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The best and cheap antivirus in 2024


Antivirus software can safeguard your device against numerous online threats regardless of the cost. We found many antivirus programs that can still offer the highest quality and protect against ransomware, spyware, and nasty viruses for just a few dollars per month. If you make the right choice, it will protect against ransomware, spyware, and nasty viruses for just a few monthly dollars.

Antiviruses offer significantly different features, but most increase the subscription price after an exclusive first-year discount. To help you choose the best cheap antivirus, we tested 25 professional services that provide valuable cybersecurity benefits at an affordable price after the first year. Here's what we found:

The 5 cheapest and best antivirus protection

The best cheap antivirus for Windows in 2024

To compile an accurate list of the best cheapest antivirus services, we reviewed multiple software considering their cybersecurity feature availability, independent test results, brand reputation, and pricing after the first year. Here are five feature-rich antiviruses with cheap subscription plans.

1. TotalAV – a feature-rich cheap antivirus software

TotalAV-Antivirus-Banner
Simultaneous connections:6
Free version:30-day money back
Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Current deal:Get TotalAV, now 84% OFF!

TotalAV is the best cheap antivirus software in 2024. It offers three payment plans, adding a VPN and a password manager on more expensive ones. Here are its current prices:

PlanFirst-year priceFirst-year price per monthPrice after the first yearPrice after the first year per month
Antivirus Pro$19.00$1.58$119$9.91
Internet Security$39.00$3.25$145$12.08
Total Security$49.00$4.08$179$14.91

TotalAV provides an impressive set of benefits, even on its cheapest antivirus deal. It includes real-time antivirus protection, phishing scam and ransomware protection, AdBlock, system optimization tools, and a mandatory full system scan. The Antivirus Pro plan protects 3 devices simultaneously.

The Internet Security plan adds a Safe Browsing VPN and 5 simultaneous device support. Meanwhile, the most expensive Total Security also includes a password manager and allows another device. Its cheap antivirus plan is excellent, but you may want to check the best VPNs and password managers in 2024 lists because these two TotalAV extra components are a bit pricey.

TotalAV received the best Advanced+ malware protection rating on AV-comparatives latest test without producing a single false positive. Another independent research by AV-test assigned a 5 out of 6 for protection, 5.5 for performance, and a perfect 6 for usability. Independent test results prove that TotalAV is a consistently reliable antivirus software.

Lastly, TotalAV has a free version to scan the device for malware and a 30-day money-back guarantee to try out its full benefits.

Visit our full TotalAV review to learn more.

2. Norton Antivirus – antivirus with unique and affordable benefits

Norton antivirus banner
Simultaneous connections:10
Free version:7 days
Platforms:Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Current deal:Get up to 58% OFF Norton Antivirus

Norton Antivirus is among the best cheap antivirus software with an extra twist – it offers secure cloud backup storage. Additionally, it has a dark web monitor and parental controls at more expensive plans. Here's its antivirus pricing list:

PlanFirst-year priceFirst-year price per monthPrice after the first yearPrice after the first year per month
Norton AntiVirus Plus$29.99
$1.67$59.99$5
Norton 360 Standard$39.99
$3.33$94.99$7.92
Norton 360 Deluxe$3.33$4.17$119.99$10
Norton 360 with LifeLock$99.99
$8.33$179.99$15

Norton's cheapest antivirus plan provides 2GB cloud backup storage and a password manager alongside cybersecurity necessities, like ransomware protection. However, it is limited to 1 device only, which is problematic as most people now use several devices simultaneously.

Norton 360 Deluxe is the best Norton antivirus software deal that expands cloud storage to 50GB and adds a VPN, parental controls, privacy monitor, and 5 simultaneous device support. We recommend the most expensive Norton 360 with LifeLock only if you require identity theft protection, like SSN monitoring and credit alerts.

Norton Antivirus is a reliable, secure, and cheap antivirus. It received a lower Advanced rating on AV-comparatives tests, but only because of several false positive alerts. Otherwise, it detected 99.7% of online threats, outperforming other antiviruses. AV-test assigned Norton a perfect 6 score for protection and usability, an excellent 5.5 for performance, and a Top Product badge.

Although Norton Antivirus does not have a free version, it has a 60-day money-back guarantee to try it out for two months.

Our exhaustive Norton AntiVirus review has more details.

