Internet Security & Antivirus Software

by Andreas RiveraLast Modified: March 26, 2018

Intro
Best Picks
Reviews
State of the Industry
Pricing
Negotiation Tips
Antivirus: What Should You Look for
Internet Security: What to Look for
What We Assessed, What We Found
What Does Email Security Software Do?
Common Internet Security Questions & Answers
Map
Services

The Best Internet Security & Antivirus Software For 2018

Just as you secure your business's premises with locks, alarms and surveillance, you need to ensure your business is secured online. Even if your business is a brick-and-mortar shop, you use computers and the internet every day for a variety of reasons. You may not realize it, but you can be a vulnerable target of cybercriminals who will go to great lengths to steal your data.

Having a software solution to secure your business from online threats is essential, and there are several tiers of security you can implement to guard against malware, which is the leading form of cybercrime according to the Ponemon Institute, an organization that conducts independent research on privacy and data protection. Malware consists of viruses, Trojans, rootkits, ransomware and dozens of other varieties.

Antimalware software is designed to detect malicious programs and remove them. It does this by drawing from a database of known malware signatures that is constantly updated with evolving threats. It then scans your computers, seeking out new threats and quarantining them, if found. This, of course, depends on whether the malware in question has previously been discovered and added to the database. More advanced programs can identify suspicious code and flag it as malware. This method is more protective than database backchecking, but it can result in false positives.

Best Picks

Small Business
Security Suite
Free Antivirus
Email Encryption
Kaspersky

Best for Small Business Antivirus

Kaspersky

Kaspersky has everything you could need in antivirus software and goes well beyond standard features, with specific security elements that push it ahead of other antivirus software products.

Kaspersky offers the very best protection without compromising computer speed, plus it supports advanced security options and management components.

Bitdefender

Best Internet Security Suite

Bitdefender

Bitdefender protects against known and unknown malware without significantly slowing your computer as it runs. Bitdefender Internet Security excels at detecting and removing internet threats and uses few computer resources to do so.

This program goes beyond basic antivirus protection and includes three additional big security features: a personal firewall, cloud antispam and parental controls. This firewall, in addition to the one Microsoft includes with Windows, creates a double layer of protection against malware threats.

Avast

Best Free Antivirus

Avast

Avast Antivirus has a strong feature list, though it may cause your computer to run slower when performing malware scans. If you only need one or two computers covered with basic protection, this is a viable option.

The software includes a host of useful features, good detection rates and 24/7 phone support that helps make it a great budget choice. It is compatible with all versions of Windows and consistently rates high for virus protection.

HP SecureMail

Best Email Encryption

HP SecureMail

HPE SecureMail is our pick for the best software solution to protect your communications, proprietary data and personally identifying information (PII). This email security service provides end-to-end protection that is compatible with all data loss prevention (DLP), security and business applications.

HPE does not require cumbersome key management, yet it provides security that is stringent enough to meet financial and health regulations. HP SecureMail is available in cloud, on premises or in hybrid models. The cloud version is hosted by HP and is a fully functional SaaS service with the option to use its connected gateway tool to integrate with onsite DLP, security, archive and ediscovery solutions.

Reviews

Below are all of our reviews for internet security and related categories. Our coverage includes reviews of the best small business internet security suites, small business antivirus and email encryption software. Check out more than 20 additional reviews.

Featured Service

State of the Industry

Cybersecurity is a never-ending, back-and-forth battle between criminals and security developers. Unfortunately, there's no silver bullet solution to ending cybercrime. Computer and software developers continue to change and advance the technology, and there will always be those who find new ways to exploit it for criminal activity.  

According to the Ponemon Institute, cybercrime cost U.S. businesses an average of $21.2 million in 2017, and the global cost for cybercrime has risen by 62 percent in the last five years. These costs result in lost productivity, damage to equipment, not to mention financial fallout resulting from lawsuits brought by customers (involving a breach of customers' personal information).  

Large corporations may have the resources to recover from a major data breach, but small businesses suffer tremendous losses from which they may never recover. Large business breaches make the headlines, but according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, small and midsize businesses are the primary target of hackers. Smaller businesses don't always have the budget to put up proper safeguards, and many small business owners don't see cyberattacks as a threat.  

