Antivirus is a data security program that prevents threats and harmful programs, such as viruses, trojans, and malware from attacking, damaging and corrupting your system. This program is useful for the protection of a wide variety of devices, like personal computers, mobile devices, USB drives, tablets, and even storage devices, such as CDs.
Antivirus software is a complete package that provides all sorts of functionalities, ranging from scanning any particular infected file, or even an entire system, to detecting and removing infected code or malware.
There are a lot of companies that offer a varied range and grade of antivirus software, including both paid and free versions. Antivirus software provides many essential tools and security options for the safety of your data.
Some antivirus automatically removes the malicious programs or software, while there are certain types of antivirus software that ask for user consent before removing any harmful program.
Why Do We Need an Antivirus?
Today, the internet houses a ton of software and programs that can harm your system and even corrupt your data. It is not necessary that if you are not connected to the internet, then your system can’t get affected, as a malicious program can spread through a storage device also, such as a USB drive.
So in order to protect your precious data and files, there is a need for some sort of tool that can prevent, and repair the damage dealt by, such attacks. Antivirus may not be a complete solution for all your security issues, but it is definitely an essential part of it.
Antivirus not only removes infectious programs but there are also many reputable antivirus programs that feature data backup and recovery features. Antivirus software protects your device from virus attacks, bot attacks, trojans, spyware, worm attacks, and many other security vulnerabilities.
In the following section, we have prepared a list of the top 12 antivirus software, available for free to download and install.
12 Free Antivirus Software
1. Avira Free Security
Avira Free Security Antivirus is a security solution, available for both Windows and macOS. It is one of the most popular free antivirus software available in the market. It provides security, performance, and privacy in a single software.
The antivirus program can be used to scan any file irrespective of the file extension. Avira Free Security also offers users to manually select the files to be scanned.
Avira Free Security has a special feature known as Protection Cloud, which provides it an upper hand over its rivals. The feature enables the antivirus to detect malware early and kills it before it gets too deep into the system.
It offers multiple security layers to provide extra security to the system. Hence, Free Security provides protection against a wide variety of viruses and malware, including trojan horse, adware, and spyware.
- Provides free system speed up.
- Has an inbuilt password manager.
- Provides protection, privacy, and performance at the same time.
- Offers too many additional features, which makes it complicated to use.
- Takes a lot of time to download due to the multiple security layers.
Download Link: https://www.avira.com/en/free-security
2. AVG Antivirus
AVG (Anti Virus Guard) is free antivirus software that is available for Android, Windows, and macOS. AVG provides complete scanning of the system and provides protection against a wide range of viruses and malware. Also, it enables protection against website links and emails from suspicious sources.
It offers various features, such as repairing damaged files and periodic scanning of system files. AVG is well known for its low memory consumption and conveniently fast scanning of various files at once. AVG offers an automatic update feature that completes almost zero hustlings within a day.
Some viruses are developed in such a manner that they create their copies within the system. This process can only take place during the system boot-up, which makes it hard to detect such copies.
To tackle this problem, AVG provides scanning at the time of booting, thus avoiding creating such copies into the system and preventing the virus from spreading any further.
- Features an easy download process.
- Unlike other antiviruses, AVG also scans the system during the bootup process to avoid the formation of copies of the virus.
- Consumes very little disk memory and scans the files at a very fast rate as compared to other anti-viruses.
- Offers very limited scanning methods, thus showing its inability to scan for the virus deep in the directories.
- Might delete .exe files, considering such files as viruses. Thus, it sometimes makes it difficult to install an application.
Download Link: https://www.avg.com/en-us/free-antivirus-download
3. Avast Free Antivirus
Avast is undoubtedly one of the most popular and efficient antiviruses, available for Windows, macOS, Android as well as iOS. Avast scored full points in the protection test by AV-Test. AV-Test is a private organization that approves the security and protection status of various antiviruses on the basis of a wide variety of tests in distinctive fields.
Avast has a user-friendly interface as every feature has an explanation bubble or something which makes it convenient for the user to understand how every feature works. It has various customizations, such as for how long the notification box should pop up.
For the sake of better security and reliability, Avast Android provides a feature in which upon installation, the user will be shown how Avast uses personal information.
- Detects the threat way earlier than any other anti-virus.
- Highly customizable.
- Offers a wide variety of features. Some of these are provided in the premium variants of other antivirus software, while Avast provides them for free.
- Costlier compared to other free antiviruses.
- The success rate is seemingly less (around 60%) against some spyware and malware.
- The scan rate is quite less.
Download Link: https://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download
4. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is a free, lightweight antivirus program that makes it a very fast solution for the protection of devices that run on Windows. It has a user-friendly and minimalist user interface that makes it one of the most popular antivirus programs.
The antivirus software comes with the feature to protect against frauds and phishing attacks while shopping or browsing online. Although Bitdefender Antivirus is also available for macOS, the free version only supports Windows.
Being free, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition lacks some of the features that are available only in the premium version. For example, you can only start and end a scan process, which means a scan can not be paused in between.
Moreover, there are interruptions due to ads asking you to purchase the premium version. If you don’t have any problem with these drawbacks, then you can definitely go with this antivirus solution.
- Has a user-friendly and minimalistic interface.
- Provides protection against fraud and phishing attacks while shopping or browsing online.
- Provides limited customization.
- Contains annoying ads.
- Takes a longer time to install.
Download Link: https://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html
5. Adaware Antivirus Free
Adaware Antivirus is a lightweight antivirus that comes with 2 modes of usage. The first way to set it up is the usual way, in which this software scans and detects the threats in the regular way as they occur.
