Best Antivirus For Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android in 2021
There are hundreds of antiviruses out there — and also they all claim to offer the best protection at the best price. Also, I tested 40+ of the top antivirus software on the market and only a few of them can be considered to be one of the best antivirus for mac and other platforms.
At a minimum, antivirus software needs to include strong virus protection against new and advanced forms of malware — spyware, rootkits, worms, trojans, ransomware, etc. — also every antivirus on this list offers world-class malware protection against all kinds of internet security threats.
Many antiviruses now come with extra features, like a network firewall, a virtual private network (VPN), a password manager, and parental controls (and also many other things). These extra features provide improvements for your device’s native security systems. Because the more secure your device is, the less likely you are to expose your credit card numbers and your login information. All of your sensitive data to internet hackers.
So how do you know which antivirus products offer the best security, the best malware protection, and the best value? I compared the top antiviruses on the market and ranked them on security, functionality, speed, and also price.
How I Rated the Best Antivirus Software of 2021
Strong malware protection
Only recommend products that have proven to protect against the most advanced malware threats – viruses, spyware, rootkits, ransomware, And also anything else that could cause me or my devices harm. I conducted dozens of malware tests, stress tests, and CPU performance tests to ensure that these products can provide rock-solid protection against all viruses, malware, and also other dangerous Internet security threats.
Most antivirus brands offer additional internet security features in their paid antivirus packages. Because a lot of times, these extras are just flashy additions that will weigh your computer down and affect your device’s performance (not to mention increase the price).
So I tested each of the features for each of the products on this list to guarantee that each antivirus’s features are genuinely useful and effective, not just expensive, flashy extras.
Speed and efficiency
The best antiviruses are lightweight and run smoothly — even on older or slower computers — also across all of the software’s intended operating systems. So, I tested and measured how quickly and efficiently each antivirus on this list performed against all the other antiviruses on the market.
Whether you’re an amateur or an expert, you need virus protection for your computers, your phones, and your tablets. But if the software is so technical that you need to be an IT expert to stay protected, then most users will get too frustrated to even receive basic protection. So, I tested each antivirus software here to make sure that pretty much anyone will be able to set it up easily and use it properly.
Antivirus software can be a big investment. I considered all relevant factors such as web and browsing protection features, how many devices are covered, and whether or not there’s a free trial or money-back guarantee. So, I feel that all of these top antiviruses provide great value.
🥇1. Norton 360 — Best Antivirus Software for Windows + Android
Norton 360 offers unbeatable virus and also malware protection. It’s a well-built and well-maintained internet security suite that fully ensures all information stays secure, private, and protected — and it works well across all operating systems (especially Windows + Android).
Norton’s antivirus software uses a unique scanning engine powered by heuristic analysis and machine learning, making it capable of scanning, finding, and also removing all of the newest and most advanced types of malware. It scored a 100% protection rating during all of my independent tests, and it consistently scored higher on detection and threat prevention than built-in antiviruses (like Windows Defender).
One of my favorite things about 360, especially the Windows version, is that it’s both very easy to use and still offers many advanced settings for more technical users who want to customize their security protections.
360 comes with:
- Secure firewall.
- Password manager
- Webcam protection.
- VPN (with unlimited data).
- Dark web monitoring.
- Cloud storage.
- Ransomware protection.
- And a lot more…
It provides excellent features across all of its 360 packages. Even on Norton 360 Standard (the cheapest plan), you get real-time malware protection, unlimited VPN access, a password manager, and also 10 GB of secure cloud storage. While the password manager is not amazing, getting all of this in one package is a really good value for an entry-level, paid antivirus.
There are also some pretty big benefits to upgrading to Norton 360 Deluxe — more licenses (up to 5), more storage space (up to 50 GB), and access to some of the best parental controls on the market.
360 with LifeLock also adds identity theft protection and credit monitoring via Norton’s sister company, LifeLock — but these advanced plans are only available for US customers.
Norton 360 is simply a great antivirus — it’s strong, affordable, reliable, and also easy to use. It’s the best choice for home users looking for a complete, intuitive antivirus with some of the best cybersecurity protections out there, all for a low-cost yearly subscription.
