Best Antivirus for windows 10

Hackers and cyber criminals tend to focus their efforts on the largest groups of users. It’s an efficient way of doing business, but it also means those using the most popular operating system on the market become the most vulnerable to attack. For desktop and laptop computer users, that title goes to Windows 10.

If you’re one of the 62 percent of Windows users logging in daily to Windows 10, you may want to find an antivirus program specifically designed for it. Installing antivirus for Windows 10 reduces the potential threat to your device from malware, ransomware, and phishing attempts that specifically target Windows users.

How we rate Windows 10 antivirus apps

Microsoft has come a long way with its home-grown antivirus solution, Windows Defender. However, as effective as Windows Defender is at removing malware, it lacks the kind of additional features and protection tools users now needed for more holistic security.

Thankfully, Microsoft makes it easy to integrate other antivirus tools into your Windows 10 system by prioritizing those tools over Windows Defender. Your Windows 10 desktop or laptop will immediately sideline Windows Defender in favor of your chosen or preferred third-party antivirus app.

There are dozens of potential Windows Defender alternatives you can use. To determine which is the best antivirus for Windows 10, we examined over 45 antivirus tools against the following criteria:

  • High average consumer review site rating (80% or above)
  • High average independent AV testing lab scores (80% or above)
  • Offers multiple package options to cover 1 or more computers
  • Includes additional security features to protect user privacy when browsing the web, including ransomware protection
  • Provides transparent pricing and subscription options, including the option to turn auto-renewal on or off at checkout

A large portion of our scoring comes directly from our in-depth research into Windows antivirus tools, which you can view on our antivirus comparison page.

Best Windows 10 antivirus apps

Among the dozens of antivirus tools crowding for Windows 10 users’ attention, the following achieved the best scores based on our multi-point grading scale.

Based on our criteria these are the best antivirus for Windows 10:

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus: Best option for most Windows 10 security needs
  2. Kaspersky Internet Security: Heavy-hitting antivirus with a unique approach
  3. VIPRE Advanced Security: User-friendly interface with must-have features
  4. G Data Internet Security: Feature-rich low-cost option
  5. Symantec Norton AntiVirus Plus: Among the most trusted names for Windows security
  6. Comodo Internet Security: Rock-bottom prices for cloud-based security needs
  7. Trend Micro Antivirus: Competitively priced for single-computer protection
  8. McAfee Internet Security: Well-known brand with multiple package options
  9. Emsisoft Anti-Malware: Fast-scanning tool with an emphasis on web browsing
  10. Panda Antivirus: Offers a top-rated and high-scoring real-time virus scanner

You’ll find many antivirus or antimalware tools for Windows 10 look and operate similarly. Most even offer a similar suite of features within the same price range. To that end, the differences are often subtle or exist across factors that many consumers may not regularly consider.

1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

Among the best options for Windows 10 users to explore, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus scores extremely well when measured against our multi-point criteria for Windows 10 antivirus tools.

Bitdefender meets our criteria with the following scores:

  • Average consumer review score: 85
  • Average independent testing lab score: 97
  • Package options score: 95
  • Features score: 100
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 95

Overall Bitdefender Internet Security score: 94

Why use Bitdefender Antivirus Plus? Key features and pricing

Bitdefender slightly edges out Kaspersky and VIPRE thanks to its extremely positive scores across every category.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is particularly well-rated by independent antivirus testing labs. Its critical real-time antivirus tool offers a nearly flawless level of protection, detecting all forms of malware that come its way. The tool also has very little impact on your system, allowing it to run scans in the background without you noticing any loss in performance while you engage in most activities.

Importantly, Bitdefender’s tool sent back no false positives in any of its independent lab tests. This means it won’t block files or downloads you actually do want while ensuring it takes care of the ones you don’t.

The tool is packed with must-have features for Windows users, to include:

  • Real-time threat protection
  • Network threat protection
  • App behavioral monitoring
  • Multi-layer ransomware protection
  • Web security, including anti-phishing, anti-fraud, and anti-spam
  • Anti-tracker (blocks tracking across the web)
  • Webcam protection
  • File encryption
  • Safe browser for online shopping and banking
  • Password manager
  • File shredder

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus offers over two dozen unique features, and additional features come as part of the Bitdefender Total Security suite.

This service auto-renews at the end of the payment period, but you can turn off auto-renewal at checkout.

