The best internet security suites in 2022

best internet security suites
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With one of the best internet security suites, you can protect all of your Windows PCs, Macs, iPhones and Android devices from malware, phishing attacks and malicious websites. 

This is because these premium software packages bundle in other services you would normally have to purchase separately like a password manager, VPN, cloud backup software and identity theft protection services. In fact, some even feature parental controls to monitor what your kids do online, webcam protection or two-way firewalls.

The best internet security suites act like a digital Swiss Army knife for protecting your online presence. However, you should be prepared to pay a lot more for a subscription as they can range anywhere from $130 to $350 a year. The upside though is that most of them allow you to protect up to 10 systems at once, making the per-device cost much more reasonable.

If you have a large family you want to keep safe online or regularly use multiple devices, these are the best internet security suites we’ve thoroughly tested and reviewed.

The best internet security suites you can get

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Best internet security suites: NortonEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Norton)
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Everything but the kitchen sink, at a premium price

Specifications

Anti-theft: No
Backup software: Yes
Firewall: Yes
Game mode: Yes
Hardened browser: No
Parental controls: Yes
Password manager: Yes
Ransomware rollback: No
Webcam protection: Yes
VPN: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent malware protection
+
Huge number of extra features
+
LifeLock identity protection

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy slowdown during full scans
-
Parental controls, cloud storage don't work on Macs

Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus includes just about every security feature you’ll need, including many that we normally review as stand-alone products.

Unlimited password manager? Check. Unlimited VPN? You. Parental controls, cloud backup, top-notch identity theft protection? All there.

Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus also has excellent protection against malware, its own firewall, dedicated webcam protection and it can even be installed on an unlimited number of devices.

So what’s the catch? The parental controls don’t work on Mac and neither does the cloud backup service. If you have more than one PC, you might fill up the 500GB of backup space after a year or two.

Then there’s the sticker shock. Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus costs $350 per year after the first year which is far more than other premium antivirus suites.

Still, buying the equivalents of Norton’s features and services from other companies costs at least $550 a year. If you absolutely need and can afford all of these extras, then Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus could be the perfect solution.

Read our full Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus review.

Save on subscriptions with our Norton coupon codes.

Best internet security suites: Bitdefender

(Image credit: Bitdefender)
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Unlimited VPN, but no identity-theft protection

Specifications

Anti-theft: Yes
Backup software: No
Firewall: Yes
Game mode: Yes
Hardened browser: Yes
Parental controls: Yes
Password manager: Yes
Ransomware rollback: Yes
Webcam protection: Yes
VPN: Unlimited

Reasons to buy

+
Very good malware protection
+
Lots of useful extra features
+
Easy-to-use interface

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy background system impact
-
Password manager only for Windows

What if you don't want or need identity-theft protection or cloud-backup software, but still need an unlimited VPN? Bitdefender Premium Security, which costs $150 yearly for up to 10 devices, might be the answer. 

Premium Security combines Bitdefender's very good malware detection and easy-to-use interface with a huge assortment of extra features. These include a few that Norton doesn't have, such as ransomware rollbacks, a super-secure web browser for online banking, anti-theft software for laptops and a file shredder. 

Bitdefender Premium Security also has parental controls for all four major platforms, but its unlimited password manager and dedicated webcam and microphone protections work only on Windows.

Read our full Bitdefender Premium Security review.

Save on subscriptions with our Bitdefender coupon codes.

Best internet security suites: Mcafee

(Image credit: McAfee)
Most of what you get with Norton for less

Specifications

Anti-theft: No
Backup software: No
Firewall: Yes
Game mode: Yes
Hardened browser: No
Parental controls: Yes
Password manager: Yes
Ransomware rollback: Yes
Webcam protection: No
VPN: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Protects at least 10 devices
+
Password manager, unlimited VPN, identity-theft protection
+
Very good malware protection

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy performance hit during scans
-
VPN, parental controls don't work on Mac

Norton isn't the only antivirus maker with an identity-theft-protection service. McAfee Total Protection Ultimate includes similar coverage for $160 per year, less than half of what Norton costs. 

You'll get the benefits of McAfee's Identity Theft Protection Plus plan, which costs $175 per year as a stand-alone and includes credit monitoring and up to $1 million in insurance coverage. 

The package also includes McAfee's protection against malware, the True Key password manager, Safe Kids parental controls, file encryption, file shredding, a firewall and unlimited VPN service for up to five devices. Like many McAfee antivirus subscriptions, Total Protection Ultimate nominally protects up to 10 devices but in practice is unlimited.

The downsides are that neither the VPN nor the parental controls work on Macs, and that there's no webcam protection, hardened browser or backup software. But if you want all-encompassing protection at a bargain rate, you could do a lot worse than McAfee.

Read our full McAfee Total Protection Ultimate review.

Save on plans with our McAfee promo codes.

