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Antivirus software is added protection for business devices that scans for and protects against malware or viruses that may affect your company’s data safety. Today’s most complete antivirus software will also bundle additional protection with VPNs and firewalls, products that are commonly sold as separate software.

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Comparing features of the best antivirus software

Each of our picks for the best antivirus software includes malware and identity theft protection as well as real-time virus scanning.

McAfee Total Protection – Best for small businesses and startups

Image: McAfee

McAfee Total Protection is an antivirus solution that provides continuous and automatic protection from cybersecurity threats such as phishing, viruses, hackers and ransomware. It is a great option for smaller businesses and startups that need real-time malware protection across all devices. Offered in multiple subscription plans, a small business can customize the product for its purposes.

In addition to standard features such as firewall protection, Wi-Fi security, password management and PC optimization, McAfee offers features like a PC cleaner, identity protection, file shredder and a virtual private network. This solution can run on various devices, such as PCs, Macs, ChromeOS and Android devices.

Pricing

McAfee Total Protection offers three plans:

  • Essential: Starts at $39.99 per year and protects up to five devices.
  • Premium: Starts at $44.99 per year and misses some features but includes unlimited devices.
  • Advanced: Starts at $79.99 per year and covers the full services, including unlimited devices.

Features

  • Identity theft protection.
  • Secure VPN option.
  • Password manager.
  • Features a file shredder that can delete files without leaving traces.

Pros

  • There is a free trial.
  • It can protect an unlimited number of devices.
  • Multiple plans mean more flexibility for businesses.
  • 24/7 customer support.

Cons

  • Lower plans miss out on some important features.
  • Compatible with major operating systems except for Linux.
  • Prices could be high for some small businesses.

Kaspersky – Best password manager

Image: Kaspersky

Kaspersky’s antivirus solution is designed to fit any business, regardless of size or type. For small businesses with 1-50 employees, Kaspersky offers Small Office Security protection, an antivirus suite that features a premium VPN, a password manager and safe money services. The small office security suite protects servers, computers and data and is compatible with various operating systems like Windows, Android, macOS and iOS.

For businesses with over 250 employees, Kaspersky offers Endpoint Security Cloud. This suite comes with Kaspersky’s full protection features and is offered under three different plans. The Endpoint Security Cloud helps businesses uncover, understand and remediate known and unknown vulnerabilities on their workstations with a remediation engine.

Pricing

Kaspersky antivirus for businesses is offered in two categories: Small Office Security and Endpoint Security Cloud.

  • Small Office Security: Starts at $135 per year for up to five users.
  • Endpoint Security Cloud: Starts at $192.37 per year for up to five users.
  • Endpoint Security Cloud Plus: $308.75 per year for up to five users.
  • Endpoint Security Cloud Pro: $461.70 per year for up to five users,

Features

  • Patch management and encryption management.
  • Software updater helps fix vulnerable applications on PCs.
  • Smart protection automatically connects you to a VPN when an insecure network is detected.
  • The software can be customized to control user access to applications and internet resources.

Pros

  • The platform offers cybersecurity training.
  • It covers multiple devices and operating systems.
  • It offers a free trial for each of the plans.

Cons

  • Prices may be high for small businesses.

CrowdStrike Falcon – Best for AI-powered threat analysis

Image: CrowdStrike

CrowdStrike Falcon is cloud-based software employing artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to detect and respond to attacks in real-time. With endpoint protection, businesses can secure their devices and networks against malware, ransomware and other cyberattacks.

In addition, CrowdStrike’s AI-powered threat analysis also enables businesses to identify and respond to potential threats quickly. Its cloud-based management console allows businesses to manage their security from a centralized location, eliminating the need for on-premises hardware and reducing the workload of IT departments. CrowdStrike provides detailed threat intelligence and reporting, allowing businesses to track and analyze threats on all popular platforms, including Windows, Windows Server, macOS and Linux.

Pricing

CrowdStrike Falcon runs on four pricing tiers:

  • Falcon Go: $299.95 per year (minimum of five devices).
  • Falcon Pro: $499.95 per year (minimum of five devices).
  • Falcon Elite: Contact the vendor for a quote.
  • Falcon Complete: Contact the vendor for a quote.

Features

  • Real-time threat detection and response.
  • Endpoint protection.
  • Cloud-based management console.
  • AI-powered threat analysis.
  • 24/7 monitoring and support.

Pros

  • Easy to deploy and manage.
  • Detailed threat intelligence and reporting.
  • A range of pricing options to fit different business needs.

Cons

  • Some may find the cost relatively high compared to other antivirus solutions.
  • Some features require additional licenses or add-ons.
  • Requires an internet connection for full functionality.

