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If you’re looking to protect your computers and smartphones from viruses, tracking and cyberattacks, antivirus software can provide the solution you need. Many offer either a free version for basic threat protection or free trials so you can fully test their software.
$39.99 per year to $99.99 per year
$34.99 per year to $59.99 per year
Three popular antivirus platforms on the market are Webroot, Avast and Bitdefender. Each offers high levels of threat protection, an easy-to-use interface and a choice of plans to fit your needs and budget.
We rated and compared these services on price, security and other features to help you choose the right antivirus software for your home.
Webroot Vs. Avast Vs. Bitdefender: At a Glance
Webroot, Avast and Bitdefender Comparison
Webroot has made its name as one of the fastest antivirus software that also uses minimal system resources. The company claims that its software takes just 20 seconds to check a computer for malicious files and won’t bog your computer down with time-consuming updates.
Webroot offers three separate security packages, all with a 14-day free trial and a generous 70-day money-back guarantee. The first is its cloud-based SecureAnywhere AntiVirus software that runs in the background to protect your Windows or Mac computer from malware, viruses, ransomware and other cyberattacks. The software can protect one computer for $39.99 per year or up to three computers for $49.99 per year.
Webroot’s SecureAnywhere Internet Security Plus software extends threat protection to iOS and Android devices as well as Chromebook computers. The plan also offers secure encryption for usernames, passwords and credit card information through LastPass. You can protect up to three devices with Internet Security plus for $59.99 per year.
Webroot’s SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete offers all of the features of the previously mentioned software and adds a system optimizer, eliminates traces of your online activity for privacy protection and offers 25 GB of secure online storage. This plan protects up to five devices for $79.99 per year.
Finally, Webroot offers a stand-alone virtual private network (VPN) called Webroot WiFi Security that creates a private internet connection for computers and mobile devices to protect your privacy. This plan can be added to any existing software for $59.99 per year for up to three devices or $79.99 per year for up to five devices.
Avast takes a simpler and more streamlined approach to web security than Webroot. For starters, the company offers a free plan that provides real-time virus, malware and ransomware protection nearly invisibly in the background. The company’s Premium Security plan includes Wi-Fi security verification, scans websites for threat risks and protects your devices from being hijacked remotely. Pricing is $69.99 per year for one device or $89.99 per year for up to 10 devices.
Avast’s Ultimate plan includes a VPN that automatically activates when you connect to public Wi-Fi or visit blacklisted sites. It also comes with system optimization and cleaning tools and hides your online identity and activity for the cost of $99.99 per year for one device or $119.99 per year for up to 10 devices.
Our final contender, Bitdefender, lies somewhere between the simplicity of Avast and the more advanced paid plans of Webroot. Like Avast, the company offers a free antivirus tool that scans for malicious activity in the background on Windows and Mac systems as well as Android devices and also includes a performance optimization tool for computers. You can also download a separate free Home Scanner for Windows computers that checks your home Wi-Fi for intruders and vulnerabilities.
Bitdefender’s paid software starts with Antivirus Plus that protects any Windows PC from viruses and other threats such as suspicious network activity and includes a Wi-Fi security scanner, password manager, file shredder, a VPN with a 200 MB daily traffic limit and more, all for $59.99 per year for up to three PCs. Mac users looking for the same level of antivirus protection will have to opt for Antivirus for Mac, which costs $39.99 per year for one Mac or $59.99 per year for up to three Macs.
Bitdefender also offers two internet security packages, one for PCs and one for Macs. Bitdefender Internet Security offers all the features of Antivirus Plus for Windows computers with the addition of anti-spam email filters, a firewall, file encryption, parental controls and more. This package protects up to three PCs for $79.99 per year.
Bitdefender’s Total Security package works on Windows and Mac computers as well as iOS and Android devices and adds a few extra features to Bitdefender Internet Security, including anti-theft protection and a one-click system optimizer. Up to five separate devices can be protected for a cost of $89.99 per year.
Finally, Bitdefender offers a Family Pack that offers all the features of the Total Security package for up to 15 Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices for $119.99 per year.
While there is certainly overlap between all three antivirus companies, each has its own unique set of features that makes it worth considering.
If you’re looking for antivirus software that’s fast and light on your system, Webroot is a solid choice, but you’ll have to pay for even the most basic protection. For the most essential security features in easy-to-understand plans, you may want to consider Avast. Finally, if you need to protect every device in your household, including a mix of operating systems and smart devices, Bitdefender’s Family Pack might be the best solution for your household.