A VPN safeguards your identity and data online, while an antivirus shields your device from software threats. Using the two together offers comprehensive digital security in a one-stop package. However, it can be difficult to choose the best antivirus with VPN features, or the best VPN with antivirus features.
- Some security providers have begun to merge VPN and antivirus tools into the same software, offering more comprehensive protection
- For the best antivirus with VPN features, Avira and McAfee offer great antivirus software with equally capable VPN tools, while Norton’s balance is skewed toward the antivirus program
- For the best VPN with antivirus features, NordVPN and Surfshark offer excellent VPN protection but are more limited in antivirus tools, while Clario tries to balance its focus between antivirus and VPN but falls a bit short in both areas
We took a deep dive into the market and tested a bunch of antiviruses with VPN features, and vice versa. In this guide, we’ll dissect the six antivirus-VPN packages to help you make the best decision for your online security needs.
The best antivirus software with a VPN connection is Avira. It comes with its own VPN software, so you don’t have to buy a separate VPN service. However, if you’ve already installed a VPN, the Avira antivirus program will work just fine with it.
The VPN doesn’t affect your antivirus. However, you should avoid using the VPN included in antivirus programs with a stand-alone VPN service, say ExpressVPN, as that could cause some errors.
Yes, McAfee antivirus software comes packed with VPN capabilities. You can also get McAfee Safe Connect VPN as a stand-alone VPN.
What Makes the Best Antivirus With VPN Security Features?
Our list comprises the best antiviruses with VPN capabilities, as well as VPNs that offer antivirus programs. Here are our top five recommendations for the best antivirus-VPN comprehensive protection.
The Best Antiviruses With VPNs
- Avira Prime — A great antivirus software with good VPN tools.
- McAfee Total Protection — An antivirus-VPN combination with great detection rates.
- Norton 360 — An antivirus with moderate VPN protection.
The Best VPNs With Antiviruses
- NordVPN — A top-notch VPN with somewhat limited antivirus tools
- Surfshark One — A VPN-antivirus that blocks tracking and alerts you to data breaches
- Clario — A decent antivirus-VPN combination for Mac and mobile users
For a program to qualify as the best antivirus with a VPN (or vice versa), it has to offer the best of both worlds. First, the program should provide excellent device security, including protection against malware, identity-theft, scams and phishing. Other digital security features such as password management, file encryption and PC cleaner are extra advantages.
In addition, the software should come with quality VPN capabilities. This means that it should have VPN features such as a wide network of VPN servers, advanced VPN protocols and encryption to secure and anonymize your online activities. Ideally it should also have a kill switch, while split tunneling comes as a bonus.
Beyond that combination of features, we looked at the overall quality of the service and its usability. We ensured the antivirus tools function well by analyzing AV-Comparatives results. We also put the VPN tools through the wringer to ensure they deliver the desired antivirus performance.
The Best Antivirus-VPN Security Software
Both antiviruses and VPNs are essential tools to protect your privacy and security online (in addition to password managers). Using VPN-antivirus software in one package should bring these two elements together in a one-stop option for online protection.
However, most of the tools that offer features found in both an antivirus and a VPN tend to lean to one side or the other: antivirus or VPN security. That’s because these tools start with one focus and add the other security features later.
The Three Best Antiviruses With VPNs
The best antiviruses with VPN features add VPN servers to their security suites, which mask your IP address and anonymize your internet traffic. Here are our top three recommendations, starting with Avira Prime.
1. Avira Prime
More details about Avira Prime:
- Pricing: Free; $59.88 per year
- Providers website: avira.com
- 99.98% malware & virus protection
- Free plan
- Over 1,400 VPN servers
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Constant buffering when streaming
Our first pick, Avira Prime, is one of the best digital security solutions, thanks to its reliable antivirus-VPN combo. The antivirus package has your device security covered with 99.98% real-time protection (according to AV-Comparatives) to thwart malicious software, websites and ransomware.
In addition to the antivirus, you also get a password manager, a junk cleaner to improve device performance and anti-scam protection to block phishing attacks.
Avira’s VPN Features
With Avira Prime, you get VPN protection with more than 1,400 servers in 37 countries, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, AES-256 encryption and the solid OpenVPN protocol. Sadly, Avira doesn’t support the WireGuard protocol (read our VPN protocol guide to learn how the options differ).
Like our best VPN for streaming, the VPN is adept at unblocking popular streaming services. However, its sluggish download speeds ruin the overall streaming experience. The paid plans come with unlimited data, but the free plan has a 500GB monthly data cap.
Avira offers a free version, which covers one PC or Mac but no mobile devices. However, if you want advanced protection for all your devices and unlimited simultaneous VPN connections, you’ll have to buy Avira Prime. Thankfully, there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee if you need more time to make up your mind. Read more about it in our Avira review.
