Top Internet Security Software of 2024, Your Best Choice

Top Internet Security Software of 2024, Your Best Choice

With the digital world continuously evolving, the importance of internet security has never been higher. As we dive into 2024, threats are becoming more sophisticated and frequent, making the need for top-notch internet security software essential. Let’s take a deep dive into the best internet security software of 2024 and explore the features that make them stand out.

Whether you’re a seasoned tech guru or just a casual browser, securing your online presence is crucial. From phishing attacks to malware and ransomware, there’s a wide array of threats out there that can compromise your data and privacy. The right security software not only shields you from these dangers but also offers peace of mind.

Key Features to Look For

When shopping for internet security software, it’s important to know what features you should be on the lookout for. Let’s break down some of the must-have elements.

Malware Protection

Malware is a catch-all term for any type of malicious software that can infect your devices. The best security software should offer robust malware protection, constantly scanning your system for potential threats and neutralizing them before they can do any damage.

Phishing Defense

Phishing is a common tactic used by cybercriminals to steal personal information through deceptive emails or websites. Effective internet security software can detect and block phishing attempts, protecting you from falling victim to these schemes.

VPN Integration

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a great addition to any security suite, offering anonymity and privacy while you browse. Many top security software now integrate VPN services for a complete security package.

User-Friendly Interface

Nobody wants to spend hours trying to navigate complex software. Look for programs that offer an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. This makes the software accessible to everyone, regardless of their tech-savvy level.

Parental Controls

If you have kids at home, parental controls are a must. The right software allows you to monitor and control your children’s online activity, helping to keep them safe from inappropriate content and online predators.

The best antivirus software for 2024

We conducted thorough in-house tests and referenced third-party antivirus labs to understand which antivirus tools are undeniably the best. We evaluated 25 providers and discovered the strengths and weaknesses of the top 10 antivirus solutions. Learn more about our findings by reading the descriptions below.

1. TotalAV – the best antivirus for malware protection overall

TotalAV is the best antivirus software of 2024 that offers a feature-rich package with an intuitive interface. It’s a great choice for anyone needing an affordable and effective cybersecurity tool that’s easy to manage.

TotalAV is a fantastic tool, especially for beginners. It provides essential scan options like Quick and Full scans, along with features to tidy up your device by removing unnecessary files. The user interface is simple and easy to navigate, with neatly organized categories and a pleasing overall design.

In-house test results. Our TotalAV evaluations began with real-time protection tests, which were quite favorable for the service. It was tested in two ways: with malware samples prepared beforehand and live samples found in the wild (7 URLs pointing to malware and 3 samples with assigned domains). The initial live test showed that real-time protection worked 90% of the time. But when we tested it with pre-prepared malware samples, it only caught 60% of them.

Unfortunately, the full scan was only 60% effective against the prepared malware samples we hid in the main drive. On the other hand, a quick scan ran for around 2 minutes but failed to find malicious files hidden in obscure places.

Pricing. There are three TotalAV plans available. Antivirus Pro for protection against online threats, which costs $19.00/year for 3 devices. Then there is an Internet Security suite for online protection with an included VPN for $39.00/year and 5 devices. Also, Total Security plan for complete protection, which includes VPN, Total Adblock, Password Vault, and Device Protection for $49.00/year and 6 devices.

Pros

  • Robust internet security package
  • Intuitive apps
  • Fast customer support response times
  • Real-time and cloud protection
  • Includes optimization tools

Cons

  • Only covers six devices
  • The browser extension isn’t particularly user-friendly
  • Safe Search doesn’t always work

2. Norton 360 Antivirus – the best antivirus for digital security

Norton is an affordable and well-performing antivirus that requires some getting used to. It has effective real-time protection and, like TotalAV, offers a reliable VPN and password manager for added digital security.

However, compared to TotalAV, Norton’s interface isn’t so user-friendly. For example, using two interfaces to navigate Norton feature packs is confusing. If you want to adjust settings, you might get lost easily.

In-house test results. Norton 360 showed mixed results in our in-house tests. For starters, we tested real-time protection with 10 malware samples, and the antivirus garnered a 70% success rate. Protection failed to identify and remove 3 malicious files. In the second test, we challenged real-time protection with malware samples found in the wild, including 5 URLs pointing to malware and 5 samples with assigned domains. The results showed that real-time protection with wild samples is quite effective, catching 8 out of 10 downloaded malicious files, resulting in an 80% protection rate. Worth mentioning that Norton’s real-time protection scanning was much slower compared to Avira, Malwarebytes, or Bitdefender.

