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5 Best Antiviruses With Email Protection in 2023

Tyler Cross Tyler Cross

Short on time? Here’s the best antivirus with email protection:

After becoming frustrated with suspicious emails constantly appearing in my inbox, I realized I needed better email protection. I began testing a range of antiviruses to find the best ones for keeping me protected.

I was looking for antiviruses able to automatically detect and remove suspicious spam mail and protect me against malware hidden inside seemingly normal-looking links and email attachments. I also wanted to know that, should I accidentally click a malicious link in an email, my devices would be protected from harm.

Unfortunately, many of the antiviruses I tested simply didn’t live up to their claims, but there were some standout choices that offered in-depth email scanning and real-time protection against online threats.

I’ve come up with a list of the 5 best antiviruses for email protection. While Norton 360 is my #1 recommendation, every antivirus on this list will give you significantly more security than your email provider’s built-in protections.

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Quick summary of the best antiviruses with email protection:

🥇 1. Norton — Best Overall Antivirus for Email Protection

🥇 1. Norton — Best Overall Antivirus for Email Protection

Norton thoroughly scans incoming emails for infected attachments and safely removes them before they can do any damage. When I tested Norton’s email protection by sending test malware to my account, the infected files were detected and deleted before they were even downloaded to my inbox. For Outlook users, Norton also offers an AntiSpam feature that uses local filters to determine if a message is spam, and places it in a junk folder if so.

Norton is also the best antivirus out there when it comes to adapting to new phishing scams and malware. It keeps its malware directory up to date with thousands of known malware items and uses machine learning to recognize new threats and keep you as secure as possible. Even though Norton can’t scan emails received via encrypted email service, Norton’s Auto-Protect feature will detect and remove any threats when you try to open them. Auto-Protect worked flawlessly when I tested it on my Gmail account.

Other features Norton offers include:

  • Smart Firewall.
  • Privacy protection.
  • Ransomware protection.
  • VPN (virtual private network).
  • Parental controls.
  • ID protection package (US only).
  • Up to 100 GB of cloud storage.
  • And much more…

I’m also a big fan of Norton’s Smart Firewall, which is essential for protecting your network. The Smart Firewall is a big improvement on the built-in firewalls of Windows and macOS, and in my tests, it detected a few exploits that my Windows firewall failed to block. There are also tons of settings for more advanced users to customize their experience — things like setting access and traffic rules for different programs on your PC.

Norton has a range of plans that start at $54.99 / year and are backed by a generous 60-day money-back guarantee. My favorite plan, Norton 360 Deluxe, costs $24.99 / year and includes email protection, malware and web protections, parental controls, 50 GB of cloud storage, and dark web monitoring for up to 5 devices. If you’re in the US, it’s worth considering Norton’s LifeLock plans, which include identity theft protection and insurance coverage of up to $1 million if you’re the victim of identity theft.

Bottom Line:

Norton offers unmatched email protection. It’s great at detecting malicious files and links, and it uses machine learning to identify and block new threats as they happen. It may be a little more expensive than some others on this list, but standout features like cloud storage, parental controls, and comprehensive identity theft protection (for US users only) make it a great value overall. You can try Norton for 2 months risk-free and make sure it’s right for you.

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Read the full Norton review

🥈 2. Bitdefender — Excellent Real-Time Protection Against Email Threats

🥈 2. Bitdefender — Excellent Real-Time Protection Against Email Threats

Bitdefender is great for protecting your emails from malware and malicious links. The Bitdefender Shield, its real-time protection tool, scans all emails you receive to continuously protect you from email-based malware threats. Bitdefender Shield successfully detected all the malicious emails I sent to my inbox during testing.

In addition to perfect email protection rates, Bitdefender Shield also has an impressive range of customization options — you can set your protection up to scan only new or modified files, or to scan for potentially unwanted applications. I enjoyed having this level of control over my real-time protection (something many antiviruses do not offer).

