“One fine day, I woke up to find that I had lost touch with all of my social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, Instagram – I couldn’t log in to any of them. I got calls from close ones asking if I’m okay, for inappropriate atrocities were being shared from my socials. It was a ghastly shock and something that took me a long time to get out of. A data breach can happen to ANYONE.”
This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last testimonial on Reddit that shows how many innocent social media scrollers like you and I have lost their digital identities after falling prey to hackers across the globe. The purpose? You name it – blackmail, extortion, money, and defamation. Now that we are in the century where our social media identities define who we are, a data breach such as the one described above is the perfect recipe for existential crisis in many users throughout the world.
With over 200,000 cyber attacks happening every day, it is an optimist’s approach to think that it won’t happen to us until it does, which is why having good antivirus software is more crucial than ever in this day and age. Sure, saving your devices with passwords and biometrics is a progressive step, but who looks after them when the devices are idle? Most cyberattacks happen in the background over a teeny slip-up by the device user, leaving them prone to data breaches like millions of others. However, there are many who ask the question…
Do Antivirus Software really work?
While antivirus software has been underwritten as a cosmetic accessory, they give out a comprehensive security mechanism to your devices, which is why they are important. They are an absolute necessity as our devices are connected to the internet round the clock. So yes, you do need an antivirus to keep everything under a lock and key. Here’s an example to what your devices – your phone, your personal laptop, your work PC, and even your TV – for that matter, hold within:
- Personal photos and videos
- Chats and messages from IMs
- Contact information
- Passwords and emails
- Sensitive payment data – cards, UPI, and transactions
- Confidential work information
This is just the tip of the iceberg on how vulnerable users like you and I are when it comes to a data breach. Antivirus software keeps the bad guys away – as simple as that. Now that we are well aware of how crucial antivirus software is, let’s explore the best antivirus software to have in 2021 to save your data from any sort of mishandling.
Best Antivirus Software to have in 2022
Best for: Multiple devices in the family, budget-friendly solution
Scroll to the next one if you want: Micro-level protection, Parental control
There’s a certain recall of the name “McAfee” when it comes to hunting down the best antivirus software for your devices, and this one is typically the one that gives you a grasp into everything that’s needed in antivirus software. Some features that one must look forward to in McAfee’s range of antivirus are:
- VPN access in all versions
- Every version supports Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android
- Don’t leave a trace behind with the McAfee shredder erasing your trash out of existence
- A money-back guarantee on removing malware from devices
McAfee is pretty inexpensive when it comes to pricing, with the first-year price being at INR1,999 for up to 10 devices and five VPN licenses. It is a dependable antivirus that offers personal protection on every device and is amicably priced too.
Best for: Free version antivirus, Ransomware detection, Password manager
Scroll to the next one if you want: VPN-inclusive antivirus in a single package
Cybersecurity is a right for all – regardless of the fact that they wish to pay for it or not. With that motto in mind, Bit-defender is one of the best antivirus software to download for users who are looking for free antivirus solutions for Windows and macOS. This version is the most basic one and it offers a good amount of protection for a regular device user. The full version of the app has a plethora of features to offer which make it a good value for money (if) spent.
- Anti-theft and anti-spam protection
- Real-time malware protection across devices
- A comprehensive ransomware protection
- Anti-phishing, anti-fraud, and a rescue mechanism in case of a data breach
Deemed as the best one-time-installation free antivirus software, Bit-defender makes a lot of sense when you just want to relieve yourself of any virus threats without worrying too much about what it does. It’s classic antivirus software, the premium version of which just costs INR1,799, and the internet security one is priced at INR2,999, offering protection for up to 5 macOS, Windows, Android, or iOS devices.
Best for: Firewall and backup, Cloud protection, Password manager
Scroll to the next one if you want: Antivirus that doesn’t slow your PC down
Norton was one of the first players to launch antivirus software in India, and their affordable plans are worth the mention. Norton LifeLock – which is deemed to be the best antivirus protection around the world – isn’t available in India yet (unless you wish to spend $149.99/year). But the desi version is no less capable than the LifeLock, with Norton360 and Norton Antivirus Plus offering a plethora of features.
- Security of multiple devices – Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more
- Protection from malware, spyware, and ransomware
- Firewall for PC and Mac
- Parental control, school monitoring for kids
- VPN and webcam protection
The features of Norton are endless and their pricing is very competitive in India. Starting from INR499 for the least expensive version and going to up INR2,999 for the five-device version with a 75GB cloud backup, it is one to watch out for if you are looking to spend on the antivirus software that works.
Best for: Phishing detection, Real-time malicious link detection
Scroll to the next one if you want: An experienced antivirus alternative, Parental control
Webroot is rather a steadfast antivirus software that answers an important question – why does an antivirus have to take too much disk space? Webroot takes less than 20MB of system space in a category where an average antivirus space weighs no less than 500MB. This one offers a variety of features from a good antivirus standpoint:
- Affordable subscription
- Key-logger protection from adopting keystrokes
- Firewall and webcam protection for both PC & Mac
In Indian terms, Webroot offers a decently-priced yearly or three-yearly subscription that secures up to three PC or Macs, offers identity theft protection, and makes an antivirus platform as quick as it can be.
5. Trend Micro
Best for: Ransomware protection, Identity theft
Scroll to the next one if you want: Expansive configuration
Trend Micro is a leading antivirus platform across the globe and in India too. It covers an amazing amount of corners and most importantly, exhaustively ensures a detailed watchdog performance in them all. As one of that start-up and forget antivirus platforms, you don’t need to do a lot to let Trend Micro do its thing. It has a good bouquet of features to delve into:
- Payment guard makes digital payment a step safer
- AI technology diagnoses and repairs leaks in the guard real quick
- Amazing discounts on multi-year offers
- Parental control and digital well-being information for young ones
Trend Micro antivirus costs around INR2,000 on usual days, but there are price drops every here and now which makes it an affordable option for a customizable package in terms of the number of years and devices. While the multi-device pricing might seem a bit overboard, it’s worth the salt for every rupee spent.
Feeling spoilt for options?
It is totally understandable to get confused when it comes to choosing the best antivirus software out of a bunch since all the alternatives seem like a good place, to begin with. To put things into perspective, here are a few pointers to sort your mind out:
Level of security required: To be very frank, not every device needs an antivirus – as long as it’s not connected to the internet. Once you get used to browsing across multiple websites for work and fun, it is obvious that trusting the web is a myth. If your profession involves scouring nooks and corners of the web for research purposes, it’s best to equip with an antivirus that offers internet security.
Payment Options: If you don’t wish to spend money on an antivirus, there are many free ones on the market that make it an easy streak for basic protection. It’s better to spend a little and get a proper antivirus that doesn’t bulk up your system and gives some great features like ransomware protection in the process.
The number of devices: One-device subscriptions are often simple and easy to get, but family plans are better as they mostly offer multiple devices being covered with cybersecurity protection along with mobile devices.
Ready to choose your antivirus software?
Don’t fall prey to this malicious world and its modern-day thievery, save yourself from trouble with antivirus software by your side. Got a better antivirus alternative? Drop it in the comments!