The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

Best antivirus with VPN options 2024

Verified by Amy Reeves

While antivirus software guards against malicious attacks on your devices, a virtual private network (VPN) works to cloak your online interactions, ensuring they remain confidential. With the rise in cybercrime, VPN providers have begun bundling antivirus and VPN services into a single package.

However, the multitude of options available means not every bundled offering meets the gold standard. Some may have exceptional antivirus capabilities but falter when it comes to VPN services and vice versa. Some of the best VPN options may fail to ensure robust protection against the current variety of viruses, spyware, ransomware and phishing attacks. 

This article aims to sift through the plethora of choices, evaluating them based on performance, security and overall user experience. Our comprehensive review and recommendations aim to equip you with insights on the best integrated services available in 2024, ensuring you’re guarded on all fronts.

Benefits of antivirus with a VPN

A combination of antivirus and VPN functionalities allows users to implement a comprehensive approach to online security and privacy. This forms a protective shield against cyberthreats and data breaches while enabling secure and unrestricted internet access.

Robust malware defence 

Combining antivirus with a VPN offers formidable protection against a wide range of malware, including stealthy ransomware. This dual protection ensures your devices and personal data always remain secure.

Enhanced browsing security 

A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel for your data to pass through, ensuring secure browsing and providing an additional defence against potential cyberattacks.

Online anonymity 

Coupling a VPN with antivirus software helps maintain online anonymity. By hiding your Internet Protocol (IP) address and encrypting your data, it keeps your online activities private and shields you from targeted ads.

Unrestricted access to content 

An antivirus with an integrated VPN can bypass geographic restrictions, enabling you to access content and services unavailable in your region due to licensing or censorship.

Unified security solution 

Bundling antivirus and VPN functionalities simplifies the management of your cybersecurity tools. This integrated approach can be more user-friendly and potentially more cost-effective than purchasing standalone services or even opting for a free VPN service.

phil-png

Three key tips for staying safe online – Dr. Phil Legg, Professor of Cyber Security at UWE

  1. Think before you click on hyperlinks.
  2. Long and unique passwords for each site you log in to.
  3. Use multi-factor authentication (2FA) where offered.

Think before you click on hyperlinks that you are not sure of – especially links in emails that are received unexpected – as you may be the target of phishing. Attacks may try to install additional software automatically which is why an on-demand antivirus scanner is really important. Most cyber attacks nowadays are try to steal your login credentials – for example, by capturing what you type on your keyboard.

 

Having a long and unique password for each site is therefore really important, so that even if one account is compromised, others are not. A password manager will help to generate passwords and auto-complete when logging into sites.

 

Final tip is to set up and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) where it is offered. Most email and banking services support this now, and these should both be protected using MFA. When you log in, the service will either text you an additional code to enter, or have you confirm your login via a mobile app. This “second factor” helps to confirm that you are the genuine user, even if your password is compromised.

Factors to consider when choosing antivirus with a VPN

Advanced malware protection

First, the antivirus portion of your chosen software should provide top-tier protection against advanced threats, including trojans, spyware and ransomware. Look for high malware detection rates proven through independent lab tests.

Performance and ease of use

Your antivirus and VPN solution should be lightweight, ensuring it won’t hinder your device’s performance. User-friendliness is also a key consideration. Look for intuitive dashboards and easy-to-navigate interfaces that make features easily accessible.

Strong VPN security features

Consider antivirus solutions that offer VPN functionalities with industry-standard security features such as 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, robust protocols, a no-log policy and protection against IPv6, DNS or WebRTC leaks. These will ensure a secure and private browsing experience.

VPN speed and data limits

While VPNs can slightly reduce your connection speeds due to encryption, the impact should be minimal. The fastest VPNs make browsing, streaming and torrenting smooth. Additionally, some antivirus solutions impose data caps on their VPN portion. Depending on your needs, unlimited download and upload data can be critical.

VPN server network and locations

The number of VPN servers and their geographical positions are important considerations in selecting your antivirus with a VPN. Varied server locations can provide more options for bypassing geo-restrictions, and an extensive network can prevent server overloads and the resultant slowing down of the connection. 

