The best Windows 10 antivirus protection for 2021

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An online security quiver needs plenty of arrows — a VPN to protect your internet traffic, a password manager to keep track of login credentials, and an end-to-end encrypted messaging app to stop others from spying on your communications. But for Windows users, that list of tools should also include malware protection and antivirus software that monitors downloads and observes your system’s activity for suspicious behavior and malicious software.

If you’re looking for the best malware protection and antivirus software, here’s the first thing you need to know: Microsoft Defender Antivirus — the free internet security software and virus protection program that comes with Windows 10 and until recently was called Windows Defender — does a decent job of protecting your PC and offering internet security. (Amazingly, Microsoft provided no built-in protection for Windows back in the days of Windows 98 and XP.) Using Microsoft Defender should be your starting point for the best antivirus security on Windows, and most people will find they don’t need to go any further when it comes to nailing down an antivirus solution.

However, keeping your personal data safe and guarding your privacy extends beyond virus protection, and that’s where third-party antivirus software shines. A full protection package can monitor your Windows computer as well as MacOS, iOS and Android devices and include a password manager, a VPN, parental control, secure online backup, identity theft protection, protection against phishing and malicious websites…

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