Best Antivirus for Windows 11

Windows 11 comes equipped with Microsoft Defender, a decent free antivirus option. However, for genuinely robust protection against today’s ever-evolving threats, a premium antivirus suite is the way to go. But how do you choose among the many antivirus options for Windows 11 out there? 

We’ve tested and thoroughly analyzed various antivirus software to find the absolute best for Windows 11. If you’re in a rush, here’s our quick summary, complete with pros, cons, and key features.

  1. Surfshark Antivirus: Best Antivirus for Windows 11: Lightweight protection specifically designed to keep your Windows 11 system running smoothly. Offers real-time malware protection, a powerful firewall, and the bonus of a Surfshark One subscription for unlimited VPN access and extra privacy tools.
  2. Norton Antivirus Plus: A trusted name in security, providing reliable protection against the latest threats. Includes essential features like a smart firewall and password manager while maintaining a minimal impact on your Windows 11 experience.
  3. McAfee Total Protection Essential: Known for its user-friendly interface and suite of security features. Includes a firewall, protection against identity theft, and safe web browsing for a well-rounded defense on Windows 11.
  4. TotalAV Antivirus Pro: Combines strong antivirus protection with system tune-up tools to improve your overall Windows 11 performance. A good choice for those who want their PC running at its best while staying protected.
  5. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus: Offers excellent malware protection with low system impact, making it ideal for Windows 11. Includes core security features and customization options for those who want more control over their protection.
  6. Panda Dome Essential: Provides a no-frills approach to Antivirus, focusing on reliable malware detection for your Windows 11 system. A solid option if you prefer simplicity without sacrificing protection.

Criteria for the best Windows 11 antivirus

When evaluating Windows antivirus software, we test each provider using a strict set of criteria. For an in-depth look at our testing process, see our full methodology later

  • Strong protection: Top-notch malware detection is essential.
  • Windows 11-friendly: It must run smoothly on your system.
  • Easy to use: Clear settings and a simple interface.
  • Useful features: We like extras like firewalls, password managers, and VPNs.
  • Value for money: The best balance of features and cost.

Best antivirus for Windows 11

Here’s a detailed look at our recommended antivirus for Windows 11:

1. Surfshark Antivirus

Surfshark One Antivirus Apr 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • IOS
  • Android

Website:  www.surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Surfshark Antivirus prioritizes lightweight protection designed to keep your Windows 11 system running smoothly without sacrificing security. It offers real-time threat detection, acting as a vigilant shield against malware 24/7. Schedule regular scans for added peace of mind, and leverage the data breach alert system to take swift action if your personal information appears on the dark web. Surfshark Antivirus integrates seamlessly with the broader Surfshark One suite, allowing you to upgrade for an unlimited VPN, private search, and more (all features not included with standalone Antivirus).

Even as a standalone product, Surfshark Antivirus offers excellent value. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to set up and manage, even for non-tech-savvy users. And with 24/7 customer support available, you’re never alone if you have questions or encounter any issues.

Plus, Surfshark Antivirus goes beyond Windows 11 – dedicated apps ensure you can extend your protection to other devices you use, providing a security solution that travels with you. To top it all off, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try it risk-free and see for yourself if it’s the right fit for your Windows 11 security needs.

Pros:

  • AV works on Windows and Android
  • Provides 24/7 customer service
  • Built-in VPN
  • Includes ID Theft Protection

Cons:

  • Limited features for expert users
  • Antivirus is not available as a standalone product

BEST ANTIVIRUS FOR WINDOWS 11:Surfshark Antivirus offers lightweight protection, an unlimited VPN, and a suite of privacy tools, making it an outstanding choice for Windows 11 users. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 support.

Read our full review of Surfshark Antivirus.

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2. Norton Antivirus Plus

Norton

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • Android

Website:  www.Norton.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 Days

Norton Antivirus Plus offers robust protection for your Windows 11 system, backed by a long history in the cybersecurity world. It focuses on the essentials: potent malware detection (consistently earning perfect scores in independent tests), a smart firewall for network security, and a password manager to safeguard your login credentials. 

Its interface might feel a bit dated for some, but Norton’s experience ensures it stays effective without bogging down your Windows 11 experience. Norton also offers 24/7 customer support if you encounter any issues. While this protection is core to Norton Antivirus Plus, it also has the potential to expand into a broader security suite with features like a VPN and identity protection (at a higher cost), giving you the option to ramp up your security further down the line if desired. And with its generous 60-day money-back guarantee, you can try Norton Antivirus Plus with peace of mind.

Pros:

  • Bulletproof malware detection rates
  • Trusted name
  • 24/7 support
  • Includes a password manager

Cons:

  • Pricey renewal costs
  • No free version

EXCELLENT DETECTION SCORES:Norton Antivirus Plus boasts perfect malware protection scores and time-tested reliability. It offers a 60-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 support.

Read our Norton Antivirus review.

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3. McAfee Total Protection Essential

McAfee

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android

Website:  www.mcafee.com

McAfee Total Protection Essential prioritizes a user-friendly experience for Windows 11 users. Its antivirus engine guards against threats is supported by a firewall to monitor your network activity and has tools to help you browse safely online. Setting up and managing your security is straightforward, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to deal with complex security features. 

