Malware Protection: Which Anti-Virus Software Should I Use?

Antivirus protection

When we think of malware or malicious software, our first thoughts focus on file corruption or PC damage. However, there is more to it than that. Malware can pause more dangerous threats, and it is wise to protect yourself.

Fortunately, most Windows PCs come with in-built software that offers scanning and firewall management, while Macs are known to have the best security system. Though this is great, it is not enough. You need extra protection for your PC, yourself, and your loved ones.

What Does an Anti-virus do?

Anti-virus software is a machine learning tool that is used to protect your PC from different malware, including viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, adware, and ransomware. 
Features found in anti-virus software

Finding the best software for your needs can be difficult if you do not know what options are available or what you are looking for.  Anti-virus software has evolved over the years, and most now come with additional features. 

At its core, great anti-virus software should offer some level of protection. This protection by scanning and removing malware from your PC. Other features include:
  • Online protection as you surf. Some offer protection against harmful pop-ups.
  • A firewall to protect against unauthorized entry. 
  • Parental control to help keep your kids safe online.
  • Password manager.
  • Online privacy using virtual private networks (VPN).
  • Ability to flag suspicious links and block content with potential malware. 
  • Sandboxing
A great malware scanner should be able to work in the background protecting your PC.

Common Anti-malware Software

There are many anti-virus software options to pick from, both free and paid for. Some software offers both options or includes packages with different protection features. Some scanners may also require local installation, while others connect to the cloud to scan your PC. Clearly, there are many options.


Norton has been around for a while and offers 360-degree protection through its various plans. It uses artificial intelligence to find and identify malware through its real-time scanner. It supports both Windows and macOS.

Norton currently has 4 plans- Antivirus Plus, Standard, Deluxe, and Select with LifeLock protection. These plans cost between $19.99 and $99.99 and have different features. Some of the features include:
  • Heuristic scanning
  • Firewall
  • Lifelock identity theft mitigation
  • Parental control
  • Password manager
  • Cloud backup
  • Full VPN
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Hacking protection


TotalAV is a fast and easy-to-use software that offers protection against malware. It offers three packages-Total Security for $59 per year, Internet Security for $39 per year, and Antivirus Pro for $19 per year. Though pricier than some software, it is one of the best protection software and boasts features such as:
  • Real-time malware detection
  • VPN services
  • Password manager
  • A safe site browser extension to protect against phishing
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee.


Bitdefender is a leading anti-malware software with proactive malware and spyware scanning that is fast and silent. It uses machine learning to detect malware, making it very accurate.

It also has game, work, and movie modes that help in scheduling malware notifications.
It also has different packages that cost between $29.99 and $49.99. The packages offer different features like:
  • Boot scanning whenever your PC starts.
  • Cloud scanning to protect PC performance
  • Password manager
  • Parental controls
  • Secure browser for online finances
  • File shredder
  • 30-day moneyback guarantee
  • Offsite backup for macOS


Malwarebytes is a game changer. It is one of the most effective and efficient malware protection software. It is updated regularly and can identify new threats as they come. It comes with a 14-day trial upon installation and reverts to the free version once the 14 days are up. However, you can choose to upgrade according to the number of devices you want to be protected.

It recently bought  Adwcleaner, which removes programs that hijack your browser and change or reset browsing defaults. Other features include:
  • Ransomware protection
  • Play mode for scheduling alerts
  • Real-time protection


When you think about antivirus software, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Kaspersky since it is a popular brand. It is easy to use and comes with different packages, which you can find on their website. Kaspersky offers:
  • Malware protection
  • Parental control
  • Password protection
  • A data leak checker
  • Webcam protection


Avast is also another veteran that has been in the antivirus software game for a while. It has both a free and a premium version. It is more famous for its free version, which is just as good as the premium one. It detects malware in real time and also offers:
  • Sandboxing
  • Flagging fake sites.
  • VPN services
  • A firewall
  • Comprehensive reports


AVG is free antivirus software that comes with a paid version for small businesses. It offers scanning and removal of malware and includes features such as:
  • Security updates in real-time
  • Password protection
  • Email protection against phishing
  • Firewall
  • Hack alerts

In Summary

All operating systems are susceptible to malware, and it is important to choose one that is easy to set up and use and one that scans and protects your system from malware. If you can, get software that protects against all forms of malware, not just anti-viruses. It is a small but worthy investment.

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