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10 Best Internet Security Software in 2023: Full Online Protection

Updated on: March 1, 2023
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Katarina Glamoslija Katarina Glamoslija
Updated on: March 1, 2023

Short on time? Here’s the best internet security software in 2023:

  • 🥇 Norton 360: Excellent internet security suite that offers complete protection against all malware and cyber threats. Comes with web protection, a firewall, a VPN, a password manager, parental controls, and a lot more. All plans are covered by a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, so you have plenty of time to try it out risk-free.

I tested the top antivirus products to find the ones with the best internet security protection. But it wasn’t easy. A lot of antivirus programs only offer protection against “viruses”, but viruses aren’t the only form of malware. That’s why most internet security software now includes an antivirus engine alongside other cybersecurity protections like:

  • Anti-phishing — for blocking dangerous websites from stealing your data.
  • Anti-spyware — for protecting your private data from leaking on the web.
  • Anti-ransomware — for stopping ransomware from locking up your device.
  • Firewall — for monitoring and blocking unwanted and suspicious network traffic.
  • Password manager — for creating and storing strong passwords.
  • VPN (virtual private network) — for browsing the web anonymously.
  • Parental controls — for restricting your children’s access to unsuitable content.

Of course, all cybersecurity packages differ greatly in the quality of protection offered, the usefulness of their extra features, and the overall value they provide. But after several weeks of testing, comparing, and analyzing, I was able to narrow down my list to the top 10. These are the security packages with the best security, the best features, and the best overall value.

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Quick summary of the best internet security software of 2023:

🥇1. Norton 360 Deluxe — Best Internet Security Suite in 2023

🥇1. Norton 360 Deluxe — Best Internet Security Suite in 2023

Norton 360 Deluxe has one of the best antivirus engines on the market — combining known malware databases with artificial intelligence and machine learning, it scored 100% detection rates in all of my tests. It’s also my favorite choice for complete protection on all operating systems.

🥇1. Norton 360 Deluxe — Best Internet Security Suite in 2023Norton also includes a wide range of easy-to-use internet security features, such as:

  • Firewall — blocks dangerous incoming and outgoing internet traffic.
  • VPN (unlimited data) — offers secure connections in over 30 countries.
  • Password manager — generates and stores complex passwords.
  • Parental controls — helps you keep your kids safe online and manage their screen time.
  • PC SafeCam — makes sure no one can access your PC’s webcam.
  • Dark web monitoring — notifies you the moment your private data ends up on the dark web.
  • Cloud backup — lets you store up to 50 GB of data. Windows only.
  • And lots more…

I particularly like Norton’s dark web monitoring, which scans dark web forums, credit reports, and breach databases for data leaks. While many other antiviruses also monitor data breach databases, Norton uses human agents to find information other vendors aren’t able to.

🥇1. Norton 360 Deluxe — Best Internet Security Suite in 2023In addition, US-based customers can take advantage of Norton’s identity theft protection. Features included in its Lifelock package include credit report monitoring, live identity recovery assistance, credit freezing, home title, court record, 401k, social security, and ID monitoring, and more. LifeLock even offers up to 1 million dollars in insurance payouts and legal assistance for victims of identity theft.

Norton’s VPN is also excellent for an antivirus-bundled VPN — it has military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, fast connection speeds, full leak protection, and useful extra features like split-tunneling. However, it’s lacking in several areas compared to top-tier standalone VPNs like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access. For example, it only allows torrenting on dedicated servers, it isn’t able to consistently access all streaming sites (it works with Netflix and Amazon Prime, but not with Disney+ or Hulu), and it lacks a strict no-logs policy (it logs your IP address).

🥇1. Norton 360 Deluxe — Best Internet Security Suite in 2023

Norton 360 Deluxe is Norton’s best-value package — at only $24.99 / year, it covers 5 devices (across all operating systems) and comes with 50 GB cloud storage. It’s also ranked as the #1 best antivirus with parental controls (but note that parental controls aren’t available on Mac).

Overall, Norton 360 is a well-rounded internet security suite ideal for both individuals and families with several devices to protect. You don’t have to be an expert to use its additional features, and you can feel at ease knowing your system is completely protected from all online threats.

