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The 7 Best Antivirus for Windows 11 (2024 Update)

Updated: January 2024

By: Tibor Moes is the founder of SoftwareLab. He has tested 28 antivirus brands and studied Cybersecurity at Stanford. Read how we test antivirus.

Norton is the best antivirus for Windows 11

Norton Antivirus

Ranked #1 of 28 antivirus

  • Malware Protection 100% 100%
  • Security Features 100% 100%

Norton has the best anti-malware protection, excellent security features, and a great price. It’s the best antivirus for Windows 11.

  • Malware protection: 100%. Norton stopped all 1,200 malware attacks in our test.
  • Security features: 100%. Anti-phishing, firewall, VPN, password manager, and more.
  • Speed impact: 100%. Norton did not slow down our test PC. 

Try it risk-free, thanks to its 60-day return policy.

Avast is the second best antivirus for Windows 11 in 2024

Avast Antivirus

Ranked #2 of 28 antivirus

  • Malware Protection 100% 100%
  • Security Features 80% 80%

Avast offers excellent protection, many bonus features, and a beautiful design. However, it lacks a password manager.

  • Malware protection: 100%. Avast stopped all 1,200 malware attacks in our test.
  • Security features: 80%. Avast does not include a password manager.
  • Speed impact: 100%. Avast did not slow down our test PC. 

Try it risk-free, thanks to its 30-day return policy.

The best antivirus for Windows 11

Windows 11 is Microsoft’s safest operating system yet. But cybercrime always finds a way. Phishing attacks are after your financial details. Ransomware attempts to lock up your files. Data breaches reveal your passwords. And your identity can be stolen. But we are here to help.

We rigorously tested 39 antivirus programs from 28 brands. We bombarded a test PC, running on Windows 11, with 1,200 malware samples. We evaluated firewalls, took password managers for a spin, checked anti-phishing capabilities, and tested VPN services for both speed and safety.

These are the best antivirus for Windows 11:

  1. 🥇 Norton Antivirus – The #1 in 2024
  2. Avast Antivirus
  3. TotalAV Antivirus
  4. Bitdefender Antivirus
  5. McAfee Antivirus
  6. Panda Antivirus
  7. Avira Antivirus

Scroll down for the reviews.

Norton Antivirus Review

Norton Review

Ranked #1 out of 28 Antivirus

Norton Antivirus for Windows 11 2024

Norton is ranked #1 of 28 antivirus brands.

Norton is the best antivirus for Windows 11 of 2024. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, all the security features you need, and an excellent price.

Buy it if you want complete protection. You will get excellent anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, a password manager, and an unlimited VPN, which will protect your privacy online.

  • Malware protection: 100%. Norton detected and removed each of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
  • Speed impact: 100%. Norton’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
  • Features: 100%. Norton includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, firewall, VPN, password manager, and more.
  • Price: 100%. Compared to similar products at Bitdefender and McAfee, Norton offers more value for money.

Discount: Temporarily save up to 70% 🔥

Detailed Review

Norton Antivirus Review: Updated for 2024

Is Norton really the ultimate antivirus solution? Let’s dig into it.


Norton shines in malware protection. Boasting a 100% score, it’s at the top of the list. We didn’t just rely on stats; we put Norton through the paces ourselves. In our tests, it detected all 1,200 instances of malware and phishing attempts in real-time.

The secret sauce? Norton SONAR. It uses heuristic analysis and machine learning to find new and unknown threats based on odd behavior, not just code.


Norton’s Smart Firewall doesn’t just sit there; it’s active. It monitors both incoming and outgoing connections to catch any fishy activities. Compare that to Windows Firewall, which only scans incoming traffic. Plus, Norton hides inactive ports from prying eyes, making it tough for hackers to exploit.


We loved Norton’s unlimited VPN. It’s zippy and robust, with AES-256 & OpenVPN for security. Unlike competitors like Bitdefender, which cap data at 200MB per day, Norton offers unlimited data. It also supports torrenting, has an auto-connect feature, a kill switch, ad tracker blocking, and even a split tunnel. This is a game-changer for streaming or secure browsing. 

Password Manager

Password management is a breeze with Norton. We had zero issues creating or auto-filling passwords. A bonus? You can unlock your vault with fingerprint or facial recognition.

Prices & Packages

  • Norton Antivirus Plus costs € 15 (Europe) or $ 20 (USA). It offers antivirus, a firewall, and a password manager. It protects 1 PC or Mac.
  • Norton 360 Standard costs € 30 (Europe) or $ 40 (USA). It adds a VPN and dark web monitoring. It protects 1 (Europe) or 3 (USA) devices.
  • Norton 360 Deluxe costs € 35 (Europe) or $ 50 (USA). It adds a privacy monitor and parental controls. It protects 5 devices.
  • Norton 360 for Gamers costs € 35 (Europe) or $ 45 (USA). It adds a gamer optimizer. It protects 5 devices.
  • Norton 360 Advanced costs € 40 in Europe and is not sold in the USA. It adds identity theft protection and protects 10 devices.
  • Norton 360 Select + LifeLock costs $ 99 in the USA and is not sold in Europe. It adds LifeLock identity theft protection and protects 10 devices.

In some countries, Norton 360 Advanced is called Norton 360 Premium. This is essentially the same product, without identity theft protection.

Bonus Features

  • Web Protection: Norton’s Safe Web extension nabs malicious sites.
  • Cloud Backup: Stash your key files in a secure cloud.
  • Parental Control: Keep tabs on your kids online.
  • Privacy Monitor: Checks if your data’s being sold.
  • Webcam Security: No unauthorized peeping.
  • Dark Web Monitoring: Scans for your info in the web’s dark corners.
  • LifeLock: Fixes identity theft (U.S. only).

Conclusion: Is Norton the Best Antivirus for Windows 11?

Hands down, Norton wins in our book. It goes beyond just malware protection, offering a holistic suite for device security and online privacy.

Try Norton without worry—the 60-day return policy has you covered.

Avast Antivirus Review

Avast Review

Ranked #2 out of 28 Antivirus

Avast Antivirus 2024

Avast is ranked #2 of 28 antivirus brands.

Avast is one of the best antivirus for Windows 11. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, many security features, and one of the best designs we’ve seen.

Buy it if you want excellent protection and superb design. You will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, and a VPN. However, Avast does not include a password manager.

