In the digital age, protecting your online privacy and ensuring your devices are free from harmful software is paramount. Typically, VPNs and antivirus software have been separate tools, each addressing different aspects of cybersecurity. But the growing number of threats makes it increasingly beneficial to have a comprehensive solution that can provide secure connections and protection against malware, phishing, and other cyber threats.
Unfortunately, despite the clear advantages, the market for VPNs with integrated antivirus features remains limited, and the need for such combined solutions is more pronounced than ever. This article provides a detailed analysis of the best VPNs with antivirus features. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, here’s a summary of the best VPNs with Antivirus:
- Surfshark One: The best VPN with antivirus. Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections. Its CleanWeb feature blocks malware, trackers, and phishing attempts, enhancing online safety.
- CyberGhost VPN + Security Suite: With support for multiple protocols and pre-configured security features, CyberGhost offers an excellent balance of convenience and security. Its Antivirus feature is available as an add-on.
- Private Internet Access with Antivirus: Offering a 10-device limit and top-notch privacy features, PIA is a solid choice. It also provides antivirus software as part of its package.
- Norton 360: Huge suite of security tools, accesses Netflix from anywhere, and includes a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- McAfee Essential Protection: Strong commitment to privacy, built-in password manager, and regular definition updates.
- Avast One: Servers in 55 locations, real-time virus scanning, and 24/7 support.
- Bitdefender Internet Security: Webcam and microphone protection, parental controls, and a network of over 2,300 VPN servers.
We have a strict set of criteria for evaluating VPNs with antivirus to ensure they are fit for purpose, securing your traffic alongside protecting your device from malicious software. Here are some of the things we look for:
- Fast and consistent connection speeds are crucial for a smooth online experience.
- The VPN should provide robust encryption standards and a strict no-logs policy.
- Look for services with 24/7 customer service and multiple support channels.
- The VPN should support various devices and operating systems.
Best VPNs with Antivirus
Surfshark is our top pick VPN with antivirus. It includes unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can protect all your devices with one subscription. In addition, its CleanWeb feature offers integrated browsing protection by blocking malware, trackers, and phishing attempts.
Surfshark Antivirus goes a step further with an all-in-one solution to block real-time threats and remove existing threats from your device. In addition, Surfshark Antivirus integrates with its Cybersecurity suite, allowing you to run scheduled or on-demand virus scans of your system with very little impact on system resources.
Surfshark Antivirus is bundled with Surfshark One, which will cost you around $1.49 per month on top of an existing Surfshark VPN subscription. Surfshark antivirus only supports Windows and macOS at the time of writing.
Now, over to Surfshark VPN. With servers in over 99 countries, Surfshark ensures fast and reliable connections. It uses 256-bit encryption, split tunneling, and an app kill switch. Disney Plus, Prime Video, and Netflix are accessible from anywhere with Surfshark, and apps are available on desktop and mobile.
- Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
- Allows torrenting and P2P
- Takes privacy and security very seriously
- Fast enough for streaming live TV without any issues
- Server network is relatively small compared to many competitors
- Some servers are slower than others
THE BEST VPN WITH ANTIVIRUS:Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections, servers in 99 countries, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our Surfshark review.
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CyberGhost‘s VPN service supports multiple protocols and offers pre-configured security features for an enhanced online experience. Its optional antivirus features, partnered with Intego, ensure your Windows device remains free from spyware, malware, trojans, and zero-day threats. CyberGhost Security Suite also includes an update scanner, alerting you when apps need to be updated, alongside its Privacy Guard, which scans 76 critical areas in Windows with everything from Bluetooth ads to typing habits data collection to show you the data being collected about your device.
CyberGhost VPN + Security Bundle comes in at around $2 to $3 more per month than its standalone VPN subscription.
CyberGhost operates over 8000 VPN servers in 88 countries, guaranteeing high-speed connections. It lets you use its VPN on up to seven devices simultaneously, offers beginner-friendly apps for desktop and mobile, and has servers optimized for streaming and torrenting.
- Streams HD video seamlessly
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Apps are easy to install and use – a good option for beginners
- Seven devices simultaneous connection allowance
- Power-users may lament lack of advanced configuration options
- No router support
USER-FRIENDLY CHOICE:CyberGhost offers servers in 88 countries, supports multiple protocols, and provides a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read the full CyberGhost review.
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PIA is a reliable choice, offering a 10-device limit and top-notch privacy features. In addition, it provides antivirus software as an add-on to its VPN package, ensuring your devices stay clean while you browse.
PIA requires you to add its antivirus solution to a VPN subscription instead of offering a standalone antivirus suite. PIA has a feature-rich portfolio of protection features, including on-demand and real-time virus scanning, cloud-based virus definition updates, detailed security reports, and protection against spyware, rootkits, worms, trojans, and more. Like CyberGhost, PIA Antivirus is currently supported on Windows systems. Its ad blocker, tracker prevention, and malicious website blocker are supported in its browsing extension, which covers a range of devices.
Outside its antivirus suite, PIA VPN includes WireGuard support, split tunneling, AES encryption, and a zero-logs policy. Its VPN is available on mobile and desktop and allows up to ten simultaneous connections.