3. Bitdefender – cheap antivirus with robust cybersecurity features

Bitdefender interface
Simultaneous connections:15
Free version:30-day money back
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
Current deal:Get Bitdefender for up to 50% OFF!

Bitdefender is among the most secure cheap antivirus services. Excellent malware detection coupled with customizable system scans are worth every dime. However, the 200MB/day VPN data cap on the plans lowers it on this list, as other cheap antiviruses do not restrict this must-have privacy-protection tool. Here are Bitdefender antivirus pricing:

PlanFirst-year priceFirst-year price per monthPrice after the first yearPrice after the first year per month
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus$29.99
$2.49$59.99$5
Bitdefender Internet Security$42.49
$3.54$84.99$7.08
Bitdefender Total Security$49.99
$4.16$99.99$8.33

The most affordable Bitdefender Antivirus Plus plan offers real-time protection, multi-layered ransomware protection, malware scans, and more. You will get parental control options, a robust firewall on the Internet Security plan, a device optimizer, and cross-device compatibility with Total Security.

These plans also include a VPN with a 200MB/day data cap, which is not nearly enough for secure online browsing, but there is an option of adding the Premium VPN feature for extra cost.

Bitdefender antivirus boasts the best Advanced+ badge on AV-comparatives tests and a perfect 6 score on all three categories on AV-test analysis for a Top Product rating. It is one of the most secure cheap antivirus software on the market.

Lastly, this provider offers a free version to scan devices for malware and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all other plans.

Visit our Bitdefender review for more information.

4. NordVPN Threat Protection – robust malware and online privacy protection with the best VPN

nordvpn threat protection banner
Simultaneous connections:6
Free version:7 days
Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Current deal:Get NordVPN, now up to 67% OFF + gift!

NordVPN Threat Protection is not a stand-alone antivirus app but an in-built VPN component with robust antivirus-like features. It offers efficient malware detection and online protection for an affordable price, securing its place on the best cheap antivirus list. You get the best value subscribing to NordVPN 2-year plans:

PlanFirst two-year price + 3 extra monthsFirst two-year price per monthPrice after the first yearPrice after the first year per month
Standard$80.73
$3.39
$59.99$5
Plus$107.73
$4.39$84.99$7.08
Ultimate$134.73
$6.39$99.99$8.33

NordVPN provides the best price-value ratio for the first two years and is worth the price increase afterward due to its second-to-none VPN. The best Ultimate plan includes 1TB of cloud storage, a cross-platform password manager, Threat Protection that acts as an antivirus, and advanced encryption.

Threat Protection automatically scans the web and blocks websites that host malware or steal user data. It also neutralizes trackers, blocks ads, checks downloads for viruses, and has an app vulnerability scanner. NordVPN lets you customize the level of protection by enabling specific features or turning them off.

Its VPN runs on the proprietary NordLynx protocol with industry-standard AES-256 encryption to protect user data. NordVPN went through three independent no-logs audits and a security audit to prove its services are as reliable as possible. This cybersecurity software is best for online privacy enthusiasts seeking antivirus-like online safety features.

Although there is no free NordVPN version, Android users get a 7-day free trial. NordVPN also provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for all users.

Our NordVPN review has more insights.

5. Surfshark Antivirus – cheap antivirus to protect online identity

Surfshark AV banner
Simultaneous connections:5
Free version:7 days
Platforms:Windows, macOS, Android
Current deal:Get Surfshark Antivirus - 77% OFF + 2 months FREE!

Surfshark Antivirus is young compared to TotalAV or Norton, so it's no surprise it has one of the cheapest antivirus deals. It is developed by award-winning VPN professionals and doesn't hold back on robust cybersecurity features. Here's how much its best-value two-year plans that include antivirus cost:

PlanFirst two-year price + 4 free monthsFirst two-year price per monthPrice after the first yearPrice after the first year per month
Surfshark One$75.32
$2.89
$419.72$17.49
Surfshark One+$111.72
$4.29
$615.72$25.66

Surfshark includes antivirus in Surfshark One and One+ plans. This service provides several unique benefits, like a private search engine, masked email generator, personal data removal tool, and an outstanding VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections.

Although Surfshark Antivirus lacks parental controls and a password manager, it focuses on online privacy protection. You will receive alerts whenever your email, credit card, or ID is exposed online. Furthermore, you can create an alternative ID and avoid using your real information – a feature we haven't encountered in any other antivirus app.

