Indeed, the best free antivirus software for Windows PC or any other device is as necessary as a vaccine for your pet. Do you love pets by the way? Well, I do – and my dog and cat mean more than any furniture or electronic in my home. I fancy them so much that anything that gets in the way of their happiness, actually, gets in mine!
There’s a time Tommie my dog was sick – it made me unwell too! I couldn’t stop the incubuses of seeing Tommie in such great pain. Well, it’s an emotional story, but at the end of the article, I will tell you what happened. For now, let’s get the 21 top free antivirus programs!So, most geeks treat their computers like pets! In fact, they even decorate PCs and tablets with stickers among other ornaments. And funny enough, most nerds don’t know that they are geeks – I guess you are one already!
Well, just like a vaccine is necessary for your dog so is an antivirus software essential for your laptop or phone. Especially, if yours runs on the Windows operating system, it is vulnerable to myriad malware. So, protecting it is no option! Just like you’d vaccinate your dog against Rabbis or Anthrax, you need to protect your laptop from viruses!
Read Also: Best Security Browsers
Why get the best antivirus free?
Viruses can kill your pet, but they can also damage your beloved computer! A malware infection could lead to severe loss of files from your computer, and at times, even the hardware! Worse, some malware programs could open up your computer data to malicious hackers, and you know what’s at stake.
Many people have had their financial details snooped through computer malware. Also, some big corporations have been phished through such Trojans! No doubt, there is a lot at stake when your device is unprotected – it is like leaving my Tommie alone to die in the snow!
What viruses are removed by the best antivirus program free
Now, your technological pet (device) can suffer from some ailments. Of course, anthrax does not affect your device, but there are other dangerous ailments for it too! Look, you could get viral attacks. A disease changes the way your pet behaves and could kill it in hours. Likewise, a computer virus alters the functions of your device.
So, your computer might close down and demand some enticement to proceed. Unless you know how to delete or remove computer viruses, your device might crash at times permanently! Here are some of the most common attacks that you need to remove from Windows and Android operating systems.
- Trojans: This is a type of software that is enclosed in another program. Like the proverbial Trojan Horse, the software hides a virus inside, and it gets active when you install.
- Ransomware: Has your computer ever asked for money to unlock files? If yes, credit goes to the Ransomware for such behaviours of your device. Android phones are the most vulnerable to this kind of attack. People who want to use coercion to obtain your hard-earned dollars build it!
- Phishing: Sometimes, hackers send you a malicious link and entice you to click. Then, they steal your confidential information, including credit card data and login details!
- Spyware: Now, some hackers simply want to track what you do online. It could be the security agencies or some other snoop! This, too, is a dangerous program that needs deleting!
- Adware: These programs infiltrate into your browser or device and bring obstinate adverts. They turn your otherwise lovely pet-PC into a horrid and stuffed junk.
- Spam: Any need to explain the unwanted things you find in your inbox every morning?
- Malware: If a program damages your hardware or software, it’s a malware! In brief, all the attacks above are malware. Technically, malware is different from a virus, but in this article, they may be used interchangeably. At least, it’s allowed when explaining to novices and people who are not computer professors!
Sounds dangerous, and why go for a free antivirus software anyway?
Many people believe cheap things are free indeed. But, I won’t judge – of course, most cheap things end up being expensive in the long run. While this is a fact, it is not always the case. For instance, some top free antivirus programs are monetized through other means and thus don’t need your subscription.
Also, some of them are projects that help coding and programming students to get better! So, in the end, they have the same quality and function as the paid antiviruses, but are free! And, who doesn’t like saving an extra dollar anyway? The people on Forbes do it, so, who are we!
However, as many users complain, some of the free antivirus software end up spamming your device. Sorry, but when choosing the best antimalware or antivirus, you must be very keen about what you take home.
See Also: Norton Security Premium Review
Recently, there were thousands of complaints on the AVG and Avira social pages about the intrusive ads that displayed on the screen. Also, users complain about an installation of a feature called ‘WatchDog.’
Apparently, they figured it could be some spyware. In short, you must be very careful to look for an AV that does not trick you into avoiding malware, only to bring them to you in a mainstream way.
Yet, the benefits of the free software will overwhelm you as you read on!
