Buying a new computer is the fun part, but actually being able to protect it with the best antivirus software in 2019 is another story altogether. Regular antivirus software just doesn’t seem to do the trick anymore, and while computer viruses are becoming increasingly rare as time goes on, harmful exploits like rootkits, spyware, and Trojans are growing in both popularity and the danger they represent.
So to help you fend off the underground networks of cyber criminals, we’ve dug around for what we believe are the best antivirus software programs for 2019 to keep your computer and mobile devices safe. Read on to see what they are, what to look for, as well as some potentially devastating mistakes to avoid when looking for the best antivirus tools!
Best Antivirus Software in 2019
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Our Top Picks
#1 Pick AVG
AVG, the ever-popular antivirus software, offers two levels of protection in two different versions: Free, and Pro. Free offers a basic amount of security to get you by, with features like antivirus and anti-spyware protection, phishing link protection, and email protection.
While these are good features on their own, the Pro license will keep you a lot safer. It includes everything you get in the free version as well as increased control over your internet security features, like protection against harmful downloads, security from hackers trying to access banking info, and it’ll even keep your email free of spam and scams.
One of the best things about AVG Pro is that it encrypts and password-protects all of your important files. In other words: if a piece of malicious software were able to breach AVG’s protection, it still couldn’t access all of your pertinent information because of the added layer of local security. If you want to compare with antivirus specific to Apple, check out the best antivirus apps for Mac.
#2 Pick Avast
Avast antivirus has three levels of protection: Essential (Free Antivirus), Advanced (Internet Security), and Complete (Premier).
Avast, whether it be the free version or the Premier options, does all of the same things as AVG–Anti-Spyware protection, Link and Email Protection, Home Network Security, and much more. However, what sets it apart is that it does it in a much more efficient way. Avast’s software is lightweight enough that it won’t have a noticeable impact on your computer’s performance, which is what makes it one of the most popular solutions on the market.
The biggest bonus Avast maintains over the competition is that on the privacy front, they’re one of only a few antivirus companies that has publicly promised to never hand over your information to government agencies like the NSA or GCHQ.
#3 Pick McAfee
You’ve likely come across the word McAfee before, whether it be the antivirus software or the company’s outspoken founder who always in the news for some new stunt. McAfee offers antivirus for all types of people: the home user, the small business owner, and even enterprise solutions. Whatever your needs are, McAfee will make sure your computer and online presence is protected with its top-of-the-line malware and antivirus protection, mobile security, and more.
There’s a few other things that sets McAfee apart from the rest of the crowd, including Anti-Spam controls, parental controls, anti-theft and file protection for mobile devices. There’s even facial recognition for logging into various websites and apps. Plus, if you’re not happy with McAfee’s software,the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee, no questions asked.
#4 Pick Webroot
Webroot is another antivirus and online security provider that offers top-notch service with a little something for everyone. Webroot, similar to Avast, is also a very lightweight program. This is because it operates from the cloud, which means it doesn’t take up any unnecessary space on your computer. This makes updates short and smooth, and also makes scanning files a breeze!
Not only that, but users can manage all their devices from one spot, and get protection that goes the extra mile. You get your usual antivirus features, including antivirus and malware protection, anti-phishing, network security, along with up to 25GB of secure cloud storage where your most important files can be stored in Webroot’s cloud storage service without worrying about prying eyes!
#5 Pick Kaspersky
Kaspersky offers excellent Internet Security to countries all over the world. They provide security to homes, businesses, governments, and on any device. The protection Kaspersky offers is extensive, and honestly, there’s probably more than you’ll ever need. But that’s what makes it great!
Kaspersky offers all of your usual high-threat protection, but they throw in extra goodies like Secure Keyboard, which ensures that the data you enter from your PC’s keyboard is encrypted and safe from common malware like keyloggers. There’s a bunch of other tools as well, including a PC clean-up feature, automatic online backups, remote management, real-time protection, and much more. You can see a full list of features included with the Kaspersky suite on their website here).
