While Windows 11 includes a slicker user interface than Windows 10, the integrated Windows Defender stayed more or less the same. Although it’s secure, it can’t protect you as well as a third-party antivirus program.
Third-party antivirus software is indispensable for Windows 11. Since Windows is the most popular operating system, most of the malware is created precisely to target it. Malware, though, can come in many forms – from phishing emails, attachments, to USB drives and malicious links.
An antivirus secures your device even from zero-day threats or attacks, working as an extra layer of security. Plus, many top antiviruses keep you safe in real time.
Yet, not every antivirus tool will suit the needs of Windows 11 users. To help you make the right decision, we researched and tested dozens of antiviruses. Continue reading to find out our best antivirus for Windows 11 in terms of features, security, and more.
Top 5 best antivirus for Windows 11
- Bitdefender Antivirus – best antivirus software for Windows 11
- TotalAV Antivirus – Windows 11 antivirus for excellent malware removal
- Norton Antivirus – good antivirus for Windows 11 with many features
- Surfshark Antivirus – security-guaranteeing antivirus with a VPN
- Avira Antivirus – easy-to-use and powerful Windows 11 antivirus
- ESET NOD32 – solid antivirus for data and device protection
- Trend Micro – beginner-friendly antivirus for Windows 11
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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 all online threats. When it comes to picking a good antivirus, well-rounded software with extra security features, like TotalAV, is what you need. So, there are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the best antivirus for Windows 11.
|Independent lab tests:||<96%|
|Security features:||Real-time protection, firewall|
|Advanced features:||VPN, password manager, ad blocker|
- 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 both AV-Comparatives and AV-Test ratings to see 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. Powerful antivirus for Windows will also have built-in VPN, a password manager, ad blocker, or other cybersecurity tools.
- 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:
We researched dozens of antiviruses for Windows 11 and their features, independent lab tests, and more. During our tests, we performed multiple scans and their impact on device performance. Here are our best Windows 11 antivirus picks and their narrow evaluation:
1. Bitdefender Antivirus – best Windows 11 antivirus for everyone
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get Bitdefender for up to 67% OFF! 🔥|
Bitdefender is the best antivirus for Windows 11 due to exceptional malware detection rates, reliable real-time protection, and other security features. While limited, it even includes a free version for users on a tight budget.
Bitdefender’s star feature is the Advanced Threat Defense tool that monitors all device processes. A password manager, a file shredder, a firewall, ransomware remediation, web protection, and a free VPN are also in the package. Just remember that you’ll be limited to 200 MB daily traffic per device.
During the most resent independent lab tests, Bitdefender scored 100% in both zero-day and widespread malware tests. So whatever threat you encounter on Windows 11, Bitdefender will put an end to it.
In terms of compatibility, there are apps for Windows as well as macOS, Android, and iOS. The apps are very convenient, especially because it doesn’t spam you with random pop-up notifications.
As for customer support, it’s available for both free and premium 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.
Bitdefender prices start from $19.99/year. Depending on the plan you pick, you can connect up to 15 devices. If anything, there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee available.
To find out more, read our in-depth Bitdefender antivirus review.
2. TotalAV Antivirus – exceptional protection for Windows 11
|Platforms:||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF!🔥|
TotalAV is one of the best antivirus tools for Windows 11, due to its excellent handling of cyber threats and top additional features. It's very secure – blocking 100% of malware on AV-Test.
Even though TotalAV offers one of the best feature suites in the business, it also offers seriously good prices, making it a very wallet-friendly option. There is even a free option: but naturally, you'll get the best features on the paid version.
Paid users get features like real-time protection, which guards devices against malware, ransomware, and phishing emails. It also blocks detected malicious websites. The Smart Scan feature goes even further, doing a regular security check for malware, junk, trackers, and cached files.
TotalAV's premium version offers four distinct types of scans: Quick, System, Smart, and Custom. On our System scan testing, we saw a repeat of independent lab results – this AV caught 100% of the malware files in the system.
As for additional premium features, you'll get a Safe Browsing VPN. It offers unlimited data and a solid browsing experience with no visible slowdowns. Top-of-the-line TotalAV plans also come with a secure password manager, which helps you store, organize, or recover your login credentials.
