While Windows computers have become pretty advanced in terms of performance, features, and user interface, they still need some advanced protection when it comes to cyber attacks, viruses, malware, and other digital threats. Over the years, as Microsoft continued to upgrade the security of its OS, digital attackers also upped their ante to hack into Windows PCs, especially those that are continuously connected to the internet, to collect and leverage sensitive user data for illegal purposes.
Hence, protecting a PC from intentional viruses and malware is of utmost importance in this day and age. So, if you are someone who has been researching the best antivirus software for Windows 11 PCs in the market, you have come to the right place. In this article, we have listed some of the best antivirus software for Windows 11 that are available in the market. Read on till the end to know which one you prefer and which one we like the most.
What To Look Before Chosing Best Antivirus Software for Windows 11
Now, below we have listed the top 10 antivirus software for Windows 11 that you can consider to protect your Windows PC or laptop. Before we proceed, it is worth mentioning that most of the antivirus software for Windows 11 listed in this article is free to download, though some might include optional paid subscription plans and limited-time trials.
Another thing about Windows 11 antivirus programs is that if you decide to go for a paid plan, many of the companies charge much less for the first year to lure users to try their products. Some even offer free limited-time trials to help users decide whether they like the features and performance of the Windows 11 antivirus programs or not.
Hence, do keep in mind that after the first year, the cost of the antivirus plan might increase substantially in some cases. So, with these out of the way, let’s get into the list of the 8 best antivirus solutions that could help protect your precious data and files stored on your Windows 11 PC or laptop. The antivirus programs are listed in no order or rank.
1. Windows Security (Integrated into Windows 11)
Starting with the most-used threat-protection software that comes pre-installed Windows Security is one of the most reliable antivirus programs for Windows 11 users. It comes integrated with Windows 11 and offers various threat-protection features, including virus protection, network and firewall protection, account protection, control over app and browser protection, and others.
With Windows Defender in Windows 11, you can perform periodic scans of your PC or laptop to look for any suspicious file or program that might be trying to infect your computer with viruses and malware. Furthermore, as the program is integrated into Windows 11, it barely affects the performance of the PC or laptop.
As for the cons, there are a few. Windows Security, also known as Microsoft Defender on Windows 11, is a basic threat-protection program. Hence, compared to third-party antivirus programs, it is much weaker in detecting high-level threats, especially the latest malware programs, that use advanced security-evading techniques to infect your Windows 11 device.
However, if you are a casual Windows 11 user who avoids fishy links and websites on the internet, suspicious emails, and untrusted downloads, Windows Security should be just fine for your needs.
2. Bitdefender (Free Edition)
Now, if you think that you will need something stronger than the built-in Windows Security in Windows 11 to protect your PC or laptop, we’d suggest your check out Bitdefender. Bitdefender is one of the most trusted free antivirus software for Windows 11 that offers full protection against ransomware attacks, zero-day exploits, crypto-jacking, and other digital threats.
It also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect phishing emails that may have been written by bots and/ or other AIs like GPT-3 to lure users via phishing emails. Furthermore, the program also protects from malicious websites on the web and files that you download from the internet.
Moreover, Bitdefender is very light on Windows 11 devices and does not affect performance that much. Additionally, unlike many free Windows 11 antivirus programs, Bitdefender does not bombard users with notification pop-ups for upgrade requests. It is one of the best antivirus software that you can get for your Windows 11 PC/ laptop.
Although it is worth mentioning that the free edition of Bitdefender does exclude some features like unlimited VPN, identity theft protection, and a dedicated password manager that are included in its paid counterparts – Bitdefender Premium Security and Bitdefender Total Security.
3. Sophos Home (Paid)
Moving on to one of the most advanced and complete antivirus software for Windows 11, Sophos Home is a paid threat-protection program that offers a variety of features at an affordable price. Although it offers a free 30-day trial with all the features, including AI-driven threat detection, web protection, real-time antivirus monitoring, and various others, users will need to upgrade to Sophos Home Premium, which starts from ~$29 for the base one-year plan, on their Windows 11 device to keep enjoying the protection services.
As for the features, Sophos Home offers remote management of multiple devices via a simple web interface, blocks phishing websites and other suspicious links and websites that might contain potential viruses or malware, protects from unwanted attacks while banking or shopping on the internet, and also offers ransomware protection on Window 11 devices. Users can install and use Sophos Home on up to 10 Windows 11 devices simultaneously.
. McAfee Total Protection (Paid)
McAfee is another trusted antivirus software that you can consider for your Windows 11 device. In fact, this antivirus software comes pre-installed with many of the latest Windows 11 laptops in the market, offering a 1-year plan free of cost for the users. So, if you have bought a Windows 11 laptop or PC recently, chances are McAfee is currently installed on your device.
Now, although McAfee comes with a ton of threat-protection features such as blocking potential viruses, malware, and other digital threats, the program is quite heavy. This essentially means that McAfee could consume more resources on your Windows 11 device and negatively affect the performance of your PC/ laptop. Moreover, many users have complained about McAfee’s excessive notification in Windows 11 that recommends users upgrade to a new plan.