McAfee also provides 24/7 customer support for any questions or issues that may arise. Just be aware that while a VPN is advertised on the McAfee website, it comes with data limits, and some advanced features are only found in higher-tier McAfee packages. However, McAfee Total Protection Essential is worth considering if you’re looking for a solid security solution with no-nonsense protection for your Windows 11 system.

Pros:

  • Very good at identifying malware
  • Long-time provider with a long history of high-grade Windows protection
  • Designed well for MacOS.
  • Highly-rated by independent testing labs.

Cons:

  • No option to turn off auto-renewal at checkout.
  • Gets expensive after the first year

TRUSTED BRAND:McAfee Total Protection Essential delivers user-friendly security from a recognized name in the industry. It offers a 30-day free trial and 24/7 support.

Read our full review of McAfee.

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4. TotalAV Antivirus Pro

TotalAV Antivirus Pro

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android

Website:  www.totalav.com

TotalAV Antivirus Pro aims to protect your Windows 11 system while optimizing its performance. Its primary focus is robust malware detection, working alongside web protection, a firewall, and a password vault. The included system tune-up tools are a nice bonus that can help keep your PC running smoothly. 

TotalAV’s interface is user-friendly, and they offer 24/7 support if you have questions. Just be aware that its frequent upsells for additional products can be a slight annoyance for some users. However, if you’re looking for a security solution that goes beyond basic antivirus and helps boost your Windows 11 performance, TotalAV Antivirus Pro is worth considering.

Pros:

  • Several customer support options
  • Excellent first-year pricing
  • Advanced phishing and ransomware protection
  • Desirable system maintenance features

Cons:

  • Erects headache-enducing cancelation roadblocks
  • Mixed zero-day protection scores

Our score:

4 out of 5

SOLID MALWARE PROTECTION:TotalAV consistently excels in independent lab tests. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and live chat support.

Read our full review of TotalAV.

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5. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • Android

Website:  www.Bitdefender.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 Days

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus excels in malware protection, consistently earning top marks in independent tests for its ability to catch even the newest threats. It’s designed for minimal impact on your Windows 11 system, ensuring your PC stays responsive and snappy while you’re protected. 

Alongside its core antivirus features, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus includes a vulnerability scanner to help identify potential weaknesses in your system. It offers customization options for users who want more control over their protection. 

It also provides 24/7 customer support if you need assistance. However, remember that features like a VPN and password manager are only included in higher-tier Bitdefender packages – this version focuses squarely on top-notch malware protection for your Windows 11 system.

Pros:

  • “As good as it gets” independent lab test results
  • Doesn’t produce high battery drain for Android
  • Allows users to turn off auto-renewal at checkout
  • Large number of features for the price

Cons:

  • Live chat is unavailable for canceling
  • Pushes some additional software at checkout.

Our score:

4 out of 5

PERFORMANCE-MINDED PROTECTION:Bitdefender combines malware defense with tools to optimize your Windows 11 experience. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 support.

Read our full review of BitDefender Antivirus.

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6. Panda Dome Essential

Panda

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android

Panda Dome Essential takes a streamlined approach to antivirus protection for your Windows 11 system. Its no-frills interface focuses on the essentials: reliable malware detection, a firewall for network protection, and safeguards against threats lurking on USB devices. This straightforward approach makes it a great option for users who want a dependable antivirus that does the job without unnecessary complexity.

You won’t find many fancy extra features, but Panda Dome Essential offers 24/7 customer support and provides a solid layer of protection for your Windows 11 system.

Pros:

  • Machine-learning approach to zero-day malware detection
  • Offers a growing list of tools and packages
  • Fast full-system scan times
  • Rare “unlimited devices” offer

Cons:

  • Essentials package is extremely limited in features for the price
  • Too many false positives

SIMPLICITY AND RELIABILITY:Panda Dome Essential provides provides no-frills antivirus protection for your Windows 11 system. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 support.

Read our full review of Panda Dome.

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Methodology: How we select the best Antivirus for Windows 11

Choosing the best antivirus for Windows 11 requires careful consideration. Here’s how we find the top options:

  1. Windows 11 compatibility: The Antivirus must be fully optimized for Windows 11, ensuring seamless integration and smooth performance.
  2. Minimal system impact: We test how the Antivirus affects everyday tasks, web browsing, and software use. It shouldn’t make your Windows 11 feel less snappy.
  3. Strong malware protection: Top-tier detection rates against viruses, ransomware, spyware, and other threats are essential. We use both real-world tests and lab results.
  4. Ease of use: The interface should be intuitive for users of all skill levels, with clear settings and straightforward customization.
  5. Useful features: We value extras like firewalls, parental controls, VPNs (especially those with unlimited data), and password managers.
  6. Value for money: We assess the feature set and protection level against the price, finding the best balance for Windows 11 users.

On an older version? Check out our article on the best antivirus for Windows 10.

FAQs

Do I really need antivirus for Windows 11?

While Microsoft Defender has improved, a premium antivirus offers stronger protection and frequent updates against new threats and often comes bundled with useful extra features.

Will antivirus software slow down my PC?

The best antivirus options are designed for minimal system impact. Our top picks won’t affect your Windows 11 experience noticeably, even during gaming.

What about free antivirus?

Free options can be tempting, but they often lack crucial features or come with limitations, making them less reliable for long-term protection.