  • Malware protection: 100%. Avast detected and removed all of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
  • Speed impact: 100%. Avast’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
  • Features: 80%. Avast one includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, firewall, VPN, and more. But no password manager.
  • Price: 100%. Considering Avast’s excellent security features and design, its price is more than fair.

Discount: Save up to 50%

Detailed Review

Avast Antivirus Review: Updated for 2024

Avast One proved to be an effective and feature-rich antivirus in our testing. With high malware detection rates and a suite of advanced tools like an unlimited VPN in its paid plans, it offers robust, multi-platform protection.


In our tests involving over 1,200 malware samples, Avast detected all of them. The scans were efficient, taking less than an hour. Real-time protection even halted zipped and encrypted malware downloads. However, the free version can be somewhat naggy with its upsell attempts.


Avast’s firewall allows you to monitor network traffic and manually block apps. The paid version adds advanced features like port scan and ARP spoofing alerts. However, it’s not as user-friendly as some competitors and lacks the Wi-Fi Inspector tool for Windows, which was a downside.


Avast’s VPN, powered by HideMyAss! SecureLine, offers a generous 5GB weekly data allowance in the free version. While not the fastest, it includes a reliable kill switch and prompts to connect on sensitive websites. Upgrading gives you unlimited data, but the speeds remained subpar in our testing.

Bonus Features

Avast also features tools for clearing browsing data, software updating, and ransomware protection, among others. It includes performance-boosting utilities and even an Online Safety Score to help you improve security habits.

Conclusion: Is Avast the Best Antivirus for Windows 11?

Avast One is a strong contender in the antivirus market, boasting excellent anti-malware capabilities and a rich feature set. While it doesn’t offer a password manager, it covers most other bases effectively. Its 30-day return policy allows for risk-free testing.

If you need a password manager or parental controls, consider alternatives like Norton 360 Deluxe.

For more details, read the full Avast review.

TotalAV Antivirus Review

TotalAV Review

Ranked #3 out of 28 Antivirus

TotalAV Antivirus for Windows 11 2024

TotalAV is ranked #3 of 28 antivirus brands.

TotalAV is one of the best antivirus for Windows 11. It has near-perfect anti-malware test scores, an intuitive design, no impact on the speed of your PC, and lots of security features.

Buy it if you want an easy-to-use antivirus at a great price. You will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a password manager, and a VPN, which will protect your privacy online. But no firewall.

  • Malware protection: 99.8%. TotalAV detected and removed nearly all of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
  • Speed impact: 100%. TotalAV’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
  • Features: 90%. TotalAV includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, VPN, and a password manager. But it doesn’t have a firewall.
  • Price: 90%. TotalAV offers generous discounts in the first year, but high renewal prices in the second year.

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Detailed Review

TotalAV Antivirus Review: Updated for 2024

We tested TotalAV and found it to excel in malware detection, clocking a 99.8% success rate. It’s easy on the wallet, supports multiple platforms, and offers a 30-day refund policy. Extras include web protection, a VPN, and identity theft safeguards for U.S. users.


In our tests, TotalAV’s System Scan took around an hour and had minimal impact on system performance. It offers four scan types: Quick, System, Smart, and Custom. The software detected nearly all malware types, including ransomware and spyware. Real-time protection was impressive, instantly blocking malicious downloads and ransomware simulators.


We found TotalAV’s Safe Browsing VPN to be solid but not as fast as standalone options like ExpressVPN. It has 48 servers in 30+ countries and supports streaming and torrenting. Additional features include a kill switch and auto-connect on public Wi-Fi.

Password Manager

Total Password, part of TotalAV’s package, is secure and straightforward. It offers auto-save, auto-fill, and uses 256-bit AES encryption. Two-factor authentication is available but lacks hardware-based options. The vault allows unlimited storage of passwords and secure notes but doesn’t offer password sharing or emergency access.

Other Security Features

TotalAV provides identity theft protection powered by Aura and a System tune-up feature with a Startup Manager and Junk Cleaner.

Conclusion: Is TotalAV the Best Antivirus for Windows 11?

TotalAV offers near-perfect malware detection, a good VPN, and a reliable password manager. It’s budget-friendly and comes with a risk-free 30-day trial. However, it lacks a firewall. Overall, we highly recommend it for comprehensive, low-impact security.

For more details, read the full TotalAV review.

Bitdefender Antivirus Review

Bitdefender Review

Ranked #4 out of 28 Antivirus

Bitdefender Antivirus for Windows 11 2024

Bitdefender is ranked #4 of 28 antivirus brands.

Bitdefender is an excellent antivirus program for Windows 11. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, many security features, and an excellent price.

Buy it if you want outstanding protection. But keep in mind that you will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, and a few bonus features. Not the password manager or unlimited VPN.

  • Malware protection: 100%. Bitdefender detected and removed each of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
  • Speed impact: 100%. Bitdefender’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
  • Features: 80%. Bitdefender has anti-malware, anti-phishing, and a firewall, but it misses a password manager and a VPN.
  • Price: 100%. Although Bitdefender misses a few features, it has an excellent price, which gives it good value for money.

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Detailed Review

Bitdefender Antivirus Review: Updated for 2024

Is Bitdefender worth your hard-earned cash? Let’s see how it stacks up.


Bitdefender impresses with its 95% average protection score based on the last 10 AV-Test trials. In our testing, it identified all 1,200 malware samples. It’s just a hair behind top dogs like Norton, McAfee, and Kaspersky.

Advanced Threat Defense, its real-time protection feature, stands out. It ditches old-school virus signature checks and watches app behavior instead. If something funky, like code injection, happens, it halts the app. This method gave us solid detection rates and few false positives.


Bitdefender’s firewall is vigilant, blocking both incoming and outgoing connections. Plus, it sniffs out and blocks port scans, a common hacker move. We found it an excellent line of defense for local networks and internet connections.


The free VPN has a 200MB daily limit, enough for quick tasks but not for streaming. The VPN tech, courtesy of Aura, is robust with AES-256 & HydraVPN. Bitdefender’s extra features like start-up, auto-connect, and a kill switch are a nice touch. For unlimited data, though, you’ll have to upgrade.

Password Manager

Here’s a downer: the password manager isn’t part of the standard packages. It’s a separate buy or part of the Premium Security package. For the cost, we hoped it would be included.

