Nowadays, ransomware is the worst category of viruses that can happen to us, widespread worldwide and capable of hitting even PCs with the antivirus updated with the latest definitions.
Ransomware is software, which the unsuspecting user downloads thinking they are something else, which immediately encrypts the contents of the most important folders with the purpose of demanding a ransom to obtain the decryption key of the files.
The serious problem is that, even if you remove the ransom virus, your files are still inaccessible and lost forever, almost impossible to recover.
Although we must always remain vigilant when we browse the internet or download software or open the e-mails and start with the preconception of mistrust is not wrong, which always remains the best defense against any threat, a solution that comes to us to defend against ransomware is anti-ransomware software.
There are several free ones in circulation, and they remain running on Windows in the background or scan for likely threats, do not interfere with the normal work of the antivirus and are recommended for all those who have important files in the computer to protect and want to be quieter.
The advice is always to have a second periodically updated copy of your data.
Before moving on to list these tools, it should be assumed that Windows Defender in Windows 10 already offers this type of protection and no additional third-party software is required.
RansomFree by CyberReason
It is, to date, the best free tool for Windows 7, 8 and 10, to counter ransomware, an ingenious solution for real-time protection against these terrible malware.
RansomFree checks Windows background processes and if it finds abnormal behavior, report it so it can take action before it can do damage.
The software has no configuration and activates immediately after installation.
A software similar to the previous one that protects real-time browsing on websites and prevents ransomware infections automatically.
The Cryptoguard feature blocks in the bud any attempt by viruses, even if unknown, to encrypt personal files and removes the threat before it can create problems.
Hitman is not free and you can try it for 30 days (the purchase license includes that of the full antivirus).
BitDefender Crypto-Ransomware Vaccine
It is a free tool dedicated to protecting cryptowall, CBT-Locker, Locky and TeslaCrypt ransomware.
Micro anti-ransomware trend
It is a software without real-time protection, but it works to scan your computer for infections in order to remove them.
Noransom by Kaspersky
It is a tool to decrypt files blocked by CoinVault and Bitcryptor viruses.
It includes the anti-ransomware tool to prevent your computer from being infected with various ransom viruses such as CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, CTBLocker and all their variants.
This software is also designed to block undetected ransomware, detecting whether a process or software attempts to use a personal file encryption system.
MalwareBytes Anti-Ransomware, previously you could use it as a standalone software, while now it is only included within the Antivirus MalwareBytes.
It is a professional protection software against all ransomware, which you can download in free and limited version so you get a defense against the only Cryptolocker virus.
With this software, you can prevent software from starting or installing from other locations, including user profile folders, the temp, program data folder, and the Start menu auto-run folder.
In addition, not only .exe files but also other types of executable are blocked, and exceptions can be created to allow particular files to start anyway, even if they are placed in locked folders.
The protection applies only once and remains active without the need to reopen Cryptoprevent again or keep it in the background.
Best Antivirus and Anti Malware Software of 2020:
Norton: 100% malware protection with lots of additional features, such as child protection, a VPN, and a password manager. Buy the best protection of 2020 now.
Many current antivirus are no longer enough, because smarter cybercriminals are becoming much harder to combat. By now, many antiviruses are useless or – at worst – actively harmful. I tested some dangerously ineffective antivirus software, which made my computer more vulnerable than before. The worst thing is that some antivirus software are actually malware in disguise, designed to infect your computer and steal your personal information. Antiviruses did two things: detect and remove computer viruses. Today it’s much more complicated. Most antivirus companies now offer comprehensive software packages designed to protect every aspect of your online life. At a minimum, antivirus software should include protection from all new advanced forms of malware – not only viruses, but also from other malicious threats such as spyware, rootkits and ransomware. Several antivirus companies now also offer additional features, such as:
Phishing protection: To help you search, shop, and bank safely online.
VPN: A secure Internet connection that protects your personal information.
Parental control: to protect your children when they browse online.
To choose an antivirus product, you first need to know how to defend against malware. But not only that: you also need to know what extra features include, how good they are and whether you really need them.
