NordVPN is a well-trusted and globally cherished VPN solution that needs little (if any) introduction. Meanwhile, antivirus software is essential in order to keep your PC safe, clean, and well-behaved no matter what the mean web throws at you in terms of cyber threats.

The thing is, security solutions are known for their feisty temper and overzealous protection. Thus, more often than not they do not get along. With interference being hardly scarce, it’s only natural to want nothing more and nothing less than the best antivirus to use with NordVPN.

And this brings us to the million-dollar question.

Can VPN and antivirus work together?

They can and they should. Since they are both ineluctable components of cybersecurity, it is important you deploy both.

Here’s another question that seems to pop out often: Do I need antivirus with NordVPN? Indeed you do since they actually do not serve the same functions.

It is nevertheless true that the galloping proliferation rates of malware have pushed vendors to adapt and design ever more complex defense solutions that aim to stop infections as well as protect your privacy.

While antivirus and VPN features may overlap, they are essentially different solutions for different problems. So let’s take a closer look!

What is the difference between VPN and antivirus?

A VPN is meant to keep you safe from online threats, but it focuses primarily on privacy matters. So, is a VPN also an antivirus? No, it relies on encryption to shield your information against indiscretions, but it cannot neutralize viruses.

Basically, it reroutes your data through a secure tunnel and directs it to remote servers in order to conceal your internet traffic, your IP address and location as well as your online activity such as browsing history, and personal information against cybercriminals, hackers, your ISP, unwanted advertising, governmental agencies and so on.

It’s the perfect tool to fight online tracking, spyware, and even MIM attacks. What doesn’t a VPN protect you from?

While VPNs boast a plethora of appealing benefits, they do not (generally speaking) protect you from widespread viruses, malware infections, ransomware, and exploits. This is where the antivirus shines.

Note icon NOTE
Does NordVPN help with virus protection?

While functionalities
differ from one provider to another, there are VPN clients that also include virus defense-oriented features.

NordVPN is one of them. It relies on an integrated malware-blocking technology called CyberSec to help you manage your security beyond basic IP masking.

Meanwhile, an antivirus is more concerned with device security. While virus detection techniques are different according to the technologies used by each vendor, the process is reasonably similar across software tools.

Thus, antiviruses provide real-time protection with proactive detection of potential threats as well as scanning options to identify any malware that somehow managed to infiltrate your system, quarantine it, and neutralize it before it spreads and takes over your PC.

They target primarily viruses and malware, but the trend is to cater to more elaborate needs and thus, they also eradicate suspicious files, attachments, and links, block keyloggers, adware, PUPs, bloatware, trojans, prevent phishing attacks, ransomware attempts, and more.

Obviously, the extent to which they are effective as well the particular defense mechanisms they rely on are not universally available and each vendor has its own portfolio specifically designed to impress and attract more users.

How to choose the best antivirus to use with NordVPN?

As you probably know, there are numerous antiviruses with VPN solutions embedded and our guess is that you may be tempted to kill two birds with one stone.

Our QA went for these all-in-one security suites first, driven by relentless curiosity as well as by our need to provide you with relevant information.

While antiviruses with VPN are not a bad deal overall, you can expect a few hiccups along the way. Most integrate slow and average-quality VPNs with fewer server options and limited traffic usage. (Of course, there are exceptions, though).

We do not particularly appreciate data caps, this is why we much rather use a top-rated antivirus simultaneously with a premium standalone VPN solution such as NordVPN.

Tip icon Tip
Quick Tip: Here’s what to consider when picking the best antivirus to use with NordVPN :

➡ Virus detection rates as close to 100% as possible with low false positives ratio
➡ Strong malware-removal capabilities (including prevention, detection, quarantine, and neutralization)
➡ Customizable options to setup exclusions and an overall interference-free configuration that will not hinder parallel VPN usage
➡ Real-time protection as well as on-demand scans
➡ Additional defense shields (anti-ransomware, anti-phishing, network vulnerabilities inspection, and so on)
➡ Pricepoint and multiple device coverage
➡ Software conflict-reconciliation features to ensure globally seamless cooperation between the security tools deployed on your system

Which antivirus works with NordVPN?

ESET Internet Security

  • Banking and webcam protection
  • Multiple layered protection
  • Small system footprint with no slowdown
  • Seamless collaboration with other privacy tools such as NordVPN
  • Advanced scanning options
  • Data encryption and password management features are only available in the Premium bundle.

ESET unveils its flagship edition, with major security and feature enhancements to better respond to increasingly fierce attacks and protect you under all circumstances.

It’s better, stronger, and tailored to cater to modern-day users who shop, work, transact and communicate online, across multiple devices.

How we test, review and rate?

