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10 Best Antiviruses for Windows 10 & 11: Full PC Security 2022

Ben Martens Ben Martens
Updated on: May 1, 2022
10 Best Antiviruses for Windows 10 & 11: Full PC Security 2022

Short on time? Here’s the best antivirus for Windows 10 & 11:

I tested dozens of antiviruses on my Windows PC and Surface tablet, using the latest hacking tools to test each antivirus program’s malware scanner, web shield, firewall, and other security features. The 10 antiviruses on my list are the best internet security tools for Windows 10 and 11 that I could find in 2022.

But it wasn’t easy to find reliable antivirus protection for Windows. There’s a lot of really bad software out there. Even some well-known brands didn’t offer the level of protection I expected, letting ransomware and spyware run on my systems. Other programs were buggy and caused my system to slow down, while some provided good protection but were extremely overpriced.

Whether you use Windows for work, gaming, creative endeavors, or just casual browsing, the antiviruses on my list all provide a unique set of excellent features for all Windows versions (including Windows 11) for a reasonable price.

Here are the top Windows 10 & 11 antiviruses for 2022:

🥇1. Norton 360 — Best PC Security Suite in 2022

🥇1. Norton 360 — Best PC Security Suite in 2022

Norton 360 is the gold-standard of antivirus software in 2022, providing excellent anti-malware protection as well as the best additional features of any product on the market.

During my malware testing, Norton scored a 100% detection rate on Windows 8, 10, and 11 devices. Its SONAR system uses machine learning to detect malware based on its behavior, so it can even detect zero-day threats that aren’t saved in any malware database. And Norton’s real-time protection scans all incoming downloads and running processes, blocking malware files before they can infect Windows devices.

Norton’s 360 package also includes:

  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • Integrated firewall.
  • Secure VPN.
  • Password manager.
  • Parental controls.
  • Dark web monitoring.
  • Identity theft protection (US only).
  • Cloud backup (up to 500 GB).

Norton’s additional features are very good. In my testing, its anti-phishing protections blocked phishing sites and other unsafe sites more accurately than browser-based protections from Chrome, Edge, or Firefox, and its firewall detected unsafe network activity that my Windows PC’s built-in firewall missed.

Norton also provides one of the best bundled password managers of any antivirus on the market, and its parental controls are also excellent, with content filtering, mobile device tracking, scheduled usage, and more. Plus, US users get access to LifeLock’s exceptional identity theft protections, which provide live credit report monitoring, one-on-one support in the event of fraud, and up to $1 million in insurance for victims of identity theft.

Even though it includes a ton of features, Norton is still really easy to use, with an intuitive desktop app and an even better online dashboard that makes it easy to access all of Norton’s functions.

Starting at just $19.99 / year, all of Norton’s 360 packages are an excellent value. I think Norton 360 Deluxe is the best choice, providing all of Norton’s additional features on up to 5 devices for only $49.99 / year. There’s a 60-day money-back guarantee on all of Norton’s plans.

Norton - 52% off

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Bottom Line:

Norton’s range of cybersecurity features performs far better than most other antiviruses. The software is fast and easy to use, and Norton’s advanced anti-malware protections scored a 100% detection rating in our testing. If you need a high-powered Windows antivirus, Norton is the best there is. There’s a 60-day money-back guarantee offered with every Norton package.

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Read the full Norton 360 review >

🥈2. Bitdefender Total Security — Best for Advanced Malware Protection

🥈2. Bitdefender Total Security — Best for Advanced Malware Protection

Bitdefender uses a powerful cloud-based anti-malware engine that doesn’t slow down Windows computers — I was extremely impressed with how smoothly Bitdefender ran on my PC, not affecting my CPU or RAM even during full scans.

Bitdefender’s anti-malware engine uses machine learning, advanced heuristics, and a massive malware database to detect unsafe files — in my testing, Bitdefender scored a 100% detection rating, blocking trojans, rootkits, ransomware, spyware, and more. Bitdefender also offers a ransomware remediation tool, which backs up important data if any suspicious activity is detected and restores the data after the threat is removed.

Bitdefender offers some excellent additional features as well, including:

  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • VPN.
  • Parental controls.
  • Secure browser.
  • System tune-up.

Bitdefender’s web shield detected all of the phishing sites and unsafe sites in my testing, and I really like Safepay, the secure encrypted browser window that provides a secure way to access your finances online. I’m also a huge fan of Bitdefender’s VPN — it uses Hotspot Shield’s super-fast VPN protocol, so I was able to stream HD video, download files, and surf the web without almost any slowdown on my Windows PC. Bitdefender also provides a comprehensive set of parental controls, including content filtering, usage monitoring, and geofencing so you can get notifications if your kids leave a safe area.

