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Antivirus desktop security software reviews

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Last updated: 27 March 2020


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 to help you find the best desktop computer antivirus and internet security solution for you. Our buying guide will help you decide which type of desktop internet security program you need. Our how we test guide tells you what's behind our results.

Have you considered protection for your phone? See our phone antivirus software reviews.

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Our test covers desktop security programs for Windows PCs, including free software and Microsoft's built-in Windows Defender, plus Mac computers.

Our expert testers give every antivirus software program a thorough workout to help find the programs that:

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

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which brands provide key security features such as anti-phishing protection and parental controls. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which programs come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    Price as of March 2019, rounded to the nearest dollar (check websites for discounted offers). Where applicable, prices have been converted to Australian dollars.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 145

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    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).

        Included in this review

        Members-only access
        • Recommended
        • Overall score
        • Protection score
        • Ease of use score
        • System impact score
        • Good points
        • Bad points
        • Buy now
        • Brand
        • Model
        • Availability
        • Price
        • Number of devices (U = unlimited)
        • Number of years (licence)
        • Anti-malware
        • Anti-spyware
        • Anti-phishing
        • Anti-ransomware
        • Anti-spam
        • Parental controls
        • Virtualised browsing
        • Check for OS applications updates
        • Password protection of settings
        • download-bootable-usb-key-file
        • Can create bootable USB key
        • Windows version
        • Mac version
        • Version


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