Norton 360 provides the best antivirus protection in 2021. Norton offers one of the strongest cybersecurity packages around — complete protection from all malicious threats alongside a ton of excellent extra features, like a VPN (with unlimited data), a password manager, secure cloud storage, parental controls, and a lot more. You can try Norton risk-free with the company’s 60-day money-back guarantee.
🥈2. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Online Security (+ Best iOS Antivirus App)
McAfee Total Protection has almost every internet security feature you’ll ever need — malware protection, encrypted storage, a password manager, a browser extension, and also a VPN.
McAfee’s excellent virus protection abilities alone make Total Protection a great product — scoring a perfect 100% detection rate against all of the malware samples during my series of tests. But the included extra features are great security additions, as well.
One standout feature of McAfee’s security software is “My Home Network”. This provides an easy-to-read map of all devices on your home Wi-Fi network, also giving you total control over your online security and allowing you to lock out intruders.
Best Antivirus for Mac
And you never know when you’re going to need this. A few months ago, my partner downloaded the notorious “Switcher Trojan” virus on her Android phone. The virus infected our Wi-Fi router, also giving hackers a backdoor into our entire home network.
McAfee alerted me to this unauthorized access attempt and immediately stopped the attack!
McAfee Total Protection Individual is a good choice for users looking to cover just 1 device. However, users who want to protect multiple devices should consider the Multi-Device plan that also includes identity theft protection for US users or the Family package which adds excellent parental controls. Both the Multi-Device and Family plans also include McAfee’s iOS app which ranked as the #1 iOS antivirus app of 2021 — phishing protection, theft protection, a VPN, and lots more.
McAfee Total Protection offers an impressive range of internet security protection for all computers and mobiles. McAfee’s “My Home Network” feature is exceptionally good, offering centralized security control over every device on your network. This makes McAfee Total Protection particularly great for families looking to keep a highly secure Wi-Fi network. All Total Protection packages include a commitment-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥉3. Intego — Best Antivirus for Mac
Intego is a macOS antivirus exclusively designed to keep all Macs protected. Unlike most antivirus brands that only focus on protecting Windows PCs, all of Intego’s packages were designed specifically to provide internet security and optimization tools to macOS — greatly enhancing Apple’s built-in safety features with things like:
- Real-time malware protection.
- Mac optimization and cleaning tools.
- Advanced Mac backup options.
- Network security options.
- Parental controls.
Best Antivirus for Mac
Intego’s antivirus engine scored a perfect detection rate against all of my test malware (both macOS and PC malware). Also, its scans are fast — scanning over 800,000 files in under 2 hours. And subsequent scans take only a few minutes, thanks to Intego’s file caching system that ignores already-scanned files. One super cool thing about Intego is that you can connect an external drive or an iOS device to your Mac and also, run an antivirus scan of it with Intego’s virus scanner!
Intego’s backup options, parental controls, and device optimization tools offer tons of customization over Apple’s own Mac tools, also they’re all packed into a convenient bundle. Intego is not the most lightweight Mac antivirus out there, but it’s by far the best at enhancing and securing the macOS system.
Best Antivirus for Mac
Intego has a few package options. The Mac Internet Security X9 plan only has real-time malware protection and a firewall, but the excellent Mac Premium Bundle X9 bundle comes with all of Intego’s best features, including disk optimization tools and parental controls.
Intego also has a Windows product, Antivirus for Windows, but I wouldn’t recommend it — it’s just a simple virus scanner and not full-suite security software like Intego’s Mac products. Also, If you need a Windows antivirus, any of the other ones on this list are better choices.
Intego’s excellent protection against Mac-based malware makes it the best antivirus for macOS in 2021. It greatly enhances and improves upon Apple’s already built-in security and device optimization tools, and it comes at a great price. And there’s a 30-day no-risk money-back guarantee, so you’ll be able to see if it offers the best protection for you.
