We live in a world where more and more people are connecting to the internet and while this surely brings us all together, it also means that an ever-increasing slew of digital menaces lurk around the online space. With Best Reviews you’ll know the ins and outs of antivirus and internet security suites, their greatest features, and all the details that often remain hidden. Our comparisons will highlight all the pros and cons of the software we test and write about, helping you to make the best cost-efficient choice and find out how to enjoy free trials and score discount coupons.
The Best Internet Security Suites of 2020
This versatile software is exactly what an internet security suite should be. It was designed for all kinds of users with an intuitive interface that combines sturdy preset configurations with a wide range of customizable settings. When it comes to the suite’s antivirus, TotalAV doesn’t ease on the smallest detail and its 24/7 real-time protection means that manual scans – whether full or quick ones – are only required from time to time. When running a system scan, though, the latter type runs silently in the background and gives the user a categorized report of all detected threats in less than five minutes.
There’s also an entire section dedicated to disk cleaning and computer performance, but the most interesting features are related to web security. TotalAV offers a password manager, a firewall, and even a VPN, all of them comfortably integrated into the actual software and ditching any separate subscriptions. The free ad blockers are the only other tools that do require the minimal effort of a separate installation as they’re compatible with a handful of different browsers. Better yet, TotalAV is available for both computers and mobile so your entire life can be protected.
2. Bitdefender Internet Security
Even though Bitdefender Internet Security is exclusive to Windows and hides some of its computer optimization tools behind a higher-tier product, there are not many solutions as good as this. First of all, the tools available with the software are displayed in an elegant dashboard that can be customized to make it even more intuitive to each person. For instance, users can either rely on preset profiles that automatically alter the software’s behavior according to different modes, or manually create their custom ones and then pin them to the app’s front page for quick access.
These profiles are one of the most interesting characteristics of Bitdefender Internet Security as they’re the best way to know the effects of the different features. Among some of the most cherished are a firewall, a safe online bank management tool, a password manager, and even a VPN, even though the latter requires a separate subscription. And when it comes to protection, it’s great to see a very comprehensive antivirus that performs exceptionally well and even has some extra features that are not so common such as webcam protection, file encryption, and more.
3. Avast Internet Security
Avast is one of the most reputable companies when it comes to online security, having developed useful tools such as a premium VPN and a registry cleaner. But one of the most interesting is Internet Security, a complete and intuitive suite that invites users to shape the software to their unique personal needs thanks to a great level of customization. From the simple scheduling of antivirus scans to editing settings that alter the behavior of the software, Avast Internet Security is suitable for all kinds of Windows customers looking for protection, privacy, and performance, which are the Czech company’s pillars.
On top of quick and smooth scans that have minimal impact on performance, the program also provides a handful of interesting extra features such as active protection against ransomware and public Wi-Fi, a tool for testing files in a safe environment, and much more. The company’s VPN and registry cleaner are also fully integrated into the security suite, too, even though they require separate subscriptions.
How to Choose the Right Internet Security Suite
Deciding on a product can be quite hard, but fortunately there are some key aspects to look for before confirming your purchase.
Device Support and Number of Systems
It’s pretty common seeing companies offering multiple plans according to the number of devices supported. The maximum is usually ten, which means that a single subscription can protect an entire family or a small office. This is often pricey, obviously, but that’s not always bad news when accounting for all the features that each user can enjoy, not to mention that the cost can always be divided by the number of in-use devices, too. Depending on the length of the plan, this can lower the monthly per device cost to only $1 or less, and if the software happens to be compatible with multiple platforms – like Windows and Mac computers or Android and iOS devices – then all the better.
Extra Features, Reviews, and Free Trials
An internet security suite brings a whole other level of protection, so it’s important to know exactly which tools are offered. As a general rule, most suites of this kind invest in antivirus protection, and therefore it is often up to the extra features to decide the game. Our reviews are a crucial help in this regard, as they save our readers the time and effort of navigating through different websites trying to find all the necessary details. Aggressive marketing strategies of certain products – that are often not actually that good – can lead to confusion and frustration, so our reviews are carefully executed by experts who test the different components of a product. Also, we invite other users to review the software themselves, which is a great way to know the opinion of the wider Best Reviews community.
