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Antivirus: what is the best security suite?

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Antivirus what is the best security suite?

As hackers launch new threats every day, a question arises: how to effectively protect your PC? The answer is simple: by getting the best antivirus. Find in this guide a list of the most powerful security suites for the protection of your computer.

Every year, online threats multiply and affect our computers as well as our tablets, smartphones and other connected objects. Infection of Internet pages by “Bitcoin miners”, ransomware campaigns on Windows, theft of personal data and exploitation of the latter for financial purposes… The threats are developing and are increasingly complex and discreet.

Therefore, the best solution is to get a powerful antivirus. But how do you know which software is more effective than another? Thanks to our comparison of the different security suites available on the market, you will find all the answers to your questions. In this article, we only introduce you to paid antiviruses for a simple reason. Even if Windows has considerably inflated its defensive arsenal, its protections remain essentially focused on the PC and its files.

But users now want truly universal shields that protect their privacy, data, and online activities for everyone in the household, and every device they use. Such is the interest of a security suite in 2022 compared to free antiviruses, necessarily less rich in features.

What are the best security suites?

We have extensively evaluated and compared the best security suites from major vendors. Our data comes from testing labs: Each lab regularly tests leading antivirus products for their ability to detect and eradicate zero-day malware and other threats. The performance impact caused is also closely scrutinized.

Our ranking exclusively includes security suites whose protection and impact on performance have been proven by each of the three aforementioned labs. By compiling their ratings, we established general averages out of 100.

  • McAfee: 99.4
  • Norton: 99.4
  • Avast: 99.1
  • AVG: 98.9
  • Avira: 98.6

McAfee Total Protection 2022

McAfee Total Protection climbs to the top step of the podium in the Compiled Ratings Game. Compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, this security suite offers excellent protection against viruses, ransomware and other insidious malware. It has a very low impact on the performance of your machine except for the execution of standard software. However, we regret that certain features are accessible under certain conditions.

 

In addition to its ability to protect you from malware, McAfee Total Protection includes a firewall that strengthens the security of your home network and a password manager to centralize them in a secure vault. Besides, the 10-device plan includes a parental control tool that covers Windows PCs and your children’s Android/iOS devices. It allows you to oversee their screen time and protect them from inappropriate content. It is even possible to geolocate them when they are out and about.

If you validate the automatic renewal, an unlimited VPN will be made available to you in order to protect your browsing information and change your geo location to access certain online services. In addition, a PC optimizer will allow you to save valuable battery points if you are on a mobile device. Likewise, it will optimize the resources of the applications so as to grant you increased speed. A temporary files and cookies cleaner is also available.

What’s more, a vulnerability analyzer is included in order to centralize in the same place the security updates to be made urgently (OS and applications). The antivirus also monitors the dark web to let you know if your emails address passes through it; a good way to identify a possible leak of your personal data.

Norton 360 Deluxe 2022

The level of protection offered by Norton 360 Deluxe is very satisfactory, as evidenced by its very high scores obtained during tests carried out by the three reference labs. In particular, it repelled all threats in the AV Comparatives “Malware Protection Test” (March 2022). Sure of its strength, the publisher also promises to reimburse you in full if its experts fail to eradicate malware that has engulfed your machine. To benefit from it, however, you must have activated the automatic renewal subscription in advance.

 

With this suite, the user will be able to count on Norton’s powerful firewall which makes it possible to stop potentially harmful traffic. You’ll also get 50GB of cloud backup (up to 200GB with the Advanced suite). In addition to the possibility of ensuring the survival of your files in the event of a malfunction, this will allow you to protect yourself from encryption orchestrated by ransomware.

 

Faced with the proliferation of difficult passwords to remember, you will necessarily appreciate Norton’s in-house manager. This is capable of generating complicated passwords and protecting them in an encrypted vault. A VPN is also available on five different devices (10 with Advanced) to ensure your online privacy and security while giving you access to normally inaccessible content. To prevent spying via your webcam, the SafeCam tool will block malicious intrusions.

Finally, if you are looking to moderate the content viewed by your children online, Norton offers a comprehensive parental control system. Which will list the videos watched, the sites viewed and the terms searched. Also on the menu: blocking inappropriate sites, automatic locking of devices, monthly reports and alerts when your child tries to access a blacklisted site.

