Home Antivirus Best Antivirus Software 2024 — Top 10 Free and Paid Antivirus Apps Reviewed
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The best antivirus software does so much more than just protect you from cyber threats. In addition to virus protection, the top antivirus products prevent tracking, block annoying ads, and protect your information online, all without slowing down your device.

Read on to learn how the top antiviruses like TotalAV and Nord Threat Protection can help you protect yourself from online attacks and safeguard your data from hackers, advertisers, and other malicious third parties.

In This Guide

The Best Antivirus Software in 2024 — Top 10 Shortlist

We tested and reviewed the best antivirus software in 2024.

With dozens of antivirus software solutions on the market, it’s difficult to review and compare them all. To save you valuable time, we put the top antivirus software solutions to the test.

Our research concluded that TotalAV is the #1 antivirus software, thanks to its superb real-time threat protection, built-in ad blocker, and outstanding performance, but here’s the competition:

  1. TotalAV — The best overall antivirus software for solid real-time threat protection.
  2. Nord Threat Protection — Best antivirus software for online and premium VPN protection.
  3. Norton Antivirus — Powerful antivirus software with advanced parental controls and webcam protection.
  4. Avast — Best free antivirus software with built-in ransomware shield.
  5. ESET Smart Security — Best antivirus for lightweight multi-device home security.
  6. Surfshark Antivirus – Easy to use anti-malware with built-in ad blocking.
  7. TrendMicro — Affordable antivirus package with online payment protection.
  8. Intego — Best antivirus protection for macOS.
  9. Avira — Decent antivirus software with a great free plan.
  10. Panda Dome – Best antivirus for beginners looking for a home IT package

The Top 10 Antivirus Software | Reviewed

There are multiple variables you need to consider when choosing antivirus software, such as functionality, device compatibility, and reliability.

Read our in-depth reviews of the top 10 antivirus software solutions below to learn exactly what different providers offer, so you can choose an antivirus that’s best for you.

1. TotalAV — The Best Antivirus Software Overall 

TotalAV is one of the most powerful cybersecurity solutions on the market. The company’s award-winning antivirus is the best spyware removal tool, plus it provides real-time protection against malware, viruses, and other forms of cyber threats.

TotalAV Best Antivirus Software

In other words, the antivirus scans all downloads, files, and executables before your device accesses them. Doing so prevents malicious software from infecting your PC, phone, or laptop, keeping you 100% protected.

TotalAV can also scan all existing files on your device to eliminate any programs that are harming it or providing unauthorized third parties with access to your information. You can run full scans or partial scans and even schedule regular smart scans.

In addition to the powerful antivirus, TotalAV offers system tune-up tools that can clear junk files from your device, find and delete duplicate files, and uninstall unused applications.

This helps optimize your device’s performance and clears space on your hard drive or SD card, so you have more room for applications, programs, videos, movies, and games.

If you opt for the Total Security package, you’ll also be able to enjoy real-time protection while surfing the web, thanks to TotalAV’s WebShield. The WebShield blocks annoying ads (including in-pay video ads) and disables pop-ups and intrusive notifications, consequently making your browser faster.

What’s best, TotalAV doubles as a VPN (a Virtual Private Network), letting you change your IP address and connect to one of 35 locations around the world, so you can access geo-restricted content and watch your favorite movies and TV shows even if they’re not normally available in your region.

Another useful feature of TotalAV antivirus is the password vault, which lets you generate secure passwords for all your online accounts and save them in an online vault that’s protected by an uncrackable encryption standard.

Pros:

  • System tune-up tools
  • Real-time threat protection
  • WebShield to block annoying ads, pop-ups, and cookie trackers
  • Compatible with most devices — Windows, macOS, Android, iOS

Cons:

  • Browser extension only available for Google Chrome
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From $9.95/month for the first year (annual plan) 1. Real-Time Threat Protection
2. Smart Scans
3. WebShield
4. Built-in Ad Blocker
5. Disc Cleaner
N/A 30 days

2. Nord Threat Protection – Best Antivirus Software for Online Protection

Despite the company’s name (NordVPN), this top cybersecurity solution offers much more than a VPN. It is an effective 360-degree anti-malware tool that ensures a safe browsing experience. It comes in two variants, Threat Protection and Threat Protection Lite. The latter works only when you have the VPN turned on.

