Good antivirus software is very important in order to secure your computer and you most definitely do not have to pay for one to get great protection. The same free antivirus software applies to Android and macOS platforms.
You might also ask about the usefulness of free antivirus software and its effectiveness. Well, many free antiviruses from the likes of Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Avast, etc., do a decent job when it comes to the best free virus protection. On the other hand, without saying that their paid counterparts offer some premium features and dedicated support.
In this article, we highlight our hand-picked list of the 10 best free antivirus software to download, to help you make an informed decision. That’s why I’ve also added the links to some notable premium options as well. Do take a look and make sure that your devices are protected from threats
Which Free Antivirus Is Best?
- 360 Total Security
10 Best Free Windows Antivirus Software To Download
1. Avast Free Antivirus
When you’re looking for the best free antivirus software to maintain the integrity of your computer and save you from different malware and hacking attacks, Avast turns out to be a worthy leader among all solutions. Avast is a feature-rich antivirus when compared to other entries on the list. You also get a free password manager named Avast Passwords as well.” The major Avast Free Antivirus features are:
- This “Intelligent Antivirus” detects a malware, viruses, ransomware, phishing, etc. Using smart analytics, the threats are stopped at the earliest possible time.
- “CyberCapture,” is a cloud-based scanner, that sends suspicious files for further analysis in the cloud. If it turns out to be a threat, all the users are protected in the future.
- “WiFi Inspector” finds flaws in your home WiFi and makes it more secure.
- “Smart Scan” detects various small-big security holes present on your machine.
- The automatic “Game Mode” makes sure that all notifications are put on hold.
- “Behaviour shield” keeps an eye on the apps and their behavior to make sure that they don’t harm your machine
The paid antivirus products from Avast come with added features like ransomware shield, firewall, anti-spam, sandboxing, etc. It comes with a 30-day free trial, so there’s no harm in giving it a try if you wish to go for extra security layers.
The best free antivirus software solutions of Avast are available for Windows, Mac, and Android.
2. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Bitdefender offers top-notch products for home and business use and Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is no exception. It gives tough competition to Avast’s solution. It’s a no-nonsense, free computer antivirus software with all the major features you’d expect from a top-rated and free virus protection program. Its chief features include:
- “On-demand virus scanning” ensures the removal of different kinds of worms, trojans, viruses, ransomware, rootkits, spyware, etc.
- The “anti-phishing feature” lets you protect yourself and take control of your online accounts in the best manner possible.
- With “behavioral detection,” your apps are actively monitored and instant action is taken.
- “Anti-fraud” feature warns you when you visit the sites that try to scam you.
When it comes to Bitdefender free vs paid comparison, the paid version comes with features like a password manager, browser hardening, specialized ransomware protection, etc. If that sounds like what you need, give it a go as it also comes with a 30-day free trial.
It’s a cross-platform product that is supported by Windows, macOS, and Android. Windows users can install it on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.
Download Bitdefender for Windows
3. Avira Free Antivirus
First appearing on the horizon of PC protection in 1986, Avira has also been performing well in the test of different independent cybersecurity labs. Avira is known to turn out to deliver a solid performance with a clean user interface. Some of the most noticeable features of Avira’s free solution are:
- Avira’s “Protection Cloud” is an early warning system that analyzes the unknown files in clouds and protects the community in real-time.
- Its antivirus scanner takes care of most types of malware, including viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, etc.
- With the help of the Avira Browser Safety extension, you get added features like Browser Tracking Blocker, Safe Browsing, and Price Comparison.
- The “PUA Shield” stops unwanted apps from harming your system.
It’s worth noting that Avira also ships a software suite named Internet Total Security Suite, which has Free Antivirus, Avira Phantom VPN, and Avira SafeSearch Plus. The VPN bundled with this suite has a data limit.
Avira is one of the Best Free Antivirus software available for all popular platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
4. Kaspersky Free Antivirus
Kaspersky are frequently featured on the annual top 10 best free antivirus software lists of different websites and experts. The free and lightweight antivirus from Kaspersky Labs is a basic program that doesn’t come with any fancy features and promises to do its job with diligence.
Talking about its features, you get the core protection of this not-so-heavy antivirus, which includes protection against dangerous malware, viruses, phishing attacks, spyware, etc. Its web protection also makes sure that notorious websites aren’t able to fool you. You also get email protection as well, so it’s not a bad deal as it uses the same antivirus engine used by popular and paid Kaspersky Internet Security. You can go for the paid version’s trial if you need advanced features like cross-platform protection, safe online transactions, kids security, password manager, etc.
Kaspersky Free Antivirus is only available for the Windows platform. Android users can go from Kaspersky Internet Security, whose basic version is free.
5. AVG Free Antivirus
In September 2016, Avast Software completed the acquisition of AVG Technologies. While both these companies enjoy an enviable reputation in the cybersecurity business, Avast is more prevalent in non-English speaking markets. After the merger, both the products have maintained their look and we can expect to see some technical under-the-hood improvements in both the products. AVG Free Antivirus is AVG’s popular free virus scanner program that continues to get better.
The main features of the AVG Free Antivirus are:
- Complete virus scan and protection from different kinds of malware including viruses, spyware, ransomware, etc.
- Web protection to keep you safe from unsafe downloads and links. Email scanning is included as well.
- It also scans your system for performance issues and notifies you of the same.