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Bottom Line:

Norton 360 Deluxe is a top-tier internet security suite, offering excellent protection at a great price. Norton’s antivirus engine is one of the most powerful on the market — scoring 100% detection in all of my tests — and it comes with an impressive set of online security features. Since 360 Deluxe includes coverage for up to 5 licenses, it’s a perfect choice for individuals or families looking to protect multiple devices. Plus, there’s a generous 60-day money-back guarantee on all Norton packages.


Read the full Norton review here >

🥈2. Bitdefender Premium Security — Best for Comprehensive Internet Security

🥈2. Bitdefender Premium Security — Best for Comprehensive Internet Security

Bitdefender Premium Security is one of the most comprehensive internet security packages out there, with more useful features than most competitors. Its anti-malware engine is very advanced — using a sophisticated cloud-based scanner, it scored 100% detection rates in all of my tests without slowing down my computer. I was really impressed with Bitdefender’s lightweight scanning — even top competitors like McAfee cause a little slowdown during full system scans.

🥈2. Bitdefender Premium Security — Best for Comprehensive Internet SecurityI really like that Bitdefender offers multi-layered protection against ransomware. In addition to recognizing and blocking ransomware (it successfully prevented all of my ransomware simulations from running during testing), it prevents all unauthorized access to personal files and starts securely backing them up if it detects any suspicious behavior.

I visited dozens of fake websites to test out Bitdefender’s web protections and was very impressed by its detection rate — none of the fake websites or malware-infected websites I tried to access managed to get past Bitdefender’s anti-phishing filters. This is a big step up compared to the default anti-phishing protections available on Chrome and Firefox as well as other internet security competitors.

🥈2. Bitdefender Premium Security — Best for Comprehensive Internet SecurityBitdefender also comes with a OneClick Optimizer that helps you remove duplicate, temporary, and junk files from your computer, potentially clearing out a ton of space from your hard drives and improving your computer’s performance. When I ran it on my computer, it freed up over 1 GB of space. As advertised, it was also very easy to use. That said, there are other internet security suites that offer more advanced system optimization tools than Bitdefender, including TotalAV. On the other hand, Bitdefender is one of the rare antiviruses with a vulnerability assessment tool, which checks your PC for any outdated or vulnerable software and tells you what the best fix is.

🥈2. Bitdefender Premium Security — Best for Comprehensive Internet Security

The password manager, VPN, and parental controls are very good, too. During my tests, the password manager accurately auto-filled logins and forms, and the VPN provided me with encrypted access to multiple servers around the world. The parental controls allowed me to limit device usage, filter content, monitor apps, and even set up location tracking.

Bitdefender’s Premium Security offers superior protection and lots of high-performance internet security tools. Plus, at $59.99 / year, it’s cheaper than many products with similar features, making it one of the top deals on the market. Bitdefender also has one of the best free antiviruses for Mac and Windows.

Bitdefender Total Security - 62% off
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Bottom Line:

Bitdefender Premium Security is one of the most advanced cybersecurity packages you can get. The cloud-based antivirus scanner is excellent, and the full-suite package includes a ton of top-quality internet security tools — like a password manager, parental controls, and a VPN. Bitdefender is backed up by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.


Read the full Bitdefender review here >

🥉3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Wi-Fi Network Protection With Excellent Cybersecurity Extras

🥉3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Wi-Fi Network Protection With Excellent Cybersecurity Extras

McAfee Total Protection is a well-rounded internet security package — it has everything you need to build and maintain a strong online defense in 2023. For starters, McAfee’s real-time antivirus engine scored a perfect 100% detection rate against all of my test malware. What’s more, it offers some great extra features, including:

  • Home Network Security — protects Wi-Fi networks from cyber attacks.
  • Safe Web — browsing extension which blocks potentially dangerous websites.
  • VPN (unlimited data) — securely connects to 45+ countries.
  • File shredder — permanently deletes files.
  • And lots more…

🥉3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Wi-Fi Network Protection With Excellent Cybersecurity Extras

My favorite feature is Home Network Security, which gives you full control over all the devices connecting to your Wi-Fi network. It also reinforces your firewall against malware attacks — during my tests, none of the threats I set it up against were able to get through. And McAfee makes it really easy to customize your firewall to do exactly what you want it to by providing a large variety of tweakable settings.