Prices & Packages

  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus starts at € 15 (Europe) or $ 15 (USA). It offers antivirus and anti-phishing. It protects 1 to 10 PCs.
  • Bitdefender Internet Security starts at € 19 (Europe) or $ 25 (USA). It adds a firewall and parental controls. It protects 1 to 10 PCs.
  • Bitdefender Total Security starts at € 35 (Europe) or $ 40 (USA). It adds an optimizer and support for other OS. It protects 5 to 10 devices.
  • Bitdefender Premium Security starts at € 55 (Europe) or $ 60 (USA). It adds an unlimited VPN and password manager. It protects 10 devices.

Note: There is also Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition, the free version of Antivirus Plus. This is the best free antivirus software. But honestly, it’s very basic and not much better than the built-in Microsoft Defender. So instead, we recommend Bitdefender’s paid antivirus software. It’s worth it.

Bonus Features

  • Online Threat Prevention: Nails malicious sites.
  • Vulnerability Scans: Checks OS, apps, and network.
  • Ransomware Remediation: Undoes ransomware damage.
  • Anti-Spam: Tweaks spam settings in Outlook and Thunderbird.
  • Safepay: Secure browser for online banking.
  • Video & Audio Protection: Shields your webcam and mic.
  • Anti-Tracker: Kicks tracking cookies out.
  • Parental Advisor: Keeps an eye on your kids.
  • Anti-Theft: Find and erase lost devices.
  • One-Click Optimizer: Cleans disks and browsers.
  • File Shredder: Wipes files for good.
  • Data Protection/File Shredder: Securely erases files.

Conclusion: Is Bitdefender the Best Antivirus for Windows 11?

Bitdefender is a powerhouse, scoring high in anti-malware, firewall, and VPN tech. But the extra costs for unlimited VPN and password management make it a pricier choice than Norton, which bundles these in.

It’s still a top pick for us, but weigh the costs. You have 30 days to change your mind, thanks to its return policy.

McAfee Antivirus Review

McAfee Review

Ranked #5 out of 28 Antivirus

McAfee Antivirus for Windows 11 2024

McAfee is ranked #5 of 28 antivirus brands.

McAfee is an excellent antivirus program for Windows 11. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, an intuitive design, and all the security features you need.

Buy it if you want complete protection. You will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, a password manager, a VPN, and, depending on where you live, identity theft protection.

  • Malware protection: 100%. Mcafee detected and removed each of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
  • Speed impact: 100%. McAfee’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
  • Features: 100%. McAfee includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, firewall, VPN, password manager, and more.
  • Price: 90%. McAfee is slightly more expensive than Norton, but allows you to protect an unlimited number of devices (in the US).

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Detailed Review

McAfee Antivirus Review: Updated for 2024

McAfee has upped its game in recent years. Is it worth considering for your cybersecurity needs? We break it down.


McAfee shines with a 100% protection score in AV-Test trials since April 2020. Our testing mirrored these results; it caught all 1,200 malware samples we threw at it.

McAfee’s Scan Engine is the star player:

  • Scans files, matching them to known malware.
  • Runs risky code in a safe space, known as a sandbox.
  • Uses heuristic techniques to spot new threats.
  • Scrubs bad code from corrupted files.

We found McAfee’s malware defense to be top-notch, thanks to these features.


McAfee’s firewall is robust, checking both incoming and outgoing traffic. We especially liked that it hides open ports, thwarting hackers’ port scanning methods.


Safe Connect, McAfee’s VPN, is solid. It’s free with unlimited data, and it’s fast. Our tests also showed AES-256 encryption and a no-log policy. However, some features like a kill switch are OS-dependent. Also, if you opt out of auto-renew, data drops to 500MB per day.

Password Manager

True Key, McAfee’s password manager, is great. Creating passwords is a breeze, and the auto-fill function is spot-on. You can also use facial recognition or fingerprints to log in. In our experience, it matches up well against top options like Dashlane.

Prices & Packages

  • McAfee Basic costs € 30 (Europe) or $ 30 (USA). It offers antivirus, anti-phishing, firewall, password manager, and VPN. It protects 1 device.
  • McAfee Essential (called McAfee Plus in Europe) costs € 40 (Europe) or $ 40 (USA). It adds no additional features but protects 5 devices.
  • McAfee+ Premium costs € 45 (Europe) or $ 45 (USA). It adds a personal data cleanup and protects unlimited devices.
  • McAfee+ Advanced costs € 65 (Europe) or $ 80 (USA). It adds identity theft protection and protects unlimited devices.
  • McAfee+ Ultimate costs $ 190 (USA) and is not sold in Europe. It adds more identity theft protection features and protects unlimited devices.

Bonus Features

  • Secure Apps: Checks your apps for updates.
  • App Boost: Speeds up commonly used apps.
  • Browser Security: Blocks phishing attempts.
  • Web Boost: Stops videos from auto-playing.
  • Tracker Remover: Clears tracking cookies.
  • ID Protection: Scans the dark web for your data.
  • File Shredder: Securely deletes files.
  • File Lock: Password-protects your files.
  • Anti-Spam: Filters spam for Outlook and Thunderbird.
  • Safe Family: Parental controls that work.

Conclusion: Is McAfee the Best Antivirus for Windows 11?

McAfee is a standout in our tests, offering perfect virus protection, a superior password manager, and a generous free VPN. Its bonus features are plentiful and practical. The unlimited device coverage on premium plans is a big win, especially in the U.S.

If you’re in the market for comprehensive protection, McAfee is well worth considering. And with a 30-day return policy, you’ve got nothing to lose in giving it a try.

For more details, read the full McAfee review.

Panda Antivirus Review

Panda Review

Ranked #6 out of 28 Antivirus

Panda Antivirus for Windows 11 2024

Panda is ranked #6 of 28 antivirus brands.

Panda is an excellent antivirus program for Windows 11. It has near-perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, all the security features you need, and flexible pricing.

Buy it if you want great protection and customization options. You will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a firewall, a password manager, and an unlimited VPN, which will protect your privacy online.

  • Malware protection: 99%. Panda detected and removed nearly all of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
  • Speed impact: 100%. Panda’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
  • Features: 100%. Panda Dome includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, firewall, VPN, password manager, and more.
  • Price: 80%. Compared to similar products at Norton, Panda Dome is expensive. However, its flexible pricing is excellent.

