(Updated on June 14th, 2021)

Do you need an antivirus suite with a VPN? How is it necessary in 2021? Read on to find out why and know the best antivirus suite to use.

Online privacy is as essential as on-device security. Hackers and other prying eyes are always after your data in transit. This data may contain sensitive information such as bank details, online shopping details, and other personally identifying information.

According to info security magazine, encryption is the best way that guarantees the security of data in transit. To achieve this type of security, it is recommendable to use a VPN. A VPN encrypts your online traffic using unbreakable algorithms. It also gives you privacy by masking your actual IP address.

Other than privacy and security, a VPN allows you to bypass geo-restrictions. To get both on-device security and online privacy, you need a premium antivirus suite. A paid antivirus suite offers comprehensive protection, and it includes a VPN.

You also get privacy and security-enhancing features. These include cloud storage, file shredder, firewall, password manager, parental control, among others. Premium antivirus suites also offer great peace of mind and excellent value for your money. They are compatible with most computing platforms, and they provide multi-device subscriptions.

We tested various antivirus suites to find the top 5 best antivirus suites with a VPN in 2021. Other than strong malware protection, we evaluated them using the following aspects; unlimited bandwidth and fast speeds, strong privacy and encryptions, and geo-unblocking abilities.

Here are our top 5 best antivirus suites with VPNs

1. Norton 360 Deluxe – Top-notch VPN

Norton 360 Deluxe – Top notch VPN

Norton is our top pick antivirus suite. Its award-winning antivirus engine protects you against various online and offline threats. The Norton 360 Deluxe package gives you both security and privacy. Moreover, it doesn’t heavily impact your devices’ performance.

Norton 360 Deluxe features

  • Dark Web and Privacy monitoring.
  • Firewall
  • Norton parental control and School time.
  • 50GB cloud backup.
  • Password manager
  • 100% Virus Protection Promise.
  • Webcam monitoring.
  • Secure VPN for up to 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets.

How good is the Norton Secure VPN?

Norton offers a top-tier VPN.

VPN features

  • Server locations in 30+ countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Bank-grade encryption
  • Simultaneous connection of up to 5 devices
  • No log policy

Speed and performance

Norton’s VPN has relatively fast speeds. Its server network is geographically distributed in 30 plus countries.  The servers deliver unlimited bandwidth with no data cap. Hence you can use the VPN for data-intensive tasks such as streaming, gaming, downloads, and other online activities.

Security and privacy

Similar to the antivirus, Norton VPN offers watertight security and privacy. It has a no-log policy that states that the VPN doesn’t collect personally identifiable information. It doesn’t aggregate your bandwidth, and Norton knows nothing about your online activities. Other collected data such as IP addresses are anonymized.

Norton VPN also implements bank-grade encryption through the OpenVPN protocol. This encryption protects your data in transit from malicious attacks. In iOS, Norton uses the IPsec protocol. There’s also an ad tracking blocker, and the VPN doesn’t leak your IP nor your DNS. However, it lacks a kill switch except in Android.

This is not good if your VPN connection temporarily drops

Compatibility

Norton 360 Deluxe is compatible with Windows, Macs, Android and iOS, so is the VPN. You can also use the VPN simultaneously on 5 PCs, Macs, smartphones, or tablets. The VPN also bypasses geo-blocks without a hassle.

You can use it to browse securely and access blocked online content. The VPN is also compatible with Netflix and HBO. At times, it doesn’t play with other popular streaming sites. With unlimited bandwidth and fast speeds, you can stream videos in high quality without buffering.

However, Norton VPN doesn’t support P2P traffic. It has a blanket ban on torrenting.

2. Bitdefender Premium Security – Secure VPN with fast speeds

Bitdefender Premium Security – Secure VPN with fast speeds

Bitdefender is among the top global leaders in cybersecurity. The Bitdefender Premium Security suite offers the best protection and a privacy pack when you need it. The privacy pack is bolstered with unlimited VPN for absolute digital freedom.

Bitdefender Premium Security features

  • Protection: Advanced threat defense, anti-phishing, anti-fraud, Real-time data and Multi-layer ransomware protection, Network threat prevention, Rescue environment, Web attack prevention, and Vulnerability assessment.
  • Performance: Autopilot, Battery mode, Bitdefender photon, Global protective network, Performance profiles.
  • Privacy: Anti-tracker, Anti-Theft, File shredder, Microphone monitor, Password manager, Parental control, Privacy firewall, Safe online banking, Social network protection, Webcam protection, Wi-Fi advisor, and Unlimited VPN.

How good is the Bitdefender Premium VPN?

Bitdefender VPN gives you a genuine VPN experience.

VPN features

  • Server locations in 27+ countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Kill switch and split tunneling
  • Simultaneous connection of up to 10 devices
  • No traffic logs

Speed and performance

Bitdefender VPN offers ultra-fast connections and reliable performance. It relies on Hotspot Shield’s proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol. This protocol provides turbo-charged speeds and allows faster VPN connections. It also addresses latency issues and enhances performance over long-distance connections.

