Windows is the most popular OS on the market, which is why most malware is specifically developed for Windows devices. A quality antivirus for Windows 10 is what you need to counter the countless cyber threats and potential attacks.
While some think that relying on built-in Windows Defender antivirus is enough, it’s actually not as effective and advanced in detecting and protecting you against the newest malware and zero-day threats as you might hope. A third-party antivirus program for Windows, combined with Windows Defender is the way to go if you want advanced security for your device.
Still, there are many quality antivirus providers to choose from. To make things simpler and more convenient for you, we’ve tested and selected the best antiviruses for Windows 10 in 2022. Continue reading to find out more.
Best Windows 10 antiviruses
- Norton Antivirus – best antivirus for Windows 10
- Bitdefender – inclusive Windows 10 antivirus
- TotalAV – feature-loaded and exceptionally secure antivirus
- Surfshark AV – trustworthy Windows antivirus for everyday use
- NordVPN TP – VPN with an antivirus solution
📢 LIMITED OFFER: Only now, get 1 year of TotalAV at 84% OFF!
Do I really need antivirus for Windows 10?
Yes, you need an antivirus for Windows 10 PC or a laptop. Even though Windows 10 devices already come equipped with Microsoft Security suite, previously known as Windows Defender, investing in a third-party antivirus would be in your best interest. Here’s why you need an antivirus for Windows 10:
- 100% malware and zero-day threat protection is not something that the built-in Windows Defender can offer you. During our in-house testing, the scans failed to detect any malicious programs. Meanwhile, third-party antivirus providers usually react to threats faster and more efficiently
- Additional features, such as a VPN or password manager are offered by the best antivirus programs currently on the market. Windows Defender doesn’t have any of them.
- Browser protection. The best antivirus suites include features for safe browsing and preventing any online threats from harming your device. Windows Defender allows safe browsing only with MS Edge, which isn’t ideal.
- Extra security layer. Using a third-party antivirus software together with Windows Defender is the best way to go. Once you install an additional security program, Windows Defender operates in the background to check whether your chosen antivirus works properly, which ensures 100% protection at all times.
The best Windows 10 antivirus apps – our detailed list:
We’ve tested many antivirus software for Windows 10 to pick the best options for our list. Below, you'll find the best antivirus providers in more detailed descriptions. Every provider meets our requirements for device security, real-time protection, and malware scans. Also, they include some extra features like VPNs, password managers, or file shredders. So you can easily find the best antivirus option for you.
1. Norton 360 Antivirus – best antivirus software for Windows 10
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Get up to 83% OFF Norton Antivirus🔥|
After Norton merged with Avast, they formed a super-cybersecurity company. With the combined experience and expertise, Norton 360 is one of the best antivirus services on the market, offering excellent protection from viruses and other online threats.
According to a recent AV-test, Norton's performed perfectly. The suite caught 100% of zero-day malware, detected no false positives, and had little impact on system resources.
In terms of features, we’ve tested Norton’s AI-powered real-time protection that prevents malware and ransomware from harming your device, and the results were great. It provided quick and reliable protection from malware. Also, there’s a two-way Firewall that monitors both received and sent network traffic.
The suite also includes Norton Secure VPN to encrypt your online traffic, plus, there's a password manager that stores your credentials in an encrypted vault. You can even store your most important files in Norton PC file backup. Simply put – Norton has absolutely everything you might need, as well as a couple of things you didn’t know you needed.
Also, no matter your experience level, Norton is exceptionally easy to use. The software interface is clear and all features are just a few clicks away. And in case of any issues, Norton offers great customer support, including a 24/7 helpline.
If Norton 360 caught your attention, then you can try it out starting from $9.99/year for the first year and cover one of your devices. If you need to cover more devices, then you’ll have to upgrade to more expensive premium plans. Also, there’s a 7-day free trial and a 60-days money-back guarantee. So that’s plenty of time to try this antivirus software out and not lose your money.
To learn more about this antivirus software, visit our Norton antivirus review.
- Excellent protection
- Plenty of extras
- Powerful identity-theft suite
- Low resource usage
- No free version
2. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus – excellent, all-inclusive antivirus package
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Get Bitdefender for up to 70% OFF!🔥|
Bitdefender is widely considered one of the best antivirus providers. It’s a very attractive budget options, offering a solid free version and one of the best premium options in the market. So, whatever your budget is, Bitdefender will be a perfect fit.