- 10 simultaneous device limit
- Apps include a kill switch
- Supports WireGuard
- No-logs policy
- Unblocking can be inconsistent
- Many servers are virtual
WIREGUARD ON:PIA offers a 10-device limit, advanced privacy features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Private Internet Access review.
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Norton 360 is a comprehensive suite of security tools from one of the most trusted names in the antivirus industry. Not only does it offer powerful antivirus protection, but it also includes a VPN service that ensures secure and private browsing.
The Norton 360 VPN is designed to respect your privacy. It operates under a strict no-logs policy, meaning your online activities are never tracked or recorded. It uses bank-grade encryption to secure your data, adding a layer of security to your internet activities.
Whether you’re checking emails, shopping online, or streaming content, the Norton 360 VPN can help to protect your personal information from being intercepted by cybercriminals. It allows you to access content from around the world by masking your IP address, which could be especially handy if you’re traveling or living abroad.
The VPN is integrated into the Norton 360 suite, so you can manage it along with your other Norton services from a single, user-friendly interface. Additionally, Norton offers 24/7 customer support to assist with any questions or issues.
- Multiple package options available
- A vast range of security tools
- Excellent malware blocking
- Comprehensive identity monitoring suite
- Forces auto-renewal
- Limited multi-device coverage for lower-cost packages
EXCELLENT VIRUS DETECTION:Norton 360 offers servers in various countries, provides 24/7 customer support, and offers a money-back guarantee.
Check out our full Norton review.
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McAfee is a well-established name in the cybersecurity space, and its Essential Protection package provides a compelling combination of antivirus and VPN capabilities. The bundled VPN, known as McAfee Safe Connect, employs military-grade encryption to safeguard your online activity and data from potential cyber threats.
McAfee Safe Connect VPN offers a straightforward and user-friendly interface, making it suitable for all experience levels. In addition, it secures your internet connection on up to 5 devices simultaneously, ensuring that your personal details and online activities are shielded from the prying eyes of cybercriminals and even your ISP.
One of the standout features of McAfee’s VPN service is its automatic protection. The VPN automatically turns on whenever you connect to the internet, ensuring continuous privacy and security. It’s a good fit for those who desire a ‘set and forget’ approach to VPN usage. It also includes a password manager, real-time virus detection, and identity monitoring.
- Large number of features.
- Highly-rated by independent testing labs.
- Designed well for MacOS.
- Long-time provider with a long history of high-grade Windows protection
- No option to turn off auto-renewal at checkout.
- Among the most expensive offers after first year discounts end
MULTI-DEVICE SUPPORT:McAfee offers servers in various countries, 24/7 customer support, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of McAfee.
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Avast SecureLine VPN is the offering from Avast, which is primarily known for antivirus software. This VPN protects your internet connection, ensuring that your online activities remain private and secure. At its core, Avast’s antivirus offers on-demand and real-time malware protection, alongside webcam protection and ransomware blocking.
Avast SecureLine VPN operates on a strict no-log policy, meaning it doesn’t collect or keep your online activity data. It utilizes AES-256 encryption – the same standard banks and governments use to keep your data safe. Its VPN service is part of the Avast One subscription, allowing unlimited bandwidth and servers in 55 countries.
Notably, Avast SecureLine VPN allows you to choose from a broad range of server locations, which can be handy for bypassing geo-restrictions. Avast’s VPN service is less feature-rich than some dedicated VPN providers, but it does provide an extra layer of security for your online activities.
- VPN kill switch
- Native Applications
- Unblocks some Netflix libraries
- OK speeds
- Privacy practices are lacking
- Fewer features on offer than its competitors
UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH:Avast offers servers in 55 countries, 24/7 customer support, and real-time virus scanning.
Read our Avast review.
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Bitdefender Premium VPN is part of Bitdefender, a well-regarded antivirus software provider. This service is designed to provide complete online anonymity by encrypting all incoming and outgoing traffic on your devices.
Bitdefender’s VPN offers strong encryption, ensuring your online activities are secure from cyber threats. It adheres to a strict no-log policy, meaning it doesn’t record any of your online activities.
Despite being primarily an antivirus provider, Bitdefender offers a competitive VPN service with 1,300+ servers in 45+ locations. This makes it an excellent choice for users seeking a comprehensive security solution that combines robust antivirus protection with the privacy and freedom of a VPN.
Bitdefender Internet Security includes a VPN with a 200MB daily limit with all its antivirus features, including real-time threat detection, wifi vulnerability scanning, social network protection, and more. Bitdefender Premium VPN is also available as a standalone product.
- Perfect testing lab results.
- Unique features such as multi-layered ranswomare protection
- Allows users to turn off auto-renewal at checkout
- Good consumer-friendly billing practices.
- Pushes a large number of add-ons at checkout
- Live chat is unavailable for canceling
STANDALONE VPN:Servers in 45 locations, microphone manager, and parental controls.
Read our full Bitdefender review.
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Methodology: How the Best VPNs with Antivirus are Selected
- Antivirus Integration: We ensured the VPNs offer antivirus as a primary function, providing robust protection against online threats.
