More and more sophisticated cyber attacks have rendered antivirus-type security solutions useless. While the majority of antivirus products offer protection against various types of malware, they become pointless in the face of targeted attacks from hackers.
When that happens, Internet Security-type solutions come to save the day. These deliver complete protection from different types of cyber threats, like spam, hacking, spyware and phishing.
Since they come with many more features than your regular antivirus software, the price of Internet security solutions is usually high. However, if you want to buy something like that, you need to consider its advantages.
Before we reveal the best Internet Security solution of 2018 for Windows 7, 8 and 10, we’ll tell you when to even consider buying this kind of security solution instead of a regular top-rated antivirus.
When you need something more than just an antivirus
Choosing antivirus software may be difficult if you’re a home user. Why? Because security solutions against viruses are hard to test and compare by a regular user, especially when the process requires a certain amount of time before reaching clear conclusions. If you are a home user, this article on the best security products might help you.
Here’s when you’ll need an Internet Security solution:
- If you frequently connect to public WiFi. The latter can often be the target of hackers or they can very well be created by them. Think about this: you’re at a restaurant and you connect to an open network lacking a secure password. Are you sure you’re actually using the restaurant’s network? A hacker sitting at a nearby table can use a portable device to connect himself or herself via their gadget’s external ports and steal various data from your device;
- If you frequently work from a network that accepts a connection directly via cable without an intermediate router. In this case, a computer is very vulnerable, because it’s exposed to hackers. Its IP address will become a certain target. Without an Internet Security solution featuring a firewall, your PC’s safety is going to be compromised;
- If you frequently receive junk emails. The majority of Internet Security solutions offered by software manufacturers offer protection against spam. They can be configured in such a way, as to eliminate this type of threat;
- If you have kids and you want to protect them from opening websites or inappropriate content for their age. The best Internet Security solutions come with modules dedicated to parental control. With them, you can be sure that your children stay away from content that’s not suitable for them;
- If you regularly pay your bills online, we recommend having an Internet Security solution installed on your computer. The majority of these tools offer antiphishing protection and keep you safe from keyloggers installed on your device. Whereas an experienced user has no problem detecting a potential issue in the case of phishing, a keylogger can make you lose critical data and money. The keylogger acts by stealing data you type in and sending it to hackers;
- If you own a laptop or a PC with a webcam attached to it. The illegal use of the latter is no longer a secret for hackers. To prevent potential issues generated by such an attack, it is recommended to have a top-rated Internet Security solution. Use a security suite with protection against illegal use of the webcam.
What are the differences between an Antivirus and an Internet Security solution
One of the most frequent questions regarding security software applications has to do with the differences between an antivirus and an Internet security solution.
Usually, security software manufacturers create applications in a modular way. Different protection modules are either integrated or not in the suites these manufacturers offer. The rules we’ll talk about aren’t found universally. Some manufacturers of antivirus solutions prefer to group the protection modules in other ways.
Generally, an antivirus keeps you safe from viruses, files infected with malware and websites affected by different types of threats. The protection offered by an antivirus can be resumed to the three big types of threats mentioned earlier.
Internet Security software suites come with a series of bonus modules compared to what antiviruses deliver. Here are some of them:
- antispam module;
- anti-ransomware module;
- backup solution for files in the cloud;
- detection module for PC vulnerabilities;
- antiphishing module;
- optimization and improvement module for the computer’s speed;
- webcam protection;
- parental control;
- remote block function if the device is stolen.
The table below shows a comparative analysis we did between antivirus protection systems and Internet Security ones. The comparison was performed by looking at the most frequent features integrated in these security products. Sometimes, some modules are also to be found in the best antivirus suites, even if our table doesn’t show this.
|The feature||Antivirus Software||Internet Security Software|
Safe Online Banking
Attention! These modules aren’t available with every Internet Security solutions out there. They can vary depending on the manufacturer. Make sure to choose the security solution that works best for you when you decide to buy one.
What features to check when you opt for security software
We tested some Internet Security software solutions on different operating systems (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 10) to answer the following question: “Which is the best Internet Security protection suite in 2018?”
In case you decide to buy or test an Internet Security solution, visit its manufacturer’s website and check the tables with comparative features. These show every capability each security suite has. We also recommend checking the differences between these manufacturers’ antivirus software versions and Internet Security versions.
Some of them have antivirus solutions with multiple interesting features. Remember this and don’t necessarily rush into buying one Internet Security solution over the other. First, check whether or not the antivirus suites deliver the protection you as a user actually need.
For instance, if you don’t have kids, you will never require something with parental control. Should you not have a webcam attached to your PC, the webcam protection options a security solution suite offers are pointless.
