The Best Anti Virus Software 2021

Most users of computers, smartphones and the like will sooner or later have to ask themselves the right antivirus tool deal with. According to a survey by the industry association BITKOM, around 46 percent of all Germans were affected by a computer virus in the past year. The problem here is that these viruses can cause damage in various areas. Among other things, the theft of personal data is in the foreground. The harmful software can also slow down the electronic end devices considerably or even render them completely inoperable.

Accordingly, let's take a look at the various antivirus software available for the ensure basic security for computers, smartphones and the like should. Which company offers reliable and efficient virus protection? And what aspects should you pay attention to when choosing antivirus software? What promises can a free option keep and how can simple options ensure the greatest possible security?


    The best antivirus program: test winner in the area of ​​antivirus software

    In our antivirus test, we were able to look behind the scenes at some manufacturers. Accordingly, we have now found three programs that have shown their best side. Here the convincing software against viruses in the antivirus comparison: Total AV, Avast Antivirus, Intego, Bitdefender Internet Security and Symantec Norton Security.

    The test winner: Total AV

    Total AV logoThe best antivirus program for us and thus our test winner is Total AV. Total AV is an extension of avast, so it uses the same technical basis. However, Total AV offers further useful additional functions that significantly increase the security of your own PC. Besides the Basic virus detection functionality the following features are included with the basic version:

    • Password safe: If you use the same password all the time, you run a great security risk. The password safe provides a remedy here, all other passwords are encrypted with a single password - and a complex, secure password can be used for each account without having to remember complicated character strings.
    • System tune-up: Unnecessary processes, registry entries, software and other things that make the PC slow can be easily removed with the system tune-up.
    • Ad-Blocker: Anyone who constantly gets annoying advertisements on the Internet can simply block them with Total AV's built-in ad blocker.
    • VPN: A VPN opens a tunnel between the website and the end user - so your Internet provider can no longer see which pages you are visiting.

    The most convincing argument of Total AV for us is that the software is free in the basic version - and works extremely well with a 99,97% recognition rate. The virus database is kept up to date with daily updates, so that you are also prepared for the future.

    In the paid version, the great additional services mentioned above are still convincing. The 24/7 support via phone, e-mail or live chat also works perfectly - for us the best antivirus app 2021.

    In terms of price, Total AV is more than just competitive. If you want to enjoy the full functionality of Total AV, pay for up to 6 devices with current discounts 59 € per year. In the 2 slimmed down variants you get protection from 3-5 devices for 29 € to 39 € in the year. Indeed without VPN, ad block & password manager.

    Intego in detail

    Intego logo

    The Intego security software has been protecting Apple systems from cyber criminals since 1997. In addition to the real-time antivirus function, the software scores with an additional 2-way firewall, anti-spam functions, integrated backup and offers additional protection for data on the computer such as passwords, images and all private information (phishing). Thanks to its award-winning achievements, Intego has become the most popular antivirus software for Mac users. In addition, the software offers the option of automatically deleting unnecessary files and speeding up your Mac computer. Independent tests have also shown that exclusively Intego eliminates 100% of malicious Mac software. Since the software has specialized in Apple, the operation has been adapted to the Apple environment. The software with its operation and style fits perfectly into your Mac.

    In addition, iPhones and iPads are protected by the integrated VirusBarrier when they are connected to your computer. This also prevents viruses, Trojans or malware from reaching your computer via your mobile devices.

    The integrated NetBarrier also protects your Mac from intruders via the network and automatically adapts your firewall settings to the various circumstances. (Connection via public networks such as cafΓ©s, airports etc.) In addition, the NetBarrier not only protects you directly but also ensures that programs do not communicate with endangered Internet domains without restricting the functionality of the program. In cooperation with Panda Antivirus, your Windows-based computers can also be protected simultaneously.

    In addition to the free trial version, various booking models are available. in the case of the slimmed-down variant, costs of 19,99 Euros towards you in the year. The full bundle costs 34,99 euros or even only for 2 years, depending on the duration 29,99 Euros per year.


    Avast Antivirus in detail

    avast logoThe antivirus program Avast Antivirus is particularly well known and popular among the free systems. What few people know is that there is also a paid version of Avast Antivirus. As freeware, Avast Antivirus provides basic protection against spyware, malware, viruses, and more. As a useful little extra, Avast Antivirus Freeware also comes with a WLAN inspector and a smart scan function. Both functions allow the software to search the computer for security gaps. At the same time, this program is not only about finding security gaps, but also about optimizing the computer system. This explains why the overall package also includes a popup blocker, which makes surfing the net much more pleasant.

    If you are interested in Avast Antivirus Pro, you have to reckon with annual costs of 44,95 euros. But it's also worth taking a look at the free version. Because for us, Avast Free Antivirus is the best free antivirus program.


    Bitdefender: An interesting concept

    bitdefender logoAnother antivirus program that will be on the top list for 2020 is Bitdefender Internet Security 2020. The independent test institute AV-Comparatives has only given Bitdefender Internet Security 2020 top marks in recent years. Some other forums such as Computer BILD, Stiftung Warentest and Chip are also convinced of the overall package. No wonder, because this software is way ahead in terms of performance. In this case, such comprehensive protection is not available for free, but for EUR 59,99 per year. If you want to commit yourself to the next five years, you can fall back on a five-year price of 89,99 euros. So you would have all-round protection for 17,99 euros per year.

