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Antivirus software is a vital layer of protection for your devices and your privacy online. They scan your files, block cyberattacks and help you prevent malware infections such as ransomware or phishing. But not all antivirus software are all created equal and some are more expensive than others. Free options are a good option for users who are on a budget, but spending for a comprehensive program with extra security tools and comprehensive features is the better choice.

A majority of the top antivirus providers offer multi-device packages at affordable prices that cover a range of operating systems and platforms that include Windows, MacOS and Android. Some even provide a 60-day risk-free money-back guarantee. Paid antivirus software is also designed to detect new threats and block them as they appear. This will protect your devices in real-time. Certain programs are vulnerable to causing slow computer performance and annoying advertisements. They have also been found to sell the personal information of users to third-party companies.

Some of the best free antivirus software has additional features to improve your security online, such as the use of a VPN or password manager. If you’re looking to get more advanced features, like parental controls and identity theft protection, you should consider purchasing a paid program with a yearly subscription that gives you peace of mind. These programs may cost a little more than their free alternatives, however, they’re worth it for the security features of premium quality and the peace of mind that they offer. The top paid antivirus programs for Mac also offer a free trial or money-back guarantee, which means you can test them out before making an investment.