What are the qualities of the best free antivirus for Windows 10, 8, 7 and others?
Of course, the first quality of a good free antivirus is that it should be exactly that! It should not get to a point where it starts asking you to make some payment! So, any trial version is not the finest free of cost antivirus.
But, I know people who are smart at beating the antivirus companies in their game. Instead of paying for the upgraded version, they simply install a free trial from another company…
Also, a good AV must be able to assess and delete threats from your computer, iPad or phone. The top 10 best free antivirus software (we have come up with not just 5 or 10 but 21 for you, though) must also fulfil the following criteria.
- Device compatibility
- Capability to detect, delete and prevent malware
- Online browsing security
- Spam filtering and URL scanning
- Robbery control and tracking
- Easy to use interface
- Good performance in the AV-Test, AV-Comparatives and the Simon Edwards Labs (SELabs)
It sounds like I know one – is Windows 10 Defender Enough?
The latest versions of Windows come with an inbuilt malware protection – the Windows Defender! So, when you install Windows 8 or 10, you do not have to get another antivirus software. But that does not make it a healthy palatable herb! You still need to prevent other kinds of attacks.
Sorry, I promised not to get too technical, but there is no escape to this one! There is a difference between an antivirus and an antimalware. While the former solves viruses, the later prevents malware attack. Thus, you need install one with both capabilities. Or, the antivirus alongside an antimalware supplement.
Now, is Microsoft Windows Defender the best free antivirus Windows 10?
Apparently, the Windows Defender only vaccinates your computer against few attacks. But what happens when Trojans, malicious links, and spyware attack you? Well, that is when the antimalware software comes in.
And, don’t get me wrong; the Windows Defender is a lucrative protective solution. It is free, it is light & fast, and it does not disturb you with unnecessary pop-ups or call for money. Then, it is not easy for anyone to compromise Microsoft into selling your personal browsing details – at least you know how rich they are!
But, even with all the pomp, Windows Defender lags behind on the AV-TEST – a disappointing 3.5. Although the test Defender can fight 99% of malware and attacks, other antivirus-tests do not hold the same sentiment. For instance, Av-Comparatives find that Windows Defender only captures 94.5% of all threats.
Thus, Windows Defender’s efficiency is commendable, but not the best for people who care about their technological pet! Of course, it is better than some free antivirus apps out there.
The only downside though is that some traits of malicious programs still get through. Also, it does not match the likes of BitDefender, Avast! or Kaspersky that have a 99% to 100% performance on the both the AV-Test and AV-Comparatives.
So, Windows Defender is a good antivirus for people who don’t do many downloads and are still very cautious with their computer use. If you live in a world of software like me, you are more exposed to malware, and thus, a thorough antivirus software is necessary!
Now, give it up for the 21 top best free antivirus software!
Are you still asking why you need a free software to fight Android and computer malware? Well, money is important to everyone. And, when you find something that is free but high in quality, you should take it before the stocks last.
To be honest, paid software is way too expensive for some people. Especially, for college students who have no side job and whose money comes entirely from education loans, saving is not an option!
When you need an efficient software to fight ‘technology pet diseases,’ there is no need to go searching got the top 10 free antivirus CNET! At least, we don’t give you ten of fifteen – we give you the list of all the best antivirus for free! And, this one has 21! Let’s have a look.
1. BitDefender antivirus free edition
When they say no one should feud (you think I mean feud?) with the former USSR, they mean it! While the Chinese are good at Kung Fu, these guys are best at creating security software!
Well, most of the best antivirus programs in the world come from northern Europe. BitDefender is top of the list, and it’s a brainchild of the Romanians too.
The BitDefender Internet security company never disappoints when creating paid-for software. But, they also provide a free version too, which contains pretty the same features as the premium security software.
All forms of malware fear the free BitDefender Antivirus, literally. Trojans turn topsy-turvy in the sight of BitDefender, – viruses and adware wither out! BitDefender Antivirus Free Program is compatible with all versions of Windows including XP and Windows 10.
Versions for MacOS and Android are available, too. To avoid smearing too much butter on your breakfast, here are the features that make BitDefender one of the best free antiviruses!
