The Best Antivirus with Firewall Protection 2024

A firewall is part of a strong security stack that can be the difference between a hacker targeting you or moving along to someone else. But what is a firewall, and how do you choose one?
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Best for Robust Security

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On Norton 360 Antivirus's website

Norton 360 Antivirus
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Best for Families

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On McAfee's website

McAfee
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Best for Enhanced Firewall

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On AVG's website

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If you’re looking for a personal firewall to protect your home data and systems, the best chance of success comes in bundling it with an antivirus program. Antivirus software with a firewall is a great solution that adds more than one secure layer to your home network, protecting you against malware, viruses, and other threats. Norton 360, McAfee, and AVG offer solid antivirus solutions for home internet users interested in an antivirus plus firewall solution.

Norton 360 includes a variety of advanced features, McAfee has unlimited device allotment, and AVG has a premium option that includes an enhanced firewall. All three are excellent choices for managing a small home network. If you want robust security features, Norton 360 has it. McAfee is great for families, and AVG offers an enhanced firewall with comprehensive coverage. But which one is right for you? Let’s take a look and find out.

In this article
What is a firewall?
The best antivirus software with firewall protection
Norton 360: Best for robust security
McAfee: Best for families
AVG: Best for enhanced firewall
Honorable mentions
Best home firewall protection software FAQs
Bottom line: The best antivirus software with firewall protection
How we tested the best antivirus software for home firewall protection

What is a firewall?

In a nutshell, firewalls help to prevent cyberattacks, protect sensitive data, and maintain network security and privacy on your operating system. Any device with an internet connection can benefit from a firewall's ability to mitigate risk.

A firewall is a security system that monitors the traffic moving to and from your computer network. It can block traffic based on the security rules set by either you or the provider you choose. While you may think a firewall is simply something you download, it can also be an actual piece of hardware connected to your machines.

Is it worth having a firewall at home?

Yes, it is worth it to have a firewall at home. While you might feel like a firewall is overkill, there are plenty of reasons why it belongs in your home. It can protect you against cyberattacks, guard your privacy, and help prevent viruses and malware infections. If you do any work from home, or even if you connect your phone to both your home and work Wi-Fi, a firewall can help stop a hacker from using your devices to attack your office or home.

The benefits of having a personal firewall

A personal firewall is beneficial for everyone. You may think it only applies to corporate networks or remote employees, but using a firewall on your home network can guard against a myriad of issues that arise with the use of internet-connected devices.

Whether it’s stopping malicious scripting embedded in the code of a suspicious website or deterring a hacker by adding an additional layer of security, a firewall is a good choice for everyone to keep devices safe.

Firewalls monitor your network traffic so an infected download or a malicious script can’t run on your computer. They stop or deter hackers by making access to your computer more difficult. You can enjoy increased privacy because a firewall helps guard your personal information from prying eyes. Firewalls can stop computer viruses and malware, which can include spyware, ransomware, and adware. Overall, a firewall strengthens your defenses, including the chance of being the victim of a DDoS attack, which aims to overload and crash your network.

  • Benefit: Allows you to monitor your network traffic
  • Benefit: Stops or deters hackers
  • Benefit: Increases privacy
  • Benefit: Blocks spyware, viruses, and other malicious intents
  • Benefit: Strengthens your defense against attacks

Firewall software vs. firewall hardware

Software is a program you download onto your computer, gaming console, mobile device, etc. The purpose of software is to run a specific application like a game, or in this instance, a firewall, on that device. Firewall software works exactly the same way. It can be downloaded and provides a buffer between the information that comes into your computer and the information that leaves it. Often, it comes as a subscription, and you may pay annually or monthly for the service.

Hardware is a physical device you have in your space. Firewall hardware is literally a device you plug your computer into that blocks malicious traffic on your home network. It’s independent of the machine it’s protecting, so it likely has zero impact on the memory capabilities of your computer. This puts less strain on your operating systems while still protecting your network with firewall rules.

You might find hardware firewalls in homes, but you’re more likely to find software firewalls bundled into some other kind of security software like antivirus. The bundles work well for home users, especially considering you won’t have to do many, if any, configuration changes. Everything is automated, but it also usually has the option for some customization.