Discount: Save 50% on this secret page

Detailed Review

Panda Dome Antivirus Review: Updated for 2024

Wondering if Panda Dome antivirus is right for you? We’ve put it to the test to help you make an informed choice.


Panda scored an impressive 99.9% in real-world protection according to AV-Comparatives. However, we noticed it tends to flag false positives more often than rivals like Norton and McAfee.

Panda uses a mix of big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to scan apps, effectively tackling both known malware and emerging threats like zero-day exploits.


Panda’s firewall performs well, filtering both incoming and outgoing web traffic. It auto-assigns permissions to apps based on their risk levels, a feature we find very useful, although you can manually change these rules if needed.


The VPN is limited to 150 MB/day, good for quick tasks but not for heavy usage like streaming. It’s built on Aura technology, making it fast and secure (AES-256 & HydraVPN). However, it misses out on features like a kill switch, making its €50.00 price tag a bit steep.

Password Manager

We liked Panda’s password manager. It supports two-factor authentication and biometrics, making it secure and convenient. The Chrome and Firefox extensions are a mirror image of the Android and iOS apps, offering a smooth experience across platforms.

Prices & Packages

  • Panda Dome Essential starts at € 17 (Europe) or $ 24 (USA). It offers antivirus and a firewall.
  • Panda Dome Advanced starts at € 23 (Europe) or $ 28 (USA). It adds anti-phishing and parental controls.
  • Panda Dome Complete starts at € 35 (Europe) or $ 43 (USA). It adds a password manager and system optimizer.
  • Panda Dome Premium starts at € 60 (Europe) or $ 67 (USA). It adds an unlimited VPN and update manager.

All of Panda’s plans can be upscaled to an unlimited number of devices.

Bonus Features

  • Safe Browsing: Blocks malicious websites.
  • Dark Web Scanner: Checks if your email address is compromised.
  • PC Cleanup: Removes unwanted cookies and files.
  • Wi-Fi Protection: Audits your Wi-Fi security.
  • Anti-Theft: Helps find your lost or stolen PC.
  • File Encryptor: Adds password protection to important files.
  • File Shredder: Deletes files securely.
  • USB Protection: Scans USB drives for malware.

Conclusion: Is Panda the Best Antivirus for Windows 11?

Panda performs well in our tests, especially in the password manager and flexible pricing departments. However, it falls short of Norton, which offers an unlimited VPN and better cross-platform protection at a lower price point.

If you’re strictly a Windows user, Panda’s robust security suite could be a perfect match for you. Plus, a 30-day money-back guarantee lets you try before you commit.

For more details, read the full Panda review.

Avira Antivirus Review

Avira Review

Ranked #7 out of 28 Antivirus

Avira Antivirus for Windows 11 2024

Avira is ranked #7 of 28 antivirus brands.

Avira is an excellent antivirus program for Windows 11. It has perfect anti-malware protection, no impact on the speed of your PC, all the security features you need, and a great design.

Buy it if you want excellent protection and intuitive design. You will get anti-malware, anti-phishing, a password manager, and a VPN. On top of that, Avira finally includes an excellent firewall.

  • Malware protection: 100%. Avira detected and removed all of the 1,200 malware samples in our test.
  • Speed impact: 100%. Avira’s anti-malware engine is lightweight and did not slow down our test PC.
  • Features: 100%. Avira includes anti-malware, anti-phishing, firewall, VPN, password manager, and more.
  • Price: 90%. Avira has a great price. But with Norton, you’ll get a few more features for the same amount of money.

Discount: Save up to 70%

Detailed Review

Avira Antivirus Review: Updated for 2024

We found Avira to be a top performer, catching 100% of the malware in our tests. Its free plan is among the best we’ve seen, and paid plans deliver value for money. With an excellent password manager and robust online security, Avira stands out in a crowded field.


Avira aced our anti-malware tests with a 100% detection rate. Its Smart Scan not only found malware but also pointed out privacy risks and system issues. For tech-savvy users, it offers specialized scans like rootkit and external device scans. In summary, it’s a versatile and speedy anti-malware tool suitable for all users.


Avira’s firewall offers customized rules per app and intruder prevention features. It effectively monitors data traffic and gives you granular control to specify which apps can access the internet.

Password Manager

Avira’s password manager rivals standalone options, offering unlimited password storage even in its free version. It uses 256-bit AES encryption and supports two-factor authentication. However, it lacks a password generator in the browser extension, a minor downside.


We tested Avira’s Phantom VPN and found it adequate for most tasks, reducing our speed by only 25-30%. Security features include 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, and DNS leak protection. However, it struggled with geo-restrictions on streaming services and offers only 500 MB data on lower-tier plans.

Other Security Features

We liked Avira’s device optimization tools, especially the junk file cleaner that freed up significant space. The software also includes a Startup Optimizer, Driver Updater, and a decent Game Booster. However, the Battery Manager feature could be improved.

Conclusion: Is Avira the Best Antivirus for Windows 11?

Avira offers a full suite of security features, including perfect anti-malware detection, a strong firewall, and a versatile password manager. It’s a great buy for comprehensive protection with a user-friendly design. A 30-day return policy allows you to try it risk-free.

However, if you need extra features like a dark web monitor, consider alternatives like Norton 360 Deluxe.

For more details, read the full Avira review.

Specification comparison

Below, we compare the following products:

  • Norton 360 Standard
  • Bitdefender Internet Security with the Premium VPN
  • TotalAV Total Security
  • McAfee Plus
  • Panda Dome Premium
  • Avira Prime
  • Avast One

Each allows protection for at least one PC and includes features like Anti-Malware, Anti-Phishing, Firewall, Password Manager, and Unlimited VPN.

#1 of 20
#2 of 20
#3 of 20
#4 of 20
#5 of 20
#6 of 20
#7 of 20
AV-Test anti-malware score
6.00 / 6.00
6.00 / 6.00
5.15 / 6.00
5.95 / 6.00
6.00 / 6.00
5.95 / 6.00
AV-Test speed impact score
5.85 / 6.00
5.90 / 6.00
5.90 / 6.00
6.00 / 6.00
5.90 / 6.00
5.95 / 6.00
1st year price
$ 39.99 / year
$ 29.99 / year
$ 49.00 / year
$ 81.98 / year
$ 39.99 / year
$ 66.99 / year
$ 29.99 / year
2nd year price
$ 94.99 / year
$ 99.99 / year
$ 179.00 / year
$ 139.98 / year
$ 84.99 / year
$ 133.99 / year
$ 104.99 / year
Operating software
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Money back
60 days
30 days
30 days
30 days
30 days
30 days
30 days




Password manager



Unlimited VPN

Test score comparison

We not only relied on our in-house tests but also evaluated data from AV-Test, a German lab known for stringent antivirus testing. Their scores are based on three factors:

  • Protection (1-6): How well the software blocks malware.
  • Performance (1-6): How much the software slows down your computer.
  • Usability (1-6): How often the software makes errors like false alarms.