NordVPN threat protection features

This antivirus was previously called Nord CyberSec, and recently, the company upgraded it to a full-fledged malware prevention tool. It scans the files you download and blocks any virus or malware before it can inject your device.

In addition to this, Nore Threat Protection works as an ad blocker so that you enjoy unintrusive, secure browsing. It blocks trackers that might be trying to collect your personal data. It also blocks ad popups and prevents users from landing on potentially dangerous websites.

Nord Threat Protection is available for Windows and macOS, while the Lite version has more compatibility options. You can use NordVPN Threat Protection Lite with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux devices and run it on Chrome, Firefox, or Edge browser.

This antivirus gets a mention in our top 10 list not only for its security capabilities but also for the analytics it offers.

Every week, it assembles a detailed report of all the blocked ads, trackers, malicious websites, and infected files encountered in the last 7 days, so you can be more vigilant in the future.

Another unique feature is the way it prevents suspicious downloads. Unlike other antivirus tools, it doesn’t block the download outright — instead, it conducts an initial scan, and files that may or may not be malicious are uploaded to the cloud for more detailed analysis.

Users looking to protect their privacy online will appreciate Nord’s URL trimming feature. It automatically snips off any tracking parameters that a link might contain, making it impossible for the website owner to track the source where a visitor originated.

Pros:

  • Easy, one-click web protection
  • Multiple browsers supported
  • Built-in ad blocker
  • Works with or without a VPN connection

Cons:

  • Not very useful when offline
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
$4.99/month for the Complete plan (2-year commitment) 1. High-Speed VPN
2. Password Manager
3. 1 TB Cloud Storage
4. Private Data Encryption
N/A 30 days

3. Norton Antivirus — Powerful Antivirus Software With Advanced Parental Controls

Norton is another veteran of the cybersecurity industry, with over 30 years of experience protecting devices in millions of homes across the globe.

Norton360 Antivirus app

The Norton Antivirus is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Its algorithm constantly monitors and scans online threats to ensure your devices are protected from both existing and newly-emerging viruses, malware, and other cyber threats.

In addition to the antivirus, Norton offers a Smart Firewall, which monitors all of your network traffic and blocks any suspicious third-party activity, keeping your data and device protected against cyber attacks and tracking attempts.

With the Deluxe and Premium subscription packages, you’ll also have access to parental controls, so you can keep an eye on your children’s online activity and ensure they stay safe and protected on the internet.

If you’re on a Windows PC, you’ll also be able to leverage webcam protection to prevent cybercriminals from using spyware to access your webcam and take photos and videos without your knowledge.

Norton also features real-time dark web monitoring, scanning every corner of the internet for your login credentials and personal information. It’ll immediately notify you if it detects that your data has been breached, giving you the opportunity to react in time before cybercriminals abuse your information.

On top of it all, you also get access to Norton VPN, so you can stay anonymous and fully protected while browsing the web.

Pros:

  • Real-time dark web monitoring
  • One of the best spyware detectors
  • Powerful antivirus that relies on AI and machine learning
  • Norton Smart Firewall to protect your PC and laptop
  • Advanced parental controls to ensure your child is safe online

Cons:

  • Norton Mobile Security costs extra, around $15/month
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From $14.99 for the first year (annual plan) 1. Spyware, Antivirus, Ransomware, and Malware Protection
2. Firewall for PC and Mac Laptops
3. 100% Virus Protection Promise
4. Parental Controls
5. Webcam Protection
6. Secure VPN
7. Dark Web Monitoring
7 days 60 days (annual plan)

4. Avast — Best Free Antivirus Software With Built-in Ransomware Shield

Avast is the best free antivirus software on the market, offering all the standard cyber security features to all users completely free of charge — it includes protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, and other forms of cyber threats.

Avast Best Free Antivirus

Avast relies on advanced AI-powered algorithms to detect and block malicious programs from infecting your device in real-time.

With the free plan, you’ll also have access to Avast’s Wi-Fi Inspector, which detects weaknesses in your Wi-Fi connection, both at home and on public networks. Whether someone’s “stealing” your Wi-Fi, trying to break into your network, or attempting to intercept your data, Avast will make sure you’re fully protected.