Which is the best Internet Security suite of 2018
Just as in the case of the comparative analysis of antivirus solutions, identifying the best Internet Security suite took quite long. We tested well-known security solutions and the ones created by less known software manufacturers. Security companies have already launched version 2018 of their applications. The latter have already been available ever since the middle of 2017.
To better find the best Internet Security software solutions of 2017 and 2018, we considered the following:
- installation speed;
- system requirements;
- ease of use;
- reaction speed when a threat or problem appears;
- system scanning speed;
- application stability and the impact on computer resources.
Here’s a top of the best 2017 and 2018 applications after we performed our tests:
Bitdefender Internet Security 2018
|9.9||Quick review||See more details|
Norton Security Deluxe 2018
|9.8||Quick review||See more details|
Kaspersky Internet Security 2018
|9.7||Quick review||See more details|
McAfee Internet Security 2018
|9.6||Quick review||See more details|
Avast Internet Security 2018
|9.5||Quick review||See more details|
ESET Internet Security 2018
|9.4||Quick review||See more details|
Panda Internet Security 2018
|9.3||Quick review||See more details|
AVG Internet Security 2018
|9.2||Quick review||See more details|
1. Bitdefender Internet Security 2018
Score: 9.9 / 10
As soon as we received the results of our tests, it was no surprise that Bitdefender Internet Security 2018 came on our top of the best Internet protection suites. Compared to the Antivirus version (whose detailed review is here), the new Bitdefender Internet Security suite features new functionalities:
- Safe Files – a protection system for important files. This module allows the blocking of unauthorized changes for the files you choose;
- Webcam Protection – enabling this blocks unauthorized access of your webcam. Hackers won’t be able to activate it from a distance;
- Parental Advisor – it allows remote control of your kids’ activities. By accessing the account online, you can see at any time the content your kids looked at when they used your PC;
- Privacy Firewall – this is an improved security system that lets you use the computer without fear of hackers attacking it;
- Social Network Protection – like its name says, the new module integrated into the Bitdefender Internet Security suite has protection against threats that could come from social networks;
- Password Manager – a module offering the possibility to store passwords in a safe location. No one from the outside will be able to access them from there;
- Cloud Integration – a large number of scans that require hardware resources are processed in the cloud so that the speed of your PC isn’t affected.
Here are the advantages of the Bitdefender Internet Security 2018: very easy configuration, excellent scanning speed and minimal impact on system resources.
Bitdefender offer the best Internet Security solution we tested. This top rated security suite has an excellent price for its features: only $44.99 for up to three devices. You shouldn’t miss out on such a good deal.
If you want extended protection against computer theft, the Bitdefender Total Security version is what you need. The new module offers the possibility to remotely access any stolen or lost PC when the latter is connected to the Internet. The application can be found here ($49.99 / 5 devices – 50% discount).
Our rating: 9.9/10
Compatibility: Windows 7 (SP 1), 8, 8.1 and Windows 10
Price: $44.99 / 3 devices
2. Norton Security Deluxe 2018
Score: 9.8 / 10
Number two of our best Internet Security software is something created by Symantec, namely Norton Security Deluxe 2018. Here are the bonus features which the Antivirus version doesn’t offer:
- perfect compatibility with more operating system versions (Windows) and devices (Mac or mobile devices);
- new and intelligent firewall;
- advanced protection against ransomware threats, viruses and spyware applications.
Some of the advantages of this suite are its excellent stability, great scanning speed and an easy to perform configuration.
Norton Security Deluxe is an excellent choice for users who want to protect their computer and personal data against destruction or intrusion. For only $39.99 for five devices (PC / Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 / Mac), you can be sure your vital information is kept safe from every kind of cyber attack.
Our rating: 9.8/10
Compatibility: iOS, Android, Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
Price: $39.99 / 5 devices
3. Kaspersky Internet Security 2018
Score: 9.7 / 10
Veteran Kaspersky couldn’t miss from the top best Internet Security manufacturers. The 2018 version of their security software features a series of improvements compared to the older version. As opposed to the Antivirus version we recently analyzed and tested, the Kaspersky Internet Security comes with the following:
- Privacy protection – a module offering the possibility to avoid unwanted intrusions in the computer’s activity history;
- Safe money – complete protection from potential loss of data when accessing online banking-type financial websites;
- Security for kids – a module which offers the possibility to automatically block and filter the opening of dangerous resources by kids;
- compatibility with PC and Mac platforms.
Here’s a short list of the advantages offered by the Kaspersky security suite: one of the best anti-malware protection from the market, the possibility of advanced configuration and detailed reports of identified problems.
The Kaspersky Internet Security 2018 has an excellent price when we think about its capabilities: for $39.99 you can benefit from complete protection against various cyber threats.
