The Best Antivirus Software for Windows

Having an antivirus package installed on your Windows PC or laptop is a necessity; cyber criminals and hackers still, unfortunately, plague the Internet.

Cyber crime has been growing significantly year on year, so it’s more important than ever that you have a solid antivirus program installed on your machine. Because creators of viruses and malware are constantly coming up with new and inventive ways of spreading their malicious code – see our post last week on the Snatch ransomware – online security companies like ESET, Norton and Kaspersky are constantly updating their antivirus software. Here’s our rundown of the best antivirus software for your Windows PC.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020
Bitdefender is a feature-packed antivirus package. Where other antivirus software might stop, Bitdefender packs in the features, with everything from online banking security to a vulnerability scanner. A key feature of Bitdefender 2020 is an improved ransomware protection feature. Your most important files and folders can be stored in a secure location, accessible to trusted applications, with everything else locked out. The Wi-Fi Security Advisor, which debuted in the 2019 version of this antivirus software, allows you to scan any available wireless network for security vulnerabilities. Bitdefender Internet Security can be added on, offering encryption features, parental controls, firewall and anti-spam features. While the standard version covers up to three devices, users can also upgrade to Bitdefender Total Security edition, which covers up to five devices, including PCs, Macs and iOS/Android devices like phones and tablets. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 is available for £15.99 a year, while Bitdefender Total Security 2020 is priced at £28 a year, and Bitdefender Internet Security 2020 offers advanced protection for an extra £19.99 a year.


Kaspersky Anti-Virus
This Windows-only antivirus software is great for both beginners and experts, and is massively simple to navigate. Kaspersky Anti-Virus is definitely more stripped-back than some other software, but it focuses on the core essentials of cyber security and does so very well. Features include web filtering to block suspicious URLs, reversal of malicious actions thanks to the software’s smart monitoring technology, and a vulnerability scan that checks for missing security updates within software applications. There is a secure connection VPN, but you’re limited to 200MB per day of bandwidth unless you pay for premium access. The interface is simple and easy to use, without being too basic. Kaspersky Anti-Virus is compatible with Windows XP onwards, and there’s a separate Mac version of the software, along with tools for iOS and Android. While Kaspersky Anti-Virus could be described as minimalist, the features that it does include are incredibly robust. Prices start at £24.99 for one year, covering one PC; up to five can be covered for up to £49.99. If you want to try this antivirus software, you can use it for free for 30 days.


Avast Free Antivirus
This free antivirus software boasts a versatile security suite, and provides all the core essentials. Avast Free Antivirus offers real-time detection, picking up known threats as soon as they appear, as well as the blocking of dangerous links and web filtering. The behaviour monitoring feature of Avast can detect any malware-like actions that are being performed, and stop them in their tracks. Unlike many free antivirus programs, Avast Free Antivirus doesn’t have any limits or restrictions in place that are designed to make you upgrade to a paid version. There are also no third-party ads, and updates are as regular as you’d imagine. If you do require more advanced features, such as extra ransomware protection, a firewall, a secure DNS system and more, users can upgrade to Avast Premium Security for £59.99 a year.  

Avast Antivirus