You Need Internet Security Before It's Too Late

Aviva Zacks
Published on: July 24, 2019
You Need Internet Security Before It's Too Late

As our lives move online, we should all be taking internet security more seriously. Cybercrime is developing fast. Antivirus protection is no longer enough.

Some malware isn’t registered on any virus database. It can only be detected by behavior-analysis technology. And for the modern hacker, intercepting your data over public WiFi is child’s play. That’s where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) comes in.

These tools aren’t part of most basic antivirus setups. That’s why you need a complete internet security package.

I looked at over twenty internet security programs, including Kaspersky and McAfee, trying to find those that offer everything you need to stay safe, including a VPN. Here’s my top five.

Free vs Paid Antiviruses – What You Need to Know

Why would you need to pay for internet security?

Many free products only provide antivirus protection. Viruses can do some serious damage to your devices. But an antivirus won’t stop your activity being recorded or your financial information being stolen while you shop.

Spending a few dollars a month to keep your personal information, devices and bank account protected is just common sense.

1. Bitdefender Internet Security – Outstanding Ransomware Protection

Bitdefender Internet Security is an award-winning complete internet security package.

Bitdefender’s Advanced Threat Defense monitors suspicious behavior on your device. Cloud-based scanning ensures minimal drain on your device’s resources.

There’s no free version, but there is a 30-day free trial. All users get Bitdefender’s protection, performance, and privacy features. But the VPN is paywalled.

Internet Security Features

  • Multi-layered ransomware protection shields your files from hackers
  • Behavioral software monitoring detects new malware mutations
  • VPN encrypts your web traffic

What I Liked

  • Great offline security features including file encrypter and shredder
  • Impressive optimization tools that adapt to your hardware
  • Focus on online shopping protection

What I Didn’t Like

  • VPN limits data to 200mb per day, and costs extra
  • Somewhat slow to install

The Bottom Line on Bitdefender Internet Security

Bitdefender Internet Security will keep your devices shielded from new and emerging online threats. It’s a great choice for security enthusiasts. But its VPN is limited and costs extra.

Visit Bitdefender

2. Norton 360 Internet Security – Best for Families

Norton has been a major player in internet security for decades. Its machine-learning antimalware technology protects the devices and data of millions of people.

Norton’s 360 range carries three internet security packages, offering webcam protection, password management, and a secure VPN.

Subscribers to the cheapest option miss out on parental controls. Higher-payers get more licenses and more cloud-backup data.

Internet Security Features

  • Desktop firewall locks out malware
  • Parental controls for monitoring your kids’ internet habits
  • Cloud backup protects files from ransomware

What I Liked

  • Unlimited VPN with no logging
  • Virus Protection Promise guarantees virus-free devices
  • Most features available across all plans – pricier packages offer more licenses

What I Didn’t Like

  • Cloud backup and SafeCam features limited to Windows desktop
  • Parental controls unavailable for Mac

The Bottom Line on Norton 360 Internet Security

Norton uses that family-focused marketing for a reason – it helps you look after your kids and get your whole brood’s devices under the same protective roof.

Larger families can benefit from “economies of scale” – a small increase in price means a large increase in device coverage.

However, if you prefer to browse with your thumbs than your fingers, you may find Norton too desktop-focused.

Visit Norton

3. Avira Prime Internet Security – Most Generous Security Package

Avira offers “digital bliss” via an enticing offer – an Avira Prime subscription includes access to any future Avira products released within your subscription period.

Avira offers several free products: Browser Safety, Home Guard, and Safe Search Plus. Avira Prime is the top tier of three paid products. It packages together Avira’s free products with Avira Antivirus, Avira Internet Security Suite, and some great additional features.

Internet Security Features

  • Dark web scanner combs the internet underworld for your personal information
  • Password manager generates and stores near-uncrackable passwords
  • VPN offers unlimited data

What I Liked

  • Unlimited access to all Avira products
  • Great optimization features across all platforms
  • Monthly subscription available with a free trial

What I Didn’t Like

  • “Unlimited” connections limited to 25 devices
  • Can feel resource-heavy

The Bottom Line on Avira Prime Internet Security

Avira’s generous subscription model will appeal to you if you want an “access all areas” pass to everything the brand offers. Over half a billion users can’t be wrong!

Visit Avira

4. Panda Dome Internet Security – Best Network Protection

Panda Dome is the Spanish company Panda’s subscription-only internet security product.

There are four price points. Certain privacy and performance tools are reserved for the top two pricing tiers. All packages have a VPN, but it’s limited to 150mb of daily data for all but the top tier.

Internet Security Features

  • Adaptive Defense security model offers early malware detection
  • WiFi protection prevents interlopers from spying on your transactions
  • Device security tools let you remotely wipe phone data

What I Liked

  • Impressive technology powering malware detection
  • Monthly subscriptions available with the first month free
  • Neat device optimization tools

What I Didn’t Like

  • 150mb VPN data limit except for Premium subscribers
  • Not available for iOS

The Bottom Line on Panda Dome Internet Security

Panda Dome provides innovate malware detection methods via patented technology. It has a full range of extra features including parental controls, a firewall, and mobile security tools.

The Premium package is expensive. But if don’t want to commit for a whole year, try a monthly payment.

Visit Panda

5. Avast Ultimate Internet Security – Cutting Edge Virus Detection Technology

Avast offers one of the best free antivirus products around. And its subscription-only products are even better.

Avast offers network security tools (a Wifi scanner and firewall) and offline applications (a data shredder and file encryptor) designed to stop hackers in their tracks. Avast Ultimate provides extra features for Windows, including a VPN, PC optimization and a password manager.

Internet Security Features

  • Cloud-based CyberCapture provides up-to-the-minute malware protection
  • Sandbox lets you test suspicious files in a vacuum
  • Real Site prevents redirection to malicious websites

What I Liked

  • Unlimited VPN encrypts your device activity
  • Great extra features including a software updater and optimization tools
  • Do Not Disturb mode allows for uninterrupted work or gaming

What I Didn’t Like

  • Premier package only covers one PC
  • Expensive compared to competitors

The Bottom Line on Avast Ultimate Internet Security

With its cloud-based community malware testing and browser-independent phishing protection, Avast’s internet security technology will certainly keep your PC safe.

And by “your PC”, I literally mean one Windows PC – that’s all you get. Other options (eg Avast and McAfee) cover many more devices for a considerably lower price.

Visit Avast

About the Author

Aviva Zacks
Aviva Zacks
Cybersecurity Expert and Writer

About the Author

Aviva Zacks is a content manager, writer, editor, and really good baker. When she's not working, she enjoys reading on her porch swing with a cup of decaf.
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