The best antivirus software with firewall protection 2024

While you can purchase a firewall separately, it will do more for your security if it’s bundled with an antivirus product for extra protection. If you also include a VPN, you have a wall of protection that monitors, encrypts, and protects your traffic.

Norton 360 offers a VPN, firewall, identity theft protection, and more. McAfee allows for unlimited devices on all of its plans, and the family plan is definitely in the middle budget range. AVG’s free product only has a limited firewall feature, but you can upgrade to a paid plan that offers comprehensive firewall protection.

  • Norton 360: Best for robust security
  • McAfee: Best for families
  • AVG: Best for enhanced firewall

Top 3 antivirus software for home firewall protection compared

Antivirus


Starting price $29.99/first yr $39.99/first yr $46.68/first yr for 1 device
Free version
Firewall
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Parental controls
Learn more Get Norton 360
Get McAfee
Get AVG

Norton 360: Best for robust security

Save up to 66% on your first year
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On Norton 360 Antivirus's website
Norton 360 Antivirus
  • Easy-to-install antivirus protection
  • Secure VPN and password manager included
  • Parental control features
  • Multi-tab navigation may be overwhelming at first

Who it’s best for

Anyone looking for all the bells and whistles will find that with Norton 360. If you add LifeLock, you’ll have even more security, not just online but for your identity as well. This is a robust security product from a trusted name in cybersecurity. It’s definitely the way to go if you want comprehensive protection.

Norton 360 Antivirus has you enable each of its security features individually.
Norton 360 security features

What we liked

We like how thorough Norton 360 is in regard to your security needs. It’s powerful, trusted, and has great third-party testing scores. That means that not only does it claim to be a great security product, but it can back those claims up with solid proof. Third-party testing is important because it makes sure products do what they claim, and Norton’s always gets top scores.

Norton is the kind of product that has something for everyone. If you’re single, there’s a Norton product for you. If you’re a multi-generational family, Norton 360 has you covered. Anywhere you fall with your needs, Norton’s thought of a way to cover them. We can really appreciate a company with that much consideration of its users.

What we didn’t like

All of that power and convenience come at a cost. Norton’s not cheap, and renewal pricing can actually cost more than your initial annual price. That’s why it’s important to lock in Norton’s new customer pricing with a multi-year product. We know not everyone can afford that, however, which is something we wish Norton would change.

We mentioned there’s something for everyone, which means it’s easy to get confused about which product to purchase. Norton’s advanced firewall is included with every Norton 360 product, although it’s not always listed on the features page. Confusing language like this could definitely be fixed.

Norton 360 specs

Starting price $29.99/first yr
Free version
Money-back guarantee Yes — 60 days for annual plan and 14 days for monthly plan
Firewall
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Webcam protection
Network protection
Parental controls
Extras Password manager, VPN, identity theft protection, dark web monitoring, and more
Learn more Get Norton 360

Want to deep dive into Norton 360’s top-tier plans? Check out our breakdown of Norton 360 Deluxe vs. Premium.

McAfee: Best for families

Save $105 on your first year of McAfee+ Premium
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On McAfee's website
McAfee
  • All-in-one protection for your personal info and privacy
  • Excellent antivirus protection
  • Additional features like a file shredder and parental controls
  • Multiple pop-ups for text notifications can be annoying

Who it’s best for

While McAfee doesn’t have a monopoly on family security products, we do feel like it has a few features that make it a great choice. It has a lower annual price than Norton but still offers unlimited devices, which isn’t the case with every cybersecurity product. McAfee has been around for a long time, so it has proven user-friendly features that are easy to navigate. Overall, we think anyone in your home would have an easy time with McAfee’s interface and usability.

Screenshot of McAfee Total Protection.

What we liked

McAfee has a clean dashboard and aesthetic design that makes it easy for anyone to use. We really like that you can install unlimited devices on your dashboard and monitor them all from there. You may think that might be overkill, but we recently counted our own devices and found we have over 30 in our home that connect to the internet. That’s a lot of ways into our home network. By enabling the firewall on McAfee’s antivirus, we can boost our overall protection.

