Antivirus vs VPN – Which Protects You Online Better in 2022?

Do We Need Firewall And Antivirus Even With Vpn?

You should invest in a VPN if you want to keep your browsing privacy and data security at the forefront of your mind. It is not possible to set up security rules for VPNs. antivirus software is required if you want to keep track of viruses and erase them. It is essential to set up a firewall in order to keep viruses from entering your network and stealing data.

Do I Need Firewall If I Have Vpn? answer your question: that VPN does not have to be powered by firewalls, and they (roughly speaking) serve different purposes as well.

Do Firewalls Work With Vpns? Often, VPN firewalls are installed in front of or back of the server, depending on whether it is a VPN or not. With firewall-based VPNs, only tunnel information that is passed on the Internet interface of the firewall directly to the server can be used.

Can Vpn And Antivirus Work Together? What are the benefits of combining used together? There is no doubt about it. A VPN is often a good idea since it lets you protect your device as well as your internet connection at the same time. In fact, it’s possible to overlap features in a VPN while using an antivirus.

Is Vpn Important For Antivirus? The main purpose of anti-virus software is to protect a device from malware infections. The main aim of a VPN is to protect your privacy and confidentiality. You would gain protection from malware you’ve already installed on your device by using antivirus. IP address settings can be used to make it possible for hackers to block websites.

Do I Need An Antivirus If I Have A Vpn? How important is an antivirus ns with a VPN? If you want to keep your device and your personal data safe, you will need both VPN and antivirus software. You should use a VPN if you want to keep your device safe from software threats, whereas an antivirus program keeps your device from being infected with harmful software.

Do I Need A Firewall Or Vpn? The best way to protect your internet activity is to use a VPN when surfing the Internet using public wireless networks due to poor security, which makes them more susceptible to attack.

Can A Vpn Replace A Firewall? I am in agreement: Both. Make sure your firewall is up and running with a VPN. Using a VPN (such as Avast SecureLine VPN) will hide your online activity and allow data transfers securely without slowing your connection, though on public Wi-Fi, but it alone cannot protect your device from dangerous viruses and spyware downloads.

Do I Still Need Virus Protection With Vpn? In general, I believe that money was better spent on this. Operating systems vary greatly in the way they provide antivirus protection, ranging from an absolute necessity to a good idea. It is one way or another possible for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS to protect themselves from malware.

Which Antivirus Is Best With Vpn? Among the best VPNs in 2022, TotalAV is in first place. Lightweight antivirus and excellent torrent VPN. Avira makes it easy to download torrents. A powerful cloud-based antivirus scanner and blazing fast VPNs combine at Bitdefender. PureVPN’s internet security suite is among the best of the bunch.

VPN and antivirus bundles: everything you need to know and today's best options

Cyberthreats are getting more sophisticated and diverse. If a VPN safeguards your data and identity when you connect to the internet, an antivirus software prevents your devices from being infected by malware and viruses of all kinds.

One tool cannot replace the other - both services are needed to really shield your sensitive information from malicious actors. And this is something cybersecurity firms are well aware of.

To make things easier for users, more and more security providers have begun to merge VPN and antivirus tools in a bundles that can offer more comprehensive protection. Sometimes, these suites come with additional services to boost your digital safety even further - password managers and data leak detection software, for example.

But, are security bundles better than standalone subscriptions? Which are the best VPN and antivirus suites available right now? Here's everything you need to know for making up your mind.

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VPN vs antivirus: what's the difference?

While both services are necessary to protect your digital privacy, they do so in a very different way.

Antivirus software can be seen as your device's shield. Hackers use malware, viruses and ransomware to infiltrate your sensitive data. All the emails you receive, files you download, websites you visit, apps you install: these daily actions can put you and your device at risk of infection.

Antivirus works by scanning your smartphone, tablet or laptop to find and eradicate these threats as quickly as possible. Many services use real-time protection to secure the safety of your device at all times. Plus, regular checks and automatic updates prevent malicious code from infiltrating among your stored data.

