3 best antivirus for VMware virtual machines [2021 Guide]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Virtual machines are prone to cyber-attacks because of the nature of their use.
  • If you're looking for the best antivirus for your VMware, you've come to the right place.
  • Discover similar articles on the VMware Workstation Player or VMware virtual machines in our VMware section.
  • Visit this Antivirus Software Hub too and find the best-engineered antivirus solutions.
Antivirus for VMware virtual machines
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VMware is a virtualization and cloud computing software provider located in Palo Alto, California. It was founded in 1998 by Dell Technologies.

Virtualization technologies of VMware are based on its bare-metal hypervisor ESX/ ESXi in x86 architecture.

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A hypervisor is usually installed on the physical server to enable multiple virtual machines (VMs) to run simultaneously.

Multiple Operating Systems can run on one physical server because each VM runs its own individual OS. VMs on the same physical server always share resources, such as networking and RAM.

VMware machines are as prone to cyber-attacks as the main devices, so protecting them is also essential.

So today we’ll be looking at the best antivirus software for VMware machines.

What’s the best antivirus for VMware?


try out BullGuard

The average user may not know that VMware uses a combination of on-host security such as encryption and firewalls to protect ESX/ESXi management interfaces.

BullGuard is a top antivirus for VMware that steps in to further boost the basic protection offered by these tools.

Keep in mind that this solution combines traditional signature-based protection with behavioral detection to fight malware.

Even more, it isn’t only compatible with virtual machines. It supports all major operating systems too, providing hyper-easy management through the centralized cloud portal.

Let us remind you of some BullGuard key features waiting to be enjoyed:

  • Great scores in independent lab tests
  • Anti-spam filtering
  • Vulnerability scanner
  • Backup tools to protect your files in case of system failure
  • Automatic performance optimization
  • Free trial to ensure complete satisfaction


BullGuard is the most intuitive antivirus program for VMware virtual machines. You can enjoy it right away!
Free download Visit website

Bitdefender GravityZone

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GravityZone is a native virtualization cloud solution designed to provide complete security services for virtual machines (among others).

You need to know from the very start that it is compatible with VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (with KVM), etc.

No less important, GravityZone centralizes all security features into a single console. You don’t need to worry about updating or monitoring security activities whatsoever.

Best of all, this security solution can even be hosted by Bitdefender in the cloud, a rather approach appreciated by users worldwide.

Here are its main features:

  • Full protection against malware on all virtual machines
  • Layered security for maximum precision
  • Uses vShield Endpoint for deployment
  • Latency and vulnerability during Windows boot are removed
  • Native device encryption
  • Skilled Bitdefender engineers for professional guidance
Bitdefender GravityZone

Bitdefender GravityZone

Comprehensive protection and risk management are both ticked boxes when using Bitdefender GravityZone.
Free trial Visit website

Vipre Antivirus Plus

best antivirus for vmware

Vipre has improved considerably over the past years, making it to the top most affordable and reliable antivirus programs on the market.

As a result, Vipre is now a lightweight, next-gen antivirus solution for your VMware machines running on Windows 7, 8.1 and 10.

What you’ll get is excellent malware detection rates thanks to the advanced active protection ad well as the ultimate ransomware protection.

Key features that you’re about to enjoy:

  • Real-time protection that scans apps and programs on-the-go
  • Cloud-enabled security that instantly protects all those who connect to your network
  • Application patching to ensure all your apps are up to date and reduce vulnerabilities
  • Free support (US-based clients only)
Vipre Antivirus Plus

Vipre Antivirus Plus

Protect you virtual machine from any possible online threats with this powerful antivirus.
Free trial Visit website

Which of the previously mentioned antivirus solution is your final choice? Let us know in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about virtual machine protection

  • Does a virtual machine need antivirus?

Even if not every single antivirus solution plays well in virtualized environments, you do need extra protection for virtual machines. 

  • Can you be hacked through a virtual machine?

This is a possible scenario. To maintain the safety of all programs from your host machine, always use the best antivirus for virtual machines.

  • Can a virtual machine be traced?

Your virtual machine Internet connection goes through the router and its IP address can be easily traced. To prevent this,  use these reliable proxy tools to protect privacy.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2018 and was revamped and updated in December 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.