Select Page

The Best Antivirus Is Not Traditional Antivirus

We set out to do a standard Wirecutter guide to the best antivirus app, so we spent months researching products, reading reports from independent testing labs and institutions, and consulting experts on safe computing. And after all that, we learned that most people should neither pay for a traditional antivirus suite, such as McAfee, Norton, or Kaspersky, nor use free programs like Avira, Avast, or AVG. The “best antivirus” for most people to buy, it turns out, is not a traditional antivirus package.

Information security experts told us that the built-in Windows Defender is good-enough antivirus for most Windows PC owners, and that both Mac and Windows users should consider using Malwarebytes Premium, an anti-malware program that augments both operating systems’ built-in protections. These options provide reliable protection without slowing your computer significantly, installing unwanted add-ons, or harassing you about upgrades.