(Image credit: pixabay | Elchinator)

On the other hand, a VPN can be defined as a mask that protects all of your data in transit. Short for virtual private network, it makes you anonymous when surfing the web by hiding your real IP address while securing your information inside an encrypted tunnel.

As your ISP will be tricked to think that you are connected from a different location, no snoopers will be able to track you down. This feature is not only advantageous for safeguarding your privacy, but it can help you to bypass online censorship in stringent regimes across the globe. A good streaming VPN will enable you to unlock geo-restricted catalogs, no matter where you are in the world. And connecting to one of the best services will allow you to torrent safely, too.

Pros and cons of getting a VPN and antivirus together

Generally in the past, antivirus and VPN services could only be purchased as two distinct subscriptions. Now, many security providers offered comprehensive bundles to help you protect your data on all fronts.

But that's changing significantly now, and there are now far greater choices available if you want to combine both defenses in one package.

Choosing a VPN and antivirus bundle can be advantageous to cut down your costs. These packages can be quite a lot cheaper than standalone plans. Plus, having all your security tools in one app can make it easier to manage the two programs and stay on top of your digital hygiene.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

However, standalone VPNs are notably better equipped than the services that antivirus firms can offer. As providers may prioritize the antivirus side of the package, virtual private network often come with limited security features, few servers and data caps. They are generally not very effective to unlock internet restrictions, either.

This is true also for antivirus software included with VPN companies' suites. First of all, even though they are getting more popular, these bundles are still less common. Plus, the software itself cannot compete with their standalone counterpart. In some instances - like in the case of NordVPN Threat Protection - the tool offered can be a fine addition, while not quite yet being considered a complete antivirus in the traditional way.

But all-in-one security bundles a doubtlessly a growing trend, and you can expect to see the technology - on both sides - to develop and improve in the future. For the time being, however, below we have pinpointed the best of the current crop that are combining VPN and antivirus.

Best VPNs with antivirus

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1. Surfshark One (opens in new tab)

Surfshark One is a complete package offering four cybersecurity tools with just one subscription. These include its own VPN, a data leak detection system, a private search engine and antivirus software.

Surfshark VPN - one of the most secure and cheapest VPN services available - boasts easy-friendly apps, unlimited devices connections and top-notch security features. It's one of the best streaming VPNs too, unlocking all the major platforms. Users can choose among an array of more than 3,000 servers across 65 countries.

Surfshark Antivirus - powered by Avira's anti-malware SDK - offers both real-time protection from malware, viruses, and privacy-intrusive apps as well as scheduled scans to stay on top of your devices' digital hygiene with ease. At the time of writing, this software is only available for Windows and Android platforms with the real-time feature available just for the mobile app. The provider has plans to introduce new versions soon, though.

Surfshark One can be purchased for around $4 per month (opens in new tab) if you subscribe to its longest two-year plan (prices will differ in different territories). You can also add the bundle to an existing Surfshark VPN subscription with an additional tiny fee around $1.50 per month (opens in new tab).

Editor's note: all prices correct at the time of writing

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2. CyberGhost Security Suite (opens in new tab)

CyberGhost has joined forces with antivirus provider Intego to offer its users an 'all-in-one privacy and security solution.' The package include the VPN, antivirus software, its own password manager and ID Guard tools.

CyberGhost VPN is a strong and secure service that boasts more than 7,000 servers spread across 90 countries. Good for streaming and website unblocking, it offers a 45-day money back guarantee and fair pricing (especially if you're willing to commit). The only downside is that is does not offer independent audits just yet.

Its Intego and Avira-powered antivirus is propelled by behavior analysis and a malware engine, offering 24/7 protection against all the biggest online threats around right now. These include protection from malware, trojans, spyware, adware and ransomware. A Security Updater alerts you to outdated apps, and Privacy Guard makes it easy to manage your privacy settings.

The downside here is that CyberGhost Security Suite protects Windows users only. Plus, according our testing, its antivirus can't compete with the best providers around (although it was last on test in early 2021). But what is really good is the cost, with its longest three-year plan and security bundle costing less than $3.50 per month (opens in new tab) - just about an extra $1 from the standalone VPN subscription.