Ransomware is a growing problem. This form of malware hijacks your computer or network, encrypting data and locking you and other users out of the system until a ransom is paid. Experts advise that you should never pay the ransom, as it encourages thieves to target you again; however, some businesses feel like they don't have a choice. According to a report by Symantec, the average ransomware payout in 2016 was more than $1,000  – a large sum but not unreasonable for most businesses, which is why these attacks are working.  

Further, it's not uncommon for a business that has paid the ransom to still not receive their data back. Once ransomware is activated, there are few solutions to getting around it due to the amount of encryption involved, which is why preventing it is important.

Pricing

The baseline solution for protecting your business from online threats is small business antivirus software that comes with multiple licenses. You will likely pay at least $100 for a one-year license for five computers. You can pay for additional licenses, with many companies allowing you to only pay for what you need.  

Keep in mind that these are just antivirus/antimalware programs. If you're looking for a more complete security solution, many internet security companies offer more complete coverage and tools, such as identity theft protection, password managers, virtual browsers, and DNS redirecting, to prevent and fix many malware issues. Expect to pay at least double the amount you would spend on stand-alone antivirus solutions.  

Another advanced tool is email encryption software, which protects sensitive information sent via email, making their contents unreadable to any hackers attempting to intercept them. These are premium programs and usually cost at least $100.  

If you're on a budget and only have one or two computers you need to protect, there are free antivirus programs that provide moderate protection from low-level threats. This is only recommended if you don't store pertinent financial information on your computer or if the information being stored on that computer is not essential to your business's everyday operations.

Negotiation Tips

When shopping for an internet security solution, take advantage of free trial periods. Use the trial to test and evaluate the following: ·      

  • Performance. Antivirus/Antimalware can take up a lot of your computer's resources when active, let alone when it's performing a system scan. Do your research see how the software will use up your processing power, as it could affect performance of your other applications.
  • Ease of Use. The best programs are ones that do their jobs without requiring much input from you. It should be easy to schedule regular scans, plus it should provide you with important notifications and alerts. If it does detect malware, it should walk you through the process of fixing the issue.
  • Security Features. Besides active internet protection, investigate the program's security features. Some programs come with unique options to further protect your data such as anti-theft capabilities, firewalls or email scanners.

Look for companies that offer rewards or discounts for renewing licenses or buying multiple licenses; this will lower the cost of your annual renewal fees.

What Should You Look for in Antivirus Software

Protection A solid antivirus software should detect all common malware and effectively catch emerging malware. It is customizable and easy to configure, so you can set up specific security requests. You should look for antivirus software that can do the most for your budget, including provide email protection. Look for a product that has the most useful functionality for your business needs.

Performance
Look for a product that won't slow down your computer. The last thing you want is for employees' performance to suffer because the software is making their computers run much slower than they're used to. Look at the products' AV-TEST results in performance to determine which are fastest. Also, look for management features that help you keep a handle on your network. The software should have both cloud and on-premise hosting options and a centralized management dashboard or portal where you can view and manage all your connected devices from one spot.

Usability
Consider the software's usability: Is it easy to install? Will you need to perform additional configuration or require IT services to get it up and running? You should look for software that is both easy to use and requires low maintenance. Also, look for a product with as few false positives as possible, which can decrease disruption to your employees.

Help & Support
Also consider the manufacturer's help-and-support options. Some companies charge a fee for IT support, and if that is not something you want to deal with, narrow your search to companies that offer help 24/7 or without charge.

Pricing
Business is a lot of number crunching, so price is another important consideration. Many manufacturers offer discounts for purchasing multiple-year subscriptions instead of just one year. Also, some products don't offer protection for just one or two workstations; they may start at three or five licenses at a minimum. If you're not sure about a product, use the free trial. Every manufacturer offers this so you can decide if it's worth buying.

