Windows 11 is capable of far more security and privacy than any of the previous releases from Microsoft, having as one important requirement the need for a TPM 2.0 chip.

The TPM chip, also known as Trusted Platform Module, enables your newly installed Windows 11 OS to manage all encryption policies and other security features more effectively and productively.

If you’re interested, or simply curious, you can always find out more information about the TPM chip.

This, in turn, grants you more freedom to explore the web without feeling insecure about third-parties getting access to your data or following your activity online.

Even though there are mentions about Windows 11 being installed on systems without this security module, if you want to upgrade to the new OS and don’t have the required capabilities, you can always invest in a TPM-enabled motherboard, or buy a laptop with these elements built-in.

All of these elements being considered don’t subtract from the fact that your Windows 11, much like any other OS before it, will need additional security elements.

To improve your security even further, you can try a variety of methods, including getting stable and efficient VPN software running.

Does Windows 11 need antivirus?

Yes, you can indeed use a powerful antivirus on your Windows 11 system to entirely secure the PC against risky threats such as malware, phishing attacks, or ransomware viruses.

That is because you can’t only depend on Windows 11 built-in security, like Windows Defender, if you require high-end security from the most complex cyber threats present nowadays.

In today’s guide, we will discuss the latter element in its entirety, and we will also explore some of the best options found on the market this year.

What to consider when choosing the best antivirus for Windows 11?

As in the case of any other software, no matter if it’s related to your system’s security or not will have specific targets to achieve to be worthy of its presence on a list comprised of the best options.

For instance, control. What is the antivirus market share for your particular program? The higher the percentage, the better because it means it is meeting the needs of its users.

Our team of testers, which accumulated over 15 years of experience in the field, has tested more than 10,000 devices and software options ranging from monitors to KVM switches, and from image editing software to the best coding platforms.

Their experience, combined with an objective and thorough approach, allows us to be highly confident about recommending software and hardware, thus enabling you to make a fast and efficient choice depending on a variety of personal factors.

Below you will find some of the most important factors that our team of testers considered when scouring for the best antivirus software for Windows 11.

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To understand what elements have been considered by our testing team when creating the list for the best antivirus for Windows 11, here is a short list:

➡ Compatibility
➡ Scanning capabilities
➡ Script blocking
➡ Malware and virus databases
➡ Ransomware protection
➡ Firewall availability
➡ File removal capability

Because mentioning these factors is not enough for you to understand the implications of each of the above-mentioned wanted features, further, we’re going to break each of them down and discuss them shortly.


As you might assume, installing antivirus software that doesn’t work optimally, or doesn’t work at all on your OS is not a good idea.

Besides the fact that you won’t be able to get the full protection offered by an antivirus, it might even cause system instabilities and de-activate whenever you need it to protect you from third parties, phishing attacks, etc issues.

As our subject in this article covers only antivirus software that will run optimally on Windows 11, you don’t need to worry about this aspect. We’ve got you covered with this list.

Scanning capabilities

A good antivirus will need to be able to analyze every attempt of connecting or intrusions from third parties, whether it comes in the form of data packets from the network or files from your browser.

This type of scanning is called reactive scanning, and it is extremely important to ensure the protection of your system.

Another aspect of scanning that is worth considering is the antivirus’s capability to deal with threats that have already passed the aforementioned barrier, and are now on your system.

This type of scanning is called in-depth scanning (most commonly known as a full system scan). This element allows you to scan your system in-depth and ensures the ability to identify threats, and then isolate or remove the script, file, or program that’s causing the issue.

The antivirus options we’ll explore in this list provide full reactive scanning features and full system scans with a high degree of thoroughness, so you won’t need to keep an eye out for this detail.

Script blocking

Another important element of powerful antivirus software is the capability to stop scripts from running without permission.

As many ActiveX or Java scripts can easily infiltrate your system, the best antivirus for Windows 11 will be able to identify the attempt and stop it before the actual infestation occurs.