To offer a unified measure, we calculated a final score using the formula: 60% Protection + 20% Performance + 20% Usability.

If a brand is not part of AV-Test’s analysis, this is generally not a good sign. Most reputable brands participate, although notable exceptions include Panda, ESET, and Sophos.

Source: AV-Test.

Final Score

Price comparison

We’ve also checked out the prices for each of these products, focusing on how much it would cost to protect a single Windows PC with the following essential features:

  • Anti-malware
  • Anti-phishing (web protection)
  • Firewall
  • Password manager
  • Unlimited VPN (no data limit).


  • Missing features affect value for money.
  • Listed prices are for the second year in the USA, without first-year discounts.
  • Prices are rounded up for easy reading (e.g., $99.99 becomes $100).

Prices vary outside the U.S., so check the brands’ websites for local pricing.

Total price
Missing features
$ 50
No firewall, password manager, and VPN
$ 80
No firewall and password manager
$ 90
No firewall
$ 130
No password manager
$ 180
No firewall

User reviews

We scrutinized user reviews on TrustPilot to gauge public opinion. Be cautious with these, as some brands might artificially boost their ratings. We consider scores between 4.0 and 4.5 to be good and realistic. Anything higher could be suspect, and lower scores often indicate problems with the product or customer service.

Source: TrustPilot.

Review score
Review count

Buying Guide

Common questions about antivirus software

What is antivirus software and why do I need it?

Antivirus software is a program designed to detect, prevent, and remove malicious software (malware) such as viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, and spyware. These malicious programs can harm your computer, compromise personal data, and impair system performance.

Why You Need It:

  • Security: Protects your personal information from unauthorized access.
  • Prevention of Malware: Helps prevent the installation of malware which can be used for data theft, ransom demands, or to damage your system.
  • Safe Web Browsing: Provides safer browsing by warning or blocking malicious websites.
  • Data Protection: Protects your files from being corrupted or locked by ransomware.
  • Performance: Helps maintain system performance by preventing malware that can slow down your computer.

For more, read our blog post on what antivirus software is.

How does antivirus software protect my computer?

Antivirus software protects your computer through several mechanisms:

  • Real-Time Scanning: Continuously monitors the system for suspicious activities.
  • Virus Definitions: Uses a database of known virus signatures to identify threats.
  • Heuristic Analysis: Detects new, unknown malware by examining behavior.
  • System Scans: Regularly scans the entire system or specific files for malware.
  • Quarantine and Removal: Isolates and removes identified malware from the system.
  • Firewall Integration: Often includes or works with a firewall to control network traffic and block malicious connections.

For more, read our blog post on what antivirus software is.

Will antivirus software slow down my computer?

Modern antivirus software is designed to be efficient and have minimal impact on system performance. However, the impact can vary based on:

  • System Specifications: Older or less powerful computers may experience more noticeable slowdowns.
  • Resource Usage: Intensive tasks like full system scans may temporarily use more resources.
  • Software Optimization: Well-optimized antivirus programs generally have less impact on system speed.


Can antivirus software remove existing viruses from my PC?

Yes, most antivirus programs are capable of removing existing viruses from your PC. They do this by:

  • Scanning: Identifying the infected files.
  • Quarantine: Isolating the infected files to prevent further spread.
  • Removal: Safely removing the malicious code or the infected file itself.
  • Repair: Attempting to repair any damage caused by the virus.


Can antivirus software protect my mobile devices as well?

Absolutely. There are antivirus solutions specifically designed for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). These solutions:

  • Protect Against Mobile Malware: Target malware specifically designed for mobile platforms.
  • Offer Privacy Protection: Prevent unauthorized access to your data.
  • Include Anti-Theft Features: Such as remote lock and wipe, location tracking, etc.
  • Optimize for Mobile Performance: Designed to be lightweight and energy-efficient.


What should I do if my antivirus detects a virus or malware?

If your antivirus detects a virus or malware, follow these steps:

  • Don’t Panic: Antivirus software is designed to handle such situations.
  • Quarantine or Delete: Follow the antivirus prompt to quarantine or delete the infected file.
  • Perform a Full Scan: Run a full system scan to check for any other infections.
  • Update Your Software: Ensure your antivirus and other software are up to date.
  • Change Passwords: If the malware could have compromised your data, change your passwords.
  • Monitor Your System: Keep an eye on your system’s behavior for any unusual activity.
  • Seek Professional Help: If the situation is not resolved, consider professional technical support.


What are the most common types of cyber threats today?

  • Ransomware: Malicious software that encrypts files on your device and demands payment for their release.
  • Phishing: Fraudulent attempts to obtain sensitive information through deceptive emails or websites.
  • Viruses and Worms: Programs that replicate and spread to other computers, often damaging system functionality.
  • Trojans: Malware disguised as legitimate software, used to gain access to user systems.
  • Spyware: Software that secretly gathers information about a person or organization.
  • Adware: Unwanted software designed to throw advertisements up on your screen.
  • Rootkits: Tools that enable administrator-level access to a computer or network.
  • Botnets: Networks of infected computers used to perform coordinated attacks.
  • Zero-Day Exploits: Attacks targeting vulnerabilities not yet known to the software vendor or antivirus vendors.
  • DDoS Attacks: Attempts to make a machine or network resource unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources.

Read more about these threats on our cybersecurity blog.

What cyber threats can and can’t antivirus protect me from?

Can Protect:

  • Viruses, Worms, Trojans: Detects and removes these common malware types.
  • Ransomware: Prevents or limits the effects of ransomware attacks.
  • Spyware and Adware: Identifies and eliminates spying and advertising software.
  • Phishing Attacks: Some antivirus software includes email and web protection that can warn you about phishing sites.