🥉3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Wi-Fi Network Protection With Excellent Cybersecurity ExtrasMcAfee’s VPN is also really good. It had almost no impact on my browsing speed, even when I connected to servers in Asia from my home in the USA. It’s pretty good for streaming too, being able to access many streaming sites including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max (though I had trouble getting it to work with other sites like Disney+, Hulu, etc.).

McAfee also comes with identity theft protection. This service includes credit monitoring, SSN tracing, and identity restoration insurance up to $1 million. It’s available in 20+ countries across North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania — this is great for non-US-based customers who wouldn’t be able to use Norton or TotalAV’s identity theft protection services.

🥉3. McAfee Total Protection — Best for Wi-Fi Network Protection With Excellent Cybersecurity ExtrasThe one thing I don’t like about McAfee is its password manager. Total Protection only includes a limited version of True Key — not only is True Key not very good, but you also don’t even get the full version. If you’re looking for an internet security suite with a really good password manager, take a look at our top 5 antiviruses with a password manager.

With plans starting at $39.99 / year, McAfee is one of the most affordable options on this list. In fact, it’s cheap enough that even if you buy a separate password manager, it’s still one of the best value packages out there. Plus, it’s one of the only antiviruses on the market to offer coverage for an unlimited number of devices.

McAfee Premium - 60% off
Discount applied automatically at checkout.

Bottom Line:

McAfee Total Protection is an excellent antivirus package that is particularly great at securing Wi-Fi networks. It comes with additional tools like a VPN, a file shredder, and even identity theft protection in some countries. The Premium plan is one of the best value family antiviruses on the market, covering an unlimited number of devices for a low price. All McAfee plans are protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee.


Read the full McAfee review here >

4. TotalAV Total Security — Best Internet Security for Beginners

4. TotalAV Total Security — Best Internet Security for Beginners

TotalAV’s Total Security is the most advanced online protection suite from TotalAV — but it’s still simple to understand and very easy to use. It has an excellent antivirus engine that detected 100% of the malware in my tests, and it comes with lots of online security tools. These include a safe browsing extension, a secure password vault, anti-phishing protection, an ad blocker, and a VPN (with unlimited data).

TotalAV’s VPN is quite good, performing much better than many standalone VPNs. It compares favorably with Norton’s VPN as well, including many features that Norton lacks such as a strict no-logs policy, torrenting support on all servers, and the rare ability among antivirus-bundled VPNs to access all major streaming sites including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and more.

The system tune-up tools are excellent. Whereas Bitdefender’s system tune-up tools are little more than a junk file remover, TotalAV’s include extra tools like a startup manager (lets you decide what apps you want to run automatically when your computer starts) and an application uninstaller (a much more thorough uninstaller compared to the built-in uninstaller on Windows and Mac, which also lets you uninstall multiple applications at once).

4. TotalAV Total Security — Best Internet Security for BeginnersThere’s also a password manager, but it’s really quite basic compared to Norton’s password manager. It’ll generate strong passwords for you, store them, and auto-fill saved logins, but it has no additional features that are typically offered by premium password managers such as 2-factor authentication, biometric login, multi-device password syncing, and so on. What’s more, it’s only available as part of TotalAV’s most expensive bundle.

TotalAV Total Security is a good choice if you want a simple, beginner-friendly security suite that you can install and forget about (on up to 6 devices). It doesn’t have as many additional features as Norton or Bitdefender, which come with extras such as webcam protection, file shredding, parental controls, and encrypted storage, but at $49.00 / year, it’s one of the best-value deals around.

Bottom Line:

TotalAV Total Security offers easy-to-use antivirus protection and comes with some pretty good internet security tools. The antivirus engine is fast, lightweight, and highly secure, and the included VPN offers speeds comparable with some of the top names in the VPN industry. TotalAV is truly ‘plug and play’ — you’ll be protected within seconds, and it’ll run quietly in the background without you even noticing. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of TotalAV’s plans.