Plugins that use either ActiveX or Java as their platform can inject various harmful elements inside your system, some of the most common being botnets, inject codes, and drive-by downloads.

Malware and virus databases

As no antivirus software can be efficient if it doesn’t have an updated list of the recent malware and virus databases, this element ends up being one of the most important.

The databases of good antivirus software will need to be constantly updated by the software’s providers and offer easily accessible database packages containing new iterations of viruses and malware information to allow a thorough and exact identification process.

Other important features

Ransomware protection

As the name already suggests, besides having the capability to identify viruses and malignant scripts, a good antivirus will ensure that no ransomware could be used against you.

The amount of ransomware appearing online has been increased over time, so owning an antivirus capable of protection from this element is a sure plus.


Even though most antivirus software has some firewall built into its structure, not all firewalls are built the same.

How we test, review and rate?

We have worked for the past 6 months on building a new review system on how we produce content. Using it, we have subsequently redone most of our articles to provide actual hands-on expertise on the guides we made.

For more details you can read how we test, review, and rate at WindowsReport.

Considering this idea, your choice of antivirus must include a capable and thorough firewall, ensuring that the entire process of reactive scanning will take place optimally.

File Shredder

To ensure that the files you want to remove from your system are removed without any traces left behind, having a good file shredder incorporated inside your antivirus choice is a big plus as well.

Resource consumption

Because your antivirus choice will constantly run in the background, it is also extremely important to know that it won’t interfere too much with your everyday usage.

To ensure that that’s the case, a good antivirus will be optimized in such a way that it will offer great protection levels while also not hogging too much of your system’s resources.

This applies both to the background operations and even more regarding the scanning process.

Which antivirus is best for Windows 11?

In this article

ESET NOD32 Antivirus

  • Anti-theft features for laptops
  • Network security scanner
  • Amazing antivirus lab scores
  • Intuitive and easy to navigate UI
  • Great malware detection rates
  • Does not provide traffic encryption modules.

The NOD32antivirus from Eset is one of the most powerful and versatile antivirus options found on the market this year.

Ensuring amazing security and privacy features, and wrapped into a beautiful and easy-to-use UI, it is not hard to understand why this antivirus software has been chosen as one of the best options for Windows 11.

This antivirus software offers great firewall protection, spam filter, and some useful parental control features that will enable you to manage what your children are able or are not able to explore on the web.

The parental control feature has been upgraded constantly across time, now being a reliable and useful tool that not only offers you peace of mind but also protects your children’s development by eliminating any violent content from their browsing experience.

Even though it would be helpful for the parent controls to extend further than the browsing experience, the scores obtained at this level by Eset NOD32 are still impressive.

To ensure that your privacy is protected at all times, NOD32 deploys state-of-the-art webcam security, thus blocking any unwanted attempts of spying or remote camera activation while exploring the web, and while your computer is in standby mode.

Because the developers at Eset understand how important your financial privacy is, they also enable you to protect your online banking transactions with high-grade encryption, thus eliminating the possibility that a third party could use your credit card details in any way.

As you can see from the image below, Eset NOD32 stats have improved considerably over time, offering great protection levels, great performance, and usability levels are also very good.


To round up this powerful antivirus and protection service, NOD32 also comes with a useful network analyzer, that not only protects the network itself from intrusions but also ensures that the data transferred through it is protected and managed at all times.

Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

  • Amazing multi-layered protection
  • Advanced Threat Defense with behavior-based detection
  • Network Threat Prevention to stops all attacks
  • Ransomware Remediation with file backup)
  • Powerful identification process with great rates of success
  • VPN data is capped per day/device.

Bitdefender is also a force to be reckoned with in the field of best antivirus software for Windows 11, offering a wide range of useful features, and full compatibility with the new Microsoft OS.

As the developers of Bitdefender focus primarily on the security of its users, the app itself shows this element by offering a great set of extra features besides protection from viruses.

The password management system contained by this antivirus software enables you to rest assured that all your private credentials are stored securely and privately, without any risk of the data being stolen and used against you.