If you decide to upgrade to one of the paid plans, you’ll be able to enjoy a wealth of additional security features, including a webcam shield, a data shredder, and an advanced firewall.

Avast will also ensure all your apps are updated to the latest version to minimize application vulnerability, as well as help you safely run suspicious apps in its proprietary Sandbox environment, so you can detect malicious code before it has the chance to infect your device.

Pros:

  • Advanced firewall
  • Free virus protection
  • Built-in ransomware shield
  • Wi-Fi network protection
  • Allows you to test applications in a secure environment before running them on your device

Cons

  • Doesn’t offer a VPN
  • Resource-intensive (might slow down your device)
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From $31.19/year (annual plan) 1. Real-Time Malware and Virus Protection
2. Ransomware Shield
3. Wi-Fi Scanning
4. Sandbox App Testing
5. Webcam Shield
6. Data Shredder
Free plan forever 30 days

5. ESET Smart Security – Best Antivirus Software for Multi-device Home Security

ESET Smart Security — now part of ESET Home Security Premium is an all-in-one antivirus software and security solution for your home devices. It includes a password manager, sensitive file encryption, and threat detection capabilities.

Eset smart security dashboard

ESET’s most compelling feature is the 24/7 real-time protection for both websites and emails. It continually conducts scans in the background to keep your device safe. This includes both online and offline threats, which is precisely what makes ESET one of the best antivirus software in 2024.

The solution uses machine learning algorithms for zero-day threats, i.e., malware that hasn’t been detected before. Also, it starts scanning for viruses even before your computer boots up, thanks to
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) scanning.

Features like these can slow down your computer and impact performance. To prevent this, ESET Smart Security uses cloud-powered scanning that minimizes its local system footprint. And, if you don’t want to be interrupted by alerts, you can turn on gamer mode to push ESET to the background.

ESET Smart Security brings equally powerful features to browsers as well. For instance, when you’re making transactions, it switches to a secured browser mode and encrypts all communication between your keyboard and the browser.

As an added plus, ESET includes email spam protection.

You can also use this antivirus solution to make digital experiences safer for your family. ESET’s parental mode lets you block unwanted Internet content. The software guarantees security for your home Wi-FI network by monitoring who’s connected to it and testing smart devices for vulnerabilities.

Pros:

  • Online and offline threat protection
  • System performance optimization
  • Support for Windows, Windows ARM, macOS, Android and iOS
  • Multiple devices protected in one plan

Cons:

  • Not compatible with systems older than Windows 10 and macOS 11
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
$42.85 for 1 device for 1 year (per device cost reduces as you add more devices and a longer commitment) 1. Complete Solution for Home Devices
2. ESET LiveGuard for Unknown Threat Detection
3. Phishing and Ransomware Shield
4. Removable Media Encryption
30-day free trial 30 days

6. Surfshark Antivirus — Lightweight, Easy to Use Antivirus With Built-In Ad Blocking

Surfshark is primarily known as one of the top VPN service providers, but the company also offers a powerful, feature-rich antivirus.

Surfshark Antivirus Software

The major advantage Surfshark Antivirus offers compared to other leading antivirus solutions is the fact that it’s lightweight, so it won’t slow down your device. At the same time, Surfshark offers a level of protection against cyber threats that’s on par with the most powerful antivirus software on the market.

In addition to malware, ransomware, and virus protection, Surfshark Antivirus relies on a proprietary Cloud Protect system to analyze unknown files and protect you from same-day threats, so it’ll safeguard your data even if a flaw occurs in any application you’re using.

Surfshark is the fact that it comes with a built-in ad and tracker blocker, preventing bots and advertisers from tracking your online activity and protecting you against phishing attempts and other online scams.

The software will also hide your IP address and physical location, ensuring you can browse the web with complete security and anonymity.

If you want more protection on top of the antivirus, you can opt for Surfshark One — a comprehensive cyber security package that includes the powerful Surfshark VPN, the Antivirus, a safe search engine, and real-time alerts that’ll notify you of any data breaches and security concerns.

