We select the best Windows security suites based on comprehensive testing of 18 tools.
We use our PCs and laptops for pretty much everything, whether it’s they’re often full of sensitive information, and that makes them a prime target for hackers. Everyday, millions of people fall victim to hacking, and it’s often due to virus from websites, email attachments – or even questionable USB sticks.
Even though Windows 8 and 10 come with Windows Defender built in, this basic antivirus provision isn’t guaranteed to protect you from the latest dangers. There’s a huge risk from “zero-day” attacks that exploit previously unknown vulnerabilities. That means that the old model of simply scanning your PC for known malware won’t keep you safe anymore.
Luckily there are plenty of dedicated security solutions out there that can do a much better job than Windows Defender. Several of them are even free, and we have reviewed some of these very capable free antivirus tools previously.
With these free tools available, is it worth paying for a security solution? We’ve examined this in more depth later in this feature. One thing is for sure, however: paid security solutions offer more features than their free counterparts, with additions such as ransomware protection, a virtual private network (VPN) or a password manager.
With dozens of options to choose from, however, it can be hard to know which package to entrust with your data, especially since some can be quite intrusive and slow down your PC. On the next page, we’ve selected seven of the better antivirus tools based on the features they offer, their impact on your system – and, crucially, how effective each one is at detecting both known and zero-day malware, according to independent tests by AV-Test.org.
Note that these suites are designed for homes and very small offices – we’ve looked at endpoint protection for larger businesses elsewhere.
But first, here are the key results of all 18 Windows antivirus tools tested by AV-Test.org in June 2017.
AV-Test.org Windows 10 protection test results
|Protection against 0-day malware attacks, including web and e-mail threats||Detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks|
|AhnLab V3 Internet Security||100.0%||100.0%|
|Avast Free AntiVirus||100.0%||99.9%|
|AVG Internet Security||100.0%||99.9%|
|Avira Antivirus Pro||99.0%||100.0%|
|Bitdefender Internet Security||100.0%||100.0%|
|BullGuard Internet Security||100.0%||100.0%|
|Comodo Internet Security Premium||100.0%||99.9%|
|ESET Internet Security||99.0%||99.9%|
|G Data InternetSecurity||99.0%||100.0%|
|K7 Computing TotalSecurity||99.0%||99.8%|
|Kaspersky Internet Security||100.0%||100.0%|
|McAfee Internet Security||99.0%||100.0%|
|Microsoft Windows Defender||99.0%||99.7%|
|Microworld eScan internet security suite||100.0%||100.0%|
|ThreatTrack VIPRE Internet Security Pro||97.9%||100.0%|
|Trend Micro Internet Security||100.0%||100.0%|
Next: The top seven security suites in depth