Looking for the best free antivirus software?
Keeping your Laptop or PC (Windows or Mac) safe is important, so antivirus software is a must.
But when you go to any so-called free software download sites, you quickly find out that they aren’t really free. You have to pay big bucks after using the 30-day free trial or be stuck with a “free” software that doesn’t have any of the actual features that make it useful.
What if you don’t want to part with $100s of dollars?
Well, handily enough, there are plenty of antivirus tools available for Windows and other platforms that won’t cost you a penny!
Here is a list of the best free antivirus software for this year.
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1. Kaspersky Free
- Download Kapersky Free here: https://usa.kaspersky.com/free-antivirus
Kaspersky will protect your PC from viruses.
It offers a free and a paid version of its software. There are some differences between the two, which we’ll discuss below.
- Secures your PC: It uses award-winning technologies to secure your PC. It automatically receives real-time data about new threats, which helps to protect your PC from range of digital dangers. Also it offers great phishing protection.
- Blocks content: It blocks dangerous files and apps.
- Protects you against suspicious websites: It warns you about suspicious websites.
- Automatically receives updates: So your antivirus software will always be up to date.
- Certain features aren’t available in the free version: For example, the paid version gives you protection when you’re banking or shopping online. And, it also manages and stores passwords. However, you don’t get those features on the free version. So it’s a little more basic compared to the paid version.
Overall, Kaspersky is an excellent piece of software that performs incredibly well. And it’s definitely one of the best out there.
2. AVG Antivirus Free
- Download AVG Antivirus Free here: https://www.avg.com/en-us/free-antivirus-download
AVG Antivirus Free is another great piece of software that’s totally free to use.
- Protects your PC: It stops viruses, spyware, ransomware and other malware.
- Blocks things: Blocks unsafe links, downloads, and email attachments.
- Scans your PC: It also scans your PC for performance problems.
- Gives you security updates: You’ll get real-time security updates.
- Slow scanning: Some people report that it scans slower than average.
This is another one that has a paid version as well. The paid version has a few more features like an enhanced firewall that keeps hackers away, and it also helps you to avoid fake websites for safer shopping.
Overall, it offers lots of good features for free.
3. Bitdefender Free Antivirus Software
- Download Bitdefender Free Antivirus Software here: https://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html
Bitdefender offers antivirus protection for Windows.
- Quick: The program is quick to install and light on computer resources so it won’t slow down your PC.
- Real-time protection: Bitdefender uses behavioral detection to closely monitor your active apps. It takes instant action when it detects anything suspicious.
- Offers virus scanning and malware removal: Its scan engines ensure that all malware from viruses to spyware are detected and removed.
- Protects against internet fraud: It protects you against phishing by blocking, by default, websites that pretend to be legit in order to steal your data. And it protects you from fraud by detecting suspicious webpage behavior and stops your financial data from being stolen.
- It’s not customizable: You cannot do quick scans or schedule scans.
Overall, for free software it’s excellent – it may have few features, but it runs so quickly, offering great protection from viruses and malware.
4. Avast Free Antivirus
- Download Avast Free Antivirus here: https://www.avast.com/en-us/free-antivirus-download
Avast offers free virus protection for Windows PC. It’s also available for MAC and Android devices.
- It’s light: Avast’s software is light, meaning that it won’t slow down your PC.
- Blocks viruses: It detects and blocks viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware and phishing.
- It offers real-time protection: By analyzing unknown files before they get to you, Avast protects you in real-time.
- Offers extra features: Considering it’s free Avast offers tons of bonus features, like password management and the Wi-Fi Inspector tool that will detect weaknesses in your home Wi-Fi and strangers who may be using your network.
- Many features aren’t available in the free version: Avast offers a few different plans, one of which is free and the others, you need to pay for. There are also additional tools that you can pay for. For example, you won’t get the Ransomware Shield or Firewall. So with the free version you are getting a more limited selection of antivirus tools.
With the extra features, Avast is certainly one of the best out there!
5. Avira Free Antivirus
- Download Avira Free Antivirus here: https://www.avira.com/en/free-antivirus-windows
Avira provides software for Windows, and it won’t cost you a penny!