Most Important Features
- The best antivirus software will almost always include important internet security features like identity protection and tools that actively scan links for problems before you click on them.
- Look out for antivirus features that scan your emails and prevent you from opening those containing malicious attachments. As a bonus, some antivirus software will even scan Twitter and Facebook links, which is especially important given much social engineering happens on those networks in particular.
- Look for antivirus tools that have enhanced firewalls. AVG PRO offers an Enhanced Firewall, which blocks hacking attempts on financial data while you’re online shopping or banking.
- It’s important to have access to priority updates, as antivirus companies have to always be updating their software to keep you protected from threats that can evolve on a daily basis.
- Your chosen antivirus should have a mobile application. There’s nothing worse than buying a license, only to find out that the company doesn’t have software to keep your mobile device protected as well!
- Make sure the antivirus mobile application has advanced security features for Android, as the OS can’t automatically take care of bigger threats, like trojans, malware, rootkits, and more.
- iOS users don’t need to worry about installing anti-virus. This is because the OS doesn’t often get infected (less than 1% of cases), and even when it does, no iOS-based security programs have been able to stop it.
- Measure the quality of the antivirus software. Non-negotiable features are active internet security protection and enhanced firewall configurations.
- What kind of threats will it detect? Does it offer secure browsing and malicious attachment protection? Before you purchase a license, always make sure your antivirus has the protections that suit you and your home network best.
Mistakes to Avoid
Much of the best antivirus software out there is free and requires a subscription or license for advanced features. However, not all free antivirus is wise to download on your computer, mobile phone, or tablet. Be careful when downloading antivirus software: some pretend to be good on the surface, but are actually designed to track your personal information so it can be sold back to marketers and adware makers for a profit.
Avoid antivirus that makes it obvious the software is funded by ads. These programs will push pop-up ads to your computer and randomly opens webpages from sponsors. Avoid these types of programs because not only is it annoying, but some of these ads lead you to websites that can infect your computer with certain variants of malware.
Finally, don’t use antivirus tools that come with a limited number of features. The name of the game in 2019 is “total protection”, as the computer viruses of yesteryear continue to morph into more robust attacks, such as Trojans, rootkits, spyware, and more. You need good security to combat these, and sub-par antivirus software will only leave you with more issues to deal with.
What to look for in the Best Antivirus Software
Lab testing: It’s always good practice to look at independent antivirus testing labs for information. Firms like the Dennis Technology, ICSA Labs, and Virus Bulletin all offer detailed reports on antivirus software. These are generally a good indication of whether a piece of antivirus software is up to par or not, as the lab found them to be worth their time for a detailed review and testing process.
Internet Security: It’s important to look for antivirus software that offers active internet security features – added layers of web browser-based security that protect you from nasty things like identity theft, credit card fraud, and malicious phishing links.
Mobile: The best antivirus software will have its own mobile applications to keep you protected from malicious software. Not only that, but it should be able to scan applications before installing to make sure you aren’t endangering your device or any important information.
Which Best Antivirus Software is right for you?
Whatever best antivirus software you choose for you, your family, or your business, make sure they have the features that fit your needs based on your browsing habits—don’t settle for less! With so many choices and different packages, there’s something for everyone in the world of antivirus software.
If you’re looking for the state-of-the-art best protection you can get, AVG and its PRO license will keep all of your gadgets protected and then some. If you don’t need top-of-the-line protection, the free version AVG will do just fine too, as well as home office antivirus like Norton and McAfee. It’s worth trying out many of the antivirus tools on this list just to find which one you like and which one meets your personalized security needs.
If you’re still not sure what to think, be sure to read our personal security reviews for more information. And be sure to remember the number one tip for keeping your computer free of malware: stay away from questionable websites and content. There’s almost always something risky buried underneath the surface!
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