Best AntiVirus Software

Best AntiVirus Software of 2016

Are you currently concerned for your computer or smartphone’s safety? Have you found it difficult to decide on the kind of security you might need? We’re here to help take some of that weight off your shoulders by sharing our list of top ten choices for the best antivirus software of 2016 with you!
Brand/Model Device Coverage Key Features Our Rating Preview & Purchase
Avira Antivirus Pro 2016 3 users; 3 years Windows 7 (& up); Mac OS X Download (w/code); Cloud technology; Learning algorithms; E-mail security; Repair system; Web & Network protection; Non-intrusive; Device management; Technical support 4.8 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Kaspersky Lab Internet Security 2016 3 users; 1 year
PC, Mac, & Android
Key card; Real-time scans; Firewall; Parental control; Webcam security; Antivirus, anti-malware; Anti-theft; Free tech support 4.7 out of 5

For more information, click here!
ESET SMART Security 2016 3 users; 1 year
PC
Disc; Antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, anti-spam; Anti-theft; Firewall; Parental control 4.2 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2016 1 user; 1 year
PC
Disc; Non-intrusive (Autopilot); Anti-malware, spyware, ransomware, adware 4.1 out of 5

For more information, click here!
VIPRE Antivirus 2016 1 user; 1 year
PC
Key card (download available); Anti-virus, rootkits, malware, & spyware; Zero-day virus protection; Browsing & history removal 4.0 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Trend Micro Antivirus+ 10 1 user; 1 year
PC
Key card (download available); Antivirus, ransomware, phishing, & spyware; Real-time performance 3.8 out of 5 stars

For more information, click here!
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium 3 users; 1 year
PC
Download; Anti-malware (great with many standard OS antivirus programs or alone); Auto-scan; Secure shopping; One of the most successful types of software for destroying malware 3.7 out of 5

For more information, click here!
McAfee 2016 Antivirus Plus Unlimited users; 1 year
PC, Mac, & Android
Key card (download available); Antivirus, malware, ransomware, & spyware (PC); Anti-malware & anti-theft (Android/Mac); Security management 3.3 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Norton Security Deluxe + Norton Utilities Bundle 3 users; 1 year
PC & Mac
Key card (download available); Antivirus, malware, & spyware; Secure shopping; 3-step installation 3.2 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Panda Global Protection 2016 3 users; 1 year
PC, Android, & Mac
Antivirus, spam filtering, firewall, parental control, PC tuneup 3.0 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Not only are we going to discuss our personal and professional choices, we’re going to walk you through the purpose of installing antivirus software altogether!

 

In today’s age, it’s pretty much second nature for most people to install free trials of antivirus software onto their computers or tablets if they plan on using the Internet.

 

That’s fine and dandy… if you rarely intend to use the Internet. If you’re an everyday web-surfer that also likes clicking on several links, it’s best to purchase software that’s more extensive, though!

Installing any trustworthy software might be slightly helpful, but we encourage you to learn as much as you can and compare your choices. After all, you may prefer or need software we don’t even mention!

There are a lot of great, commercial choices out there for large businesses. We can’t go without mentioning that one of our choices is actually favored by many colleges! (It’s totally affordable, too!)

What Do You Need Protection From?

When you visit unsecured sites that require personal information, (such as an e-mail address or a credit card number) you may become a target for people doing devious things… like accessing and destroying files, hacking into your webcam’s software, or just destroying your computer’s functionality as you currently know it.

Some websites are actually built for the sole purpose of gaining access to your computer. After discovering that is when we, as a group of individuals, realized the importance of installing antivirus software!

The best advice we can give you in any instance is to avoid clicking on anything you can’t identify the origin of.

That advice is especially important if any random messages pop up on your computer telling you that your system is comprised! Don’t believe it! This is one of the most common ways computers are actually compromised. Even clicking the exit button could result in chaos. (One of us has personally fallen victim to that scam!)

Common Computer Invaders

The most commonly known types of invasive programs and files don’t stay the same. Technology advances nearly as quickly as the skills of programmers and hackers do. You’ll benefit from buying software that is up-to-date more than software that isn’t.