Priced at $32.00 / year, Bitdefender Internet Security includes features like real-time antivirus scanning, anti-phishing protection, and parental controls (but only for 3 Windows devices), while the Total Security plan adds device tune-up and coverage for up to 5 Windows, Android, Mac, or iOS devices for $36.00 / year. While both of these plans are great, they put a limit on daily VPN usage (only 200 MB per day) — upgrading to Bitdefender Premium Security gets you all of Bitdefender’s features, plus unlimited VPN data for only $69.99 / year.

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Bottom Line:

Bitdefender delivers complete internet security for Windows with a cloud-based antivirus backed by machine learning. It offers cutting-edge privacy and security features, including powerful anti-phishing protections, a fast VPN, and good parental controls. You can try out Bitdefender risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Download Bitdefender Now

Read the full Bitdefender review >

🥉3. TotalAV — Best Antivirus + VPN Combo for Windows

🥉3. TotalAV — Best Antivirus + VPN Combo for Windows

TotalAV is a powerful, easy to use option for protecting Windows devices in 2022 — with good antivirus scanning, an excellent VPN, comprehensive identity protection tools, and some of the best PC performance optimization tools I’ve tested.

In my testing, TotalAV’s scanner detected and blocked 99% (out of nearly 1,000) of the malware files on my Windows PC with its advanced antivirus scanner.

Windows users that want additional privacy while browsing, streaming, and torrenting will love TotalAV’s VPN. It’s one of our top antivirus+VPN combos for 2022, offering:

  • Secure 256-bit AES encryption.
  • Kill switch.
  • No-logs policy.
  • Servers in 30+ countries.
  • IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocolsIKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols.

Thanks to TotalAV’s fast and secure protocols, I was able to torrent and stream HD content without slowdowns (plus unlike Bitdefender, TotalAV’s VPN was able to access streaming sites like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu).

TotalAV’s performance optimization tools are excellent as well — I was able to remove junk files, clean up my PC’s boot sequence, uninstall old applications, and erase browser cookies that were slowing down my Windows PC.

But TotalAV’s password manager isn’t very good — it doesn’t sync across devices like Norton’s password manager, and it doesn’t include any vault auditing tools like the best password managers on the market do.

TotalAV has 3 plans — Antivirus Pro ($29.00 / year) comes with the anti-malware engine and the optimization tools, and it covers 3 devices. Internet Security ($39.00 / year) is my favorite plan — it includes TotalAV’s excellent VPN and covers 5 devices. Total Security ($49.00 / year) adds on an ad blocker, a password manager, and coverage for 6 devices. And all TotalAV purchases come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Bottom Line:

TotalAV is my favorite antivirus with a bundled VPN for Windows 10 and 11 in 2022. The antivirus scanner is powerful and lightweight, and the VPN provides super-fast encrypted browsing. Plus TotalAV’s system tuneup makes cleaning and speeding up PCs really simple. Even though I’m not a big fan of TotalAV’s password manager, it provides enough additional features that it’s well worth checking out. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on all TotalAV plans.

 Download TotalAV Now

Read the full TotalAV review >

4. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Additional Security Features

4. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Additional Security Features

McAfee has an excellent malware scanner and comes with a wide range of Windows security features. McAfee detected over 99.7% of the malware in my testing, and its scanner uses the latest heuristic and machine learning technology to detect malware files. Unfortunately, McAfee’s full disk scan significantly slowed down my device during testing (Bitdefender and TotalAV didn’t slow my system at all, even during full disk scans).

McAfee’s additional features include:

  • Web protection tools. Comes with Wi-Fi scanning, a smart firewall, and anti-phishing protection.
  • Battery optimization. Offers an option to reduce battery drain on laptops.
  • System tune-up. Improves a computer’s performance by erasing unnecessary files that may slow down PC operations.
  • File shredder and file encryption. Securely deletes files or renders them unreadable in case of theft.
  • Vulnerability scanner. Scans and installs important Windows and application updates.
  • Secure VPN. Encrypts internet traffic with decent bandwidth speeds and unlimited browsing data.
  • Identity theft protection (available in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, NZ, Japan, and many European countries). Monitors credit reports for unusual activity and includes a sizable insurance payout.