Little time? Here’s a summary of the best antivirus of 2020:
Norton 360: the best choice of 2020. It offers powerful malware protection, with a wide range of features, including a password manager, a VPN, and exceptional parental controls.
McAfee Total Protection: The best protection for your home network. Includes everything you need to protect your family.
Avira Prime: the best choice to optimize your system. It protects your computer and helps it work better.
Bitdefender Total Security: Has the most extra functionality. Includes everything you need to protect every aspect of your online security.
Kaspersky Internet Security: the best for shopping and online banking. It offers robust payment protection, with great antivirus capabilities.
5 more antivirus to review.
Comparison of the best antivirus.
Frequently asked questions about antivirus software.
As I reviewed the best antivirus software of 2020:
I have tried over 70 cybersecurity software and have very high standards in terms of online security. Here are the minimum requirements that I demand from an antivirus to recommend it:
Robust malware protection. I only approve of products that have proven to be able to protect me from the most advanced malware threats, not only viruses, but also spyware, rootkits, ransomware and anything else that can cause damage to me or my devices.
Extra good quality functionality. Many antivirus brands offer additional security features. The products on my list include valuable, really useful and effective features, not just imaginative extras that will weigh down your computer and slow down the performance of your device.
Fast and efficient I only recommend lightweight applications, which work smoothly, even on slower computers.
Easy to use. Whether you’re an amateur or an expert, everyone needs good antivirus protection. I have personally tested each antivirus application on this list, to make sure that anyone can configure and use these software with ease.
Good value for money. Antivirus software can be a big investment. But all these products have great value. I consider factors such as: What features are included, how many devices are protected and whether there is a free trial or refund guarantee.
The best brands that failed to qualify:
You may notice that some of the most well-known antivirus brands do not appear in this list. I limited my list to the 11 best antivirus software available on the market, but there are some pretty good products that weren’t good enough to earn a ranking.
Avast/AVG. Presumably, Avast has been selling users’ browsing data for several years. For this reason, we no longer recommend Avast or other subsidiaries (such as AVG) on this site. You can read more about our choice here.
Eset. ESET is one of the world’s largest antivirus vendors and offers great contributions in the field of cybersecurity. Unfortunately, its current home antivirus is not easy enough to use to put it on this list. However, ESET has gotten a place in my best free antivirus apps for Android.
Comfortable. I recommended Comodo as one of the best antivirus products for Linux, but there is much less competition on Linux. Comodo’s cross-platform antivirus product currently has too many bugs and some features are not working properly.
1. Norton 360 – Best overall antivirus solution
Norton 360 – Best overall Norton 360 antivirus solution offers unbeatable cybersecurity and protection: If you’re looking to protect any device, on any platform, it can’t be my number 1 choice to protect your personal information and make sure your family stays safe while browsing online. Norton offers great features for all 360 subscription levels. Even with Norton 360 Standard (the cheapest plan), users have real-time malware protection, unlimited VPN access, a password manager, and 10 GB Secure Cloud storage. It’s really good value for a standard antivirus product. Switching to one of the premium plans also has great advantages: more licenses, more storage, and access to the best parental control software I’ve ever used in an antivirus. U.S. customers also have the added benefit of protecting their identity and credit with Norton LifeLock. Norton’s powerful antivirus engine can handle the most advanced online threats. It got a 100% malware protection score when I tested it for my dedicated Norton 360 review. It works smoothly and doesn’t slow down your device. It’s also very easy to use – simple by default, but with detailed customization options if you want to be more technical. Norton 360 is simply a great product: affordable, reliable and powerful. It’s the best choice if you’re looking for a complete, easy-to-use antivirus solution.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use antivirus package that offers complete and powerful protection, Norton 360 is the best it can be. Norton offers unbeatable malware protection and offers many extra high-quality features: its unlimited VPN, password manager, secure storage, and parental control are all excellent tools that will significantly strengthen all your online security.
Protect yourself now with Norton
2. McAfee Total Protection – Best for Home Network Security
McAfee Total Protection – Better for home network security McAfee Total Protection includes almost all the Internet security features you’ll ever need, including:
Highest quality protection from malware, including viruses, spyware and ransomware.
Secure web browsing.