Pros:

  • Built-in ad blocker
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Hides your IP address and physical locations
  • Prevents tracking attempts and blocks annoying ads
  • Protection against malware, ransomware, viruses, and zero-day threats

Cons:

  • No firewall
  • Full scans can take a while
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From $3.48/month (annual plan) 1. Real-Time Threat Protection
2. Cloud Protect
3. Built-in Ad Blocker
4. Secure Web Search Without Ads or Tracking
5. Hides Your IP and Physical Location
N/A 30 days

7. TrendMicro — Affordable Antivirus Software With Built-in Online Payment Protection

TrendMicro is an affordable antivirus software solution that lets you protect up to five different devices with a single subscription.

TrendMicro's scanning screen

As is the case with most leading antivirus software solutions, TrendMicro also relies on the power of AI and machine learning to provide superb protection against modern cyber threats, including viruses, malware, keyloggers, and even ransomware.

Additionally, TrendMicro will protect you against internet and email scams by blocking suspicious websites, warning you about unknown files, and notifying you of email addresses that are reported as scams by other users.

With the Micro Pay Guards, you’ll enjoy a safe online shopping experience, since the software will prevent any unauthorized third party from gaining access to your payment information or credit card details.

The higher-paid subscription plans include a few more incredibly useful features, such as parental control and social media privacy, to ensure your children are 100% safe and protected online.

Another thing worth mentioning is TrendMicro’s online scan, which lets you check if your email has been compromised, if you fell victim to an online scam, and whether your computer has a virus. This is a great way of testing TrendMicro’s capabilities without having to download the software or commit to a monthly or annual subscription.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • One of the best parental control apps
  • Notifies you of potential email and online scams
  • Includes online payment protection with every subscription plan
  • Allows you to protect your children on the internet and on social media

Cons:

  • Mobile security is only available with the most expensive plan
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From $19.99 for the first year (annual plan) 1. Real-Time Threat Protection
2. Ransomware Shield
3. Micro Pay Guard
4. Email and Online Scam Alerts
5. Parental Control
6. Password Manager
30-day free trial 30 days

8. Intego — Best Antivirus Software for macOS

Intego is an antivirus software specifically designed for mac computers and laptops. Mac’s built-in protection is not great, so if you want to protect your Apple device, antivirus software like Intego is a must.

Intego antivirus dashboard

Intego has passed multiple independent tests with flying colors, and the company claims to protect from and exterminate 100% of Mac-specific malware. In addition to real-time threat protection, Intego offers a powerful firewall to protect your network and safeguard you against phishing attempts and other types of online scams.

With the Mac Premium Bundle X9, you’ll also be able to restrict access to inappropriate online content, monitor your children’s online activity, and restrict their time on the internet.

Additional features Intego offers with the highest-tier pricing plan include system performance optimization, duplicate (and unnecessary) file removal, and file organization.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use, intuitive dashboard
  • Antivirus software designed for the macOS
  • 100% malware protection proven by several independent tests
  • Parental control and internet time scheduling

Cons:

  • No free trial
  • Limited payment options
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
From $39.99/year (1 Mac) 1. Real-Time Protection
2. Auto Scan
3. Firewall Network Protection
4. Anti-Phishing Protection
5. Parental Control
6. Duplicate File Removal
N/A 30 days

9. Avira — Decent Antivirus Software With a Great Free Plan 

Avira is another cyber security firm that offers a free antivirus solution to its users. With the free plan, you get standard real-time threat protection and you’ll be able to manually run full scans, configure protection options, and update the other apps you’re using to the latest versions.

Avira antivirus app main screen

In addition to the free plan, Avira offers two paid subscription plans — Avira Internet Security and Avira Prime. The former allows you to clean browser cookies to improve your privacy, optimize your system’s performance, and prevent hackers and cyber criminals from accessing your network.

If you upgrade to the Avira Prime all-in-one security suite, you’ll also be able to leverage browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox to block annoying ads, prevent phishing attempts, block hidden trackers, and protect yourself from harmful websites.

Other useful functionalities you get with Avira Prime include a virtual private network (VPN), a password manager, and a file cleaner.

