Best Antivirus for 2020

A computer virus can be considered an electronic version of the flu. Designed by computer hackers, it replicates itself, spreads malicious codes and infiltrates your computer’s operating system. When successful, viruses and other forms of malware make your system sick and give cybercriminals access to your personal information. Viruses also give

hackers the ability to delete your files, attack other computers, monitor your movements and control your activity online, which could eventually lead to identity theft.

In January 2019 alone, nearly two billion personal records were hacked by criminals. This breach cost the country approximately $7.91 million while cybercrime as a whole costs the US a staggering $2 trillion every year. This number is projected to grow to $6 trillion by 2021.

Why is this still happening when most operating systems come with built-in security? The reason is that new malware is emerging every day and built-in security isn’t enough protection when cyber hackers are finding new ways all the time to get past these flimsy security measures. Antivirus software gives your device a second line of defense against these ever-evolving threats. Whether you use macOS/OS X, Windows, Linux or Android, you need antivirus security.

With so many strong antivirus options out there, surprisingly few people or organizations take advantage of them. Over 60% of cyber attacks are directed at small businesses employing less than 1,000 people because they usually don’t have the budget or the manpower to combat cybersecurity threats. In fact, in a recent survey of 4,000 different organizations, 70% of them proved incapable of defending against even the most basic security breach.

Antivirus software is a simple preventative measure that protects personal and business data by:

  • Searching files, software, apps and web pages for threats
  • Monitoring and flagging suspicious behavior within computer programs
  • Promptly deleting and blocking malware software and codes
  • Automatically scheduling single-file or whole-computer security scans
  • Verifying the safety of your system
  • Suggesting files for malware detection

It’s more critical than ever to have an antivirus program installed on your computer. Without one, you run a high risk of becoming a target of cybercrimes galore. Learn about your antivirus options below to discover the best antivirus of 2020 and how it can work for your personal computer or in your office. 

Comparison table of the best antiviruses of 2020

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020

  • Starting price: $39.99/year for one device
  • Notable features: Real-time protection against viruses and ransomware, secure and anonymous VPN integration (200MB/day), safe online banking, frequent software updates, free 30-day trial, annual payment plans for up to 10 devices, first-year discount
  • OS compatibility: Windows PC

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus

  • Starting price: $39.99/year for one device
  • Notable features: 20-second updates and scans, annual payment plans for up to three devices, cloud-based program, takes up only 15 MB, webcam protection, identity theft protection, real-time anti-phishing, US-based company, 70-day money-back guarantee, first-year discount
  • OS compatibility: Windows PC, macOS

Norton Antivirus Plus

  • Starting price: $59.99/year for one device
  • Notable features: Password manager, smart firewall, 2GB cloud backup, real-time threat protection, $40 introductory discount available on first year of subscription, 100% virus removal guarantee or your money back, supports one device
  • OS compatibility: Windows PC, macOS

ESET NOD32 Antivirus 

  • Starting price: $39.99/year for one device
  • Notable features: Free 30-day trial, light on computer resources, no updates or popups while in full-screen mode, multilayered protection, minimal power usage, license transferabletransferrable to macOS or Linux, 150 settings, payment plans for up to five devices, first-year discounts
  • OS compatibility: Windows PC, macOS, Linux

Kaspersky Anti-Virus

  • Starting price: $59.99/year for three devices
  • Notable features: Real-time antivirus protection, prevents cryptocurrency-mining malware, easy to use, automatic scans, simple security management, payment plans for three, five, or ten devices, basic features focused on high performance, blocks malicious URLs with web filtering, first-year discounts
  • OS compatibility: Windows PC

Compare antivirus software

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 is a user-friendly program with a full range of features and more than 500 million users. It’s easy to use, install and configure to your liking. Bitdefender PC users enjoy top-of-the-line protection against malware, adware and spyware as well as multi-layer ransomware protection and other privacy tools like Bitdefender VPN and Bitdefender Safepay. 