A password manager.
As we found out in our in-depth review, McAfee’s malware protection capability alone makes Total Protection a great purchase. But the extra features are an amazing bonus: high-quality security tools, which will protect you on any front. An amazing feature of McAfee Total Protection is “My Home Network.” The tool provides an easy-to-interpret map that shows all devices on your home Wi-Fi network, giving you total control over online security and allowing you to block intruders. You never know when it might come in handy! A few months ago, my partner downloaded the infamous “Switcher Trojan” on her Android phone. The virus has infected our Wi-Fi router, offering hackers a backdoor in our home network. McAfee alerted me to the unauthorized access attempt and immediately blocked the attack. This is just one example of how McAfee Total Protection can dramatically improve your online security, and is perfect for explaining why I’m a big fan of the brand. McAfee is a recognized leader in the cybersecurity market and Total Protection is its best antivirus package ever.
McAfee Total Protection offers a wide range of high-quality features. McAfee’s “My Home Network” feature is exceptionally good, providing centralized security control across all devices on the network. That’s why McAfee Total Protection is a particularly great product for families who want to protect all devices on their network.
Protect yourself now with McAfee
3. Avira Prime – Best for System Optimization
Avira Prime – Best for optimizing the Avira system has a range of security products, but for this list I selected its highest level antivirus package, Avira Prime, which includes the premium version of all Avira products, including:
Password Manager Pro.
An unlimited VPN.
Premium app for Android and iOS.
Multi-layer advanced ransomware protection: Detects the ransomware and prevents it from encrypting important files.
It also includes something else, like an anti-phishing browser, but I don’t think it’s particularly good and didn’t work well when I compared it to other similar features of Norton and McAfee. However, the amount of extra top-notch features included along with one of the best antimalware engines is remarkable. And while many antivirus products include optimization tools – apps designed to help your device work better and to free up hard drive space – I think Avira Prime’s System Speedup feature is the best one out there. System Speedup optimization tools include:
Hyperboost. Improves the startup time of your computer.
Power Boost. It funnels all available resources into a single task, ideal for games.
OnWatch. Automatically cleans your computer based on predefined instructions (e.g. when you reach 1 GB of temporary files).
I use a rather old system to test antivirus (I don’t want to deliberately infect my best PC with malware!) and System Speedup made my old computer work as new – in fact, it looked almost faster than when I bought it. The Avira software is also super light. Even with the in-depth scan of Avira in the background, I managed to use my test computer virtually without slowing down. That’s why Avira Prime is a great buy if your computer is slow or often finds itself with little hard drive space.
I have always valued Avira’s wide range of cybersecurity tools. And Avira is famous in the online security landscape for producing one of the best antimalware engines in the world. One thing I particularly like about Avira Prime is that it offers unlimited access to all Avira products. And my favorite – System Speedup – is the perfect solution to optimize old or slow computers.
Protect yourself now with Avira
4. Bitdefender Total Security – Best for Additional Features
Bitdefender Total Security – Best for additional features Bitdefender has become one of the most important names in the cybersecurity industry getting over half a billion users worldwide. Bitdefender Total Security is Bitdefender’s top-level home antivirus product. In addition to being a powerful and highly effective antivirus solution with perfect detection rates, Bitdefender offers one of the most comprehensive security suites on the market. Here are just a few of the many features available with Bitdefender Total Security:
Real-time and on-demand protection from all types of malware.
Web protection, including phishing, fraud, and spam protection.
PC optimization tools.
A password manager.
The list goes on, as we noted in our full review, Bitdefender provides all the cybersecurity tools imaginable in the Total Security plan. Obviously quality is more important than quantity and all these features are outstanding. Bitdefender Total Security offers highly effective optimization tools, reliable anti-theft software, and a fast, easy-to-use VPN. But most importantly, Bitdefender’s antivirus engine is extremely powerful. I love that Advanced Threat Defense constantly monitors my active applications making sure there is nothing suspicious and that multi-layered ransomware protection protects my files from unwanted encryption. The only downside is that the software is relatively complicated and the installation and configuration takes a long time. However, if you have time to configure it correctly, you will be rewarded with a truly powerful antivirus.
