The best antivirus replacement for Windows and Mac monitors your devices, identifies malware and eliminates it before it causes damage or steals personal data. It also prevents the entry of new malware into your computer. Antivirus programs protect you against viruses, Trojans and worms. They also guard against spyware, adware and adware.

The program analyzes traffic and files to detect malicious code and detects signs of infection. The software can also alert you to potentially harmful downloads and block harmful websites. Many antiviruses offer a network fire wall, a virtual private networking (VPN) and password manager and parental controls. Certain antiviruses are free, while others require an annual subscription.

As opposed to legacy software that relies on signature detection, modern antivirus solutions use machine learning and behavior analysis to detect threats. They are particularly effective in blocking zero-day attacks and ransomware threats.

Antivirus programs can also prevent viruses from self-replicating while your operating system is running. To prevent this, they use the boot scan command, which shuts down the OS and examines your hard drive for infected data.

Bitdefender, Avast and Norton are the most highly rated antivirus software solutions. They have exceptional rate of detection of malware. They’ve earned top marks from independent testing labs like AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, and SE Labs and offer robust real-time security. They are available for Windows, macOS and Android. Avira is a different Kaspersky competitor that provides top security against malware without draining your processor. It’s also available for Windows, macOS, and Android and comes with a selection of other cybersecurity tools.