Can’t Fully Protect:

  • Zero-Day Exploits: Because they are unknown, they are difficult to detect immediately.
  • Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): Targeted attacks that may evade detection due to their sophistication.
  • Insider Threats: Malicious threats from people within the organization who have inside information.
  • Complete Data Loss: Antivirus cannot recover all data lost due to malware attacks; backups are crucial.

Read more about these threats on our cybersecurity blog.

How do I choose the best antivirus software for my needs?

  • Assess Your Needs: Consider the level of protection you need based on your online activities.
  • Performance Impact: Look for software that doesn’t slow down your computer.
  • Features: Consider additional features like firewalls, parental controls, or VPN services.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Ensure the software is easy to use and understand.
  • Compatibility: Check if the software is compatible with your operating system.
  • Reputation and Reviews: Research user reviews and expert opinions.
  • Cost vs. Value: Determine if the cost is justified by the protection and features offered.

Is free antivirus software reliable enough for basic protection?

Yes, free antivirus software can be reliable for basic protection. However, keep in mind that:

  • Limited Features: Free versions typically offer basic protection and lack advanced features.
  • Performance: May not be as efficient or as low-impact as paid versions.
  • Frequent Ads: Free versions often include advertisements for the premium version.
  • No Customer Support: Typically, free versions offer limited or no customer support.


Does the antivirus software come with customer support?

Yes, most paid antivirus software comes with customer support, which may include:

  • 24/7 Support: Available via phone, chat, or email.
  • Technical Assistance: Help with installation, configuration, and troubleshooting.
  • Regular Updates: Notifications and support for software updates.
  • Online Resources: Access to FAQs, forums, and knowledge bases.

Note: The level and quality of customer support can vary between providers, and is typically more comprehensive with paid versions compared to free versions.

Advanced questions about antivirus software

How do we test antivirus software?

At SoftwareLab, we are committed to delivering comprehensive and unbiased reviews of antivirus software. Our methodology encompasses a range of critical aspects to ensure that our assessments are thorough and relevant to our users’ needs.

1. Anti-malware protection (30%)

  • As the core function of antivirus software, we prioritize anti-malware protection. We conduct in-house testing with a diverse set of 1200 malware samples, including the latest threats, and simulate real-time attack scenarios to gauge the software’s effectiveness.
  • To reinforce the reliability of our findings, we compare our results with those from AV-Test, a respected independent security institute.

2. Security and privacy features (30%)

  • Web protection: We evaluate the software’s ability to protect against phishing sites and other web-based threats.
  • Firewall: Our tests include intrusion simulations to assess the effectiveness of the software’s firewall.
  • Password manager: We examine the ability of the integrated password manager to generate, store, and auto-fill passwords securely.
  • VPN: We test for VPN speed, encryption quality, server locations, and the ability to conceal IP addresses.
  • Parental controls: We assess the efficacy of filters and restrictions for safe browsing for children.
  • Identity theft protection: Monitoring capabilities and alert responsiveness are tested.
  • Secure cloud storage: We evaluate the software’s cloud storage solutions based on capacity, ease of use, and security.
  • Anti-ransomware: Effectiveness against ransomware attacks is a critical part of our testing.
  • Dark web monitoring: We check how well the software scans for personal information on the dark web.

3. Speed impact (10%)

  • We assess how the antivirus software affects system performance during common tasks, such as file copying, program downloads, and installations. Our assessment criteria are aligned with the AV-Test performance tests.

4. False positives (10%)

  • It’s crucial that antivirus software distinguishes between safe and harmful applications. We evaluate the frequency of benign software being incorrectly flagged as malware, referring to AV-Test’s usability tests for additional insights.

5. Price (10%)

  • We consider the overall value for money, analyzing the features offered against the long-term costs of the software.

6. Ownership and reputation (10%)

  • The trustworthiness of the software’s provider is integral. We examine the company’s history, its data handling practices, commitment to user privacy, and its response to any incidents of unethical conduct or data breaches.

Our rigorous testing approach ensures that we provide our users with reliable and up-to-date information, helping them make informed decisions about their cybersecurity solutions.

Read more on how we test antivirus software.

How does anti-malware work?

Anti-malware software is designed to detect, prevent, and eliminate malicious software. It works through several methods:

  • Signature-Based Detection: Identifies malware based on a database of known malware signatures (distinctive patterns).
  • Heuristic Analysis: Detects new, unknown viruses or malware by examining code behaviors and properties.
  • Behavior-Based Detection: Monitors the behavior of programs to identify suspicious activities.
  • Sandboxing: Isolates potential malware in a secure environment to analyze its behavior without risking the main system.
  • Machine Learning: Utilizes algorithms to identify malware based on learned patterns from vast data sets.
  • Cloud-Based Detection: Leverages cloud resources for real-time malware analysis and updates.


What is signature-based detection?

Signature-based detection is a traditional method of identifying malware. It involves:

  • Malware Signatures: Unique strings of data or characteristics of known malware.
  • Signature Database: A continuously updated collection of these signatures.
  • Scanning: The anti-malware software scans files and compares them to the signature database.
  • Detection: If a file matches a signature in the database, it’s flagged as malware.


What is heuristic analysis?

Heuristic analysis is a technique used to detect new or unknown malware variants. It involves:

  • Code Analysis: Examining the code of a file or program to look for suspicious characteristics.
  • Emulation: Running the program in a virtual environment to observe its behavior.
  • Rule-Based Logic: Applying rules or algorithms to identify potentially malicious activities.
  • Dynamic Detection: Adapting to evolving malware techniques.


What is behavior-based detection?

Behavior-based detection focuses on the behavior of software rather than its code. It includes:

  • Monitoring Actions: Observing how a program interacts with the system.
  • Anomaly Detection: Identifying actions that deviate from normal, safe operations.
  • Alerts: Generating warnings or taking actions if suspicious behavior is detected.
  • Adaptability: Adjusting over time to recognize new malicious behaviors.


What is machine learning within cybersecurity?

Machine learning in cybersecurity involves:

  • Data Analysis: Using large datasets to train models on what constitutes normal and malicious activities.
  • Pattern Recognition: Identifying patterns that indicate potential threats.
  • Predictive Capabilities: Anticipating and identifying emerging threats based on learned patterns.
  • Continuous Learning: Evolving the model based on new data and trends.


What is cloud-based antivirus?