Bitdefender GravityZone – Best for web scanning

Image: Bitdefender

Bitdefender’s GravityZone is an on-premise and cloud antivirus solution offering unified endpoint security and analytics and advanced threat intelligence for small businesses. GravityZone comes with a single management console and focuses on enabling small businesses to withstand phishing, ransomware and other sophisticated attacks.

GravityZone also offers a web scan feature that automatically scans all incoming SSL, HTTP and HTTPS traffic to help users avoid downloading malware to their endpoint. In addition to the web scan functionality, users are also provided content scanning and heuristic analysis for protection against worms, viruses, trojans, adware, keyloggers and other types of malicious software.

Pricing

Bitdefender GravityZone offers the following subscription plans:

  • One-year subscription: Starts at $142.5 for ten endpoints and three servers.
  • Two-year subscription: Starts at $242.5 for ten endpoints and three servers.
  • Three-year subscription: Starts at $315 for ten endpoints and three servers.

Note that users are allowed to add more devices (up to 100 devices and 30 servers). The more endpoints or servers, the higher the price.

Features

  • Web scanning capability.
  • Centralized management console allows IT administrators to monitor and control security policies across all devices and endpoints.
  • Automatically blocks phishing and fraudulent web pages.
  • Fileless attack protection
  • Advanced Anti-Exploit for real-time exploit detection

Pros

  • Offers security for on-premise and cloud.
  • Easy to use and manage with a centralized console.
  • Provides detailed reports and logs for auditing purposes.
  • Creates a real-time backup of the files to prevent data loss during attacks.

Cons

  • May require additional customization to fit specific business needs.
  • Can be expensive compared to other antivirus solutions.

ESET Protect – Best for flexibility and customization

Image: ESET

Eset Protect is an antivirus solution that leverages advanced multi-layered technology to secure PCs, file servers and mobile devices from viruses, brute force attacks and other attack vectors. The solution can be run on-premise or via the cloud, making it easy for enterprises running on a cloud-based, hybrid or on-premise ecosystem to adopt the product.

ESET produces advanced, customizable threat reports for their major security products. Some key areas covered by ESET Protect are mail security, advanced threat defense, full disk encryption, cloud application protection and file server security.

Pricing

ESET Protect pricing is categorized under SMBs, Enterprise and Additional Protection. Each category offers multiple plan options.

For SMBs, ESET offers:

  • ESET Protect entry: $190 per year for five devices.
  • ESET Protect Advanced: $248 per year for five devices.
  • ESET Complete: $382 per year for five devices.
  • ESET Protect Elite: Starting at 26 devices. You need to contact sales for the price.

Features

  • Mail security.
  • Unified security management console.
  • Compatible with multiple operating systems, including Linux.
  • Advanced protection for Microsoft 365.

Pros

  • Wide variety of reporting options.
  • Offered on-premise and cloud.

Cons

  • Complex pricing plans.
  • Lacks patch management features.
  • Lacks patch management features.

Avast Business – Best for unlimited VPN

Image: Avast Software

Avast Business antivirus combines antivirus capabilities with data protection, privacy, patch management, password protection and VPN to protect devices and servers. Built to fit small and mid-sized businesses, the solution also offers protection against malware, viruses, spyware, ransomware and phishing attacks. With advanced threat detection capabilities, Avast Business provides password security for businesses that want to protect their employees’ passwords and ensure USB security and unlimited VPN protection.

Avast business security also includes identity protection and web protection — all of which provide businesses with an extra layer of security. Its easy-to-use management console allows businesses to manage their security across all devices from a single dashboard.

Pricing

Avast Business pricing is subscription-based and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Essential Business Security: $148.36 per year for up to five devices.
  • Premium Business Security: $187 per year for up to five devices.
  • Ultimate Business Security: $227 per year for up to five devices.
  • Avast Small Office Protection: $139.99 per year for up to 10 devices.

Features

  • Advanced threat detection.
  • Real-time scanning and threat identification.
  • System and application patching.
  • Cloud-based technology for automatic updates.
  • Identity and web protection.

Pros

  • Can be deployed for either on-premise or cloud environments.
  • Easy-to-use management console for managing security across all devices.
  • Automatic updates to systems and applications to ensure protection against latest threats.
  • Unlimited VPN option to encrypt data and secure internet connections.
  • Patch management

Cons

  • The pricing plans may be too costly for small and mid-sized businesses.
  • Some features, like unlimited VPN and identity protection, are unavailable for Mac.
  • Limited support options for Essential Business Security subscribers.

