A reputable antivirus should safeguard you from all kinds of malware that could be a threat, including worms Trojan horses, and ransomware. It should also be able identify and stop the spread of potentially unwanted software, that can alter your browser settings or fill your screen with advertisements. Certain premium antiviruses come with additional features such as dark web monitoring, ID-theft alerts, and parental control.

If you use Windows Microsoft’s built-in security against malware, referred to as Windows site Defender on older computers or Windows Security on more recent devices, does a good job of protecting your computer. However, it’s not as fast or effective at malware detection as standalone antivirus products that frequently perform well in independent lab tests. It also doesn’t come with any additional security features such as password management or software that can be used on other devices.

The best antivirus for Windows Based on malware protection, system impact, and ease of use it is Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. It is easy to install and use and scored highly in the AV-Test labs. It provides one PC for an affordable price, however you can get broader protection for a few dollars more with Bitdefender Total Security or Antivirus Plus.

A good paid antivirus program typically includes plenty of extras, like an VPN as well as performance optimization tools and apps for Mac, iOS and Android. If you’re looking to stick with the basics and get the best protection against malware, Sophos Home Premium is an excellent option. It includes a few extras at an affordable price.