Cloud-based antivirus is a security solution that:

  • Uses Cloud Servers: Relies on internet-connected servers for processing and analysis.
  • Real-Time Updates: Offers instant updates to its malware database and software capabilities.
  • Reduced Local Impact: Minimizes the processing load on the user’s device.
  • Global Threat Intelligence: Utilizes data from a wide network of users for enhanced detection.


What is sandboxing within cybersecurity?

Sandboxing in cybersecurity refers to:

  • Isolated Environment: Running programs in a separate, secure environment to test their behavior.
  • Risk Assessment: Analyzing the behavior of software without risking the primary system.
  • Threat Identification: Determining whether a program is malicious based on its actions in the sandbox.
  • Safe Testing: Allowing potentially harmful programs to run without affecting real-world data.


What are false positives within cybersecurity?

False positives in cybersecurity occur when:

  • Incorrect Identification: Anti-malware software incorrectly identifies a benign file or action as malicious.
  • Disruption: Can lead to unnecessary disruption and inconvenience to users.
  • Balancing Sensitivity: Reflects the challenge in balancing detection sensitivity with accuracy.
  • Adjustment: Requires ongoing adjustment of detection algorithms to minimize occurrences.


How does antivirus handle zero-day threats?

Antivirus software handles zero-day threats – vulnerabilities unknown to the software vendor – through:

  • Heuristic Analysis: Analyzing programs for behavior typically associated with malware.
  • Behavior-Based Detection: Monitoring system activities for unusual or suspicious behavior.
  • Cloud-Based Intelligence: Leveraging real-time data from global networks to quickly identify new threats.
  • Regular Updates: Frequently updating virus definitions and software algorithms.
  • Sandboxing: Running unknown applications in a controlled environment to observe behavior without risk.


How does a firewall work?

A firewall is a network security device that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. It works by:

  • Traffic Filtering: Examining data packets and determining whether to allow or block them based on set rules.
  • Port Management: Controlling traffic based on TCP/IP ports, allowing or denying access to the network.
  • Inspection: Deep packet inspection to identify and block potentially harmful data.
  • Creating Barriers: Acting as a barrier between a trusted internal network and untrusted external networks.


How does a password manager work?

A password manager is a tool that helps users store and manage their passwords. It functions by:

  • Encrypted Storage: Keeping passwords in an encrypted database.
  • Master Password: User accesses all passwords using a single, strong master password.
  • Auto-Fill Feature: Automatically filling in usernames and passwords for websites and applications.
  • Password Generation: Creating strong, unique passwords for each account.
  • Cross-Platform Synchronization: Syncing password databases across multiple devices.


How does a VPN work?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, allowing users to send and receive data as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. It works by:

  • Data Encryption: Encrypting data before it leaves the device.
  • Secure Tunneling: Routing data through a secure tunnel over the internet.
  • IP Masking: Hiding the user’s IP address and replacing it with one from the VPN server.
  • Location Spoofing: Making it appear as if the user is accessing the internet from a different location.
  • Secure Connections: Providing secure access to private networks.


How does anti-phishing work?

Anti-phishing techniques include:

  • Email Filtering: Scanning emails for phishing indicators.
  • Link Analysis: Checking the safety of links in emails or web browsers.
  • Alerts: Warning users of suspected phishing content.
  • Education: Training users to recognize phishing attempts.
  • Reporting Tools: Allowing users to report suspected phishing attempts for analysis.


How does ransomware protection work?

Ransomware protection methods:

  • Access Control: Restricting access to important files and systems.
  • Behavior Monitoring: Detecting patterns typical of ransomware activity.
  • Backup Solutions: Regularly backing up data to recover in case of an attack.
  • Vulnerability Patches: Keeping software updated to fix vulnerabilities.
  • Sandboxing: Testing suspicious software in a safe environment.


How does identity theft protection work?

Identity theft protection involves:

  • Monitoring Services: Watching for suspicious activities involving your personal information.
  • Alerts: Notifying you of potential threats to your identity.
  • Credit Monitoring: Tracking your credit files for unusual changes.
  • Recovery Assistance: Helping to restore your identity and resolve issues if theft occurs.
  • Insurance: Offering financial compensation for certain costs related to identity theft.


How do parental controls work?

Parental controls are tools or software designed to help parents control what children can access online. They function by:

  • Content Filtering: Blocking access to inappropriate websites.
  • Usage Controls: Setting limits on how long and when children can use devices or specific apps.
  • Monitoring Tools: Allowing parents to see what their children are accessing online.
  • Age Restrictions: Setting restrictions based on the child’s age.
  • Location Tracking: Providing tools to monitor the location of a child’s device.


Advanced questions about Windows 11

How does Windows 11's security compare to Windows 10?

Windows 11 represents an evolution in Microsoft’s approach to security, building upon the foundation laid by Windows 10. Key differences include:

  • Hardware Security: Windows 11 demands higher hardware security standards, like TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module), which enhances protection against firmware attacks.
  • Virtualization-Based Security (VBS): More deeply integrated into Windows 11, enhancing defense against sophisticated attacks.
  • Secure Boot Improvements: Ensuring that only trusted software loads during the system startup phase.
  • Windows Hello: Enhanced biometric authentication options, promoting stronger user verification.

While Windows 10 was robust in its time, Windows 11 offers tighter security by default, leveraging newer hardware capabilities.

Does Windows 11 need 3rd party antivirus software?

The necessity of third-party antivirus software for Windows 11 largely depends on individual use cases, behaviors, and specific security needs. Here’s a nuanced look at various factors to consider:

When Third-Party Antivirus Might Be Necessary

  • High-Risk Online Behavior: If you frequently download files from unknown or unreliable sources, visit high-risk websites, or engage in peer-to-peer file sharing, additional antivirus protection can be beneficial.
  • Advanced Security Features: Some third-party antivirus solutions offer advanced features like better phishing protection, more sophisticated firewall options, a VPN, a password manager, or specialized malware detection that goes beyond what Windows Defender offers.
  • Preference for Detailed Customization: If you prefer granular control over your security settings or need detailed security logs and reports, third-party software often provides more options than Windows Defender.

When Windows Defender Might Be Sufficient

  • General Use: For users who primarily use their computer for general activities like browsing, office work, and entertainment, and who practice safe browsing habits, Windows Defender could provide adequate protection.
  • Regular Updates and Maintenance: If you keep your Windows 11 system and software regularly updated, the risks are significantly reduced, as Windows Defender is also updated through this process.
  • Integrated Security Solution: Windows Defender is tightly integrated with the Windows operating system, providing a seamless and efficient security experience without the potential compatibility issues that can arise with third-party software.


