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Windows 10 is the most popular OS used in the world. Before there was a t10, we had a lot of variations to consider (upgraded respectively once in several years). While operating systems are developing, malware is rapidly trying to reach weak spots. The number of new malware samples turned into 30 million, while the overall mark is about 650 million by 2017.
We want our devices to run correctly and have the highest level of security. We know that Windows 10 has pre-installed Windows Defender. On the other hand, we know that sometimes we have to consider advanced software. Windows Security adds the quest to decode all those different features and differences in packages. Even if they are good enough, you can choose from existing software and compare the results.
We decided to simplify that part of comparison for you. Our review will try to investigate the key areas of usability, performance, and malware protection. We can predict what the next steps in cybersecurity enhancement are, but we should look up something that we already got for your security. We will pinpoint the top picks of antivirus software presented in TotalAV, Bitdefender, Avast, Kaspersky, and Scanguard, respectively.
TotalAV Advantages for Windows
TotalAV may be fresh blood in the market where everyone is competing for at least decades. On the other hand, it does not mean that TotalAV is not worthy of our attention. It includes the best characteristics, even though there is always room for improvement. We will not count free plan (trial) lack of features as a disadvantage, because usually, it is how it goes for many other Antiviruses.
TotalAV goes on many platforms, and it is a good sign. It means that your system will be protected from many specific attacks regardless of the platform you are running. The cheapest package covers ransomware and phishing attacks, real-time and malware protection, browser manager, VPN, web shield, and a firewall. Ultimate package includes a password manager and smartphone optimizer.
Concerning customer’s feedback, TotalAV scores 81% positive reviews. People are usually happy with the lack of a massive impact on performance and a decent job at malware protection. TotalAV indeed does an impressive job in protecting your device from any threat. At the same time, TotalAV checks for your device malfunctions and suggests its improvement.
Although we didn’t find any critical problems, we found rather exciting feedback stating that sometimes TotalAV does a poor job with real-time protection. Anyway, TotalAV manages to indicate the most common viruses and other threats. It sends you notification where you manually can decide what to do with it. Other features seem to be as functional as they need to be.
- A promising newcomer at Antivirus market
- User-friendly interface
- The high score from customers
- A variety of essential features
- High level of protection
TotalAV disadvantages for Windows
The premium paid packages have a discount for the first year subscription. It is quite appealing and sounds like quite a deal. The essential package for one device will cost you $19.95 and later on $99.95. In this logic, it would be more reasonable to get a package for five devices with a promotional price of $59.95 and then $149.95. However, what if you don’t need that five device package?
The pricing isn’t a key aspect when you choose AV software, but it may be
At the same time, we find a lack of any independent testing as a huge con. We always have to look up not only personal experience but also professional insight. Also, we find that some features that are present in other antiviruses can be added in TotalAV. For instance, it lacks a webcam and microphone protection.
- The pricing policy is a bit higher in comparison to other software products
- The lack of third-party testing scores
- Some features are missing
- Not the best customer support
Bitdefender Advantages for Windows
Bitdefender has high scores both in performance and protection tests. AV-Comparatives measure Bitdefender protection rate as 99.9%, which gave it the first place. The latest AV-Tests gives 6 out of 6 in performance and usability, while the protection rate consists of 5.5 out of 6. The problems were found in the 0-days malware attacks aspect.
The free packages seem to cover all the basic needs of internet security. It includes anti-phishing and anti-fraud, upgrades, advanced threat defense, and web attacks prevention. It will cost $39,98 for a one-year subscription of three devices and $59,99 later on. The protection for different than Windows platforms will be available in Total Security package, and for five devices and first year, it will cost $49,99 and $89,99 later on.
As for the free version, the features aspect is quite decent. The scanning is easy and fast, but you cannot pause it, only stop. You always can access the log of scans, set on-demand scanning, and protect your essential files in Safe Files. Safe Files also blocks ransomware attacks and encrypts sensitive data.
- High-level protection
- Nice pricing
- Good ransomware protection
Bitdefender disadvantages for Windows
We have to say that the interface of Bitdefender is not the easiest one to assess since it looks a bit’ too much.’ Yes, it is fine to look at, but the pattern of feature placement doesn’t make much sense. It is not the best solution for someone who is not advanced in software. Although the free version has essential features, it could be a lot better.
AV-Comparative tests show that Bitdefender slows downloading files processes and file copying. Our test showed that Bitdefender is quite present and adds to background processes, which may slow down other programs. At the same time, some customers complained about system and database updates, which could lower protection. It also shows an unstable false positives rate.
- Average updating system
- Complicated interface
- Mediocre impact on performance
Kaspersky Advantages for Windows
Kaspersky may be one of the most interesting subjects in the list. It shows a 100% level of security from malware and attacks, and lack of any performance impact. Kaspersky makes quick, and full system scan are quite fast, even though it takes several clicks to find and start them. Scan options are adequate and functional. Indeed, scans are the most robust feature that Kaspersky has.
Kaspersky Antivirus earned its appraise. It has a low level of false-positives, and new approach in scanning relies on recognizing the malware yet not classified. The latest updates of Kaspersky allow you to find malware that can intrude in the system without any visible program or file.