Many IT news sources and reviewers across the country have named this the best antivirus protection for Windows because of its innovative technology that proactively anticipates, prevents, finds and blocks the newest threats to cybersecurity. In fact, AV-Comparatives awarded it the Outstanding Product Award in 2019 for outstanding performance and later named Bitdefender the 2019 and 2020 Product of the Year.

In order to install Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020, you’ll need to sign up for an account with your current email address and run the installer over a high-speed internet connection. The installation requires 2.5 GB of free hard disk space and 2 GB of RAM. When you have Bitdefender installed on your devices, you can manage your cybersecurity on any device using Bitdefender Central. In this portal, you’ll be able to scan your network from the mobile app, receive security updates 24/7 and enjoy live support from their customer service team. These features make Bitdefender ideal for first-time antivirus users. 

Pros

  • Tech support available 24/7 through live chat, email, phone, Bitdefender forum, etc.
  • User-friendly interface
  • Online transaction security and privacy protection
  • Superior anti-phishing abilities

Cons

  • Demanding on PC resources when running — less ideal for older systems
  • Requires an online account
  • Time-consuming installation
  • Extra charges for VIP professional tech support

Webroot SecurityAnywhere Antivirus

If your goal is to conserve space on your computer, Webroot SecurityAnywhere Antivirus is one of the best antivirus programs you could purchase. This software is a tiny 2 MB download that’s based in the cloud rather than on your device, which leaves you with lots of leftover space for your photos, documents, music and movies. The size of the download makes it an especially smart choice if you have a slow internet connection or limited storage. 

One of the most popular features among Webroot users is its rapid scan time. Webroot is able to scan for computer viruses up to 60 times faster than other antivirus products, which means you can use your PC unhindered by time-consuming updates or scans. Webroot’s lightweight software also runs quickly and won’t slow down old systems. Despite its small size, it’s still able to meet all your vast web security needs, including firewall monitoring, malware and ransomware blocking, anti-phishing and more for up to three PCs or Macs.

Pros

  • Lightweight, cloud-based software that conserves space
  • Lightning-fast scans
  • Affordable prices with extended subscriptions
  • Compatible across platforms

Cons

  • Further testing is needed to verify software reliability
  • No phone or live chat support available
  • Extra charges for password security
  • Limited customizability for advanced users

Norton Antivirus Plus

Norton is one of the pioneers in antivirus protection, and its trusted name is synonymous with excellent value to many antivirus customers. The latest Norton program, Norton Antivirus Plus, is an excellent software choice for beginners. This software is easy to use and runs quietly and continuously in the background as you plug away on your computer. It can also perform on-demand scans as you see fit and blocks malicious websites to protect your computer from ever acquiring malware in the first place.

In the event that your hard drive fails, your device is stolen or you download ransomware onto your device by mistake, Norton’s cloud backup will restore and protect your personal files and important documents automatically. In order to download successfully, Norton requires 2 GB of memory and 300 MB of hard disk space on your PC or Mac. 

Pros

  • Includes the Norton Identity Safe password manager for your browser
  • Affordable annual subscription offerings ($19.99 for the first year)
  • Antivirus promise of total computer security or your money back
  • Great customization options

Cons

  • User-reported problems with Chrome extensions/browser security and password manager
  • Lack of identity theft protection and online privacy features
  • Only supports one device
  • Sometimes causes computers to run slower 

ESET NOD32 Antivirus

ESET NOD32 Antivirus software is a basic yet effective antivirus package that defends PCs against common forms of malware without slowing computer speed or draining resources. Independent testing labs agree that this particular product is one of the top antivirus options for Windows due to its ability to block spyware and other malicious bugs without bogging down your PC. This software only requires 80 MB of disk space, so you can continue online shopping, browsing, gaming and/or working without the hassle of a slow computer.


This antivirus program also includes an anti-ransomware layer, malware defense, harmful URL filtering, virus detection and all the other great features of basic malware protection. If you’re looking to shop around and weigh your options before purchasing a subscription, ESET antivirus comes with a free 3-day trial. If you like it, you can purchase the subscription for $39.99 per year.

