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Consumer Reports' Top-rated antivirus programs of 2019

All computers need antivirus software. But good protection may literally cost you nothing.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Hackers are everywhere, just waiting for you to slip up so they can steal your information. To protect your computer, all you need are some good habits and solid antivirus software.

Consumer reports helped us find the best ones. They tested 30 programs, including several free ones. Then they threw in 200 phishing web pages to test them. They used computers running Windows 10 or MacOS.

They found that you don't have to pay for solid protection.

Avast, BitDefender, and AVG all had free programs that performed well.

Windows Defender, the free program that comes installed on Windows computers, also had high scores.

In fact, paying a lot didn't guarantee a better product. Malwarebytes premium cost $75 dollars and scored lower than Windows Defender.

But you can pay for some extra benefits. Bitdefender’s paid version will cost you $80 and offers firewalls, parental filters, even a password manager.

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