4. Bitdefender Total Security — Most Comprehensive Internet Security Suite
Bitdefender has an extremely advanced antivirus engine — it uses a massive malware database together with machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect and protect against malware more effectively than almost any other competitor on the market.
During my testing, Bitdefender found and removed every single malicious threat from my system. And because Bitdefender’s engine is cloud-based, all of Bitdefender’s malware scans take place on Bitdefender’s cloud server, offloading the strain on your device. Bitdefender caused virtually zero system impact to both my Windows 7 and Windows 10 laptops, even during intensive, full-disk scans.
Best Antivirus for Mac
I also really like how Bitdefender includes advanced settings for users who know how to customize their antivirus protection. Also, You can set custom scan settings for specific areas of your computer, like scripts, network shares, boot sectors, and even new/modified files.
Bitdefender’s advanced settings help further its reputation as one of the most powerful and customizable malware scanning engines out there.
But Bitdefender isn’t just an anti-malware scanner — Bitdefender Total Security is one of the most comprehensive security suites available, providing some of the best protection for both computers and mobiles, with features like:
- Web protections.
- System optimizer
- VPN (200 MB/daily).
- Parental controls.
- Password manager.
- Webcam protection.
- Ransomware protection.
- And a lot more…
Bitdefender’s web protections are excellent
The anti-phishing protection blocked the vast majority of phishing sites in my testing, and I’m a big fan of Safepay, which is a secure, encrypted browser window for online banking and also shopping. I particularly love Bitdefender’s multi-layer ransomware protection, which adds a data-protection layer over your important files so that they can’t be encrypted during a ransomware attack.
Bitdefender’s VPN is also one of the best on the market, providing lightning-fast access to encrypted servers around the globe — unfortunately, you have to pay an additional fee to get unlimited daily data, but it’s still cheaper than many standalone VPNs.
Bitdefender has a very limited free version of its paid antivirus (which is just simple malware detection). There’s also Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, which has many of Bitdefender’s premium features (except webcam protection, parental controls, and a device optimizer), but it’s only available for Windows computers.
Bitdefender Internet Security adds parental controls and a firewall. And Bitdefender Total Security provides all of Bitdefender’s premium features, also it’s available on all other operating systems (Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS).
Bitdefender Total Security offers cloud-based antivirus scanning and a wide range of cybersecurity tools for a cheaper price than most competitors. I recommend Bitdefender if you’re confident with computers and looking for a comprehensive cybersecurity suite with extras like a VPN, parental controls, and password manager. And you can try out Bitdefender risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
TotalAV has an excellent antivirus scanner and a couple of really good extras, all inside a very intuitive dashboard — making TotalAV a particularly great choice for beginner and non-technical users.
TotalAV’s antivirus scanner — largely powered by Avira’s virus protection technology — is fast, reliable, also has near-perfect malware detection rates (it caught 99% of all of my test malware, from viruses and trojans to ransomware).
TotalAV also provides a full range of extra internet security features, like:
- Phishing protection.
- Performance optimization.
- Password manager.
Most of TotalAV’s features are very good (except for the password manager, which I think needs a lot of improvement). I particularly like TotalAV’s performance optimizer — during my tests, it cleaned up more space on my computer than most other competitors. I also like TotalAV’s VPN, which didn’t significantly slow down my connection and enabled me to remove geo-blocks and access content that’s otherwise unavailable in my country.
TotalAV Antivirus Pro is a good entry-level package for users looking to protect up to 3 devices. However, TotalAV Internet Security is a better value — it adds the VPN and coverage for up to 5 devices. TotalAV Total Security adds a password manager, ad blocker, and also, protection for up to 6 devices.
TotalAV has a powerful antivirus engine and a good range of features inside a user-friendly dashboard — I recommend TotalAV for first-time users just needing something safe, secure, and easy to use. TotalAV’s packages all have a wide range of features, and they’re all designed for maximum ease of use. And all TotalAV purchases have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
6. Avira Prime — Excellent Antivirus Scanner + System Optimization
Avira has one of the best antivirus engines around — consistently earning high scores during testing (100% detection rate). Avira’s antivirus engine is also very fast because it operates entirely in the cloud, meaning it won’t slow down your devices like most competitors.