Pros

  • Wide variety of plans to choose from
  • Free antivirus trial available with no penalty for cancelling
  • Security scans based in the cloud
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface

Cons

  • No 24/7 tech support
  • Feature upgrades are expensive
  • No automatic backups, manual updates required
  • Not compatible with Mac or Android

Kaspersky Anti-Virus

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a basic antivirus malware blocker that offers the core fundamentals of an online security system. It was designed for Windows, macOS,and (for business customers) Linux users and provides real-time detection and removal of adware, spyware, viruses, trojans, worms and more. Kaspersky Security Network reduces user security risks and updates its software automatically. 

To install this program, you’ll need 1500 MB free on your hard drive and 1 GB of RAM. Once installed, Kaspersky antivirus software is easy to set up and to use. For only $30, you can get a one-year Kaspersky license for three devices at the discounted first-year rate. 

Pros

  • Comes with a password manager and enhanced parental controls
  • Near-perfect scores in tests for phishing protection, malware and URL blocking
  • Provides comprehensive customer support via live chat and phone
  • Able to recover malware-damaged files

Cons

  • High-priced program with expensive maintenance
  • Basic package has limited number of features
  • Basic package only available for Windows unless you purchase a top-tier subscription to cover Mac and mobile
  • Rumored to have ties with the Russian government (no evidence of this)

FAQs

Which antivirus software is best?

The best antivirus software overall is the one that meets your unique antivirus goals, whether your goal is to save money, get the best malware protection, experience optimal scanning speeds or find the best antivirus for gaming. 

If your goal is to discover top-notch security, we’ve determined that Kaspersky Anti-Virus is the right choice for you. This software has shown the best performance in testing trials over time and is the most impervious to viruses. Plus, it offers a full range of bonus features, including a user-friendly interface, webcam protection and file encryption. 

For bargain hunters, the best antivirus for 2020 is Bitdefender. Its basic paid package is hands-down the best deal for all the features it provides. For those who value identity protection the most, Norton keeps you the most secure online with its LifeLock feature and anonymous VPN. Webroot is the ideal antivirus in terms of speed, scanning computers 60 times faster than all others. For gamers, ESET NOD32 is the best antivirus for 2020. It takes up limited hard disk space and scans without interrupting running programs. 

Which internet security and antivirus is best?

Many antivirus users choose to roll their antivirus and internet security into one product. When this is the case, Norton Antivirus is a great choice for its excellent performance, usability and variety of features. While there are some gaps in Norton’s security suite, it does have a plethora of great options for online protection and supports both Windows and Mac. If you aren’t constantly visiting dangerous websites or making risky internet purchases, it will keep you perfectly safe across your devices. 

You’ll spend a little more for this package, but thankfully, Norton offers great discounts and bundle deals for their antivirus and Wi-Fi VPN, so it’s perfect for individual or business use. 

Which is the best antivirus for Windows 10?

Windows 10 users are the most frequently targeted by internet hackers, as Windows is the most popular OS. While Windows has been working hard over the past few years to beef up its security, this PC system is still susceptible to viruses. Of all the antivirus software out there available for Windows, we recommend Bitdefender. 

Bitdefender antivirus software has been performing well consistently since 2010 with its most recent fail now just a distant memory of 2014. Since then, Bitdefender has earned a 100% protection rating in 17 out of 20 recent reports and achieved a perfect score in performance and usability in independent testing by AV-Comparatives. Its multilayer ransomware protection, parental controls and network threat prevention make this option ideal for Windows.

The bottom line

You can’t go wrong with any of the antivirus products listed above. While they’re all slightly different in terms of strength, performance and cost, they all have excellent features that will keep you protected online. Visit each vendor’s website and do your research to discover which antivirus features are most important to you. The product you choose will keep your computer in great working condition and allow you to use the internet safely for many years to come.