Bitdefender Total Security offers a phenomenal range of security tools at a cheaper price than most competitors. Without compromising quality: they are all extremely powerful security tools that will improve your online life. If you know computers well enough and take online security seriously, I can’t help but recommend Bitdefender.
Protect yourself now with Bitdefender
5. Kaspersky Internet Security – Best for Online Shopping and Online Banking
Kaspersky Internet Security – Best for online shopping and online banking The web is fraught with dangers and your antivirus must protect you from cyber-attacks. Kaspersky Internet Security takes Kaspersky’s renowned and robust antivirus protection and adds some amazing bonus features, which will help you stay protected online as well. Shopping and online banking are risky activities: without proper protection, you are vulnerable to fraud and fraud. Becoming a victim of a banking Trojan or a spyware keylogger can have devastating consequences. I know people who have lost thousands of dollars because they haven’t been careful enough to shop online. Many antivirus packages offer some form of online payment protection, but Kaspersky’s solution, “Safe Money”, really appeals to me. Kaspersky can detect when you are about to make a payment or use online banking. Thus, you can launch a secure and impenetrable sandbox browser window from malware and use Kaspersky’s on-screen keyboard to avoid keylogger detection. Kaspersky’s antivirus engine consistently offers some of the best results in the industry against all types of malware. Check out my review of Kaspersky’s Internet Security line. It has proven to be 100% effective in anti-malware testing. In my opinion, Internet Security is Kaspersky’s best plan. The basic product, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, is a solid but essential antivirus application. The most expensive product, Kaspersky Total Security, includes some pretty useless features and is not worth it.
Kaspersky Internet Security is a powerful and well-designed antivirus package that has obtained perfect malware detection results in my tests. I love Kaspersky’s Safe Money feature, which provides a secure environment to protect financial information – an essential protection if you often shop or bank online.
Protect yourself with Kaspersky now.
6. TotalAV – Easier to use
TotalAV – Antivirus easier to use TotalAV is one of the newest brands on my list and since there are so many recent antivirus companies coming and going, I was skeptical when I first tried it. However, after my last review, I can safely say that TotalAV is a great antivirus product. TotalAV is a “white label” of Avira, which means that it is Avira’s software that powers The TotalAV antivirus engine. So while TotalAV is a new brand, it works with some of the most reliable cybersecurity technologies available. TotalAV also has a really simple and easy-to-use design. It’s one of the most beautiful antivirus products I’ve ever used. You can access all the features of TotalAV from its home screen within a couple of clicks, making it really easy to understand. If you’re not familiar with antivirus, you’ll probably like the simplicity of TotalAV. TotalAV also offers a full range of extra security features, including a password manager, a VPN and phishing protection. Most of its features are very good (except for “Safe Search”, the feature to protect you from unsafe search results, which requires many improvements), although access to each of these features might be a bit expensive.
TotalAV has a powerful antivirus engine and a wide range of features. An eye-catching and intuitive design helps this relatively new brand stand out from the crowd. It’s worth taking a look at TotalAV, especially if you’re not familiar with antivirus and are looking for something easy.
Protect yourself now with TotalAV
7. BullGuard – Best for Gamers
BullGuard – Best for BullGuard gamers offers powerful anti malware protection on three pricing planes, along with many additional features, including intuitive parental controls, a secure and convenient cloud backup, and a highly protective firewall. One feature of BullGuard that I really like is Game Booster. Game Booster frees up system resources to ensure that all games work smoothly. It also blocks annoying pop-ups during the game. When I play, I hate the fact that most antivirus slows down my computer or show pop-ups. It is extremely frustrating and I am always tempted to completely disable my antivirus protection, which of course would leave me exposed to malware. With the BullGuard Game Booster enabled, I don’t notice any slowdown in the performance of my computer. In fact, Game Booster makes all my games faster by isolating all other active apps on a single CPU core. Obviously Game Booster isn’t the only good reason to choose BullGuard. BullGuard’s antivirus engine has performed well in all of SafetyDetectives’ most recent tests. There are also many other additional features in its main plans, such as phishing protection, which got perfect results when I tried it on several fake websites.
