When choosing an antivirus software security experts and users alike look at a myriad of factors in addition to the software’s protection capabilities. Cost as well as system impact, compatibility, usability and personal opinion regarding the practices of a company can be crucial factors that affect a person’s choice of an antivirus tool.

Germany-based Avira is a good choice for anyone who needs an antivirus suite with solid test results and the option of monthly billing. The AV program boasts impressive lab scores in all categories, and offers numerous useful features like a password manager. Avira scans are fast and don’t use much of the resources. However, the speed drop is fairly substantial at 53 percent which is among the largest in our tests.

It’s a challenge to choose the most effective free AV program due to the fact that several of our top picks have some drawbacks. Kaspersky can slow down your computer by as much as 53% because of its hefty background effect, whereas Avast is only a little slower at 44 percent. Bitdefender, offers an excellent free version as well as a robust subscription AV solution which has excellent independent test lab scores. The features it offers are extensive and includes a VPN, which helps it distinguish itself from other competitors.

F-Secure is the highest-rated paid antivirus program. McAfee Total Protection and Trend Micro Internet Security are also highly evaluated. Microsoft Defender, the built-in antivirus that is included with Windows 10 and 11, is relatively light, only having an impact on background of 9%. However, it may cause heavy system slowdowns when running full system scans.