To cover the online transactions section of security, Bitdefender offers enhanced security in this department as well, allowing you to manage any data by clicking your mouse a couple of times.

No all-around security application would be complete without powerful ransomware protection services, and a VPN.

Bitdefender doesn’t lack in these departments either, offering top-of-the-range ransomware identification and protection, and a VPN that can rival some of the best standalone VPNs on the market. Nevertheless, there are some data caps.

Where Bitdefender truly shines is the phishing protection level, which protects your system from being attacked with this modality, thus protecting your user data, and eliminating any risks involving fake websites and applications.

As you can see from the graph below, Bitdefender not only performs well but offers users constant protection without lacking in usability.


The entire series of Network Threat protection components work perfectly with the Online Threat Protection module, covering the entire spectrum of digital threats.

The suite even performs the duties of a firewall and, let’s not forget the Anti-Tracker component which installs in your browser for an extra layer of security.


  • Real-time protection against all types of malware
  • Ransomware protection
  • Web extension for ad blocking, phishing, and tracking protection
  • Centralized scan results
  • Built-in VPN and password manager
  • Free trial is limited in capabilities

If you’re looking for a reliable antivirus, then you should consider TotalAV. The software is available on multiple platforms, and you can use it on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android with a single license.

Like any other antivirus, the software offers real-time protection that will scan all your downloads and executable files each time your PC tries to access them. In addition to downloaded files, the software will also protect you against ransomware.

Virus scanning is available, and you can schedule scans, thus ensuring that your PC will be scanned at regular intervals, thus minimizing the chance of malware infection.

A web extension accompanies the software, and you can easily detect fake, harmful, or phishing websites.
The Adblocking feature is also available and can block ads and notifications on all websites. But that’s not all; the software can also block video ads, so you won’t ever have to deal with them.

Thanks to Data Breach Monitoring, you’ll be notified if a third party obtains your login credentials. Browser and disk cleaners are also available, and you can use them to optimize your web browser performance or free up some space.

Regarding the additional features, there’s a VPN available and a password vault that will help you generate unique passwords and keep them in a safe location.

Overall, TotalAV offers excellent features, and if you need simple to use but powerful antivirus software, this is the way to go.

Kaspersky Standard

  • Sophisticated proactive detection
  • Comprehensive anti-hacking suite
  • Uninterrupted protection with instant virus eradication
  • Advanced network protection modules
  • Dedicated payment and privacy-focused tools
  • No free trial available.

Kaspersky Internet Security is another powerful application that enables you to easily protect both your local and online security, with a list of amazing features.

Even though it is only in the 4th position in this list, this doesn’t make it any less capable of solving your security issues and does it with a beautiful and slick user interface, which enables quick access and quick control of all the aspects of your PC’s security level.

After you’ve installed the application, once you open it, you will see the window presented below, which enables you to type in your email address and connect your account to automatically activate the license.

Making the setup process so easy to complete says a lot about the overall usability level of this powerful software, the same principles applying to all aspects of the program.

When it comes to the main focus of Kaspersky – security – this software proves to be a great contender for the software found in the first positions on this list.

Other useful features:

  • Safe Money – online transactions are protected from any third parties
  • Firewall – great firewall that doesn’t bother you with a question about allowing an obscure service through it, but analyzes it in-depth and makes an informed decision on its own
  • Application control – allows you easy access to allowing and denying access for any application on your device

As you can see from the image below, added to the amazing set of features presented above, you also get access to a powerful Webcam Protection service which ensures that your privacy will always be protected.

These also include Account Check and Private Browsing to round it up nicely and offer protection in all departments.

Below, you can also observe the stats regarding how the services have evolved across time with Kaspersky:


According to the data above, the stability of usability in the last year is absolutely spotless, while in terms of protection and performance, even though things have been shaky from time to time, it offers great overall results.

Norton Antivirus Plus

  • Great array of scanning modes - Quick, Full, and Custom scan
  • Amazing malware protection
  • Great anti-phishing features
  • Smart firewall
  • Online backups of your data
  • Some features are (sadly) only available for Windows devices.