3. Private Internet Access with Antivirus add-on (opens in new tab)

Private Internet Access (PIA) now offers its users the possibility to bundle its VPN subscription with its own antivirus software. You will need to be a PIA VPN user to add on its antivirus extension.

Private Internet Access VPN hosts more than 10,000 servers across 78 countries. Although not being the fastest service around, it is equipped with many security features as well as with good Android VPN and iPhone VPN apps. But like CyberGhost, it doesn't carry out independent audits just yet.

PIA Antivirus is packed with features for protecting your device from any threats. These include a DNS-based ad blocker, a prevention engine to find and fix your computer’s in-built defenses, a real-time 24/7 protection as well as an up-to-date cloud database to prevent even the newest viruses and malware from infecting your devices. You can also customize your data settings for a full control over your digital privacy.

The only downside is that is currently available for users operating on a Windows 7 and above systems only. Add at the checkout the antivirus software to your VPN subscription - at the time of writing, one of the best cheap VPN provider - paying less than $1.50 per month (opens in new tab) if you choose its 2-year plan.

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4. NordVPN Threat Protection (opens in new tab)

One of our favorite VPN services, NordVPN has developed a new feature to secure users from cyber threats. The good news is that you will be able to enjoy this benefit without having to purchase any extra software.

Threat Protection will prevent your devices from being infected with malware by blocking access to malicious websites and checking the files you download. It also stops web trackers before they can intrude your browsing activity, while hindering those intrusive and malicious ads from loading on the page you visit.

It is worth noting that even if it looks quite similar on the surface, the Threat Protection tool does not exactly work as other antivirus software does - for example, it's limited in its scope only to scan executable files without monitoring processes for suspect behavior. However, it can still enlarge the security grip of your NordVPN subscription guarding you from some cyber threats that regular VPN services don't usually block.

NordVPN is a secure, fast and reliable service ideal for torrenting safely, streaming and bypassing online censorship at ease. Turning on its Double VPN system, all your internet traffic will be encrypted not one but twice. For users ready to commit to its longest plan, a the monthly price comes down to around the $3.50 (opens in new tab).

Best antivirus with VPN

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1. Norton 360 (opens in new tab)

Norton's 360 packages add new layers of security for their users with unlimited access to its own VPN and password manager tools. The Norton 360 Deluxe plan comes with its Dark Web Monitoring tool, too, which searches for your exposed information on the dark web. While those choosing the Advanced suite will also benefit from Identity Restoration Support and Social Media Monitoring.

Norton antivirus is a trusted software that include a really useful firewall and cloud backup space. Powered by AI machine-learning, it secures your devices against viruses, malware, spyware and ransomware.

Even though it cannot compete with the top VPN services, we found that Norton Secure VPN can still unlock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime. It has a no-log policy and kill switch feature for its Android apps, with split-tunneling available for Windows users. Unfortunately, the service doesn't offer obfuscation technology and P2P traffic - so, it can't be used to bypass strong online censorship or download torrents.

Norton 360 packages - all of which include that Secure VPN - start from around $20 for a whole year (opens in new tab). So when you compare that to purchasing a VPN, it's really excellent value.

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2. Bitdefender (opens in new tab)

The current leader in our best antivirus chart is Bitdefender, whose bundles all add a secure browser - called Safepay online banking protection - password manager tool, a vulnerability scanner and a good quality VPN.

The things that stood out to use about Bitdefender Antivirus were its user-friendly interface that can suit either complete beginners or experts who want to tweak things. It also has some impressive features like real-time protection, advanced threat defense, web attack prevention, anti-phishing and anti-fraud.

Bitdefender VPN is a basic service with some solid speed results and effective kill switch. It's not made in house, but uses Hotspot Shield technology instead. It promises not to keep any logs, also allowing P2P sharing. If it manages to unblock BBC iPlayer, it fails to do the same with other streaming platforms like Netflix. Its most notable downside though is a 200MB daily limit included with the bundle. So, if you want more freedom, you need to upgrade to the premium version - in this case, we strongly recommend to opt for one of the best VPN services around instead.