We do like McAfee’s pricing. Even the family plan is pretty reasonable and includes bonuses like identity theft protection. It’s not the least expensive product on the market, but at least you know you’re getting solid protection at a reasonable price.

What we didn’t like

Like Norton, McAfee has a lot of options. It’s great for customization but can get confusing. Also, like Norton, the initial price isn’t guaranteed on renewal.

McAfee offers other products like parental controls, but they come at an additional fee. Since McAfee offers a family plan, we hoped they’d be included. It would be nice if they’d consider additional, reasonably priced bundles with everything you need.

McAfee specs

Starting price $39.99/first yr
Free version
Money-back guarantee Yes — 60 days for annual plan
Firewall
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Webcam protection
Network protection
Parental controls
Extras VPN, identity theft protection, password manager, data cleanup
Learn more Get McAfee

Want to know how McAfee and Norton 360 hold up in a head-to-head comparison? Check out our McAfee vs. Norton 360 review.

AVG: Best for enhanced firewall

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Editorial Rating
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On AVG's website
AVG
  • Free version comes with malware, spyware, and ransomware protection
  • Includes unsafe email attachment blocking
  • Various scanning options may be confusing to some people

Who it’s best for

Although AVG's enhanced firewall is only available for PC users, its features are comprehensive. AVG offers four categories of firewall protection, each with robust features: Apps, Networks, Logs, and Premium. Apps tracks active and inactive apps. With Networks, you have the power to trust or not trust connected internet networks. The Logs feature keeps a record of your computer's actions and allows you to see what logs are running or have run so you can identify possible malware and block it. With Premium, you have increased security against data leaks, remote desktop protocol (RDP) attacks, and address resolution protocol (ARP) attacks.

Paid AVG subscribers get access to the Premium tab of the Enhanced Firewall, which features a data leak protector and vulnerability alerts.
AVG enhanced firewall protection features

AVG keeps you up to date with alerts — and if no issues are detected, reassures you that its Enhanced Firewall is working.
AVGV antivirus firewall

What we liked

Although AVG has a higher price point for premium coverage, the paid plans offer robust, easy-to-use firewall security features. Plus, AVG sends security alerts to let you know what's happening in real-time. 

We also love how uncomplicated AVG is with its subscription plans. There are three options. That’s it. You won’t have to worry if you’re getting the right thing because it’s all right there for you to see.

What we didn’t like

AVG has a free product for security, but if you want an enhanced firewall, you’ll need to upgrade. Because AVG Antivirus Free is good for a budget, it doesn’t include a lot of extra features and only offers limited firewall protection. 

Also, AVG’s customer support isn’t the most robust. There’s no phone number to call, and you either need to use their guides to troubleshoot or wait for a ticket response via email from a technician. It’s not the most convenient.

AVG specs

Starting price $46.68/first yr for 1 device
Free version
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days
Firewall
Phishing protection
Ransomware protection
Webcam protection
Network protection
Parental controls
Extras Ransomware protection, safe shopping and banking, phishing protection
Learn more Get AVG

Learn how to disable AVG Antivirus Free if you want to test drive a different premium security program.

Honorable mentions

The best antivirus software usually includes additional features like a firewall. If you don’t think Norton Antivirus, McAfee, or AVG are the right fit for you, you could try one of the options below. Whatever you decide, make sure you always have some kind of protection when you’re online.

  • Bitdefender: Bitdefender is a top-rated antivirus with a variety of subscription options for users. It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android and offers everything from small office to family security. Whether you’re a small business owner or a family of five, Bitdefender has a plan for you.

    Get Bitdefender | Read Our Bitdefender Total Security Review
  • Avast: Like AVG, Avast is a free product that you can upgrade for more security. It’s award-winning and easy to install, and Avast has been protecting its over 400 million users with its 30+ years of experience.

    Get Avast | Read Our Avast Premium Security Review
  • Panda: You may not have heard of Panda Dome Security, but it offers quite a bit. With real-time protection, a firewall, a free VPN, and the ability to scan external devices for threats, Panda is worth considering. There is a variety of plans and prices, so you can customize the protection you need.

