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“What antivirus should I get?” That’s a popular question among personal and professional users alike. With so many options out there, how do you figure out which antivirus is best? Will free antivirus be good enough? Should you shell out for a paid version of Norton or McAfee? In this article, we help you identify which antivirus is right for you.

Note that this article’s scope is limited to antivirus software installed on an individual Windows laptop or desktop. We are not considering a centralized cybersecurity appliance or network-based anti-malware capability – both of which are heavily business-centric solutions.

What should an antivirus be able to do?

Let’s begin by looking at what are some fundamental requirements of antivirus software today.

  • Monitors threats in real-time
  • Scans system and files (automatically and on-demand)
  • Maintains up-to-date virus definitions
  • Provides comprehensive protection for online activities
  • Warns of trending cyberattacks
  • Does not hog system resources
  • Multiple users/devices covered

These are the basic requirements for any antivirus in 2020 and 2021. As a full-service IT consulting company in Toronto, we help our clients find the right balance of threat protection for their applications.

‘Freeware’ comes to bite back: Avast, a popular antivirus maker, was found to have tracked users’ web histories and individual mouse clicks!

Best antivirus for Windows 2021

There is a constant shuffle between the top companies making antivirus for Windows. Rankings and reviews by tech publications are always changing, as even minor software updates have a tremendous impact on effectiveness. Do your research before you pick one. If you aren’t sure, speak to our IT solutions in Toronto to see which antivirus is right for your work computer.

Here are some of the best antivirus for Windows in 2020/2021.

McAfee AntiVirus Plus – One of the two most popular antivirus software around. Good protection, coupled with an attractive subscription that will cover almost all your devices.

Norton AntiVirus Plus – The other antivirus incumbent. Though not free, Norton’s solutions offer a lot of functionality and some time-saving features. It can be expensive if you have multiple devices.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus – Has routinely earned high scores from independent testing. It is also said to have good ransomware protection. Kaspersky has become a popular name in the antivirus space.

Bitdefender AntiVirus Plus – Rose to popularity after successfully stopping several simulated cyberattacks. The software itself is stable and has become a popular choice recently.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus – A relatively lesser-known name in the consumer space, but it has excellent anti-malware credentials. Integration with other ESET products makes this is a good business choice.

Is the built-in Windows Defender antivirus protection enough?

‘Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center’ is the latest iteration of Microsoft Windows’ built-in antivirus. Though early versions were mocked for offering poor protection, it has become a competent performer as of late. However, its position is best summarized by PC Mag, which says, “while its lab test scores have improved, it still doesn’t come close to challenging the best third-party solutions—even the free ones.”

Some consulting companies in Toronto force clients into overbearing security practices that actually reduce compliance and increase the chances of a cyberattack succeeding. At NUMENTIS, our IT solutions in Toronto work with you to find solutions that protect your workflow – without compromising on security. Speak to a representative today to learn more.