Best antivirus software in 2023


As new cyber threats, such as malware and viruses, develop every day – getting the best antivirus for your device is crucial. Even something as simple as downloading an application or the file that your acquaintances sent via email can end up with your device getting infected.

Even though the latest operating systems, such as Windows 11 and 10, have in-built security solutions, they’re not comprehensive enough to provide all-around virus protection.

Aside from safeguarding your devices from threats, a high-quality antivirus can do much more. Whether it’s keeping your data anonymous with a VPN service, protecting your login credentials with a password manager, or limiting some websites with parental controls, you can get all that with a single security suite.

In this article, we’re going to help you choose the best antivirus software of 2023. These picks are a combination of recommendations by independent laboratories, including Virus Bulletin, AV-TEST, and AV-Comparatives. Antivirus programs were also tested by our own researchers to provide you with first-hand experience.

Note: We regularly test and research antivirus software to update this list with products that are of the highest quality.

Best antivirus 2023 – our top 5

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus – the best antivirus software in 2023
  2. Norton 360 Antivirus – feature-loaded antivirus suite
  3. TotalAV Pro Antivirus – optimal antivirus with a VPN and password manager included
  4. Surfshark Antivirus – excellent antivirus for completely private browsing
  5. NordVPN Threat Protection – great antivirus for automatic background malware protection

How to choose the best antivirus software

Choosing the best antivirus might seem challenging at first. There are so many options offering a variety of features. So, how to decide which one suits your needs?

Here are a few simple factors that you should consider before choosing an antivirus:

  • Look for a constantly updating malware database. New cyber threats are being constantly developed to ensure antivirus programs can’t detect them. For such a reason, we only included providers that are known for regular malware database updates.
  • Check security features. The best antivirus solutions should include more than just malware protection. It should provide you with other features you may need, for example, a VPN, a password manager, or any other protection measures. Unless you already have such tools, you can opt for more feature-rich services.
  • Seek for all-around antivirus protection. If you’re not the only one using a computer or a mobile device, you should consider getting an antivirus that would provide extra protection. Some providers have solid parental control features while others protect your whole home network and alert about possible dangers.
  • Consider your budget. Not all antivirus programs offer the same bang-for-the-buck ratio. That’s why spending less (or more) can sometimes get you many more features.
  • Try the software first. You can always make use of the money-back guarantee that antivirus services offer to try the product out. This way, you’ll test it out yourself and see whether or not it’s worth the money you’re paying.

Top 10 best antivirus software – detailed list:

All of our listed providers have the necessary tools to provide maximum malware protection and bonus features that you may find useful. Without further ado, let’s dive into the detailed descriptions of all 10 best antivirus programs.

1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus – best overall antivirus protection in 2023

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2. Norton 360 Antivirus – premium antivirus with top security features

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3. TotalAV – the essential free antivirus package

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4. Surfshark Antivirus – great all-around protection with a top VPN

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5. NordVPN Threat Protection – top real-time threat protection and an excellent VPN

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6. ESET NOD32 – the best lightweight antivirus software

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7. McAfee Total Protection – great cross-platform support with basic plan

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8. Avira Antivirus – best free plan on the market

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9. Trend Micro – simple and secure antivirus for online threat protection

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10. Malwarebytes – simple and intuitive antivirus platform

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Free vs. paid antivirus: should you pay?

Although free antivirus solutions can offer basic protection against malware and fulfill simple needs, you should pay if you want reliable and all-rounded security.

There’s one thing to remember – antivirus companies need to make money: either from premium plans or from your personal data. This means that an unreliable antivirus company can sell your information to hackers or other third parties.

Not to mention that some free antivirus software can include pop-up ads or even malicious programs that can infiltrate you with malware (the last thing you want from an antivirus).

So, if you still want to get a free service, look at serious and legitimate companies that offer the best and tested free antivirus services, for example, TotalAV. They’re still interested in you eventually paying for premium plans, but at least they won’t do you harm.

However, expect fewer features and serious limitations as you go. Often, free plans will let you run simple system scans. But features like custom scanning, ransomware protection, and advanced firewalls are usually only available when purchasing a premium plan.


Threat actors are lurking in various corners of cyberspace. One wrong move, be it clicking the wrong link or visiting a suspicious site, and you may infect your computer or another device with malware. For such a reason, using an antivirus, especially if it has a real-time protection feature, is crucial.

Only by regular scanning of your device can you protect yourself from personal data theft, including banking details. Our best recommendation is Bitdefender. It guarantees 100% malware protection rates as well as a wide feature array, including real-time protection and a VPN.

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What is the best antivirus of 2023?

The best antivirus software we tested is Bitdefender Antivirus. It’s our top-rated piece of software that has excellent reviews from many cybersecurity experts. Bitdefender has excellent protection and is easy to use.

What is the best antivirus for Mac?

The best antivirus choices for Mac are TotalAV, Norton, and Intego. All of them got top scores in various tests, and the latter two even offer exclusive customer support for Mac users. Here’s our list of the best antivirus software for Mac.

Does antivirus software remove viruses?

Yes, an antivirus program can remove even existing viruses. Just run a full scan on your device and the program will notify you in case of malware. Then, you can either choose to delete the infected file or to remove the virus itself.

Which antivirus is best for ransomware protection?

BitdefenderNorton, and TotalAV all come with solid ransomware protection for all of your data. Blocking the attacks and automatically restoring your data in case of the attack, they help protect your information and money.

Will antivirus protect you 100%?

Good antivirus software will offer you excellent malware protection. However, no software can give you a 100% protection guarantee. Make sure to stay observant on your online actions to protect your personal data.

Why is Kaspersky not on the list?

In short, Kaspersky isn’t on the list because we don’t suggest using it. Online security products are a sensitive market, where nothing but full transparency is acceptable. Kaspersky’s alleged ties with Russian intelligence put them and your personal data at risk, and it’s not a gamble we suggest taking.

What is the most trustworthy antivirus?

There are various trustworthy antivirus services on the market. Our top recommendation is Bitdefender. Independent lab test results show that it can block 100% of zero-day threats, and our in-house tests show perfect malware detection rates.

How much does antivirus cost?

On average, the starting price of a reputable antivirus is between $20 and $40 per year. For instance, our best-rated antivirus software – Bitdefender – costs from $23.99/year. However, the price can also go higher or lower depending on your chosen subscription plan, whether there are discounts for antiviruses, and other aspects.


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