Best internet security suites: Trend Micro

(Image credit: Trend Micro)
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A reasonable alternate

Specifications

Backup software: No
Firewall: No
Game mode: Yes
Hardened browser: Yes
Parental controls: Yes
Password manager: Yes
Webcam protection: No
Virtual keyboard: No
VPN: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Very good malware protection
+
Secure browser, password manager
+
Dark Web scans

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy performance hit during scans
-
Many false positives on some tests

Like McAfee Total Protection Premium, Trend Micro Premium Security ($130 per year for up to 10 devices) does without backup software or cloud storage, but it includes a password manager, unlimited VPN service and parental controls, all of which work on Mac, PC, Android and iOS. 

There's also what Trend Micro calls "ID Protection," which actually just monitors the dark web for your data and can be accessed only through mobile apps.

On the antivirus side, Trend Micro does very well in lab tests of malware detection and also provides ransomware rollbacks, a file shredder, file encryption and a system optimizer. Trend Micro's malware engine has a remarkably small impact on Windows system performance when running in the background, but can eat up a fair amount of resources during full scans. 

Read our full Trend Micro Premium Security review.

Best internet security suites: ESET Smart Security Premium

(Image credit: ESET)
Few extra features, but excellent otherwise

Specifications

Anti-theft: Yes
Backup software: No
Firewall: Yes
Game mode: Yes
Hardened browser: Yes
Parental controls: Yes
Password manager: Yes
Ransomware rollback: No
Webcam protection: Yes
Virtual keyboard: No
VPN: No

Reasons to buy

+
Very good protection
+
Remarkably little system-performance impact
+
File encryption, hardened browser, webcam protection

Reasons to avoid

-
Not many extra features

ESET is one of the biggest names in antivirus protection in Europe, and while its top-end Smart Security Premium suite doesn't pack in VPN service, backup software or identity protection, it's still remarkably light, fast and efficient. 

ESET Smart Security Premium does have a password manager, parental controls, anti-theft protections for laptops, dedicated webcam protection, a dedicated secure browser and even home-network-management software. 

It even includes bare-bones antivirus software for Linux machines, and its Windows malware-detection engine does very well in lab tests. The only downside is that the parental controls don't work on iOS.

One bonus: With ESET, you don't pay more than you have to. Most antivirus brands tier premium subscriptions at five, 10 and sometimes 15 devices. ESET bucks the trend, starting at $60 per year for one device and adding $10 for each additional device. 

So if you've got just four devices to protect, you'd pay $90 per year with ESET Smart Security Premium while most other brands on this page would charge you much more.

Read our full ESET Smart Security Premium review.

Also consider

Best internet security suites: Kaspersky Total Security 2020 Box Art

(Image credit: Kaspersky)
Limited VPN, but excellent protection at a fair price

Specifications

Anti-theft: Yes
Backup software: Yes
Firewall: Yes
Game mode: Yes
Hardened browser: Yes
Parental controls: Yes
Password manager: Yes
Ransomware rollback: Yes
Webcam protection: Yes
VPN: Limited upsell

Reasons to buy

+
Unbeaten malware protection
+
Stalkerware protection
+
Password manager, parental controls

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited VPN usage
-
Microphone protection hard to enable

If you can live without an unlimited VPN, then your best bet might be Kaspersky Total Security, which covers 5 devices for $100 per year or 10 devices for $150 per year. 

Kaspersky has the best record on beating malware in third-party lab tests, hands-down. Its password manager works across all four major platforms, and its parental controls (also fully cross-platform) are second only to Norton's. 

Like Bitdefender, Kaspersky offers anti-theft features for laptops, ransomware rollbacks and a secure browser mode for online banking, but Kaspersky's browser works on Macs as well as on Windows. It also offers file encryption and unique protection against "stalkerware" used by jealous partners. 

However, while Kaspersky offers backup software, like Norton, it doesn't provide online storage for those backups, but instead sends you to your own Dropbox account.

The VPN service comes with only 300MB of service per day, but its unlimited VPN service costs just $30 per year, a fraction of what many stand-alone VPNs cost. If you've got five or fewer devices to protect, you can get both Kaspersky Total Security and Kaspersky's unlimited VPN for $105 annually, less than the cost of Bitdefender Premium Security.

Read our full Kaspersky Total Security review.

How to choose the best internet security suite for you

So do you really need all of these extra features with your antivirus software? Well, it’s hard to argue against the benefits of using a password manager. Beyond that though, you’ll need to consider your own personal circumstances.

If you have young kids or teenagers at home, then you might want parental control software to keep tabs on what your children are doing online or to track the physical location of their phones.

Meanwhile, if you’re a person of means, then investing in identity theft protection might be wise. At the same time, if you travel a lot, you’ll want to use a VPN while in hotel rooms and airport lounges.

To get a better idea of the standalone services these premium internet security suites compete with, check out our guides on the best identity theft protection, best cloud backup services, best parental-control apps and best password managers

Internet security suites may seem expensive but they’re still far cheaper than purchasing all of these extra services à la carte. Instead, you just have to decide which ones you really need.

Anthony Spadafora
Senior Editor Security and Networking

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.