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Best Antivirus Protection in 2022

Pros and cons for our top Antivirus Software picks to protect your devices

by Kurt Knutsson

With so many antivirus software programs on the market, it’s hard to know which is right for you. With new scams and increased amount hacks popping up all the time, it’s important to protect your personal information and devices.

We’ve picked our Top 5 best contenders when it comes to Antivirus Software for 2022.  We’ve made it easy by breaking down the prices, pros, and cons, and giving my top overall pick.

 

Why install Antivirus Software and Apps?

As technology improves and grows every day, so does the chance of your private information getting hacked.

The goal of Antivirus Software is simple: to prevent, detect, and remove any malware. Cybercriminals create malicious software with the intention of damaging or interrupting the data on your device.  It’s the best layer of protection between you and the malicious attacks that target all of our devices.

 

CyberGuy’s Top Choices for Antivirus Software:

TotalAV – [2022 BEST CHOICE WINNER]

 

PROS

  • Easy setup
  • Paid users receive real-time protection
  • Phishing scam protection
  • Ransomware Protection
  • System tune-up tools
  • Disk cleaner (find out which files may be wasting space and remove from your computer)
  • Browser manager and cleaner
  • Protects Windows, Mac, Android & iOS Devices
  • Customer service is very prompt

CONS

  • Not really a con, but best features like VPN and adblocker only come in paid versions
  • Only protects up to 6 devices on the most expensive version

PRICE

DEVICES

  • Up to 6 devices with the Total Security package  (This is the one I chose and use for my family’s protection)

Deal: $19 for the first year (80% off)
 

Related:

 

Runner-ups

 

Bitdefender

bitdefender center

PROS

  • Offers a free version for desktop and mobile.
  • Research showed Bitdefender blocked 100% of threats last year
  • Offers great features including Anti-fraud and Anti-phishing (they help stop the problem before it begins)

CONS

  • Customer service isn’t as easily available to free users, and it isn’t free for paid users
  • Installation isn’t as quick – it is a bit of a process to get set up
  • macOS support is available only with paid plans

PRICE

  • Plans start at $23.99 the first year

DEVICES

  • Bitdefender Total Security protects up to 5 devices per year
  • MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android device protection available
Deal: Save 60% – $23.99 for the first year

 

 

Norton 360 

norton 360

PROS

  • Competitive pricing (especially for just one device)
  • Offers VPN on some plans
  • Norton’s Virus Protection Promise guarantees full protection from any viruses or malware or your money back

CONS

  • Not as strong protection on iOS devices
  • Safe search feature could use improvement
  • Only protects 1 device on lowest plan.

PRICE

DEVICES

  • Norton 360 Deluxe protects up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets
  • Available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and for PC Gaming devices
Deal:  Save 66% – $19.99 for the first year

 

 

McAfee

PROS

  • Can protect unlimited devices with its higher-tier Ultimate plan
  • Also offers VPN with higher packages
  • Can offer identity protection (identity theft protection up to $1 million, password manager, more)
  • Easily choose between Real-Time Scanning or a scheduled scan of your files

CONS

  • Pricing which makes sense considering they are bundling in VPN access (versus offering it a la carte like many of the other companies mentioned above)
  • Reports in past years have said McAfee didn’t block 100% of threats
  • Parental controls were removed from previous versions and are only available through McAfee Family Coverage

PRICE

DEVICES

Deal: Save $90 – $34.99 for the first year

 

Malwarebytes

malwarebytes antivirus

PROS

  • Small-business friendly
  • Easy to install and use as backup to another Antivirus software if you wanted an added layer of protection
  • Offers a Browser Guard which you can download and add to Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari on Mac computers, and blocks trackers while browsing websites
  • Has a VPN plan available for additional purchase

CONS

  • Doesn’t offer as many additional features as other Antivirus software
  • Real-time protection only available in paid-for version and doesn’t have as high a performance rating as other programs.   I note this because many users flock to the free version of this antivirus program. The item to note per their free download page is “After 14 days, your devices and data will not be protected in real-time.”  If you’re going to protect your devices, you’ll want to keep your software up to date looking out for the latest threats. The paid plans are the way to go.

PRICE

  • $39.99 per year for 1 device, $79.99 for 5 devices

DEVICES

  • You can protect 5 devices with a Premium plan
  • Available for Windows, Mac, Android, Chromebook, iOS

Deal: $3.33 per month with one year purchase

 

Now that you are protecting your devices, take the next step and protect your privacy with the Best VPNs for Browsing the Internet Privately 2022.

Additional ways to protect your devices

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11 comments

Stephen Semo February 14, 2022 - 4:08 am

I’ve been using Zone Alarm Extreme Security for more than a decade with absolutely no issues. Given them a look next time.

Reply
Arthur Werry February 15, 2022 - 12:51 pm

I’ve used BitDefender for years and have never been charged for customer service with my paid version. They have always been very helpful.

Reply
Cynthia Watson February 16, 2022 - 5:37 am

I have not had a paid subscription to an antivirus since I have a Mac. But lately I was feeling vulnerable so I got the old stand by Malware Bites. They saved me numerous times when I had Microsoft computers so I went with that. Do you feel they are sufficient ?

Reply
Kurt Knutsson February 19, 2022 - 9:13 am

Hi Cynthia – as a mac user, I’ve used the free version of Malwarebytes in the past and find it to be a good, but not great solution. Back then I considered anti-virus security software as a nice utility to fend off nuisances.

Today, security threats are far more pervasive and can do much more deep damage especially financial. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when your devices will come under attack.

Would you drive with your seatbelt fastened and have airbags in your car if you knew an accident was not just possible, but inevitable? That’s how I see security and privacy attacks – an accident waiting to happen. I want the best reasonable protection. You should too.

Reply
Glenn Winslow February 19, 2022 - 7:57 am

What is your opinion of PC Matic?
Love your tech info
Thank you

Reply
Kurt Knutsson February 19, 2022 - 8:53 am

Hi Glenn – we included the top tier anti-virus security performers in our review. We did not publish any data from anti-virus solutions that did not meet strong standards in performance, reliability, affordability and most of all, how well the company supports and robustly maintains its ability to identify threats while not interfering or blocking the good stuff on our devices. Hope that helps.

Reply
Eric February 25, 2022 - 6:05 am

What is your opinion of Kapersky anti-virus software? How does it compare to Norton anti-virus

Reply
Kurt Knutsson February 25, 2022 - 6:17 am

Kaspersky products were banned from all U.S. government departments in 2017 by the US Dept of Homeland Security over allegations that the Russian-based company had engaged with the Russian Federal Security Service.

Prior to that time, Kaspersky had consistently ranked in the top ten list of best malware detection software.

I no longer recommend security solutions that originate from countries where government control could itself pose a risk. Those countries notably include China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

Reply
Joyce Cowen March 26, 2022 - 6:31 am

Thank you so much for your information on Scams. I currently have antivirus protection till Nov. 2022, Kaspersky. Do I need to uninstall this software before I install the new one you suggested, Total Av?

Reply

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