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It’s becoming increasingly common for antivirus software to include a VPN as one of the core security features. Typically included with the upper-tier options from most major software companies, antivirus VPN has become an essential for millions when shopping for the best antivirus software. But what are the best antiviruses with VPNs you can buy right now?
3 Top Antivirus with VPN
McAfee Total Protection Plus VPN is an exceptionally comprehensive software suite, which as the name suggests also comes complete with a high-quality VPN.
Norton also provides the reassurance of a comprehensive no-logs guarantee, meaning there’s no risk of your data being accessed or compromised in any way.
Avast security VPN package has a network of servers that extends to a full 34 countries. Not to mention, 16 major cities in the United States, enabling users to access local, national and international content that would otherwise be blocked.
Shopping for antiviruses with VPNs included has the potential to be quicker, easier and more cost effective than purchasing a VPN and antivirus suite separately. Along the way, you may opt for full internet security tools which do include VPN or go for one of the options we covered in our proxy server reviews.
Nevertheless, not every antivirus VPN package offers the same level of antivirus protection. Also, the best antivirus for Windows 10 with VPN is out of the picture for Mac users so we reviewed the best VPN for Mac separately. If you are a Windows user, you can check this free VPN for Firefox review.
Have you ever wondered why you need a VPN when gaming? Hence, it’s important to compare the best antiviruses with VPNs like for like, in order to see which gets the job done best.
What You Should Look for in an Antivirus with a VPN
At this point, it’s natural to have a fairly long list of questions and concerns to address. Examples of which may include:
- How much does AVG VPN cost?
- What is AVG VPN protection?
- Is Avast a good VPN?
- Does Norton have a VPN?
- Does Avast free VPN provide sufficient coverage?
In terms of the whole VPN vs antivirus debate, it’s a little like comparing apples to oranges. They’re completely different with their own unique benefits, and you really need both of them in your life. In addition, depending on your preferences, you should decide whether to get antivirus and/or VPN for Windows 10 OS, best antivirus for android, or for Mac.
A VPN is designed to protect your identity online and effectively ‘hide’ your online activities in general. By contrast, antivirus is more about protecting your computer from a wide variety of threats – viruses, malware, spyware etc. We covered your privacy protection software in our antispyware reviews.
In order to be fully protected from all possible threats, you need the best VPN and antivirus software available - not one or the other.
Narrowing down the options with so many packages available can seem tricky at first, but is made easier by focusing on what matters most in an antivirus with a VPN. Detailed below is everything that should be prioritized when shopping for antivirus and VPN:
VPN security. Self-explanatory, as you need to take into account the extent to which the VPN included in the purchase is secure and reliable. This means checking for 128 or 256-bit AES encryption for secure browsing, ensuring no logs are kept of your activity and that your VPN connection is automatically severed in the event that your VPN fails or is disconnected.
Best anti malware protection. The importance of robust malware protection cannot be overstated, which is posing a greater threat than ever before to pretty much every computer worldwide. This means total protection from all types of phishing attacks, spyware, ransomware, and other dangerous potential risks.
VPN accessibility. A VPN is only worth having if it is fast and reliable enough for you to conduct your online activities as you normally would. This means that under no circumstances should your bandwidth be limited to such an extent as to make it impossible (or problematic) to stream media, play games online and download files quickly.
Ease of use. Under no circumstances should you need a degree in computer science to find your way around your chosen antivirus package. It should be simple to use, with a streamlined interface and no unnecessary complications.
Responsive customer support. In addition, it is essential to ensure that the service provider offers dedicated and responsive customer support and can be accessed day and night via a variety of channels – telephone, email, live chat and so on. For obvious reasons, 24/7 customer support is always preferable where available.
Value for money. Overpaying for an antivirus these days really isn’t necessary, as there are some fantastic security suites available for comparatively low prices. That said, you need to be realistic in terms of how much you expect for the amount of money you are willing to pay.
Worldwide VPN server network. It’s necessary for a VPN to have as many access points as possible on a global basis, in order to enable users to bypass censorship or geoblocks. Something to check before signing up, as not all VPNs have an established network of domestic and international servers.
Add-ons and extras.Optional extras aren’t necessarily a deal breaker, but a degree of flexibility is always good. Look for additional extras and add-ons such asweb filters, a password manager, and an ad blocker.
Of course, it’s also important to take into account the reviews, ratings and recommendations of real-life users. Just as long as an antivirus with a VPN has earned predominantly positive feedback, chances are it’s a safe bet.