Like Norton, you can get hold of Bitdefender's VPN and antivirus plan for not much more than $20 for a whole year (opens in new tab).

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3. Avast One (opens in new tab)

Avast One is a security bundle that combines antivirus, VPN, data breach scanning and even a firewall in just one subscription. The good news is that all this can be yours for free with its Essential plan - yes, you read it right. Upgrade to its premium package for adding an anti-tracking, webcam monitoring, a powerful disk cleaner, extra device speedup tools and automatic updates for your apps.

Avast Antivirus is packed with useful features to protect your devices. These include real-time protection and different types of scans - you can customize those to better suit your own needs. It automatically detects folders with user documents, adding them to Avast's Ransomware Shield Protect list to guarantee stronger protection.

Built on HideMyAss! technology, Avast SecureLine VPN is a simple service but with good performance. It unblocks some streaming platforms like US Netflix and Amazon Prime. It protects your data in case the service drop down with kill switch and DNS leak protection. Although, the network is pretty small - only 55 locations in 34 countries - with P2P supported on just 8 servers. It also keeps some connection logs - it clearly explains this in its VPN Privacy Policy - and doesn't offer a stealth protocol to bypass blocks. It's also worth noting that the Avast VPN free version comes with a weekly 5GB cap.

4. McAfee Total Protection (opens in new tab)

McAfee Total Protection Basic suite includes its antivirus - currently ranked at #7 on our best antivirus guide - secure VPN, an intelligent firewall, password manager and identity monitoring tools. Upgrade to the Premium to add parental controls and a Personal Data Cleanup to help you remove your data from risky data broker sites. If you opt for the Ultimate package, you will also have up to $1M ID theft coverage and attorney restoration.

McAfee antivirus keeps its antivirus scanning options to a minimum. You can perform quick scans, full system scans or focused checks on specific items directly from the Explorer right-click menu. Despite this it offers several features like a device cleaner and Depending on file shredder tools. Depending which plan you choose, you can connect up to one, five or unlimited devices with one subscription.

Powered by TunnelBear technology, McAfee VPN comes with unlimited data for all paid plans and 50 server locations for you to choose from. Despite this, it's a quite basic VPN service offering poor unlocking performance as well as lacking some security features like a kill-switch.

Another downside of McAfee bundles are its prices, higher than the suites mentioned before. At the time of writing, its basic plan comes to around $40 per year (opens in new tab) and its most expensive one up to $75 (opens in new tab).

VPN and antivirus bundles: should I get one?

It's clear that both antivirus and VPN providers are reacting to current cyber threats by enlarging their security tools offer. Increasingly companies are understanding that users need internet security suite when online and, although there are no perfect packages yet, reaching that point seems within grasp.

Currently, these services don't quite fulfil the brief. The VPNs included with traditional antivirus still lack of many advanced features included in their standalone counterparts. And the same goes with the antivirus software sitting in the offering of virtual private network providers.

So, should you go with a security bundle or not? And, is it more important that you get a powerful VPN or strong antivirus?

That depends from your own needs, really. If you are simply looking for an extra layer of security when online, an antivirus with VPN suite may be the right choice for you. But, if you are looking to use the service for streaming or torrenting, a VPN with antivirus package is surely more advantageous. On top of that, there also are many good free antivirus and free VPN services that you can use along your paid subscription.

Antivirus vs VPN – Which Protects You Online Better in 2022?

Antivirus vs VPN – Which Protects You Online Better in 2022?

It’s no secret that the web can be a dangerous place. Threats ranging from spies and viruses to hackers and scammers lurk behind every virtual corner, endangering everyone from large corporations to innocent café customers.

As we all search for ways to stay safe online, antivirus software and virtual private networks (VPNs) have emerged as the most popular tools to protect yourself and your devices.