While application has plenty of features and extensive security tools, the user interface is very organized. It was really simple to use, and didn't noticeably affect system performance. 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 with an impressive package of features, the prices are seriously good – starting at $19.00/year. Also, there’s a free version that allows you to try out the application before getting any of the paid plans.
For more in-depth insights, check our TotalAV antivirus review.
3. Norton 360 – solid all-around antivirus for Windows 11
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, iOS, Android|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get up to 66% OFF Norton Antivirus🔥|
Norton is a feature-rich antivirus that also makes it to this list of best tools for Windows 11. In addition to great malware detection and real-time protection, there are plenty of extra tools to keep every facet of your online life as secure as possible.
It also includes the Norton Safe Web tool that helps you detect which links can cause potential harm. Other useful features like Isolation Mode, Dark Web monitoring, a free password manager, and cloud backups are also included.
The Norton 360 plans also include a built-in Virtual Private Network (VPN) – Norton Secure VPN. With this tool, no third parties can access 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 a good choice because of its 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. We only spent more time figuring out the pop-up windows of the software. Generally, it's quite high-priced (starts at $19.99/year), yet it's worth the money considering that it’s very efficient and you get many helpful features. It also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.
If you want to find out more, you can check our Norton 360 antivirus review.
4. Surfshark Antivirus – support for multiple devices
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get Surfshark Antivirus - 82% OFF + 2 months FREE! 🔥|
Surfshark Antivirus is another reliable anti-malware solution for Windows 11. It’s not just a simple scanning tool – you get a full security suite with malware protection features and Surfshark VPN for online security.
When it comes to malicious programs, Surfshark antivirus offers excellent real-time protection and continuously monitors your device for suspicious activity. You can also manually perform quick, full, scheduled, and drag-and-drop item scans.
More so, this antivirus suite includes additional security features like webcam protection to make sure your sensitive information is safe. It even has a private search engine to prevent data tracking when browsing online.
Additionally, you get the Surfshark Alert feature which scans the web to ensure your data hasn’t been compromised. That includes email addresses, credit cards, and ID checks.
It’s also worth mentioning that this antivirus has a very intuitive Windows app that is easy to set up and use.
As for the price, you can protect up to 5 devices from $53.88/year, and each subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Learn more about this provider in our full Surfshark Antivirus review.
5. Avira Antivirus – a reliable virus detective
|Platforms:||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get 1 year of Avira at 43% OFF! 🔥|
Avira is one of the best free antivirus options 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 can affect your computer and alerts you if any of them are malicious. Also, Avira’s malware detection rates are proven to be extra reliable. During the March-April period of 2023, 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.
There is also a quarantine option – where suspicious files are encrypted and put into the quarantine folder. Other features include a password manager, a safe shopping tool, and Phantom VPN. Both of these features are included in the free version, yet the VPN is limited in data and server locations.
Lastly, the free version lacks customer support. However, with paid plans, you can get support via phone and email. Starting at $30.99/year, the cheapest version offers basic antivirus features – and the more premium plans come with a software updater, PC speed, and tune-up tools. All in all, Avira offers a solid all-around package based on your needs.
If you want to find more information, read our Avira antivirus review.
6. ESET NOD32 – great antivirus for protection
|Platforms:||Windows, Linux, Mac, Android|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get ESET, save up to 15%🔥|
ESET Antivirus gets great independent lab test results in overall protection, protection, and usability. It’s a good all-around protection suite for your Windows device.
This antivirus provides you with ransomware protection, which secures your device data from being forcibly encrypted. The software also includes a banking and privacy security tool. It starts working as soon as you enter a financial website and prevents your payment data from leaking.
You can get ESET applications for Windows, Mac, and Android. It also has an interesting anti-theft feature, which gives you access to your stolen laptop’s location or even a webcam. Additionally, ESET includes a password manager, a firewall, Gamer Mode, and also allows to encrypt sensitive data.
This antivirus is really 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 similar to many other antivirus providers in the market, starting at $39.99/year. With solid overall protection, ESET is a decent choice to stay safe online.
If you want to read more, check our ESET antivirus review.
7. Trend Micro – easy-to-use antivirus for threat protection
|Free version:||Yes (Android and iOS)|
|Platforms:||Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, iOS|
|Current deal:||🔥Get Trend Micro, now 54% OFF!🔥|
Trend Micro is another solid antivirus software option for Windows 11. This antivirus provider offers you robust protection with a user-friendly interface. It does not only efficiently catch threats using AI technologies but also has a few extra features to maintain your everyday browsing as secure as possible.