Bitdefender is Our Top Choice:Feature rich package that is easy to use and scores top marks in each category. No false-positives during tests. Multi-device buying options available.

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2. Kaspersky Internet Security (Tied with VIPRE)

You’ll find Kaspersky Internet Security earned its high spot on our list thanks to its trustworthy approach to software security and internet protection.

Kaspersky meets our criteria with the following scores:

  • Average consumer review score: 81
  • Average independent testing lab score: 97
  • Package options score: 90
  • Features score: 100
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 95

Overall Kaspersky Internet Security score: 93

Why use Kaspersky Internet Security? Key features and pricing

As one of our “tied-for-second” options, Kaspersky Internet Security earns a high spot for a variety of reasons.

This app is one of the most trusted on the market. The first Kaspersky antivirus software hit the market in 1989, even before the company was officially founded. Since then, Kaspersky has operated as a major Windows antivirus outlet. The company also provides regular insights into the malware landscape, releasing reports several times each year that explore trends in malware and consumer security.

The must-have features you’ll find through Kaspersky Internet Security include:

  • Real-time antivirus scanner
  • Anti-banner and anti-spam features
  • Software updater (helps remove potentially vulnerable older software versions)
  • Private browsing
  • Webcam and mic protection
  • Anti-phishing and anti-spyware
  • Protected browser for financial transactions
  • Secure VPN (200 MB of data per day, per device)

A Kaspersky Internet Security subscription will be set to automatically renew every 365 days, but you can turn off auto-renewal at check-out.

GREAT VALUE:Scores well in each category, a trusted household name that doesn’t skimp on features.

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3. VIPRE Advanced Security (Tied with Kaspersky)

Offering a selection of high-powered antivirus and security tools, VIPRE Advanced Security ties with Kaspersky Internet Security primarily due to lower consumer review scores. When it comes to every other factor, however (and particularly independent lab tests and pricing and subscription transparency), VIPRE is among the best options available.

VIPRE meets our criteria with the following scores:

  • Average consumer review score: 68
  • Average independent testing lab score: 98
  • Package options score: 100
  • Features score: 100
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 100

Overall VIPRE Advanced Security score: 93

Why use VIPRE Advanced Security? Key features and pricing

Although the VIPRE brand has only been on the market since 2013, the company behind it has been crafting software for Windows since the early 1990s. VIPRE is highly decorated on the antivirus market, receiving numerous accolades from independent labs that have tested and verified the effectiveness of its AV tools.

Key features you’ll want that are also available in the VIPRE Advanced Security suite include:

  • Real-time antivirus protection using machine learning methods
  • Cloud-based security methods
  • Anti-spyware tools
  • Dedicated ransomware protection
  • Application updater and patching
  • Anti-spam protection for emails
  • Additional firewall protection

More protection tools and features are available if you decide to upgrade to the Ultimate Security package, which offers unique threat protection options such as dark web scanning for your personal information.

This service has auto-renewal turned off at check-out. If you want to auto-renew, you’ll need to manually turn it on.

TIED FOR 2nd Place:has everything you need and uses advanced techniques to keep you covered.

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4. G Data Total Security

G Data Total Security uses two virus scanning engines, one of which is Bitdefender’s highly-rated scanning tool. The use of a Bitdefender engine likely helps ensure this service ranks high on list and scores well with independent testing labs. That said, it still stands on its own legs in the other categories.

G Data Internet Security meets our criteria with the following scores:

  • Average consumer review score: 80
  • Average independent testing lab score: 94
  • Package options score: 90
  • Features score: 100
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 90

Overall G Data Total Security score: 91

Why use G Data Total Security? Key features and pricing

Founded in 1985, G Data has offered Windows security solutions for every major iteration of Microsoft Windows. This Germany-based company provides several different packages for Windows users, including its “Total Security” option for multi-device coverage and AV tools for Mac computers and Android devices.

With its Total Security suite, you’ll find a fair selection of privacy and security features including:

  • Two real-time antivirus scanning engines
  • Anti-malware protection
  • Anti-spam and anti-phishing tools
  • Secured online shopping and banking
  • Additional firewall protection
  • Automatic cloud backup
  • Backup file encryption
  • Included password manager
  • Blocking of unauthorized devices

The service provides no information at check-out about its renewal policy and only scant information about license renewal on its site. However, it appears G-Data does not auto-renew, which is a positive from a consumer standpoint. G Data notes that you’ll receive a renewal message a few days prior to the expiration of your subscription.