For extra protection, you can opt for the Kaspersky Total Security version. This one has the following bonus features:
- Password manager – a module that’s similar with the one offered by Bitdefender. Very useful for safe storage of the passwords used for opening different websites;
- File backup and encryption – helpful feature in case you want to backup files or encrypt them;
- Safe kids – a module that lets kids explore and understand the online world.
The Kaspersky Total Security 2018 is available here at an excellent price for its capabilities.
Our rating: 9.7/10
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows 10
Price: $39.99 / 3 devices
4. McAfee Internet Security 2018
Score: 9.6 / 10
Having already performed tests using the new McAfee Antivirus, the expectations we had about the company’s Internet Security solution were sky high. After several days of testing, we can finally say that the new McAfee Internet Security 2018 exceeded expectations.
The application is different compared to the antivirus solution thanks to these additional modules:
- antispam protection – compatible with every important email client: Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, Netscape, IncrediMail and Shuriken. During our tests, the antispam module performed spotlessly. The rate of detection and blocking of spam is excellent. If you’re dealing with unsolicited emails, the McAfee Internet Security is a great choice. The module is compatible with the POP3, IMAP/POP3 and MAPI standards.
- parental control – a very useful feature if you want your kids to use a computer. This module comes with a series of features meant to remove dangers associated to opening unwanted content by children. Here are some of them: age-appropriate website filtering, filter list (blocking access to certain websites) and online schedule (putting a limit to how much time kids should spend online). We performed several tests using the parental control module and results were very good. The settings that come with it can be password-protected to make sure rules aren’t broken by your kids if they want to change settings.
- True Key identity manager – offers the possibility to create a list of known devices. Access to them is possible via technologies such as FingerPrint authentication, Face Recognition or Multi-device authentication. The technology is developed by Microsoft and delivered by McAfee. It’s integrated in the Internet Security application.
The latest McAfee Internet Security features significant improvements. The scanning speed has increased and the impact on computer resources has decreased. If you’re looking for excellent protection against cyber attacks and spam as well as parental control, the Internet Security from McAfee is one of your best choices. The application can be yours for $59.99 and it’s available here.
Our rating: 9.6/10
Compatibility: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
Price: $59.99 / 1 device
5. Avast Internet Security 2018
Score: 9.5 / 10
After reviewing the Antivirus option from Avast, we moved on to their Internet Security 2018 version. We had a pleasant surprise and it was all due to the improvements and additional modules we found. Here is a list of them:
- safe browsing – dedicated to finding and blocking phishing-type threats and websites that try to steal access credentials to different accounts (bank account, online shopping accounts) in real time. This module has an excellent performance. It’s able to block fake sites that steal access data.
- Sandbox – allows safe testing of potentially dangerous applications. If you want to open an application coming from an unsafe location or without an electronic signature, the Avast Internet Security is here to help. The new feature lets you use the application safely in a protected location and stops a possible infection from happening. The applications are first opened in Sandbox. Then, if everything is fine, you’ll be able to start installing and using them.
- firewall – can block hackers from accessing your computer’s resources and data. This particular module is easy to set up and it offers advanced settings. We tested the firewall in a controlled environment during a hacking-type attack. The featured did its job very well. The module blocked the threat several seconds from its initiation and the computer we used it on was fully protected.
- antispam and antiphishing – can identify and block phishing-type threats coming via an email. The module is also able to block unsolicited spam messages. We did some tests to see if the antispam feature worked as it should. Results were excellent, even compared with the best rated product from our top.
The new Avast Internet Security has a very good price for its features. For only $47.99 you can enjoy excellent protection from viruses, phishing attacks and threats coming from hackers.
Our rating: 9.6/10
Compatibility: Windows XP (SP3), Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
Price: $47.99 / 1 device
6. ESET Internet Security 2018
Score: 9.4 / 10
The most recent version of the ESET Internet Security delivers many improvements and new features compared to the 2017 version our team recently looked at. Here’s what you can expect from the 2018 version in terms of added features:
- Firewall – we tested it to see whether it could block hacking-type cyber attacks or not. We were pleasantly surprised by its configuration features and the way it managed to resist in the face of attack simulations aimed at the computers we used to test it with.
- Exploit Blocker – made to detect attacks coming from hackers who want to block and encrypt your computer’s data. In terms of protection, this tool effectively secures your browser, Java-based apps, and more.
- Ransomware Shield means advanced protection against ransomware and lockscreen-type threats. Because we couldn’t have access to certain ransom-type tools, we weren’t able to test this module and see how it behaved in the case of a real attack. However, the way it works is similar to other applications that keep your device safe from ransomware.
- Anti-Botnet offers protection against bots that spread via computer networks and use them to either send spam or attack other networks.