Bitdefender also has great antispam capabilities to prevent your inbox from getting clogged with junk. However, the antispam is only available for Outlook and Thunderbird email accounts.

Similar to Norton, Bitdefender’s anti-malware engine uses a large malware directory and machine learning to achieve perfect malware detection rates. I also really like how Bitdefender uses cloud-based scanning, so it hardly affects system processing power during scans.

Some other features Bitdefender offers include:

  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • Secure browser.
  • System optimization.
  • Password manager.
  • VPN (200 MB/day).
  • Parental controls.
  • Identity theft protection (US only).
  • Plus a lot more…

I like Safepay, Bitdefender’s secure browser, which protects your data while you pay for things online. It does this by blocking screenshots, giving you a virtual keyboard so your keystrokes can’t be tracked, and automatically turning on Bitdefender’s VPN protection to keep your connection private. This is a really helpful extra layer of protection for your online transactions, and it worked perfectly in my tests.

I’m also a fan of Bitdefender’s VPN, which is super fast and good for torrenting. However, it’s annoying that you’re restricted to 200 MB per day on all but the most expensive plan, Premium Security, which includes all of Bitdefender’s features for $59.99 / year — Norton offers its VPN with unlimited data on all its plans.

All of Bitdefender’s plans offer great value for the price, starting at just $23.99 / year. My favorite plan is Bitdefender Total Security — it’s priced at $35.99 / year and offers coverage for up to 5 Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. Bitdefender’s entry-level Antivirus Plus plan is priced at $23.99 / year and protects 1 Windows device. The Internet Security package costs $32.99 / year and includes protection for up to 3 Windows devices. All of Bitdefender’s packages come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom line:

Bitdefender’s real-time protection tool, Bitdefender Shield, does a great job at protecting your emails and removing threats as they come into your inbox. It also includes a lightweight cloud-based scanner, a firewall, and the Safepay browser to keep your online purchases secure. Bitdefender is very reasonably priced compared to many other antiviruses and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Bitdefender review

🥉 3. Kaspersky — Highly Customizable Email Scanning

🥉 3. Kaspersky — Highly Customizable Email Scanning

Kaspersky’s Mail Anti-Virus automatically scans your emails for dangerous files and links. It also comes with a variety of security customization options. When I tested it, I used the Recommended security level, which scans all incoming and outgoing messages and performs heuristic analysis on them with a medium level of detail. If you’re concerned about your email security, you can choose the High security level, which performs very detailed deep scans on every incoming and outgoing message.

During each test, Kaspersky was able to identify all the threats I threw at it. It detected and disinfected each threat so I could safely access the messages. In cases where Kaspersky can’t successfully disinfect an email, it deletes it and places a copy into quarantine. Kaspersky’s Anti-Spam feature is pretty good, too, offering strong protection against annoying unsolicited emails. Again, it’s customizable, but the Recommended setting should be all most users need.

Kaspersky offers a range of additional features, including:

  • Firewall.
  • VPN (with unlimited data).
  • Rescue Disk.
  • Secure browser.
  • Parental controls.
  • Password manager.
  • System cleanup tools.
  • And more…

Kaspersky’s web protection is pretty good. Its Web Anti-Virus tool works with the Kaspersky Protection browser extension to check links for suspicious behavior and keep you protected in real-time. It’s excellent at detecting phishing scams — I put the anti-phishing protection to the test by sending myself some popular phishing scam emails, and Kaspersky blocked almost all of them. It didn’t perform quite as well as Norton, which blocked 100% of my test phishing scams, but I was still pretty impressed.

