Antivirus software is a crucial layer of protection for your devices as well as your privacy online. They scan files, blocks cyberattacks and help you prevent malware infections such as ransomware or phishing. But not all antivirus software are created equal, and some are more expensive than others. Free options can be an excellent option for those who are on a budget, but paying for an extensive program that includes security tools and features is the best choice.

The top antivirus software providers offer low-cost multi-device plans that can be used on multiple operating systems and platforms including Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS. Some offer a 60-day, guarantee of no-risk money-back. Paid antivirus programs are also designed to detect and stop new threats as they emerge and keep your devices protected in real-time. Certain programs are vulnerable to slowing computers and annoying ads. They have also been discovered to sell the user’s data to third parties.

The best free antivirus software comes with additional features that enhance your security online, including an VPN and password manager. If you’re looking for more advanced features like parental control and identity theft protection, consider a paid subscription with a year-long plan which gives you peace of mind. These programs may cost slightly more than the free versions, however, they’re worth it because of the superior security features and peace of mind they provide. The top paid antivirus programs for Mac also come with a free trial or money-back guarantee so you can try them before making a purchase.