- It has anti-spyware and anti-phishing protection
- Malware protection and virus detection of a near 100%
- Compatible with all devices and operating systems
- Few or no pop ups
- Autopilot features
- Real-time security
BitDefender free version antivirus is an excellent software for all who prefer light computer duties. In fact, you won’t even note that the AV is running! It has a minimal pop-up disturbance. But, many pundits do not give it much of the approval. So, it may be worthy to try it yourself.
2. Kaspersky Lab Internet Security
Did I tell you something about Scandinavian software products? Even the name Kaspersky in itself sounds Russian, doesn’t it? Well, it’s another reason I don’t disagree with anyone who says Russia hacked out Hillary. Or, the Crimean annexation wars were all made in the cyber!
It is my personal favourite because it does not leave any stone unturned when it comes to detecting, deleting and preventing viruses. In fact, Kaspersky is so harsh on malware that it can even sense hiding threats. And, over the years, the antivirus has stayed on the list of the best security software with an excellent reputation in malware detection.
But it has a downside, though – it is a little expensive at $14.95 renewable payment. The free Kaspersky Lab Internet Security is only available for a 30-day trial after which it must be upgraded. That means it is not entirely free. Yet, that should not scare you to try, especially if you want to enjoy the features below!
- The free version of Kaspersky gives you a near perfect protection
- First-class virus detection rate of 100%
- Also, offers phishing-free protection
- Antimalware and antispyware protection
- Available for Windows, Linux, MacOS and Android OS
- It has anti-theft features- they help you find your stolen phone or computer
- Parental control features
- Active support and online protection
- Audio and Webcam security
- Few pop ups
3. Avira free antivirus
If you try security software on the AV-Test, you will find out that Avira is indeed the Mohammed Ali of the best free antivirus software! Launched in 1986 (wait, had you even known your name or touched a computer yet?) it has millions of users, and is one of the oldest AVs!
Any Avira antivirus review that doesn’t uphold its impeccable interface, and first-class malware detection rate makes no sense. Unlike most free antivirus programs, the free Avira download version will not bother you with ‘upgrade’ messages. Instead, it brings you options to unlock VPN and other fantastic features.
Avira is available for Window 7 or later, as well as MacOS, Android, and Linux! Also, the antivirus won’t slow your computer. In fact, it runs in the background, and does not send you additional pride messages like some stupid AVs we know! In brief, here are the features that Avira brings you!
- Ergonomic interface
- Free browser extension for online protection
- Online Protection includes email and URL scanning
- Has a Phantom VPN feature for you
- On the AV-Test, Avira free antivirus scores 6.0 and 5.5 out of 6 for protection and performance respectively
- It has a near-perfect threat blocking. And, on AV-Comparative, Avira scores 100%!
4. Sophos Home Free Antivirus
Moving on, one of the best free antivirus software is Sophos Home. The security software won’t be a rodent in your memory granary, but it will provide excellent first class features. The Sophos Home Antivirus is one of the best free antivirus programs for a home or enterprise.
Apart from the excellent performance on independent tests, Sophos Home works well for phones and other smart devices. In short, below are some of the features that make Sophos Home an antivirus worth trying:
- Antitheft features – you can even lock your phone or laptop remotely if it is stolen
- You can scan for malware anytime, or use a schedule
- Then, Sophos Home has advisory features- it lets you know tips to keep your device safe
- Offers online security
And how do you Install the Sophos Home free antivirus on your device?
- First, visit the official Sophos Home Free Antivirus site
- Create a Sophos Home account
- Log in with your device
- Download and install the Sophos Home free antivirus
5. Comodo Antivirus
Comodo is one of the top free antivirus programs you can ever find! The Comodo security software is a paid-for version, but it has a free basic software too. The antivirus has some of the harshest virus control measures – all the malware fear it! In my opinion, every person should try Comodo free antivirus to taste the impressive features.
These include an inbuilt cloud-scanning software and strict virus eradication. No doubt, Comodo is like a master key – it runs on every device or operating system in the world! So, give it a shot on your Windows, MacOS, Android and Linux.
In brief, here is a list of features that make Comodo one of the best antivirus programs that don’t require payment!