Kaspersky has 3 plans, but the Premium package offers the best value. For $22.99 / year, it includes every security feature offered by Kaspersky, including 1 year of free parental controls, on up to 20 devices. Every Kaspersky plan is covered by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Kaspersky offers strong email protection, great malware detection, and multi-layered web protection to keep you safe from threats in real-time. It also includes helpful security features like parental controls, a VPN, and a firewall. While Kaspersky’s anti-phishing protection didn’t detect every single phishing scam, it’s still highly effective, and it’s still a good choice for keeping your emails safe. All Kaspersky plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Kaspersky review

4. Avira — Good Mail Protection and Minimal System Impact

4. Avira — Good Mail Protection and Minimal System Impact

Avira’s Mail Protection feature will automatically scan your incoming emails for viruses and unwanted programs and remove threats before you open them. You can also set it to scan your outgoing emails too — sometimes viruses can attach themselves to emails with the goal of spreading, so the outgoing email scan can give you peace of mind knowing that you’re not accidentally sending malware.

In my tests, Avira’s Mail Protection successfully detected and removed all the test malware I emailed to my inbox. Even without Mail Protection enabled, Avira’s real-time protection does a great job of scanning any file you use, copy, or access, and preventing anything harmful from executing on your device, including anything you access via email.

Avira’s malware scanner is pretty great too — so great in fact that it gets licensed out to other major competitors, like TotalAV. Just like Bitdefender, Avira uses cloud server technology as part of its malware detection system, which means it places less stress on system resources and provides more accurate detection.

Avira also includes features such as:

  • Firewall.
  • Password manager.
  • Web protection.
  • Performance optimization tools.
  • VPN.
  • Game booster.
  • And more…

I like Avira’s Browser Safety web extension, which is pretty great at blocking phishing sites, ads, and trackers. In my tests, Avira blocked several phishing sites that Chrome and Firefox’s built-in protections missed. That said, its exploit protection wasn’t great, especially compared to Norton and Bitdefender.

I’m also a big fan of Avira’s password manager — it’s intuitive, secure, and most of its features are available on the free plan. All in all, it’s one of the best antivirus-bundled password managers out there (though there are better standalone password managers, like 1Password and Dashlane).

Avira has a range of plans, but the Prime package ($59.99 / year) is the best deal, offering coverage for up to 5 devices and including features like email protection, a junk and registry cleaner, a performance optimizer, and an unlimited VPN. All Avira plans come with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Avira provides good email protection and real-time protection, which ensures you’re safe from email-based malware and phishing scams. Its malware scanner works through the cloud to reduce stress on your system and has great malware detection rates. Avira also has a Secure Browser that is great at blocking phishing sites and ads. All of Avira’s plans come with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Avira review

5. TotalAV — Beginner-Friendly With Excellent Real-Time Protection

5. TotalAV — Beginner-Friendly With Excellent Real-Time Protection

TotalAV is a simple antivirus that’s easy to use, so it’s a great choice for less technical users. It doesn’t have a dedicated email scanner like Norton and the other products on my list, so it doesn’t scan your emails. However, its real-time malware and anti-phishing protection are excellent, so it will scan the files downloaded to your inbox when you attempt to open them and protect you from anything malicious before you get a chance to download it to your device.

TotalAV has a good range of additional features, including:

  • Firewall.
  • Web Shield.
  • VPN (unlimited data).
  • System cleanup tools.
  • Password manager.
  • Data breach monitoring.
  • ID theft protection (US only).
  • And more…

The Web Shield tool is really helpful for blocking phishing sites. It did well in my tests, detecting more malicious sites than Chrome or Firefox. However, while it’s better than what most competitors offer, I think Norton’s anti-phishing tools are even more advanced and user-friendly.

TotalAV has several plans, but the Internet Security package offers the best overall protection. It provides all of TotalAV’s security features for up to 5 devices, as well as an unlimited VPN that is the best antivirus-bundled VPN out there. TotalAV Internet Security only costs $39.00 / year, making it one of the most affordable antiviruses on this list.