Bitdefender VPN’s network packs 1300 plus servers in 27 countries. The servers have an excellent geographical span. The servers also deliver unlimited bandwidth. You can use this bandwidth to stream shows, play online games, and perform data-intensive tasks.

Security and privacy

Bitdefender VPN doesn’t log your VPN traffic. However, it collects information such as IP addresses and device IDs. For anonymity, this information is randomly generated and hashed. Bitdefender states that the collected data helps with establishing a VPN connection. It is also used for other diagnostics.

On the security front, Bitdefender uses Hotspot Shield’s Catapult Hydra protocol. This proprietary protocol offers military-grade security. It uses both the AES and 256-bit AES encryption standards. You also get RSA 2048 bit for server authentication and a secure key exchange algorithm.

Concisely, your internet traffic is safe from prying eyes such as the government and other third parties.

The VPN app also sports a kill switch and split tunneling. You don’t have to worry if your connection drops; the kill switch will keep your connection safe. Split tunneling allows you to choose which apps/services use the VPN.

This is a handy feature for maintaining access to your local network devices. It is also helpful when using apps/services that do not allow VPN traffic.

Compatibility

Like the antivirus suite, the VPN is compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS devices. You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. The VPN works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO. Due to continuous blocking by streaming sites, popular streaming sites may work or not.

The VPN’s unlimited bandwidth and fast speeds can stream videos in HD and up to 4K.

P2P traffic is also allowed. You can torrent on any server, and you don’t have to worry about DNS or IP leaks. Besides data-intensive tasks, the VPN gives access to blocked sites and bypasses ISP throttling.

3. McAfee Total Protection – Fast VPN speeds

McAfee Total Protection – Fast VPN speeds

McAfee is a premium antivirus suite that provides comprehensive security against threats. This suite also packs multi-faceted privacy protection. This is offered in the form of identity protection and online privacy. Online privacy solely relies on McAfee VPN.

McAfee Total Protection features

  • Encrypted storage
  • 100% guarantee virus removal.
  • Dark web monitoring
  • Home network security
  • Performance optimization
  • Password manager
  • Safe browsing
  • Shredder
  • 5 licenses of Secure VPN,

How good is the McAfee Safe Connect?

VPN features

  • Server locations in 22+ countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Protection for up to 5 devices
  • Bank-grade encryption

Speed and performance

McAfee’s VPN has impressive speeds, and the VPN connection is reliable. The VPN also offers unlimited bandwidth. The fast speeds make McAfee VPN well suited for tasks that involve speed, such as gaming and video streaming. Its servers span a wider geographical area; you can connect to most places in the world.

Security and privacy

Unlike the antivirus suite, the VPN policy doesn’t protect your privacy as much. McAfee logs personally identifying information and even the activities you do online. Additionally, this information can be shared across other McAfee companies.

Without a no-log policy, even government agencies can force McAfee to give out your online data.

Security-wise, the VPN implements a bank-grade AES 256-bit encryption. With this type of encryption, no one can get access to your online traffic. This impeccable security is, however, let down by the shaky privacy policy.

There’s also a kill switch for Window devices that prevents leaks when the connection drops temporarily. The Android client comes with split tunneling.

Compatibility

McAfee VPN is compatible with Windows, Chrome OS, iOS, and Android devices. There’s also protection for up to 5 devices on all McAfee tiers except the single device tier. This tier only gives you a single VPN license. Despite having faster speeds and unlimited bandwidth, McAfee doesn’t play well with popular streaming services.

Unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and even HBO is a cat and mouse game. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Nonetheless, you can use the VPN to gain access to geo-restricted and blocked websites. It also works well with services that have inadequate VPN blocking mechanisms. These include YouTube and other music streaming services.

You can also torrent and use P2P platforms. However, you should be cautious as McAfee logs all your activities. Downloading and sharing illegal files on P2P platforms can land you in trouble.

4. Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy – Best VPN performance

Malwarebytes Premium Privacy – Best VPN performance

Malwarebytes is synonymous with getting rid of malware other antivirus suites cannot. The top tier package, Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy provides dual protection. You get impeccable on-device protection reinforced with online privacy. Online privacy protection is offered via a VPN.

Malwarebytes Premium + Privacy features

  • Web protection
  • Malware protection
  • Ransomware protection
  • Exploit protection
  • VPN

How good is the Malwarebytes Privacy VPN?

VPN features

  • Server locations in 30+ countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Protection for up to 5 devices

Speed and performance

Malwarebytes VPN offers the fastest speeds possible. This is possible through the Wire Guard protocol it uses. This protocol provides the best performance regarding speeds without compromising your online security. Malwarebytes VPN faster speeds are suitable for downloads and streaming online content.

However, the VPN has a higher latency and hence not ideal for online gaming.

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN boasts a server network of 300 plus servers in over 30 countries. These servers deliver unlimited bandwidth without data caps.

Security and privacy

Although headquartered in an invasive privacy country, the US, the VPN implements necessary privacy measures. It has a strict no-log policy. It doesn’t collect personally identifying data or your online activities.

Other collected information is used by malware threat intelligence. This information is used to track patterns and outbreaks of potentially unwanted programs/activities.