Platform Compatibility
Consider the software's compatibility with your devices. For the most part, this probably won't be an issue. But if you are running an older version of Windows, you should make sure it is supported. For example, the antivirus may support desktop XP but not Windows Server XP. Also, if you have Linux or Mac, which are less commonly supported, verify before you buy. An important note, just because the software supports your operating system, be it Mac, Linux or Windows, doesn't guarantee that it will support your device. You have to verify both the OS and the version of your OS. You should particularly note this if you are looking for compatibility with mobile phones or tablets.

Small Business Internet Security Suites: What to Look For

The first advantage of internet security for small business over a group of individual internet security licenses is that these suites include the ability to manage the software centrally from one PC or server. This means that you do not have to depend on your employees to keep the security on your company PCs up to date, and you'll know right away if someone attempts to bypass your internet security. Many business internet security software also allow you to control what websites your employees visit, what data they share (unknowingly or knowingly), and to remotely erase data on stolen or lost laptops. The group of small business security products we reviewed has the ability to provide small network security across a range of PCs, Macs, business servers and mobile devices.

The best small business internet security suites help protect your business from debilitating malware and expensive data loss. The days of taking internet and company security causally are long past. Nowadays, all internet-connected computers and servers are targeted by those deploying ransomware or seeking to steal personal information such as credit card numbers, bank data and social security numbers. In addition to dealing with paralyzed computers and the loss of personal information, you also have to worry about safekeeping your employees' and customers' information. Most states require companies to report to the state if they suspect compromised data, and many businesses are subject to steep fines for compromising customer data with lax security protocols.

The small business security solutions that provide a competitive level of internet protection, are easy to install and are minimally intrusive received our highest ratings. All the products we reviewed include a central administrative console for managing protected devices and have the ability to provide reports and event logs. We also looked at additional security features such as file encryptors, data backup tools and data loss prevention (DLP) tools.

These business security solutions' capabilities vary, and not all products protect all types of devices. To help you find a compatible security solution, we include full hardware specifications with our reviews.

Core Security 
We compared the core security features and considered a range of third-party test scores for these specific products or their antivirus counterparts. Security elements we compared include internet protection, the ability to detect and remove malware, firewalls or network/Wi-Fi protection, and email protection. We also evaluated whether the security suites provide social media protection, chat/IM security and protection from malicious downloads. The products we rated the highest provide a full range of protection and passed numerous third-party antimalware tests with above average scores.

Management Tools
All the products we reviewed include a central management console that controls the security status of protected devices such as PCs, Macs, servers and mobile devices. The best management dashboards allow you to view security events, monitor license statuses, schedule scans and manage updates. Some also control users' internet access, block/allow applications and remotely wipe lost or stolen laptops and mobile phones. Some products run these admin tools from a server, and others from a PC.

Resource Usage
A common complaint about security software is that it slows down systems or interferes annoyingly. When this happens, IT managers become irritated and employees are tempted to disable or bypass the security software. We compared multiple performance tests to determine how much these security products might slow down performance. To help us compare products expected resource usage, we used the average as a baseline and rated all products as faster than or slower than the average. Keep in mind that newer systems will experience little noticeable slow down, but if you need to protect older machines with less than 1GB of RAM, security software's resource usage is a major consideration.

Ease of Installation
Most small business owners are not IT specialists, and therefore require a simple-to-install security solution that is also easy to manage and deploy. We compared the process of installing the software as well as whether it can help with installation by searching for conflicting software, endpoints and compatible components. Many products also provide tools for removing conflicting security software and suggest default configurations. The best security suites also provide straightforward, systematic installation instructions.

Additional Feature
We listed various additional features that provide extra security or DLP tools. Additional features include the ability to encrypt files, tools for erasing files and data backup tools. We also considered whether the software includes a rescue CD and whether it has the ability to run on a compromised machine. Added extras such as these can help minimize data loss and prevent leaks of sensitive information.

Small Business Antivirus Software: What We Assessed, What We Found

Testing antivirus software can be tricky since you need a large number of computers, a variety of platforms and access to harmful malware, so our evaluation and scoring took into account test results from AV-TEST, a third-party agency recognized for their methods and rankings. AV-TEST performs tests all year long, publishing results every two months, so you always have recent data to go on, and they also use thousands of test scenarios to get an accurate reading.