We have worked for the past 6 months on building a new review system on how we produce content. Using it, we have subsequently redone most of our articles to provide actual hands-on expertise on the guides we made.

For more details you can read how we test, review, and rate at WindowsReport.

A true pioneer in cross-platform functionality, ESET Internet Security delivers comprehensive protection for users running on Mac, Windows, and Android alike. And we dare say it does a fine job regardless of your operating system.

Its efficiency is only matched by its versatility, which also makes it the best antivirus to use with NordVPN. But what makes it so special?

The way we see it, you cannot go wrong with two privacy-focused tools as long as they do not interfere with each other. If anything, you only boost your protection against confidentiality violation, so why not make the most of what technology has to offer?

Here’s what we liked the most about ESET Internet Security in terms of privacy improvements:

  • Secure browser (Whether you choose to install their own or to activate the secure mode on any other browser you fancy, you can now shop, make payments and make full use of your home banking tools knowing that keyloggers and cyberthieves are kept at a safe distance)
  • Anti-phishing, anti-spyware, and anti-ransomware protection to eradicate digital fraud
  • Webcam protection and parental controls guarantee you keep a firm grip on your data, identity, and other sensitive information
  • Firewall and Network Inspector to guard your connection and network at all times against any security breaches

Besides being the very best antivirus to use with NordVPN, ESET boasts legendary virus and malware protection to guarantee the all-round internet security you need.

In order to stay one step ahead of cyberthreats, it uses multiple layers of advanced machine learning-based proactive defense designed to cut nastiness to its core.

We wouldn’t go as far as to say that the sky is the limit when it comes to scanning options, but it is pretty close.

Explore the full potential of cloud-powered scanning to verify your entire system or specific parts of it such as memory, WMI, system registry, UEFI mode, and get a taste of unconditioned freedom by scanning in an idle state or when downloading files.

We did so and did not notice any slowdown, which only proves this comprehensive security suite has practically no impact on your resources. Why compromise when you can get both unspoiled speed and iron-cast cyber defense?

And if you truly want to avoid interruptions, simply turn on the Gamer Mode and get a taste of what true immersion feels like.

Bitdefender Internet Security

  • Non-intrusive defense with zero interference
  • Low impact on performance and system ressources
  • Award-winning virus protection
  • Privacy-oriented tools embedded
  • Intuitive interface with centralized management
  • If you run older generation CPU, performance is likely to be affected.

With a longstanding experience and virus-neutralization prowess backed up by countless awards, Bitdefender does not fall short on recognition.

Hard to match to this day, Bitdefender Internet Security excels both at threat detection and low impact on performance scores.

The protection tab of Bitdefender Internet Security 2020

In fact, the numerous distinctions it proudly houses can be equally attributed to its unbeatable protection against infections as well as to its small system footprint that does not strain your resources or hinder your speed and workflows.

In fact, this is one of the main reasons – together with its privacy-oriented tools, of course – for which we consider it the best antivirus to use with NordVPN.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves as overpraising is not something we typically engage in. Blind faith is not required here, so here are some hard facts to indulge in.

Bitdefender’s multi-layered protection is deployed in real-time and it covers anything and everything potentially harmful, with an unmatched focus on privacy.

Just as our previous recommendation, it incorporates a secure online banking layer, an intrusion-blocking firewall, and network traffic filter as well as webcam and additional microphone protection to eradicate spyware.

Bitdefender Internet Security 2019 firewall

It even has its own VPN solution for enhanced confidentiality. So why bother using a separate VPN solution in the first place and how will 2 programs serving the same purpose get along? If this question is on your mind, here’s what you need to know!

With the integrated Bitdefender VPN, your encrypted traffic is capped at 200 MB per day. While this is not something to easily set aside, you can do better.

In fact, you will have no problem at all running NordVPN and Bitdefender Internet Security simultaneously since your AV takes pride in the fact that it does not bloat and it does not interfere with your other applications.

This is our favorite combo for end-to-end security plus privacy and we have been using the two of them together for a little over one year without any complaints.

Bitdefender’s unintrusive nature is one of the reasons for which we recommend it as the best antivirus to use with NordVPN. But the perks that come with this go beyond the non-interference with other security tools or system components.

Running quietly in the background, this excellent AV software will not get in your way with pestering permission requests, painfully long scans, and system-freezing resource consumption.

Instead, it will react instantly to all threats with zero compromise on speed, responsiveness, or performance.

With centralized management, comprehensive log reports, and overall one-click functionalities, you fill this best antivirus to use with NordVPN easy to install, run and check on a daily basis.

Norton Antivirus Plus

  • Advanced online threat protection
  • Integrated password manager
  • Effective defense against malware, spyware, viruses and ransomware
  • AI + machine learning-driven virus detection
  • There are no webcam protection or parental controls included.

