It’s estimated that nearly 900,000 new malicious programs, such as viruses, trojans, and ransomware, are discovered every single day, and malware creators no longer target just desktop computers. Instead,they increasingly focus their attention on smartphones as well as various Internet of Things devices.
With dangerous and potentially very expensive cyber-threats looming around every corner, users today have to think carefully before opening an email attachment, clicking on a download link, or exploring the wonders of the world wide web. However, common sense has its limits,and the last thing you want is to make your life difficult because of a temporary lapse of reason.
The good news is that there are many excellent and highly rated antivirus software solutions to choose from in 2019—both free and paid. To help you improve your cyber defenses, we’ve compared several major antivirus software solutions and selected the top 5 best ones based on their performance, usability, and other important factors.
Choosing the Best Antivirus Software
Gone are the days when antivirus software solutions protected only against viruses and nothing else. All great antivirus software solutions in 2019 offer all-inclusive protection against viruses, trojan horses, worms, spyware, rootkits, ransomware, adware, network attacks, and web threats.
Just keep in mind that there’s a huge difference between the ability to recognize malware and the ability to recognize malware without triggering false positives. The antivirus software solutions featured in this article have passed independent tests (AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives) that challenged them against real-world threats to determine their true capabilities.
But even the most reliable antivirus in the world is impossible to recommend if it isn’t easy to navigate, easy to understand, and easy to run. Some antivirus software solutions are designed specifically with the average user in mind, providing an intuitive way of navigating through various menus and settings.
Cost is always a concern as well, and it’s understandable that people want to spend as little money as possible on their security solution. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend even a single dollar in 2019 to enjoy reliable protection against all kinds of malware because there are many free antivirus software solutions to choose from.
Malwarebytes is a comprehensive security solution that’s designed to stop malware and hackers alike. Available for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, as well as Chromebooks and offering multiple layers of protection, Malwarebytes can be recommended to all home and business users who would like to detect and remove malware in real-time and enjoy lightning-fast scans that run in the background without interrupting or slowing down other processes.
Malwarebytes offers a free trial, but it continues working even when the trial has ended, with several key features disabled. To enjoy everything this state-of-the-art security solution has to offer, we recommend you purchase Malwarebytes Premium, which is a full-fledged antivirus replacement with a whole host of useful features.
If you’re a Windows user, you already have Windows Defender installed on your system,and you might not even know about its presence. That’s because Microsoft has designed this anti-malware component of Microsoft Windows to be as unobtrusive as possible. Even though Windows Defender spends most time quietly working in the background, it offers reliable protection against software threats like viruses, malware, and spyware across all applications and system components.
Since Windows Defender is part of the Windows operating system, you don’t have to pay anything for it. In the past, Windows Defender was criticized for its poor performance, but that’s no longer the case today, and there are many independent tests that confirm it.
Mobile malware is on the rise, but, luckily, there are reliable mobile security solutions like Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus to keep it at bay. With over 100 million installs and perfect protection and usability score, Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus provides an excellent way how Android users can block the latest threats, block spam and other unwanted calls, secure their photos and apps using a PIN code,pattern, or fingerprint password, and even hide their online activity and access geo-restricted content with VPN.
Avast Mobile Security & Antivirus is available for free on Play Store, but an upgrade to Avast Mobile Security Pro or Ultimate is required to gain access to premium features such as App Locking, VPN, and others. All Android devices with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean, API 16) or higher are supported.
Bitdefender is an award-winning cybersecurity solution from Romania. The company behind it was founded in 2001 to develop and sell anti-virus software, and it quickly turned out that they are pretty good at their job. At the moment, Bitdefender is the fifth most popular Windows cybersecurity solution globally, and it’s easy to see why.
Bitdefender’s flagship product, called Bitdefender Total Security 2019, delivers multi-layer ransomware protection with ransomware remediation, network threat prevention, parental controls, optimized speed,and cross-platform performance, and comprehensive around-the-clock customer support. It works on Windows, macOS, Android, as well as iOS, and there’s a 30-day free trial available to all new users.
VirusTotal is different from all the antivirus software solutions we’ve mentioned so far because it’s actually a web-based virus scan engine that allows users to upload up to 256 MB large files for virus analysis. VirusTotal uses many different antivirus products for detection, including products from Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, ESET, Symantec, Panda Security, and Webroot, just to name a few. VirusTotal is totally free, but you should keep in mind that it automatically shares submitted files with the security community.
Malware creators are coming up with increasingly creative ways how to steal sensitive information, infiltrate remote systems, or just cause havoc. While common sense will always be the cornerstone of every cyber defense strategy, antivirus software solutions provide an invaluable safety net, acting as the first line of defense against simple user errors and targeted attacks alike. In 2019, there are multiple excellent antivirus software solutions to choose from—both free and paid—and we’ve listed 5 of them in this article.