Compatibility across devices

Ensure the chosen software is compatible with your device’s operating system. The best antivirus with VPN options usually support numerous platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.

Added value features

Aside from standard protections, look for added value features. These include an advanced firewall, anti-phishing protection, data breach monitoring and parental controls. On the VPN side, features such as split tunnelling and an ad blocker can be beneficial.

Responsive customer support

Customer support can make or break your experience. Look for providers offering multiple platforms for customer service, such as email, 24/7 live chat or phone support. Accessible troubleshooting guides, FAQs and forums are also essential.

Cost-effectiveness

Finally, ensure you’re getting good value for your money. The best antivirus and VPN bundles offer a comprehensive suite of features at affordable prices, providing top-tier protection without breaking the bank.

Best antivirus with VPN options

Here is a curated list of the best antivirus with VPN options.

Features Norton Norton 360 Standard Bitdefender Bitdefender Total Security TotalAV McAfee McAfeeBasic Avast Avast One Avira Avira Prime
Starting price £24.99/first year for 1 device £27.99/year for up to 5 devices £19/year for up to 5 devices £29.99/year for 1 device £39.99/year for 5 devices £51.99/first year for up to 5 devices
Money-back guarantee 60 days 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days 60 days
Malware detection 100% 100% 99% 100% 100% 100%
Firewall Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Password manager Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Parental controls Available with Norton 360 Deluxe and Advanced Yes No Available with McAfee family plans Yes No
Supported operating systems Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
VPN data Unlimited 200MB/day/device (unlimited with Bitdefender Premium Security, at £104.98) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of devices 1 Up to 5 with Norton 360 Deluxe at £29.99/first year Up to 10 with Norton 360 Advanced at £34.99/first year Up to 10 at extra cost Up to 6 with Total Security at £49/year 1 Up to 5 with McAfee Essentials at £39.99/year Unlimited with McAfee Premium and Advanced at £49.99/year and £74.99/year 5 or 30 Up to 25 at extra cost
Number of servers Unverified 4,000+ 50 Unverified 700+ 1400
Number of countries 28 53 30+ 50 34 37
Encryption type AES-256 AES-256 AES-256 AES-256 AES-256 AES-256
Kill switch Yes Yes Yes Safe Reconnect Yes Yes
Split tunnelling Yes Yes No Available only on Android Yes No
No log policy Yes Yes Yes Unverified Yes Yes
Streaming services unlocked Yes Limited Yes No Limited Limited
Extra features Webcam protection Dark web monitoring 10GB Cloud Backup (50GB Cloud Backup with Norton 360 Deluxe) Advanced Threat Defense System optimizer Webcam and microphone protection Ransomware remediation Safe Browsing WebShield extension Secure Password Vault Ad blocker System optimisation Wi-Fi protection Identity theft protection Shredder Vulnerability scanner McAfee WebAdvisor Ransomware protection Behaviour-based detection Malicious URL Blocking Phishing protection System tune-up Vulnerability scan Insecure Wi-Fi warning System optimizer PC cleaner Phishing protection Ransomware protection Spyware scanner

Norton 360

Norton 360 goes beyond standard antivirus protection, offering a multifaceted security solution with impressive features. With an exceptional record of detecting 100 per cent of zero-day malware without false positives, Norton secures your devices without impacting performance.

The Norton 360 Standard antivirus and VPN bundle is priced at £24.99 for the first year. It provides protection for one device, which can be a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone. Norton traditionally offers a 60-day money-back guarantee, providing a risk-free trial period for its users.

Antivirus

The solution provides real-time threat protection and an intelligent firewall, which monitors communication between your computer and others to block unauthorised traffic. It ensures a protected online experience through antivirus protection and its Secure VPN service, which allows more secure and anonymous browsing.

VPN

Norton Secure VPN, built into the Norton 360 Standard, Deluxe and Advanced packages, provides unlimited data and servers in 28 countries. During tests, it has successfully unblocked popular streaming sites, such as US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and HBO Max, ensuring you enjoy unrestricted online entertainment. Additionally, it offers a kill switch feature for added protection.