- Cloud scanning
- The Comodo AV software has a beautiful and easy to use interface. In fact, you can select from an array of themes
- Comodo has a Host Intrusion Prevention System that prevents emerging attacks
- Also, the Comodo antivirus program has an Auto-Sandbox feature
- Comodo is so strict that it restricts installation of software that’s on the whitelist
- AV-TEST score of 97-100%
6. AVG Antivirus Free
A few years ago, Avast bought AVG to become the greatest non-Chinese antivirus company. The AVG antivirus software is free of payment, but it brings you high-quality features.
Also, AVG users love the antivirus for the little impact it has on the device’ speed. In fact, the antivirus program is so light that when it runs in the background, you can even notice!
If you want best possible experience with the AVG free antivirus, you may need to keep awake during installation so you can tick in the right checkboxes. And, did you know you don’t have to make any personal registrations? AVG free antivirus is compatible with Windows, MacOS, and Android.
- AVG has an active on-demand malware scan
- It has features to rate website’s safety
- AVG prides in awesome features for customization
- Antispyware and antitheft features for Android, Mac, and Windows
- AV-Test ranks the AVG free antivirus at 5.5-6.0. SE Labs give AVG a whopping 93%.
- A near perfect on-demand malware scan
- Phishing protection and URL blocking
- Also, AVG has an ergonomic interface!
7. Avast Free Antivirus
Avast! is one of most popular security programs around the world. While most AV companies do not let you find their free antivirus editions, Avast! has its free version right on is website’s homepage. It means they want you to enjoy their services, without hidden interests.
So, on the Avast website, there is an orange part for those who want to download the free Avast anti virus. It’s quite easy to install the free Avast version, and you can also add extensions to its browser.
Avast has versions for Windows 7 & later, MacOS and Android. But, you have to tolerate the way it slows your machine sometimes. In brief, here are the features that come with the free of cost Avast antivirus.
- Avast browser add-ons for maximum online protection
- It has a multi devices options- as long as you have the Avast account, you can sign in to protect more than one devices
- The interface is so easy to use, even a kid can navigate
- The settings are customizable to suit your interests
- Avast’s secure Avast password manager
- Spam filtering and URL scanning
- 92% overall score at SE Labs, 3.5-6.0 AV-Test, AV-Comparatives 99.7%
- Vulnerability scan and phishing protection
8. Baidu Antivirus
Do you know the Google of China? You really should! Baidu Inc. is a big name on the internet and a formidable force in the world of antiviruses too! Baidu’s popularity owes to the user base it receives from the billion far-east Asians who look alike!
Then, Baidu AV has features that protect devices from malicious hackers or programs. Well, Baidu works on viruses the cloud-based platforms, so you are sure it won’t slow your machine! And, it has regular updates to help fight modern mobile malware and others.
Again, the Baidu antimalware scanner software is available for all editions of Windows – from Windows XP to later versions. Check out if it’s a decent free antivirus for Windows 10. If you choose to go the Baidu way; be sure to experience the following features.
- Use less system resource than ordinary antivirus programs
- Protects US devices and OS registries from malware
- Anti-phishing and webcam protection
- Scanning downloads
- Built-in scanner that sends issues to Baidu for analysis
- Traffic monitor
- Also, Baidu is useful because of its online security features, such as a private browser
9. Check Point ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall
Do you want the cheapest antivirus software for Windows? Well, Check Point ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall is a free antivirus that brings you a whole basket of features. Look, Check Point Zone Alarm Antivirus is compatible with the Windows operating system.
And, it blends the features of other respected software security solutions, including Kaspersky. There is a word, though – you must keep vigil during the installation, lest the AV sets a default browser! It’s not bad, but who doesn’t want some freedom?
Admittedly, you may need hacking another way to protect you online because Zone Alarm isn’t good at preventing malicious clicking or phishing. Most online antivirus tests haven’t put effort on ZoneAlarm for many years now so; no one can give its textbook review.
Now, here are the features that make Check Point ZoneAlarm worth trying!
- Check Point ZoneAlarm Antivirus has a license from Kaspersky
- The dashboard is cute and easy to use
- Integrated firewall
10. 360 Total Security
360 Total Security is one of the greatest free anti-malware from the Qihoo Company. If you want an antivirus with first class performance on AV Tests, then you ought to give 360 Total Security free antivirus a shot! And, the antimalware has tens of features that would make anyone who loves security to want trying it.
