The most effective antivirus software will aid in keeping your devices safe from malware, ransomware and phishing. It also shields you from spyware that monitors your browsing history and passwords, and can stop data breaches from affecting your personal data. There are a variety of different programs available with many costing more than you want to spend.

We’ve tested more than 300 of them in order to find the most effective virus protection for your budget. We’ve scoured for strong and user-friendly software that will keep you safe without causing a slowdown to your computer or deterring you from using it. We’ve ensured that the software updates its malware database frequently.

Top packages come with a comprehensive range of anti-malware software, along with other features such a VPN or password manager as well as parental controls. Some companies provide a dark-web monitoring service to determine if your email address, credit card data or any other personal information have been accessed by a malicious hand.

Our top pick is Norton 360, which offers an excellent all-round security package with high malware detection rates, as well as impressive extra features like a password manager and an VPN to safeguard your privacy while surfing online. The service also offers live dark web monitoring and backups to the cloud.

It’s one of the few security software packages that are available for Macs (most other options only support Windows PCs). In tests conducted by the independent lab AV Comparatives, it performed well. It’s a little pricey at PS2/month for an annual subscription but there is a free trial version available.

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