Another standout feature is Dark Web Monitoring, which searches the dark web for your personal data, alerting you if your information is found. This tool aids in proactively protecting your identity.

The package also includes a password manager, allowing secure password storage, and PC Cloud Backup for safeguarding important files against data loss. Parental controls and “School Time” options ensure safe online learning environments for children.

Norton 360 offers comprehensive security, including a reliable antivirus, an unlimited VPN and a suite of online privacy tools. This security suite provides robust protection for your device, ensuring all-round digital safety.

Pros

✅ Robust malware protection

✅ Unlimited VPN 

✅ Robust security features

✅ Dark web monitoring

✅ Good streaming capabilities

✅ Cost-effective

✅ 60-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Extra charge for more than one device and additional features

Bitdefender

Bitdefender merges superior antivirus protection with a secure VPN, delivering an exceptional dual offering. 

Bitdefender offers a feature-rich, cost-effective solution, Bitdefender Total Security, starting at £27.99 per year for up to five devices with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Note that this plan includes a free VPN with a 200MB/day/device limit. To use unlimited VPN traffic, you have to add VPN Premium, with a price of £57.98 per year for five devices, totalling £104.98 for the whole bundle.

Antivirus

Its antivirus component presents an efficient solution against all e-threats, including: 

  • Viruses
  • Worms 
  • Trojans 
  • Ransomware 
  • Zero-day exploits 
  • Rootkits 
  • Spyware 

Bitdefender’s Network Threat Prevention feature blocks malicious URLs and counters brute force attacks, and the Advanced Threat Defense feature proactively prevents potential infections. 

The software also extends multi-layer ransomware protection, improved vulnerability assessments, web attack prevention and anti-phishing measures. It safeguards against fraudulent activities, provides an anti-spam mechanism and includes a rescue environment to mitigate severe system anomalies.

VPN

The Bitdefender VPN, leveraging technology from Hotspot Shield, provides a high-speed, secure VPN service with more than 4,000 servers spread across 53 countries. The kill switch further enhances security by preventing accidental exposure if your VPN connection drops. 

However, Bitdefender VPN is only compatible with BBC iPlayer, cannot be used with other platforms and has a daily data limit of 200MB.

Pros

✅ Top-tier malware protection

✅ Built-in VPN with an extensive server network

✅ Robust security features

✅ Cost-effective

✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Extra charge for unlimited VPN data 

❌ Extra charge for more than five devices

❌ Not suitable for unblocking streaming platforms

TotalAV

Priced at £19 per year for five devices, the TotalAV antivirus and VPN bundle aims to strike a balance between cost and functionality. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee for a risk-free trial.

Antivirus

TotalAV uses Avira’s esteemed anti-malware engine, guaranteeing robust malware defence. Users can choose from Quick, System, Smart or Custom scans, with the System scan achieving a 99 per cent malware detection rate. After scanning, TotalAV lets users decide on actions for detected threats, including quarantining and deletion. 

The software offers real-time protection, utilising cloud scanning for enhanced accuracy against new threats. Rounding out its defences, TotalAV’s WebShield provides critical protection against ransomware by blocking malicious sites and crypto-mining URLs. 

VPN

TotalAV provides a VPN service alongside its other security tools. One of its main features is unlimited data, making long browsing or streaming sessions feasible. This service accommodates up to five devices, which could be practical for an average user or a small household.

With 50 servers across 30 countries, TotalAV’s VPN has a decent geographic reach. Regarding security, it utilises the AES-256 encryption standard, which is widely recognised for its robustness. An added kill switch offers another layer of security, preventing unintended data leaks. A notable aspect is TotalAV’s adherence to a no-log policy, meaning user activities aren’t recorded or stored.

It’s worth mentioning that split tunnelling isn’t available with this VPN. However, it can access major streaming platforms, including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, Hulu and BBC iPlayer. 