But of course, it’s not only the price that’s attractive: Bitdefender blocks 100% of threats, including the zero-day and 4-week-old malware and virus attacks. It runs frequent background scans, so it can be slightly demanding on your systems.
In terms of security features, this antivirus brings a gun to a knife fight. It includes real-time protection, advanced threat defense, web attack prevention, and anti-phishing filters. We’ve tested this antivirus software and can confirm that it is a complete powerhouse that will keep you safe even if you're in the habit of clicking links on shady websites.
To top it off, Bitdefender provides a ton of additional features. This includes antispam, which scans every email's header to filter out phishing emails. Then, there's SafePay – a sandboxed and secure browser for online payments. Also, microphone and webcam protection to ensure that no one is spying on you via your PC or laptop.
Initially, the Bitdefender app can be a little confusing, but once you get used to it, this antivirus software will be very easy to use. And if you run into any issue, Bitdefender’s customer support is available for free and paid subscription users.
You can get the full security package with a Bitdefender premium subscription starting from $17.99/year, and then upgrade to get more device coverage. Plus there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you want to find out more, take a look at our in-depth Bitdefender review.
- Excellent free version
- Great value for money
- Frequent updates
- Exceptional scores in independent tests
- Full VPN access for an extra price
- Uses too many resources
3. TotalAV – exceptionally secure antivirus that includes all essentials
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux|
|Current deal:||🔥Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF!🔥|
TotalAV is an exceptionally secure and reliable antivirus software for quality protection against all kinds of digital threats. It offers both limited free and complete paid subscriptions and has all the needed tools to ensure full device security.
This antivirus ensures high security with a success rate of 100% of blocked zero-day malware threats and 4-week malware. When we tested the TotalAV scans, we noted that the system performance impact is minimal with this software. You'll barely notice that the background scans are happening.
The TotalAV security features include protection against threats ranging from ransomware to phishing emails. The tool is constantly monitoring your device for new threats.
Additionally, there's a TotalAV's Safe Browsing VPN, which encrypts your connection and changes your public IP. This is impressive considering not many antivirus software provide a VPN as an extra feature. Then, there's a WebShield Chrome extension that filters out malicious websites and their password manager.
All of these features are really easy to access once you’ve installed the Windows app. The application is minimal and straightforward, so the security options are just a few clicks away. Another great thing is the customer support, which offers different communication options, including a 24/7 chat option.
You can get the TotalAV premium subscription starting from $19.00/year and cover 3 devices. For more devices, you’d have to upgrade your plan. Additionally, there is a free version and a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can safely try out this provider for yourself.
To find out more, read our in-depth TotalAV review.
- Good protection against most cyberthreats
- A basic free version
- Fast customer support
- Real-time and cloud protection
- Includes optimization tools
- Only covers six devices
- Difficult-to-use browser extension
4. Surfshark AV – reliable everyday Windows antivirus
|Platforms:||Windows, Android, macOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Get Surfshark Antivirus - 86% OFF + 2 months FREE!🔥|
A somewhat new addition to the regular antivirus lineup – Surfshark VPN now comes together with an antivirus program. And having high hopes for this provider’s security bundle is completely legitimate.
Sufshark One offers near-perfect security from malware and zero-day to 4-weeks old threat detection, and real-time protection. It’s also gentle on your system resources, so you won’t experience performance issues. When we tested malware scans, the CPU usage averaged around 22%, and while it peaked slightly higher, it quickly went down again.
For features, Surfshark covers all essentials, such as device scanning which allows you to schedule your scans in terms of items and timing. You can also benefit from safe online searching by using Surfshark’s secure search engine.
Additionally, in case your data is threatened, you will receive security alerts. And, finally, your online traffic will be protected with Surfshark’s VPN which shines in our best VPNs list.
Like with other Surfshark products, the antivirus app for Windows has a very clean design and is really easy to use. So, you shouldn’t experience any issues with it. But just in case, Surfshark customer support is available for 24/7 chats.
If Surfshark has won you over, you can get it starting from $27.84/year and secure up to 5 devices. In case this antivirus isn’t up to your expectations, you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Learn more about this fresh AV in our Surfshark antivirus review.