Many viruses are also known as malware (technically, that’s malicious software). They’re also known as codes written for negative purposes. The main types you need to protect your devices from are:

  • Adware is pretty obvious. It’s usually noticed in the form of an ad which happens to be intriguing to you. When you click on these interesting advertisement pop-ups, you put your system’s resources in jeopardy. Most times, things won’t be destroyed, but your computer’s performance will slow down.
  • “Normal” viruses attack our e-mails, vulnerable websites, and will usually perform tasks to corrupt your computer after it gains access.
  • Rootkits usually work together with Trojan horse viruses. The rootkits start doing their work by gaining access to administrator names and passwords. They are usually pretty serious infections, so you may need to prepare yourself to completely restore the hard drive and operating system.
  • Trojan horse viruses like to hide in downloadable, or downloaded, software. They appear to be harmless. They can attack e-mail platforms as well.
  • Worms like to work their way into local networks and linked computers. An easy way to spot one of these is if when you’re prompted to type in your network’s password when you don’t expect it.

Many programs will require updates throughout the lifespan of its coverage in order to keep up with newly-developed, invasive programs.

We think it’s important to point out the fact that many companies automatically enable an auto-renewal feature with their software. If you’re not okay with that setting, you should visit the manufacturer’s website to figure out whether or not you can disable this setting.

If you have (or had) trouble figuring out how to disable it directly from the program, many manufacturers’ websites will often offer a step-by-step tutorial, whether visual or through text.

Common Kinds of AntiVirus Software

  • If you want one of the most basic options, you’ll be interested in browser security software. If you install this kind of software, it focuses primarily on protecting your computer from your, or anyone else’s, own browsing habits. Its priority is protecting your system from hazardous websites.
  • Firewall software protects your computer against attacks before they happen. If someone’s trying to hack your computer directly, firewalls are great for preventing that. Many people settle for firewall software and programs if they’re not willing to deal with anything else.
  • The majority of anti-spyware software works against what you think it does.
  • Antivirus suites are known for being able to protect systems from many types of malware, including spyware, adware, worms, and Trojan horse viruses.

One of the most important things you can do before you purchase any antivirus software is ask yourself all the right questions!

What Are Your Specific Security Needs?

  • Do you need software that primarily protects your business or personal devices?
    • If you don’t have confidential or sensitive information at stake, such as credit card numbers, phone numbers, etc., you would probably be fine with simple software. Software that is capable of encryption and decryption is great for sensitive material.
  • Do you have more than one device that needs coverage?
    • Many companies offer cheaper versions of their software if you only want to secure one device. If you want to secure your phone, your laptop, and your desktop at the same time, you’ll want to purchase a program that allows multiple users to enter the keycode.
  • Are you looking for standard, one-year coverage, or do you want more than one year of security with your purchase?
    • Some packages will offer two or more years. There are a few known to cover your computer for its entire lifetime.
    • Many antivirus software packages are set to expire after one full year of use. If you want more coverage, you may need to be willing to spend a little more money.
  • Are you planning on using one or multiple programs?
    • Some people do prefer to install a specific antivirus software and another program for other purposes, like spyware. This is definitely up to you and your own preferences.
    • If you’re not that familiar with how to manipulate your technology, we don’t suggest taking the multiple-program route towards security.
  • Do you absolutely require a physical disc with your purchase, or are you okay with a digital download and activation key?
    • Believe it or not, the lack of a disc upsets a large number of people.
    • Most companies save incredible amounts of money (as well as create less waste/packaging) by choosing to offer downloadable software only.
      • We think the environment is probably thankful for companies that choose to use as little plastic as possible.
      • Many times, you’ll have the option to immediately download and activate software like this.
        • If you are interested in immediate access, you should read the description to see if you will receive a keycode in the mail or via e-mail.

For the sake of appealing to a larger crowd, our main choices focus on easy-to-use, broad-coverage (and occasionally, basic-coverage) software. Not all of us here at Consumer’s Choice Reviews claim to be incredibly tech-savvy, so we felt it was important to choose things that were pretty user-friendly! After all, we want every person that goes online to be able to find an affordable, efficient antivirus software program to install! (Free trials aren’t well-known for lasting as long as paid subscriptions are).