But how do antivirus clients and VPNs actually work? What do they protect you from? How do they fight internet dangers, and how are they different from each other?

Most importantly, which one should you use to safeguard your data, your online activity, and your privacy?

We’ll answer all of these questions and more in this important update to our guides to internet freedom, security, and anonymity.

What Threats Do You Face Online?

Digital dangers are everywhere, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

For starters, there is malware (malicious software). This term is used for any form of harmful software, including adware that can hijack your browser, spyware, and viruses. The most common virus types currently are:

Trojans – Programs that look like useful apps but have viruses hidden within them.

– Programs that look like useful apps but have viruses hidden within them. Worms – Destructive programs that infect numerous devices by self-replicating.

– Destructive programs that infect numerous devices by self-replicating. Boot Sector Viruses – Viruses contained in external storage devices like CD-ROMs; once very common, these viruses are rarer in the cloud storage age.

Once a virus infects your device, it can erase files, slow processing down to a crawl, or even destroy your hardware beyond repair.

But malware is only one of the perils you face on the internet. Whether you’re browsing, streaming, or downloading, other hazards you’ll encounter on the web include:

DNS attacks , where hackers exploit vulnerabilities in the Domain Name System to access your server. The most common type is a DoS (Denial-of-Service) attack , which temporarily or permanently disconnects your device from the web.

, where hackers exploit vulnerabilities in the Domain Name System to access your server. The most common type is a , which temporarily or permanently disconnects your device from the web. Surveillance and data harvesting by cybercriminals, governments, and ISPs.

and data harvesting by cybercriminals, governments, and ISPs. Hacking and identity theft.

Restricted content access due to censorship laws or geoblocks.

Penalties for accessing blocked or restricted content.

Phishing scams and spam.

That list might be enough to make you close your laptop and never open it again, but here’s the good news: Antivirus software and VPNs can help protect you from virtually every cyber threat that exists today.

Each of these two crucial tools protects you in its own way, and each has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a detailed look at how antivirus apps and VPNs actually work.

How Antivirus Software Protects Your Devices

Every time you open anything on your device – whether it’s an email, a file, a website, or a new app – you introduce new code to the device’s processor. That means you run the risk of malware infections.

That is, unless you have an antivirus wall protecting you.

Antivirus software continuously scans your device for any hints of danger. It compares running programs to known types of malware and assesses your computing activity to make sure there’s nothing out of the ordinary.

If the antivirus finds a suspicious code, it isolates it and removes the threat automatically.

Unfortunately, viruses and other malware get more sophisticated every day, so antivirus solutions have to constantly evolve to stay one step ahead of the threats. It’s therefore critical to keep your antivirus products up to date.

How a VPN Secures Your Internet Traffic and Personal Data

If antivirus software is your device’s armor, then a VPN is your camouflage. After all, criminals and spying agencies can’t harm what they can’t find.

A good VPN allows you to surf the web anonymously by connecting your device to a secure private server and concealing your true IP address. This means you’ll be able to access sites banned by your government, restricted services, and geoblocked TV content with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your identity and data are safe.

VPNs use a process called tunneling to both encapsulate and encrypt your data. The first process hides your data, the second makes it unreadable even to government agents or cybercriminals who discover it.

Quality VPNs use additional high-end security measures to prevent tracking, including automatic kill switches. These are safety valves that cut off your internet connection completely if your VPN server disconnects, which could open the door to tracking.

Does this all mean that a VPN protects you from viruses and other malware? Not necessarily. The best VPNs do offer built-in malware protection, such as CyberGhost, one of our highest-rated VPNs, but the protection is incomplete.

VPN malware protection is a preventive measure, intended to block harmful programs from reaching your device. It won’t be as effective as an antivirus client when it comes to identifying and fighting existing viruses.

Which Is Better: Antivirus or VPN?

The truth is that antivirus software is better at protecting you from some online threats, while VPNs are better at protecting you from others. They are designed to work together, not compete with each other.