Pros:

  • Browser extensions
  • Free antivirus for PC and Mac
  • Customizable protection options
  • Built-in ad blocking and anti-phishing capabilities
  • Solid VPN included with the free plan (limited to 500 Mb/month)

Cons:

  • The paid version doesn’t have a lot of features
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee

Free plan available

Paid plans start from $21.95

1. Real-Time Threat Protection
2. Software Updater
3. Firewall
4. Password Manager
5. Security Breach Alerts
6. VPN
Free plan 60-day refund policy

10. Panda Dome – Best Antivirus Software for Beginners Looking for a Home IT package

Panda Dome is popular antivirus software for home users and families. In addition to its premium plan, it offers a free antivirus product compatible with Windows and Android. Panda Dome Free Antivirus offers basic protection, malware scanning for USBs, and a PC recovery system.

Panda Dome Premium is much more than an antivirus software. It is a cross-platform device security tool that protects all your PCs, mobile phones, and tablets, from possible vulnerabilities. It works with Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS.

A unique feature offered by the tool is the built-in update manager. It can detect end-of-life (EOL) third-party apps that may pose a security risk. Then, it automatically applies the relevant updates as well as OS patches published by Microsoft.

You can also use Panda Dome to scan the Internet for your details if you’re worried about your private information being exposed. The solution’s Dark Web Scanner and Dark Web Monitoring features will automatically alert you if your email account or passwords pop up online.

What’s more, Panda Dome doubles up as a VPN to mask your IP address and a parental control software. You can block inappropriate content, monitor your kids’ Internet usage, locate lost devices, and remotely wipe personal data if you have to.

With Panda Dome installed, you can select which data is most sensitive, and the software will encrypt it to prevent access by malware or viruses. It also comes with a built-in password manager for all your devices.

Another unique thing about the company is its comprehensive support options. All premium plans include 24/7/365 access to a technician who will help you with all your home IT issues — from setting up a Wi-Fi network to troubleshooting your OS.

Pros:

  • One-stop solution for home IT needs
  • Free antivirus software
  • Add-ons like Panda CleanUp
  • Excellent customer support

Cons:

  • 150 MB/day VPN cap for non-premium users
Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
$42.85 for 1 device for 1 year (per device cost reduces as you add more devices and a longer commitment) 1. App and OS Update Manager
2. Built-In VPN
3. Free Privacy Auditor for Android
4. Dark Web Monitor
30-day free trial 30 days

The Best Antivirus Programs Compared

Here are the highlights of the top 10 antivirus programs in 2024 at a glance:

Antivirus Software Pricing Key Features Free Trial Money-Back Guarantee
TotalAV From $9.95/month for the first year (annual plan) 1. Real-Time Threat Protection
2. Smart Scans
3. WebShield
4. Built-in Ad Blocker
5. Disc Cleaner
N/A 30 days
Nord Threat Protection $4.99/month for the Complete plan (2-year commitment) 1. High-speed VPN
2. Password Manager
3. 1 TB Cloud Storage
4. Private Data Encryption
N/A 30 days
Norton Antivirus From $14.99 for the first year (annual plan) 1. Spyware, Antivirus, Ransomware, and Malware Protection
2. Firewall for PC and Mac Laptops
3. 100% Virus Protection Promise
4. Parental Controls
5. Webcam Protection
6. Secure VPN
7. Dark Web Monitoring
7 days 60 days (annual plan)
Avast From $31.19/year (annual plan) 1. Real-Time Malware and Virus Protection
2. Ransomware Shield
3. Wi-Fi Scanning
4. Sandbox App Testing
5. Webcam Shield
6. Data Shredder
Free forever plan 30 days
ESET Smart Security $42.85 for 1 device for 1 year (per device cost reduces as you add more devices and a longer commitment) 1. Complete Solution for Home Devices
2. ESET LiveGuard for Unknown Threat Detection
3. Phishing and Ransomware Shield
4. Removable Media Encryption
30-day free trial 30 days
Surfshark Antivirus From $3.48/month (annual plan) 1. Real-Time Threat Protection
2. Cloud Protect
3. Built-in Ad Blocker
4. Secure Web Search Without Ads or Tracking
5. Hides Your IP and Physical Location
N/A 30 days
TrendMicro From $19.99 for the first year (annual plan) 1. Real-Time Threat Protection
2. Ransomware Shield
3. Micro Pay Guard
4. Email and Online Scam Alerts
5. Parental Control
6. Password Manager
30-day free trial 30 days
Intego From $39.99/year (1 Mac) 1. Real-Time Protection
2. Auto Scan
3. Firewall Network Protection
4. Anti-Phishing Protection
5. Parental Control
6. Duplicate File Removal
N/A 30 days
Avira From $21.95/month 1. Real-Time Threat Protection
2. Software Updater
3. Firewall
4. Password Manager
5. Security Breach Alerts
6. VPN
Free plan 60-day refund policy
Panda Dome $42.85 for 1 device for 1 year (per device cost reduces as you add more devices and a longer commitment) 1. App and OS Update Manager
2. Built-in VPN
3. Free Privacy Auditor for Android
4. Dark Web Monitor
30-day free trial 30 days