    Read Our Panda Dome Antivirus Review

Best home firewall protection software FAQs


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How do I choose a firewall?

We suggest choosing a firewall that’s included with the best antivirus software. You won’t have to worry about configuring it yourself while having additional protections in place. Also, you can feel confident knowing that it’s compatible with your security software.

If you do decide to purchase a separate firewall, whether it’s hardware or software, ensure it’s compatible with your current software and hardware. Also, make sure you know how to properly install and configure it so you can get the most benefit.


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What are the three types of firewalls?

There are a variety of types of firewalls; the three main types include packet-filtering, stateful inspection, and proxy. The original iterations, which are still in use today, were proxies that were application-specific. Newer next-generation firewalls are mostly used to protect users from computer viruses, malware, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. They can even help with filtering geo-locations. While the old proxies do provide solid protection, new, next-generation firewalls offer more variety and a wider breadth of coverage for a variety of systems, networks, and other devices.


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Which firewall is the most secure?

Proxy servers are considered the most secure firewall. A proxy server is essentially a secure tunnel to access the internet. It has its own IP address, which allows it to hide yours. They also work to balance internet traffic, which can help with lagging, buffering, and connectivity. While this likely won’t come into play in the average home, it means that you can use one to keep your traffic from getting all jammed up by regulating the flow.


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Are there free firewalls?

Yes, there are free firewalls. As with many free products, you’ll need to make sure it has excellent ratings and third-party testing results to check the effectiveness and validity of the product. Most will come with restrictions like they only work on Windows or are preinstalled on your router. It’s a good idea to research the best practices for your particular free firewall so you’re using it effectively.


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What is the difference between a router and a firewall?

A firewall and a router are two completely different things. A firewall, whether it’s hardware or software, is a security feature meant to filter your internet traffic and keep it secure based on a certain set of rules. A router is a piece of equipment that distributes the internet from your modem to all of the connected devices in your space. Some routers may have cybersecurity features, including firewalls, installed on them, but they don’t require that to function properly.


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What are the disadvantages of traditional firewalls?

The disadvantages of traditional firewalls definitely don’t outweigh the benefits, but they can cause issues. They have less flexibility when it comes to specifics within applications, can slow down your network, require a lot of management, and lack upgrade abilities to keep up with emerging threats.

Bottom line: The best antivirus software with firewall protection

The best antivirus software with firewall protection is one that is easy to use, is affordable on any budget, and comes equipped with coverage for all of the people in your network. Whatever your situation, making sure you have security software that fits your needs is essential. That’s why we chose Norton 360, McAfee, and AVG. While each of these programs provides you with a variety of different tools and price points, they’re all trusted and worthwhile programs you can feel good about using.

3 best antivirus software for home firewall protection 2024

Starting price Best for Learn more
Norton 360 $29.99/first yr Best for robust security Get Norton 360
McAfee $39.99/first yr Best for families Get McAfee
AVG $46.68/first yr for 1 device Best for enhanced firewall Get AVG

How we tested the best antivirus software for home firewall protection

When looking at what antivirus programs would be the best for a firewall, we looked at compatibility, price, ease of use, and reputation. We wanted to make sure to give you software that is easy for anyone to use and can be configured with little to no advanced technical knowledge. We also wanted it to work for a variety of operating systems and have several price points for any budget. Finally, we only wanted to recommend software that is reputable and has third-party testing behind it. We want security providers who both know the history of the industry and are making strides forward in the next generation of protection.

Save $105 on your first year of McAfee+ Premium
5.0
Editorial Rating
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On McAfee's website
McAfee
  • All-in-one protection for your personal info and privacy
  • Excellent antivirus protection
  • Additional features like a file shredder and parental controls
  • Multiple pop-ups for text notifications can be annoying

Author Details
Mary lives in Los Angeles and has been a cybersecurity writer for over five years. With a B.S. in Liberal Arts from Clarion University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, her career in online security began in sales and content creation for a private cybersecurity firm.