Pros

✅ Robust protection against internet threats

✅ Unlimited VPN with fast-performing servers across multiple locations

✅ Robust security features and real-time protection

✅ Ad blocker

✅ Suitable for unblocking streaming platforms

✅ Cost-effective

✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Lack of extensive features, such as split tunnelling and parental controls 

❌ Limited number of devices (up to six)

McAfee 

Priced at £29.99 per year for one device with a 30-day money-back guarantee, McAfee offers a competitive antivirus with VPN service despite some limitations. Its advanced encryption and safe reconnect feature make it a noteworthy contender in the market.

Note that to use the antivirus and VPN service on more than one device, you have to upgrade to a more comprehensive option, such as McAfee Essentials (priced at £39.99/year) or McAfee+ Premium or Advanced (at £49.99/year and £74.99/year respectively).

Antivirus

McAfee provides three types of scans – Quick, Full and Specific – which efficiently detect malware in varying depths of your system. Moreover, it comes with a proactive Vulnerability Scanner that highlights security patches needed for your apps, thereby reducing the risk of potential cyberattacks. 

Its user-friendly firewall filters potentially malicious processes and enables the customisation of ports and IP addresses. A notable feature is the Ransom Guard, which quietly provides real-time protection against ransomware, preserving your data through automatic backup and quarantine measures. 

VPN

Combining cybersecurity with online privacy, the McAfee antivirus and VPN bundle delivers comprehensive protection. With unlimited VPN data and a global server network across 50 countries, it offers unrestricted browsing and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions. 

McAfee VPN employs AES-256 encryption, providing robust data protection. Although it lacks a traditional kill switch, it has a Safe Reconnect feature that maintains data confidentiality if the connection drops. However, it’s not enabled by default, so users need to activate it. 

Although McAfee VPN claims to have a no-log policy, its privacy policy does not explicitly state this. In terms of streaming, it can unblock Netflix and HBO Max but struggles with platforms such as BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Hulu and Prime Video. 

Pros

✅ Top-tier malware protection

✅ Unlimited VPN with a server network across multiple locations

✅ Robust security features, including dedicated ransomware protection

✅ Cost-effective

✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Lack of split tunnelling on Windows, Mac and iOS 

❌ Extra charge for more than one device

❌ Not suitable for unblocking streaming platforms

Avast One

From a pricing perspective, at £39.99 a year, Avast One, bundling antivirus with Avast SecureLine VPN, strikes a harmonious note between affordability and quality. And a 30-day money-back guarantee allows ample room for exploration.

Antivirus

Avast offers a wide range of scanning options, from a quick Smart Scan that detects malware and outdated software to a thorough Full Scan for your entire system. The software also includes specialised scans such as Boot-time and Network Inspector for startup malware and network vulnerabilities.

For malware protection, Avast provides a real-time defence that runs in the background, scans external devices and offers automatic security updates. Users get monthly security reports to stay updated.

Avast’s Email Shield, available even in the free version, enhances email security and alerts users about risky websites and suspicious email attachments.

Finally, Ransomware Shield safeguards files with two modes: Smart, which trusts pre-approved apps, and Strict, which prompts user permission for file modifications.

VPN

Avast One provides unlimited data, allowing users to engage with content freely. You can use it on up to five devices, catering to solo users and families. Avast’s network spans 55 server locations in 34 countries, ensuring users have vast geographic options.

The AES-256 encryption stands out as a formidable shield on the security front. Complementing this is a kill switch for added safety. It’s worth noting that Avast champions user privacy by committing to a no-log policy.

While the VPN offers split tunnelling, it’s reserved for Android users. For those keen on streaming, it smoothly unblocks Netflix but stumbles with Hulu and BBC iPlayer. 

Pros

✅ Enhanced malware protection

✅ Unlimited VPN data traffic

✅ Robust security features

✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Not suitable for unblocking streaming platforms

Avira Antivirus

The Avira Prime bundle is priced at £51.99 per year and can be used on up to five devices.

Avira Prime also comes with unlimited VPN data and a 60-day money-back guarantee. The combined antivirus and VPN service can be used on up to 25 devices at £112.99 per year.

Antivirus

The Avira antivirus component is robust, protecting you against malware and online threats in real time. This solution also offers secure browsing by blocking infected websites, browser trackers and intrusive ads. For smartphone users, added protection comes in defence against phishing websites and unwanted callers.