Here is a summary of what each of these important tools does best:

Type of Protection Needed Better Tool to Protect You Preventing tracking of your online activity VPN Preventing invasion of your devices by viruses, adware, and other malware Antivirus Safe access to restricted internet content VPN Anonymity for browsing or torrenting VPN Removal of existing virus from your devices Antivirus Identifying dangerous Phishing emails Antivirus Permanently deleting internet session data VPN

It should be clear by now that you shouldn't choose between antivirus protection and a VPN – you should absolutely have both! The combination of a topnotch antivirus program and a high-quality VPN is the closest you can come to 100% protection from every online threat.

As your vpnMentors, we can confidently give some insights into which VPNs have the highest security standards in the business. In addition to ExpressVPN, we also recommend CyberGhostVPN which is super easy to use, and IPVanish for its great security.

All three of these providers offer military-grade encryption, a reliable kill switch, and your choice of tunneling protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv2, and PPTP.

The Best VPN and Antivirus Combination Packages

Some of the top antivirus companies bundle premium VPN services with their cybersecurity packages. Is it worth combining your antivirus with a VPN like this? It's a definite yes!

This combination affords you the best protection, and you don’t have to compromise on any features. Our experts have tested the VPN and virus protection software bundles from leading antivirus developers. Here are our top picks:

You can now bundle Norton's antivirus suite with its premium VPN service, Norton Secure. If you’ve purchased the Norton Security Deluxe Plan, you’ll be happy to note that its VPN is already included.

Secure VPN offers bank-level encryption and tracker blocking. It operates high-speed servers in 73 global locations. There are also apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS.

Want to learn more? You can read some informative Norton Secure reviews from its customers here.

Get Started with Norton Secure VPN

Webroot’s WiFi Security and antivirus software make a powerful combination that can protect up to 5 of your devices at once.

Its antivirus software is lightning-fast. It takes only 20 seconds to scan your device - its cloud-based software allows it to run up to 60 times faster than the average antivirus program.

It provides real-time protection against phishing attempts, webcam hacking, and identity theft.

Webroot’s VPN is also super-speedy. It’s easy to install, and perfect for beginners. It keeps a strict no-logs policy, and offers automatic protection every time you connect to the internet. As a bonus, its web filter will protect you from malicious and risky websites.

It offers apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. Sounds interesting? You can learn more by reading real customer reviews.

Get Started with Webroot WiFi Security

Avast’s Ultimate internet security package protects your device with four of its most popular programs: SecureLine VPN, premium antivirus software, CleanUp Premium, and Passwords Premium.

SecureLine VPN uses military-level security to anonymize your online presence, while Avast’s premium antivirus software fights off malware and spyware.

SecureLine also offers DNS leak protection, and operates servers in 34 countries.

As a bonus in this package, CleanUp Premium will keep your device running fast and efficiently. Passwords Premium allows you to manage all of your accounts securely. It will also autofill your login details and sync them across your devices.

SecureLine’s customer reviews speak volumes: it really is one of the top packages on the market.

Get Started with Avast SecureLine VPN

Avira’s Prime package includes everything you need to protect your device, including a stellar antivirus program and its popular Phantom VPN Pro product. Similar to SecureLine, you’ll also get Speedup Pro and Password Manager Pro thrown in.

Phantom VPN Pro protects your data with high-end security features, like 256-bit encryption, a built-in kill switch, DNS leak prevention, and anti-ransomware tools. It will also connect automatically, so you don’t need to worry about being unprotected online.

Its apps are easy-to-use, and it operates servers in 37 countries. You can see what customers have to say about Phantom VPN Pro by reading its reviews.

Get Started with Avira Phantom VPN


If internet security is on your mind – and it should be on all our minds these days – antivirus software and VPNs are two of the best available protective measures, and they can and should be used together.

In fact, using one without the other leaves you vulnerable to a number of potential threats. Neither is better than the other, but antivirus + VPN adds up to the best online protection you can get.

For more information on how VPNs work and why everyone should use one, check out our complete beginner’s guide. And keep checking our blog posts for updates on the latest internet dangers and the best technology to protect yourself.

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