Verum is reader-supported. When you buy through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission – learn more

Best Free Anti-Virus Software UK: Stay Safe Online

why security software is important to avoid ransomware, identity theft and other malware in uk

Choosing the best anti-virus software isn’t easy. Numerous claims, offers and scare stories make what’s already a difficult decision, much harder.

Unfortunately, many of the scare stories are real. Hackers want your personal details, credit cards and control of your PC. Plus, they will do whatever it takes to steal your ID, files and money. 

How to choose the best security software

Does the software work? Clearly, this the most important factor when choosing the right security software. Does it stop the bad stuff happening, is the primary measurement. Secondly, it must not give false alerts (false positives) for legitimate websites, software etc. Also important are, usability, additional features and of course, price.

Security software is hard to test

There are only two or three labs that test anti-virus software at the forensic level required. Verum works with SE Labs for the best protection information available. SE Labs is a world-leading, independent, security testing company based in London. They use an array of sophisticated real-world tests to benchmark and compare security software performance. 

Verum uses these results as the foundation for the verdicts and recommendations, to keep you safe.

Who do hackers target?

Hackers look for the easiest targets. PCs running old software, with poor or outdated protection are far easier to steal from than devices that are locked down with the best anti-virus software. Make sure all your devices are running the latest software & have the best security software installed.

Best Free anti-virus software for 2020 recommended security UK Verum Verdicts
Microsoft Defender – Best Free Security Software

Best Free Antivirus Software:
Microsoft Defender 

Microsoft Defender has come of age! For a long time, standard Windows security was considered something of a joke – it offered little or no protection when compared to other free or paid-for antivirus software. However, over the last couple of years, this has changed. The latest test results show that Microsoft Defender not only performs better than other free packages (Avast, Avira & AVG), it also scores higher than numerous paid-for versions. Based on twelve months of real-world testing, Microsoft Defender is the best free anti-virus software.

Windows Defender achieved a near-perfect score for protection

SE Labs tests dozens of antivirus packages, subjecting them to hundreds of real-world attacks. Windows Defender achieved a near-perfect score for protection. Plus, it returned zero false-positives – meaning that it didn’t block any legitimate software or code.

Microsoft Defender is built-in to Windows 10, has a simple interface, won’t slow your PC and while it lacks some of the features available with paid-for security software it offers excellent protection. 

Microsoft Defender is the best FREE anti-virus software for 2020. If you are running Windows 10, make sure Microsoft Defender is turned on, keep everything backed-up and all software up to date – you’re good to go!

Best anti-virus software for 2020 recommended security UK Verum Verdicts
Best security software – Norton 360

Best Antivirus Software:
Norton 360 Deluxe

Over the last 12 months, Norton 360 outperformed all other security software. If you want the very best security for your tech, choose Norton 360.

Historically, there was a view that Symantec security software would slow your PC, but this opinion is now a decade out of date. Test data from SE Labs shows that Norton achieved a perfect score in identifying legitimate software and most importantly, zero compromises on detecting and dealing with the bad stuff. 

Perfect results with a host of additional features

Norton 360 Deluxe has the standard virus, malware, spyware and ransomware protection along with a host of additional features. These include a password manager, cloud back-up, parental controls, webcam safety and a standout secure VPN. 

What’s a VPN & why do I need one?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) lets you connect to another network over the internet, securely. This can shield your activity on public wifi and give you access to region-restricted websites. For example, it can be used to access iPlayer from outside the UK. 

In 2020, Norton 360 is the best anti-virus software, you can buy. You can get Norton 360 Deluxe for around £20 for the first year. This covers five devices.

If you want the best antivirus software and like the idea of a VPN plus the other additional features, choose the Verum Best Buy – Norton 360 Deluxe.

Norton 360 Deluxe | Verdict price £20 | Check best price on Amazon

Do I really need anti-virus software?

Whatever devices you use, it’s a must to keep your software up to date and while you may be careful which sites you visit, links you click etc., be under no illusion, the scammers will work hard and try anything to trick you and your family. 

Phones, tablets, PCs, Macs, Chromebooks, wifi routers, smart devices etc., all require protection and above all else, it’s essential to keep operating systems, firmware and software up to date. 

Currently, anti-virus software is a must on a Windows PC and sensible on Macs and Android phones/tablets. Chromebooks and Apple phones/tablets work differently. Assuming you keep your software updated, they have additional layers of protection.

Best anti-virus software for 2020 recommended security UK Verum Verdicts

The best security software + VPN
Norton 360 Deluxe | Verdict price £20
See price on Amazon

Why spend more?

Microsoft Defender is the best free anti-virus software – it works well and is zero hassle.

That said, if you want the very best protection, choose Norton 360. Along with the excellent security, there’s the VPN. If you want to surf the web anonymously and do things like watch iPlayer from abroad, then choose Norton 360 Deluxe.

Best External Hard Drive