- ESET Live Grid is a feature that hasn’t been used by other Internet Security manufacturers before. During scanning, files are automatically compared to certain samples already available in the database of ESET labs. The result consists of improved scanning speed. Also, the files that are automatically identified as safe aren’t scanned anymore.
- Banking & Payment Protection – ESET introduces this new module in its Internet Security 2018 suite to offer protection against possible financial loss caused by hackers during online transactions. We tested the module made available by ESET and found the following: results and protection were top-notch.
- Parental Control offers advanced features that protect children from accessing resources which are dangerous for their age. The interface is easy to use and the filtering of results is excellent every single time.
- Webcam Protection protects users against illegal accessing of their laptops’ or computers’ webcams.
- Anti-Theft Optimization improves the way you interact with your PC’s interface when you want to configure its security settings.
- Laptop Activity Watch is a new option that’s been integrated into the 2018 version of the ESET Internet Security. Once enabled, the feature allows for the collecting of images captured by a stolen computer’s or laptop’s webcam as soon as the device is connected to the Internet. The data obtained thus can be accessed through the interface you’ll see after you click my.eset.com.
The ESET Internet Security 2018 comes with lots of excellent features, an easy-to-use interface and complete protection against a wide range of cyber threats. You can buy this top rated security suite here for only $49.99.
If you want a version that includes password management and the possibility to encrypt sensitive data, the ESET Smart Security Premium 2018 is the way to go. You can get it here for only $59.99, which is a great price for its features.
Our rating: 9.4/10
Compatibility: Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
Price: $49.99 / device
7. Panda Internet Security 2018
Score: 9.3 / 10
Panda Internet Security 2018 was one of the most pleasant surprises when we decided to make a list of the best security solutions for 2018. With its improved interface and new features, Panda’s security suite left a great impression on us. Compared to the Antivirus Plus, the Panda Internet Security 2018 adds the following features:
- Parental Control – one of the easiest modules to use if we compare it to other security products we tested for this review. With its friendly user-interface, this feature offers excellent configuration options. We took it for a spin to see just how efficient it was when it came to blocking websites that included information not suited for kids. Each of the results we got was simply great.
- Data Shield is the equivalent of banking and payment protection solutions offered by all the other security suites we looked at for this post. We tested the efficiency of this module and results were beyond expectations. If you’re afraid of becoming a victim of attacks that target your online transactions, the Panda Internet Security 2018 is one of the options we heartily recommend to stay safe.
- Backup is a feature that offers the possibility to save data and restore it safely from your Cloud or a local hard drive, no matter the state of your PC. This module lets you create backups either locally or via the Cloud. The Panda Internet Security manages these backups and data restoration if problems arise with the computer containing the extracted data.
The Panda Internet Security 2018 can be downloaded for one PC for only $29.99 from here.
Our rating: 9.2/10
Compatibility: Windows XP (SP 2), Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.
Price: $29.99 / one device
8. AVG Internet Security 2018
Score: 9.2 / 10
Another product that caught our eye during the making of today’s top Internet Security solutions for 2018 comes from AVG. Their latest creation has more top rated features than the ones included in their free antivirus version. Here they are:
- WebCam protection – like its name says, this feature can block every hacker’s attempt at accessing your laptop’s or PC’s webcam. If you’re looking for maximum protection against such a threat, the AVG security suite is one of the best choices of 2018.
- Ransomware protection – if you’re afraid of a cyber attack that could encrypt all your computer’s data and make it impossible to retrieve unless you pay a ransom, the ransomware protection feature will put your fears away.
- Firewall includes protection from hackers’ attacks. We tested this module to see whether or not it was easy to work with and what kind of protection it offered in the case of brute-force attacks. Results were good: the firewall could withstand even the most complex threats.
- File shredder helps you permanently delete certain files. We performed several tests to verify this feature’s efficiency and registered great results. The latter are similar to the better-positioned Internet Security suites for 2018.
This product offers numerous other features we didn’t include in today’s post. If you’re interested in a full review of the AVG Internet Security 2018, you can find one here.
AVG’s security suite has an excellent price for the features it offers. For only $55.99, you can enjoy top-rated protection for an unlimited number of devices.
Our rating: 9.3/10
Compatibility: Windows XP (SP 3), Vista (SP2), 7, 8, 8.1 and 10
Price: $55.99 / unlimited devices
The number of cyber attacks continues to grow. The latest threats targeted not only home users, but also companies and government agencies.
Choosing a top rated Internet Security software solution is one of the smartest investments if you wish to protect your computer’s data. In case you want to benefit from total protection against cyber attacks, select one of the solutions we added to our list of best Internet Security applications for 2018.
Updated: September 13, 2018