A reputable antivirus program will protect you from all types of malware, including worms as well as Trojan horses. It should also be able identify and stop the spread of potentially harmful programs, which can change your browser settings or fill your screen with ads. Certain premium antiviruses include additional features, such as dark web monitoring, ID theft alerts, and parental control.
If you’re a Windows user, Microsoft’s built-in malware protection known as Windows Defender on older computers or Windows Security on newer machines does a decent job of keeping your machine safe. However, it’s not as fast or efficient in detecting malware as standalone antivirus products that frequently score well in independent lab tests. It also doesn’t come with any additional security features such as password management or software for other devices.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is the most effective antivirus for Windows that is based on prevention of malware system impact, user-friendliness. It is easy to install and use and scored highly in the AV-Test labs. It offers protection for one PC at a low cost, however for a few more dollars you can get more comprehensive protection with Bitdefender Total Security and Antivirus Plus.
A good paid antivirus suite usually includes a lot of extras, like a VPN as well as performance optimization tools and apps for Mac, iOS and Android. If you’re looking to stick with the basics and only get the most effective malware protection, Sophos Home Premium is a good choice. It comes with a few additional features for an affordable price.