Which Antivirus Software Should I Use? Best in Show For All Devices

Aviva Zacks
Posted: December 16, 2018

At SafetyDetective, we review as many antiviruses as the industry produces. As such, I’m often asked what the very best antivirus is. Users should spend a little time reading our rankings pages for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS to find the solution that meets their needs, but here’s a look at the very best of the best across each operating system.

Windows

  • For a full breakdown of our antivirus reviews for Windows, click here.

Norton Security Premium is our very top choice for Windows antivirus. Its scanning engine has the best detection rate ever built—as independent benchmarking laboratories continue to validate.

Norton also excels at real-time scanning. Its SONAR “zero-day” protection engine identifies viruses before they’ve even been codified in databases. Additionally, it includes a two-way firewall with built-in logic and crowdsourced download protection. Norton is truly an all-around standout and my number one antivirus recommendation for any Windows PC.

Mac

  • For a full breakdown of our antivirus reviews for Mac, click here.

Although the Mac antivirus market is slightly less crowded than the Windows ecosystem, AVG Ultimate is the best Mac antivirus available.

AVG Ultimate includes both antivirus and tune-up tools to keep your Mac safe and free of file clutter.  AVG’s protection also takes care of rootkits, spyware, trojans, and advanced zero-day malware, so there’s really nothing it should miss. In addition, it includes an integrated password manager, a VPN, and a driver update—so there are no potentially-vulnerable outdated components to worry about.

Linux

  • For a full breakdown of our antivirus reviews for Linux, click here.

Whether you’re an Ubuntu or Fedora user, you have several options for commercially-maintained antiviruses—and yes, despite some widespread myths, every Linux machine should be running antivirus protection.

My personal favorite is F-Prot, which provides an extremely comprehensive selection of scanning options and is a good choice for Linux users who are fond of customizing settings. F-Prot can be burned onto a portable USB drive and 32-bit versions of the software are still being produced, so it’s a perfect choice if you’re using legacy hardware.

Android

  • For a full breakdown of our antivirus reviews for Android, click here.

There are some gaping holes in Android’s built-in security features—including the Play Store’s built-in virus scanning engine, which has a spotty history of allowing trojan-infested programs to pass through. A high-quality third-party antivirus app is a must for all Droid users.

Bitdefender Mobile Security has a superb, battle-tested reputation for detecting malware. This is a premium-only tool that has fared extremely well in the independent benchmarking tests. It includes plenty of folder scanning options and can check both internal and external storage devices for threats. Additionally, the web security feature integrates seamlessly in real-time with all installed browser apps, helping fight phishing scams.

iOS

  • For a full breakdown of our antivirus reviews for iOS, click here.

Unless you never leave the house, keeping your iPhone and iPad protected is a must. Unsecured public WiFi hotspots, theft, and loss are just some of the threats that owners face.

My favorite iOS antivirus is Malwarebytes Mobile Security. iOS users will immediately appreciate the slick user interface, but this app does more than just look good. There’s phishing scam protection, ad tracker blocking, and even a call blocking function. Of course, there’s also a virus and malware scanner that includes real-time protection.

A Winning Option for Every Device

With the increasingly complex cybersecurity landscape, every Internet-connected device needs antivirus protection, no matter what operating system it’s running. Carefully decide on a solution based on your unique needs and your budget, but if you want proven protection, one of the above solutions is a great choice.

About the Author

Aviva Zacks
Aviva Zacks

Aviva Zacks is a content manager, writer, editor, and really good baker. When she's not working, she enjoys reading on her porch swing with a cup of decaf.