Avira also offers a stand-alone VPN, Avira Phantom VPN, which is available for free — though it does not rank as one of our top free VPN options — or as a paid VPN. The Avira Phantom VPN Pro price is comparable to other full-fledged VPNs, but suffers from poor streaming capabilities. Read more about it in our Avira Phantom VPN review.
- : Unlimited devices, startup optimizer, disk cleaner, password manager
- : One device, real-time protection, phishing, ransomware
- : One device, program optimizer, cloud protection, automatic software updater
- : Five devices, VIP support, disk cleaner, mobile apps
2. McAfee Total Protection
More details about McAfee Total Protection:
- Pricing: $24.99 per year
- Providers website: mcafee.com
- 100% malware & virus protection
- 5 simultaneous connections
- Unlimited data & bandwidth
- Reliable malware detection
- Logs your IP address
- Not great offline detection rates
McAfee is another antivirus industry behemoth that boasts some of the best protection against viruses, spyware, ransomware and malware. Its virus and malware scanner posts the best online detection and protection rates against cyber threats, including zero-day threats. However, its offline detection performance is lackluster, which is why it came in second on our list.
McAfee offers a reliable ID theft protection system that comprises a dark web monitoring tool that scours the web to check if your personal information has been compromised. In addition, there’s a social security number (SSN) trace tool that sends you prompt alerts when it finds potential data breaches or identity fraud.
McAfee Total Protection VPN Features
McAfee Total Protection also includes VPN capabilities. It has VPN servers in 50 countries, a kill switch and split tunneling for macOS and Android users.
As far as encrypting your internet traffic goes, the VPN uses the industry-standard AES-256 encryption and the OpenVPN protocol, which is as secure as it gets. Sadly, the VPN has subpar ability to bypass geoblocks and it isn’t a great option for streaming.
In terms of pricing, the McAfee Total Protection plan is on the higher side of the antivirus-VPN combination pricing, but keep in mind you also get identity theft protection in addition to antivirus and VPN coverage. Read more about this option in our McAfee Total Protection review.
McAfee also offers a stand-alone, affordable and bare-bones VPN called Secure Connect for Windows, Android and iOS. It also offers stand-alone antivirus and identity theft protection options, plus a password manager.
3. Norton 360
More details about Norton 360:
- Pricing: cheapest plan costs $39.99 per year
- Providers website: us.norton.com
- 100% malware & virus protection
- Unlimited data & bandwidth
- Reliable, real-time threat protection
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- No DNS & IP protection
- No kill switch on macOS/iOS
Norton antivirus is a household name in the cybersecurity industry, having been in the industry for more than 30 years. It uses machine learning and heuristic analysis to detect malware at 98% success rate and 100% protection rate.
Norton 360 is an amalgamation of just about all its security tools, including an antivirus, ransomware protection, password manager, cloud storage and, last but not least, its VPN. Unfortunately, by trying to include everything in one package, it seems that Norton spread itself a bit thin when it comes to Secure VPN.
Norton 360’s Secure VPN Features
The Secure VPN service has 31 VPN server locations, which is not impressive by VPN standards. Even though it uses AES-256 encryption and the secure OpenVPN protocol, our tests revealed DNS leaks. Moreover, the VPN posted a middling performance in our streaming tests, unblocking Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, while failing to unblock BBC iPlayer.
The Norton 360 Standard plan is the cheapest antivirus-VPN combination on our list, but it only covers one device. If you need protection for more devices, the Deluxe plan covers five devices, whereas the Premium plan covers 10 devices. The annual plan offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, whereas monthly plans have a 14-day money-back guarantee.
If you want Norton Secure VPN as a stand-alone service, the price you pay depends on the number of devices. The five-device plan is the cheapest plan we’ve seen on the market, but you get what you pay for, as you can read in our full Norton Secure VPN review.[pricingtble id=25392]
The Three Best VPNs With Antiviruses
The best VPNs with antivirus features block malware, ads, malicious websites and trackers. Here are our top three recommendations, starting with NordVPN.
1. NordVPN Threat Protection
More details about NordVPN:
- Pricing: $3.29 per month
- Providers website: nordvpn.com
- Excellent VPN speed
- Over 5,200 VPN servers
- Top-notch security
- Blocks malware, ads & tracking
- Pricey monthly plan
- No phone support
The launch of NordVPN’s Threat Protection tool has made it one of the full-fledged VPN providers to dip its toes in the antivirus arena, alongside Surfshark and Clario. NordVPN ranks second (after ExpressVPN) on our best VPN provider list, offering excellent security, speeds and server spread.