We make sure to provide all the information about free trials, too, which will help you make your own conclusions. Many services offer great discounts as well, and in these cases we present this information to help save you some money and make a purchasing decision. And, when in doubt between two similar products, you’ll find our accurate side-by-side comparisons will surely help in making a final decision.
Antivirus Software vs Internet Security Suites
The foundations of antivirus software and internet security suites are essentially the same, but both products are actually somewhat different from one another. In fact, it’s quite common to see companies creating both types of solutions, but while antivirus solutions are developed purely for that purpose, the protection provided by an internet security suite is much greater. That’s the main difference between the two and, as such, it’s ultimately each person’s unique needs that ends up deciding which is the best choice.
While antivirus software typically tends to be cheaper, they won’t do more than providing safety mechanisms to prevent malware from infecting the device and removing those that aren’t blocked. This means that they’re a great choice for those looking primarily for protection since they won’t need to waste money on tools they won’t make use of. However, other consumers care about their online privacy and computer performance and will find security suites to be the better choice as they feature all the great benefits of an antivirus solution and even bring additional tools for extended protection, such as Wi-Fi protection, VPN tools, password managers, and more.
Free Internet Security
The ability to use internet security suites for free depends heavily on a company’s decision to provide free trials. In this sense, it’s important to address the fact that even if a provider seems unwilling to let its customers use a product without paying, most of them do at least include money-back guarantees that can be used for risk-free testing. Even though it’s required to pay in advance, users can always request a refund within the given time limit, which is normally set to 30 days.
But some companies do still provide actual free trials that let users enjoy the whole range of features for a limited time, but there are even free versions of the final product available with features restricted until a payment is made. Speaking of which, it’s important to know exactly which tools are part of the package, since sometimes it may be possible to obtain free trials via alternative routes. A subscription to a simple antivirus solution may include a free trial for the company’s VPN or password manager, for instance, so you’re already getting a taste of the most complete program, even if it is in separate pieces.
Internet Security 101
What Is an Internet Security Suite?
The name gives it away, really, as an internet security suite is a collection of some of the most important online safety features in a single product. Their main component is the antivirus function that protects against the smallest virus infections to devastating malware, and can even scan USBs and other external drives. But thanks to all the extra tools, such a service goes way beyond that. Many internet security suites come with their own password managers, firewalls, safe online bank management tools, VPNs, as well as Wi-Fi and webcam protection. In turn, each of these have their unique added purpose in the package and are used together for the most complete protection and privacy setup. Additionally, data shredders and other computer optimization features are also often implemented.
How Does an Internet Security Suite Work?
Most internet security suites nowadays feature 24/7 automatic protection and reliable preset configurations, almost dismissing any user interaction at all. In fact, the only aspect that requires input from the customer is the installation process, so even the least tech-savvy can rest assured that the program is working properly, even if they’re not directly interacting with it. Scans are automatically scheduled by the program and, should they not be ideal, the user is warned before they start. The same is true for the in-built VPNs, which can trigger automatically whenever a new Wi-Fi network is detected. Still, some interaction will be required at some point and is even recommended, and because each customer is different, companies develop their products with a decent amount of customization.
Anyone can choose whether an antivirus scan is quicker and less in-depth, therefore, or if it takes its time searching every corner of the computer. Every function within an internet security suite allows this same level of control with the user, from choosing the fate of post-scan results to altering settings that change the behavior of the software.
Why an Internet Security Suite?
Not only do internet security suites have all the benefits of comprehensive antivirus protection, but they also bring a full set of features for extended protection, privacy, and even computer optimization. With strong firewalls, ad blockers, and VPNs you’ll be free to browse the web without fearing an attack or having your traffic exposed, while performing regular scans of your device will ensure it is clean and healthy from any other menace.
At a time when multiple unique passwords are needed across a whole range of services – including your own online bank account – it’s becoming impossible to remember them all. But storing them with built-in browser password managers can be quite dangerous, so internet security suites can also help in that matter as they feature password managers and tools for a safe online banking management.
But best of all is how internet security suites comfortably gather all these functions into a single program that are often compatible with multiple platforms and operating systems.