Read the full TotalAV review here >

5. Panda Dome Complete — Intuitive User Interface With Lots of Additional Security Protections

5. Panda Dome Complete — Intuitive User Interface With Lots of Additional Security Protections

Panda Dome Complete has a good malware scanner, an easy-to-use interface, and a ton of additional features. Panda uses artificial intelligence to protect devices from all types of malware — in my tests, Panda found most of my malware samples. However, it missed a few adware and spyware files that competitors like Norton were able to detect.

Panda’s most unique feature is the Rescue Kit, which lets you save your PC via a USB stick if it gets infected by a virus or malware. This is really useful, as it means you can boot your PC to scan and disinfect it in situations where it might otherwise be impossible to start. Kaspersky has something similar, but Panda’s Rescue Kit is a bit better.

5. Panda Dome Complete — Intuitive User Interface With Lots of Additional Security ProtectionsI also like Panda’s user-friendly password manager, which includes all of the essential features of a good password manager, including a password generator, the ability to auto-fill and auto-save passwords, two-factor authentication (2FA), password strength auditing, and more. Its file encrypter and shredder is also good, locking and permanently deleting sensitive files.

However, not all of Panda’s extras are that good. For instance, the web protection needs some improvement (it only scored a 50% detection rate during my tests, failing to detect even the most obvious phishing sites). This is very poor compared to top brands like Bitdefender and McAfee, which have near-perfect detection rates. Also, I didn’t find the parental controls very useful because they’re just too basic. If you’re looking for strong parental controls, I recommend Norton.

Panda Dome offers several different plans. These range from a free plan with basic antivirus protection and a limited VPN to the Panda Dome Premium plan, which comes with a VPN with no limitations and costs $66.99 / year. However, I recommend most users get the best-value Panda Dome Complete plan ($42.99 / year), as Panda’s VPN has mediocre connection speeds, is unreliable at accessing major streaming sites like Netflix, and lacks critical features like a kill switch that help ensure your privacy and security.

Bottom Line:

Panda Dome Complete offers good malware protection and is one of the most feature-rich internet security suites on the market. It detected most malware, and I was impressed with its intuitive interface and unique features like the Rescue Kit. However, Panda’s web protection is pretty bad, the unlimited-data VPN is only available with the most expensive package, and the parental controls are too basic. If you’re interested, you can try Panda risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.


Read the full Panda review here >

6. Avira Prime — Fast Virus Scans & Secure Browsing

6. Avira Prime — Fast Virus Scans & Secure Browsing

Avira Prime has one of the best antivirus engines around — it runs entirely in the cloud, so it’s fast, lightweight, and doesn’t cause lags or system slowdown. During my tests, Avira’s antivirus engine identified all of the malware samples I placed on my computer, and the real-time protection feature blocked all of the malware files I tried running. However, Avira is one of the only security suites on this list that doesn’t come with its own firewall, which is a real shame.

I like Avira’s Safe Shopping browser extension — it identified and blocked more phishing sites in my tests than most competitors. The extension also blocks browser tracking, preventing companies from tracking your online activity and delivering ads based on your browsing habits. Another cool thing about this extension is that it helps you find the best deals online (though this doesn’t always work as intended).

6. Avira Prime — Fast Virus Scans & Secure BrowsingAvira comes with an excellent VPN as well — it’s secure, fast, and very easy to use. I was able to browse the web, stream video, and download files with minimal or no speed loss, which is pretty great for a bundled VPN. It also supports torrenting on all of its servers, and it passed all of my IP leak tests. One downside of Avira’s VPN is that it doesn’t work with a lot of major streaming sites including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.

Unfortunately, the Prime package doesn’t include parental controls, though Avira does offer free parental controls named Family Protection Suite for Windows, which you can download separately. Compared to Norton and Bitdefender, however, its offering is pretty limited. It doesn’t have the ability to limit screen time, for example, or to filter online content based on selected categories.