NordVPN offers advanced VPN features such as multi-hop servers, which sends your traffic through two VPN servers in different countries. It also offers camouflage mode, which hides the fact that you’re using a VPN and comes in handy in restrictive countries like China and Russia. There are many other security features, too, which make it one of the most secure VPNs.
NordVPN’s Antivirus Threat Protection
Threat Protection is an antivirus feature launched by NordVPN in February 2022 that detects and blocks malware-infected files, websites and spyware to facilitate safe browsing. It also enhances the function of CyberSec, allowing it to stop intrusive ads and block trackers.
This feature also works in unison with NordVPN’s dark web monitoring tool. When activated, Threat Protection keeps you safe even when the VPN is not connected.
Threat Protection is a feature of NordVPN, so it comes at no extra cost, making it one of the most affordable antivirus-VPN combinations on our list. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee just in case this isn’t what you were looking for. Read our full NordVPN review to learn more.
- : Unlimited GB
- : 6
- : Unlimited GB
- : 6
2. Surfshark One
More details about Surfshark:
- Pricing: cheapest plan costs $3.98 per month (24-month plan)
- Providers website: surfshark.com
- Excellent security
- Blocks malware, ads & tracking
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Over 3,000 servers
- Available for Windows & Android only
Surfshark is a quality VPN service that entered the VPN industry in 2018, and it has quickly proven its quality and cemented its spot in the upper echelon of VPNs alongside ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
Surfshark offers excellent features beyond the basics, such as the NoBorders mode, which lets you access the internet even in restrictive environments. Camouflage mode hides the fact that you’re using a VPN, allowing you to use a VPN in countries where they are banned. Additionally, Surfshark is one of the few VPNs that allow unlimited simultaneous connections.
Surfshark One’s Antivirus Features
The Surfshark One suite merges the VPN with antivirus features, creating a comprehensive digital security solution comprising four tools: the VPN, antivirus, online search protection and data leak alerts.
Surfshark One is a more powerful antivirus solution than NordVPN’s Threat Protection, but it’s available only for Windows and Android users.
Surfshark One isn’t free; you can buy it as part of the Surfshark VPN suite, or as a standalone tool. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you need more time to see if it’s the right fit.
More details about Clario:
- Pricing: $69 per year
- Providers website: clario.co
- Affordable plans
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Easy to use
- Available for macOS, iOS & Android devices only
- Limited VPN & antivirus functions
Clario is an antivirus-VPN option that’s best for users looking for an uncomplicated digital security solution on their Mac, iOS and Android devices (it’s not available on Windows yet). Its real draw is that it is easy to use and has a very human-centric approach, from setup to using the services. However, that also means it offers bare-bones features.
The Clario suite includes a VPN powered by none other than NordVPN. As we mentioned in our Clario review, even though the VPN uses NordVPN functions, it lacks some of its basic features such as a kill switch and split tunneling. You also get access to VPN servers in 20 countries, which is a dismal selection.
Clario’s Antivirus Features
Its antivirus security suite boasts excellent virus detection rates, solid spying protection, data breach monitoring and reliable ad blocking. As a bonus, Clario comes with an Instagram protection tool that lets you secure your account and hide your status in direct messages.
You can get a first-hand feel for the Clario VPN-antivirus package free of charge for seven days. If the product meets your expectations, you can subscribe to the annual plan, which is quite affordable but, in our opinion, does not bring as much value as NordVPN or Surfshark One.
Honorable Mentions: VPN-Antivirus Packages
Although we highly recommend the services mentioned above, we couldn’t end this article without mentioning Bitdefender Internet Security or Kaspersky Security Cloud.
Bitdefender Internet Security
Bitdefender Internet Security is a complete package that offers Bitdefender antivirus, anti-spam, anti-fraud and VPN tools. However, Bitdefender’s VPN uses the Hotspot Shield VPN infrastructure, a service that falters when it comes to user privacy. Read our Bitdefender antivirus review for more details.
Kaspersky Security Cloud
Another product that missed out on a spot is Kaspersky Security Cloud. This security package includes Kaspersky’s VPN and device protection but isn’t on the same level as our top five services in terms of offline and online detection rates. Read our Kaspersky antivirus review for more details.
Final Thoughts: Best Antiviruses With VPNs
If you’re looking for an antivirus with a VPN, we recommend getting started with Avira. However, McAfee or Norton are great alternatives. If you need a VPN with antivirus features, NordVPN is our top recommendation, followed closely by Surfshark. Meanwhile, Clario is decent for Mac users who value ease of use over top-of-the-line security features.
Which VPN-antivirus app have you used before? Do you trust an antivirus with a free VPN? Have we left out your favorite antivirus or VPN app? What do you like most about that tool’s capabilities? We’d like to hear about it in the comment section. Thanks for reading.