The best Antivirus Software for Windows in 2021

How to choose the best Antivirus for windows?

There are many factors to take into account when you’re trying to choose the best security solution based on your needs. With the security of your data, digital privacy and financial transactions at the peak, it’s worthwhile investing some time in assessing each antivirus product.

Furthermore, if you make extensive use of the Internet, email, messaging and other web services, it’s important to consider a solution that includes Internet security software and technologies that can make your online activities much safer.

Based on TheOpenSecurity tests and also considering the tests done by AV-TEST and AV-COMPARATIVES which are two independent organizations that test Avtiviruses against several factors, The best antivirus for 2021 as of now is: F-Secure Safe and F-Secure Total.

Reasons which our editors have selected F-Secure are:

1- Protection :

- Protection against 0-day malware attacks, inclusive of web and e-mail threats (Real-World Testing)

- Detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks (the AV-TEST reference set)

2- Performance:

- Based on performed tests, F-Secure Safe almost did not have a considerable influence on the performance of the Windows machines (in daily usage).

3- Usability and ease of use:

- F-Secure Sage has an uncomplicated user interface for average users

- F-Secure Safe had almost 0 false positive report for all the tested sample (more than 13.000 samples files)

4- Privacy concerns:

- For those who are concerned about their privacy F-Secure Sense can be the best choice. Because of the background of the mother company of F-Secure which is not linked to any government and the fact that this company is based on Finland, makes it a great choice for people who are seeking for a product which respects to the privacy of their users.

What is F-Secure Total?

F-Secure Total is the premium version of F-Secure software lineup which comes with VPN (which also works with Netflix and other similar services), a secured password manager and ID protection.

F-Secure Pricing?

F-Secure in general is placed in the mid to expensive price range. However, there are many third party shops which you can get F-Secure Software for a great deal. As an example SerialCart® which is a well-known online shop for software and IT products is selling F-Secure security products from only $16,96 (USD) a year. Here are some links to F-Secure products listed on their website which might help you:

- F-Secure Internet Security offers (only for Windows)

- F-Secure Safe offers (for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS)

- F-Secure Total(F-Secure Safe + FreeDome VPN + Password Manager + ID Protection)

- F-Secure FreeDome VPN offer (for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS)

Disclaimer: TheOpenSecurity IS NOT sponsored by SerialCart®. SerialCart® is a registered brand of AiOEX GmbH and TheOpenSecurity has no right over the name or the brand of SerialCart®.

Important factors to consider

Not all antivirus software provide a reliable, usable solution that give an adequate level of protection against malware. Here are the most important factors which you should consider before opting your Antivirus:

  • Reliability
    Even the most rated antivirus software can prove to be completely useless if has conflicts with other software which are running in your Windows. If such conflicts cause a malfunction or temporary suspension in the antivirus protection processes, that could leave you vulnerable.
  • Quality of protection
    An antivirus software needs to be able to act in an complex environment that is constantly changing with new computer viruses, ransomware, worms and Trojan viruses that can be much more complicated than previously known malware, and may include new methods of avoiding the actions of antivirus software. You really need to consider below criteria in regard of the security featues of the antivirus product which you are going to install on your PC:
    - How effective it is in malware detection processes

    - How frequent it receives the updates
    - It's ability to remove infected files from your Windows
    - How much impact does it have on your hardware
  • Usability
    Using the software should not be difficult in any sense. Everything should be easily understandable within the user interface of your antivirus. You should not have an advanced knowledge to work/understand the options of the software.
  • Protection
    An antivirus software should deliver complete protection for your Windows, all sorts of files and all network features that could be subject to attack by a computer virus or other malware. It should detect malicious code and also protect all entry points to the computer such as email, the Internet, local network and such .

Now the question is Free antivirus or Paid?

Technology is changing and changing every second and so do computer viruses. Do we keep up with the latest IT-security threats and viruses?

You may be thinking that a free antivirus is a good, cost-effective solution. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Think for a moment, what motivation does a company have for offering a good free antivirus product? Many of the companies that offer free antivirus products also offer a paid version. Which version do you think is the most up-to-date? Which version do you think is the most efficient at keeping your computer safe? The paid version. Many free antivirus software include advertisements. Many times these advertisements are often the cause of infections in the first place! By purchasing a good antivirus upfront you are essentially achieving a baseline protection and system hardening. Lets say you disregard my advice and use a free antivirus; if you become infected, the cost to clean the virus has cost you at least 1 and a half times the amount the paid antivirus would have cost on the front end.

Also did you know that most free antivirus gather surfing habits? anonymous statistic's and other information about your Windows? Keep in mind there is no such thing as free.

I am not saying that Free antivirus should be avoided, no I am saying free antivirus is MUCH better then NO protection at all.

What a premium/paid security software provides you with

  • Paid-for software gives you with a pull package including: antivirus,anti-ransomware, Anti-adware, antispyware and firewall within a unified user interface.
  • It gets updates (sometimes 5 times a day) hence, you will be protected against latest viruses and malware.
  • Many of them come with other great security-related products such as software/driver updater, perfo, recovery tools and etc.
  • In many cases with one purchase you can protect all your devices like Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.
  • Majority of paid security software come with a better security engine in terms of malware detection and removal.
  • Most of the security software in 2021 are also enhanced with privacy protection tools.
  • They received more advanced dedicated removal tools and patches.
  • They are more compatible with other safe software installed on your computer meaning they will have less false positives.
  • And finally premium support that sometimes specially when you face with a problem in your Windows due to your security software is vita. You wont need to go and search on the net for your problem, you will just need to call or email their support and they will provide you with the needed solution.

Just a few differences out of the top of my head.

I am sure that some exceptions can be made and that I missed one or 2 things.

But lets say this paid antivirus does cost money and they are not cheap, but if take into account what you get in return across the whole spectrum then its a rather small investment which buys you the 3 most important things for a company:

  • Solid security & performance.
  • Continuity & Data loss protection.
  • Compatibility & Flexibility.

So to get back at what I was saying within the industry it is a cold HARD fact that free antivirus regardless their claims and testing results just do not have the level of sophistication and protection that a premium package does.

And there is not a soul on the planet that can convince me otherwise because facts are facts.

So many magazines and blogs write great articles and most of them are theoretical correct, but in the real world things are VERY different.

* Do note that: Avast, Malwarebytes, Avira, AVG, Bitdefender and Comodo as free versions are pretty darn good, they have the same scanning modules as their premium versions BUT their performance and overall protection is no where near their premium packages.

Otherwise why would they offer you a premium package if the free one is just as good.

Or do you really think you only pay to have access to technical and costumer support?

All in All

Your technical expertise and know how are perhaps the biggest factors in choosing the best software for your needs.

And last but not least the specific configuration your Windows has and its present state is a HUGE factor.

That said again a VB test report is not going to make that choice for you. In fact based upon the detection percentages and reviews it might even push you towards a WRONG antivirus brand.

Replies 2

  • Thank you for the info. I totally Agree with the fact that Pro versions are more reliable.

    I have test Avira Antivirus Free and Avira Antivirus Pro, and the pro version was way faster with updates and also the detection engine was more optimized.

  • The most comprehensive and well written article about choosing an antivirus software.

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