Why You Need an Antivirus Solution in 2024

In today’s day and age, surfing the web or downloading anything without an antivirus and an ad blocker is a nightmare. If your device isn’t protected, as soon as you open any web page, you’ll be bombarded by half a dozen ads, and considering that online scams, malware, and viruses are running rampant, you have to be super careful about what you click on.

An antivirus solution gives you that much-needed peace of mind and ensures a safe, ad-free online experience. Here are the main advantages of having an antivirus in 2024:

Protecting Your Device Against Cyber Threats

Viruses and other malicious software are often disguised as legitimate apps. After you download a virus, it can wreak havoc on your device's system, causing it to bug out, slow down, or outright stop working.

Some viruses just record your keystrokes and send them over the internet without triggering alarms.

There are other types of viruses as well, which work silently in the background and log your every keystroke, feeding your sensitive private information (e.g., login passwords) to cyber criminals.

If you want to protect the data stored on your device and ensure third parties can't access your private information, an antivirus solution is a must-have.

Safeguarding Your Information From Scammers and Hackers

Email scams have been popular even way before the infamous "prince of Nigeria" fraud. Nowadays, they're a lot smarter and more nuanced. Cybercrooks often present themselves as legitimate institutions, such as banks, and ask you to "update your account details" and change your login credentials.

The links in these malicious emails contain keyloggers, so if you type in your username and password, you'll be granting access to your accounts to cybercriminals.

Another reason to be extra careful when opening emails and have the best antivirus protection available is the fact that malicious individuals can get their hands on your credit card info if you shop online.

While most online stores are safeguarded by the latest SSL standards, they're not impenetrable. If you don't want to risk a hacker stealing all the money from your bank account, it's a good idea to opt for an antivirus that offers online payment protection.

Blocking Annoying Ads and Tracking Attempts

Nowadays, everyone's trying to sell you something on every corner of the internet. If you don't want to be overwhelmed by annoying pop-ups and ads, you need a powerful ad blocker. Most antivirus software solutions offer a browser extension that blocks these ads.

On top of that, powerful antivirus solutions like TotalAV, McAfee, and Norton also prevent advertisers, websites, and hackers from tracking your online activity, so you can freely browse the web.

Cleaning Your Device and Boosting Performance

In addition to letting you run a full virus scan, every decent antivirus software will also allow you to detect and remove duplicate files and unwanted applications. Some of them also offer advanced application control, which can prevent certain apps from hogging your CPU or RAM.

As a result, you'll experience faster, smoother performance and will have more room on your hard drive for files and apps that you're actually using.

Leveraging Parental Control

Another crucial feature of the best antivirus software is parental control. This gives you full control over what websites your child can access and what content they can interact with online.

The internet has many dark corners, so leaving underage children with unsupervised access to the world wide web is never a good idea.

An antivirus solution ensures that they can't access websites with inappropriate, disturbing, or potentially dangerous content, and gives you valuable insights into their online habits.

Free Antivirus vs Paid Antivirus

There are a few great free antivirus solutions on the market, such as the two that we covered in this article — Avast and Avira. That said, it's important to understand that while you can get excellent antivirus protection with a free plan, you'd be missing out on crucial advanced security features, namely the firewall.

