The 10 Best Internet Security Solutions for Your Home Computer

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Keeping your home computer safe from ransomware, adware, and other kinds of malware requires diligence, frequent software updates, and a good Internet security suite. Although being careful and quickly patching your operating system provides huge security benefits, a good internet security suite stops persistent and particularly dangerous threats that might otherwise slip through the cracks. 

Most Internet security suites consist of an antivirus program, a tool that blocks potentially harmful websites, and a real-time protection solution. 

Different Internet security options are right for different types of computer users. Although Windows and macOS both include rudimentary antivirus software out of the box, most users need more complete protection. 

In this article, we’ll look at ten of the most popular and effective internet security solutions for your home computer. Although many of these solutions offer security for mobile devices as well, this article focuses on security for PCs and Macs.

#1 MalwareBytes Premium

MalwareBytes has long had a strong reputation among security professionals and discerning users. It doesn’t ignore “potentially unwanted software”—MalwareBytes will remove any kind of malicious software you might install. 

The paid version of MalwareBytes includes anti-ransomware, harmful site blocking, and real-time scanning. Although its anti-malware is extremely good, MalwareBytes does not include some of the fancier features offered by other Internet security suites. 

Other advantages include: 

  • Careful optimization to avoid any slowdown as a result of the real-time scanning functionality.
  • Exploit mitigation and application hardening features to stop zero-day exploits. 
  • Up-to-date protection with automatic threat database updates. 

Available for: Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS

Price: $3.33/month for one computer or $6.67/month for five; $8.33/month for five with VPN

#2 Bitdefender Total Security

Bitdefender’s internet security solution is feature-filled, with anti-malware, anti-ransomware, parental controls, and an included VPN. Its AV TEST ratings are best-in-class, meaning that it detects a very high percentage of real-world infections with a low performance impact. 

Some features that make Bitdefender a popular solution include the following: 

  • Safe Files: Certain files can only be accessed by authorized programs. 
  • Anti-Phishing, Anti-Fraud, and protection against other malicious websites.
  • Rescue Environment: A secure environment for removing the most persistent threats, like rootkits. 
  • Webcam and Microphone Protection: You’ll get a notification when an app wants to use your webcam or microphone. 

Available for: Windows, macOS

Price: $89.99/year for five devices

#3 Kaspersky Total Security

Like Bitdefender, Kaspersky Total Security offers a full range of powerful security protections. On tests from major security labs, Bitdefender and Kaspersky trade blows. Both offer similar protection, although some excel in areas where the other lacks. Kaspersky’s exploit detection and protection is top-notch, for example. It also includes a smart firewall, backup features, a password manager, and great parental controls. 

Available for: Windows and macOS

Price: $79.99/year for three devices or $89.99/year for five

#4 ESET Smart Security Premium

ESET Smart Security’s claim to fame is its huge range of configurable features. If you have specific needs or like to twiddle every knob in your software, ESET is the right choice for you. 

ESET’s network protection and file encryption capabilities are unmatched, as is its password manager. ESET lacks in some areas, like its relatively simplistic parental controls. However, ESET’s configurability and Linux support make it the perfect choice for many technically-inclined users. 

Available for: Windows, macOS, and Linux

Price: $59.99/year for one device, $99.99/year for five

#5 Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton’s primary advantage over other Internet security suites lie in its integrated features. With a bundled VPN, webcam protection, powerful parental controls, and 50GB of online backup storage, Norton 360 Deluxe goes above and beyond the standard features. Plus, its antivirus software is top-notch, as you would expect. 

Available for: Windows and macOS

Price: $104.99/year for five devices

#6 Trend Micro Maximum Security

Where ESET offers a huge range of configurations, Trend Micro focuses on a polished user interface with few extraneous bells and whistles. Its antivirus solution, URL filtering, and other functionality are robust and capable. Although particularly advanced users might find Trend Micro’s configurability to be lacking, everyone else will appreciate how easy it is to use and how well it works out of the box. 

Available for: Windows and macOS

Price: $89.95/year for five devices

#7 Sophos Home Premium

Sophos traditionally competes in the business and enterprise market segments. Its Home Premium offering brings enterprise-class security features to home users for a reasonable price. Sophos uses sophisticated artificial intelligence to stop ransomware and emerging threats. 

Available for: Windows and macOS

Price: $60/year for one device

#8 McAfee Total Protection

Like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Norton, McAfee provides a comprehensive Internet security solution, including a VPN, safe browsing, and identity theft protection. You can even encrypt your files in a secure container on your computer. Compared to its cheaper options, the Total Protection solution is a much better deal, with more features and a lower per-device cost. 

Available for: Windows and macOS

Price: $119.99/year for ten devices

#9 Avast Premium Security

Most people associate Avast with their solid free antivirus offering. However, Avast also competes quite well with other Internet security suites at the top end of the market. 

Avast Premium Security has lots of powerful features, like spoofing protection and protection from remote access takeovers. Of course, its antivirus is also quite good. 

Available for: Windows and macOS

Price: $89.99/year for ten devices

#10 Panda Dome Advanced

While other Internet security suites limit the number of devices on a single license, Panda Dome Advanced allows you to add any number of devices within “reasonable home use”. Although it offers so-so antivirus protection, Panda Dome’s offerings include all the usual Internet security features. If you have lots of computers, Panda Dome might be the best choice. 

Available for: Windows and macOS

Price: $70.99/year for unlimited devices (within reason)