VPN

Complementing its antivirus capabilities is Avira’s VPN, which enhances online privacy by anonymising and encrypting your web browsing. It offers:

  • A vast network of 1400 servers spanning 37 countries 
  • Unlimited data traffic
  • A kill switch
  • A no-log policy
  • DNS leak prevention

Moreover, Avira Prime simplifies your online life with its built-in password management system. This feature generates and remembers solid and unhackable passwords for each account, strengthening digital security.

Unfortunately, Avira’s VPN fails to work with popular streaming services such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

Pros

✅ Top-tier malware protection

✅ Unlimited VPN with a reliable server network

✅ Robust security features

✅ 60-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Lack of split tunnelling and parental control 

❌ Extra charge for more than five devices

❌ Not suitable for unblocking streaming platforms

VPN and antivirus bundle solutions

Opting for a combined unlimited VPN and antivirus package offers several advantages:

  • Streamlined user experience: You can manage and monitor VPN and antivirus services from one unified interface. This reduces the hassle of operating separate applications and can lead to better system performance by minimising software conflicts. Note that some VPNs come with a browser extension, which can efficiently protect internet traffic without the need to download dedicated apps
  • Cost-effectiveness: Bundled solutions often come at a reduced price compared to purchasing VPN and antivirus services separately 
  • Efficient updates and support: With services bundled, updates and support may be more synchronised, leading to fewer service interruptions

Here are the most viable options selected by our researchers:

Features NordVPN Surfshark VPN PIA VPN CyberGhost
Starting price £2.49 per month £27.99/year for up to 5 devices £19/year for up to 5 devices £29.99/year for 1 device
Money-back guarantee 30 days 30 days 30 days 45 days
Firewall No No No No
Password manager Yes Yes No Yes
Parental controls No No Yes Yes
Supported operating systems macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux
VPN data Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of devices 6 Unlimited Unlimited 7
Number of servers 5,500+ 3,200+ 500+ 9,000+
Number of countries 60 100 84 91
Encryption type AES-256 AES-256 AES-256 AES-256
Kill switch Yes Yes Yes Yes
Split tunnelling Yes Yes Yes Yes
No-log policy Yes Yes Yes Yes
Streaming services unlocked Yes Yes Yes Yes

NordVPN 

NordVPN offers an integrated solution combining VPN services with malware protection. Notably, every plan – even the most affordable one – incorporates threat protection. 

The two-year subscription is priced at £2.49 per month and includes an additional three months at no extra cost, totalling £80.73. Plus, with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can confidently evaluate the service.

VPN

NordVPN is a top-rated VPN service widely recognised and recommended by our experts as one of the best options in the market. With unlimited data at its core, you can freely stream and browse without limitations. NordVPN allows connections on up to six devices. 

Its expansive network features approximately 5,500 servers strategically spread over 60 countries, ensuring coverage and connection quality.

Security is a notable strength for NordVPN. It employs the trusted AES-256 encryption standard and supports various protocols, including NordLynx, IKEv2 and OpenVPN (TCP and UDP). 

Additional features such as a kill switch and split tunnelling further enhance user experience and protection. In terms of privacy, NordVPN maintains a no-log policy, and this stance has been independently verified by reputable firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland and Deloitte.

For streaming enthusiasts, NordVPN, as one of the best VPNs for Fire TV Stick, grants access to top-tier platforms such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Prime Video and HBO Max. 

Threat protection

NordVPN Threat Protection goes beyond typical VPN functions, adding an antivirus-like shield for enhanced online safety. Developed by Nord Security, this tool doesn’t rely on third-party apps. Instead, it leverages its malware solution, operating on anonymised data for performance enhancement.

Available on NordVPN’s Windows and macOS apps, this feature can function within a VPN subscription or independently on specific platforms. Additionally, there’s the Lite version for blocking malicious sites and intrusive ads. It’s accessible on various platforms but requires a VPN connection.

Threat Protection filters harmful web content, scans downloads for malware, prevents user tracking and blocks detrimental ads. These functions ensure user data remains secure on their device. 

The URL trimming feature further boosts browsing security. Moreover, users can toggle the Lite version on and off or pause it for custom intervals, granting heightened security control.