I really like McAfee’s web protections — McAfee detected phishing sites that Chrome and Edge missed, and the Wi-Fi network scanner gave me notifications whenever any changes happened on my network. Plus, the firewall provides active protection against network-based hacking threats.

McAfee Total Protection Basic ($84.99 / year) is a good option if you only want to protect 1 Windows PC — but it’s pretty expensive. However, users with multiple PCs (and mobile devices) should check out the Plus plan ($49.99 / year) that includes up to 5 licenses, or the Premium package ($54.99 / year) that adds parental controls and coverage for up to 10 devices. In addition, the Plus and Premium plans are available at a significant discount with McAfee’s 2-year subscription plans, making McAfee one of the best-value internet security suites for Windows in 2022.

Bottom Line:

McAfee offers excellent malware protection along with a huge variety of additional security features. I was really impressed with McAfee’s web protections like anti-phishing, Wi-Fi scanning, and secure VPN. McAfee also comes with useful extras like system tune-up tools, a file shredder, and identity theft protection. Plus, it has one of the most affordable 2-year plans of any antivirus on my list and provides a no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee.

Download McAfee Now

Read the full McAfee Total Protection review >

5. Avira Prime — Best for Fast Scans & Automated Software Updates

5. Avira Prime — Best for Fast Scans & Automated Software Updates

Avira’s Prime package combines a powerful anti-malware scanner with tons of useful features, including a really good Windows software update tool. Like Bitdefender, Avira utilizes cloud-based technology to scan devices with minimal system slowdown — and it scored a 100% detection rate against both old and new malware samples. Avira’s scanner was also the fastest in my testing, performing full scans in 20 minutes on my 500 TB gaming PC.

In addition to the state-of-the-art virus scanner, Avira offers:

  • PUA shield. Protects against potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) that can be hidden within legitimate software.
  • Firewall manager. Optimizes firewall settings based on desired levels of security.
  • Web protection. Protects against all kinds of malicious web content and phishing sites.
  • VPN. Hides your IP address behind an encrypted server for online privacy.
  • Password manager. Generates, stores, and auto-fills logins for greater password security and convenience.
  • Software updater. Automatically updates many popular programs.
  • Advanced system tune-up. Records comprehensive performance data, eliminates junk files, boosts startup time, and optimizes PC performance while gaming.

Outdated programs can expose systems to threats like exploit attacks, so I was happy to discover that Software Updater identifies outdated programs and automatically updates them. I also really like Avira’s system tune-up features, which were able to improve performance on one of my old test PCs (which is still running Windows 8), and I think its password manager is one of the most intuitive options out there.

My only issues with Avira are that its VPN isn’t as fast as Bitdefender’s and that it doesn’t offer dark web monitoring or parental controls like Norton 360 does.

Avira has several plans to choose from, but my favorite is Avira Prime ($59.99 / year), which includes Avira’s Phantom VPN (with unlimited browsing data) and protects up to 5 devices, including Macs, Androids, and iPhones. Avira also offers the best free antivirus on the market, but it lacks a lot of Avira Prime’s most important extra features.

Bottom Line:

Avira provides 100% malware detection, a lightweight scanner, and an excellent set of tools to protect Windows PCs. The software updater keeps all applications and drivers updated automatically, which is really important for device security. Plus Avira’s password manager and system tune-up features are some of the best on the market. Avira Prime is a little pricey, but it comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

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Read our full Avira Prime review >

6. Panda Dome — Best for File Encryption & Rescuing Infected PCs

6. Panda Dome — Best for File Encryption & Rescuing Infected PCs

Panda Dome has a good antivirus scanner and a few unique security features that are really useful. It caught 95% of my malware samples, which is really good, but not as impressive as Norton’s 100% score). However, Panda only scored a 50% phishing link detection rate in my testing, which is pretty bad.

These were the protections that made Panda stand out in my testing:

  • File encryption.
  • File shredder.
  • PC Rescue Kit.

Panda Dome made it super easy for me to encrypt really important work documents behind a secure password to safeguard them from malware and ransomware.

The Rescue Kit disinfects PCs that are already blocked by malware — this is useful for those emergency situations where a device is completely inaccessible. Simply load the Rescue Kit onto a USB drive, plug in the USB drive into the infected device, boot it, and Panda will automatically erase malware and make the device usable again.

Panda’s packages also include features like web protection, a VPN, a password manager, and a secure browser, but these extras aren’t as good as what top competitors like Norton and Bitdefender provide. Panda’s premium plans are also quite expensive compared to other brands that offer a similar range of features (and cover more devices) for less money. But the reasonably priced Panda Dome Essential package is a good option — it includes real-time malware scanning, a Wi-Fi scanner, and even a VPN (with 150 MB per day) for $28.79 / year.