Bottom Line:

TotalAV is a great choice if you’re looking for a simple, intuitive antivirus. It doesn’t have specific email protection like the other products on my list, but thanks to its great real-time protection and anti-phishing protection, TotalAV can protects you from any malicious threats to your device. All TotalAV’s plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

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Read the full TotalAV review

Comparison of the Best Antiviruses With Email Protection in 2023

Antivirus Starting Price Email Protection Real-Time Malware Protection Anti-Phishing Protection Anti-Spam


Money-Back Guarantee
1.🥇Norton $54.99 / year 60-day
2.🥈Bitdefender $23.99 / year 30-day
3.🥉Kaspersky $16.99 / year 30-day
4. Avira $45.99 / year
(only for business users)
5. TotalAV $19.00 / year 30-day

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How to Choose the Best Antivirus With Email Protection in 2023

  • Email protection. A lot of antiviruses protect your device when you attempt to download infected files, but not all will actually scan your emails and stop the malware from downloading to your inbox in the first place. Top brands like Norton and Bitdefender scan all your incoming emails and automatically block threats before you even see them.
  • Real-time scanning. A good antivirus should keep you protected at all times, not just when it’s performing on-demand scans. All the products on my list offer high-quality real-time protection, neutralizing threats to your device and your personal data — and that includes threats that come via email.
  • Effective malware detection. I won’t even consider an antivirus for protecting my email and the rest of my online life unless it meets a 95%+ overall malware detection rate. Even one threat that slips through could seriously damage your machine and expose your data. All of the antiviruses on my list have very high malware detection rates.
  • Anti-phishing protection. Anti-phishing protection is vital if you want to ensure your emails are fully protected, and I’m pleased to say that all the products on my list provide strong anti-phishing protections that block phishing sites. Norton 360 and Bitdefender in particular have flawless phishing detection rates.
  • Overall value. You should look for an antivirus program that provides excellent protection and a range of extra features for a decent price. All of the products on this list offer great value and also come with money-back guarantees.

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Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • McAfee. While McAfee has a ton of great features, like 100% malware detection and a strong firewall, it no longer offers anti-spam or email protection. That’s why McAfee lost its place on my list.
  • Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes is a super-affordable but pretty bare-bones antivirus. It has a few useful security features, but it doesn’t offer any specific protection for your emails.
  • Panda Dome. Panda is a decent antivirus, with reasonably priced plans and good malware protection. However, it only provides email protection for business users, not for home users, so I couldn’t include it on my list.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does email protection work?

When you receive a new email, an antivirus with email protection will scan it and remove files containing threats. It will be able to block threats before they even reach your inbox. A good antivirus will use heuristic analysis as well as a database of known threats to spot the most damaging malware or the trickiest phishing scams.

A lot of scams mask themselves as completely normal emails from friends, coworkers, or higher-ups in a company. They try to trick you into clicking links or downloading ransomware. By automatically scanning and removing these emails, the best antiviruses will keep you significantly safer.

What is the best way to protect my emails?

There are some basic safety measures you can take to stay safe when using email.

You should never click on a link or attachment unless you’re sure it’s legitimate, and you should always exercise caution when you receive an email from an unfamiliar source. Even if the email is from a friend or work contact, it’s a good idea to check with them first if you’re not sure about the link or attachment, as it’s possible they might have been hacked.

But on top of these basic common-sense measures, it’s a great idea to invest in antivirus software with email protection, like Norton. This way, any threats will be neutralized before they even reach your inbox.

Does a free antivirus protect my emails?

I’ve never found a free antivirus that offers comprehensive email protection. Even my favorite free plan, Avira Free Antivirus, doesn’t include email protection — to get this, you need to upgrade to a paid Avira plan.

If email protection is important to you, you’re definitely better off investing a few bucks a month in a premium antivirus like Norton, which provides access to a full suite of security tools to protect your emails and everything else in your online life.

How do antiviruses detect email threats?

Antiviruses use various analysis methods to examine your incoming emails and scan them for threats. If the incoming email contains the known threats, such as malware files or verified phishing links, an antivirus like Norton 360 will scan and remove the infected file.

The best antiviruses compare the content of your emails to massive directories of known threats, like malware and phishing scams, and they also use heuristic analysis to spot new threats. This allows good antiviruses to stay one step ahead of online threats.

Here Are the 5 Best Antiviruses With Email Protection in 2023:

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About the Author

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."