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9 Best Antivirus Reddit Users Recommend in 2023

Staying protected against cyber threats is crucial in today‘s digital world. With so many options for antivirus software available, it can be challenging to determine which one is right for you and your devices. That‘s why turning to authentic user reviews and recommendations can provide valuable insights.

Reddit is home to many tech-savvy users who are eager to share their experiences and opinions on all things cybersecurity. In this guide, we‘ll explore some of the top antivirus programs recommended by Reddit users in 2023, along with an in-depth look at their key features, pros and cons.

Best Antivirus Reddit Users Recommend in 2023

Based on numerous Reddit discussions and threads, these are some of the most recommended antivirus software options:

1. Bitdefender

Bitdefender is highly regarded among Reddit users for its excellent protection, low system resource usage, and robust features. It offers multi-layered security through malware scanning, web protection, firewall, anti-phishing, and more.

Key features that Redditors appreciate include:

  • Real-time scanning for threats
  • Ransomware remediation tools
  • Secure VPN service
  • Password manager
  • Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android

"I‘ve used Bitdefender for 5 years now and never had any issues. Hardly notice any performance drag and their ransomware protection has saved me a couple of times when I accidentally clicked on some shady email links," commented one Reddit user.


  • Very effective at threat detection and prevention
  • Lightweight impact on system performance
  • Useful extra features like VPN and password manager


  • Can be more expensive than some competitors
  • Occasional false positives

2. Kaspersky

Kaspersky is frequently brought up by Redditors as a reliable antivirus choice. Users mention its strong real-time protection, low system requirements, and consistently high performance results in independent lab tests.

Notable features of Kaspersky include:

  • Real-time malware scanning
  • Firewall for preventing unauthorized access
  • Secure browser for online banking and shopping
  • Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS

"Kaspersky is hands down the best antivirus I‘ve used. Even the free version works better than a lot of paid competitors. Plus it‘s not a resource hog like some other antivirus programs," a Reddit user commented.


  • Very effective threat detection and prevention
  • Fast scanning with minimal impact on system
  • Free version available


  • Occasional false positives
  • No password manager or VPN included

3. Norton 360

Norton 360 receives positive feedback on Reddit for its all-around security coverage across various platforms. Users mention the 100% threat detection claim along with useful features like cloud backup and password manager.

Some key features of Norton 360 include:

  • Real-time monitoring for malware and network threats
  • Firewall and spam filter
  • 50GB cloud storage for backup
  • Password manager
  • Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android

"I used to be skeptical of Norton, but the newest version is leaps and bounds better than what they used to offer. Definitely feels like a robust security suite now," a Redditor commented.


  • Excellent malware detection rates
  • Useful extras like cloud backup and password manager
  • Wide platform availability


  • Can slow down system performance
  • Expensive compared to some options

4. Avast Antivirus

Many Reddit users recommend Avast Free Antivirus for its reliable core protection coupled with a free pricing tier. Avast offers essential security features even in the free version.

Some key details about Avast include:

  • Real-time scanning against malware threats
  • Browser protection against malicious sites
  • WiFi inspector detects vulnerabilities in your network
  • Free version available with essential protection
  • Paid upgrades available for more features

"Honestly the free version of Avast is plenty good enough for me. It catches all kinds of malware and I haven‘t had any problems," a Redditor explained.


  • Free version provides solid protection
  • Very user-friendly interface
  • Minimal impact on system performance


  • Occasional pop-up advertisements
  • Limited features compared to paid suites

5. McAfee Total Protection

McAfee is brought up frequently on Reddit for its identity monitoring services and excellent malware detection rates. Users also appreciate the intuitive dashboard for managing security settings.

Here are some of McAfee‘s key details:

  • Real-time antivirus scanning
  • Firewall blocks unauthorized network access
  • Identity monitoring services
  • Parental controls for managing children‘s devices
  • Available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS

"McAfee‘s identity theft protection really provides peace of mind, on top of the great antivirus features. It‘s worth the price for me," a Reddit user explained.


  • Very effective antivirus and malware prevention
  • Useful identity and parental control features
  • Straightforward user interface


  • Can slow system performance
  • Expensive compared to some competitors


ESET garners positive feedback on Reddit for its light system footprint, fast scanning, and highly customizable settings. Users mention it‘s easy to tailor ESET to your specific needs and preferences.