Our Top Ten Picks for Best AntiVirus Software of 2016

Avira Antivirus Pro 2016

  • The Avira Antivirus Pro package we’re praising, in particular, is the three-device, three-year download.
    • It’s a pretty sweet price in exchange for long-term security on three different devices!
      • You could grant the gift of having peace of mind to two family members or friends if you only have one computer… just saying!
      • If you work in an office and have three case-sensitive computers to cover, this is pretty ideal as well.
      • Interested in Avira Antivirus Pro, but only for one computer? (Or maybe five)?
        • These are also options available for purchase.
  • The software helps protect against botnets, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, and Trojans impressively well.
    • Advanced Heuristic Analysis and Detection (AHeAD) technology help to protect your system from zero-day invasions (corruption, despite existing security, due to brand-new codes).
      • Some software can’t keep up with those changes nearly as quickly as they happen.
    • Updates usually initiate themselves when they’re available from Avira.
      • We’re pretty big fans of this feature because some of us tend to be forgetful!
    • If you want to check in on how your computer’s doing, you’ll be pleased to know there’s a dashboard display.
    • If you’re a gamer, you don’t have to worry about getting booted off or distracted during a match.
      • When enabled and the software detects that a game is running, it won’t stop what you’re doing to notify you of certain things.
    • If you also have Avira Browser Safety, you can enjoy the convenience of price comparison & the privacy of browser tracking blocking.
  • Don’t worry if you have any technical problems, you can call a toll-free number or e-mail tech support!
  • We’re satisfied with the simplicity of this software and its user-interface.
  • It’s not an extremely well-known company, so don’t be surprised to see many mixed reviews on this.
    • We think it’s positively affordable and can easily protect most PCs from secret attacks.

Kaspersky Lab Internet Security 2016

  • The Kaspersky Internet Security we’re bragging about is the three-device, one-year package.
    • It works with Windows, Mac, and Android systems.
    • The security on this is pretty top-notch.
      • It will notify you when you land on questionable sites and when it opens sites in its safety mode. Some people don’t like that.
      • We had no problems with using it on Windows 10 or Mac laptops, but many users have complained that it bogs Windows 10 down.
        • We suggest comparing your available memory and storage space before downloading this… however, we highly suggest installing this software onto newer Mac operating systems!
    • A few of us here at Consumer’s Choice Reviews do most of our shopping online and we’re pretty worry-free with this security.♥
  • We love the fact that webcams are protected with Kaspersky! Ever since laptops started having built-in webcams, we’ve been wary of using them.
    • Plenty of antivirus software packages protect webcams now, but we suggest reading to make sure your choice does, too! We don’t suggest this because we assume anyone is doing anything weird on their computer, we just believe in privacy and aren’t cool with unknown voyeurs.
  • With Kaspersky Internet Security 2016, you’ll be able to sit back and appreciate real-time protection.
    • When new viruses form and attack, this software should be able to defend you!
    • When you shop online, anti-theft features allow your finances to be protected as well as your identity!
  • If customer service is your main concern, you’ll receive tech support for free.
    • Don’t like phone calls? You can chat or e-mail with representatives instead.

ESET SMART Security 2016

  • We’re interested in discussing the ESET SMART Security 2016, three-device, one-year package.
    • We favor bundles like this because we all have more than one device worth securing and they’re usually a better deal in terms of cost!
    • Unfortunately, this one functions with Windows operating systems primarily… but on the bright side, you can use it with XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 10!
    • We like the ESET NOD32 package a lot, too, if the Smart Security 2016 model doesn’t appeal to you.
  • Firewalls are great for people who travel and shop online on free WiFi.
    • This software has a launchable firewall.
    • Another perk for traveling people is ESET’s anti-theft function. These are pretty cool features for laptop lovers who worry their precious hardware will be stolen!
  • Anti-phishing is another plus of this package.
  • This antivirus software can work in the background or be personalized to meet more specific needs.
    • It really is one of the best ones out on the market so far! It’s so easy-to-use and non-intrusive that most people have little-to-no problems using it.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2016

  • The Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2016 package is a pretty sweet one-person, one-year protection plan.
  • The incorporation of artificial intelligence has ensured that this software will evolve just as quickly, if not quicker than, many types of malware!
  • Avoid adware, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, and more with many Bitdefender products, including this one.
  • Worried about your computer getting cramped up with all this protection?
    • Just because Bitdefender Antivirus Plus works well doesn’t mean your computer’s performance must suffer.
      • In fact, it shouldn’t suffer much at all.
      • After the Photon technology learns how you use your device, your computer should run just as fast as it did before you installed the software!
  • With the addition of Autopilot, you can sit back and surf the web in peace without initiating the security system yourself!
    • Its name implies its function, you set it up and it does what it needs to in the background.
  • This software is easily compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10.