    What is particularly practical about Bitdefender Internet Security 2020 is that the system is extremely accurate. In this way, the software detects threats without disrupting the use of the end device itself through incorrectly reported threats. However, this strong performance is noticeable when the main memory is used. Anyone who works with little computing power here should look for an alternative program. Bitdefender Internet Security 2020 requires a lot of computing power, which could slow down computers that are not well set up.

    It should be noted that the range of functions includes ransomware protection, a malware scanner, child protection, a VPN service and much more. Many users also report that Bitdefender Internet Security 2020 customer support is extremely customer-oriented.


    Symantec Norton Security under review

    norton logoThe Symantec Norton Security system has a lot to offer its customers. In addition to protection against malware, spyware, ransomware and more, a firewall, a password manager and at least 10GB of cloud storage are also included. Of course there is also parental controls, a SafeCam option and some other useful features. With a price of 29,99 euros per year, Symantec Norton Security belongs to the middle price segment. Symantec Norton Security also has a little extra: the virus protection promise. If you get a virus into the system despite using Symantec Norton Security, a Norton expert will try to remove it from the system remotely. If this Norton employee fails in this attempt, the purchase price of the antivirus software will be refunded.

    If you look at the test results from AV-Comparatives, Symantec Norton Security seems to convince in some areas. Because Symantec Norton Security made it into the top 5 best antivirus programs at AV-Comparatives. This is certainly not least due to the high recognition rate.

    But then Symantec Norton Security comes with a minus point. The software requires a lot of memory, which can lead to crashes or restrictions when running powerful apps or browsers.

    Ensure sufficient security with antivirus software

    There are some rules of conduct that make a significant contribution to the security of mobile devices. One should develop a suitable routine to ensure basic security. One of the most important rules of conduct is that you

    • regularly installs the latest updates
    • no more than a virus program packs onto the device
    • Exercise extreme caution when downloading
    • and carry out virus scans at regular intervals.

    Complete antivirus package in comparison

    The vast majority of anti virus programs are offered by well-known manufacturers as a complete package at lower prices.

    In addition to the actual central component, virus protection, other extras such as an independent program for child protection, automatic software updates or various Password manager.

    The following table provides a compact overview of the various manufacturers and the associated extras:

     Total AV logo smallAvast Antivirus LogoGData logoKaspersky Iconmcafee iconPanda AntiVirus Icon
    Total AV
    Fraud protection
    Password managerβœ…βŒβœ…βœ…βœ…βœ…βŒβœ…
    Ransomware protectionβœ…βœ…βœ…βœ…βœ…βœ…βœ…βŒ
    Software updaterβœ…βœ…βœ…βŒβŒβŒβœ…βœ…
    WiFi protectionβœ…βŒβœ…βœ…βœ…βŒβœ…βœ…
    Webcam protectionβœ…βœ…βœ…βŒβœ…βœ…βŒβœ…

    Virus scans are the basis

    Once you have decided on an antivirus program, you should use it accordingly. The software is always running diligently in the background and scanning the environment, but manual virus scans should be carried out at regular intervals. With these large-scale scans, you can be sure that unwanted computer viruses have not crept in via external data storage media.

    The ongoing monitoring of the data traffic is always covered by the virus program running in the background, but with external data carriers, the PC can certainly be infected.

    A comprehensive scan of the system also catches viruses that want to sneak into the system in this way. Most virus programs give you the option of automatically performing such a system scan at regular intervals.

    Don't ignore security updates

    With the mass of viruses that find their way into the network every day, security updates should not be too cautious. If the mobile device reports that a current security update is pending, you should act immediately. The providers of antivirus software are always at the forefront when it comes to updates and updates associated with the software.

    Antivirus virus check

    Incidentally, the security updates not only relate to the software on the computer itself, but also to the updates to the antivirus software. Usually there is the possibility that the user can set the function for automatic updates. Both in the software of the computer and in the antivirus software.

    Exercise caution with downloads

    The rule is actually not new, but many people still fall into far too obvious traps. Obvious pitfalls include opening suspicious attachments and downloading them from untrustworthy sources. The suspicious attachments are often graphics, documents, software and the like that are hidden, for example, in e-mails or other digital connections.

    If you open or download such an attachment, you run the risk of loading unwanted viruses onto your computer or smartphone with the attachment. Most virus scanners scan such attachments automatically. However, you should also use common sense to decide which attachments should remain closed.

    The same applies to downloads from untrustworthy sources. When looking for suitable software, a file or the like, you will at some point come across websites where the security precautions are not the best. If you have chosen a good antivirus program, this software scans directly when the file is downloaded to determine whether the file is safe. However, there are always newer and more sophisticated viruses that find their way past the scanner software. That's why you shouldn't download blindly here either, but always decide in each individual case whether you can trust the providers.

