Summary: It’s no secret that cyber security should be a huge concern for everyone in 2018. Hackers and scam-artists are constantly trying to find new ways to break into your computer, steal your money, login details, and even your identity.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your loved ones is with top-level antivirus software. It will find and destroy malicious software before it has a chance to threaten your safety and security.
So what’s the best antivirus software for windows 10? I’ve tested and reviewed the top-performing softwares and the best one for Windows 10 is Avast Antivirus.
It’s easy to use, reasonably priced, picks up all known viruses and allows you to protect multiple devices with your subscription.
Why is An Antivirus for Windows 10 So Important?
Even though your Windows 10 computer came preloaded with antivirus software, known as Windows Defender, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your computer is truly protected.
Windows Defender only updates itself whenever you perform Windows updates, which, for most people, doesn’t happen that often.
That means your antivirus could be 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, or even longer out of date and no longer protecting your computer against most recent viruses.
If you store sensitive information on your computer, enter your passwords on websites, or use your credit card to shop online, you could be at risk for having your private information stolen.
Viruses have different goals, but most of them are designed solely to intercept the sensitive information you’re sending and receiving while you are connected to the internet.
If you rely entirely on Windows Defender to protect you, you could find yourself dealing with identity theft, having your accounts stolen, and your computer being used as a tool for hackers.
A quality antivirus is going to help protect you against these threats and update itself automatically to ensure that you’re protected against the latest viruses.
It will encrypt the sensitive information that’s being stored on your computer so that you can still access it, but hackers are going to be unable to decipher the information to use it for their own benefit.
It will also ensure that you’re not downloading potential viruses by scanning the files as you download them, and routinely scan your computer to look for potentially harmful software.
The best way to ensure that your Windows 10 computer is protected is to install a separate antivirus and firewall software that works alongside Windows Defender and Windows Firewall.
Antivirus Software Testing Methodology
My review process moved forward by testing how effective each service’s software is at identifying potential threats by using the Anti-Malware Testfile.
The Anti-Malware Testfile has been created by the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research and the Computer Antivirus Research Organization.
To learn how the Anti-Malware Testfile works to simulate real threats to a computer’s security, click here to read an academic paper created for it.
The Testfile is currently the only way to measure the ability of antivirus software to detect threats because the tools that were once developed by Spy Car are no longer being supported.
How I Judged Their Performance
Criteria #1: Is It Easy to Use?
Some antivirus services give you software that’s difficult to install, has too many confusing options, and makes your computer harder to use.
I have tested each service to ensure the software you’ll be downloading and installing is intuitive to use and configure, and doesn’t interrupt your normal computer use.
Criteria #2: Do They Offer a Refund Policy?
There could be times that you install the antivirus software only to find out that it is incompatible with other software you’re using, or creates false warnings and blocks you from accessing programs.
To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, and that you’re protected if it does, I’ve eliminated any service that does not offer a refund policy or a money-back guarantee.
Criteria #3: Can You Protect Multiple Devices?
However, some services sell their software as a “one machine only” license, which means you’ll have to purchase a separate license for each computer you own.
To ensure you’re not spending more money than you need to, I have ranked services that require you to purchase multiple licenses lower than those that allow you to protect every machine you own.
Criteria #4: Does It Slow Down your Machine?
Your antivirus software is going to be working any time you are using the computer, which can cause some computers to become slow and programs to freeze up.
I tested the software provided by each service to determine the load that it places on your computer, and how fast it operates on machines with different hardware specifications.
Any service that provides software that causes high-end machines to become slow has been eliminated, and services that cause low-end machines to become slow has been ranked lower.
Criteria #5: Does It Create False Warnings?
These false warnings can confuse some people, making them believe that they have a virus or that one of their favorite websites is deemed to be a threat.
I tested each service’s software to ensure that it does not provide unnecessary false warnings, and that it isn’t overly sensitive, calling out threats that do not really exist.
Criteria #6: Does It Protect Against 0-Day Attacks?
The purpose of your antivirus software is to protect your computer from all threats, even those that are brand new and never seen before.
I want to ensure that your antivirus software protects you from threats that are custom coded, and those threats that the antivirus service may not have experience with.
To ensure your antivirus software keeps you protected, I made sure each service I recommend updates regularly, and checks for new viruses in their database on a regular basis.