ThreatTrack Security VIPRE Antivirus 2016

  • You may purchase VIPRE Antivirus 2016 and download it immediately or have the key card sent to you.
    • Either way, you’ll have coverage on one PC for one full year!
    • By PC, we mean Windows XP and higher, pretty much!
  • Do you frequent Facebook?
    • This antivirus software scans Facebook (as well as anything else you browse) for deceptive links, malware, and Trojans!
  • Along with real-time protection for existing viruses, you’ll be protected against many zero-day viruses!
    • If you missed the memo, zero-day viruses don’t exist prior to their attack, more or less.
  • It won’t take up much space on your hard-drive and it should be efficient as well as speedy.
    • As with many new types of software, you’ll have to delete and remove any pre-existing protection from your system before you can enjoy the benefits of this one.
  • This is pretty fair coverage for one computer for a full year if you’re sick of the other brands we’ve listed. (It doesn’t hurt to try something new every now and then).

Trend Micro Antivirus+ 10

  • Trend Micro Antivirus+ 10 is a nice, affordable alternative compared to a few of our other choices.
    • The coverage is a bit more basic compared to the other ones we suggest, but it’s the basic coverage you’ll need.
    • You’ll have protection against viruses, phishing, ransomware, and spyware.
      • For the average Internet user, that’s pretty great (and totally essential)!
  • You have the option to purchase the box and key code card or the immediate download instead.
    • Round of applause for less plastic usage!
  • This Trend Micro model has been reported by many people to work better than a couple of the others offering more coverage and features do.
    • Your device shouldn’t be affected negatively by the installation of Antivirus+ 10.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium

  • The Anti-Malware Premium package offers coverage on three devices for one, full year!
  • You may enjoy using this as a standalone product (if you just browse and shop online), but you can combine it with standard antivirus programs that come pre-installed on their devices.
    • Business-oriented people will definitely want to add some extra protection, like a total security antivirus.
    • Believe it or not, if you still have to use dial-up, you should be able to download this in less than an hour if you have the appropriate storage space.
      • Twenty-one megabytes, with a little extra breathing room, should be plenty!
  • This software specifically targets malware (bots, spyware, Trojans), phishing, and offers real-time protection.
    • It doesn’t just locate the problem, it destroys it.
  • If your computer isn’t more than a few years old (and is up-to-date inside), you should be able to install this software without it bogging down your performance levels.
  • Malwarebytes does offer a free package, which is handy when your system is so infected you can’t purchase anything else immediately.
    • If that’s your current problem, try the free one and upgrade to premium when your system is more secure! (You’ll have coverage on more devices).
  • The Chameleon technology featured with this software keeps your files a little safer by renaming them to distract invading malware while it seeks to destroy it.

McAfee 2016 Antivirus Plus

  • This McAfee model offers coverage on as many devices for one year as you’d like.
    • It shouldn’t matter if you have an Android phone, a Mac, or a PC (or all three).
    • We were sure to receive the box and card to make it easier to use on multiple devices.
  • With McAfee, we knew what we were getting into.
    • It works great on some systems and slows down others.
      • Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit), 8, 8.1, and 10 are compatible. Windows Enterprise is not.
      • Mac OS X 10.8 and newer is supported.
      • Android 4.0 and later operating systems are compatible.
      • On iPhones, you need to have iOS 8 or newer.
      • Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are secured with this, as well as Internet Explorer 9.0 & up.
    • Be sure your system is clear of other antivirus programs before you install this one, it doesn’t play well with others.
    • The features aren’t the same on each platform, though varying coverage is.
  • You’ll definitely enjoy 24/7 access to support, though, if anything does go wrong.
  • If you plan on using this with Windows, make sure you have room and the appropriate OS.
    • If you do, enjoy antivirus, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, anti-spyware, file deletion, and dangerous download detection.
  • Using this with an Android device allows for the backup of your data, theft protection, app privacy, & wifi protection.
  • On Mac or iOS, you’ll enjoy a firewall with web safety tools, anti-malware, anti-theft, & file security.
  • If you request the manufacturer’s warranty from customer service upon your purchase, and you happen to be unimpressed with this software’s results, you have thirty days to get your money back!