Notable features of ESET NOD32 include:

  • Real-time antivirus scanning
  • Anti-phishing tools protect against scams
  • Customizable heuristics to minimize false positives
  • Gamer mode to optimize system resources for gaming
  • Available for Windows and Android

"I‘m a big fan of ESET. Blazing fast scans and the customizable settings let me tweak it exactly how I want," a Redditor commented.


  • Very lightweight and fast
  • Highly customizable options
  • Strong on-demand and cloud-based scanning


  • Fairly expensive
  • No Mac or iOS support

7. Sophos Home Premium

Sophos Home Premium receives positive mentions on Reddit for its intuitive interface and inclusion of advanced extras like ransomware protection and parental controls.

Some key features of Sophos Home Premium:

  • Real-time antivirus scanning
  • Blocks ransomware and provides decryption tools
  • Parental controls to protect kids online
  • Available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android

"As a parent, I love how easy Sophos makes it to manage security settings on all our family‘s devices. Plus the antivirus itself is top-notch," shared one Reddit user.


  • Very user-friendly interface
  • Extra features like parental controls
  • Available for wide range of platforms


  • Can have significant impact on system performance
  • Occasional false positives

8. Malwarebytes Premium

Although not a full antivirus program, Malwarebytes Premium is highly recommended by Reddit users as a specialized malware removal tool. It works well in tandem with traditional antivirus software.

Key attributes of Malwarebytes Premium include:

  • Targeted scanning looks for malware and PUPs (potentially unwanted programs)
  • Real-time protection against ransomware
  • Browser guard blocks malicious and phishing sites
  • 14-day free trial available

"I use Malwarebytes alongside Windows Defender – great combo. MW catches a lot of stuff that slips by Defender," a Redditor explained.


  • Extremely effective at catching malware
  • Works well with existing antivirus programs
  • 14-day free trial


  • Not a full antivirus solution
  • No included extras like VPN or password manager

9. Webroot SecureAnywhere

Although less commonly mentioned than other options, Webroot SecureAnywhere garners positive feedback for its fast, efficient scans and minimal system impact.

Here are some standout features of Webroot:

  • Ultra-lightweight installation and scans
  • Real-time scanning blocks threats
  • Identity protection monitoring
  • Available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android

"I don‘t see Webroot talked about much, but it‘s by far the lightest antivirus I‘ve used. Super fast scans too," commented one Redditor.


  • Very fast performance with minimal system impact
  • Effective core antivirus protection
  • Extra identity protection features


  • Less comprehensive than some suites
  • Occasional false positives

Does Reddit Recommend Free Antivirus Software?

The general consensus on Reddit is that free antivirus software can still be a viable option for some users, depending on their needs and level of cybersecurity knowledge. However, most Redditors strongly suggest that paid, premium antivirus software is preferable for guaranteed robust protection.

Some free antivirus programs like Avast, Avira, and Sophos Home Free are recommended as "good enough" for basic protection. But Reddit users frequently point out the limitations of free options:

  • Lack of real-time scanning or threat updates
  • Limited malware detection and vulnerability coverage
  • More ads, popups, and upsells to paid versions

Additionally, Windows Defender (Microsoft Defender for Windows 11) is often suggested as a decent built-in free option for Windows users. But Redditors commonly note it does not offer the same level of proactive threat prevention as third-party premium antivirus.

Overall, most Reddit users view free antivirus software as a baseline form of protection that is likely sufficient for cautious users. However, they strongly encourage investing in a premium option for optimal malware prevention and additional security features.

Antivirus Software Reddit Users Don‘t Recommend

Sifting through the chatter on Reddit, there are a few antivirus providers that are consistently advised against or criticized by users:

  • AVG Antivirus: Mentioned for high resource usage, upselling tactics, and below average protection compared to rivals.
  • TotalAV: Critiqued for poor malware detection rates, system slow downs, and misleading pricing tactics.
  • Panda Dome: Users complain about buggy software, false positives, and disappointing malware protection results.
  • Trend Micro: Often called outdated and resource intensive, with pricing/upsells considered expensive.
  • McAfee LiveSafe: Criticized for heavy system impact, confusing interface, and aggressive upselling tactics.

