How to get antivirus software for cheap

Plenty of folks use Microsoft Windows’ built-in antivirus protection, but sometimes you need more than what it offers. Security suites from independent companies like Bitdefender, Norton, and AVG can make it easier to stay on top of online security, by providing expanded and additional features that shield you more thoroughly.

The simplest way to get an alternative antivirus app is to buy a license directly from the software vendor, but it’s not the only method. If you’re willing to forgo the ease of a direct subscription, you can save a lot of money—as much as 50 to 75 percent off the regular list price.

Here’s how to do it.

Further reading: The best antivirus software for Windows

How to get cheap antivirus

You can get a steep discount in one of two ways. The first is through online stores that sell license keys. Typically the listings are for the most popular antivirus suites—and oftentimes with more options than direct through the vendor. Take for example Norton 360 Deluxe, our current top pick for antivirus software. On the Norton website, you’ll pay $50 for the first year, and it includes support for up to five devices. But go elsewhere and you’ll find options for a three-device plan and the five-device plan, for half as much.

Norton 360 Deluxe on Newegg
A Norton 360 Deluxe license on Newegg is over 70 percent off the list price.

PCWorld / Newegg

The second method works if you’re not looking to buy a subscription immediately. Subscribe to the email newsletter for the antivirus vendors you’re interested in, and you’ll receive periodic notifications about discounts. These sales aren’t always better than the persistent deals on the website, but several times a year, they’re worth pulling the trigger on.

Of these two approaches, buying a license key is the more reliable way to get continual savings. Just remember to cancel auto-renewal (when applicable) after you redeem a code.

How to get even bigger antivirus discounts

Every so often during the year, both antivirus vendors and online retailers will cut their sale prices further. Usually the period with the biggest discounts is Black Friday, but sometimes you’ll spot great prices at odd times—like Valentine’s Day. (Nothing’s more romantic than self-care, I guess.)

For example, Avast offered its Avast Premium Security plan for $60 for two years on Cyber Monday just last November—70 percent off the normal price. Meanwhile, on Valentine’s Day 2023, you could pick up a two-year subscription for Bitdefender Total Security for $25 on Newegg, or 67 percent off the retailer’s going price.

Where to get discounted antivirus software

As mentioned above, you can signup for email newsletters for the antivirus companies you’re interested in. You can also visit retailers like Amazon, , Best Buy, and B&H. Newegg has the widest selection of actual good deals (and sometimes even drops the price further for its email newsletter subscribers). Always check the prices carefully, as not all of them will be good deals. Compare between stores and the actual company’s own deals, too.

Want to jump straight to the listings? Here are the direct links for the most popular antivirus software:

4 great AV deals right now

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