Coming to the pricing, McAfee offers both 1-year and 2-year plans with the price ranging from ~$44 to ~$67. Hence, if you are willing to invest a little to protect your Windows 11 PC or laptop, McAfee can be a great choice. However, it is worth mentioning that this Windows 11 antivirus program is quite heavy and might negatively affect the PCB.
5. Avast One Essential (Free)
Avast has been in the computer security business for quite some time and its all-in-one PC security solution, Avast One Essential, is a great product when it comes to performance, features, and antivirus lab scores. The features range from on-demand malware scans to phishing protection, safe online banking, and e-shopping. Furthermore, being such feature-packed, Avast One Essential is a fairly light app and does not affect the performance of Windows 11 PCs or laptops much.
Moreover, the Avast One Essential is a free offering that is designed to protect your Windows 11 PC from online malware and phishing scams. However, if you want more protection with additional features, you can opt for the Avast One plan, which costs $99.99 a year and covers 5 devices, or the Avast One Family plan for $139.99/ year, covering up to 30 devices. If you get the Avast One plan, you can download the antivirus software on your Windows 11 PCs, macOS devices, iOS devices, as well as on your Android devices.
6. AVG Antivirus (Free)
AVG, aka Anti-Virus Guard, is one of the oldest and most trusted antivirus software in the market, and it is undoubtedly one of the top antivirus programs available for Windows 11. It is a freemium security solution for Windows 11 PCs and laptops and is completely free to install and update. On top of that, it offers various features including malware protection, phishing protection, and email protection, and also provides real-time security updates about your Windows 11 device.
However, much like any other antivirus software for Windows 11, it is a bit heavier program and can affect the performance of your PC more than other such antivirus software. Nonetheless, the AVG antivirus software offers various internet-protection features along with the previously mentioned ones. It is also one of the top-rated antivirus software for Windows 11 in the market.
7. Avira Security (Free)
Avira is another trusted name when it comes to computer security. Hence, Avira Free Security for Windows 11 PCs and laptops is truly one of the top antivirus solutions that you can get for your Windows 11 device. It not only offers virus and malware protection but also offers a free VPN service for anonymous browsing packaged in the bundle. Although there is a monthly limit for the VPN service which is set to 500MB.
Furthermore, Avira Free Security for Windows 11 features a password manager to help users manage passwords for different platforms in a single hub. It is also one of the top-rated all-in-one security solutions for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android in the market. Users also have the option to upgrade to the Avira Prime plan, which is the paid plan, that offers features like unlimited VPN, secure passwords, system optimization for gaming, and many others.
8. Kaspersky Security Solutions (Paid)
Now, last but not the least, Kaspersky has been an excellent all-in-one security solution for Windows 11 PCs/ laptops as well as other devices. However, due to the fact that it is a Russian-origin program, Kaspersky has been through a lot of controversies over the past few years. Nonetheless, many independent analyses were done on the company and no issues were found by security experts.
So, Kaspersky security solutions for Windows 11 devices are something you can surely consider when it comes to protecting your computer from viruses, malware, and other kinds of threat programs. Although it is a paid security software for Windows 11 PCs and laptops, Kaspersky offers a variety of individual packages to choose from.
If you just want an antivirus program for your Windows 11 device with security functions like real-time antivirus protection, anti-phishing protection, and performance optimizations, you can opt for the Kaspersky Essential Suite which is only ~$3.49/ month.
Otherwise, you can choose the Kaspersky Advanced Suite or the Total Security plan for ~$6/ month and ~$12.99/ month respectively, that come with additional features like a dedicated password manager, full internet security features, unlimited VPN, adult content blocker, and many more.
Do I need antivirus software for my Windows 11 laptop?
Although the Windows Defender, which comes pre-installed with Windows 11, is a solid security solution, it is always best to keep a light antivirus software from a trusted platform to keep the files and data in your Windows 11 laptop protected from phishing scams, adware, and malware programs.
Which is the best antivirus software for Windows 11?
When it comes to the best antivirus software for Windows 11, you really cannot choose any one option. It really depends on your need, how many devices you want to protect, and how much you are willing to invest. Hence, we suggest you go through all the features and pricing of your preferred antivirus solution for Windows 11 before committing to it.
What is the best free antivirus software for Windows 11?
There are a lot of options when it comes to free antivirus software in the market. You can choose from AVG, Avast, and Avira to Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender. Every antivirus program has its own pros and cons and hence, you should go through their websites before getting one for your Windows 11 device.
Do I need the pre-installed McAfee antivirus software on my Windows 11 laptop?
Many modern Windows 11 laptops come with a free 1-year subscription plan for McAfee antivirus software. Although McAfee can sometimes affect the performance of your Windows 11 laptop and deliver pesky notifications, it is better to keep it installed on your Windows 11 laptop unless you run out of space or feel it is slowing down your device too much.
So, these are some of the best antivirus programs that are available for Windows 11 in the market. If you ask me about my preference for a security solution among the above, I’d say that the Windows Defender would suffice for my usage.
However, if you are someone who stores sensitive information, data, and files on your Windows 11 laptop or PC and wants to protect them from cyber attackers, you can go for any of the Windows 11 antivirus software listed above.
We hope this article helped you decide on your preferred antivirus software for Windows 11. And if it did, let us know in the comments right away.