AV-TEST scores and ranks software in three categories: protection, performance and usability. Multiple tests evaluate these categories, hence the scores. Protection discusses the actual security performance, meaning how well does the software detect and block threats? Performance is a misleading category title because it doesn't actually score the software based on how well it works; instead, this category is about speed. This category is concerned with how the software affects a computer's performance. It tracks a computer's speed before and after installation. Further tests involve running a series of common computer functions, like copying files, and clocking the time difference it takes your computer to complete the task with and without the software installed. Usability evaluates false positive results and the number of times the software misidentifies a safe site or application as a hazard.

In our testing, we installed the software on our test computers, scored the ease of installation, verified product specifications and functions and gathered user experience from each product.

Small Business Antivirus Software: Standard and Advanced

Within the category, there are standard and advanced antivirus products. Think of it like gold, silver and bronze; many manufacturers have tiers of products that go up in cost for premium or advanced functions. You may not need the advanced functions of the top-tier products, though, so before buying, be sure what you're paying for is what you really need. It's easy to pick the best and fanciest product available, thinking it will secure you, but you have to follow up with the product's features and specifications to know whether it will truly work for your business.

There's nothing wrong with standard products as long as you are making sure they fit your business needs. If you don't need email protection or a file shredder, don't pay for those features; go for a standard program instead. You can think of Top Ten Reviews' product lineup as a pageant of brands, all of which are reputable and sufficient. If the featured product is exactly what you need, that's great; if not, check out that brand's other products and explore their various tiers of functionality. Pick the best small businesses antivirus software for your business.

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What Does Email Security Software Do?

Email security and encryption software does more than just encrypt emails. Depending on the solution, you can send compliant email transmissions, thwart data loss, secure proprietary information and instill client confidence. In addition, imposed encryption points range from one-click options to enforced policy-based encryption methods. Although many industries in the past required faxing of sensitive information, nowadays many email encryption services provide compliant encrypted email options that are even more secure than traditional faxing and much more convenient.

Beyond email security, secure email software also provides tools to help with compliance, legal inquiries and tracking. The best email security software provides an administration console, compliance reports, sortable email logs, email trackers, email expiration dating, and archiving technology. Many are also compatible with all email types, DLP filters, security software and mobile email.

To learn more about what email security services can offer check out our top rated products. See HP SecureMail, if you are looking to integrate email encryption with your established business applications. For exceptional ease of use from admin to recipient, see DataMotion. If you are looking for DLP tools combined with email encryption, see Proofpoint

Common Internet Security and Antivirus Software Questions & Answers

Have an internet security or antivirus software question of your own?

The only way to prevent contact form spam is to not have a contact form. That doesn't work for most people, so the best we can do is reduce the amount of spam that is allowed to be submitted without making it too hard for real contacts. From a general security perspective, you want to reduce the number of bots and bad actors from reaching your site. A good security plugin like WordFence will help reduce unwanted visitors. I've had good success with using Contact Form 7 and the Contact Form 7...

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It is extremely important. Having worked at a company which managed 6 million domains (a domain parking company, Oversee.net) the amount of traffic we had to block due to compromised domains due to hacking, malware and other misc cyber related traffic was tremendous. I don't have a feel for the Entrepreneur side but the business side it is critical as from my personal experience it is a major issue. Also the more public the business the more chance of attacks. Also if it is a company which...

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There is no software that will magically fix everything. But here are some suggestions. 1. Run an anti-virus program constantly. You indicated you were "downloading your email" so I'm assuming that means you're accessing your email via Outlook. Make sure your anti-virus scanner has the option to check Outlook, many do, use it. Suggestions are AVG, Norton, McAfee, Malware Bytes. Remember not to open email and attachments from people you don't know. 2. Use the built in firewall that...

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Brandon: I would think the answer to your question would be determined by where the value of the "goods" associated with a business are housed. If a business has a physical location with physical goods, physical security and insurance are important. If a business is based on "information products" and those are housed locally, items like redundant backups, anti-virus/anti-malware protection, and errors and omission insurance becomes important. If the content is stored in the cloud, in...