Priced at $59.99 / year, Avira Prime is the company’s best internet security suite, and it covers up to 5 devices across all operating systems (the mobile apps also come with really good anti-theft protection and a network scanner).

Bottom Line:

Avira has a lightweight cloud-based antivirus engine with perfect detection rates and excellent web protection. I’m particularly impressed with Avira’s Safe Shopping browser extension which prevents phishing attacks, blocks browser tracking and ads, and finds the best shopping deals. However, it doesn’t have a firewall (which is an essential security feature), and it also lacks parental controls. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on all Avira purchases.


Read the full Avira review here >

7. Kaspersky Premium — Best for Online Shoppers

7. Kaspersky Premium — Best for Online Shoppers

There is no evidence to suggest that using Kaspersky products will in any way threaten your privacy or security or that the company engages in any illicit or otherwise unethical behavior. You can find out more about why we continue to recommend Kaspersky here.

Kaspersky Premium has a good antivirus scanner and lots of extra internet security features. These include a VPN, parental controls, a password manager, webcam protections, a secure browser for online financial management, and a rescue disk feature similar to Panda’s Rescue Kit.

The Safe Money feature is particularly good. During my tests, it detected when I was making purchases, and it automatically opened a new browser that analyzed sites for security risks, blocked pop-ups and trackers, and gave me an onscreen keyboard to deter keylogging hackers.

7. Kaspersky Premium — Best for Online ShoppersI also like Kaspersky’s Safe Kids parental controls. They allow you to set up safe searches on YouTube, manage your child’s screen time on Android (this feature didn’t work on iOS during testing), monitor their activity on VK, and block adult content. They even have a handy function in the location tracker that’ll warn you if the battery on your child’s device is low, so you can ensure that your kids are never out of contact due to a dead device.

Kaspersky’s password manager and VPN are also really good. The VPN offers unlimited data, decent speeds, and works really well with Netflix and other popular streaming sites. The password manager is fairly basic, but it offers unlimited password storage, flawless auto-save and auto-fill, and a good password generator. However, unlike Norton’s password manager, it lacks two-factor authentication options.

At $16.99 / year, Kaspersky’s Premium plan includes protection for up to 20 devices, which is pretty affordable for a full-featured internet security suite.

Bottom Line:

Kaspersky’s Premium has excellent malware detection and some pretty cool features for securing online finances. It also has comprehensive parental controls, a good password manager, and a solid VPN. All Kaspersky purchases come with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.


Read the full Kaspersky review here >

8. Malwarebytes Premium — Simple Security With a Good Antivirus Engine

8. Malwarebytes Premium — Simple Security With a Good Antivirus Engine

Malwarebytes Premium is an easy-to-use but minimal internet security suite. Malwarebytes’s antivirus engine uses artificial intelligence to block malware in real-time — during my tests, Malwarebytes detected all of my malware samples. However, I was pretty annoyed that it flagged more false positives than any of the other antiviruses on this list. Its full disk scan also took nearly four times as long as Norton’s.

Malwarebytes proved pretty effective at catching phishing websites, scoring a 90% detection rate, but it’s pretty bad at stopping ads. Malwarebytes claims that its extension speeds up web browsing, but I didn’t notice that my browsing was any faster than usual.

8. Malwarebytes Premium — Simple Security With a Good Antivirus EngineMalwarebytes Premium doesn’t have any extras. It’s missing a device tune-up tool, a password manager, breach monitoring, parental controls, and even a firewall, which can all be found in premium competitors like Norton, McAfee, and Bitdefender. However, it’s a simple and affordable internet security suite that covers 1–5 devices across all operating systems for just $44.99 / year.

Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy adds a really good VPN with over 400 servers in 30+ countries for $99.99 / year. But while its VPN has decent speeds and a zero-logs policy, it lacks a kill switch, doesn’t support torrenting, and can’t access popular streaming sites like Netflix, so it’s not really worth the upgrade.

Bottom Line:

Malwarebytes is a highly effective anti-malware program, but it lacks most of the additional features I want to see in an internet security suite. Malwarebytes Premium has a good antivirus engine and decent web protection, and Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy adds a good VPN. The company offers a generous 60-day money-back guarantee on both plans.


