In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, protecting your computer from the ever-present threat of malware is more important than ever. However, with countless antivirus solutions available, it can be overwhelming and time-consuming to find the one that best fits your needs.
Thankfully, cloud-based antivirus software has emerged as a powerful and efficient solution for safeguarding your devices. By operating directly on the cloud instead of relying on your device’s resources, it offers a multitude of benefits. Not only does it provide robust protection against malware threats, but it also frees up your device’s resources, ensuring that your computer’s performance remains unaffected.
In this article, we have carefully curated a list of the top 5 cloud-based antivirus solutions in 2023. These exceptional options have been selected based on their exceptional malware detection capabilities, their ability to deliver optimal protection while imposing minimal impact on PC performance, and the additional security features they offer. Whether you’re a home user or a small business owner, these cloud-based antivirus solutions are guaranteed to provide you with reliable and comprehensive protection for your digital endeavors.
Quick Guide: Top 5 Cloud Antivirus Solutions
If you’re short on time and need a trustworthy cloud antivirus solution, here are our top five recommendations:
- Avira – solid and free antivirus with cloud technology
- McAfee – good cloud AV with low impact on PC performance
- NordVPN TP – great cloud-powered protection from online threats
- Surfshark AV – A top-notch cloud-based antivirus with VPN
- TotalAV – The overall best cloud-based antivirus in 2023.
What is cloud-based antivirus protection?
Cloud-based antivirus protection operates in the cloud rather than on your device. Unlike traditional antivirus software, it stores malware definitions and performs virus scans in real time on the cloud. This approach offers instant protection against the latest threats, eliminates the need for manual upgrades, and improves device performance by requiring fewer computing resources.
Best cloud-based antivirus software
The following is a comprehensive list of the best cloud-based antivirus software. We have extensively tested various cloud antivirus providers to bring you top-performing products. The list below includes detailed descriptions of our recommended options.
When it comes to cloud-based antivirus solutions, Avira is a solid option worth considering. It offers both a premium and a free version, both of which utilize cloud technology for efficient malware scanning.
Protection: Independent testing labs have shown that Avira provides exceptional protection, with a 100% success rate against zero-day malware and 99.98% against widespread threats. This means you can rely on Avira to safeguard your devices from both known and unknown viruses.
Performance: During our testing, we found that Avira’s Full scan option only took 3 minutes and 30 seconds to complete a comprehensive system checkup. While this is impressive in terms of speed, it should be noted that the scanning process requires a significant amount of CPU power, which may impact your PC’s performance.
Features: In addition to cloud-based scanning, Avira offers several useful features. It includes a password manager to protect your accounts from being compromised. Moreover, there’s an unlimited VPN for secure browsing, a tracker remover to enhance your online privacy, and an anti-phishing feature to keep you safe from fraudulent websites.
Compatibility: Avira is compatible with all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. During our tests, the installation process took around 4-5 minutes, and the user interface was intuitive and user-friendly across all platforms.
Price: Avira’s subscription plans start from $30.99/year and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re unsure about committing to a premium plan, you can always try out the free version to experience the benefits of cloud technology before making a purchase.
- Multi-layered protection utilizing cloud technology
- Fast scanning process
- Includes a VPN and a password manager for added security
- Generous free version available
- 30-day money-back guarantee for premium plans
- The free version lacks a firewall
- Some features are only available on Windows
- Significant impact on PC performance during scans
McAfee is another reliable choice that prioritizes both security and performance. By performing scans on the cloud instead of your device, McAfee ensures minimal impact on your device’s performance, allowing you to seamlessly carry out your regular tasks while your system is being checked.
Protection: McAfee has received impressive malware detection scores from independent testing labs. It is 99.4% effective in detecting zero-day malware and boasts a perfect 100% score in detecting widespread threats. With McAfee, you can trust that your device will be well-protected against various types of malware.
Performance: In our own tests, McAfee showcased good performance results. The Quick scan was completed in 6 minutes and 20 seconds, while the Full scan finished in 22 minutes. Notably, McAfee’s scanning process did not heavily utilize CPU resources, ensuring that your computer’s performance remains largely unaffected.
Features: McAfee stands out by offering a built-in firewall that provides real-time protection against malware infiltration. Additionally, the antivirus includes a range of valuable extras. These include McAfee Safe Connect VPN for secure browsing, a file shredder for permanent data deletion, a password manager for enhanced security, and speed-up tools to optimize your device’s performance.
