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Best Antivirus Software for 2022

Antivirus software has come a long way over the past few decades as people’s lives move further online and as malware grows more complex. The best antivirus software combines malware protection, secure browsing and monitored downloads to stop suspicious behavior and malicious acts.

Finding good antivirus software is especially important for people using Windows operating systems such as Windows 10 and Windows 11. Windows devices make up three out of every four laptop or desktop operating systems, according to February data from Statcounter, which paints a bigger target on those devices. Windows-targeted malware has a larger base of devices to infect, giving it more potential in the eyes of cybercriminals.

But don’t worry — we’re here to help you find the antivirus software that best fits your needs. These picks of the best antivirus programs are a combination of recommendations from independent third-party labs AV-Test, AV-Comparatives and SE Labs, as well as CNET’s own hands-on testing. We regularly research and test software to determine which product leads the pack, and we update this list periodically based on those tests.

Note that antivirus software is only a piece of the cybersecurity puzzle. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, and the more steps you take to lock down your online security, the safer you’ll be. A secure virtual private network can help protect your internet privacy, and a password manager will help you create and keep track of more secure login credentials. These tools are all essential in protecting your personal information.

Our recommendations

Whether you’re looking for free antivirus protection or willing to pay for an antivirus program that offers more security features, we have you covered. Here’s where to start when looking for the best antivirus software for your specific needs.

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