The full system scan was also 80% successful and took over 5 minutes to scan 350K files. However, we were thoroughly disappointed by the Power Eraser feature, which failed to detect any malware no matter how hard we tried.

Pricing. With prices starting from $19.99/year for the Plus plan, this antivirus is an excellent choice for robust malware protection. Additionally, there are Standard plan at $39.99/year for 1 device, Norton 360 Deluxe at $49.99/year for 5 devices, and Norton 360 Advanced at $191.88/year for 10 devices. You can try those plans with a 7-day free trial.

Pros

  • Excellent protection
  • Plenty of extras
  • Powerful identity-theft suite
  • Free 7-day trial
  • Easy-to-use
  • Optimization tools

Cons

  • On the pricier side
  • Some features require extra apps

3. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus – the best cross-platform antivirus protection

Bitdefender is one of the top antiviruses with amazing protection rates and robust security suites. Whether real-time protection, deep system scanning, or maintaining secure VPN connections — Bitdefender can do it all with excellent results. What sets it apart from other providers, is compatibility with most popular operating systems like Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.

While Bitdefender provider has many great features, there’s still room for improvement. Most tools are efficient, but for instance, the VPN is limited to 200MB of data per device unless you upgrade to the Premium Security Plan. Also, features like web protection could be more effective.

In-house test results. Regarding in-house tests, Bitdefender’s real-time protection easily dealt with all 10 malware samples we pitted against it. It caught 9 out of 10 downloaded malicious files. We ran another real-time protection test with live malware samples from the wild, including malware with assigned domains and only IP addresses (5 of each). Bitdefender successfully protected against all of them, achieving a 100% success rate.

Pricing. Bitdefender antivirus package prices start at only $29.99/year if you opt for the excellent Antivirus Plus plan. This option protects up to 3 Windows devices with essential features. Total Security plan covers up to 5 Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices and costs $49.99/year. And there are also Internet Security plan for Windows up to 3 devices for $42.49/year You can also utilize the free plan and 30-day money-back guarantee to enjoy Bitdefender without commitment.

Pros

  • Solid malware protection
  • Feature-rich
  • Offers a free version
  • Excellent value for money
  • Frequent updates
  • Exceptional scores in independent tests

Cons

  • Full VPN access requires paying extra

4. Surfshark Antivirus – the best antivirus software bundled with a VPN

If you’re looking for an all-in-one option for your digital security, Surfshark antivirus might be the one. We appreciated Surfshark’s duo of VPN and antivirus, which makes it a perfect solution for non-techy users. The provider offers convenient and user-friendly apps for Windows, macOS, and Android, making it ideal even for beginners.

In-house test results. We began in-house Surfshark antivirus testing by evaluating real-time protection, which fared pretty well against malware samples we prepared in advance. Overall, the service dealt with 90% of the malware samples we threw at it, only missing one. However, with malware samples found in the wild, it was ineffective, with a success rate of 20%.

On the other hand, the full system scan managed to identify 7 malicious files stored deep in the C disk. Though it wasn’t as lightweight as expected (it used around 80% of CPU resources). Additionally, it’s important to note that Surfshark antivirus is incompatible with other antivirus software and refuses to work until you uninstall it.

Pricing. You can get Surfshark antivirus on 5 devices for only $48.86/year. A standard 30-day money-back guarantee is included for risk-free testing.

Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Top-notch VPN included
  • Private search engine
  • Real-time protection
  • Customizable scans

Cons

  • No firewall
  • Scans take longer than usual
  • Doesn’t work with other AVs installed

5. McAfee Total Protection – the most complete cybersecurity software

McAfee is one of the best all-around antiviruses for cybersecurity. It offers not only protection against the latest cyber threats but also provides additional security features, doing more than just essential malware protection.

The software interface is nice and easy to use, but it feels a bit chaotic because some features are only available on the web. Still, the app’s options are straightforward and well-explained, so you won’t get lost while using it.

In-house test results. Similarly to Malwarebytes, McAfee underperformed in the real-time protection department when its extension was disabled. To be precise, it didn’t catch any malware while WebAdvisor was disabled. However, the results went up to 90% success when the extension was enabled.

Conversely, quick and full scans were average at best. On a positive note, the quick scan was fast (scanned 4K files in 2 minutes) and needed no more than 35% of CPU resources. Unfortunately, it found only 40% of threats. Meanwhile, the complete scan took around 40 minutes to scan 190K files, yet showed only a 50% success rate.