- Effective protection: Avira Free Antivirus offers malware protection, cleans adware and removes spyware.
- Repairs: It will also repair damaged files.
- It’s customizable: This is always handy!
- It impacts system-performance: Although it claims to be light, it’s pretty heavy on system resources.
- Many of its extra features are trialware. So many of its tools are actually limited trials – basically teases for paid services.
Avira is a good option, but it doesn’t offer quite as much as Kaspersky and Bitdefender do, which puts it down our list a little.
6. Sophos Home Free
- Download Sophos Home Free here: https://home.sophos.com/en-us/free-anti-virus-windows.aspx
Sophos Home is another software company offering free and paid versions of its products.
- Offers protection against a variety of things: This software protects against known viruses, malware, Trojans, worms, bots, potentially unwanted apps (PUAs), ransomware and more.
- Provides parental website filtering: This lets you control what content your kids can view online.
- Provides web protection: Using its blacklist database, Sophos Home blocks compromised or dangerous websites.
- Many of its features expire after 30 days: Sophos has a version of its software that is always free. But many of the free features advertised on the site are only available with a complimentary trial of Sophos Premium, which is the paid version of the software.
7. Panda Free Antivirus
- Download Panda Antivirus Free here: https://www.pandasecurity.com/usa/homeusers/solutions/free-antivirus/
Panda Free Antivirus offers protection for Windows and Android devices.
- Protects against all types of threats: You get protection against all types of malware and spyware. This tool claims to keep you protected at all times with free, up-to-the-minute updates.
- It’s customizable: You can schedule periodic scans and/or scan your computer whenever you want to.
- It offers USB protection as well: It scans all USB drives when you insert them into your PC, protecting you from malware.
- Offers a PC recovery system: It’s called the Panda Rescue Kit. You can run an advanced scan of your PC or create a rescue USB drive you can use to boot and clean infected PCs that won’t start – this is a great feature.
- Fewer features with the free version: As is the case with many of these no-cost tools, the free version has more limited features compared to the paid version.
8. Windows Defender
- Learn more about Windows Defender here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/comprehensive-security
Surprisingly, the software that comes with windows is pretty good at keeping your PC safe.
- It’s built-in: It’s already on your PC, so there’s no need to install anything. You can get started with it right away.
- Offers real-time protection: So you can keep your computer and laptop safe from viruses and malware.
- Small performance impact: It won’t slow down your PC, which is great.
- It’s pretty basic: Windows Defender, while effective at protecting your PC from malware and viruses, is pretty bare bones, offering few bells and whistles.
9. Malwarebytes Free
- Download Malwarebytes Free here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/comprehensive-security
Malwarebytes has both a free version and a paid version. When you first sign up, you get a trial of the Premium version. Once the free trial version has expired, you will stick with the free version, unless you decide you want to pay for the upgrade.
- Offers different scanning options: You can do a quick scan or a full scan if you want, depending on your needs. This is always useful! The quick scan is good when you’re in a hurry.
- Get it on multiple platforms: It’s available for a wide range of platforms, including Windows, MAC, Android, and iOS.
- Works well alongside other software: So you can use it alongside software, like Windows Defender, for example.
- The free version is limited: For example, it doesn’t offer real-time protection, whereas the paid version does. If you use it alongside Windows Defender though, which does offer real-time protection it works great.
10. ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus
- Download ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus here: https://www.zonealarm.com/software/free-antivirus/
Another good piece of antivirus software is ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus.
- Offers protection: It blocks viruses and malware.
- Keeps you secure online: It secures your identity and online privacy.
- Keeps your PC and files safe: It shields hackers from accessing your PC, and keeps your files safe with data encryption.
- It’s a little basic: It doesn’t offer too many extra features.
There are so many places that offer free antivirus software. So if you want to keep your PC protected you don’t have to pay anything to do so.
Of course, paid software usually does offer more bells and whistles. However, free programs can be great if you are on a budget.
Let us know about your favorite budget-friendly antivirus software in the comments section below.