Read the full Malwarebytes review here >

9. Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9 — Best Internet Security Software for Mac

9. Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9 — Best Internet Security Software for Mac

Intego’s Premium Bundle X9 is the best Mac internet security suite out there. Most of the products on this list are primarily intended for Windows (although they all work well on Mac), so I decided to include one that focuses on protecting Macs.

Intego’s excellent real-time malware protection helped to make it our #1 antivirus for Mac in 2023. In my tests, it blocked all of the Mac-specific malware samples I threw at it — including newer spyware samples that macOS antiviruses from competitors like Panda missed.

Intego’s other features include:

  • Firewall.
  • Device optimization tool.
  • Parental controls.
  • File backup (local backup only).

I was very impressed by Intego’s NetBarrier firewall, which automatically adjusts settings based on network traffic.

9. Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9 — Best Internet Security Software for MacI also quite liked its parental controls. Besides the standard features you’d expect like content filters and the ability to set a screen time limit, Intego’s parental controls also allow you to monitor your child’s chats and emails to guard them against online predators and prevent them from communicating with others inappropriately — using malicious words and sharing personal or sensitive information, for example.

However, Intego is missing anti-phishing protection, which is a critical internet security feature. Its “anti-phishing protection” is just a feature that checks whether the built-in protections on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are active — In other words, Intego doesn’t offer any additional protection of its own.

Intego’s Premium Bundle X9 ($34.99 / year) comes with all Intego’s features for up to 5 devices. But if you’re only looking for basic protection for your Mac device, then you can also take a look at Intego Mac Internet Security X9, which includes malware protection and a firewall for just $19.99 / year.

Bottom Line:

Intego Mac Premium Bundle X9 improves macOS’s internet security tools in every way — it has excellent malware scanning and a really good smart firewall. I also really like the parental controls and file backup, which both offer a ton of customization options that macOS doesn’t include. All of Intego’s plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.


Read the full Intego review here >

10. MacKeeper — Intuitive Internet Security for macOS Users

10. MacKeeper — Intuitive Internet Security for macOS Users

MacKeeper is another good internet security plan for macOS, with near-perfect malware detection rates and a wide range of cybersecurity tools. Its malware scanner detected more than 99% of my malware samples, which is similar to Intego, and its additional features improve upon macOS’s built-in protections.

I especially like MacKeeper’s system cleanup and optimization tools, and I think its VPN is pretty good, too. The system cleanup and optimization tools removed almost 7 GB of junk files from my MacBook, and the VPN allowed me to stream content on Netflix without any slowdown.

MacKeeper is also very easy to use, so you won’t have to worry about setting it up or finding and using its features even if you have little or no experience with internet security packages.

10. MacKeeper — Intuitive Internet Security for macOS UsersWhat’s more, MacKeeper has a live chat integrated into the dashboard, so you can contact customer support at any time. I chatted with MacKeeper’s live chat reps several times, and they were always friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.

MacKeeper’s biggest downside is that it lacks anti-phishing protection. This is an essential internet security feature in 2023, and all of the other brands on this list have it (except for Intego). In addition, MacKeeper also lacks a firewall and parental controls (Intego has both of these features).

All of MacKeeper’s plans include the same features, and the only difference between them is the subscription duration and the number of devices covered (1-3). Plans start at $10.95 / month.

Bottom Line:

MacKeeper is a decent macOS internet security package with an excellent malware scanner and a good range of additional features. Its cleanup and optimization features can help clean your Mac of junk and duplicate files, and its VPN is one of the better antivirus-bundled VPNs. However, MacKeeper is missing essential features like anti-phishing protection and a firewall. There are several plans to choose from, and they all have a 14-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full MacKeeper review here >