Norton Security Deluxe + Norton Utilities Bundle

  • Norton’s another one of our well-known name brands. It continues to prove true that certain people are comforted by name brands more than performance or security coverage.
    • While Norton isn’t one of the better, newer, lesser-known models on our list, it isn’t worthy of disregarding completely.
    • It isn’t the fastest-running software, but it certainly isn’t the slowest.
    • It takes less time than McAfee to do everything, that’s for sure. (Quick and full scans).
  • The installation is pretty quick and easy.
    • The program size is about 138MB. Instead of a two-part download, it should just be one.
    • To get it going on other devices, visit the website and the setup section.
  • Do you loathe auto-renewals? This model won’t require you to select that feature… as some previous models may have.
  • This antivirus software should be compatible with Windows XP & up, OS X (& the two before that), Android 2.3 & up, and iOS 7 & up!
    • You’ll be able to secure three devices for one year with this subscription.
    • If you request the manufacturer’s warranty, you can receive your money back if you aren’t happy with your purchase. Usually, that means you will be.
  • If you need any help, you’ll have unlimited access to the support you need!
  • Receive protection from viruses, malware, and spyware easily with this package.

Panda Global Protection 2016

  • This package should be for three users over the course of one year.
    • You may purchase the unlimited license model instead.
  • Panda Global Protection 2016 made it to our list because it efficiently detects new malware better than many others on the market.
    • Since everything changes and becomes “newer,” it’s good to be a step ahead.
    • Trend Micro is good about this feature as well!
  • With this model, you can use a firewall and parental control if you want, but the antivirus function is definitely the best (and easiest to use).
    • If your computer gets a little buggy and slows down, you can tune it up with one of the features found in this antivirus software.
    • The password manager is fine if you’re familiar with navigating such technology, not recommended otherwise.
  • System performance shouldn’t be impacted severely.
    • It isn’t lightning fast or anything, but it’s not the slowest option on the market.
  • This is a pretty new company and they haven’t worked out a completely balanced system, yet.
    • Their customer service makes up for that. They’re helpful and eager to please. We imagine their products will get better with time.

Our Top 3 Choices for Best AntiVirus Software of 2016

When it comes down to it, we need to be able to decide between three (or less) of these options. (If you choose to purchase any of these at all!)

When it comes to owning something familiar, functional, and affordable, we think most average consumers would be satisfied with the Norton Security Deluxe + Norton Utilities Bundle! We admire Norton’s tactic in removing their auto-renewal requirement. They’ve made the decision to respect our possible decision to purchase a different program in a year, so we respect that. (Plus, they do have pretty efficient coverage, it just isn’t the fastest software out there).

If you’re looking for multi-device security, an affordable price, and more than one year of coverage, Avira Antivirus Pro is the way to go. This is a newer company, which is why we’ve listed Norton first for our finalists (Norton’s familiar and all). We can’t overlook the three-user, three-year coverage for such an affordable price with this package, though! It’s pretty awesome, and the security is actually pretty trustworthy. If you didn’t catch it in our mini-review, Avira protects case-sensitive material. That means working in a busy office with confidential documents doesn’t have to make you lose sleep anymore!

The author of this review’s personal favorite is Kaspersky Internet Security 2016. We have personally been enjoying the protection of this package on our business computers… and we couldn’t be much happier! It’s so fast and non-intrusive. When it notifies you, it’s pretty quiet and disappears pretty quickly. It lets you know when you’re on shopping sites that you’re in “protected mode,” which we really like. Did we mention how incredibly affordable this is, too? If not, it is! Like, ridiculously affordable. (We got the 3-user bundle, which we think is one of their better deals).

When it comes down to it, your needs may surpass the performance of anything on our list. Your needs may not extend as far as what we’ve listed, either. Take the time to ask yourself if any of the features are worth your money. If you aren’t completely sold on something, look into it even further. As we state quite often, we want you to make any purchase you do with confidence. Don’t settle for anything you’re not convinced will make you happy.

Thank you for learning about antivirus software with us and we hope you find security that works well for you!

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