- Extremely strong VPN included
- CleanWeb feature
- Secure search engine
- Excellent customer support
- No firewall
- ID check isn't available in all countries
5. NordVPN Threat Protection – top VPN with antivirus features for Windows 10
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get NordVPN Threat Protection – 68% OFF + 3 months FREE 🔥|
With NordVPN Threat Protection, you can easily secure your Windows 10 devices from malware, dangerous websites, and intrusive ads. It’s a robust security feature that adds an additional layer of security.
Once you have a NordVPN app installed on your computer and enable the Threat Protection feature, it continuously runs in the background. You will be protected against visiting infected websites as it successfully blocked access to 90% of malware-hosting pages when we tried it. Also, it automatically scans your downloads for malicious components – found 9/10 malicious files with the deep scan during our examination.
Furthermore, those ads that appear when you browse are not only annoying but can be used to distribute malware as well. Luckily, the Threat Protection blocks all types of ads that may appear during your browsing sessions.
But that’s not it – since NordVPN is actually a VPN, your information is encoded using advanced encryption ciphers to prevent any sensitive data leaks when connected to unprotected networks. You can also connect to one of the many servers and unblock geo-restricted content.
Threat Protection is included with each NordVPN plan starting from $2.99/month for 6 devices. Subscriptions also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.
Get more information in our full NordVPN review.
- Powerful ad blocker
- Automatic download scanner
- Top class VPN included
- Solid protection from trackers
- Simple to use all-in-one package
- No real-time virus protection
- No advanced scanning options
6. Avira Antivirus – best option for users on a tight budget
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Get 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF!🔥|
Avira is known as a lightweight antivirus that performs like a heavyweight champion. It's accessible to users for free and as a paid service.
The software provides a near-perfect track record: we’ve tested this software’s abilities, and the results showed that Avira blocked 99.3% of the latest malware threats.
Additionally, Avira has some solid features to secure your device. Their antivirus bundle also includes Phantom VPN, password manager, safe shopping, and file shredder features. It’s a pretty good premium antivirus package that offers good all-around protection.
Some even more expensive plans, like Prime, also add VIP customer support, unlimited VPN, price comparison tool, and premium mobile apps. You also get free access to their upcoming products. So, whether this option is worth it to you depends on the features that you want.
Additionally, Avira’s app is really self-explanatory and easy to use. All features are grouped in four easily-accessible taskbars. But if you need additional help, Avira’s customer support is available – only for paid subscription users.
To try out Avira Antivirus, you can get a subscription starting from $30.99/year and cover one device. For more device coverage you’d have to up your subscription plan. Also, you can test out Avira for yourself and, if you’re dissatisfied, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more, read our in-depth Avira antivirus review.
- Protection from ransomware
- Intuitive user interface
- Integrated VPN
- Useful browser extensions
- Extra mobile features
- Might report false positives
- The free version lacks the web protection feature
7. McAfee Total Protection – awesome network protection
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Get McAfee, save up to 69%🔥|
McAfee is one of the best antivirus services for Windows PC or laptop. It will secure your device with all-rounded antivirus software that has some great features. Additionally, it has a free version for base protection needs.
In case of security, McAfee can confidently protect you from ransomware, crypto-jacking, and malware. Its real-time protection is always on, and during our testing, we got great results in securing from zero-day and 4-week malware.
There are some nice additional features, as well. For instance, if you want to quickly and safely delete files without recovery, there's a file shredder.
The suite also includes a vulnerability scanner to go through potential weak spots that hackers could exploit. You also get their web extension and password manager, so it's a full suite.
When it comes to using McAfee, this software can be a little confusing to start, but once you’ve got time to learn it, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Yet, if there are any issues, you might have to wait to get in contact with a customer support service, since it isn’t as easy to reach an agent for help.
You can get a McAfee premium subscription beginning from $39.99/year for the first year and cover up to 5 devices. In cases of more device coverage, you’ll have to upgrade your plan. And to secure your experience, there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To find out more, read our in-depth McAfee review.
- All plans support major platforms
- Generous device limits
- Basic package is feature-rich
- Solid firewall
- Home Network Security feature is a godsend
- Some independent test results are poor
- Performance could be better
8. ESET NOD32 – strong protection for Windows 10
|Free version:||Yes (free trial)|
|Platforms:||Windows, Linux, macOS, Android|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get ESET, save up to 50%🔥|
Another great antivirus software choice for Windows 10 is ESET. It’s one of the most popular antivirus choices among beginners and is excellent for Windows users. It provides a lightweight application with the most essential security features.