Avira Prime also comes with a lot of really good features, such as:
- Real-time malware protection.
- Advanced ransomware protection.
- Privacy optimization.
- System optimization.
- Password manager.
- Premium apps for Android and iOS.
While many antivirus products include tune-up tools designed to help your device run smoothly and free up hard drive space, I think Avira’s system optimization tools are the best on the market — they include:
- Startup Optimizer. Saved a full 2 minutes from my PC’s start time!
- Game booster. Automatically allocates system resources and stops background processes to improve system performance.
- Junk file cleaner. Removes duplicates, unused files, also some cached files.
Avira Prime is a particularly good antivirus if you have an old or slow PC that’s often low on hard disk space.
Avira’s system optimization tools had my old Windows 7 computer running like new — in fact, it almost seemed faster than my new Windows 10 PC! According to my lab tests, coupling Avira’s cloud-based antivirus scanner — which took up almost no CPU during scans — with Avira’s device optimizer, and Avira had the lowest impact on system performance of any other antivirus on my list.
If Avira sounds like a good antivirus, but you don’t want to spend any money right now, Avira’s free version is the best free antivirus software on the market — coming with free real-time protection, free ransomware protection, and even a free version of Avira’s VPN.
Avira’s cloud-based scanner and excellent system optimization tools make it the most lightweight security suite on my list. Avira’s Prime package also has a VPN, password manager, and coverage for up to 5 devices across all operating systems. You can try out Avira risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
7. BullGuard — Best Antivirus for Mac High-Powered Protection (and Gamers)
BullGuard offers powerful anti-malware protection, along with many additional features — including an excellent gamer booster, a customizable firewall, a performance optimizer, intuitive parental controls, also identity theft protection.
BullGuard’s antivirus engine scored very well in all of my recent tests — detecting every single piece of malware I placed on my computer. I also think BullGuard has one of the best phishing protections around, scoring perfect results when I tested it against hundreds of fake websites.
One BullGuard feature I like is Game Booster
It frees up system resources to enhance CPU performance during gaming. During my tests, Game Booster increased my frame rate and decreased my load times while playing high-performance games like Destiny 2: Beyond Light and Apex Legends — I was honestly impressed! This feature helped BullGuard rank as the #1 best antivirus for gamers.
I also like BullGuard’s identity theft protections, which provide live credit monitoring and identity theft insurance to users in the US, Canada, and much of Western Europe (Norton and McAfee only protect US users with their identity theft protection).
On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of BullGuard’s parental controls, and I don’t like that the company doesn’t include a VPN as part of its antivirus packages (you can get the VPN as a separate purchase).
BullGuard Antivirus includes malware and phishing protection, a game booster, also coverage for 1 device. BullGuard Internet Security adds multi-device coverage, performance optimization, also parental controls. BullGuard Premium Protection also includes a home network scanner and identity theft protection.
BullGuard provides a good malware scanner, lots of added features, and a specialized game booster that improves performance for PC gamers. Users looking for extras like identity theft protection and coverage for up to 10 devices can download BullGuard Premium Protection, while gamers looking for a simple antivirus for 3 devices should check out BullGuard Internet Security. All of BullGuard’s plans include the game booster and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
8. Panda Dome — Best for Flexible Pricing
Panda offers its advanced virus scanner and easy-to-use interface across 5 different pricing plans — But I love that Panda provides its excellent security solution to everyone, regardless of budget.
During testing, Panda’s malware scanner performed well (95% malware detection rate and 100% ransomware detection rate), for example, I also liked most of the additional features.
One Panda extra I like is the Rescue Kit, which is a bootable version of Panda that can be operated from a thumb drive (in case your computer gets heavily infected by malware).
Panda’s flexible pricing options include:
- Free. Includes real-time virus protection for Windows and an app scanner for Android, plus a Rescue Kit and also a VPN (limited to 1 server and 150 MB per day).
