Best Antivirus for Windows 10 in 2021
You might be wondering whether or not you really need an antivirus for your computer these days. The answer is a resounding yes. When you think about it, although viruses don’t look the same as they once did ten years ago, the threats still remain. In fact, cybercrime is constantly on the rise. This means any of your personal information is up for grabs.
Think back to 2017 when the WannaCry ransomware waged war on more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries. This ransomware crypto worm targeted Windows computers, encrypting users information and then demanding ransom payments in Bitcoins, with damages costing up to billions of dollars.
Many will argue that Windows Defender is included automatically from Windows 8.1 and above, however, there are still protection elements lacking in keeping your computer completely safe. Truth is, some of the WannaCry victims had Windows Defender, but it was incapable of keeping PCs safe.
With malware creators stealthily gaining access to your PC and its files, we have decided to find out which online software security companies offer the best antivirus for Windows 10.
Best Antivirus for Windows 10
Here are our top picks of antivirus programs for protecting your PC.
Panda is another antivirus program which has a free version. This is probably the best free antivirus available at the moment. As with any free program, this one lacks all the antivirus goods that a customer would need to completely secure. With a quick and easy installation, you will find that getting your AV started is no trouble at all. On top of that, you have to disclose minimal information when purchasing their product.
Support is one of Panda’s best features where customers are offered with a number of ways to contact Panda’s customer support. There is a support forum, FAQs, contact problem forms as well as a 24 hour a day support. The people who there are thoroughly competent and will be able to answer any of your questions.
Other Panda features that we like include:
- Real-Time antivirus protection
- Premium Unlimited VPN
- Protects Wi-Fi network
- Password Manager
- Data Shield
- Identity Protection
- 20GB Cloud Storage to save and share your data online
- Parental Control
- Ransomware protection
- Cleanup tool
What we didn’t like about Panda:
- The free version lacks vital protection elements
Even though BullGuard is not at the top of our antivirus program, it has still made the list. This bad boy will protect your Windows 10 from various threats including those like unsafe websites, Trojans, ransomware, rootkits, and malware. Although BullGuard provides decent protection for your PC, there are some notable omissions from their service, like it being slow and laggy, unlike its competitors.
One of the best parts of the BullGuard AV is the Home Network Scanner. This feature will examine all of your connected devices including baby monitors, thermostats and other IoT devices.
There is also a 30-day free trial version which will help you decide on whether you want to keep using their service.
Other BullGuard features that we like include:
- Automatic Scanning
- PC Tune-Up
- 24-hour Customer Support
- Strong Parental Control Settings
- Malware Protection
- Phishing Protection
- Gamer Mode
- Very Fast Scanning
- Free Trial
- Easy to Us
What we didn’t like about BullGuard:
- No Password Manager
Although initially catering solely to Mac users, Intego has branched out and now also protects your Windows devices from malware and threats. It offers real-time protection, complete virus scans of the entire system, auto-update to protect you from new threats, quick scans, scheduled scans, customized scans, and scans from the Context menu in Windows Explorer.
To install Intego you will need to be running Windows 7 or above, and will also need to have 500 MB free drive space as well as 2 GB RAM available. There is a free seven-day trial available after which you can upgrade to premium or use the basic features from Intego completely free of charge.
To purchase the premium product you can use Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or PayPal, and if you aren’t happy with the product there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. All you need to do to request a refund is contact the support team and they will get back to you within 24 hours.
Other Intego features that we like include:
- Smart scan
- Automatic scans
- Round the clock protection from malware
- Ongoing defense from Ransomware
- Free support
- Protection from Spyware
- Adware protection
- 100% virus removal rate guaranteed
Things we didn’t like about Intego:
- This is a new release for Windows and there doesn’t seem to be much information for Windows customers
Best Free Antivirus for Windows 10
If you want to know which antivirus is the best free antivirus for Windows 10 there is good and bad news. As you well know, you get what you pay for. This is why we are all about forking out that little bit extra when it comes to securing our personal information.
