With more and more of us working from home, we need to really up our game as far as virus protections on our home network. Now, do NOT confuse this for ransomware and malware protection or protection for iOT devices. We have other “Top 9 articles” that cover these, but this is simply covering the topic of Virus protection. A complete security solution should cover all of the above and not simply one alone. AND… The good news is that you will find that a few of our recommendations cover all three of these BIG EVILS and one even touches on iOT devices such as Thermostats, security systems, wifi cameras and Alexas that are on your wifi. Please take the time to go through all of our articles to best cover you and your home and if you would like, see our videos and articles on protecting your family with family settings and parental controls (another Top 9 article). At any rate, happy Virus Protection planning!
NUMBER 1 BitDefender (FIND IT HERE)
Folks, I LOVE BitDefender and I am proud that I was one of the first out there to recommend it to my corporate clients as well as use it at home. IT IS BEST OF CLASS in my book.
The entry-level antivirus from Bitdefender boasts the name Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, and the Plus is very much deserved. This tool totally handles all the basic antivirus tasks effectively, and then goes way beyond in terms of additional security features. Feature-wise, it could take on many security suites and win. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus remains a top choice when it comes to protecting your PC’s security.
Some antivirus products, such as Cylance Smart Antivirus and F-Secure, stick strictly with the essentials, wiping out existing malware infestations and defending against new attacks. Bitdefender, by contrast, packs a huge collection of security-centric features, among them password management, enhanced security for online transactions, ransomware protection, and even a VPN. To be sure you realize how much you’re getting, the installer runs a slideshow detailing the features while doing its job.
At $39.99 per year for one license, Bitdefender’s pricing matches that of many competitors. More than a dozen others go for roughly the same price, among them Kaspersky, Webroot, Trend Micro, and ESET NOD32 Antivirus. F-Secure charges $39.99 too, but that gets you three licenses for the price. Three Bitdefender licenses will run you $59.99 per year. You can also get five licenses for $69.99, or 10 for $79.99. McAfee costs $59.99 per year, the same as Bitdefender’s three-license price, but with McAfee you can protect every Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS device in your household.
NUMBER 2 Sophos Home (FIND IT HERE)
Sophos Home Premium is inexpensive, easy to use and provides good malware protection but it can slow system performance.
Sophos Home Premium does a lot for a little, providing good malware protection at a price that’s tough to beat among the best antivirus programs. Its powerful online management console lets you remotely scan connected systems and its interface is easy to navigate.
The program is a consumer version of Sophos’ enterprise security software, and it lacks many of the consumer-oriented creature comforts we’ve come to expect from premium security suites, such as a password manager or VPN service.
For some customers, this stripped-down approach won’t do. They might be better off with Kaspersky, Norton or Bitdefender, which offer top-flight malware protection with all the fixings.
NUMBER 3 Webroot (FIND IT HERE)
Some folks really love Webroot for what it offers in scanning and removing files. But I want to state here that though so many really call this a virus protection, it IS NOT. Do I like it? Yes. Would I use it without BitDefender, Sophos or others as my primary virus protection? No!
Webroot SecureAnywhere has a basic scanning feature which checks files and directories for viruses and malware. Users are able to choose between running a full system scan, a quick scan, a deep scan for rootkits, trojans, and other threats, as well as a custom scan which only checks specifically selected files and directories.
Users can also toggle on and off rootkit protection, enable or disable master boot record (MBR) scanning to check for viruses that have corrupted the computer’s boot sequence, and detect and remove potentially unwanted applications.
Potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) are programs that contain adware, nuisance browser toolbars, or other pieces of unwanted software. Having an effective system for detecting and removing these is vital for a fast, reliable operating system, it can really do this well.
NUMBER 4 Malware Bytes Premium (FIND IT HERE)
I am ONLY recommending the Premium edition because the free one is NOT really a virus protection. And this product is not as up to date as BitDefender or Sophos.
The Premium edition is a decent replacement for standard antivirus. The free edition, doesn’t include any real-time protection. It does just one thing; it cleans up existing malware problems.
When you install the free edition, you can choose a 14-day trial of all the Premium features. If you just let the trial expire without upgrading, you’ll find that you lose quite a bit. The program is full of subtle and not-so-subtle suggestions to spring for that upgrade.
NUMBER 5 Trend Micro (FIND IT HERE)
Before you even read the rest, if you are going to use this product, I recommend maximum security and the VPN as well.
Trend Micro sells several tiers of antivirus software, including two for Windows and one for macOS. The company offers one multi-operating system package covering single- and multi-device configurations in one- or two-year subscriptions.
All of Trend Micro’s antivirus software packages include the company’s Pay Guard feature that allows you to access your banking or shopping sites securely through your default browser. All packages also include the company’s Advanced AI Learning feature that helps identify and defeat new ransomware and other unknown threats.
Trend Micro’s antivirus packages don’t include many of the application and function features offered by other vendors such as a VPN, identity theft or dark web monitoring, firewall, webcam protection, file encryption, or added cloud storage. Password protection is offered only in Trend Micro’s top-tier package.
Antivirus+ Security (Windows only): offers Advanced AI protections against viruses, ransomware, phishing emails, and suspicious or malicious websites. It also offers Pay Guard, which adds an extra layer of protection when banking or shopping online via the Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer browsers as well as Data Theft Protection to protect credit card accounts.