Pros

✅ Ad and tracker blocker

✅ Unlimited VPN with extensive server network and locations

✅ Robust security features

✅ Enhanced unblocking capabilities for geo-restricted streaming services

✅ Seven-day free trial

✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Lack of advanced antivirus features such as firewall and malware scanning 

❌ Limited simultaneously connected devices

Surfshark One

Surfshark offers the Surfshark One bundle, combining comprehensive VPN features with antivirus and other Surfshark extras such as Surfshark Search and Alert. 

Its two-year subscription starts at £2.63 per month (for 25 months, £65.81 total). You can also rely on a 30-day money-back guarantee, which could be handy if you want to try the service before deciding on the two-year commitment.

VPN

Surfshark offers a VPN service with unlimited data, which can be particularly useful for those with high internet consumption. One distinct feature is its capacity to handle unlimited simultaneous device connections. With a network of more than 3,200 servers in 100 countries, Surfshark provides broad geographic coverage.

The service employs AES-256 encryption paired with protocols such as WireGuard, IKEv2 and OpenVPN, emphasising data protection. An in-built kill switch and the “Bypasser” function, Surfshark’s version of split tunnelling, further supplement its security features.

Regarding user privacy, Surfshark follows a no-log policy, which has received verification from third parties such as Deloitte and Cure53. For those interested in streaming, Surfshark can access Netflix, BBC iPlayer and others, although user experiences may vary.

Antivirus

Surfshark’s antivirus scanning capabilities are diverse, offering quick, full, scheduled and drag-and-drop options. Previously limited to Android, real-time protection has expanded to Windows and macOS platforms, fortifying devices against malware threats such as worms, trojans and backdoors.

However, it lacks certain defence layers, such as a firewall, password manager or parental controls. 

The full system scan is thorough, detecting most test malicious files. Users also benefit from customisable scans, with the drag-and-drop feature being convenient. Additionally, Surfshark enables scheduled scans, facilitating automatic, periodic system checks without manual intervention.

This package also offers features such as: 

  • Real-time breach alerts: get notifications if your email, credit card or personal IDs are compromised
  • Data security reports: receive quarterly or annual updates on your personal data’s security
  • Alternative ID: generate a unique online alias for uncertain online registrations
  • Secure email creation: reduce spam with an Alternative ID-generated email address

Pros

✅ Strong malware detection

✅ Unlimited VPN with extensive server network and locations

✅ Excellent security features

✅ Unlimited simultaneously connected devices

✅ Suitable for accessing streaming services

✅ Seven-day free trial

✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Lack of firewall 

Private Internet Access (PIA)

PIA provides a comprehensive package of VPN and antivirus solutions. To benefit from the antivirus feature, simply select it as an add-on during checkout.

Priced at £2.58 per month for its three-year plan (for 39 months, £100.64 total), it remains competitive, and with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can ascertain its efficiency and reliability.

VPN

PIA offers a VPN service with unlimited data, catering to an unrestricted digital experience. Accommodating simultaneous connections across unlimited devices, it’s flexible for users with diverse needs. With over 500 servers spread across 84 countries, users can find optimal connections for their requirements. PIA employs robust AES-256 encryption and offers protocol options such as OpenVPN, WireGuard and IKEv2, ensuring versatile and secure connections.

A notable feature is the kill switch, which safeguards data if the VPN connection drops. Split tunnelling is also available, letting users choose which applications use the VPN connection. Deloitte’s independent audit confirms PIA’s no-log policy, reinforcing its commitment to privacy. For those keen on streaming, PIA successfully unlocks major platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer and HBO Max, to name a few. 

Antivirus

PIA’s antivirus is simple and easy to use. Its dashboard provides a clear snapshot of essential functions, from Real-Time Protection to the last update of Virus Definitions. 

A standout feature is the Web Shield, a DNS-based guard that filters ads, trackers and potentially harmful websites. The Prevention Engine strengthens the computer’s in-built defences against unpatched vulnerabilities. The antivirus uses a continually updated cloud database, protecting users from the newest threats. 

