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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. This article will 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 – best choice for free antivirus
  5. McAfee Total Protection – great for multiple devices

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
Firewall:Yes
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Current deal:🔥 Get Bitdefender, now 70% 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 as well.

Bitdefender offers an Advanced Threat Defense tool, which monitors all device processes. Also, the Ransomware Mitigation feature is included to detect ransomware on your device. 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 not to interrupt you with random pop-up notifications.

What I found interesting is that customer support is available even for free users. There is a 24/7 live chat, an email, 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

Norton logo and user interface
Firewall:Yes
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Current deal:🔥 Get Norton, save up to 53%! 🔥

Norton is rich in features and is one of the best antivirus tools for Windows 11 out there. But even though there are a lot of extra features, it also does the fundamentals really well, including great malware detection and real-time protection. It is 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 viruses. 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 the harmful links, Norton incorporates Isolation Mode. It helps to remove the harm even in risky websites.

The Norton 360 plans also include a 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 is quite high-priced, yet it is 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
Firewall:Yes
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
Current deal:🔥 Get TotalAV, now 80% 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.

TotalAV includes 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 but 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 plans.

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

4. Avira Antivirus - a reliable virus detective

avira antivirus banner
Firewall:Yes
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Current deal:🔥 Get Avira, now 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 element monitors files that you get in contact with and lets you know if you’re threatened. 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 also include web and email protection. This feature keeps you safe from phishing attacks, browser hijackers, and viruses in attachments.

To add an extra layer of security, Avira also offers a quarantine option. If the antivirus tool finds a suspicious file, it encrypts it and puts it into a 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 two major things: real-time protection and 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. McAfee Total Protection - support for multiple devices

mcafee banner
Firewall:Yes
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Current deal:🔥 Get McAfee, save up to 79%! 🔥

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 by thieves.

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. 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 keep you secure while browsing.

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.

6. ESET NOD32 - great antivirus for protection

Firewall:Yes
Free version:No
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android
Current deal:🔥 Get ESET, save up to 26%! 🔥

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.

ESET is pretty easy to set up and use. It has a clear and organized user interface, which makes it simple to navigate. The provider doesn’t have 24/7 customer support, but phone and email response times are still quick while 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.

7. Kaspersky Anti-Virus - excellent antivirus features

Firewall:Yes
Free version:Yes
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
Current deal:🔥 Get Kaspersky, save up to 50%! 🔥

Kaspersky is one of the seniors in the market, so there’s no doubt that it does the job well. And while Kaspersky has been subject to various rumors about their connections, one thing is absolutely clear – this antivirus is still an excellent solution to protect you against all kinds of online threats.

In recent lab tests, it scored 100% at capturing widespread malware. Other package items include a privacy protection guard tool, which notifies you if someone is trying to gather your data. There’s also a safe money feature to protect your payment data online.

Like most top antivirus tools, Kaspersky provides a VPN, which is powered by Hotspot Shield. It’s quite basic but is easy to use. The highest-priced plan includes a password manager. To top it off, if you have children, you can track their device location to ensure their safety.

The installation process is short and simple - so is the user interface. Kaspersky has a knowledge base for the most common issues.They also provide a phone number, chat, and an email form for 24/7 technical support. If you want to dip your toe in to see whether you like this provider, you can try out their basic free version.

If you wish to learn more, read our Kaspersky Anti-Virus 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%, and it should detect zero-day malware.
  • False positive record. New types of malware appear each day and an antivirus cannot catch every single one of them. However, it’s important to know how well the antivirus provider deals with false positives. We only choose antiviruses that don’t disturb you while browsing.
  • 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 there are, the faster it can be to solve the issue.
  • 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 not have an antivirus? And if we’re being serious, it depends on what your daily online activity looks like.

Do you tend to visit shady-looking websites or know how to recognize them? Well, you wouldn’t have to worry what you click on if you’d have a reliable antivirus.

Also, you never know when your computer might get infected. It’s also possible to download the wrong type of file when looking for a certain application. Even your friend might unknowingly send you an attachment with a virus. That’s why you could use some extra protection.

If you’re like me and you get easily lured into impulse buying by advertisements, you’d benefit too. An antivirus can encrypt your payment data so no third parties could access it.

Furthermore, 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.

Certain providers have free versions of their antivirus, or a 30-day money-back guarantee. I’d suggest trying out available free antiviruses or their trials to see what it’s 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. Head over to the provider’s official website. We recommend Norton Antivirus.
  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

Conclusion

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 be sure to help out the best I can!

FAQ


More Anti-Virus guides from CyberNews:

Best antivirus for Mac: real-time Mac protection
Best antivirus for iPhone: secure your iOS device with top antivirus
Best antivirus for Android: protect your smartphone or tablet against viruses

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