TWO VIRUS SCANNING ENGINES:Multi-device and multi-year coverage available.

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5. Symantec Norton Antivirus Plus (Tied with Comodo)

Norton AntiVirus is one of the few antivirus tools that’s a household name. Symantec has been producing Windows antivirus tools 2006, and has supported Windows operating systems from Windows 95 and upward. Like McAfee, it’s also commonly pre-installed on many new Windows computers.

Symantec Norton AntiVirus Plus meets our criteria with the following scores:

  • Average consumer review score: 79
  • Average independent testing lab score: 93
  • Package options score: 90
  • Features score: 100
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 90

Overall Symantec Norton AntiVirus Plus score: 90

Why use Symantec Norton AntiVirus? Key features and pricing

Symantec offers a smorgasbord of features in its Norton AntiVirus Plus tool. The service also offers more flexible monthly payment options versus the yearly subscription option that most other services default to, making it easier to cancel your service as you see fit without paying higher prices.

There are several package options available through Norton AntiVirus, but at a minimum, you’ll get:

  • Real-time antivirus scanning and removal
  • Website scanning and online site blocking
  • 10 GB of cloud backup
  • Password manager
  • Secure VPN
  • Anonymous browser
  • Online tracking blocker

More advanced versions of Symantec feature unique access to identity theft protection through LifeLock (which includes dark web monitoring and ID theft insurance) and parental controls.

Norton mentions its auto-renewal policy at check-out. You can turn off auto-renewal through your account settings.

Trusted Name for Windows:Most flexible payment options to avoid lock-in. Heavy emphasis on user customization with plenty of features.

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6. Comodo Internet Security (Tied with Norton)

As a company that specializes in web security, it makes sense that Comodo has a Windows security tool readily available, as well. What’s more, Comodo Internet Security is incredibly well-rated among more well-known options and even ties in our ranking with Norton AntiVirus.

Comodo Internet Security meets our criteria with the following scores:

  • Average consumer review score: 80
  • Average independent testing lab score: 94
  • Package options score: 85
  • Features score: 100
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 90

Overall Comodo Internet Security score: 90

Why use Comodo Internet Security? Key features and pricing

Comodo has an extensive reach in the internet and software security market. Its products cover multiple business and consumer needs. Notably, Comodo’s stance on antivirus is that free tools are just as effective as paid ones at removing malware and viruses. All the same, the company still offers a paid tool as well with a suite of sought-after features that extend beyond just virus removal, while also offering its tool at a lower price than most of its competitors.

The long list of features available for Comodo Internet Security includes:

  • Real-time and on-demand antivirus scanning and removal
  • Cloud-based antivirus
  • Additional firewall protection
  • Virus sandboxing
  • Web protection
  • Anti-spam and email security
  • Network protection through ID verification for devices joining the network

Comodo has just one antivirus tool available for Windows 10 users. The service auto-renews yearly at the same price. Auto-renewal can be turned off through your user account settings after you’ve signed up.

Price: $7.99 per month for the first year (1 device); multi-device coverage also available.

7. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security

As one of the better-known brands on our list, Trend Micro offers a significant amount of trust behind its product, especially thanks to above-average lab tests. Nevertheless, its reviews on consumer review sites leave a lot to be desired.

  • Average consumer review score: 73
  • Average independent testing lab score: 91
  • Package options score: 90
  • Features score: 100
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 90

Overall Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security score: 89

Why use Trend Micro Antivirus? Key features and pricing

Trend Micro is one of the largest computer security companies in the world. Because it primarily offers business-related products, it has a surprisingly small offering for consumers. Still, there are three packages for Windows 10 users, starting with the 1-device Antivirus+ Security suite.

You’ll find all of the essential tools within its lowest-cost option for consumers:

  • Real-time antivirus scanning and removal
  • Safe web browsing and malicious site blocking
  • Phishing email protection
  • Financial transaction protection

For expanded features such as safe browsing for children, social media privacy protection, system optimization, Trend Micro’s password manager and more device coverage, you’ll need to update to the Maximum Security option.

Similar to G Data, Trend Micro doesn’t readily state its renewal policy. However, it also appears to forgo auto-renewal in favor of manual renewal, which is an extremely positive route to avoid accidental payments in case you don’t want to continue using the product.