Best Antivirus Windows 10 in 2018
If you can’t tell by now, there is a lot that goes into testing each of the different antivirus services that are available. It’s a process that I didn’t take lightly.
After extensive testing and working through each of the different services, I have found that two services performed better than the rest and made their way to the top of my list.
Each of the three companies that I’ve found to provide acceptable levels of service and protection are listed below.
#1 – Avast Internet Security – 9.4 / 10 – Voted Best Antivirus for Windows 10 in 2018
Avast Antivirus is one of those services that thoroughly impressed us during testing, and easily secure the top spot in my list of recommendations.
The antivirus software that’s supplied with your license is easy to use, install, and configure, and hides away in the background making it nearly invisible, until you need it.
When you subscribe to Avast’s service, you subscribe with your email address, which makes it possible for you to protect multiple devices by reusing the same email every time you install a copy.
During testing, I did not notice the software slowing down my machine, even while installing new software and testing installation of well-known viruses.
While using their software, I visited websites that caused false warnings with other software and did not experience Avast creating those same false warnings.
Avast has a large team of developers and maintains a huge database of known viruses. They constantly update the database to reflect changes and include new zero day threats.
They do offer a 30-day refund policy, so if you have issues with their software after installing it on your machine, you can easily receive a refund on your purchase price.
The one area I saw cause for concern while testing Avast Security was their pricing structure. They are currently one of the more expensive antivirus services, but the quality does reflect the price. However, they do offer a free version with a limited protection set.
When you’re looking for the best antivirus software for Windows 10 computers, whether to work alongside Windows Defender, or by itself, Avast Security is the clear winner.
If you’re looking for the absolute best antivirus software for Windows 10 computers, I recommend you get Avast Antivirus by clicking here.
#2 – BullGuard Internet Security – 7.9 / 10 – Quality Antivirus if Avast Antivirus Doesn’t Work for You
If you find that Avast doesn’t work with your machine, or your experience is different from mine but still want to protect your Windows 10 PC, Bit Defender may be a suitable alternative.
BullGuard is relatively easy to use, and I had it installed in a few minutes after paying for my license. I did notice that it caused slight hiccups in my computer’s performance while it scanned, though.
I didn’t experience many false warnings while testing BullGuard. Their software works good for avoiding the false warnings and only alerting you during true threats.
The BullGuard developers maintain a large database and work on staying up-to-date with the latest threats, but I did notice updates were farther in between than updates with Avast.
You can protect multiple devices whenever you purchase BullGuard because they use the same authentication methods that Avast uses.
BullGuard does offer a refund policy and I did not find any reports of them refusing to honor the policy, so you’re protected if their software doesn’t work with your machine.
During testing, there were times that I noticed BullGuard slowing down my machine while it performed deep scans, and slight hiccups as we installed new software.
When it comes to protecting your computer, I’ve found that Avast is currently the best antivirus available. If their software doesn’t work for you, though, Bit Defender is a decent solution.
#3 – Kapersky – 6.7 / 10 – Poor Performing Antivirus That Lacks Proper Protection
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If you’re trying to protect your Windows 10 computer, I have found that there are better options available than what Kapersky is currently offering, such as Avast, or even Bit Defender.
The Kapserky software is a bit more clunky than Avast or Bit Defender, and took more time to install and configure on my machine, but the install process was simple to complete. They also offer a free 60 day trial.
You can protect multiple devices, but I did experience “licensing” issues from time, to time, while protecting multiple computers at the same time.
During testing, I also noticed that the Kapersky software caused significant hiccups and impacted the performance of my machine more than Bit Defender.
The false warnings flew with Kapersky, which they claim is part of the learning process the software goes through. I did not experience these issues with Avast.
The Kapersky team does manage a large database of code to help identify new viruses as their released, and I did not have issues with them identifying brand new viruses.
Kapersky does not currently offer a refund policy or money-back guarantee, but they do allow you to test their software free for 7 days without having to input your credit card information.
I’ve gone to great lengths to find the best antivirus software for Windows 10 computers, and have found there are better options available than Kapersky.
Whenever you connect your Windows 10 computer to the internet, hackers are constantly working to break into the machine and use it as a tool in their arsenal, or steal your sensitive information.
If you want to ensure your computer is protected in ways that Windows Defender and Windows Firewall cannot protect you, you need to use a quality antivirus software and service.