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I have 58 WordPress websites to protect on a VPS managed server. While I don't rely exclusively on the Hosting company; they do backups and take other assorted security measures. I believe that iThemes WP-Better-Security and Wordfence are the top security plugins for WordPress so I use one or the other on every website I build. I'd like to pick and stick with one, but sometimes there are WordPress themes that simply won't cooperate. :-) Whichever plugin is used I remove the user name...

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Map

WinAntiRansom Software
801 W. Bay Dr
Largo, FL
WinAntiRansom Software
ARALOC Software
20 Valley Stream Pkwy
Malvern, PA
ARALOC Software
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Business Software
3979 Freedom Circle
Santa Clara, CA
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Business Software
Panda Cloud Office Protection Software
12 Santiago de Compostela Street
Bilbao,
Panda Cloud Office Protection Software
MiniTool’s Power Data Recovery
701 West Georgia Street
Vancouver,
MiniTool’s Power Data Recovery
My Digital Shield Software
300 Delaware Ave 
Wilmington, DE
My Digital Shield Software
Heimdal PRO Software
Vestergade 2
Copenhagen,
Heimdal PRO Software
McAfee Endpoint Protection Advanced for SMB Software
2821 Mission College Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA
McAfee Endpoint Protection Advanced for SMB Software
Distil Networks Bot Mitigation Software
100 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA
Distil Networks Bot Mitigation Software
Endpoint Protector Software
Str. Croitorilor 12-14
Cluj-Napoca,
Endpoint Protector Software
Flextivity Software
520 Pike St
Seattle, WA
Flextivity Software
Cloudbric Software
6220 Westpark Dr
Houston, TX
Cloudbric Software
BluKrypt Software
1600, Duane Avenue
Santa Clara, CA
BluKrypt Software
Vault America Cloud Backup & Recovery Software
One Post Office Square
Boston, MA
Vault America Cloud Backup & Recovery Software
Stratokey Cloud Data Protection Software
700 Lavaca Street
Austen, TX
Stratokey Cloud Data Protection Software
Symantec Endpoint Protection Software
350 Ellis Street
Mountain View, CA
Symantec Endpoint Protection Software
VIPRE Antivirus Business Software
311 Park Place Blvd
Clearwater, FL
VIPRE Antivirus Business Software
Stellar Phoenix Software
48 Bridge Street
Metuchen, NJ
Stellar Phoenix Software
ThisData Software
187 Queen St
Auckland,
ThisData Software
BullGuard
9 Devonshire Square
London,
BullGuard
Avira
330 Primrose Street
Burlingame, CA
Avira
Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security Advanced 9.0
1500 225 East John Carpenter Freeway
Irving, TX
Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security Advanced 9.0
Avast
2625 Broadway Street
Redwood City, CA
Avast
McAfee
5000 Headquarters Drive
Plano, TX
McAfee
AVG
4 Industrial Way West
Eatontown, NJ
AVG
Panda
C/Santiago de Compostela 12
Bilbao,
Panda
ESET
610 West Ash Street
San Diego, CA
ESET
Kaspersky
500 Unicorn Park
Woburn, MA
Kaspersky
Trend Micro Email Encryption
1500 225 East John Carpenter Freeway
Irving, TX
Trend Micro Email Encryption
DataMotion
200 Park Ave
Florham Park, NJ
DataMotion
Cryptzone
Drakegatan 7
Sweden,
Cryptzone
EdgeWave
4225 Executive SQ
La Jolla, CA
EdgeWave
Privato
455 Canyon Del Rey Boulevard
Monterey, CA
Privato
Symantec Encryption Desktop Corporate
350 Ellis Street
Mountain View, CA
Symantec Encryption Desktop Corporate
HP SecureMail
1501 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA
HP SecureMail
LuxSci
PO Box 326
Westwood, MA
LuxSci
Proofpoint
892 Ross Drive
Sunnyvale, CA
Proofpoint
Comodo
1255 Broad Street
Clifton Park, NJ
Comodo
F-Secure
111 West St. John Street
San Jose, CA
F-Secure
G Data
1075 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA
G Data

Services

List of 46Internet Security & Antivirus Software

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