Best Antivirus App for Windows

There are more antivirus programs in Windows than we can count, and none of them are perfect. We recommend Avira right now because it is the best balance between security, ease of use, and cost.

Update: Our previous pick, Avast !, scored lower in antivirus testing by AV Comparatives and AV-Test than in previous years. It also added annoying pop-ups , added to email signatures without prompting , and the company’s SafeZone browser has been criticized for security vulnerabilities . So, we decided to update our selection.


Platform: Windows Price: Free download page


  • Real-time scanning detects threats in files as they are used
  • Run a full system scan on demand
  • Schedule scans and updates whenever you want
  • Manage firewall settings directly from Avira
  • Viewing event logs for threat analysis
  • Won AV Comparatives Awards for True Protection, File Detection, Overall Performance, and Malware Removal.

Where is it best

In AV Comparatives’ annual rigorous testing, Avira excelled in several key areas. It has received home awards for real protection, file detection, overall performance, and malware removal. Overall, it came in at number four, but that’s number one if you only focus on free apps.

Avira also received the 2015 AV-Test home award . It received the highest usability score for the second year in a row and also won the Best Recovery Tool award, beating last year’s winner in malware bytes.

Avira also receives these usability awards. Although this is not quite so “set and forget”, but close. After the first installation, Avira will be configured to run a quick system scan every seven days. The real-time protection function will also be active. However, if you want to perform or schedule a full system scan, you will need to do it manually. It is recommended that you perform at least one deep system scan as soon as you start using Avira.

Where it fails

Avira is at the top of the line when it comes to virus protection, but in the tests we’ve reviewed, it’s not the best. BitDefender and Kaspersky have a higher rating overall, but they also require you to buy the paid versions to get this protection. Avira, on the other hand, works exclusively with a free product, so we recommend using it. Although our recommendations have changed over the years, we still believe that there is no cost to pay for good antivirus protection .

Avira also has several disadvantages of its own. While the antivirus product is good, the launcher will also prompt you to install the browser toolbar, which you really shouldn’t be doing . It also has a daily popup, which is annoying but still not as annoying as Avast.


If you don’t mind spending some money, Kaspersky and BitDefender offer high quality paid products. Kaspersky Lab received AV Comparatives’ Product of the Year 2015 and BitDefender for Best Overall Product. BitDefender received the same award in 2014, but AV Comparatives does not award this award to any product received in the previous year. Technically, this makes them both the best overall. Kaspersky Lab also thanked Bitdefender for its performance and Avira for its usability in the 2015 AV-Test awards . You can download a free trial version of Kaspersky Anti-Virus here , however the full version will cost $ 60 after 30 days. Meanwhile, the free version of BitDefender uses a discontinued engine and its URL filtering doesn’t seem to work on Windows 10. If you want to try BitDefender (and the tests show it’s worth it!) Skip the free version and go straight to BitDefender Internet. Security .

Avast remains one of AV Comparatives’ top products overall (although it doesn’t lead BitDefender, Kaspersky or Avira), but its ratings have dropped over the past couple of years. It finished seventh in the AV-Comparative test and did not receive an award from the AV-Test. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, he started adding a lot of annoying features. This is enough to deny our recommendation. There are countless antivirus programs out there, however, and Avast is still better than most of them. If you can handle the adversity and really don’t like the other options on this list, it’s worth taking a look.

Among other top rated programs by AV Comparatives, ESET had very few false positives and superior proactive protection, while Emisoft won awards for file detection and overall performance. None have been able to score highly in many areas than the previous guidelines, but they are a good alternative if the others on this list are not for you.

Above all, remember that no antivirus solution can replace good browsing habits . Make sure you trust the application before installing it and test it in a secure environment if necessary. Learn how to recognize a scam and not click on everything you see. The more you can detect malware before it gets on your computer, the less antivirus software you have to clean up.


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