Trend Micro offers innovative features, such as, Social Media Privacy Protection or Pay Guard for secure online shopping. There’s also a dark web monitoring feature which will inform you if your data leaks to malicious databases. However, Trend Micro doesn’t offer a bespoke firewall. It relies on pretty strong built-in Windows Firewall for all typical firewall tasks. It adds up to the protection against malicious attacks. Testing of antiphishing and malicious URL blocking has very good results.
Next to antivirus essentialities, Trend Micro offers you to add a VPN proxy for an additional charge or get the Premium Security Suite with this feature included. With it, you can easily protect your location and IP address. And, to ensure the safety of your passwords, you can get either a free or a paid password manager to the bundle.
You can use a free version of the application to test the functionalities of this antivirus. It’s limited but excellent for trying it out. As for the paid version, the prices start at $19.95/year and you can use a 30-day money-back guarantee if needed.
Visit our Trend Micro review to read more about the software.
How we selected and tested these antivirus tools
We researched dozens of antiviruses and their additional security features, independent lab malware test results, price, and more. We then tested each of their performance. Here’s exactly how we selected the best antiviruses for Windows 11:
- Independent lab tests. We continuously check and update our providers with the latest independent lab test results. This includes ratings from AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives.
- Performance. We tested various antiviruses and their effect on device performance. We only included antiviruses that aren’t heavy on your system resources.
- Security features. We researched what features each antivirus provides. Such additions as a firewall or real-time protection are beneficial for better protection.
- Customer support. We took into consideration customer support options that antivirus providers offer. We included services that provide you with human support – even better if it’s 24/7.
- Price. We choose antiviruses that include a fair price. We take extra tools, virus detection rates, and customer support into consideration.
Best antivirus software for Windows 11 compared
|Bitdefender||TotalAV||Norton 360||Surfshark AV||Avira||ESET NOD32||Trend Micro|
|Price||from $19.99/year||from $19.00/year||from $19.99/year||from $53.88/year||from $30.99/year||from $39.99/year||from $19.95/year|
|Review||Bitdefender review||TotalAV review||Norton 360 review||Surfshark AV review||Avira review||ESET NOD32 review||Trend Micro review|
Do I need an antivirus for Windows 11?
Yes, 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. We’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:
- Go to the provider’s official website. We recommend Bitdefender, now 67% off!
- Choose a plan and register
- Download the app and follow the installation instructions
- Open 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, 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
Using an antivirus with your Windows 11 is essential for putting an end to various cyber threats that Windows Defender can’t handle. You need a service that ensures above average independent malware test results and includes important security features, such as real-time protection.
To help you choose, we researched and tested dozens of antivirus programs to see how good they are for Windows 11. We only selected antiviruses that don’t impact your device performance too much and provide you with excellent malware protection rates.
Our top choice is Bitdefender. Starting from $19.99/year, it secures you in real time and can block 100% of threats according to independent lab test results.
Best antivirus deals this week:
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What is the best free antivirus for Windows 11?
The best free antivirus for Windows 11 is Bitdefender. While Windows 11 has a built-in Windows Defender, you can’t rely on it to detect every threat. Our assessment is that Bitdefender has amazing overall protection and includes a variety of essential features.
Can I remain with my Windows 10 antivirus after switching to Windows 11?
In short, yes, but it also depends on what kind of antivirus you have and whether it does the job well for you. If you have one of the tools from this list, you’re safe without a doubt. We encourage you to make sure that antivirus software is up to date after switching to the new OS version. However, if you’re not sure whether your antivirus is trustworthy, we'd recommend researching if such independent organizations as AV-TEST approve of it.
Does Windows 11 have its own virus protection?
Yes, both Windows 10 and 11 have a built-in anti-malware tool called Microsoft Defender. Yet, it’s not as good at malware detection as the top antiviruses in the industry. Microsoft Defender is also known for blocking trusted applications. It doesn’t provide users with a VPN, a password manager, or other features.
Do you need antivirus with Windows 11?
Yes, Windows 11 needs an antivirus because the built-in Defender isn’t advanced enough to stop zero-day threats. Meanwhile, such third-party virus protection tools for Windows 11 as protect you in real time and help put a stop to even the newest threats. Plus, it supports all popular operating systems, not just Windows.