The best antivirus software for 2021

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Now that so many of us are working at home and using personal devices for work projects, it’s harder than ever to protect yourself and your information online. Your security quiver needs plenty of arrows with all of that increased time online, including a  to keep track of login credentials, a secure VPN to protect your internet traffic and an end-to-end encrypted messaging app to stop others from spying on your communications. And, if you’re running Windows, that list should also include antivirus tools such as malware protection and antivirus software that monitors downloads and observes your system’s activity for suspicious behavior and malicious software. An insidious program can easily wind up on your machine, and that can lead to chaos.

If you’re looking for the best malware protection and antivirus software, here’s the first thing you need to know: Microsoft Defender Antivirus — the free internet security software and virus protection program that comes with Windows 10 and until recently was called Windows Defender — does a decent job of protecting your PC and offering internet security. (Amazingly, Microsoft provided no built-in protection for Windows back in the days of Windows 98 and XP.) Using Microsoft Defender for threat detection should be your starting point for the best antivirus security on Windows, and most people will find they don’t need to go any further when it comes to nailing down an antivirus solution.