- Real-time security updates are also provided.
While these features of one of the best free antivirus software should be enough for most users, AVG also provides more paid options in the form of AVG Internet Security (free trial available) and AVG Ultimate. These options ensure dedicated support, Firewall, and Pro apps for mobile.
AVG Free Antivirus software is available both for Microsoft Windows and macOS platforms. For Android users, there’s a free option in the form of AVG Antivirus for Android
6. ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus
This is one of the Best Free Antivirus software recommended if you wish to couple the advantage of antivirus with that of a firewall. If you’re looking just for a firewall, ZoneAlarm has a separate free program for that. If you’re only looking for the best free antivirus, choose Kaspersky’s offering as ZoneAlarm uses antivirus technology licensed by Kaspersky. Let’s take a look at its major features:
- Antivirus and Antispyware for getting rid of viruses, spyware, bots, worms, trojans, and other threats. You also get protection from spyware that infect the system via various online attack vectors.
- Personal Firewall that keeps an eye on incoming and outgoing traffic and protects your PC.
- Customizable scanning modes to run the scan as per your need.
- Gamer mode for gaming sessions without interruptions.
- Real-time security updates and daily credit monitoring.
ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus software is available for Microsoft Windows operating system, with support for Windows 10/8/7, Vista, and XP.
Download ZoneAlarm Free for Windows
7. Panda Free Antivirus
Just like Kaspersky, AVG, and Avast’s free tools, Panda also listed in Best Free Antivirus software available also labels lightness as its primary feature. Let’s take a look at a few more features:
- All the work is done in the cloud to make it a lightweight antivirus.
- Real-time updates for maximum free virus protection round-the-clock.
- USB protection feature for vaccinating USB drives against malicious programs. You can set this feature to automatically vaccinate every USB drive you connect to your Windows PC.
- Bonus tools in the form of Process Monitor and Rescue Kit.
Panda also ships a Protection Advanced version that takes care of ransomware, WiFi connections, parental controls, etc. It’s available as a 1-month free trial so that you can give it a spin.
Panda Free Antivirus is available for the Microsoft Windows platform. If you’re looking for cross-platform protection, Panda isn’t for you.
Download Panda for Windows
8. Sophos Home
Sophos Home makes it to our list of best free antivirus software solutions that promise best-in-class protection from tons of threats that keep budding to take control of your digital lives. Certainly, this top-rated antivirus software has repeatedly scored good grades in tests of independent labs. Here are its major features:
- Advanced computer security to remove malware, ransomware, viruses, apps, and programs to keep your machine clean.
- Using SophosLabs’ real-time threat intelligence, the behavior and activities of programs and files are analyzed continuously.
- Lots of bonus features coupled with basic computer security.
- Clean interface and easy installation.
Sophos Home supports Windows as well as macOS operating systems. You can install it on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. Apple users can run it on OS X 10.10 and later.
Download Sophos Home for Windows
9. 360 Total Security
Certainly, if you’re looking for a feature-rich best free antivirus software that doesn’t cost you a penny, you can give Qihoo’s 360 Total Security a try. A big highlight of this free antivirus is the licensed Bitdefender Likewise Avira antivirus engine. The other features of 360 Total Security are:
- Web protection includes downloaded file scan, website blocking, and shopping protection
- Auto-scanning of files when saved or opened.
- Sandboxing and system clean-up feature
- Anti-ransomware to protect you from the increasing threats of recent times.
360 Total Security is one feature-rich software. Apart from the features mentioned above, you get webcam protection, keylogger blocking, USB drive protection, file system and registry protection, network threat blocking, and more. So, if you love options to play with, give it a try.
This security software from Qihoo is available for Microsoft Windows operating system.
10. Adaware Antivirus
Adaware antivirus was earlier known as Ad-Aware from Lavasoft. This free antivirus software for PC has undergone an overhauling and rebranding. While it might not be the best free antivirus software for virus protection you can get for your PC, a few highlight features of adware antivirus are worth mentioning:
- Protects your PC from popular threats like spyware, viruses, worm, trojans, etc.
- Download protection scans all the files that you download from the web.
- The files and processes are scanned and blocked in real-time.
While most of the free antivirus protection software on this list had some bonus features to offer, Adaware antivirus 12 doesn’t have any. As it’s free, you can give it a try. Still, I’ll recommend you to go for the top picks like Kaspersky, Avast, or Bitdefender.
You can install Adaware antivirus 12 on Windows 10, 8, 8.1, and 7.
Download Adaware antivirus 12 for Windows
Editor’s Pick: What Is The Best Free Antivirus To Download?
It goes without saying that due to increasing online threats like ransomware, phishing, and new kinds of malware, antivirus companies are improving themselves and offering the best possible protection. However, when it comes to delivering the expected performance without taking any money from the users, few of them deliver.
In conclusion, from our top-ranked best free antivirus software for Windows PC, our top picks go with Avast Free Antivirus or Bitdefender Free Antivirus. Avast has many bonus features bundled with its free antivirus software and as a result, it attracts many users. Bitdefender’s software follows a no-nonsense principle and detects threats with ease.
So, depending on your personal choice, you can select any of these. You can also install free trials of paid versions of Bitdefender and Avast to see if they are built to fulfill your needs. Don’t forget to give them a try and share your valuable feedback with us and other readers.