But, the Qihoo 360 antivirus has its downsides too. Besides, it lacks the trusted security features that competitors like Kaspersky have. Again, the security software faces accusations of cheating in the AV Tests.
No doubt, it’s not the best in online protection, blocking of malicious URL or rating secure websites. But, here are reasons why Qihoo 360 is still part of this list.
Features of Qihoo 360 Total Security
- 360 antivirus scans your hardware anytime
- Qihoo has security search engines for online browsing
- Lovely interface
- Users agree that the 360 Qihoo antivirus is lenient on resource consumption.
Well, the review is per my experience and (paper) research. But, it seems Qihoo 360 would win the popular vote, even with the disapproval of the college – it’s the antivirus of the people. Al Gore or Hillary or something?
11. UnThreat AntiVirus
UnThreat Antivirus gives you basic virus protection, just like most AVs. If you hate the endless checks and installations that ordinary antiviruses have, then you should try UnThreat.
It does not disturb you with unnecessary toolbars and installations. Then, be sure to enjoy the UnThreat experience on all Windows versions!
12. Amiti Antivirus
If you want a free antivirus that has different empirical scans, Amiti could be the bull’s eye! Besides analysing the programs during installation, Amiti scans your memory for viruses.
So, you can be sure that the free Amiti Antivirus leaves nothing unfinished! Amiti is compatible with all types of Windows- from XP to 10 and latest versions. Here are some other features that place Amiti AV on this list!
- Good antimalware features
- Does not use up your memory space or RAM resources
- Also, Amiti Antivirus helps increase your memory
- By cleaning up Explorer files and other temporary systems
13. Panda free antivirus software
If you are interested in keeping your ‘pet’ safe at minimal RAM usage, you need to give Panda antivirus a shot! Panda Security program is effective than most paid-for antiviruses, and thus, it is one of the best free antivirus programs you can ever have!
It has customization features to suit your preferences and some excellent scanners too! Panda AV is compatible with a broad array of devices including MacOS, Android and Windows. In brief, here are some of the features that might make you love Panda Antivirus!
- Internet security and URL scanning
- USB and disk scanning for eradication of Trojans
- An inbuilt Panda Antivirus Cloud Cleaner
- The dashboard is user-friendly
- Panda is light, even on devices
14. Immunet Free Antivirus
At times, the antivirus software is not all you need to keep safe. Especially, when the AV software does not score 100% on the AV-Test or comparative, you may need some side-app for a supplement.
Immune Antivirus is a free cloud-based antimalware software built to run with the mainstream AV. In our case, it is like giving Tramadol to a dog that has a broken leg before you getting bandages.
As a cloud software, Immunet Antivirus does not slow your machine or use up your resource. Then, how would such a small software slow even the lowest-end device? But, when using Immunet with Avira, the canning process slows your device real hard!
Immunet works under the collective immunity technology. So, the protection is better when more users are using the software. Immunet gets stronger every year due to the people who start using the antimalware. And, the software is compatible with all versions of Windows.
15. KingSoft Antivirus 2012
Another cloud-based antivirus software is KingSoft 2012. One obvious advantage of this kind of antivirus is that it is light and fast, even on low-end devices. So, even if you use it on Windows XP, Vista and many other Operating Systems.
Then, KingSoft is very keen on what you download. It scans your downloads to prevent transferring malware. Again, the antivirus ensures you are safe when chatting on IM or messaging platforms. Even when you are offline, KingSoft will still fight your malware battles!
FortiClient Antivirus is one of the security programs that have business potential. In fact, FortiClient is popularly known as a ‘threat management’ tool.
The antivirus is easy to download and install – to use too! Let me stop keeping the shrimp for too long – here are the main features for you.
- Online protection through web filtering and deep scanning
- Parental control- yes, because the PG stamp makes no sense anymore, does it?
- Powerful firewall
- Weekly scans and regular antivirus updates
- Compatible with Windows and Mac OS X
17. Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE)
No serious person can review the best free antivirus software for Windows 8 without mentioning Microsoft’s very own tools. Microsoft Security Essentials is a security feature in Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 10. Well, MS is a newbie in the antivirus technology, but of course, a veteran in making quality software.
