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Best antivirus software

By Andrew Laughlin

Discover the three best internet security software packages that Which? recommend – and whether the big names in antivirus software, such as Avast, AVG, McAfee and Norton, make the cut among our Best Buys.

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Choose the best antivirus software for you

Assuming you don't want an avalanche of viruses, malware, Trojan Horses and other internet nasties attacking your computer, kitting yourself out with internet security software is a must.

There's a bewildering amount of security software packages on the market, each claiming to give you great virus protection. 

So we've whittled down the hordes to unveil the top three best antivirus software packages that impressed us most. 

Or, if you want to choose from all our highest rated packages, click to head to our Best Buy antivirus software reviews.

Best antivirus software packages

Which? score 80%
Reviewed Nov 2017
Malware protection:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Anti-phishing:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ransomware:
5 out of 55 out of 5
PC or Mac:
Member exclusive
Anti-phishing tool:
Member exclusive
Anti-ransomware:
Member exclusive

This big-brand antivirus software offers outstanding protection for your PC and a range of useful features.

Which? score 78%
Reviewed Nov 2017
Malware protection:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Anti-phishing:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ransomware:
5 out of 55 out of 5
PC or Mac:
Member exclusive
Anti-phishing tool:
Member exclusive
Anti-ransomware:
Member exclusive

It's an excellent antivirus package, giving strong protection against malware attacking your PC, along with additional premium features.

Which? score 75%
Reviewed Nov 2017
Malware protection:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Anti-phishing:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ransomware:
5 out of 55 out of 5
PC or Mac:
Member exclusive
Anti-phishing tool:
Member exclusive
Anti-ransomware:
Member exclusive

An impressive Best Buy software package that's well worth considering as malware protection for your PC.

Do I need antivirus for my Windows PC?

Recent versions of Windows have these tools built in. Windows 10 offers the most complete protection; its updated version of Defender includes antivirus, firewall and anti-spyware capabilities. 

We've found that Defender offers a good, basic level of protection, but Best Buy antivirus packages go further. If you don't to pay for antivirus software, we have excellent Best Buy free packages available

If you’re using any earlier version of Windows, such as Windows 7, you’ll definitely need some additional antivirus security software to protect your computer from online nasties. 

The three key tools you need on your side are a firewall, an anti-spyware tool and an antivirus program. Either go for a complete package, or download individual software tools for your PC. 

How often should my antivirus software update and scan? 

It’s vital to keep your computer’s antivirus protection up to date, otherwise newer threats may be able to slip past your defences. 

Most security software automatically checks for updates at least once a day, although it’s worth investigating whether your program is set up correctly. 

Your security software gives real-time protection against threats as they emerge, but regular system scans are important, too. Most security suites are configured to perform an automatic scan once a week, often offering the choice of a ‘quick’ or ‘full’ scan depending on your needs. 

We recommend carrying out a full scan once a week. You can do a manual quick scan any time you choose if your computer is exhibiting suspicious behaviour.

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