Bottom Line:

Panda’s antivirus scanner performed well in my tests, and I really liked some of the additional features — especially the Rescue Kit. I wasn’t impressed with some of the other features, though, and I also think that Panda’s packages are a little overpriced. That said, they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so it’s 100% worth trying Panda to see if it’s the best antivirus for your PC.

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Read the full Panda Dome review >

7. Kaspersky Total Security — Best for Ease of Use

7. Kaspersky Total Security — Best for Ease of Use

Kaspersky provides a secure malware scanner for Windows along with some excellent additional features and a very intuitive dashboard.

Kaspersky’s real-time malware scanning engine detected an impressive amount of viruses, spyware, and ransomware in my testing.

Kaspersky also has:

  • Anti-phishing. Blocks deceptive websites from stealing your data.
  • Safe money. Secures shopping and banking in a special secure browser.
  • Privacy protection. Ensures outside programs aren’t accessing webcams or microphones without permission.
  • Parental controls. Blocks unsafe content and tracks device location.

Priced at $29.99 / year, Kaspersky’s Antivirus plan is fine if you’re looking for essential protection for Windows. But the multi-device plans for up to 10 devices (including Mac, Android, and iOS) are a much better value. At $59.95 / year, Kaspersky’s Total Security plan is a similar price to Norton’s 360 Deluxe package — it offers some of the best parental controls on the market, but its other security features aren’t as good as Norton’s.

Bottom Line:

Kaspersky Total Security is a top-level security program that is super easy to use and navigate. If you’re looking for an easy, set-and-forget antivirus for your Windows PC, Kaspersky is a decent option — and it comes with a commitment-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Kaspersky review >

8. Malwarebytes — Best for Basic Cybersecurity Protections

8. Malwarebytes — Best for Basic Cybersecurity Protections

Malwarebytes is a simple virus scanner with good malware detection rates — in my tests, Malwarebytes’s on-demand scanner detected around 90% of the test malware, but its real-time protection blocked almost 99% of the same files — on par with some of the biggest names in the industry, like TotalAV.

Malwarebytes also has really good phishing protection, with near-perfect detection rates, as well as a decent VPN. While Malwarebytes’s VPN isn’t as feature-rich as standalone VPN competitors, it’s still an ok choice for users looking for an easy-to-use VPN with fast speeds.

Unfortunately, Malwarebytes doesn’t have any other features, but its minimalistic design and lack of extra features may appeal to users who are looking for a basic antivirus program.

That said, starting at $39.99 / year, Malwarebytes is similarly priced to Norton and Bitdefender, both of which provide significantly more cybersecurity protections. But if you’re interested, Malwarebytes has a 60-day money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk in trying it out.

Bottom Line:

Malwarebytes is a good malware scanner with phishing protection — you can upgrade to Malwarebytes’s most expensive plan to get a VPN, but that’s it. If you’re looking for more functionality, take a look at the other brands on this list. But if you’re ok with a minimalistic antivirus, Malwarebytes is a decent option. All of Malwarebytes’s plans come with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Malwarebytes review >

9. Trend Micro — Best for Safe Browsing & Online Banking

9. Trend Micro — Best for Safe Browsing & Online Banking

Trend Micro has a good malware scanner and decent internet security tools for Windows users.

I think it’s really cool how Trend Micro shows users which sites are safe — it offers a simple color-coding system to rank Google search results from green (safe) to yellow (unsafe) to red (dangerous).

Trend Micro also includes:

  • Data breach monitoring.
  • VPN.
  • Password manager.
  • Secure browser.

I really like Trend Micro’s data breach monitoring, which uses encryption to search online databases for passwords, logins, and even credit card information that could be susceptible to hackers. And Trend Micro’s social media privacy tool made it easy for me to access and change all of the privacy settings on my social media accounts.

Trend Micro’s recently updated VPN is decent (it used to be very bad). It comes with unlimited data, a range of server locations, and decent speeds. But if you’re looking for something with very fast speeds and advanced security features, it’s best to consider a standalone VPN, like ExpressVPN or ProtonVPN.

If you’re looking for intuitive web protections and a good malware scanner, then Trend Micro ($19.95 / year) is a decent choice — but I think it needs to provide a few more premium features to compare with similarly priced competitors like Norton and Bitdefender.

