The best antivirus software to protect your computer in 2021

If you're anything like the average person these days, you're handling plenty of personal business like bill paying and banking online. This modern age of convenience is beneficial in many ways, but it also leaves us vulnerable to cyber theft.

To protect your assets and identity, antivirus software is a must. Protection plans are affordable (all here average out to about $10 a month) and give you the kind of safety and peace of mind you need when handling sensitive information over the web.

Download one of these top-rated options today, many with free trial options, and feel safer while also cleaning up the junk stored on your PC so it runs more smoothly and efficiently.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Bitdefender

Bitdefender has steadily grown over the past five years and is now used in over half a billion systems to “anticipate, instantly detect, and block” potential threats as they roll in across the net.

In independent AV Tests conducted between 2011 and 2020, Bitdefender ranked highest in Best Protection Against Infections and had the lowest effect on performance.

While there are three levels of protection available starting at $23.99, we suggest stepping up one level to the Total Security tier so you can protect up to five devices and get the benefits of Mac OS, Windows, Android, and iOS protection, plus the standard automatic upgrades and full online support that come standard with each plan.

Bitdefender
$29.99

Avira Prime

Avira goes back as far as 1986 when it comes to computer protection, so it’s no surprise they’re still a trusted name in antivirus software. The system will act to stop threats as they come up and will give you mobile protection, secure browsing, and software updates, but perhaps one of the best add-ons is the price comparison widget that finds secure online deals to save you cash while shopping online.

While Avira offers a free download that will start you on your way to increased protection, weare more apt to indulge in the Prime version featuring the perks listed above that will defend you from all manner of cyber attacks and hold numerous benefits for under a hundred bucks a year.

Avira
$99.99

AVG Complete

If you have a lot of devices to cover and want to do so in an airtight manner, AVG’s Complete Package could be the ideal system for you.

It does all the basics you want from security software, such as making online shopping and banking safer, preventing hackers from using your webcam, and stopping viruses, but you also get an automatic VPN that lets you browse privately and stay secure while using public wifi. The tune-up feature will clear out the junk clogging your systems, too, which will speed up your connection and increase battery life.

You get all of this on 10 devices rather than the more standard five, and it's only $79.99 when you sign up for a full year.

AVG
$79.99

Bullguard Premium Protection

Bullguard emphasizes their concern on identity protection, a very real threat in the modern word that often jeopardizes finances and worse. They keep an eye on email address, phone numbers, credit and debit cards, driving licence, passport, loyalty cards, ID cards, international bank account, and more, then email you every time they noticed any suspicious activity connected to any of them.

Another fun facet to Bullguard is the Game Booster, a system that allows you to game in total safety without sacrificing the play of the game, and in some circumstances even improving upon it by blocking pop-ups and other interruptions and distractions.

Bullguard
$59.99

McAfee Total Protection

McAfee has long been one of the most trusted and recognized names in the antivirus software game, so look to them if you want the comfort of a name brand, the protection you need on 10 devices, and you want it for $44.99–less than half the price of several others on this list. This is just the first year cost, yes, but you can also up to $99.99 for unlimited devices and protection if that sounds more comfortable for your needs. Half a billion people are using McAfee, and if you’re still unsure, there’s a free trial available during which you can cancel at any time.

McAfee
$29.99
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