Best Antivirus With a VPN
Having covered the basics, we’ll now be taking a look at a brief overview of five of the best antivirus with a VPN currently available – all tried, tested and approved by thousands of satisfied customers worldwide:
Anyone who knows anything about antivirus software will be more than familiar with McAfee. These guys have been around for quite some time now, gradually building a reputation as one of the best antivirus software providers on the market. The company underwent a major restructuring over the past few years, propelling the McAfee name right to the top-of-the table alongside the likes of Norton and Kaspersky.
McAfee Total Protection Plus VPNis an exceptionally comprehensive software suite, which as the name suggests also comes complete with a high-quality VPN. It boasts one of the sleekest user interfaces of any comparable package, which is intuitive enough for just about anyone to get to grips with. The whole thing also represents outstanding value for money – particularly if you go for the Household/Family plan that covers up to 10 devices with the same subscription.
No performance issues whatsoever with the VPN, which offers connections through a compact yet dynamic network of servers worldwide. There’s a free version of the software available to test things out before buying, though every purchase comes complete with a 30 day money back guarantee for total peace of mind.
More About McAfee
McAfee was founded in 1987 by John McAfee in the United States. It was later bought by Intel in 2011 to be integrated into the Intel Security Division. In addition to McAfee Total Protection, they have other products such as McAfee WebAdvisor, Mobile Security, Identity Protection, and more Antivirus suites & offerings. The company has won numerous awards and serves all types of devices - from PCs, to iPhones, Android phones, tablets, and more.
McAfee Total Protection plus Secure VPN Pros
McAfee Total Protection plus Secure VPN Cons
It’s a relatively similar story with Norton’s VPN, which along with unlimited data also provides access to an impressive 73 servers across 29 countries. Norton also provides the reassurance of a comprehensive no-logs guarantee, meaning there’s no risk of your data being accessed or compromised in any way. Complete with DNS leak security and a kill switch, Norton’s inclusive VPN is almost as good as any standalone VPN available.
Fantastic for secure browsing and delivered as part of an outstanding overall antivirus suite, Norton’s VPN is advanced, easy to use and extremely versatile. Accessing geo-restricted content in tons of countries is an absolute breeze, though it’s fair to say that Norton’s VPN isn’t the fastest out there. It’s fast enough to stream media in decent quality, but isn’t quite as fast as its standalone counterparts.
Still, there’s really nothing to knock about the whole thing where value for money is concerned. Particularly when considering that the antivirus suite itself is simply superb. Powerful, easy to use and packed with more security features than most users will ever need, Norton scores top marks all round.
And again, the whole thing is covered by a satisfaction guarantee – along with some of the best customer support provided by any antivirus software company on the market right now.
More About Norton AntiVirus
Norton is an antivirus software from NortonLifeLock, formerly known as Symantec Corporation founded in 1982, having its headquarters in the US. The software has been commercially available since 1991, making it one of the oldest anti-viruses.
They offer a variety of products such as Nortin Antivirus Plus, Norton 360 Premium I, Norton 360 with LifeLock Select, Norton 360 for Gamers, Norton Small Business, and more. The company has won numerous awards, including PCMAG.COM's Editors' Choice award 46 times, a record among antivirus providers.
Norton Secure VPN Pros
Norton Secure VPN Cons
Taking things one step further, this Avast security VPN package has a network of servers that extends to a full 34 countries. Not to mention, 16 major cities in the United States, enabling users to access local, national and international content that would otherwise be blocked.
There is unlimited bandwidth whatsoever with Avast Ultimate, which as standard can be used on up to five devices simultaneously. This unlimited bandwidth extends to all devices, meaning all five can be used to stream, download and so on at the same time – without being throttled.
256-bit AES encryption and DNS leak protection bring by the reassurance to an already super-secure package, along with a strict no-logging guarantee on the part of the provider.
Avast VPN is compatible with the vast majority of major operating systems (desktop and mobile), with an extremely streamlined interface even beginners won’t struggle with. In fact, it’s possibly the easiest antivirus with a VPN to use as a whole, keeping things as simple as possible with non-expert users in mind.
The only slight downside with Avast Ultimate being that it occasionally struggles to unblock certain geo-locked streaming services like Netflix. Though in most instances, it’s simply a case of trying a few different servers in your target location, until you find one that works. Given how exceptionally affordable AVG’s antivirus with a VPN is, this really isn’t the end of the world.