Norton Antivirus Plus is very close to the first positions presented in this list in terms of security, optimization, and privacy features.

This powerful antivirus software offers full tech support no matter what your problem is, so in the case that Norton will fail when trying to remove malware from your system, experts from the company will help you by logging into your PC remotely and resolving the problem.

This service makes you feel like you have a full team of experts ready to tackle any sort of problems with the software, which makes it an incredible addition both for common users, but especially for enterprises and companies.

Besides this incredible customer service, Norton Antivirus Plus also includes a variety of other systems that allow you peace of mind no matter what your issues are.

The scanning array on Norton Antivirus Plus is absolutely amazing, offering a wide array of options, added to a Power Eraser, Norton Insight, and the capability to create Diagnostic Reports.

To get started, you get an Online Banking Protection feature, which, as described by the name itself protects your online payment processing at all times.

No antivirus would be complete without a Data Protector, which Norton does flawlessly, having an incredible rate of ransomware detection, while also using Script Control and Wi-Fi security detectors to cover this area of your experience with the software.

My Norton is a central hub that gathers data from all the Norton elements you use across your devices.

This element can prove extremely useful if you want to manage the entire set of security systems with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Now let’s see how Norton Antivirus Plus ranks when it comes to stability over time, in terms of protection, performance, and also usability.


As you can see, the results are extremely promising, and even though there were some issues here and there, Norton Antivirus Plus doesn’t disappoint in any department.


McAfee also deserves to be part of our best antivirus software list for Windows 11 as it ticks all the required boxes without any issues.

Besides running optimally on Windows 11, McAfee also has some impressive skills and features that enable you to forget about dealing with security and privacy issues while using your newly installed OS.

McAfee looks better than ever, with a completely redesigned User Interface, which not only presents all the useful information in an easy-to-understand manner but also provides you with quick access to any option you might need.

Besides the powerful ransomware protection and PC speed booster that’s included by default in this software, you also get great password management, parental control, and spam filtering options.

These are all at the very top when it comes to their capability, and thus can protect your devices without limits.

Talking about no limits, a McAffe license offers you everything you need to protect any Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS devices that you own, by providing a revolutionary element – unlimited licenses.

This has proven to be a shock for users, who literally couldn’t believe their eyes, so the marketers from McAffee have resorted to adding a 10-licenses sign on the box of the antivirus, as to not confuse the users.

The password manager included in this software True Key has brought a wide range of improvements across the years and allows you to install it as a bundle when you’re going through the main installation process. This feature can be installed on any device, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Now let’s see what the results of the stability over time show in all the departments that matter most:


As you can see, McAfee has great results in the case of protection, performance, and also usability, even though the protection levels have varied over time.

Other useful features:

  • Good level of performance
  • Firewall that stops any unwanted files from accessing your system
  • Very good privacy levels
  • Re-designed UI
  • Unlimited licenses

Does Windows 11 need antivirus?

Even though Windows Defender has proven to be a good antivirus option in Windows 10, at least in the last year, the rate of identification of the built-in antivirus was still low.

As you can see, when comparing the rate of identification stats and overall prowess, Windows Defender only takes a lower-numbered position.

This element doesn’t change much with the release of Windows 11, even though the built-in antivirus does a better job than the one found on Windows 10.

If you want to score the best internet security for Windows 11, it is extremely important to add good antivirus software to your system.

To know more about Antivirus and the increasing use of security tools, check out our guide on antivirus statistics.

And what can be better than the very best antivirus for Windows 11?

Now, we know that too many choices can kill the choice and the wide range of options available can sometimes make your task difficult.

Don’t worry; we created this selection thinking of you and your needs. We even added some actual testing data, just to make things simpler for you and thus, enabling you to make a truly informed decision.

In case you prefer a simpler protection, we have a great guide on how to remove viruses using Microsoft Safety Scanner, so don’t miss it.

Feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the comment section found below this guide.

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