Comparison of the Best Internet Security Software in 2023

Antivirus Starting Price Firewall Device optimization
VPN Password Manager
Parental Controls
Free Version Money-Back Guarantee
1.🥇Norton 360 Deluxe $24.99 / year Unlimited data 60 days
2.🥈Bitdefender Premium Security $59.99 / year Unlimited data 30 days
3.🥉 McAfee Total Protection $39.99 / year Unlimited data (with automatic subscription renewals) 30 days
4. TotalAV Total Security $49.00 / year Unlimited data 30 days
5. Panda Dome Complete $42.99 / year Unlimited data
(with Panda Dome Premium)
30 days
6. Avira Prime $49.00 / year Unlimited data 30 days
7. Kaspersky Premium $22.99 / year Unlimited data 30 days
8. Malwarebytes Premium $44.99 / year Unlimited data (with Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy) 60 days
9. Intego Mac Bundle Premium X9 $34.99 / year 30 days
10. MacKeeper $10.95 / month Unlimited data 14 days

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How to Choose the Best Internet Security Suite for Your Needs

To decide if an internet security suite is the best for your needs, you need to do the following:
  • Find a suite with effective malware protection. A good internet security suite should protect against known and emerging threats in real time — viruses, trojans, spyware, ransomware, and anything in between. All of my top choices proved that they could effectively protect against malware when I put them to the test.
  • Ensure the software includes anti-phishing capabilities. In addition to scanning for and removing malware, good internet security software should have the ability to help detect and prevent you from accessing websites that try to obtain personal or sensitive information. Norton and Bitdefender in particular offer excellent web protection.
  • Asses each product’s performance impact. Protecting your device from various threats naturally uses some system resources. But none of the security suites I recommend had a noticeable impact on my device boot times or performance during my tests.
  • Choose a program that’s easy to use. The best internet security suites are easy to download, open, and get started. It should also be simple to troubleshoot and customize each feature. In my tests, I gave bonus points to brands with helpful in-app instructions and exceptional customer support.
  • Look for a package that includes a VPN (virtual private network). Almost all of the internet security suites in this list come with VPNs to protect your online privacy and personal information. Norton, Bitdefender, and TotalAV’s VPNs in particular performed as well as some standalone VPNs in terms of speed, security, and inclusion of extra features like streaming and P2P support.
  • Consider packages that offer password managers. Good internet security suites will include a password manager, which makes it easy for you to create and maintain a list of diverse and strong passwords. Norton, Avira, and TotalAV’s password managers are some of my favorites.
  • Decide if you need parental controls. Many of the brands I recommend on this list come with really good parental controls that can help you keep your children safe both online and offline. Norton is my #1 pick for the best antivirus with parental controls in 2023.
  • Calculate the overall value. When choosing an internet security suite, you should look at how much the plans cost, how many devices they cover, and whether they offer free trials or a money-back guarantee. For example, McAfee can cover an unlimited number of devices for a low price, and Norton and Malwarebytes offer generous 60-day money-back guarantees. In my tests, I also took into account how many extra features were on offer and how much the standalone products included in a package cost.

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Is Kaspersky Safe to Use?

The recent war in Ukraine has brought Kaspersky under scrutiny due to its Russian origins. The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has advised German citizens against using Kaspersky antivirus. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has also added Kaspersky to a list of companies deemed to pose a risk to national security — a move that reinforces the long-standing policy of US governmental agencies forbidding the usage of Kaspersky products.

That said, there’s no hard evidence of any vulnerabilities or wrongdoing on the part of Kaspersky, and it’s important to keep that in mind. Kaspersky has vigorously denied allegations that its products could be used as a conduit for cyberespionage or cyberattacks by the Russian government, and it has argued that these actions were made on political grounds and based on unjustified fears.

Kaspersky is a private, international company that, as of today, has been operating for over 25 years and has assets located in over 200 countries and territories around the world. Its security products have routinely proven themselves during technical assessments. Throughout the years, Kaspersky has been a key player in taking down and exposing international threats to cybersecurity as well — including some potentially perpetuated by the Russian government.

For all of these reasons, we don’t believe Kaspersky’s antivirus is a threat to your online security. However, if you still have concerns, there are plenty of other antiviruses you can choose from, such as Norton and Bitdefender.