That is not to say that that there aren’t some great free options out there. It’s just that a premium service will help you avoid pesky pop-ups and give you great features such as spam filters, parental controls, advanced firewalls, and system scans. The best thing about getting your hands on a premium AV program today is that they don’t cost as much as they used to.
So why do so many of the big names have free antivirus programs? The truth is they need you as much as you need them. By downloading a free antivirus, developers will gain access to more devices all over the world. This means they can improve their understanding of malware based on the data they collect. From there they can optimize their premium products, attempting to make them the best available on the market. The bigger their database, the better.
When it comes to the best free antivirus for Windows 10, we have to go with the free version of our favorite AV program, TotalAV, with Panda coming in at a close second.
Want to know more about what types of threats your computer might be battling? Check out the complete guide here.
Why Windows Defender is Not the Same as Having an AV
Windows Defender comes pre-installed on Windows 10 and will help in protecting your PC from various threats including viruses and malicious malware. So does it provide the same protection as a premium antivirus program and do you even need to look further than the Windows Defender?
There are definitely a lot of positive aspects of the Windows Defender as it will be able to automatically scan your programs, offer firewall protection, helps thwart potentially unwanted programs and has parental controls.
Although it has improved its product, there are still steps that need to be taken to further improve it so it can really compete with the rest of the AV gang.
What we don’t like about Windows Defender:
- Long Scan Times
- Inability to schedule scans manually
- Many false positives
- Few Extra Features
- No Customer Support other than an FAQ page
- Reduced Security Protocols
- Network browsing only available on Internet Explorer
As you can see there are clearly some key elements lacking in Windows Defender. This option, along with free antivirus programs, clearly do not have some of the crucial features found in premium antivirus programs.
What the Best Antivirus for Windows 10 Will Offer
What do you look for in the best antivirus for PC? There are a few features that many of the well-known brands will deliver, so it is best to look out for the following when choosing the right antivirus software for you.
This is a big one, especially in today’s social media world. A fantastic antivirus will be able to detect and remove malicious threats like viruses, spyware or adware on your PC.
Your AV should be able to quickly detect which websites are safe to use and which cannot be trusted. The latter should be blocked, including their downloads.
You don’t want an antivirus readily telling you your computer has viruses on it. What you really want is that same antivirus program to work in the background and hit the malware where it hurts, before it has a chance of infiltrating your hard-drive.
Block Phishing Websites
Hackers are getting better and better at designing websites to steal your most personal information. This mostly happens after you click on a fake email.
Cybercriminals work their magic by secretly monitoring what you do whilst on your computer. This includes getting your financial information, credit card details and other sensitive login and password information. Effective antivirus software will make sure this does not happen to you.
There is nothing more annoying than ads popping up left, right and center when you’re browsing the web. Your AV should block such ads to keep your internet experience as smooth as possible.
A premium AV should allow you the option to browse anonymously and securely online by encrypting your data with help from a VPN.
With so many accounts for your personal email, business email, banking accounts, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts we can hardly be expected to keep track of all our passwords. The great news is that a password manager comes with great AV software.
Social Media Protection
Since we’re on the topic of social media, did you know there are certain viruses that specifically target social media platforms? These will try and steal your passwords, phone number, and any other personal information. A good antivirus will let you know when something like this is detected.
We once believed that email spam was fairly harmless if you never clicked on the links that were sent into your inbox. You can wave goodbye to those days, because now there are threats that can cause severe damage to your PC even if you don’t click on any links.
As soon as you have eradicated all the threats found on your computer, you want things to stay as they are. A great firewall is the answer you’re looking for and a skilled AV will provide you with one. As soon as that firewall is up you will easily be able to block further incoming threats.
The Bottom Line
Obviously, there are quite a few things to consider when purchasing the antivirus software that’s perfect for you. In addition to feeling protected, you need to have an AV that will not slow your computer down just because it is running scans in the background.
Although there are some fantastic free alternatives available, there is never any question as to whether you are getting more for your money when you purchase a premium product. Our favorite pick for Windows 10 is TotalAV as it delivers on all of the previously mentioned elements found in a great antivirus program.