- One year, one device: $29.95 for the first year and $39.95 for each subsequent year
- Two years, one device: $59.90/$64.95
Antivirus for Mac: offers the same basic protections as Antivirus+ Security for Windows except the Pay Guard feature, which isn’t compatible with Apple’s Safari browser.
- One year, one device: $29.95/$39.95
Internet Security (Windows-only): provides coverage for up to three Windows computers with controls for parents, computer optimization, and social media privacy. The latter identify settings that may leave personal information publicly available and vulnerable to identity theft on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms.
- One year, three devices: $39.95/$79.95
- Two years, three devices: $59.90/$124.95
Maximum Security (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS): provides Internet Security protections to multiple desktop and mobile operating systems, coverage for either five or 10 devices, and a password manager.
- One year, five devices: $39.95/$89.95
- Two years, five devices: $59.90/$139.95
- One year, 10 devices: $39.95/$99.95
- Two years, 10 devices: $79.90/$154.95
In addition to these antivirus software packages, Trend Micro also sells a separate VPN solution called Trend Micro WiFi Protection (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS). This VPN offers unlimited encrypted connectivity as well as filters to block malicious websites, online fraud, and internet scams.
- One year, one device: $29.95
- One year, five devices: $59.95
NUMBER 6 Avast (FIND IT HERE)
You might expect that a free antivirus would come with only the most basic protection, with advanced bonus features reserved for paying customers. In truth, many of the most popular free antivirus tools offer full-scale protection along with a ton of extra features. Avast Free Antivirus gives you more than many competing commercial products. On top of excellent antivirus protection, it adds a network security scanner, a password manager, browser protection, and more. It’s an amazing collection of security features, considering that this product is free.
NUMBER 7 F-Secure (FIND IT HERE)
Some antivirus companies shoehorn so many extras into their basic antivirus software that it seems like a security suite. Firewall, spam filter, VPN—you name it, they’ve got it. F-Secure Anti-Virus, by contrast, focuses on the central task of defending your system against all sorts of malware, including ransomware. It doesn’t even try to steer your browser away from fraudulent websites, though its advanced network protection effectively cuts off access to malware-hosting URLs. If you want antivirus protection without frills, it may be a good choice. However, realize that you may need more solutions with this one to fully keep your system safe, unlike BitDefender.
NUMBER 8 Avira (FIND IT HERE)
Avira is a very lightweight antivirus that offers a comprehensive selection of easy-to-use tools for all major devices, including PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS devices.
Avira has all of the essential security tools that I expect to see from an antivirus in 2020, including real-time scanning, ransomware attack prevention, and web protection.
Avira’s antivirus scanner claims to be one of the most reliable antiviruses available, so I really tried hard to find a flaw. But my tests proved the claims true — Avira is definitely one of the most advanced and fastest virus scanning engines out there.
The antivirus scanner also uses Avira’s Protection Cloud — a default setting that uses cloud technology to automatically scan suspicious files. This is one of the things which makes Avira’s scanning engine so powerful, as the Protection Cloud is constantly updated. Other antiviruses, like Panda Dome, also include a cloud-based scanner, but it’s not integrated into the real-time scanner — meaning Panda requires running a separate cloud-based scan. The fact that Avira integrates cloud scanning into its real-time protection is a huge plus — and the reason why I’d consider it to be one of the best antiviruses scanners available.
NUMBER 9 BitDefender Box (FIND IT HERE)
Folks, it has to say something when a Cyber Security expert gives a recommendation for the same company at two different places in an article. Yep, that’s right. BitDefender gets two of my Top 9 slots because it really does the job. BitDefender Box does it for the WHOLE FAMILY and a whole lot more…
It has Your complete home network protection – for your Wi-Fi, connected gadgets, computers and mobile devices.
Bitdefender BOX protects an unlimited number of Internet-connected devices from malware, stolen passwords, identity theft & hacking, whether you’re at home or on the go
Monitor your kids’ online activities and manage screen time for precious family time. Internet access should always be safe.
Bitdefender BOX protects an unlimited number of Internet-connected devices from malware, stolen passwords, identity theft & hacking, whether you’re at home or on the go.
Bitdefender BOX 2 now includes enhanced Parental Control, so you can say NO to cyberbullying and online predators
Digital protection against cyberbullying and online predators
Get notified about verbal attacks, aggressive language, inappropriate requests for photos, meetings outside the house or/and private information (passwords, card numbers), in your children’s online conversations.
Block out potentially harmful online content and persons
Keep away from your kids suspicious incoming or outgoing calls and SMS, and manage the apps you consider inappropriate for them.
Always know where your children are
Track their location so you always know where they are. Take a laid-back approach and get notified when they enter an area you mark as Restricted.
Save your kids the dread of an extra phone call – let them tell you they’re OK with Safe Check-in.
Limit Time on Devices
You get to decide how much time your child spends online and limit the hours when the devices won’t be accessible.
For more on the topic of family safety, see our other Top 9 Posts on Family safety and check out this playlist from the Nerd Chic Library on Family Safety: https://bit.ly/onlinefamilysafety