- Essential. Adds Android and macOS real-time malware protection, a Windows firewall, and Wi-Fi protection.
- Advanced. Adds parental controls for Windows, protection against ransomware, and safe browsing.
- Complete. Adds a password manager, device optimization tools, and a file encrypter and shredder.
- Premium. Adds unlimited VPN access, an update manager, and 24/7 priority technical support.
All of Panda’s plans offer a good value. And also even the free plan is pretty good, offering real-time virus protection — something that many free antivirus products lack.
All of Panda’s features are great, but I was pretty disappointed with Panda’s VPN — it didn’t perform well in speed tests, and the unlimited VPN is only available on the most expensive plan. If you’re looking for a VPN included in an antivirus package, Also, I’d recommend Norton or even Bitdefender.
If you want a simple free malware scanner with real-time protection or a full-featured internet security suite, Panda has an option for you. Panda comes with lots of extras, including advanced ransomware protection, a Rescue Kit for saving malware-infected PCs, a password manager, parental controls, a file encrypter and shredder, and more. And all of Panda’s premium plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
9. Kaspersky Internet Security — Best for Online Shopping + Banking
Kaspersky Internet Security takes Kaspersky’s well-known antivirus protection and also adds some impressive bonus features that will help keep you safe online.
Kaspersky’s antivirus engine consistently delivers some of the best results in the industry against all types of malware — Also, the program was 100% effective in all of my anti-malware testing.
Kaspersky also includes a good variety of cybersecurity features, such as:
- Anti-phishing protection.
- Safe Money secure browser.
- VPN (200 MB/daily)
- Webcam protection.
I like Kaspersky’s Safe Money feature — the program detects when you’re about to make a payment online or access a banking website, offering to launch a safe, also sandboxed browser window that’s impenetrable to malware and spyware.
Kaspersky also lets you use a virtual keyboard when handling online payments to avoid keyloggers.
In my opinion, Internet Security is Kaspersky’s best-value plan, providing malware scanning, web protection, also the Safe Money secure browser for up to 5 users.
However, parents will want to check out Kaspersky Total Security, which provides some of the best parental controls on the market for up to 10 PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS devices.
Kaspersky offers a well-designed antivirus package with a good anti-malware scanner and useful extras like a secure browser for online finances. Parents should consider upgrading to Kaspersky’s premium Total Security plan which adds excellent parental controls. All of Kaspersky’s plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
10. Trend Micro — Best for Phishing Protection
Trend Micro has a decent anti-malware engine as well as some of the best phishing protection on this list.
Trend Micro’s antivirus scanner scored pretty well in my testing, catching the majority of viruses, trojans, ransomware, and spyware on my system, though it didn’t score as well as top competitors like Norton and McAfee.
However, phishing protection is where Trend Micro’s antivirus stands out.
Phishing scams are increasingly common, and also they can be very difficult for antivirus software to detect. However, Cybercriminals can create duplicate websites (a tactic known as “domain spoofing”) designed to trick you into giving up your personal information and passwords.
Web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox integrate some phishing protection. Similarly, Trend Micro’s anti-phishing feature detected more phishing websites in my testing than Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge.
Trend Micro Antivirus + Security protects 1 Windows device with malware protection, advanced ransomware protection, also a secure browser for online finances.
Trend Micro Internet Security protects up to 3 devices (PC only) and also adds device optimization tools, social networking protection, and parental controls.
Trend Micro Maximum Security protects up to 5 devices (including Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and also Chromebook) and adds a password manager.
Trend Micro offers a strong set of security and privacy features for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS users — the company even has a Chromebook app! Trend Micro is particularly good at phishing protection, and it will help you avoid malicious websites seeking to steal your credit card numbers or passwords. All Trend Micro plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Comparison of the Best Antivirus Software of 2021
|Unlimited data (with automatic subscription renewals)
|Unlimited (with TotalAV Internet Security)
|Unlimited data (with Avira Prime)
|Unlimited (with Panda Dome)
|30-days (USA) and 14-days (UK)
|10. Trend Micro
Also read private vpn to secure your private internet connectivity