Guide to buying antivirus software

In today’s digital age, keeping your computer safe from online threats is essential. Antivirus software acts as a shield, protecting your valuable data and personal information from viruses, malware, and cybercriminals.

If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry, we’re here to help you choose the right antivirus software, whether you’re using a Windows PC or a Mac.

Understanding Antivirus Software

Think of antivirus software as your computer’s immune system. It guards your computer against harmful software that can sneak in through emails, downloads, or even websites you visit.

Antivirus software scans, detects, and removes these threats, keeping your computer healthy and secure.

Compatibility with Your Operating System

The first step in choosing antivirus software is ensuring it’s compatible with your operating system. For Windows users, look for software that specifically mentions ‘Windows compatibility’, while Mac users should search for software designed for macOS.

Essential features to look for

Real-time scanning

This feature continuously checks files and programs for threats as you use your computer, providing instant protection.

Malware detection

Make sure the software can detect and remove a wide range of malware, including viruses, spyware, and ransomware.

Web-browsing protection

Choose software that can automatically block dangerous websites and warn you about potential online threats before they strike.

Automatic updates

Cyber threats are constantly evolving, so regular updates are crucial. But constantly remembering to update your software is a pain.

Look for software that updates itself automatically to stay ahead of new dangers.


A firewall acts as a barrier between your computer and the internet, preventing unauthorised access. Most modern antivirus software suites will come with this feature as an added layer of protection.

Customer Support

In case you encounter any issues or have questions, good customer support is essential. Choose antivirus software that offers various support channels, such as phone, email, or online chat. This way, you can get the help you need when you need it.

Consider the cost

While many antivirus software options are available, some are free, while others require a subscription fee.

Free options can offer basic protection, but paid versions often include more advanced features and better customer support. But the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ certainly applies in the cybersecurity space.

Best Windows antivirus software

Norton Antivirus

Known for its strong protection and user-friendly interface, Norton offers various packages catering to different needs.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

This software consistently ranks high in independent tests for its strong malware detection and minimal performance impact.

Windows Defender

This is built into Windows and provides basic protection. It’s a good starting point, but you might want to explore additional options for more comprehensive security.

Best Mac antivirus software

For Mac users, your system is generally less susceptible to viruses, but it’s still essential to have antivirus protection. Consider these options:

Intego Mac Internet Security X9

Designed specifically for Mac, this software offers real-time scanning and protection against Mac-specific threats.

Norton 360 for Mac

Norton’s Mac version provides excellent protection against malware, along with features like a firewall and a password manager.

Malwarebytes for Mac

This user-friendly software focuses on malware removal and is a good addition to your Mac’s security measures.

Whether you’re a Windows or Mac user, having reliable antivirus software will provide you with peace of mind and a safer online experience.

Which antivirus software do you use? When was the last time you updated? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Who is calling you from that number?

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. You must be joking putting Norton at the top od the list? On my desktop Microsoft disabled Norton with a statement that it was slowing down the computer. It was the most intrusive software I have ever used constantly sending messages and claiming if I wanted certain issues resolved I would need a further subscription. Fortunately my computer “manager” removed Norton during a routine maintenance session and replaced it with Kaspersky which I had previously used until the invasion of Ukraine. To have such intelligent, unintrusive, user friendly protection back is a relief.

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