Compatibility: McAfee is compatible with popular desktop and mobile devices, supporting Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. While the downloading and installation process is straightforward, it’s worth noting that the interface might initially appear slightly cluttered, requiring a bit of time to familiarize yourself with its features.
Price: McAfee offers subscription plans starting from $39.99/year, and all plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, there is a free version available for Android and iPhone users, allowing you to try out the product before committing to a premium plan.
- Strong malware detection scores
- Minimal impact on PC performance
- Abundance of additional features
- Includes a built-in firewall for real-time protection
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Apps may have a slightly cluttered interface
- Pricing plans can be confusing
3. NordVPN TP
NordVPN Threat Protection is an excellent solution that utilizes cloud technology to provide robust protection against harmful websites, programs, trackers, and ads. What sets it apart is that NordVPN, primarily known as a VPN service provider, also offers an additional layer of security by allowing you to connect to a secure VPN server and encrypt your traffic.
Protection: With the Threat Protection feature, NordVPN offers real-time monitoring to effectively block potentially dangerous websites, downloads, trackers, and ads. It goes the extra mile by uploading suspicious files to the cloud for secondary examination, providing even stronger protection against online threats.
Performance: NordVPN Threat Protection is ideal for users seeking a lightweight cloud-based security solution. It takes up minimal space and works seamlessly in the background without interrupting your regular activities.
Features: In addition to malware prevention, this security solution enables you to secure your sensitive information, unblock streaming platforms, and safely engage in torrenting. By simply enabling a VPN connection and selecting a server in your desired location, you can enjoy enhanced online security and privacy.
Compatibility: NordVPN Threat Protection, together with the VPN services, is available on all major devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. The user-friendly apps are modern and easy to set up, making it convenient for users of all levels of experience.
Price: The Threat Protection feature is included with all NordVPN plans at no additional cost. Subscription prices start from $3.49/month for up to 6 devices and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, there’s a free 7-day trial available for Android users to test the product.
- Well-rounded protection against various threats
- Real-time download scans for immediate threat detection
- Includes one of the best VPN services available
- Lightweight solution with minimal impact on device performance
- 30-day money-back guarantee for subscription plans
- Does not offer real-time system scans
4. Surfshark AV
Surfshark AV is a top-tier cloud-powered antivirus solution that offers robust protection against malware. In addition to real-time and scheduled scans, it utilizes the Surfshark Cloud Protect system, which analyzes unrecognized files on the cloud to enhance the detection of rare types of malware.
Protection: Surfshark AV delivers excellent malware detection rates. In our tests, it successfully detected 7 out of 10 malicious files among a sample of 100,000 regular files. This outstanding performance encompasses various types of viruses, including Trojans, spyware, adware, and more.
Performance: One of the standout features of Surfshark AV is its lightweight nature. During our full scan test, the average CPU usage was around 22%, with the scan completing in 25 minutes. The peak CPU usage reached 53% briefly but quickly dropped down, resulting in negligible impact on PC performance.
Features: Surfshark AV offers an all-in-one security package that includes the highly regarded Surfshark VPN, known for its top-class privacy features. Additionally, the antivirus solution provides a private search engine to conceal your online activities and can even send alerts if your data is compromised.
Compatibility: Surfshark AV has dedicated apps for Windows, Android, and Mac. We thoroughly tested each of these apps, and they boast user-friendly interfaces that are easy to navigate. However, it’s worth noting that Surfshark AV does not currently support iOS devices.
Price: Subscription plans for Surfshark AV start from $41.88/year for up to 5 devices, and they include a 30-day money-back guarantee. Depending on your needs, you can choose the duration of your subscription accordingly.
- Exceptional protection against malware
- Includes a top-class VPN service for enhanced online privacy
- Real-time protection for immediate threat detection
- User-friendly apps across supported platforms
- 30-day money-back guarantee for subscription plans
- Not compatible with iOS devices
In the quest to protect your computer from malware, TotalAV stands out as the ultimate cloud antivirus solution. With its advanced cloud scanning technology, it provides real-time analysis of unknown or suspicious files, ensuring comprehensive protection for your device. What’s more, TotalAV offers a complete security package, equipped with additional features to safeguard your sensitive information.
Protection: Independent tests have proven TotalAV’s exceptional performance, boasting a 99% protection rate against zero-day malware and an impressive 99.96% against widespread threats. With TotalAV, you can rest assured that your system is shielded from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and even ransomware.
Performance: TotalAV delivers swift and efficient scanning without compromising thoroughness. During our tests, the Quick scan completed in a mere 14 seconds, while the Full scan took only 6 minutes and 36 seconds. This exceptional performance surpasses many antivirus solutions that typically require over 20 minutes for a complete system checkup.