Scanning options are versatile; you can opt for quick or comprehensive scans, tailor parameters and schedule them. If the software detects malware, it safely isolates these files in a high-security quarantine, where users can review and decide their next action. Last, all security scan results are neatly documented, allowing users easy access to their security history.

Pros

✅ Unlimited VPN with extensive server network and locations

✅ Unlimited simultaneously connected devices

✅ Robust security features

✅ Versatile malware scanning options

✅ Works with many popular streaming services

✅ Seven-day free trial

✅ 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Lack of firewall 

CyberGhost 

The CyberGhost Security Suite for Windows includes both an antivirus and the Security Updater and is selected as an add-on before the checkout. Note that the antivirus protects only Windows users.

The service costs £3.08 per month if you commit to a two-year plan (£ 73.92 total). Moreover, CyberGhost offers an extended 45-day money-back guarantee, giving you ample time to gauge the service’s efficiency and capabilities.

VPN

CyberGhost offers unlimited VPN data across a vast network of more than 9,600 servers located in 91 countries. You can secure multiple devices simultaneously with a maximum of seven device connections. The service utilises robust AES-256 encryption and supports multiple protocols, including OpenVPN, WireGuard and IKEv2. 

CyberGhost integrates a kill switch for those unexpected drops in connectivity and offers split tunnelling for a customised browsing experience. Deloitte has independently verified its no-log policy, ensuring user data remains private.

Additionally, for streaming enthusiasts, CyberGhost is adept at unlocking a range of popular platforms, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, Prime Video and HBO Max. 

Antivirus

Cyberghost Antivirus has integrated a solution in collaboration with Intego to offer antivirus capabilities within its VPN application. Using Intego’s behaviour analysis and malware engine, this antivirus protects against various online threats, such as malware, trojans, spyware, adware and ransomware.

The Security Updater is a significant function within the suite, which helps users identify and update outdated software. It’s essential to be cautious, as outdated applications can be potential vulnerabilities that cybercriminals may exploit.

The Privacy Guard is also available for those looking to manage their privacy settings. 

Pros

✅ Unlimited VPN with extensive server network and locations

✅ Robust security features

✅ Suitable for unlocking many popular streaming services

✅ Free trial (24 hours for Windows and macOS; three days for Android; seven days for iOS)

✅ 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons

❌ Antivirus limited to Windows users only

❌ Lack of firewall 

❌ Limited simultaneously connected devices (seven)

Final takeaway

Combining antivirus and VPN functionalities is beneficial for comprehensive security. Together, they tackle malware risks and ensure user data remains private and encrypted.

The solutions highlighted in this article showcase a range of features designed to cater to diverse user needs. As you sift through the range of cybersecurity options, keep in mind the value of this combined defence. To truly fortify your digital presence, select the bundled solution that most resonates with your online habits and security priorities.

Frequently asked questions

Antivirus with VPN combines malware protection and data encryption, offering both device and online security.

A VPN encrypts online data and hides your IP, ensuring privacy. An antivirus protects against malware threats. Both are crucial, serving distinct roles in cybersecurity.

Yes. While a VPN secures online activities, an antivirus guards against device threats. Using both ensures comprehensive protection.

Typically, yes. Reputable VPNs such as NordVPN work well with major antivirus programs, but avoid using two VPNs simultaneously, as it may cause issues.

Surfshark offers a standout combination of antivirus protection and VPN functionalities based on our analysis.

Yes, many top providers now offer bundled antivirus and VPN solutions, ensuring integrated protection.

Combining them offers enhanced malware defence, browsing security, online anonymity, unrestricted content access and a unified security approach.

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.79 /Month
£6.79 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.26 /Month
£4.26 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.60 /Month
£4.60 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £2.92 /Month
£2.92 /Month

Mariana is an experienced technology writer specialising in web and internet technology. She writes about cyber security, including VPN; web development; and software engineering. She has been writing since 2006 and held a position of English lecturer at Technical University of Varna in Bulgaria until 2022, working in a variety of educational fields.

For the Independent Advisor, Mariana writes about the usefulness of VPNs and how people can protect themselves and their data online.

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.