More About Avast Antivirus
Avast Antivirus was founded in the Czech Republic by Eduward Kucera and Pavel Baudis in 1988. In 2020, it recorded 892.9 million USD in revenue. They have a number of VPN security features for businesses and personal use alike across all types of devices.
Avast Ultimate with VPN Pros
Avast Ultimate with VPN Cons
It’s rare to come across an AVG antivirus VPN review that isn’t almost exclusively positive in nature. Providing access to approximately 50 servers spanning 25 countries or so, AVG VPN scores top marks for unlocking geo-blocked content. In fact, it’s one of the only VPNs currently available (standalone or otherwise) that consistently provides access to tricky geo-blocked services like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.
Combined with a limited bandwidth and the freedom to use the VPN service across five devices simultaneously, AVG takes some beating where streaming media and general online entertainment are concerned.
This is also one of the few VPNs in its category to support torrenting and P2P internet traffic. Exceptionally user-friendly and easy to get to grips with, the VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption and goes to extremes to hide the locations and identities of its users.
Like its counterparts above, it’s also compatible with the vast majority of major desktop and mobile operating systems.
As for the downside, AVG VPN does keep some connection logs, which some users won’t necessarily appreciate. It’s not a particularly big deal or a major security threat for the most part, but does nonetheless mean that your browsing activity and online habits in general will be stored somewhere in some format or another.
AVG Secure VPN Pros
AVG Secure VPN Cons
Last but by no means least comes Avira Phantom VPN, which combines an exceptionally robust antivirus suite with a superb VPN.
Remarkably, Avira Phantom VPN places no limitations whatsoever on how many devices it can be used on simultaneously. You can buy just a single subscription and share it with your entire household or office – simply outstanding value for money. From iOS to Android to Windows to macOS, all devices in your possession are covered with one subscription.
The list of security features and selling points this thing brings to the table is practically endless. 256-bit encryption, a no-logs policy, DNS leak protection – even a free trial version that includes a complimentary quota of 500MB of monthly data.
Not to mention, an extensive network of servers spanning more than 35 countries and 50 major locations. Only the Pro version includes unlimited data, a kill switch and access to live-chat customer support, but it’s still seriously cheap for what’s on offer.From top to bottom, this is one of the most advanced security features of its kind on the market right now. Formal testing has shown it’s not quite as fast as some of its counterparts – particularly where lightning-fast downloads are required. Nevertheless, for the vast majority of everyday browsing and more advanced online activities alike, this antivirus is an absolutely exceptional piece of software.
Avira Phantom VPN Pros
Avira Phantom VPN Cons
Difference Between Antivirus and VPN
An antivirus and a VPN perform two completely different tasks.
A top-rated antivirus gets you malware protection, which includes viruses, ransomware, and rootkits. And if your device gets infected with malware, an antivirus is able to remove it — and prevent future infections.
On the other hand, the best VPNs out there protect your online data and privacy. They use military-grade encryption to make all of your personal data completely unreadable to third parties (like your internet service provider, government, and hackers). Plus, a VPN assigns you a virtual IP address, which masks your actual location.
Are VPNs Legal?
Yes, VPNs are perfectly legal in most countries. However, a handful of countries have either regulated or banned VPNs, including Belarus, China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Russia, and the UAE. If you’re caught using a VPN in a country that has banned VPNs, you may face fines or even prosecution. If you’re going abroad, it’s important to check whether using a VPN is allowed at your destination.
Make note that while VPNs are legal in the majority of countries around the world, it’s still illegal to commit crimes using a VPN.
How to Use an VPN in Antivirus
Every antivirus suite with an inclusive VPN works in a slightly different way. Hence, you’ll need to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines go through whatever tutorial is provided, in order to get to grips with the basics.
Nevertheless, actually setting up and using the VPN itself is usually no different than when signing up with and using an external VPN server. The process of getting started with a VPN as an inclusive antivirus feature looks a little like this:
- Purchase the subscription to your chosen antivirus that has a VPN and download the software to your computer, before going through the installation process as instructed.
- If the software security features an VPN as part of the package, you will be able to access it via the main dashboard you use to interact with the software.
- Choose from the list of servers available, which in most instances will be positioned in various countries around the world.
- If simply looking for the fastest and most reliable server, it’s usually better to choose a server in your locality (or at least in your country).
- Hit the ‘Connect’ button and your VPN connection to the web will now run through the server you selected, safeguarding your privacy and hiding your IP address.
If you encounter performance issues or geoblocks, simply disconnect from your current server and try connecting via a different server.
Can I Use an Antivirus Provider’s Free VPN?