Features: In addition to its real-time cloud-powered protection, TotalAV offers a range of valuable features for enhanced online security. With the inclusion of a VPN, you can enjoy secure browsing and protect your privacy. A password manager minimizes the risk of account hacking, while an AdBlock feature removes intrusive and potentially malicious ads during your browsing sessions.
Compatibility: TotalAV ensures compatibility across all major operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. Whether you’re using a desktop or mobile device, TotalAV’s well-organized and user-friendly apps make setup a breeze.
Price: TotalAV provides flexible subscription options to suit your needs. Prices start from $19.00/year for protection on up to 3 devices, and all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, there’s a free version available, allowing you to experience the product’s capabilities before making a purchase.
- High malware detection rates ensure robust protection against threats.
- Very fast scanning performance saves time and ensures efficient system checks.
- Feature-rich product offers additional security features for comprehensive protection.
- Supports all major devices, including Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, providing cross-platform compatibility.
- 30-day money-back guarantee offers peace of mind and allows for risk-free testing.
- Restrictive free version may limit access to certain features or have usage limitations.
How We Evaluated the Top Cloud Antivirus Solutions?
To provide you with the best cloud-based antivirus solutions, we evaluate each option based on the following critical criteria:
- Malware Detection Scores: We review reports from reputable independent testing labs, such as AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, to assess each product’s ability to protect against viruses and cyber threats.
- PC Performance Impact: We prioritize solutions with a low impact on computer performance during malware scans.
- Compatibility: Our selection includes solutions compatible with popular operating systems like Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
- Free Trial Availability: We consider products that offer free trials or money-back guarantees to allow users to try before they buy.
- Price: We assess the price-to-quality ratio and prioritize solutions that offer multiple subscription plans, including affordable options.
Why use a cloud-based antivirus?
Using a cloud-based antivirus solution offers several advantages:
- Real-time malware protection: Cloud-based antivirus provides faster detection of new threats through constant updates to malware definitions on the cloud.
- Improved device performance during scans: Cloud-based scanning requires fewer computing resources, allowing your device to perform regular tasks efficiently.
- Increased device storage: Cloud-based antivirus programs require less storage space compared to traditional antivirus software, freeing up room for other applications.
Is it recommended to use free cloud antivirus?
Using free cloud antivirus solutions is not recommended unless it’s a free trial of a trusted premium provider. Freemium tools often pose security and privacy risks, such as the potential theft and sale of sensitive information to third parties. For a safer option, consider using free trials or versions offered by premium providers like TotalAV, which offers cloud-based protection with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Common FAQs – Cloud-based Antivirus
To address common queries, here are answers to frequently asked questions about cloud antivirus:
How does cloud-based antivirus work?
Cloud-based antivirus stores virus definitions in the cloud and scans files and programs by comparing them to these definitions. It receives updates from the cloud to stay current with the latest threats.
What are the benefits of using a cloud-based antivirus?
The benefits of cloud-based antivirus include real-time protection, up-to-date threat definitions, reduced strain on local devices, and the ability to remotely manage multiple devices.
What are the disadvantages of using a cloud-based antivirus?
Disadvantages of cloud-based antivirus include the need for a stable internet connection, potential privacy concerns regarding data storage in the cloud, and dependence on the provider’s servers.
What is the top cloud antivirus?
TotalAV is recognized as the best cloud antivirus in 2023, boasting a 99.96% success rate in malware protection and minimal impact on computer performance. It also offers additional security features.
Is cloud-based antivirus available?
Yes, top providers offer cloud-based antivirus options. Check our shortlist of the best products with excellent malware detection rates and added security features.
Is Avast home antivirus cloud-based?
No, Avast home antivirus is not cloud-based. However, Avast offers CloudCare, a cloud-based antivirus solution designed for businesses that supports Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS.
Do I still need antivirus software if I use a cloud-based antivirus?
Yes, it is recommended to use antivirus software alongside a cloud-based antivirus. This provides an additional layer of protection and helps prevent viruses that the cloud-based antivirus may miss.
Cloud-based antivirus solutions like TotalAV offer effective protection against a wide range of malware threats. By continuously updating their virus databases, these antivirus programs can quickly identify and neutralize threats. With minimal impact on your device’s performance, you can carry out your daily activities seamlessly while scans are underway. Have you tried a cloud antivirus? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Have you tried a cloud antivirus? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments. If you have any questions regarding Cloud-based Antivirus solutions, you may refer to the below FAQs section.