Pricing. McAfee has three plans to offer: Plus, Premium, and Advanced. Prices start from $39.99/year. However, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for you to test all the features without the risk of committing to an unsatisfactory service.

Pros

  • All plans support major platforms
  • Unlimited devices for premium users
  • Basic package is feature-rich
  • Solid firewall
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Some independent test results are poor
  • Performance could be better
  • Apple products have fewer features

Top Rated Internet Security Software Reviews

1. Norton 360

Norton has been around for ages, and their latest offering, Norton 360, keeps up the tradition of quality. This software includes a comprehensive suite of tools to protect you from malware, phishing, and identity theft.

Pros:

  • Robust malware protection
  • Parental control features
  • Secure VPN included

Cons:

  • Can be a bit heavy on system resources
  • Pricey compared to other options

If you want a top-notch all-in-one solution, Norton 360 is a strong choice.

2. Bitdefender Total Security

When it comes to internet security, Bitdefender is a name you can trust. Bitdefender Total Security offers excellent protection against threats, and the software is user-friendly to boot.

Pros:

  • Outstanding detection rates
  • Light on system resources
  • Multi-device support

Cons:

  • Customer support can be hit or miss
  • A bit complex for beginners

Bitdefender Total Security is a reliable choice for those who want a complete security package.

3. Kaspersky Internet Security

Kaspersky Internet Security is known for its ability to protect you against various online threats. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for strong antivirus capabilities without breaking the bank.

Pros:

  • Effective against malware and ransomware
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Affordable pricing

Cons:

  • Installation can be slow
  • Privacy concerns due to company’s origin

For those wanting strong security at a lower cost, Kaspersky is a good bet.

4. McAfee Total Protection

McAfee Total Protection has been around for a while, offering consistent security across various devices. It’s a well-rounded choice for families and individuals alike.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive protection suite
  • Includes identity theft protection
  • Good for multiple devices

Cons:

  • High resource usage
  • Expensive renewal rates

McAfee Total Protection is a solid pick if you need to secure multiple devices.

Top Cybersecurity Practices

As the digital age continues to advance, so do the ways in which cyber threats can rear their ugly heads. Whether you’re a tech-savvy professional or just a regular Joe browsing the web, cybersecurity should be on your radar. Let’s dive into the world of top cybersecurity practices and how you can protect yourself from falling victim to cyberattacks.

You might be thinking, “Why does cybersecurity matter to me?” Well, with our lives intertwined with technology, personal information like credit card details, home addresses, and social security numbers are often at risk. By incorporating these top cybersecurity practices into your daily routine, you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe from cybercrime.

1. Keep Software Updated

One of the simplest yet most crucial top cybersecurity practices is keeping your software updated. Whether it’s your operating system, browser, or any other app you use regularly, updates often include security patches that protect against newly discovered vulnerabilities.

Why not set your software to auto-update? This way, you don’t have to worry about missing important patches that could save you from a potential cyber threat.

2. Strengthen Your Passwords

Passwords are the first line of defense for your online accounts. However, many people still rely on weak passwords that are easy to guess. So, let’s talk about how to make your passwords bulletproof:

  • Use a mix of characters: Combine upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Make it long: Aim for at least 12 characters.
  • Avoid common words: Steer clear of birthdays, pet names, or other easily guessed phrases.
  • Unique passwords for each account: If one account gets hacked, the others are still safe.

Password managers can help you keep track of your passwords securely. Just remember, the stronger your passwords, the tougher it is for hackers to get in.

3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, adds an extra layer of security to your accounts. When you log in, you provide two pieces of evidence to verify your identity, typically something you know (like a password) and something you have (like a code sent to your phone).

While it might seem like a hassle at first, the peace of mind that comes with knowing your accounts are well-guarded is well worth it!

4. Be Wary of Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are a cybercriminal’s bread and butter. They trick people into giving away sensitive information by pretending to be legitimate organizations. Here’s how to spot a phishing attempt:

  • Check the sender’s email: Look closely at the sender’s address. If it seems off, be cautious.
  • Examine the links: Hover over links to see the actual URL. Does it look trustworthy?
  • Be skeptical of urgency: If the email is pressuring you to act fast, it might be a scam.

When in doubt, reach out to the company directly through a known, trusted method to verify the request.

5. Secure Your Home Network

Your home network is a treasure trove of personal information, so securing it is a must! Here are a few tips to keep it safe:

  • Change your router’s default settings: Set a strong password and update the firmware regularly.
  • Use a guest network for visitors: Keep your primary network private.
  • Enable network encryption: Look for WPA3 or WPA2 options in your router’s settings.