Regarding security, the Wire Guard protocol implements the unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption. Your VPN traffic is always secure from the prying eyes of hackers, third parties, your ISP, and even the government. The Windows app also features a kill switch that protects you from temporary disconnections.

Compatibility

Malwarebytes Privacy VPN protects up to 5 devices. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and iOS. Malwarebytes has promised to extend the Privacy VPN to Android and Chrome platforms. In terms of streaming from popular services, the VPN sometimes works, and other times it doesn’t.

Services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer implement VPN blocks that most VPN providers cannot bypass. Nonetheless, you can use the VPN to access other geo-restricted content from YouTube and blocked websites. You can also torrent and use P2P platforms.

5. Avira Prime – Unlimited VPN protection

Avira Prime – Unlimited VPN protection

Avira Prime gives you all the necessary security for all your devices. This security encompasses an all-in-one bundle. You get complete on-device security, online protection, and performance optimization. Avira Prime offers this online protection through a VPN; Avira Phantom.

Avira Prime features

  • Anti-phishing
  • PC cleaner
  • Password manager
  • Privacy optimizations
  • Secure browsing
  • Secure shopping
  • Unlimited VPN

How good is the Avira Phantom VPN?

This VPN gives you an authentic taste of various VPN capabilities.

VPN features

  • Server locations in 37+ countries
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Protect unlimited devices
  • No logs

Speed and performance

Avira Phantom VPN offers reliable performance and relatively fast speeds. Its server network comprises of1400 servers in 37 countries spanning around the world. These servers deliver unlimited bandwidth ideal for streaming online content.

You can also perform other data-intensive tasks such as downloads. However, due to higher latency, gaming is not recommendable.

Security and privacy

Avira VPN is based in a privacy-conscious Germany, and it implements a strict no-log policy. Avira Phantom explicitly states that it doesn’t track your activities nor log personally identifying information. Additionally, it doesn’t share your data or sell your data to the government or other third-party companies.

Avira VPN also uses one of the strongest encryptions available, the AES-256 bit, via the OpenVPN protocol. This encryption offers robust protection to your VPN traffic. The virtual IP address also ensures no one can track you. The Windows client comes with a Kill switch. This feature protects your privacy and security when the VPN connection drops.

There’s also DNS leak protection for IPv4 and even IPv6 addresses. Avira ensures that your internet requests stay in the VPN tunnel. Websites and third parties won’t know your actual IP address.

Compatibility

Unlike most VPNs, Avira Phantom VPN offers protection to unlimited devices. It is compatible with Windows, Macs, Android, and iOS platforms. You can use the VPN to unblock blocked websites, stream online music, and bypass ISP throttling.

The VPN can also gain access to geo-restricted services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime. However, this might not be the case at all times. These streaming services are known to ban VPN traffic from time to time. Besides streaming, you can torrent anonymously and also download and share files on P2P platforms.

Final Thoughts

A premium security suite is very crucial in today’s evolving threat landscape. These suites deliver comprehensive protection anytime you need it. Besides an award-winning antivirus for device security, these antivirus suites also offer a VPN for online privacy.

Other than privacy, a VPN ensures your online traffic is safe from prying eyes. You also get various added benefits. These include bypassing geo-restrictions, unlock blocked websites, avoiding ISP throttling, and getting value for your money. It is unfair not to be able to access services you have paid for while traveling.

We recommend Norton 360 Deluxe as the best antivirus suite with a VPN. Norton’s antivirus gives you impeccable protection with a slew of various features. The VPN offers server locations in 30+ countries, unlimited bandwidth, protection via bank-grade encryption, a simultaneous connection of up to 5 devices, and a no-log policy.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to buy antivirus with VPN?

Yes. An antivirus suite integrated with a VPN offers comprehensive security. The antivirus will protect you from various online and offline threats. You will also get multiple utilities such as password managers, file shredders, among others. The VPN will ensure your online privacy and security is safe from prying eyes.

Does VPN protect against viruses?

No. A VPN only encrypts your online traffic. This ensures that you are safe from malicious people who want to access your online traffic. A VPN will also ensure you are private when accessing the internet. This is by masking your actual IP address. Some VPNs provide ad-blocking capabilities. To protect yourself against viruses, you need a premium security suite.

Is antivirus or VPN better?

Both antivirus and a VPN are better in their ways. A VPN protects your online security and privacy. Antivirus protects you against viruses, malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats. To get the best of both worlds, you need an antivirus suite. Antivirus suites offer an all-in-one bundle. You get on-device security, online protection, and other utilities.

Do I need an antivirus if I use VPN?

Yes, you need an antivirus to protect you against online and offline threats. Even though a VPN will encrypt your traffic and gives you privacy, you will be susceptible to malware threats. You need an antivirus always to protect your device even when you are not using a VPN.

Is there a downside to using a VPN?

The main downside to using a VPN is the encryption overhead. When you use a VPN, you will notice that your overall internet speed reduces. However, if you are using a high-speed internet connection, you may overlook the encryption overhead. It will have little significance.

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