Price: $29.95 for the first year (1 device); multi-device and multi-year coverage available.

8. McAfee Total Protection

A long-time leader in the business, McAfee’s Total Protection security app offers a wide selection of tools designed to protect Windows users against both common and uncommon threats.

McAfee Total Protection meets our criteria with the following scores:

  • Average consumer review score: 72
  • Average independent testing lab score: 94
  • Package options score: 100
  • Features score: 100
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 75

Overall McAfee Total Protection score: 88

Why use McAfee Total Protection? Key features and pricing

McAfee has been a household name in Windows antivirus protection for two decades, while the company has been in the software security market since the late 1980s. Before Windows developed its own antivirus tool, new Windows computers often came preloaded with McAfee’s software. In fact, many new Windows computers still have McAfee installed prior to sale, making it easy for some Windows users to activate Total Protection in minutes.

The company’s premier antivirus tools carry a healthy selection of features, including:

  • Real-time antivirus protection
  • Parental controls (site blocking, usage limiter, usage reports)
  • Email spam filter
  • Vulnerable software version scanning
  • Optimization tools (cookie and temporary file deletion)
  • File shredder (completely delete sensitive files)
  • Two-way Wi-Fi firewall
  • Network manager
  • Social network protection
  • File locker
  • Web protection

Additional features are available, depending on the level of protection you purchase through McAfee. Annual auto-renewal is implemented upon purchase but users can turn off auto-renewal through the user account settings.

Industry-leading security experts:Scored high in our lab tests. We’d prefer more pricing options and transparency.

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9. Emsisoft Anti-Malware

Although it has a small share of the market, Emsisoft is regarded in the industry as a highly trustworthy option for Windows security protection. This is highlighted by its positive reception among users and consumer reviews and its excellent array of features.

Emsisoft Anti-Malware meets our criteria with the following scores:

  • Average consumer review score: 70
  • Average independent testing lab score: 93
  • Package options score: 80
  • Features score: 100
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 80

Overall Emsisoft Anti-Malware score: 85

Why use Emsisoft Anti-Malware? Key features and pricing

The first version of Emsisoft launched in 2003. Since then, the company has updated and upgraded its service to meet consumer demand. Emsisoft commands around one percent of the AV software market, which is not insignificant considering how many tools are currently available. And similar to G Data, Emsisoft formed a partnership with Bitdefender that now sees Bitdefender’s antivirus engine powering the Emsisoft Anti-Malware tool.

That said, Emsisoft and Bitdefender are still two different companies and two different apps and differing approaches. Through Emsisoft Anti-Malware, you’ll get the following features:

  • Dual-engine antivirus scanner
  • Potentially unwanted program (PUP) monitor
  • Ransomware protection
  • Commandline scanning
  • Protection against banking trojans and backdoor malware
  • Web surfing protection
  • Behavior blocker for zero-day or undefined malware
  • “Emergency Kit” for scanning any computer via USB
  • Remote management

When you sign up for Emsisoft Anti-Malware, you also agree to the company’s annual auto-renewal terms. You’ll need to turn auto-renewal off through your user account settings.

Price: $29.99 for the first year (1 device); multi-device and multi-year coverage available.

10. Panda Antivirus [Panda Dome]

Panda makes our list for a few key reasons. Although its scores are not the best of the bunch, it’s also a bit of an underdog offering a well-rated AV tool with few weaknesses.

Panda Antivirus meets our criteria with the following scores:

  • Average consumer review score: 70
  • Average independent testing lab score: 87
  • Package options score: 100
  • Features score: 80
  • Pricing and subscription transparency score: 80

Overall AVG Internet Security score: 83

Why use Panda Antivirus? Key features and pricing

Panda Antivirus offers one of the best-rated antivirus tools on the market. There’s also a wide selection of additional tools and features available under its “Panda Dome” software tool that may make it a good selection for consumers needing holistic antivirus and software security.

Among its many features, Panda Antivirus offers:

  • Real-time antivirus scanning and removal
  • Device management
  • Application control
  • Safe browsing
  • USB protection
  • Wi-Fi protection
  • Process monitor
  • Virtual keyboard (to prevent keylogging)

This service automatically renews after the first year. You can turn off auto-renewal or cancel your subscription.

See also: Best VPN for Windows 10