In other words, while a free antivirus solution will protect you from malicious programs you might download, it'll still leave your network vulnerable and won't protect you from email scams and other online threats.

So, our answer to the question "are free antiviruses enough?" would be a firm no. Free plans and free trials are great ways to test out a particular antivirus software solution in practice, but if you want to stay 100% safe and protected, it's more than worth it to upgrade to a paid plan.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Antivirus App

While all the best antivirus software solutions offer superb protection against malware, viruses, ransomware, and other cyber threats, there are quite a few advanced features that may differ between two antivirus software providers.

Additionally, not every antivirus solution is compatible with every device, and they all offer different pricing plans, which may sway your decision.

When choosing the best antivirus solution for your device, you should consider the following factors:

  • User feedback
  • Identity protection
  • Reliability and functionality
  • The value for money on offer
  • The impact on your device’s performance
  • Compatibility with different devices and operating systems

Depending on what you need the antivirus for, you might value certain features more than others.

For example, if you want to protect multiple devices and have control of what your children are doing online, you'd ideally choose an antivirus that lets you protect several PCs, laptops, and mobile devices with a single subscription, while also offering parental control features.

How to Get Started with the Best Antivirus Tool

Most antivirus solutions are intuitive, easy to use, and don't require any complex configuration to start protecting your device.

We'll use TotalAV as an example to show you how easy it is to get started with the best antivirus software solution on the market, so you can start protecting all your devices against cyber threats today.

Step 1 — Get TotalAV Antivirus Pro

Navigate to TotalAV's official website, and from the Product drop-down menu, select Antivirus Pro.

Get TotalAV Antivirus

Click the "Protect Your PC Now" and choose one of the three pricing plans that suit you best.

Step 2 — Complete Your Purchase

After you select the pricing plan, click the "Buy Now" button to proceed to checkout.

TotalAV Checkout

If you sign up for TotalAV today, you'll get a free PC tune-up feature and two additional licenses free of charge, so you can install TotalAV on two more devices with a single subscription.

Before you complete your purchase, check the box (as shown in the screenshot above) to agree with TotalAV's Terms of Service and accept a 70% discount on the yearly subscription.

Step 3 — Download and Install TotalAV

Download the TotalAV antivirus application, double-click the installation file, and follow the simple prompts on your screen to complete the installation.

TotalAV Windows Installation

You don't need to worry about any complex setup, and you can always configure the antivirus app's settings once it's installed.

Step 4 — Run Your First Virus Scan

Open the TotalAV antivirus application, and click Enable Protection to turn on real-time protection for your system.

If you're worried your device might already be infected, you can choose to run a Smart Scan or even a full virus scan, by selecting the shield logo from the side menu.

TotalAV Best Antivirus Software

TotalAV will detect, quarantine, and remove any malicious and harmful applications from your device and keep you protected from viruses, malware, ransomware, and other forms of cyber threats for as long as it's running on your device.

What's the Best Antivirus Software for 2024?

Surfing the web and downloading files, movies, TV shows, and video games without antivirus software is just asking for trouble.

If you want state-of-the-art virus, malware, and ransomware protection and a safe, ad-free online browsing experience, here’s a quick reminder of the 10 best antivirus software in 2024: after reviewing and comparing the best solutions, we've concluded that TotalAV offers the best antivirus package.

In addition to superb real-time protection that stops your device from interacting with malicious files before they can cause any damage, TotalAV offers phenomenal online protection via its WebShield, useful system tune-up tools, and the powerful VPN that hides your IP and physical location and allows you to access geo-restricted online content.

Take advantage of TotalAV's 30-day money-back guarantee to test it yourself risk-free and see firsthand why it's our #1 choice for the best antivirus software in 2023.

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Anwesha Roy Tech Writer

Anwesha Roy Tech Writer

Anwesha is a technology journalist and content marketer based out of India. She started her career in 2016, working for global MSPs on their thought leadership and social media before branching out in 2018 with her own team. 

She writes on technology and its intersections with communication, customer experience, finance, and manufacturing and has her work published across a wide range of journals. In her downtime, she enjoys painting, cooking, and catching up with the latest in media and entertainment.

Anwesha has a Master’s degree in English literature from one of India’s top universities.