Trend Micro – Best for EDR capabilities

Image: Trend Micro

There is a lot of security software available from Trend Micro, with antivirus and endpoint defense being just two of its many offerings.

First, there’s Apex One, a software-as-a-service security product that integrates EDR with endpoint security and other solutions. The other option, one of three user protection security packages, offers some of the features of Apex One but in an à la carte fashion designed for smaller organizations and those looking to save money.

Pricing

Trend Micro offers over twenty layers of security for businesses, each with varying pricing plans that a Trend Micro representative can walk you through.

Features

  • VPN service automatically comes on when you connect to a suspicious network.
  • Firewall protection.
  • Can be used in on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments.
  • Advanced threat detection.
  • Mobile security.
  • Email security.

Pros

  • Real-time protection.
  • There is a free basic version.
  • Free 30-day trial.

Cons

  • No Windows web camera protection.
  • Password manager feature is only available on the top two plans.
  • Multiple plans could be confusing to some people.

Symantec Endpoint Security Enterprise – Best for platform compatibility

Image: Norton Lifelock/Broadcom

Broadcom-owned Symantec Endpoint Security is a single-agent antivirus solution powered by Symantec Global Intelligence Network. This solution helps businesses secure their endpoints by ensuring attack surface reduction, breach prevention and detection and response.

As a single-agent solution, businesses can run this solution through different deployment options, including fully cloud-based, on-premise and hybrid. In addition, SES is compatible with all operating systems, such as Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android and iOS.

Pricing

Contact the vendor for pricing.

Features

  • Single cloud console for easy rollout, management and policy updates.
  • Uses machine learning for threat detection.
  • Covers all operating systems and devices.
  • Uses SONAR behavioral analysis to monitor the behavior of applications.

Pros

  • Security for all endpoints, including desktops, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and servers.
  • Protect all popular operating systems, including macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.

Cons

  • There is no free trial.
  • Prices are not stated on their website.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint: Best for Microsoft devices

Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Defender for Business is a suite of threat protection solutions from Microsoft. Although primarily offered to organizations using Microsoft products, the solution can extend to third-party software.

Microsoft Defender for Business is designed to protect endpoint devices from advanced threats like ransomware and file-less malware. It uses cloud technology to provide security for various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.

Pricing

Microsoft Defender for Business has two pricing plans.

  • Microsoft Defender for Business: $3 per user, per month.
  • Microsoft 365 Business Premium: $22 per user, per month.

Features

  • Cloud-based management provides easy deployment and management.
  • Offers advanced reporting and analytics.
  • Leverages machine learning and behavioral algorithms to detect and block threats.
  • The tool monitors for both Microsoft and third-party software vulnerabilities.

Pros

  • It offers a free trial.
  • Vulnerability monitoring is not limited to Microsoft software.
  • Can investigate security alerts automatically.

Cons

  • Limited support for non-Microsoft platforms.
  • Requires a Microsoft ecosystem if you want to get the full benefits.

How to choose a good antivirus solution for your business

How do you go about choosing the best antivirus solution for your business? Here are some tips:

Consider compatibility and integration

Compatibility and integration are essential factors to consider when choosing an antivirus solution for your business. The software should be compatible with all operating systems and applications used in the organization. The antivirus software should also be able to integrate with other cybersecurity solutions a business may use, such as intrusion detection and data loss prevention systems.

SEE: Password breach: Why pop culture and passwords don’t mix (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Consider cost and needs

The cost of an antivirus solution is another crucial factor to consider. However, don’t be tempted to compromise on quality. The best way to arrive at the best cost for your business is to determine your needs. Consider the size of your business, the number of devices you need to protect and the level of protection required. Some antivirus software may offer more advanced features that you do not need.

Consider ease of use

Another important factor to consider is the ease of use of the antivirus solution. It should be user-friendly and easy to install and manage. Consider solutions that offer centralized management, automated updates and remote access. This will ensure that your IT team can manage the antivirus solution easily without causing any disruption to your business operations.

SEE: Google Chrome: Security and UI tips you need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

Check scalability

Your business will most likely grow over time, and choosing an antivirus solution that can accommodate your growing needs is essential. Ensure the antivirus solution is scalable and protects multiple devices and systems. This is particularly important if you have employees who use personal devices for work, as you need to ensure that those devices are also protected.

Methodology

For this review, we prioritized antivirus solutions that can secure up to 10 endpoints and above, compatible with multiple devices (including servers) and offer some advanced threat detection and remediation capabilities. We gathered primary information from each vendor’s site and ran the demo provided by some of the vendors to understand how things like single-console management, threat analytics and web scanning work. We also checked user feedback on trusted review websites like Gartner to verify how users feel about the usability of the tools.


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