Many Windows users believe they don’t need to pay for antivirus software, and most Mac and Android users think they don’t need protection at all. It’s true that Windows’ much higher profile makes it the biggest target, but OS X and Android are just as vulnerable to malware as Windows.
It’s worth paying for Windows antivirus software, because even the best free software doesn’t include features we consider essential. Mac and Android users have other options; our favorite Mac AV product costs nothing, and most Android security apps have free versions.
Windows Antivirus Software Types
Most antivirus makers have three tiers of Windows products, with each price bump adding extra features such as child protection or cloud backups. But since each company uses a single malware-detection engine for all its antivirus software, the cheapest item in any product line usually finds malware just as thoroughly as the priciest.
Not all users will need premium suites or even intermediate products. If you don’t have kids or already have cloud storage, the “starter” product may be enough.