Moreover, latest update reports that Kaspersky integrated new features that recognize malware that uses Linux Subsystem for Windows 10. Arguably, it is quite an approach from a company – to provide the most security for even unlikely attacks.
It also has decent malware protection that carefully analyzes behavioral patterns and suspicious programs pre-installed on the computer. Kaspersky has ransomware protection that will block any suspicions request from the program or file. The notification will appear as visible as possible if you visit an infected website.
- Regular updates and approach to malware security
- High-level security
- Quick and easy scans
Kaspersky disadvantages for Windows
The pricing policy of Kaspersky packages may seem to be fair and friendly since it allows us to buy multi-device subscriptions. However, we have a small remark about an essential package that costs $29.99 for three devices and a one-year subscription (and $59.99 for subscription update). It is okay from one hand, from another, we expect at least a bit extended list of features as opposed to more advanced packages.
Although we regarded scan options as the strongest feature of Kaspersky Antivirus, we must say it is not for people who are not advanced in software. The interface is a bit too complicated. Some customers reported that Kaspersky marketing is a bit too much for them. We can relate and say that constant reminders to upgrade the system are feeling a bit invasive.
- Limited amount of features in Essential Pack
- A bit intrusive marketing strategy
- Elaborated interface
Avast Advantages for Windows
Avast is one of the most well-known titles on the market. Another good old professional that looks up for security above all. AV-Tests highlight how it has improved in malware protection, while AV-Comparatives still finds some imperfections to improve. Of course, if we see improvements, we see that the developers care.
Avast is a multifunctional tool that now uses Cloud protection and Cyber Shield that captures malicious codes in a sandbox before they can harm other programs. It includes the essential feature of a password manager, remote assistant, and cleaning in a free version. The latest updates include password manager, Do Not Disturb Mode, and Behavior Shield.
Also, the software includes intelligent Antivirus protects your PC from viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, and phishing.
The setup is easy to go. You don’t need to get rid of other AVs software if you had installed one previously, but will choose automatically Passive Mode.
Avast has a user-friendly interface, easy to deal and find needed feature and run a security check. You can select a preferred scan or schedule it and overall customize Avast work. It includes disabling alerts, choosing files and URLs for scanning, and if something goes wrong, it smoothly goes back to default mode.
- User-friendly interface
- Easy installation
- High-level protection
- Many features in the free version
Avast disadvantages for Windows
Paid packages offer more advanced protection at the cost of $69.99/year, and ultimate package $99.99/year. Although it is worth a try, we consider such pricing still to be high in comparison to other AVs that cost less. Avast may be a top product with the top prices for sure. However, there is always a trial version of paid packages so you can check them before buying a subscription.
Avast promises that their latest update will improve system performance since Secure Browser will use less memory for running. However, in some tests, the performance impact is still visible and affecting the run of other programs. Smart Scan and other options are a bit slower in comparison to other products. At the same time, even though Avast is flexible with their installment policy, they often are way too clingy with advertising their product.
- Expensive pricing
- Visible impact on the system
- A bit aggressive marketing
Scanguard Advantages for Windows
Another fresh face at the security market that tries it best to take a niche of its own. It promises malware, ransomware, spyware, and adware guard, file protection, and advanced online security. Also, ScanGuard promises to improve your PC performance and make your privacy a top priority.
ScanGuard is not intrusive, and when you download the launch file, you only have Antivirus, without any extensions or other additional programs. The interface is pleasing and friendly for those who are not professionals in the question of their PC security. It comes on different platforms, and without any problems, you can get it for your Mac or PC. However, the Windows platform lacks 24/7 support and app lock feature.
As a new player, ScanGuard lacks any independent testing, so we are following the footsteps of colleagues and base our opinion on experience and other feedback. Reportedly, ScanGuard manages to fulfill its promises and protect your device from malicious attacks both online and offline. It manages to indicate cookies missed by other software and keeps you updated with your PC security status.
System boost feature also provides easy access and enables you to remove unwanted programs. It manages to underline ‘heavy’ software that slows your PC down and suggests cleaning and improving performance. It deals with large files and junk.
Besides, ScanGuard has quite impressive Online protection features and saves your identity and network. It has a decent firewall and ad blocker.
- The decent level of protection
- Variety of essential features
- User-friendly interface
- Fast scans.
Scanguard disadvantages for Windows
The essential pack will cost you $24.95/year, which would turn later into $99.95 on a regular basis. We found it strange that the Ultimate package is hardly different from its cheaper analogs. It only includes multiple device protection, Online Shield Extension, and lacks a safe password vault. We felt a bit robbed out of truth, what makes this package so unique it costs $59.95/year and later on $149.95. We want to know what’s the deal with that strange pricing.
Reportedly, ScanGuard may have some issues with pre-installed Windows Defender,
- Expensive and seems illogical in case of purchasing Ultimate Pack
- ScanGuard lacks independent testing
As we see, there is no right or wrong when coming to PC security. Some antiviruses show that they are indeed hardcore, while others only start the journey in providing protection. We want to highlight TotalAV Antivirus and give it the benefit of the trust. Many customers choose the free version of TotalAV, and we didn’t find a reason not to give it a try.
We will be happy to hear any suggestions or comments from you. Our team always keeps you in touch with the latest reviews.