BullGuard uses powerful antivirus technology and adds fantastic features like Game Booster that actually improves game performance. BullGuard is a renowned antivirus for gamers and is a great antivirus product even for non-players. Take advantage of its 30-day free trial and find out how much it’s right for you.
Protect yourself now with BullGuard
8. Panda Dome – Best for Flexible Price
Panda Dome – Best for flexible price Panda offers smart cloud-based virus detection and an intuitive interface with 5 different pricing plans: I love the fact that Panda offers its security solution so powerful to everyone, regardless of budget.
Free. Includes real-time antivirus protection and a firewall for Windows, as well as a VPN (limited to one virtual location and 150 MB per day).
Essential. Adds malware protection for Android and macOS, Wi-Fi protection, and external device scanning.
Advanced. Includes parental control, ransomware protection and safe browsing.
Complete. It includes a Data Shield to encrypt your personal information, a password manager and device optimization tools.
Ultimate. Unlimited VPN access from 22 locations and 24/7 priority technical support.
The price difference between the first and last levels is remarkable. But with monthly payment plans and the first free month, you can find the right product for your needs without risk. All these plans have great value. Panda Dome Free is also pretty good and offers real-time antivirus protection, which is missing from many free antivirus products. I think Panda Dome Advanced offers the best value for money among the five subscriptions, mainly because of its excellent ransomware protection and parental controls.
With its five floors, Panda Dome offers all the security features you might need, such as real-time virus protection, ransomware protection, a password manager, and a VPN. Panda offers monthly payments, which is perfect if you don’t want to pay an annual subscription in advance. And if you don’t want all of Panda’s advanced features, Panda offers an option for all budgets and needs.
Protect yourself with Panda now
9. Trend Micro – Best for Phishing Protection
Trend Micro – Best for Phishing Protection Japanese cybersecurity company Trend Micro offers a range of antivirus plans, including:
Internet Security. Defends up to 2 devices with privacy protection, malware, on the Internet and parental control.
Maximum Security. It protects 2 to 25 devices, includes a password manager, online banking protection, and system enhancement tools.
Premium Security. It protects 6-10 devices, adds premium 24/7 support and a specialized virus removal service.
All Of Trend Micro’s features work extremely well (although Norton’s parental controls are far superior). However, phishing protection is the strong point of this brand. Phishing scams are increasingly common and can be very difficult to detect for antivirus software. Cybercriminals can create duplicate websites (a tactic known as “domain spoofing”) designed to trick you into providing your personal information and passwords. Browsers like Chrome and Firefox incorporate some phishing protection. However, this basic protection is not sufficient. Trend Micro’s anti-phishing feature has achieved outstanding results in phishing protection tests, detecting more phishing websites in my tests than all the competition.
Trend Micro offers a great set of security and privacy features and some interesting customer support options in its most expensive plan. It is especially effective in phishing protection and will help you avoid malicious sites that try to steal credit card numbers or passwords.
Protect yourself now with Trend Micro
10. Cylance Smart Antivirus – Easier Antivirus Solution
Cylance Smart Antivirus – Simpler antivirus solution Cylance is not the best-known cybersecurity brand. But among industry experts, Cylance is highly respected and is renowned for its advancement of antivirus technology. Unlike many other antivirus, Cylance Smart Antivirus does not use a list of malware definitions. Use artificial intelligence to continuously observe how your files and processes behave. Cylance says its artificial intelligence-based antivirus engine is substantially different from its competitors. Several other companies – such as Panda and Comodo – have developed artificial intelligence-based antivirus engines, usually as part of a wider range of antivirus technologies. But Cylance relies entirely on this IA technology and does so with excellent results. Cylance Smart Antivirus does not include extra functionality. There are no different pricing plans, except for discounts for purchasing multiple licenses. All you need to do is install Cylance and let it protect your computer. Cylance avoids pop-ups, update reminders, and annoying notifications to switch to more expensive versions. If you want a powerful, easy-to-use and in-economic antivirus solution, Cylance is a great choice.
What I like:
Easy to use: just install it and don’t think about it anymore.