    Decide on antivirus software

    Most end devices already come with them a preinstalled antivirus program therefore. So in individual cases you don't really have to worry about whether you can safely surf the Internet shortly after buying it. However, before you take a stroll through the WWW you should make sure that an antivirus program is actually already active.

    It is important that you do not overlook the antivirus software, because if you install additional software, the scanning no longer runs smoothly. There are many different types of software to protect your own system, but behind the malware detectors, firewalls and anti-virus scanners there is always software that wants to run undisturbed. If you install several helpful software, the support will soon be over. Because the programs hinder each other in the background when scanning the computer environment. In the worst case, it is then no longer possible for the various programs to scan and remove harmful viruses.

    What makes a good virus scanner?

    antivirus virus scanBefore deciding on the first offer, you should first find out what makes a good virus scanner. The easiest way to do this is to use the compares different software offerings. In this way, you can quickly see which basic equipment most antivirus programs have and which features are considered extra. It can roughly be said that

    • Updates,
    • Performance,
    • Costs
    • Support

    are important factors that you should look at with the different providers.

    What are the costs of the antivirus software?

    There are free and paid antivirus solutions. In the case of paid offers, the annual costs can be in the three-digit range. Users can regularly update access to the software using a license key. Now, of course, the question is whether you as a private person have to dig deep into your pockets to protect your end devices with paid software.

    After all, there are enough free virus scanners and antivirus freeware on the market to choose from. It is now clear that the free options also have a lot to offer. With regard to the price-performance ratio, you shouldn't be blinded by the cost point, but rather make sure that all the components you need are available. In most cases, a free version or less expensive software is sufficient for private use.

    If you decide on an expensive option with a license, then you usually have the option to secure several end devices with this software.

    What about the virus scanner updates?

    Because new threats to computers and smartphones in the form of viruses and malware arise every day around the world, the right antivirus program should not save on updates and updates. Hackers are very interested in smuggling the most sophisticated Trojans and the like into the systems of unsuspecting people. You should definitely focus on being regularly supplied with updates from the antivirus software providers. Really serious providers are constantly working on the output Keep software up to date. Accordingly, these companies invest a large part of their budget in researching new threats, possible security gaps and defense options.

    It is important that the companies behind the software react as quickly as possible to new threats in the network. Because within the first few days after the first appearance of a new virus, the "risk of infection" is highest. The next security update should be presented by the company as soon as possible in order to protect users from new threats.

    What kind of support can you expect?

    A reputable antivirus program also has extensive support to offer. Most companies have customer service via email, live chat, and phone. It is important to find out how quickly customer support can help you.

    Information about customer support can usually not be found with the providers themselves, but in forums and on similar feedback websites. Here it is important to research carefully how quickly you can get support from customer service and whether remote access by a professional is possible.

    What performance does the best anti virus software have to offer?

    What good software has to be able to do is clearly detecting threats. If this area does not work reliably, it will be difficult to work with the program. It is no longer easy for virus programs because of course not only the defense programs have evolved, but also the digital threats themselves.

    The detection range must therefore not only include the familiar viruses, but also new versions of old viruses and completely new forms of threats. At the detection rate An antivirus system shows how many viruses the program has unmasked and made harmless on the computer within a year. Some providers can score with a particularly high recognition rate.

    In terms of performance, however, there is more to consider than just the recognition rate. Because as a program that is constantly active in the background, such a virus program also eats up a little memory space. In order not to be disturbed by a burdensome antivirus system during intensive work or gaming, the virus program should Use as little main memory as possible. Efficient performance may not be as important on newer computers as on rather sparsely equipped older models.

    In terms of performance, you should also consider the various functions of the software. For example, real-time traffic monitoring and scanning for each drive on a computer should be part of the basic equipment.

    In addition, every software has its own features and special features, which sometimes seem more or less useful. The extras include, for example, parental controls, a firewall, a VPN service and a password manager.

    The best antivirus tools tested


    Antivirus test: FAQs

    Why do I need antivirus software?

    Antivirus software supports the computer or smartphone in effective protection against digital threats such as viruses, Trojans and malware. Antivirus software is also known by other names such as virus scanners, virus protection software, antivirus programs and the like. What is meant, however, is always software that actively scans the current data stream for threatening components in the background and renders intruders harmless. These useful tools are available as free and paid versions in various designs.

    Isn't it possible without antivirus software?

    The times when you could safely surf the net with an unprotected computer are unfortunately over. Every day, hard-working hackers create new digital threats that need to be fought off. The easiest and most effective way to do this is to use a virus program. It's not just about scanning downloads and attachments, but actually checking every exchange of data for infections. Without such a safety precaution, one should no longer dare to use a computer or smartphone. It is practical that the vast majority of end devices already come with a free version of antivirus software.

    What is effective protection against computer viruses?

    Some well-known programs offer really effective protection against computer viruses. However, the responsibility for protecting your computer should not be entirely passed on to the software. Because you can contribute a large part by optimizing your own behavior. For example, you should be very careful when opening attachments and downloading programs and the like. In addition, you should always make sure to keep the software up to date and download the latest updates.

    About David Maul

    David Maul is a qualified business IT specialist with a passion for hardware