By locking down your home network, you make it harder for cybercriminals to access your devices and data.

Internet Security Tips for Beginners

Ever wondered how to stay safe while browsing the vast world of the internet? You’re not alone! With cyber threats on the rise, it can feel like you’re constantly walking on eggshells every time you log in. But fear not, because in this guide, we’re going to cover some top-notch Internet security tips for beginners. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with the know-how to safeguard your online presence, keep your data under lock and key, and breeze through your online adventures with peace of mind.

Ready to dive in? Let’s get started!

1. Keep Your Software Up-to-Date

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect yourself online is by keeping your software up-to-date. This includes your operating system, web browser, and any other applications you use regularly. Why’s this so important?

  • Security patches: Updates often include fixes for known vulnerabilities. By keeping everything current, you’re plugging holes that cybercriminals could exploit.
  • Performance: Updated software tends to run smoother and faster.
  • Compatibility: New features and functions are regularly introduced, which may not work with outdated software.

So, whenever you see a notification for an update, don’t snooze it—get it done!

2. Create Strong, Unique Passwords

You hear it all the time, but it’s worth repeating: creating strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts is a must. A good password should be at least 12 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Here’s how you can create passwords that pack a punch:

  • Use a passphrase: Instead of a single word, think of a memorable phrase and turn it into a password. For example, “I love ice cream on sunny days!” could be turned into “ILIC0SD!”
  • Avoid common choices: Stay away from using personal information like birthdays, names, or easily guessed passwords like “password123.”
  • Password managers: Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords for you.

3. Watch Out for Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are a classic trick in the cybercriminal’s book. Typically, they’ll try to fool you into providing personal information (like login credentials or financial data) by pretending to be a legitimate entity, such as your bank or a popular online service. Keep an eye out for these red flags:

  • Suspicious emails: Watch out for emails asking for sensitive info or containing unfamiliar links. When in doubt, contact the organization directly through a known, trusted source.
  • Urgent language: Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency to pressure you into acting without thinking.
  • Mismatched URLs: Always check the link’s URL—if it doesn’t match the official website, steer clear!

4. Secure Your Wi-Fi Network

Your home Wi-Fi network is the gateway to your online life, so make sure it’s secure! Here’s how to lock it down:

  • Change default settings: Update the default router username and password to something stronger.
  • Enable WPA3 encryption: This is the latest and most secure Wi-Fi encryption standard.
  • Hide your SSID: By disabling the broadcast of your network name (SSID), you’re making it a tad harder for potential attackers to find your network.

5. Turn On Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security by requiring not only a password but also a secondary verification method—like a code sent to your phone—before granting access to your account. Many popular online services offer 2FA options, so take advantage of them!

6. Be Mindful of Your Online Footprint

It’s easy to overshare online, but think twice before posting personal details or sharing sensitive information. Your online footprint can be used by cybercriminals for identity theft or other malicious purposes. Here’s how you can keep your digital trail in check:

  • Limit your social media sharing: Avoid posting your full name, address, phone number, and other sensitive details.
  • Review your privacy settings: Check your social media account settings to control who can see your content.
  • Think before you post: Once something is online, it can be nearly impossible to take it back. If you’re unsure about sharing something, err on the side of caution.

7. Be Cautious When Using Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi can be a cybercriminal’s playground, so take extra care when using it. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid accessing sensitive accounts: Logging into your bank account or other sensitive services on public Wi-Fi is a no-go.
  • Use a VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts your connection, keeping your data safe from prying eyes.
  • Disable file sharing: Make sure your device’s file-sharing feature is turned off to prevent unauthorized access.

HOW TO CHOOSE ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE

ow do you decide on just one antivirus solution when there are dozens of viable candidates out there? The obvious answer is to consult our rankings—our shortlist is the result of pooled expert knowledge, in-house testing, third-party security labs testing, and thorough, continually updated reviews of the top antivirus players.

Perhaps more importantly, however, you need to consider your own needs and use case. Do you have a ton of devices to protect? Do you need advanced features or specific tools? Do you want a service with a built-in VPN to save money on subscription fees?

These considerations will vary from person to person and might mean that our number one pick isn’t your match made in heaven. Our recommendations can point you in the direction of some stellar options, but you’ll need to modify these based on your individual requirements.

For more thoughts on this, check out our article exploring how to choose the best antivirus.

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