It’s not uncommon for antivirus providers to offer free trial versions of their products with something like 30 day money back guarantee, or even basic free versions you can use long-term. In some instances, this may also include some kind of rudimentary VPN, which again can be used free of charge. A free VPN can offer a certain amount of protection when going about basic online activities, but will rarely be suitable for anything other than basic browsing.
This is because there almost certainly won't be unlimited data – i.e. how much data you are allocated before the VPN service becomes unavailable. This in turn rules streaming, gaming and downloading larger files out of the equation. In addition, you will also find that all free VPNs available are strictly limited where speed and general performance are concerned. They’re also unlikely to provide nearly the same kind of protection you would get from a paid VPN protection, nor can they be used on multiple devices at the same time.
Still, where a free trial version of an antivirus suite is available, there’s no harm in taking it out to see how it works as you get a 30 day mone back guarantee in most cases. Plus, if you decide to go ahead with a paid package, you will almost always be covered by some kind of initial 30 day money back guarantee.
Are There Any Downsides to Using an Antivirus VPN?
The short answer is yes, but it depends entirely on your online browsing habits and how you intend to use the VPN. For the most part, the biggest downside to using an antivirus suite with an inclusive VPN is the way in which it is unlikely to offer a particularly large network of servers. At least, when compared to market-leading VPN companies like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and NordVPN, which have absolutely enormous server networks worldwide.
Though again, whether or not this is particularly problematic is down to you to decide.
In addition, not all free VPNs included in antivirus security suites offer the same level of protection as their standalone counterparts. There are also some antivirus providers that offer VPNs but keep activities logs, which can be a deal-breaker for those looking to remain completely anonymous.
For the most part, however, both antivirus and VPN services included with many top-shelf packages represent outstanding value for money. Particularly where everyday browsing is concerned, they almost always cover the basics the vast majority of users need.
Does Having a VPN Replace an Antivirus?
As touched upon a little earlier, the importance of having both an antivirus program and a reliable VPN cannot be overstated. Neither of the two can replace the other, given that they are designed to do completely different things.
With a robust antivirus suite, your computer is protected by an intelligent piece of software that detects, destroys and prevents ‘infections’ caused by harmful data. By contrast, a VPN is all about privacy and anonymity. Even the best VPN in the world isn’t going to protect you from viruses – just as an exceptional antivirus program won’t hide your IP address, if it lacks a VPN.
Therefore, the answer is no – having a VPN alone isn’t enough.
Does an Antivirus Work with a VPN?
It’s been suggested on countless occasions that having a VPN installed and activated can (to an extent) compromise the effectiveness of an antivirus program. In reality, this simply isn’t the case at all. Even in instances where an antivirus security features its own inbuilt VPN service, these are still two completely separate entities that work in different ways and are more or less independent.
VPNs aren't security tools designed to offer any specific antivirus protection as such. It’s simply a facility that connects you to the Internet via the server of your choosing, in order to hide your IP address and keep your actual location a secret. Whereas antivirus software is designed to give you virus, spyware and malware protection. Hence, the two can and do work flawlessly side by side.
Can VPN Providers Be Trusted?
The overwhelming majority of top-rated VPN providers are comprehensively trustworthy, having outlined robust privacy policies to protect their customers. Under no circumstances will your private information be sold, loaned or distributed to thirdparties without your permission – a standard promise made by most VPN providers.
However, it’s worth factoring in whether or not your chosen VPN provider maintains activity logs. If this is the case, this essentially means that your online activities and history will be recorded and stored somewhere – unlimited VPN data that could (theoretically) be stolen, lost, hacked or compromised. A no-logs policy is therefore preferable if you’re looking for the total security package, though again isn’t considered a deal-breaker by most.
For the most part, however, established and reputable VPN providers in general are fairly trustworthy.
Can a VPN Be Used on Multiple Devices?
The answer to this question depends entirely on which antivirus program or VPN package you sign up for. In some instances, you’ll be limited to just a single connection – meaning it’s a case of having your computer’s IP protected or your Smartphone. In most cases, however, high-quality antivirus programs and VPN services can be used across multiple devices at the same time.
Just be sure to check how many devices can be protected simultaneously with the package you’re looking at, if you intend to use it across several devices at the same time (or share it with your family members or colleagues).
How does a kill switch work?
A VPN kill switch automatically disconnects your device from the internet if you lose your VPN connection. Whenever your VPN drops, a kill switch prevents unsecured internet connections until your VPN connection returns, ensuring your data and privacy remain protected