By getting this single antivirus software, you receive a blast of security layers in one place. A password manager helps you protect your logins and passwords, and you can encrypt your most sensitive files. And the Anti-theft bundle of features helps you stay immune to criminals or track your device in case of emergency.
Robust security begins with the correct software setup. So, ESET has ensured that every new user receives a step-by-step guide on how to set up the application so that the further experience would be smooth.
Ransomware prevention is a key component of the ESET security package that flawlessly detects threats and prevents them from jeopardising your safety. Additionally, there is protection for online banking that guarantees complete security for your payment data. ESET antivirus is cloud-based and carries a significant part of the processing to its servers.
In terms of pricing, ESET starts at $20.00/year. If you’d like to try other premium plans, there are two more subscriptions to choose from.
Take a look at our ESET review to learn more about its features.
- Robust protection
- Great Android app
- Useful home network security scanner
- Considerably pricey
- Limited customer support
- Complex device control
9. Trend Micro – advanced antivirus software with user-friendly interface
|Free version:||Yes (Android and iOS)|
|Platforms:||Windows, Linux, macOS, Chromebook, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF!🔥|
Trend Micro is another great antivirus software for Windows 10. During independent lab tests, this antivirus showed the ability to catch 100% of the latest malware.
The tests that we conducted showed slight buffering issues. Luckily, the antivirus wasn’t heavy on system resources in general. The full scan managed to delete 8 threats out of 10 in under 9 minutes.
Feature-wise, this antivirus uses AI technologies to scan for malware. Aside from that, Trend Micro offers PayGuard and Folder Shield for safe shopping and document protection from ransomware. You can also enjoy using Social Media Privacy Protection, Fraud Buster, Dark Web Monitoring features, and a VPN to add an extra layer of security when browsing online.
What’s more, Trend Micro gives the possibility to use system optimization tools and a password manager to boost your device’s performance and keep all of your credentials in a safe vault.
With this provider, you can check out their free version and test it. Alternatively, if you’d want to try out the Trend Micro Maximum Security or other premium plans (which start from $19.95/year), they include a 30-day money-back guarantee too.
Check out our comprehensive Trend Micro review.
- Strong layered protection against ransomware
- Up to 10 devices with Premium plans
- Real-time protection
- 30-day free trial
- Some poor scores in lab-tests
- No multi-device licensing
- No built-in firewall
Best antiviruses for Windows 10 compared
Here’s how different providers compare to each other in terms of protection rates, price, and features:
|Norton||Bitdefender||TotalAV||Surfshark Antivirus||NordVPN TP||Avira||McAfee||ESET NOD32||Trend Micro|
|Review||Norton review||Bitdefender review||TotalAV review||Surfshark AV review||NordVPN review||Avira review||McAfee review||ESET NOD32 review||Trend Micro review|
What to look for in the best antivirus for Windows 10?
When you're shopping for a Windows 10 antivirus, you're looking for the service that will be the final frontier against malware. Essentially, your workflow, files, and privacy depend on the quality of the service, so here are the features that the best Windows 10 antivirus for Windows 10 should have:
- Real-time protection. Constant monitoring for threats is the best protection your device could have, so make sure that your chosen antivirus provider has it. Keep in mind that often free antiviruses or free versions don’t offer real-time protection.
- Firewall. At the forefront of your device’s defense lines, a firewall monitors all incoming and outgoing traffic for potential threats.
- Parental controls. In case you want to monitor and ensure your family’s online safety as well, a parental control feature is a must-have. That way, you’ll be able to guard your family members from all sorts of malicious activities, including phishing attempts, accidental downloads, and malicious websites.
- Ransomware protection. As ransomware is gaining popularity in the malware world, it is increasingly important to make sure that your antivirus provider offers top-tier ransomware protection. It may include safe file backup and protection against file corruption.
- Scanning features. A quality antivirus suite must have scanning systems for all sorts of threats, including rootkit detection and vulnerability scanner for passwords, router errors, and critical updates.
- File shredder is an important feature to have in case you work with sensitive data, want to sell your device, or clean it up from any remnants of malicious or other files.