Bottom Line:

Trend Micro has a good cloud-based malware scanner as well as decent extras like data breach monitor and email phishing protection. I think it’s a little bit overpriced, but it’s a lightweight program that has some good internet security protections. Trend Micro offers a 30-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

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Read the full Trend Micro review >

10. BullGuard — Best for PC Gamers

10. BullGuard — Best for PC Gamers

BullGuard offers a really good anti-malware engine with some decent extras and a good game booster that optimizes PC performance during gaming.

In my testing, BullGuard removed 100% of the malware from my gaming PC and Surface tablet, but it took a while — almost twice as long as Norton and Bitdefender.

I tried BullGuard on my gaming PC with a few different games, including Half-Life: Alyx, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, and Fortnite. I tested my CPU performance, RAM usage, frame rate, and load times — and I was surprised to find that BullGuard significantly improved my computer’s performance in each of these categories! That said, Norton’s specialized gaming antivirus outperformed BullGuard in all areas — it’s my favorite antivirus for PC gamers, but it’s unfortunately not available in all locations.

Performance boosting aside, BullGuard also offers some other internet security protections, such as:

  • Firewall.
  • Parental controls.
  • Cloud backup manager.
  • VPN (separate purchase only).
  • Identity theft protection (US, Canada, and EU only).

I found BullGuard’s extra features to be hit or miss. The firewall is really good, but the parental controls failed to block most of the inappropriate content in my testing. However, BullGuard’s identity theft protections are excellent, providing real-time credit monitoring through Experian’s international network. BullGuard’s VPN is decent, but it’s not worth the extra purchase (especially when there are so many standalone VPNs that are much better for gaming).

The most basic package — BullGuard Antivirus ($23.99 / year) — is just the antivirus and the game booster, and it only covers 1 device. If you want most of the features mentioned above, you’ll need to get BullGuard Internet Security ($29.99 / year). BullGuard Premium Protection ($40.00 / year) also adds the ID protection and a network scanner.

Bottom Line:

BullGuard has a good malware scanner, a decent range of extras, and an advanced game booster that increases frame rate and decreases load times during gameplay. I’m not a fan of BullGuard’s user interface, and the parental controls could be much better. However, all of the other features are good — if you’re looking for an affordable and secure antivirus for your gaming PC, then BullGuard is a good option (it also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee).

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Read the full BullGuard review >

Bonus. ESET Smart Security Premium — Good Malware Scanning & Advanced Diagnostics

Bonus. ESET Smart Security Premium — Good Malware Scanning & Advanced Diagnostics

ESET provides an advanced anti-malware engine and diagnostic tools for Windows security experts — while ESET is a good choice for highly tech-minded users, most users should look elsewhere.

That said, ESET’s malware scanner uses advanced heuristics to catch zero-day malware threats — scoring near-perfect detection rates on all of my tests.

ESET also has:

  • Advanced diagnostics.
  • Anti-phishing.
  • Data and device encryption.
  • Anti-theft.

ESET’s advanced diagnostic tools are some of the best on my list — they provided a comprehensive list of all of my device’s files, drivers, and registry entries so any expert could easily analyze any changes to my system in an emergency.

ESET is a good anti-malware tool with some unique security features — but the best-value ESET Internet Security ($49.99 / year) plan only covers 1 device, and you have to pay extra for each additional device, which can get pretty expensive, pretty fast. ESET also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

ESET provides secure antivirus protection along with some unique features for advanced users. If comprehensive system usage reports and device encryption tools sound like an appealing extra, then ESET is a great choice. If you have no idea what those features are, then check out one of the other programs on my list.

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Read the full ESET review >


Comparison of the Best Antiviruses for Windows in 2022

Antivirus Starting Price Firewall Anti-phishing VPN Money-Back Guarantee
1.🥇Norton $19.99 / year Yes Yes Unlimited data 60 days
2.🥈Bitdefender $23.99 / year Yes Yes Unlimited (with Bitdefender Premium Security) 30 days
3.🥉TotalAV $29.00 / year Yes Yes Unlimited (with TotalAV Internet Security) 30 days
4. McAfee $49.99 / year Yes Yes Unlimited data 30 days
5. Avira $45.99 / year Yes Yes Unlimited data (with Avira Prime) 60 days
6. Panda Dome $28.49 / year Yes Yes (only 50% detection rate) Unlimited (with Panda Dome Premium) 30 days
7. Kaspersky $29.99 / year No Yes 300 MB per day 30 days
8. Malwarebytes $39.99 / year No Yes Unlimited (with Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy) 60 days
9. Trend Micro $19.95 / year No Yes Unlimited (with Premium Security Suite) 30 days
10. BullGuard $9.99 / year Yes Yes (Only w/ BullGuard secure browser) Yes (separate purchase only) 30 days
Bonus: ESET $39.99 / year Yes Yes No 30 days