So, you don’t need to fear giving it a shot. It is free, and it will never nag you to subscribe. In fact, you never even notice that it is cleaning up your computer in the background. It is present in all versions of Windows, apart from Windows XP, which is no longer receives Microsoft’s support.
18. Rising Antivirus Free Edition
You remember me telling you why Chinese products prosper? Well, whatever you sell to a billion people, even for a dollar, makes you a billionaire! Rising Antivirus Free Edition is a creation of the Rising Software, China’s most prominent security programs makers!
The free edition does not have as many features as the other premium antivirus software. But, it is pretty and works the same as the other free safety apps. This cost less antivirus runs flawlessly on Windows 7 and Windows 8 among other Operating Systems.
19. Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+
If you want a shield that uproots malware and scares off any potential attacks, Lavasoft Ad-Aware is the best option!
Lavasoft Ad-Ware free antivirus is one of the few security programs that fight malware and viruses without the help of accompaniments. Then, if your computer has spam ads, you may want to give Lavasoft a shot! See the antivirus’ features below.
- Receive malware scans at your request
- Get protected from malicious URL
- Also, enjoy the easy navigation on the ergonomic UI
- Enjoy a 4-star rating experience on Lavasoft Antivirus!
20. Malwarebytes Free
Another of the best free virus safety security is the Malwarebytes! Well, there is need to have a software that fights non-viral attacks. Most antivirus software only protects your device from viruses.
And, that’s the reason they are antiviruses anyway! Today, hackers and other malicious people have upgraded into advanced social engineering! So, how do you beat hackers trying to steal your personal information through inventive methods? That’s where Malwarebytes comes in.
To prevent your computer or phone from falling into the hands of online conmen, give Malwarebytes a round of your whiskey! Look, the security software wins battles against adware, ransomware, spyware and all other types of CRAP-ware! Also, be sure to eradicate any threats from Trojans. In fact, viruses are no longer dangerous threats to new tech pets – malware won the ‘battle of bastards’ long time ago!
So, download and install Malwarebytes, alongside the mainstream antivirus apps for free. That will fortify anti-exploitation protection! When you install both programs, you will have brought both malware and viruses to their knees. Malwarebytes is available for Mac, Windows and Android users. In fact, it’s one of the best antiviruses for Android!
21. Microsoft Windows Defender
As they say, no matter how east you wander, getting home is the best option! No doubt, Microsoft Windows is home to 1.25 billion users. And, as many pundits would put it, Microsoft is doing the best they can to improve their products, especially the security software.
Soon, you might not need to install any antivirus program, on Windows! The reason is simple- Defender might eventually become the Cadillac of free security software!
Antivirus Tips for speeding up your device…
Let’s not lie here – almost all free security software have an adverse impact on system resource. So, you may need to free your memory after the software is done cleaning the malware. Or, why keep a program that has finished its work?
Look please, the antimalware apps are not important after the malicious program is deleted. If the anti-malware solves your problem, you can uninstall it to free your memory and improve your performance.
On the other hand, an antivirus program is necessary for keeping you safe from daily attacks. So, you may wish to get it running.
But, the latest security technological advances project a possibility of rendering antiviruses redundant. Yes, in the face of advanced VPN and coding, AVs could soon outlive their usefulness! Keep it locked at Cyberogism for more details on how to stay safe online without using an antivirus program!
And, the final dose
Hey, I was telling a story about Tommie. Well, sadly, my beloved dog died of some preventable disease. I don’t like remembering this, but, it inspires me to learn the need for preventing, as opposed to curing. Well, I adopted another one, but I want to keep it safe, and vaccinated.
By now, you should have a solution for your ‘technological pet’ already! I don’t know whether yours is a dog (laptop) or cat (phone), but you surely want to save some cash by getting the best free antivirus software!
And, for now, I am not yet a Mark Zuckerberg, so I still need to do some saving! Above all, my device’ security is paramount, and I uphold it with the diligence of a pet. Now, why don’t you tell us your story, will you? What is the best free antivirus as per your experiences and tests if any?
Top/Featured Image: By Geralt / Pixabay
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