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Antivirus desktop security software reviews

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Last updated: 27 July 2023


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Computer viruses and other malware are ever-increasing threats to security and privacy. We lab test and review the latest software for Windows and Mac, including free software and Microsoft's built-in Windows Defender, to help you find the best antivirus and internet security solution for you.

Our expert testers give every program a thorough workout to help find the ones that:

  • are best at protecting you from malware
  • are the easiest to set up and use
  • have the lowest impact on your device performance.

Use our antivirus software buying guide to decide which type of desktop internet security program you need.

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Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which brands provide key security features such as anti-phishing protection and parental controls, and our Recommended list will show you at a glance which programs come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    Price per year as of July 2023 for the initial subscription period (many products offer a discounted price for an initial period - usually the first year). Where applicable, prices have been converted to Australian dollars.

    Price may increase after the initial subscription period ends. See the "Renewal price" for these figures.

    Many products have multiple pricing options for such things as length of subscription, number of devices, additional features, etc. Please check carefully before buying to ensure you have the right product for you.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 139.95

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    Member only

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    Renewal price

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    Price per year as at July 2023 for after the initial subscription period. This price may change by the time your initial subscription period ends.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 0 and 279.95

    Protection score

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    Testing includes on-demand scanning; real-world protection, using known malicious websites including so-called drive-by websites, plus malware infections from connected media such as a USB flash drive; current malware detection; and URL protection, which includes blocking online malware.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 57 and 98

    Mac version

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    This software runs on macOS.

      Windows version

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      If the program runs on Windows (testing was done using Windows 10).


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        Protects against unsolicited commercial (junk) email distributed on a large scale and often part of a scam.


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          Protects against software that secretly gathers information about a computer user or organisation.


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            Protects against fraudulent attempts to lure users to reveal credit card details, account passwords and personal information by impersonating a trusted financial institution or service.

              Included in this review

              Members-only access
              • Recommended
              • CHOICE Expert Rating
              • Protection score
              • Ease of use score
              • System impact score
              • Good points
              • Bad points
              • Price
              • Renewal price
              • Number of devices
              • Number of years (licence)
              • Anti-malware
              • Anti-spyware
              • Anti-phishing
              • Anti-ransomware
              • Anti-spam
              • Parental controls
              • Flags phishing URLs
              • Virtualised browsing
              • Check for OS applications updates
              • Password protection of settings
              • Can be downloaded to bootable USB key
              • Can create bootable USB key
              • Windows version
              • Mac version
              • Version number tested

              Product selected for a detailed comparison

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