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Best antivirus software for Windows 11

In October, 2021, Windows 11 began replacing Windows 10. However, even though the new system includes a slicker user interface and other benefits, the integrated Windows Defender will more or less stay the same.

That’s why it’s important for you to secure your device from potential threats or attacks with an extra layer of security. And there’s no better way to do it than a third-party antivirus. So, to help you choose the right one, we'll break down the main features, differences, and insights surrounding the top antivirus software for Windows 11.

Best Windows 11 antiviruses

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus – best antivirus software for Windows 11
  2. Norton Antivirus – solid all-around Windows 11 antivirus
  3. TotalAV Antivirus – all the essentials for Windows 11
  4. Avira Antivirus – beginner-friendly, powerful antivirus
  5. ESET NOD32 – excellent antivirus for online safety

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How to choose the best antivirus for Windows 11

Getting a new operating system comes with a need for an antivirus tool that would ensure top-notch protection against malware. When it comes to picking an antivirus, well-rounded software with extra security features is what you need. So, here’s what to keep in mind when choosing the best antivirus for Windows 11:

  • Independent organization lab scores. Some labs perform antivirus tests and share the results on how well a service protects from different threats. The factors reviewed are usability, performance, and protection. When choosing an antivirus service, you can check which one will be capable of protecting your device in an effective manner.
  • Efficiency. The regular background scans performed by antivirus software can take up your memory and CPU. That’s why you should make sure that your antivirus won’t congest your device by choosing a lightweight solution.
  • Features. While some antivirus tools only scan your device from malware, others include more features. For example, parental controls for monitoring your child’s online activity or webcam protection to secure you from prying eyes. Different services have distinct advantages that you should choose according to your needs.
  • Customer support. Since you need protection for your device at all times, available customer support is a huge benefit in case you run into some issues. Even if you simply don’t understand something, you should be able to get help, especially if you pay for the product.
  • Price. The most expensive antivirus service doesn’t equal the best option. Antiviruses can differ in malware detection rates and features. You should be aware of your own personal needs to make sure you get your money’s worth.

The best Windows 11 antivirus – our detailed list:

The list below showcases only the best antivirus tools for Windows 11. It also includes the advantages and disadvantages of each piece of software so you could decide what is and what isn’t a deal-breaker for you. Let’s jump right into the reviews.

1. Bitdefender Antivirus – best Windows 11 antivirus for everyone

Bitdefender interface
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Current deal:🔥 Get all Bitdefender plans at 60% OFF! 🔥

Bitdefender might be less known than some other antivirus tools – but it offers amazing performance, real-time protection, and other security features. On top of that, it includes a free version for those on a tight budget.

Bitdefender offers an Advanced Threat Defense tool, which monitors all device processes. Also, the antivirus includes the Ransomware Mitigation feature which creates a backup of your files to avoid being affected by ransomware. Other security measures include anti-phishing and anti-spam filters, webcam, and microphone protection. A password manager and a file shredder are also in the package.

Bitdefender stands out from other antivirus software because it doesn’t ask for extra money for the VPN service. However, the VPN that comes with the plan is restricted in data. Another reason why Bitdefender appeals to users is that it adapts to the environment you’re in. Whether you are working or watching a movie, it makes sure to not interrupt you with random pop-up notifications.

What I found interesting is that customer support is available even for free users. In case you run into trouble, there's a 24/7 live chat, email support, and even a phone number for full support power. Prices are lower for first-time users and increase in a year. There are cheaper options on the market but Bitdefender offers more features and great, high-quality performance.

To find out more, read our in-depth Bitdefender antivirus review.

2. Norton 360 – solid all-around antivirus for Windows 11

Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 66% OFF Norton Antivirus!🔥

Norton is rich in features and is one of the best antivirus tools for Windows 11 out there. Although there are a lot of freebies included, it also does the fundamentals really well, including great malware detection and real-time protection. It's everything you would want in one antivirus.

Norton uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect any kind of dangers online. It keeps your device protected from malware, spyware, ransomware, and potentially unwanted applications (PUPs). It also includes the Norton Safe Web tool that helps you detect which links can cause potential harm. If, for some reason, you need to click on harmful links, Norton incorporates Isolation Mode. It helps remove threats even in risky websites.

The Norton 360 plans also include a built-in Virtual Private Network (VPN) – Norton Secure VPN. With this tool, no third parties can get ahold of your information or your online activity. A two-way firewall is another feature of Norton. It monitors sent and received network traffic on your computer.