It‘s worth noting that every antivirus software likely has some unhappy users, so these are not definitive facts. But these options frequently come up as not recommended among the Reddit community. As always, it‘s wise to read professional reviews and try out trial versions before committing to an antivirus provider.

Best Antivirus Subreddits to Follow

Here are some top subreddits that regularly discuss and debate antivirus software:

  • r/antivirus – General discussion and news about all things antivirus. Users ask for recommendations and share software experiences.
  • r/Windows10 – Broad Windows 10 topics, including security software for this OS. Look for posts about Windows Defender and compatible third-party antivirus.
  • r/techsupport – Wide-ranging tech troubleshooting, including security software issues. Great for solving antivirus problems.
  • r/Privacy – Covers staying private and secure online. Relevant discussions about VPNs, password managers, browsers, and more.
  • r/cybersecurity – All news and analysis regarding cybersecurity. Look for posts on new threats and protection best practices.
  • r/netsec – Cybersecurity news and tools for IT professionals, developers, and enthusiasts. Very technical but insightful info.

Following a mix of these subreddits will keep you well-informed with the latest from Reddit users regarding real-world antivirus software experiences, news, and trends.

What to Look for in Antivirus Software

Based on Redditor opinions and general industry recommendations, here are some key features to look for when selecting antivirus software:

Accurate threat detection

The ability to accurately identify and neutralize malware, viruses, trojans, ransomware, and other cyber threats is clearly the most vital functionality of any antivirus. Prioritize solutions with high detection rates confirmed by independent testing labs.

Minimal system impact

You don‘t want antivirus software that taxes your CPU and slows down your computer. Seek out options praised for lightweight footprints and efficient processes.

Reliable real-time scanning

Ongoing scanning that monitors system activity and apps for potential threats is crucial. This provides an added layer alongside on-demand scans. Ensure any antivirus has robust real-time protection.

Extra security tools

Added value features like VPNs, password managers, backup software, and more are always nice bonuses. But focus on core antivirus capabilities first when making your decision.

Easy to use

An antivirus with an intuitive user interface streamlines security management on your devices. Read Redditor reviews to gauge ease of use for any antivirus software you‘re considering.

Customer support

Even the best software has occasional issues. Go with an antivirus provider that offers multiple customer support options in case you ever need troubleshooting assistance.

By evaluating these factors against Reddit recommendations, you‘re sure to find a suitable antivirus that fits your budget, system needs, and desired feature set.

Common Questions about Antivirus Software

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding selecting and using antivirus software, based on insights from Reddit discussions:

What are the top free antivirus programs?

According to Redditors, Windows Defender, Avast, and Sophos Home Free are among the best free options available. But most suggest investing in premium software if possible.

Is Windows Defender good enough?

It depends. Windows Defender provides suitable protection for some users, but many Redditors say third-party antivirus software is preferable for optimal security.

Does antivirus software really make a difference?

Absolutely. Redditors overwhelmingly agree that having modern antivirus software installed vastly decreases your risks of malware infections, stolen data, and cyber attacks.

What’s the best antivirus for Mac?

Reddit users most often suggest Bitdefender and Kaspersky as providing excellent security for Mac without being too resource intensive.

Is it bad to have two antivirus programs installed?

It‘s not recommended. Two concurrent antivirus programs can conflict, reducing your system‘s stability and security. Stick to one trusted antivirus solution.

How often should antivirus software be updated?

Most antivirus apps automatically update themselves on a regular basis. But you can also manually update them before performing scans to ensure the latest definitions are applied.

Final Thoughts

Reddit can be an invaluable source for crowdsourced antivirus software guidance and feedback. While product opinions always vary between individual users, there are clear frontrunners that emerge from the Reddit crowds.

Top options like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Norton 360 have earned consistent praise for their malware detection prowess and useful bonus tools. Meanwhile, Windows Defender ranks well as a convenient built-in choice.

Just remember to take Reddit advice with a grain of salt and corroborate opinions with professional antivirus reviews from trusted sources. Let this guide provide a baseline of options to research further as you search for your ideal antivirus solution. Protecting your devices should be a priority, so invest wisely!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.