For the average private user, Windows Defender in Windows 11 offers sufficient anti-malware protection, especially when supplemented with safe computing practices. However, it lacks advanced features like a cross-platform password manager and VPN. Both significantly increase your online security and privacy.

On top of that, if your online behavior puts you at higher risk or if you require specific advanced features, investing in a third-party antivirus solution could be a wise choice. It’s always a balance between the level of security you need and the convenience and ease of use you prefer.

What security features does Windows 11 have?

Windows 11 includes:

  • Windows Defender Antivirus: Real-time protection against malware.
  • Firewall & Network Protection: Monitors network activity and blocks suspicious traffic.
  • Device Security: Hardware security features like TPM and Secure Boot.
  • Account Protection: Focuses on user account security, encouraging strong credentials.
  • Ransomware Protection: Built-in ransomware detection and recovery tools.

Below, we’ll discuss each in more detail.

How does Windows Defender Antivirus work?

Windows Defender Antivirus in Windows 11 operates as a comprehensive, real-time malware protection system. Key functionalities include:

  • Real-Time Protection: Constantly scans for malware (viruses, spyware, ransomware, etc.), employing heuristics and machine learning.
  • Cloud-Delivered Protection: Utilizes cloud-based analytics to quickly detect new threats.
  • Signature-Based Detection: Regularly updated virus definitions help identify known threats.
  • Behavioral Analysis: Identifies suspicious behavior typical of malware, even for new, unknown variants.
  • Integration with Other Windows Security Features: Works in tandem with other system defenses like firewall, browser controls, and more for layered protection.


How does Firewall & Network Protection work?

The Firewall & Network Protection in Windows 11 is a key component that guards the system against unauthorized network traffic. Its functions include:

  • Monitoring Inbound and Outbound Traffic: Blocks potentially harmful network traffic and unauthorized access attempts.
  • Network Profiles: Different settings for public, private, and domain networks to customize protection based on network trustworthiness.
  • Advanced Rules: Allows users to set custom rules for how specific apps and services can communicate over the network.
  • Integration with Windows Security: Seamlessly works with other security features to provide holistic protection.


How does Device Security work?

Device Security in Windows 11 focuses on hardware-based security features. It includes:

  • TPM (Trusted Platform Module): Enhances security by providing hardware-level encryption capabilities.
  • Secure Boot: Ensures that only trusted software with a proper signature can boot, preventing rootkits and other low-level malware.
  • Core Isolation and Memory Integrity: Protects critical core processes and memory from tampering, using virtualization-based security technologies.


How does Account Protection work?

Account Protection in Windows 11 is designed to safeguard user accounts. It encompasses:

  • Windows Hello: Offers biometric logins (facial recognition, fingerprint) for enhanced security over traditional passwords.
  • Dynamic Lock: Automatically locks your device when a paired Bluetooth device is out of range.
  • Microsoft Account Sign-in Options: Promotes the use of strong passwords, PINs, and also encourages two-factor authentication (2FA) for added security.


How does Ransomware Protection work?

Ransomware Protection in Windows 11 is a critical feature that defends against this particularly damaging type of malware. It includes:

  • Controlled Folder Access: Prevents unauthorized applications from modifying protected folders.
  • Recovery: Integration with OneDrive for backing up files, allowing recovery in case of a ransomware attack.
  • Real-Time Detection: Windows Defender Antivirus is equipped to identify and halt ransomware attacks in progress.


What security features does Windows 11 not have?

While Windows 11 offers a robust security framework, it lacks certain specialized features that are often sought in complex or specific security scenarios:

  • Specialized Threat Protection: Third-party antivirus software often provides more advanced anti-phishing, anti-spam, and other specialized threat protection mechanisms than those natively available in Windows 11. These anti-phishing tools will protect you from cybercriminals attempting to steal your personal data via malicious emails, text messages, or websites.
  • VPN (Virtual Private Network): Windows 11 does not include a built-in, cross-platform VPN solution. VPNs are critical for securing internet connections, especially in scenarios involving remote work or accessing sensitive data over public networks. Third-party VPNs offer features like end-to-end encryption, server location choices, and cross-platform compatibility (including mobile devices), which are not native to Windows 11.
  • Password Manager: While Windows 11 has some basic password management capabilities (like credential storage), it lacks a full-fledged password manager. Dedicated password managers provide features like password generation, secure storage, cross-platform syncing, and often include additional security measures like two-factor authentication, which are not inherent to Windows 11.

In summary, while Windows 11 provides a solid foundation for security, certain scenarios and advanced requirements necessitate the integration of third-party solutions. These solutions, such as EDR systems, granular enterprise controls, specialized threat protection, cross-OS VPNs, and comprehensive password managers, fill the gaps in Windows 11’s security offerings, ensuring a more rounded and robust defense against a wide array of digital threats.

What are the best security practices for Windows 11?

  • Regular Updates: Keep Windows and software updated.
  • Use Strong Passwords and MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication).
  • Regular Backups: Protect against data loss from ransomware or hardware failure.
  • Be Cautious with Emails and Downloads: Avoid phishing and malicious downloads.
  • Utilize Built-in Security Features: Properly configure Windows Defender and other security settings.
  • Consider Additional Security Software: Based on your specific needs or enterprise requirements.

Other questions

What antivirus software have we tested?

We have tested 39 antivirus software from 28 brands. These range from free antivirus programs, to entry-level paid antivirus programs, mid-range paid antivirus software, and full-featured internet security suites.

These are the programs we recommend:

We believe that Norton Antivirus Plus is the best entry-level antivirus software and Norton 360 Deluxe the best antivirus all around.

If you have a specific operating system that you would like to protect, we probably have a dedicated antivirus comparison for it:

Click the links to be taken to your comparison of choice.

Does this page exist in other languages?

Yes, at SoftwareLab, we write in 11 languages:

Click the links to be taken to the language of your choice.

What sources and tools have we used?

Below are the sources and tools we’ve used to test the antivirus software:

Click the links to be taken to the source or tool of your choice.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor has tested 39 antivirus programs and 30 VPN services, and holds a Cybersecurity Graduate Certificate from Stanford University.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.