As you probably imagine, Norton has its own up-scale products that offer a plethora of extra functionalities, including a built-in VPN.

But using NordVPN alongside your package privacy tool more often than not generates conflicts and errors, which is why we preferred Norton Antivirus Plus over 360 plans.

The basic version offers the right amount of protection that you can easily pair with NordVPN to obtain an all-round, well-balanced security duo that will take care of both malware and snoopers.

This best antivirus to use with NordVPN will constantly monitor your device to make sure it’s safe and its multi-layered protection will stop any nuisance from spyware to viruses, malware, and ransomware.

The incorporated technology combines state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence to detect both known and emergent threats in real-time before they even get the chance to infiltrate your system.

While it lacks a full-scale privacy monitor or webcam protection, it compensates with a:

  • built-in password manager that stores your confidential credentials in a secure online vault
  • a smart firewall that blocks suspicious network traffic to protect your financial data and other sensitive information against prying eyes,
  • and 2GB of automatic cloud backup to secure your confidential files against ransomware and extortion attempts.

It’s safe to say that this best antivirus to use with NordVPN does not fall short of privacy tools and it can effortlessly provide the defense required to keep both your personal and financial data as they should be – private.

Avira Free Security for Windows

  • Dedicated performance-focused suite
  • Seamless compatibility with NordVPN
  • Protection against malware, viruses, spyware and ransomware
  • Automatically detect outdated drivers
  • Duplicate finder and file shredder
  • Detection rates could be improved.

Just like us, Avira Free Security’s creators believe that privacy is a right and we should all be able to enjoy it freely.

Driven by this motto, Avira boasts not only top-notch antivirus technology that has proven its efficiency over and over again, but also privacy and performance-focused tools designed to provide that globally enjoyable, speedy, and safe experience that modern users seek.

Let’s dig in, one step at a time! Privacy-wise, you are in for a big treat and we’re not talking about the integrated VPN that offers up to 500 MB of encrypted traffic per month for free.

Even though this is a big plus, you can easily stick with your premium VPN and run Avira simultaneously by simply not activating its VPN feature.

We promise you will not be disappointed by what this best antivirus to use with NordVPN has to offer.

Ransomware and spyware protection will stop scammers on their track on social networks and inbox levels. Meanwhile, the Browser Safety feature blocks intrusive adware and prevents tracking.

This already impressive suite is completed by an in-built password manager, file shredder, and System privacy tool that erase your digital traces from the browser and apps alike.

Its powerful privacy-focused tools and top-rated antivirus engine already do a pretty good job of working seamlessly without any interruptions or slowdowns.

Avira takes it to the next level with its dedicated performance-boosting suite that includes premium features usually reserved for upscale products such as a startup optimizer, battery saver tool, driver updater, and memory optimizer, PC cleaner, and duplicated finder.

All of these addons are specifically designed to improve performance and speed up your system without sacrificing security or privacy, or spending a lot of money on extras.

In fact, everything is up for grabs and we recommend you take full advantage of it!

Bottom runners

Besides the products that made the list after our rigorous testing process, there have been other antiviruses that proved their capabilities.

Even though they will most likely not with an award for the best antivirus to use with NordVPN anytime soon, they could still make good options to consider.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus

If essential protection is on your mind, then Kaspersky’s entry-level product should do trick. With many years of experience in protecting users worldwide against both viruses and malware, this best antivirus to use with NordVPN will deliver proactive detection, real-time protection as well as instantaneous virus removal.


TotalAV boats a comprehensive cybersecurity suite to keep you safe from all nastiness out there. Their Antivirus Pro goes far beyond the basic protection delivered by other counterparties, incorporating tune-up, clean-up, and optimizations tools.

It not only tackles trojans, viruses, and malware but also phishing attempts, PUA, and browser-targeted attacks.

Vipre Antivirus Plus

With US-based support on your side at all times, you are guaranteed to have a trouble-free experience with Vipre’s Antivirus Plus.

Certified award-winning protection cleverly wrapped in an easy-to-use interface is one of the things you can expect from the best antivirus to use with NordVPN.

VPNs and antiviruses are important actors in the cybersecurity scene. Since they play different roles with the AV focusing more on your device and the VPN taking care of your privacy, you will only get the very best security by pairing them.

If you’re using NordVPN, you’re already on the right track. Is NordVPN also an antivirus? Does NordVPN protect against malware? While it’s not an antivirus per se, its malware-blocking technology (CyberSec) can and will add an extra layer of protection. However, NordVPN alone will not contain sophisticated viruses.

The two of them complement each other without compromising the other’s mission as long as you find the right balance. So why not go for the very best antivirus to use with NordVPN?

This article covers:Topics: