system.
In a selection to discover the best antivirus Avira cannot fail to respond to the appeal, which is also one of the most famous. It is also available in both a free version (it does not include the email control module) and a paid version that offers a very high level of protection for your device.
Another noteworthy antivirus is AVG, which offers both a free and paid version. Although it tends to show a lot of notifications, its protection has nothing to envy compared to the products analyzed previously.
Viruses, malware, spyware and ransomware will have a short life with McAfee, another very interesting antivirus that deserves more than a little thought.
The best free antivirus of 2022
After having seen in detail the paid ones, now we can go and find out which are the best free antivirus 2022. Here is our selection.
Panda Free Antivirus
As we have specified in the previous lines, many paid antivirus also provide free versions. One of these is Panda Free Antivirus, one of the best compromises between reliability and performance.
This software works in the cloud: this technology delegates the operations performed by traditional antivirus, which often slows down the PC, to remote servers. Therefore, thanks to Panda Antivirus you will have at your disposal a program capable of optimally protecting the system at a very low resource price.
Avira Free Antivirus
The free version of Avira, available for both Windows PC and macOS, contains various tools capable of guaranteeing the protection of files, both on the hard disk and during web browsing. Therefore, Avira Free Antivirus is recommended for all those who do not need the most advanced protection and who do not want to spend money on this type of software.
Avast Free Antivirus
We continue with another free version of one of the most famous antivirus currently on the market: we refer to Avast Free Antivirus, a perfect software to protect your PC from all cyber threats. How does the free version behave? Well, since it guarantees monitoring of open files, web browsing and email. Furthermore, it is easy to use and very light. Available on both Windows and macOS.
AVG AntiVirus Free
Another free version of a very famous antivirus, AVG AntiVirus Free is a software particularly suitable for scanning your computer’s memory. It is a real marvel in detecting infected files. Scanning can be customized, as it can also be performed on external media (USB / DVD scan) or on specific folders and files (File and Folder Scan).
Sophos Home Free
Do you have a Mac and are you looking for the best free antivirus for Apple’s operating system? If so, we recommend Sophos Home Free. This free version guarantees live protection of your PC, both from malware for OS X and from viruses that attack Windows (additional defensive measure useful when you are also using a Windows PC to move files from one system to another).
Kaspersky Free Antivirus
Let’s continue with our list of the best free antivirus with another must of free software, namely Kaspersky Free Antivirus. Despite being free, this antivirus offers good protection for blocking cyber threats (its scanning engine is really effective), in addition to the fact that it does not burden the system at all.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Currently, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is rightfully included in this selection of the best free antivirus. The reason is obvious: it guarantees a remarkable level of protection both locally and during online browsing, it is very light and has an interface completely in Italian.
Comodo Free Antivirus
Available for all major operating systems (including Linux), Comodo Free Antivirus is software that protects your PC and the data stored in memory.
The free version also protects applications in real-time, offers protection from spyware and is also equipped with a browser dedicated to safe browsing.
G-Data Antivirus first of all offers high-level protection, even if there is no free version per se. However, in the three paid packages there is a trial period of one month, which will be useful to test if this antivirus is really for you.
ESET NOD32 Antivirus
We end our guide with an extremely reliable and lightweight antivirus, namely ESET NOD32 Antivirus. Again, there is no free version to download and have forever, but there is the option to take advantage of a 30-day trial period.