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Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • Comodo. Comodo offers a variety of advanced settings for experienced users. But during my tests, Comodo missed some malware files that the brands on this list all detected. Plus, Comodo significantly slowed my computer down.
  • ESET. ESET is a lightweight internet security suite with pretty good malware protection. However, ESET is not as good at detecting internet-based malware like ransomware as the other programs on this list. It’s also pretty expensive, especially if you own multiple devices.
  • Sophos. Sophos is a good cybersecurity suite that includes protection for up to 10 Macs or PCs and unlimited mobile devices. However, it’s missing many of the additional features that make the antiviruses on this list so useful, plus its desktop app is disappointingly basic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is internet security important?

Internet security is important because of the huge amount of valuable data most of us keep online and the increasing number of hackers targeting unprotected online accounts. Hackers are using increasingly sophisticated malware and social engineering tactics to get access to financial information, online logins, and browsing data.

Without proper internet security protection, you could fall victim to one of these hacks. Your financial details could be leaked, your social media accounts could be compromised, and ultimately you could become a victim of identity theft and fraud.

What’s the difference between “antivirus” and “internet security”?

Antivirus software protects against computer-based malware like viruses and trojans, while internet security software protects against network-based malware like spyware and ransomware. That said, today, many internet security suites (like all on this list) offer both an antivirus engine and internet security protection in the same product.

Many antivirus/internet security packages have:

  • Phishing, spyware, and ransomware protection.
  • Secure browser extension.
  • Identity theft insurance.
  • VPN.
  • Firewall.
  • Dark web monitoring.
  • Password manager.
  • Encrypted cloud storage.
  • And a lot more…

My favorite internet security suite of 2023 is Norton 360 Deluxe. It’s got 100% malware protection, a fast VPN, 50 GB of cloud storage, a highly secure firewall, and excellent parental controls.

Are there any free internet security programs?

Free internet security software usually has severely limited functionality, major product flaws, or notifications that prevent you from using your device normally. Alternatively, it might have a secret agenda, like stealing your data. That said, not all free security software is bad. In fact, I think there are some good free antiviruses out there — but none are as good as the brands on this list.

It’s always better to spend a couple of bucks a month on a premium internet security suite like Norton 360 than it is to deal with the hassles and limitations of a free antivirus.

Are Google Chrome’s internet security protections any good?

Chrome doesn’t have a lot of online protections. It’s missing a VPN, identity theft protection, advanced phishing detection, and encrypted password storage.

Internet security protections from Google (and Apple and Microsoft) have come a long way. However, none of them are even close to those offered by major cybersecurity brands like Norton. Most antivirus software in 2023 offers far better protection than anything found in Google Chrome.

What’s the best antivirus with internet security?

My favorite antivirus with internet security is Norton 360 Deluxe. It has perfect malware detection rates, plus a ton of great internet security features including a firewall, a VPN with unlimited data, a password manager, parental controls, dark web monitoring, cloud backup (Windows only), and more.

Do I need both antivirus and internet security?

Antivirus and internet security software protect you against different things, so you need both to ensure complete protection. Antiviruses find and remove malware on your device and stop malware from being installed on your device in the first place. Internet security software protects you from online threats by identifying phishing sites (which try to steal your personal information), encrypting your data (with a VPN), stopping cyber attacks, and more.

Because they complement each other so well, many internet security suites include both. All of the recommendations on this list come with both an antivirus and internet security.

The best internet security suite in 2023 is Norton 360 Deluxe. It has 100% malware-detection rates and offers comprehensive protection from cyber threats with features like a firewall, a VPN, a password manager, dark web monitoring, cloud backup, and more.

Best Internet Security Packages in 2023 — Final Score:

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About the Author
Katarina Glamoslija
Katarina Glamoslija
Head Content Manager
Updated on: March 1, 2023

About the Author

Katarina Glamoslija is Head Content Manager at SafetyDetectives. She has nearly a decade of experience researching, testing, and reviewing cybersecurity products and investigating best practices for online safety and data protection. Before joining SafetyDetectives, she was Content Manager and Chief Editor of several review websites, including one about antiviruses and another about VPNs. She also worked as a freelance writer and editor for tech, medical, and business publications. When she’s not a “Safety Detective”, she can be found traveling (and writing about it on her small travel blog), playing with her cats, and binge-watching crime dramas.