Norton antivirus is an excellent choice because of quality and feature variety. It’s not stressful to figure out how to use it, and if anything, a live chat function or a 24/7 helpline is available. It's quite high-priced, yet it's worth the money considering that it’s very efficient and you get many helpful features.

If you want to find out more, you can check our Norton 360 antivirus review.

3. TotalAV Antivirus – essential protection for Windows 11

Total AV banner
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
Current deal:🔥 Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF!🔥

TotalAV makes it to the list of best antivirus tools for Windows 11 with its admirable handling of cyber threats. Being one of the newest options on this list, TotalAV is a modern solution – tough on viruses and soft on your wallet – as the basic version is free. Yet again, the paid plans include more security features.

With paid tiers, TotalAV offers real-time protection, which is enabled by default. The WebShield feature protects your device from malware, ransomware, and phishing emails. It also blocks detected malicious websites.

The more expensive plans come with the Safe Browsing VPN feature. It offers unlimited data and doesn’t annoy you by visibly slowing down your browsing experience.

Meanwhile, Secure Password Vault is only available in the most expensive plan. It gives you an option to store, organize, or recover your login credentials.

The application is not hard to understand at all. Its user interface is very organized, and if you run into any issues, TotalAV has you covered. Their customer support options include a phone number, email, and a live chat. Considering TotalAV is one of the top antivirus software in the market, its prices are tolerable. Also, the free version gives you an opportunity to try out the application before getting any of the paid plans.

For more in-depth insights, check our TotalAV antivirus review.

4. Avira Antivirus – a reliable virus detective

avira antivirus banner
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Current deal:🔥 Get 1 year of Avira at 40% OFF! 🔥

When looking for the best free version of an antivirus service, Avira is certainly the best way to go for Windows 11. However, even though the free plan offers some extra benefits, the paid subscription has many more helpful features.

Every version of Avira offers real-time protection. This feature monitors files that you get in contact with and alerts you if any of them are recognized as malicious. Also, Avira’s malware detection rates are proven to be extra reliable. During the July-August period of 2021, they scored 100% at blocking all test samples.

Avira’s security measures include web and email protection as well. This feature keeps you safe from phishing attacks, browser hijackers, and viruses in attachments.

Avira offers a quarantine option – if the antivirus tool finds a suspicious file, it encrypts it, and puts it into the quarantine folder. Other features include a password manager, safe shopping tool, and Phantom VPN. The password manager and the VPN come with the free version, but the VPN is limited in data and doesn’t let you choose a location – that’s why an upgrade is useful.

The free version lacks one major thing: customer support. That’s right – if something needs fixing, you’ll have to figure it out yourself. If you upgrade to a paid plan, you can call their support or email them, depending on how much time you have. Avira’s paid plans are quite pricey, so if you don’t need anything too fancy, I’d recommend the cheapest one.

If you want to find more information, read our Avira antivirus review.

5. ESET NOD32 – great antivirus for protection

Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android
Current deal:🔥 Get ESET, save up to 33%!🔥

Independent lab test results show that ESET antivirus offers impressive performance, protection, and usability. No wonder it's keeping up the quality when the name stands for Essential Security against Evolving Threats.

ESET provides you with ransomware protection, which secures your device data from being forcibly encrypted. The software includes a banking and privacy security tool as well. It starts working as soon as you enter a financial website. It prevents your payment data from leaking.

You can get ESET applications for Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux. It also has an interesting anti-theft feature which gives you access to your stolen laptop’s location or even webcam. ESET includes a password manager, yet it’s not as effective as the ones its competitors have. It lacks such features as emergency access or breach monitoring.

This antivirus is pretty easy to set up and use. It has a clear and organized user interface, making it simple to navigate. The provider doesn’t have 24/7 customer support, but phone and email response times are still quick, and the agents are super helpful. The prices are quite like other top antivirus software on the list but ESET offers almost flawless protection.

If you want to read more, check our ESET antivirus review.

6. McAfee Total Protection – support for multiple devices

mcafee banner
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Current deal:🔥 Get McAfee, save up to 67%! 🔥

It’s no surprise that McAfee Total Protection made the list. It’s often recognized as one of the best antivirus software not only by users but experts as well. That’s because it includes helpful features and is super easy to set up.

