The Best Anti-Virus Software for Windows and OS X

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

For a long time now, Google has been one of the leaders in the tech industry. Over the last year, the company has made vast improvements to their Android operating system.

One of the most notable upgrades is the new built-in anti-virus software, Google Play Protect. Recently, major companies tested this software for effectiveness in protecting against malicious Android apps.

An independent lab called AV-TEST claims Google’s anti-virus software detected only 58.9% of new malware and only 46.8% of four-week-old malware. (The industry average for both those statistics is over 97%.)

The thing is many Android users don’t have ANY anti-virus software on their devices, so the fact that Google is looking to change this is a step in the right direction. Of course, Google will probably continue to tweak their anti-virus software until it is more in line with the virus protection that many of the big companies currently offer.

It’s certainly possible. Remember back in 2012 when Microsoft launched its Windows Defender? It performed poorly at first but is now considered one of the best built-in anti-virus products around.

Anti-virus software has never been as important as it is today — with the continued increase in computer hacking attempts. On average, over 200,000 forms of malware are created each day. In addition, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur on a daily basis.

In other words, computer security risks have never been as critical as they are now. That’s why I want to share with you a few of the best anti-virus software options for Windows operating systems (PCs) and OS X operating systems (Macs).

Windows

1. McAfee — One of the reasons McAfee is so popular is because it doesn’t slow down your computer when scanning for viruses. It also has a low false-positive rate. The setup is very user-friendly and you can set up different types of scans depending on the threats that most concern you. It costs $34.99 for a one-year subscription on one device, so it’s one of the cheapest options as well.

2. Bitdefender — For $59.99 a year, you receive increased ransomware protection, a secure password manager and an onscreen keyboard designed to bypass keystroke-logging software. These are just the highlights of the protection this program offers. It’s not the least expensive protection, but overall it gives you some of the best features.

3. Avira Antivirus — This is one of the most user-friendly anti-virus options. It has a very basic interface, which makes it easy to use. However, during testing, virus scanning took longer compared with other programs. The yearly fee for one device is $45. This includes updated features such as USB gatekeeping.

OS X

1. Bitdefender — When it comes to anti-virus software, Bitdefender is one of the most reliable. With this software, you get web filtering that blocks access to malicious sites, a secure browser that keeps your online financial transactions secure and a password manager for online web forms. For an annual fee of $39.99, you can get one of the best anti-virus programs for your Mac. The only drawback is that it takes a lot of computing power to run scans — but it’s worth it to keep your computer safe.

2. Trend Micro Antivirus — One of the biggest advantages to Trend Micro is that it has a highly effective anti-spam tool to block viruses. This software tends to affect your computer’s speed less than most other options. It also received a high protection rating during testing. The only negative about this product is that some reports suggest a higher false-positive rate — but this seems to be a minor issue. It costs $29.99 for one year of protection on one device.

3. Norton AntiVirus — Norton blocks the newest viruses and includes a URL blocker to prevent you from visiting corrupted websites. Overall, it’s simple to use and comes with all the basic protections you need for only $14.99 a year (on one device). This software was designed to carry out its virus checks with minimal disruption to your computer. Or you can simply set it up so scanning occurs when you aren’t using your computer.

These days, many newer versions of computer operating systems come with built-in anti-virus software. The problem is these add-ons aren’t always the most reliable. Which is why I recommend continuing to use third-party software like the ones listed above.

When looking for anti-virus software, you will see a lot of free options. I can assure you these free programs will be more hassle than they’re worth — and less effective than a third-party application.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

Chris Campbell

Written By Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson is a former CIA officer and security specialist. He’s appeared on numerous television shows, including ABC’s Shark Tank and NBC’s Today show. To get free survival tips from Jason, click here.