Upgrading to Windows 11? Here are the compatible antivirus products you need

Microsoft is set to begin rolling out Windows 11 next week. For the most part, any programs you run on Windows 10 should run just fine on the new OS, although there will be exceptions.

Antivirus and security solutions are not all certified yet and installing security software that hasn't been fully tested with the new operating system could prove disastrous. Don't worry though, as antivirus testing service AV-Comparatives has done the hard work for you and today releases a list of "approved" security software. Is yours on the list?

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To check for compatibility, AV-Comparatives installed each antivirus tool on a clean-base system with Windows 11 Preview Build 22454.1000 and then ran a manual database update for each app, where possible.

The firm then tested the AV by taking the following steps:

AV-Comparatives attempted to copy malware samples from a network share to the Desktop folder of the Windows 11 system. If any of the malware samples were not detected by on-access protection during the copy process, they were executed. Next, this procedure was repeated, but using malware samples on a connected USB flash drive rather than a network share. An on-demand scan of malware samples on a connected USB flash drive was also run. Finally, the antivirus product was uninstalled, to check that it was removed cleanly, and deleted its registration from Windows Security. If this did not happen immediately after deinstallation, the system was rebooted and checked again.

To pass the compatibility test for Windows 11, each program had to do the following: 

  • Install successfully, without requiring specialist knowledge or workarounds 
  • Activate real-time protection without user intervention 
  • Integrate with Windows Security 
  • Successfully update malware signatures, either automatically or manually 
  • Warn if real-time protection is disabled, and allow the user to reactivate it easily 
  • Provide (at least) the same malware detection as on Windows 10 
  • Take appropriate action when malware is encountered, ensuring that the system is protected 
  • Have no obvious bugs or erroneous notifications 
  • Uninstall cleanly and remove its entry in Windows Security 

So which antivirus programs passed the test and are considered compatible with Windows 11? These are the solutions AV-Comparatives recommends:

  • Avast Free Antivirus 21.7.2481 
  • AVG Free Antivirus 21.8.3202 
  • Avira Antivirus Pro 
  • Bitdefender Internet Security 
  • ESET Internet Security 
  • G Data Total Security 
  • K7 Total Security 16.0.0556 
  • Kaspersky Internet Security 
  • Microsoft Defender Antivirus, as in Build 22454.1000 of Windows 11 
  • Malwarebytes Premium 4.4.6 
  • McAfee Total Protection 16.0 
  • Norton LifeLock Norton 360 
  • Panda Free Antivirus 21.00.00 
  • Total AV Total Security 5.15.69 
  • Total Defense Essential Antivirus 
  • Trend Micro Internet Security 17.0.1181 
  • VIPRE Advanced Security 

Image credit: Spectral-Design / Shutterstock

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