Unique, IA-based antivirus engine.
No update prompts or other annoying notifications.
Excellent antivirus protection value.
Discount to purchase multiple licenses.
What I don’t like:
No extra functionality: just simple malware protection.
No mobile apps.
No free trial.
No VPN, no firewall, no browser extension: just simple and smart malware protection. Cylance Smart Antivirus will help you keep your computer fast and malware-free, but I suggest you also purchase other cybersecurity products for full protection.
Protect yourself now with Cylance
Comparison of the best antivirus of 2020
Antivirus Firewall Cloud-Based Scanning VPN including Free Version Refund Guarantee
Norton Yes No Unlimited Data No 60 Days
McAfee Yes No Unlimited Data (with auto-renew subscription) No 30 days
Avira No Yes Unlimited Data (with Avira Prime) Yes 30 days
Bitdefender Yes Yes 200 MB/day Yes 30 days
Kaspersky Yes Yes 300 MB/day Yes 30 days (US) and 14 days (UK)
TotalAV Yes Yes Unlimited (with TotalAV Internet Security) Yes 30 days
BullGuard Yes No No 30 days
Panda Yes No Unlimited (with Panda Dome Premium) Yes 30 Days
Trend Micro No No No 30 Days
Cylance No No No No 30 days
Best Antivirus of 2020 – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best antivirus for Windows 10?
What is the best antivirus for Mac?
What is the best antivirus app for Android?
What is the best antivirus for a Windows laptop?
How do I choose the best antivirus that’s right for me?
What is the best antivirus software for Windows 10?
All antiviruses in this list work on Windows 10 and also on some earlier versions, such as Windows 7. I recommend Norton 360 as the best antivirus software for Windows for most users. Kaspersky Internet Security also includes a very useful “Windows Troubleshooting” feature that can help Windows recover from a malware attack.
What is the best antivirus software for Mac?
Most antivirus software products in this list work on multiple platforms, including your Mac. Norton 360 is a great choice for Mac users, but some features (such as Cloud Backup and Parental Control) are limited on Macs due to Apple restrictions. As mac-specific antivirus software, I usually recommend Intego or Airo AV. Check out our updated list of the best antivirus software for Mac for more specific advice.
What is the best antivirus app for Android?
In my opinion, the best antivirus app for Android is Norton Mobile Security. Norton 360 Deluxe comes with 5 licenses, and you can use as many licenses as you want on mobile devices. If you’re looking for a free antivirus app for Android, Bitdefender Antivirus Free ranks first in my 5 best free Android antivirus apps.
What is the best antivirus app for Windows laptops?
Windows laptops work like desktops with Windows: all antivirus products in my list will also work on Windows laptops. But since laptops tend to be slower than desktops, you might want to consider Avira Prime, which is my best choice for slower computers. If you have a fast and new laptop, any of these software will work well, so it’s just a matter of finding the one that most directly meets your needs.
How do I choose the best antivirus for me?
Choosing the right antivirus package can be difficult: there are many solutions and the best protection does not come cheap. Here are some things you can do before you permanently purchase an antivirus:
Choose what features you need. Basic antivirus protection is essential, but many other security features are also important. If you use many public Wi-Fi networks, you need to take a product that includes a VPN. If you have children, you need parental control. The most comprehensive products on this list, such as Norton 360, offer these more advanced features.
Consider which and how many devices you need to protect. You definitely have more than one device that requires antivirus protection. All products in this list offer discounts for multiple licenses: for example, you can use the best subscriptions of Norton, McAfee on up to 10 devices, including smartphones. However, Panda does not include an iPhone app and Cylance does not offer any mobile protection.
Take a look at the free trial period. Several brands on this list offer a free trial without obligation. For example, your first month with Panda is completely free. And almost all other brands offer a “no-question” refund guarantee, for example TotalAV offers a refund within 30 days and Norton has an even more generous one at 60 days.
Try the software. Dedicated a little to testing the product you have chosen. If you’re not satisfied, contact customer support. Or just ask for a refund: these brands have a really good reputation to maintain and will 100% honor any valid refund request. You can test all products in this list at no cost before choosing the right one.
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