AV-test analyzed Surfshark in December 2022 and assigned a below-perfect 4.5 score for protection and performance and a maximum of 6 points for usability. We expect better future test scores as this antivirus successfully detected 9 out of 10 malicious files during our in-house tests.

Currently, Surfshark One does not offer a free trial. However, all plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can still try the antivirus software before committing long-term.

Visit our in-depth Surfshark Antivirus review to learn more.

What makes the best cheap antivirus?

Regarding cheap antivirus software, you don't want to sacrifice online safety for a few bucks. Luckily, you don't have to. The price of antivirus software heavily depends on feature availability, as is evident from the numerous plans we've reviewed. Then, some features are mandatory for all antiviruses.

The best cheap antiviruses must have excellent malware detection rates verified by independent test results. Performance is slightly secondary, but all our included services received a perfect or nearly perfect usability score.

Online safety cannot be achieved by one single application. You will get the best value if your antivirus software deal includes additional benefits, like a VPN, password manager, identity theft protection, and parental controls.

Lastly, the cost of antivirus software should align with your needs. For example, TotalAV lets you choose reliable yet cheap antivirus protection but charges extra for a VPN and a little bit more for a bundle with a password manager. After all, it's all about consumer choice.

How much does antivirus software cost?

There's much to digest here with so many cheap antivirus software deals. Take a look at the table below for a structured summary.

TotalAV Norton 360BitdefenderNordVPN TPSurfsharkAV
Brand
Rating
4.6
4.7
4.9
4.3
4.4
First-year price per monthFrom $1.58From $1.67From $2.49From $3.39 (for 2 years)From $2.29 (for 2 years)
Cost after the first year per monthFrom $9.91From $5From $5From $9.33 (after 2 years)From $17.49 (after 2 years)
Money-back guarantee
30 days
60 days
30 days
30 days
30 days
Free versionYesNoYesNoNo
VPNSome plansSome plansYes, but limitedYesYes
Password manager
Some plans
Yes
Yes
Some plans
No
ReviewTotalAV reviewNorton 360 reviewBitdefender reviewNordVPN Threat Protection reviewSurfshark AV review

How we tested best cheap antivirus

We rank antivirus software based on its malware detection capabilities, independent test results, our in-house testing, app design, cross-device compatibility, additional features, and pricing plans. The same workflow applies to ranking the best cheap antivirus software because even the most affordable antivirus is worthless without efficient malware protection.

These are our main evaluation criteria:

  • In-house tests. We infect dedicated test devices with malware samples and run various antivirus scans, marking down the results. This lets us compare the results with independent laboratory tests for a precise software analysis.
  • Independent laboratory tests. We constantly analyze independent antivirus tests by AV-comparatives, AV-test, SE Labs, and Virus Bulletin. All antiviruses must have satisfactory malware detection and online safety scores, whether cheap or expensive.
  • Features. You will get the most value for your buck if your antivirus plan includes additional benefits like a VPN, password manager, parental controls, data breach monitor, etc.
  • Free version or trial. It's always best to try the service out before subscribing for a year or two. If there's no free antivirus version or a free trial, we check the money-back guarantee policies to ensure you still have a way to try the antivirus without spending extra.

Why should you consider a cheap antivirus?

Regarding cybersecurity, a cheap antivirus for a PC is undoubtedly better than no protection at all. It's celebratory that all Windows users benefit from the built-in Microsoft Defender Antivirus, but its lack of additional features cannot compete with the services on our list.

A cheap antivirus lets you choose a plan with desired cybersecurity components, saving money elsewhere. For example, TotalAV and Bitdefender charge more for a VPN and a password manager but offer competitive antivirus pricing. On the other hand, NordVPN and Surfshark provide the best VPN services but include antivirus and file protection only at more expensive tiers.

Conclusion

An antivirus is paramount for online safety but cannot ensure comprehensive device protection alone. Furthermore, spending your funds on an expensive antivirus and having none of the essentials like a password manager or a VPN is no good.

After going through dozens of independent laboratory tests and in-house analyses, we concluded that TotalAV is the best cheap antivirus in 2024. Its price increase after the first year exclusive discount is reasonable, and the malware detection capabilities are spectacular. Its VPN falls only behind market leaders such as NordVPN and Surfshark.


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