How To Choose the Best Antiviruses for Windows 10 & 11

If you’re buying an antivirus, you want to make sure that it will offer significant improvement over the built-in security protections offered by Windows 10 and 11 — here’s what you need to look for in a good Windows antivirus in 2022:

  • Malware detection rate. Look for scores close to 100%, as well as antiviruses that use advanced tools like machine learning and advanced heuristics (like Norton). These tools can detect malware that traditional signature-based scanning methods fail to catch.
  • Web protection. You need to protect your online activity with features like anti-phishing protection, secure browsers, and anti-tracker tools that really work.
  • Performance. A good antivirus program operates seamlessly in the background without slowing down your computer. While some processes like a full disk scan can slow down your system somewhat, you should look for an antivirus that won’t drain your resources or cause performance issues. Norton and Bitdefender have the best performance out of all antiviruses on my list.
  • Innovative features. Internet security tools like data breach monitoring, software updaters, file encryption, game boosters, and identity theft protection aren’t universal — if you need very specific protection, look closely at an antivirus’s features (and make sure that the features actually work).
  • Value. Some antivirus programs are very cheap but only provide basic protections, whereas some premium suites charge more but provide a lot more functionality. Make sure to get a product with a money-back guarantee so you can get a refund in case you’re not satisfied with the program.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

Some top Windows antivirus brands didn’t make it to my top 10 list despite being recommended by many other review sites:

  • Heimdal. Offers advanced protection at the network layers — blocking malware before it can be delivered to your device. But this software is far too complex for most home users, and it lacks many additional features that other antiviruses provide for the same price.
  • Webroot. Light, fast, and easy-to-use antivirus that has a decent range of features, but its detection rates just weren’t good enough when I was testing it, so I can’t put it with the others on this list.
  • AVG/Avast. Avast and AVG, which are owned by the same company, were alleged to be selling user data to third parties. They’ve broken my trust and don’t deserve to be on this list. You can read more about the allegations here.

Doesn’t Windows already have an antivirus installed?

Yes, most Windows computers come pre-installed with Windows Defender, which is much more useful now than it was a few years ago. However, it does not provide the same malware protection that the other antiviruses on this list do.

For protection against ransomware, spyware, adware, and other dangers like phishing and identity theft, Windows Defender won’t help. While Windows Defender is OK for basic protection, it doesn’t protect against any kind of advanced malware.

If you’re extremely careful and don’t have anything important to protect on your PC, Windows Defender is fine. But if you keep any kind of sensitive info on your computer — logins, passwords, banking info, photos, etc. — you should get something guaranteed secure like Norton 360.

Are free antiviruses good enough?

While there are a few free Windows antiviruses that do a decent job of protecting your PC, none of them will fully protect all of your data. They always lack necessary functions that are needed for 100% cybersecurity protection, like:

  • Web protection.
  • Ransomware protection.
  • Phishing protection.
  • Theft protection.
  • A VPN.
  • Encrypted file storage.
  • Automatic backups.
  • And a lot more…

Antiviruses like Norton and McAfee have a huge range of internet security features that make sure your computer and all of your most important data is fully protected from the latest cyber threats.

Will an antivirus slow down my computer?

It depends on how you use your computer.

The wrong antivirus will become a problem if:

  • you’re a gamer.
  • you need to use CPU-intensive apps.
  • you own an older computer.
  • you do a lot of online streaming.

All of the antiviruses on this list will run smoothly, quickly, and without performance issues.

The top Windows 10 & 11 antivirus of 2022 — Norton 360 — will not slow down your PC system at all, regardless of how you use it.

Which antivirus is best for both Windows and Android/iOS/Mac?

Many antiviruses cover multiple operating systems across Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac devices, including most on this list.

All of these antiviruses have been ranked and rated for Windows, but they all have other OS support which is equally as impressive. For instance, my favorite Windows antivirus — Norton 360 Deluxe — includes 5 licenses across all Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac devices.

About the Author

Ben Martens
Ben Martens
Senior Editor
Updated on: May 1, 2022

About the Author

Ben Martens is a cybersecurity journalist with a background in internet ethics, malware testing, and public policy. He resides in Oregon, and when he's not advocating for the rights of internet users, he's walking with his dog and inventing stories with his daughter.