Another interesting feature is Dark Web Monitoring, a tool that will let you know if your personal data is passing through the dark side of the Web.

Avast One

Like its friend AVG (which was acquired by Avast Software in 2016), Avast One is an alternative of choice to ensure the protection of your PC. By aggregating its latest results obtained during the SE Labs, AV-Comparative and AV-Test tests, we gave it an overall average of 99.1/100. Apart from quality protection, this suite has a very slight impact on the performance of your machine, which does not spoil anything.

Email analysis, suspicious behavior of an application, advanced firewall… This suite is full of security features. We particularly appreciate its anti-ransomware protection which protects your files from possible malicious locking. What’s more, the focus is on online security. The attachments received are analyzed and the fraudulent sites inviting you to indicate your bank details are reported.

Unlike its free version Avast One Essential, this suite offers an unlimited VPN that allows you to avoid geoblocking and ensure your online privacy and protection. In particular, you will know if your password is compromised by a data breach. Application optimization tools are also integrated. It is even possible to centralize all updates (drivers and applications) and optimize the use of resources.

Note also the presence of a Wi-Fi inspector who will detect flaws in your network or public networks. And that of an agent dedicated to passwords that will allow you to ensure their protection in the browser. The suite also protects your webcam from spying attempts. Note the lack of an integrated password manager. In this regard, Avast reports that it has stopped selling new subscriptions to Avast Passwords. It is always possible to opt for the free version.

AVG Internet Security 2022

When it comes to protection, AVG Internet Security also does very well in the latest benchmarks. The suite scored an average of 98.9/100 when we aggregated its various lab ratings. Its effect on performance is minimal and materializes especially when consulting websites (19% slowdown on a high-end PC).

In terms of features, know that this suite will block suspicious links, downloaded files and attachments. Convenient to protect against phishing. Securing your online shopping and banking transactions, reinforced firewall to block hackers determined to colonize your network, reinforced protection against ransomware… AVG Internet Security is well calibrated against threats.

 

However, this suite does not have a VPN, password manager, parental controls or built-in webcam protection. This is reflected in its price, AVG Internet Security being less expensive than its competitors mentioned above.

Avira Prime 2022

This is an alternative that might also work for you. The publisher’s flagship security suite, Avira Prime offers you real-time protection against malware but also against threats on the Web. Online tracking, corrupted downloads, annoying and/or infected advertisements… Already free, the Avira Browser Safety extension will take care of the grain when you browse the Web. We should also mention the presence of a cleaner, suitable for cleaning up your machine and optimizing performance. At the same time, Avira Prime lets you automatically update your apps and drivers.

An unlimited VPN is also included to anonymize your browsing and access blocked content. And a password manager is also included in the suite, the latter allowing in particular to create “unhackable” passwords, promises the company. With Avira Prime, you benefit from the premium version of the manager (already free) which identifies weak and/or already used passwords and notifies you if one of your accounts is hacked.

Unlike the free suite, Avira Prime takes care of alerting you immediately in the event of breaches of your data and provides you with specific customer service. In addition, protection is available for 5 devices (PC, Mac, smartphones or tablets).

ESET Internet Security 2022

ESET Internet Security also deserves to be known. In the absence of recent data provided by Labs, we were unable to award it an overall average. However, it does quite well in other tests, notably with a protection rate of 99.77% in the AV Comparatives “Malware Protection Test”.

In detail, the software has an anti-ransomware shield, which protects your data from encryption. A good point also for its ability to protect payments and banking transactions and to block harmful sites that seek to steal your data. In addition, a firewall allows you to prevent unauthorized access to your PC. Added to this is automatic protection against malicious network traffic.

Among the other features available, it is also possible to set parental controls, protect your webcam from unwanted activations and protect your router from threatening intrusions. What’s more, the subscription includes a tool for analyzing downloaded files and an additional layer of security against botnets.

However, you must switch to ESET Smart Security (a more expensive version) to benefit from the password manager, the encryption of sensitive data and the LiveGuard service which identifies and stops new threats. Finally, we regret the absence of a VPN included in the subscription.