- Speed and Performance: VPNs were evaluated for their ability to provide consistent, high-speed performance, essential for tasks like streaming and gaming.
- Application Availability: We checked whether the VPNs offer dedicated apps for various platforms or provide clear setup instructions.
- Security Standards: We assessed the level of security, and privacy features each VPN offers. This includes encryption standards, protocols, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy.
- Global Coverage: The number and spread of servers were considered. VPNs with more servers across various locations typically provide better speed and unblocking capabilities.
- Customer Support: We value VPN providers that offer 24/7 customer support through multiple channels, including live chat, email, and a comprehensive knowledge base.
- Value for Money: The cost of the VPN and what each subscription plan offers, including the added benefit of antivirus protection, were evaluated.
The Difference Between a VPN and Antivirus
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) and antivirus software play two distinct yet complementary roles in maintaining online safety and privacy.
- VPN: A VPN is primarily concerned with protecting your online privacy and securing your internet connection. It encrypts data and routes it through a secure server, hiding your IP address and making it difficult for third parties to track your online activities. This is particularly useful for protecting your data using public Wi-Fi networks, preventing websites from tracking your location, and bypassing geographic restrictions. Unlike antivirus, a VPN can’t detect or remove malware that’s already on your device.
- Antivirus Software: Antivirus software protects your device from various forms of malware, including viruses, ransomware, spyware, and trojans. It scans files and programs for malicious code, blocks it, and often removes it. Antivirus software can also protect against phishing attacks and other types of online fraud. Unlike a VPN, antivirus does not encrypt your internet connection or change your IP address.
How to Use a VPN with Antivirus
Using a VPN with antivirus is straightforward, especially if you choose a service incorporating both into one application. Here are the general steps:
- Choose a reliable VPN provider with built-in antivirus or a standalone VPN and antivirus software.
- Download and install the software onto your device.
- Launch the software and log in with your account details.
- If using a VPN with built-in antivirus, ensure the VPN and antivirus features are enabled. If using separate applications, make sure both are running.
- Connect to a VPN server of your choice.
- Both VPN and antivirus now protect you. Your internet connection is secure, and your device is protected against malware.
Pros and Cons of VPNs with Antivirus
- Comprehensive Protection: A VPN with antivirus offers all-in-one protection for your online privacy and your device’s security.
- Ease of Use: Integrating both services into one application makes managing it easier.
- Cost-Effective: A VPN and antivirus package can be more cost-effective than subscribing to separate services.
- Unified Customer Support: In case of issues, you only need to contact one customer support team.
- Limited Choices: Fewer VPN providers offer built-in antivirus features than standalone VPN services.
- Potential Performance Impact: Running both services simultaneously may slow down your device or internet speed, especially on older devices.
- Less Specialized: A provider specializing in VPN services or antivirus software might offer more advanced features in their specific domain than one offering a combined service. Support might be less knowledgeable about specific aspects of a service.
Should I consider an antivirus with a built-in VPN?
Yes, an antivirus with a built-in VPN can be a beneficial choice. This combination provides a comprehensive security solution that addresses device-level threats (like viruses and malware) and network-level security concerns (such as data interception and online privacy). Here are a few reasons why this might be a good option for you:
- Ease of Use: With a built-in VPN, you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues or using two different programs. It’s a more streamlined experience; you can control both features from one interface.
- Unified Support: If you encounter issues, you only have to deal with a single support team, simplifying troubleshooting and problem resolution.
- Cost-Effective: Sometimes, antivirus software with a built-in VPN can be more cost-effective than purchasing these services separately.
That being said, the VPN services offered by antivirus companies might not be as comprehensive as those provided by dedicated VPN providers. For example, they may lack advanced features like a kill switch or may have a smaller server network.
Before deciding, consider what you need from your antivirus and VPN. If you’re looking for a simple solution and don’t require advanced VPN features, an antivirus with a built-in VPN could be a great fit. However, if you need more robust VPN functionality, you might be better off with a dedicated VPN service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use a VPN with built-in antivirus?
A VPN with built-in antivirus offers an all-in-one online security and privacy solution. While a VPN secures your internet connection and privacy, the antivirus component protects your device from malware, phishing, and other cyber threats.
Are VPNs with antivirus as effective as separate VPN and antivirus apps?
A well-integrated VPN and antivirus solution can provide comparable protection to separate apps. However, the effectiveness can vary between providers. Therefore, choosing a reputable provider that excels in both VPN and antivirus services is essential.
Will a VPN with antivirus slow down my device?
A VPN can slow down your internet speed due to the encryption process. Similarly, an antivirus program can use many system resources during scans. However, most modern devices can handle these operations without noticeable slowdowns.
Can I use a VPN with antivirus on all my devices?
This depends on the provider. Most VPNs are compatible with major platforms like Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Antivirus programs tend to only run on desktop, while their mobile counterparts, if any, are much more limited. Check the provider’s specifications to ensure your devices are covered.
Is it expensive to have a VPN with antivirus?
The cost of a VPN with an antivirus can vary. Some providers offer it as part of their standard package, while others may charge extra. Consider the cost against the convenience and protection level of having both services in one package.