McAfee has a ransom guard tool, which gives you real-time ransomware protection that constantly works in the background. The antivirus ensures security with a vulnerability scanner that installs pending security patches. Other benefits are the QuickClean option that cleans your computer and the shredder tool which makes sure the files you delete cannot be recovered.

McAfee, like other top antivirus software for Windows 11, includes a VPN and a password manager in its subscription plans. The latter has one of the strongest encryption algorithms on the market – AES-256. Together with the sale, you also receive a web extension called McAfee WebAdvisor suite. This includes McAfee Speed up, Web Boost, and App Boost tools that help keep your device performance in check.

When it comes to customer support, McAfee offers a 24/7 live chat, a community forum, and a phone number. There’s also a McAfee Virtual Assistant for more simple issues.

It’s good to know that McAfee’s price corresponds to its quality. With the included encrypted storage, VPN, and a password manager, I believe that it can be worth every penny.

For more information, check out our McAfee Antivirus review.

How we selected and tested these antivirus tools

When you're picking something you know you're going to pay for, you want to make sure you hit the jackpot. That’s why we chose the antivirus software that get you your money’s worth. Here’s what we look for when choosing best antivirus software for Windows 11:

  • Virus detection rates. We collect information about performance, protection, and usability of an antivirus from independent organizations. Some of those include AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives. The best antivirus should have protection scores higher than 98%.
  • False positive record. It’s important to know whether the antivirus provider tends to mistake non-malicious programs for malicious ones.
  • Extra features. Some additional features can be very useful. For example, parental controls, which protect your children from visiting harmful websites.
  • Customer support. When you encounter any problems when using an antivirus, you want to receive quality help. The more support options are offered, the faster your issue can be solved.
  • Price. We try to choose antiviruses that include a fair price. We take extra tools, virus detection rates, and customer support into consideration.

Why do I need an antivirus for Windows 11?

You need an antivirus for Windows 11 to protect you from various threats and prying eyes. So, a better question would be... why would you not need an antivirus? And if we’re being serious, it depends on what your daily online activity looks like. Here are the main reasons for getting an antivirus:

  • Detects risky websites. Even if a website looks legitimate at first glance, it can still be questionable. Antivirus software can help you not wander off to the shady side of the Web.
  • Protects your device from malicious threats. What may look like a harmless download can end up infecting your device with malware. Even your friend might unknowingly send you an attachment with a cyber threat. Using an antivirus can stop malware from infiltrating itself in the first place.
  • Helps keep your children secure. If you’re a parent, the safety of your children is probably your biggest concern. Some antivirus services include parental control features or even location monitoring tools.

If you’re still not sure whether you need a malware detection and removal tool, some providers offer a free version or a 30-day money-back guarantee with their products. I’d suggest trying them out to see what they're all about.

How do I install antivirus on my Windows 11?

Antivirus installation is most often a simple and fast process. Here are a few main steps applicable to most antivirus software:

  1. Go to the provider’s official website. We recommend Bitdefender antivirus, now 60% off!
  2. Choose a plan and register.
  3. Add your payment information and buy the product.
  4. Download the installation file.
  5. Follow the instructions until you finish the installation.
  6. Open and log in to the application, and… voilà! Now you can run a scan.

Can I use a free antivirus for Windows 11?

Yes – you are free to choose any option you think fits your needs. If basic protection from the most common viruses and malicious websites is enough for you, you can stick with a free antivirus.

Yet, a premium antivirus software can provide you with comprehensive real-time protection. Depending on which paid antivirus you choose, you also receive additional features.

However, at the end of the day, a free antivirus is not the worst choice. It’s better to have some security layers than no security at all. And who knows, maybe you’ll find that your online privacy is actually worth spending money on!

Video review: Best antivirus for Windows 11


The antivirus provider market is very wide and competitive. I hope that this article gave you a better view on what the top Windows 11 antiviruses offer and what choice is best for you.

If you still have some doubts or want to ask any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll make sure to help out the best I can!

More Anti-Virus guides from CyberNews:

Best antivirus for Windows 10: secure not only your PC, but your entire home network
Free antivirus protection: basic security features to protect against malware and other viruses
Best VPNs for Windows 11: top-notch security for you Windows 11 operating system



DIliup Gabadamudalige
DIliup Gabadamudalige
prefix 1 month ago
Your article misses out on an exceptionally good software - Malwarebytes Malware guard.
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