Bitdefender Total Security

Bitdefender Total Security is also an excellent bulwark against malware. An assertion corroborated by the Real-World Protection Test of AV Comparatives (July-August 2022) where it obtains a rate of 99.4%. AV-Test welcomes the very low impact of Bitdefender on PC performance (never more than 10% slowdown).

 

It is difficult to list all the features included in this suite as they are legion. Bitdefender Total Security includes an intrusion firewall. You can also enjoy secure browsing thanks to its VPN, within the limit of 200 MB of traffic per day. A cleaning tool is provided to optimize your machine and ultimately increase its performance.

 

The focus is particularly on the side of protection against ransomware thanks to the Advanced Threat Defense module. The latter protects your sensitive files from encryption and the resulting ransom demands. Moreover, malicious links sent by your friends on social networks (without their knowledge) are reported. An anti-tracker extension repels trackers that siphon off your browsing data. And a safe allows you to protect your passwords, banking identifiers and other confidential data. Here is a jumble of the other main features available:

  • Webcam and microphone protection
  • Protection of banking transactions
  • Filtering dangerous and fraudulent sites on the web
  • Parental control
  • Vulnerability analysis and patch proposals
  • Battery and system resource saver
  • file shredder
  • Tools against theft

NordVPN

NordVPN is a quality VPN that stands out from the competition thanks to its connection speed of 6730+ Mbps combined with its increased number of servers (over 5400). It is ideal for preserving your privacy on the Internet and ignoring geoblocking. We included it in this buying guide because it has just been enhanced with a valuable feature called “Anti-threat protection”.

 

As its name suggests, it attacks malware by warning you when you are surfing on a malicious site. What’s more, this feature scans downloaded files for potential malware. If necessary, it hastens to erase it in order to protect your machine. In addition, trackers and inopportune advertisements (even dangerous since some hide malware) are blocked.

What are the key features of paid antiviruses?

VPN

Some publishers include VPNs in their antivirus software. This acronym stands for virtual private network. Concretely, a VPN builds a secure tunnel between your Internet network and your machine. This gateway encrypts your browsing data, allowing you to browse discreetly. Enough to significantly reduce the risks of advertising tracking and tracking (company, pirate, government, etc.).

Aside from maintaining your online privacy, a VPN gives you the ability to access sites or platforms that are blocked in your area. And for good reason, you benefit from another IP address depending on the network you have selected. Note that a VPN is also a good bulwark against DDoS attacks. Of the aforementioned antiviruses, here are the ones that include one:

  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • Norton 360 Premium
  • Avira Premium
  • Avast One
  • McAfee Total Protection
  • NordVPN

But there are also many software dedicated to this functionality and in particular optimized for viewing streaming sites. To do this, we invite you to consult our guide to buying the best VPNs for watching Netflix and our tutorial to help you install a VPN.

Parental control

Other features are also offered such as parental control. This allows you, among other things, to filter the content that your children can consult, to have access to their browsing data and to establish usage restrictions. Below are the suites in this buying guide that have this feature:

  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • Norton 360 Premium
  • ESET Internet Security
  • McAfee Total Protection

 

Password manager

Antiviruses can also embed password managers that allow you to store them safely to avoid tangling your brushes. To access the safe, simply enter the master password (but it is also possible to opt for two-factor authentication). These managers are sometimes able to generate stronger passwords to increase the security of your accounts. Here are the antiviruses in this folder that include a password manager:

  • Avast One
  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • Norton 360 Premium
  • Avira Premium
  • McAfee Total Protection

Webcam Protection

What’s more, paid antiviruses often include a tool to protect your webcam, which is also susceptible to being hacked. A malicious individual can actually activate it without your knowledge to spy on you and capture compromising snapshots of your privacy.

  • Avast One
  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • Norton 360 Premium
  • AVG Internet Security
  • ESET Internet Security
  • McAfee Total Protection

Ransomware Shield

Finally, there are anti-ransomware shields which aim to protect your files from encryption. As a reminder, a hacker can encrypt your files to demand a ransom from you in exchange for a decryption key. All the suites mentioned in this file integrate this functionality.