How we selected and tested these antiviruses
In order to select only the best products, we do extensive research and testing of every provider. All of the antiviruses in our list were tested using a virtual machine with AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3945WX 12-Cores processor, 3.99 GHz, 8GB RAM, and 64-bit operating system on a Windows 10 device, and employing in-house antivirus testing tools.
Here's what criteria we used to find the best antivirus for Windows 10:
- Independent antivirus testing. Several independent antivirus testing labs field-test every antivirus service. Their research provides us with detailed reports on how each antivirus service stacks against each other. We picked only those that showed good results.
- In-house antivirus testing. We use our in-house antivirus testing tools such as virtual machines and specifically curated malicious files to see how well providers protect your device from spyware, adware, and other types of malware.
- False positive record. We tested how many malware detection events were actually accurate, and which were falsely alarmed. Generally 1 out of 10 is acceptable, but anything more than that raises suspicions about the software’s accuracy.
- Additional features. Some features might make a world of difference, i.e., firewall or real-time protection. We looked at how useful and how many extra features the antivirus programs have.
- Performance. The best antivirus software should have as little impact on device performance as possible. During our testing, we looked at the average CPU load while running scans, and chose the providers with the best performance.
- Ease of use. Evaluating app interface is usually subjective, but we tried to be objective when checking how easy it is to navigate in the program and make use of the features.
- Customer support. We reached out to support of all the providers on our list, and checked their response timing, helpfulness and overal efficiency.
- Price. To get the best deals possible the closest to you, we looked at pricing differences in different tiers, compared them to the amount of features, and made our decisions based on that.
How do I install antivirus on my Windows 10?
The process to install antivirus on Windows 10 is no different from other programs set up. You'll be using the provider's app, so you need to install it on your machine.
- Head to the provider's official page. We recommend Norton Antivirus.
- Register and pay for your subscription plan.
- Download an installer's executable file.
- Follow the installation wizard instructions and complete the installation.
- Log in to your account, and run the first scan.
What is the best free antivirus for Windows 10?
While many quality antiviruses won't break your bank, it may happen that you're not in the position to pay for an antivirus. In that case, it's perfectly acceptable to use a free antivirus, but it does come with several caveats.
First of all, the free version of a product won't have many features. If you're looking into Firewalls or real-time protection capabilities, likely, they won't be available. This leaves you with generic full system scan options, which might not be enough.
Our current top pick is TotalAV since they have the best free antivirus version for Windows 10 on the market. The free package includes the Safe Site browser extension that protects from harmful sites. Plus, it guarantees 100% malware detection rates and provides you with a smart scan that goes through your startup programs and finds junk. That is quite the security for a free plan. So it is a really reliable and secure free antivirus provider.
Video review: Best antivirus for Windows 10
No time to read the whole article? Take a look at our video review of the best antiviruses for windows 10 – the same content, just condensed into under 6 minutes:
Whether you're looking for the best antivirus for Windows to increase your overall security, or get rid of viruses from your hard drive, you can see that there are plenty of providers to choose from. Some of the best antivirus providers for Windows 10 right now are Norton, Bitdefender, and TotalAV. These security programs will ensure the highest device protection.
When picking an antivirus remember that a quality antivirus service not only helps against malware threats. It is also a multi-functional tool to keep you safe when you're browsing the web, working, or exchanging files.
Our top suggestion is Norton 360 antivirus. It is the safest antivirus that is considerate of your system resources. Additionally, this antivirus suite has a vast list of extra features to protect your device systems and secure your activity online.
More antivirus guides from Cybernews:
Which antivirus software is the best for Windows 10?
The best antivirus software for Windows 10 is Norton. It has 100% malware protection rates according to independent testing labs, excellent real-time protection, and numerous additional features such as a VPN, password manager, file backup, device performance optimization, parental controls, and more.
Which is better: Norton or McAfee for Windows 10?
The better antivirus for Windows 10 is, without a doubt, Norton 360. Norton adds more features, has a lesser impact on PC performance, has better prices, more convenient user interface, and has more customer support channels.
Does Windows 10 have its own virus protection?
Yes, every Windows PC has a built-in Windows Security suite that includes virus and threat protection. This acts as a default antivirus that comes with every Windows 10 or 11 installation.