What Is the Best Antivirus Software to Protect Your Devices?

Updated on November 10, 2018
DaltonOverlin profile image

I have been repairing computers for 7 years now, both in terms of hardware replacement, and fixing software related issues.

How Were These Results Gathered

This list of the best, most trustworthy antivirus software is constructed from the independent tests carried out by AV-TEST. An independent institution that conducts independent research on the security, and overall trustworthiness of antivirus software. The institution tests how well the antivirus identifies viruses, protects against them, and the overall impact the antivirus has on the performance of your device.

When Were These Results Collected

The results in this article are based on the test results published by AV-TEST which were conducted August, of 2018.

List of Safest Antivirus Software for Windows Devices

Below I will list in order the best antivirus software's for Windows first, then move in descending order to least favorable antivirus software's for Windows devices. Below each brand of software, I will list the percentages of malware detection rates that each of these brands were graded to have detected by the AV-TEST analysis.

1. AhnLab

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AhnLab was graded as one of the best antivirus software's for Windows because it detected 100% of malware. It provided excellent protection against all known viruses, and protected against more unknown threats than most other antivirus software's. It also caused little to no system slowdown which is an important aspect to have for people who like a speedy computer and quality security.

2. Avast

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Avast antivirus is second on this list because the results concluded that it detected around 99% of malware, compared to AhnLab which detected 100%. It also caused more system slowdown, while browsing the web and doing everyday tasks than AhnLab which is why it is second on this list.

3. AVG Internet Security

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The third best antivirus according to the tests is AVG Internet Security, which detected 99% of malware threats, which puts it in the range of Avast antivirus in terms of protection. However, in terms of system slowdown, AVG actually fared slightly better than Avast, especially when conducting simple system tasks and web browsing.

4. Avira

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Avira detected around 99% of all malware threats much like other recent mentioned brands. Though Avira detected 99% it actually was lower on the end of detecting malware by slight percentages in prior tests. However, it actually fared better by using fewer system resources. So my personal analysis of Avira leads me to believe it may be the best in terms of using fewer system resources to keep your system running faster.

5. Bitdefender

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Looking at Bitdefender, which detected 100% of malware on a consistent basis. The reason Bitdefender is in fifth place is due to the significant reduction it had on system performance compared to the other antivirus software's. Other than this Bitdefender is an excellent choice if you want full on virus protection, but if you have an older or slower PC you'll want a different antivirus that uses fewer system resources.

6. BullGuard

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BullGuard antivirus is sixth on this list with a malware detection rate of 100% according to AV-TEST. While this is good, it appeared that its results were somewhat inconsistent over the period of a few months. Meaning that previous tests had slightly lower results of malware detection which is why BullGuard is sixth on this list. One other great aspect of BullGuard is that it appears it is moderately easy on system resources according to the test results.

7. Kaspersky

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Moving towards Kaspersky antivirus it was graded as achieving a 100% malware detection rate. However, it was reported that it had quite a few false positives, meaning it was falsely identifying safe files as viruses. Most antivirus software's do this, some slightly more than others which is why Kaspersky is in seventh place.

8. McAfee

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In eighth place is McAfee antivirus, that detected 100% of all malware threats on a consistent basis. However, it is in eighth place because the results appear to signify that it considerably slows down your system during regular tasks like browsing the web. Results also signify that it severely slowed down starting regular software programs on the tested device. So this is something to keep in mind if you like your system to run fast then McAfee may not be your best choice.

9. Windows Defender

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Microsoft Windows Defender is ninth on this list, even though it consistently detected 100% of malware threats consistently. The only drawback is that Windows Defender is only available for Windows devices, and it does significantly slow down the installation of new software. Though if you do have a Windows device, this is the best choice for you if you don't want to pay extra for an antivirus as it's offered for free by Microsoft.

10. Norton

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Norton antivirus detected 100% of malware consistently, while it's only drawback appears to be the slow down it causes on system performance. So if you have a fast device Norton would probably be a good choice. However, if you have an older or slower device Norton is probably not your best choice.

Why do I Need a Antivirus

Now, most of you already know the answer to this, as you need some sort of antivirus because there are viruses all over the internet. They could be hidden in photos, PDF files, they could even be in the form of dangerous scripts on websites that take advantage of vulnerabilities in browsers. There are so many ways viruses could weasel their way in, so the best way to look at this is if you have an internet connected device it is vulnerable. So for all these reasons if you have a device that connects to the internet, it's best to have an antivirus.

Which Antivirus do I Choose

Well, if you want my advice based on these test results as to which antivirus you should choose for your windows device I will give you my verdict. If you want a free option I would recommend sticking with Windows Defender, as it truly is secure. However, if you don't fully trust Windows Defender I would recommend Avast antivirus as they offer a free version of their software, and it has good security ratings.

Now if you're looking for an antivirus that you have to pay for, I would recommend one of these three choices. AhnLab, Avast, or Bitdefender as all three are solid choices if you want a well-protected device. I base these choices by looking at the test results provided by AV-TEST, and my personal experience of using all these antivirus software's over the years at one point or another on my own computers.

Thank you for reading, I hope these test results will help some of you make choices as to what the best antivirus choices are for your personal needs.

© 2018 Dalton Overlin

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