Best Antivirus Software for Windows 2018

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While Windows Defender is automatically included in Windows 8.1 and above, tests of the software have shown its performance and protection levels are significantly lacking. All Windows users need an additional comprehensive antivirus to protect their system. We recommend TotalAV as the best antivirus software for Windows.

Best Antivirus for Windows

Antivirus software has long been an essential part of online security for Window’s computers. However, in recent years, its importance has skyrocketed. As countless new mutations of malware launch internationally every year, it’s no longer a case of if you will contract an infection – but, when?

Not only has the number of viruses and malware increased, but their repercussions are also more severe than ever. The WannaCry 2017 ransomware attack infected more than 230,000 computers. It specifically targeted Microsoft Windows, shutting down entire systems and demanding a bitcoin ransom payment.

The attack was so powerful that it took down whole businesses and even public services in some countries, despite the Windows Defender feature on newer operating systems.

Considering this, we recommend you use dedicated security software providers for premium antivirus protection (MORE: best antivirus review).

Windows Defender is Not Enough to Keep You Safe – You Need the Best Antivirus for Windows

For a long time, Windows users were reminded continuously to install antivirus software.  However, since Windows 8.1, the operating system has included built-in protection. On paper, Windows Defender provides all the essential features for antivirus software, such as:

  • Virus, Spyware & Malware Protection
  • Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUP) & Junkware
  • Firewall
  • Parental Controls

Unfortunately, Windows Defender performed incredibly poorly when compared to other industry leaders by AV-Test. The recorded shortcomings are a result of the following:

  • Lack of experience in providing high-quality protection.
  • No customer support except FAQ page.
  • Reduced security protocols – e.g., no sandboxing, protection from undiscovered, unpatched holes or social media monitoring.
  • Network browsing only available on Internet Explorer.

When choosing the best antivirus for windows, opting for a dedicated security brand with years of experience will always provide better results.

Read on for our list of top-rated antivirus software providers – plus, tips on how to get the best free antivirus for Windows 8, 10 or any other iteration!

#1 TotalAV – Best Antivirus Software for Windows

If you want complete protection, TotalAV is the best antivirus for windows.

Pros:

  • All price plans guarantee protection from viruses, trojans, adware, spyware & malware.
  • Advanced ransomware protection available.
  • Web browser cleaner & manager works on all ISPs.
  • PC performance optimization and system boost.

TotalAV essential protection usually costs $99.95 a year, but buy now and pay just $19.95. The company also offer a premium service, which is currently reduced to $59.95. You can try either of these for 30-days with full refund guaranteed.

#2 Norton

Norton was rated the best antivirus for windows 7, and continues to provide quality protection since the addition of Windows Defender.

Pros:

  • Trusted by 240 million+ users include all fortune 500 companies.
  • Unique 100% virus FREE guarantee.
  • Two-way firewall included with upgrade price plans.

Cons:

  • Fewer features available on standard price plan than its competitors.

Norton provides a standard package for $69.99 per year, but you can enjoy the service for a reduced rate of $39.99 if you buy now. Upgrade to premium protection for $59.99and save 55 percent.

#3 Panda

Panda offers a no-cost service that is highly-rated one as the best free antivirus for Windows 8 and above. However, their paid plans provide premium protection for all Microsoft systems.

Pros:

  • Simple and attractive user interface.
  • Dedicated features to protect your home and family online.

Cons:

  • Free services offers considerably reduced protection.
  • Moderate impact on system performance.

To buy Panda Pro, the basic package has been reduced to $19.99, from $39.99 if you buy now. Their premium three-year service offers inbuilt speed optimization and is currently on sale for just $52.49. You can test any price plan for 30-days will a full money-back guarantee.

#4 Bullguard

Although Bullguard is not our top-rated provider, it provides proficient protection. However, its unpaid service is restricted to Android, so there is no available free antivirus for Windows 7, 8 or any other update.

Pros:

  • Respectable AV-Test score of 8.4.
  • Unique USB drive vaccine to treat infections.

Cons:

  • Variations in speed and performance.
  • No telephone support service.

Bullguard basic antivirus is currently just $23.96 – reduced by 20 percent. Or enjoy 70 perfect off the premium package and pay only $29.98. All paid services can be tested for 30 days with no charge.

Paid versus Free Antivirus for Windows – Which to Go With?

Many Windows users may automatically opt for free antivirus software to compliment windows defender. As all AV-Tests have revealed, free antivirus is near pointless. These no-cost services offer incredibly limited features; most only provide basic malware protection.

As the threat to our computer’s security becomes increasingly complex, antivirus software must provide varied security protocols to ensure true protection. If you can’t afford an expensive premium subscription, we recommend you capitalize on the free-trial periods.

We recommend TotalAV as the best antivirus software for Windows because it provides comprehensive security and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Sarah Turner is a digital nomad and travel lover, who specializes in tech and online security.

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