The second mode is the one in which it can be used along with your main antivirus software, giving it additional functionality in case the primary program is unable to detect some malicious programs and threats. This acts as a kind of extra protection layer for your system.
This free antivirus is a really good option as it also provides protection from hacking your webcam and mic. It also provides features, such as ad-blockers and searches in private mode. However, it provides limited configuring control and you have to get a paid version for accessing most of its features.
- Can be an extra layer of protection as it can be used along with primary antivirus software.
- Light and fast to install and run.
- Provides limited access to the users to configure the program.
- Most of the features are included in the paid version only.
Download Link: https://www.adaware.com/free-antivirus-download
6. Panda Dome
Panda Dome is antivirus software that is compatible with your macOS, Windows, and Android. The free version of the software provides some really good features to its users. It performs all the tasks from the cloud, so it is not a hog for your CPU.
However, while installing, if you don’t carefully uncheck the options to modify the homepage of your browser and search engine, it actually changes them.
Some of the noticeable features that it provides include password protection for any application, limited VPN (up to 150 MB/day), scan option for your removable storage devices. Also, it generates a report for your scan history, which can also be exported to various file formats.
- Stores its files on the cloud, making it a very lightweight application.
- It has features that allow you to password-protect any desktop application.
- Provides free VPN service.
- Automatic security updates.
- If not unchecked during installation, it modifies your browser and search engine.
- Annoying in-app ads.
Download Link: https://www.pandasecurity.com/en-us/homeusers/free-antivirus/
7. Kaspersky Security Cloud
Kaspersky Security Cloud is a fusion of Kaspersky Antivirus and cloud security features. It supports Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS. Cloud Security provides protection to the data stored in the cloud.
Cloud Security has become essential since most people have switched to cloud storage and thus, are exposed to bigger threats. Kaspersky Security Cloud is designed in such a way that it protects both your device and your cloud storage.
While most of the antiviruses detect 98-99% of threats, Kaspersky has shown in tests that it provides exactly 100% threat detection. Kaspersky Security Cloud also provides a smooth and user-friendly interface, making it convenient for the users to understand and use all the features.
However, the features in the free version are pretty limited. If you are looking for advanced features, such as password manager and child protection, you have to pay for the premium version.
- Has an automatic update function, so the antivirus will always be updated.
- Provides protection against malware threats even when you are surfing.
- Offers an optimization feature.
- Very large, about 500 MB on disk.
- Third-party features are pretty old and outdated.
- The free version has very limited features.
Download Link: https://www.kaspersky.com/free-cloud-antivirus
8. COMODO Antivirus
COMODO Antivirus is a multi-featured antivirus that supports Windows, macOS and Linux. It offers automatic scanning, manual scanning, full scanning, quick scanning as well as scanning of the desired section of the hard disk.
The free antivirus software comes with a built-in sandbox technology that gets activated right after the installation. This technology suspends and isolates suspicious applications so that they don’t spread in the system. It provides a virtual space in which the user can compute any of the programs to check if it is genuine or it is a threat to the system.
COMODO Antivirus also supports real-time scanning, which makes it a demanding feature in the industry. Apart from that, it is highly customizable. It comes with a silent mode, where you won’t get any notification while you are enjoying a movie or are in the middle of a highly intense game.
- Provides a user-friendly interface.
- Supports the sandbox technology.
- Lags sometimes while you edit settings and they do not get saved.
- Includes too many programs, which could not be of any real use.
Download Link: https://antivirus.comodo.com/
FortiClient offers some unique features. It has an inbuilt firewall that acts as an additional security layer. FortiClient Antivirus comes with the parental control feature, which detects when a child is using the system and gives a warning instantly. Apart from these, it can also act as a VPN.
It provides scheduled scanning i.e., you can select a scanning schedule, which can be on a daily-, weekly- or monthly basis. You can block suspicious websites using the URL of the website or you can opt for the site categories, which can range from illegal and flagged to plagiarised and child abuse. FortiClient also lets you choose between automatic and manual updates.
- Provides automatic update settings.
- Has a built-in firewall.
- The interface can be a bit confusing as features are not well explained.
- It does not have a manual pause option for scanning.
Download Link: https://www.forticlient.com/downloads
10. Immunet AntiVirus
Immunet AntiVirus is a good option for the protection of your device. But it is compatible only with systems running on Windows. It provides a lot of control over the configuration. There are a lot of customizable options, which is a plus point. It also generates a monthly report for the history of your scans and threat detection.
Immunet AntiVirus can also be used along with another primary antivirus on your system. This extra protection layer feature can be very good, in case your primary antivirus is unable to perform certain tasks, then you can have software like Immunet that can do the job for you.
Although Immunet Antivirus has an outdated user interface, the software stays up to date and provides real-time protection for your system.
- Offers good control over customizability to the users.
- Doesn’t contain annoying advertisements.
- Outdated user interface.
- Supported only for Windows devices.
Download Link: https://www.immunet.com/index
11. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is another free antivirus solution. It is generally divided into 4 security sections:
- Anti Malware: Uses automatic scans to detect malware and eliminate the threat.
- Anti Ransomware: Anti-ransomware focuses on ransomware and acts as a shield to protect the files from all ransomware attacks.
- Anti exploit: Prevents the exploitation of the system by detecting and eliminating the known vulnerabilities of the system.
- Anti malicious: Acts as a threat detector for malicious websites and blocks them.
It’s very effective in detecting the already infected files and folders, however, it’s not efficient in removing or cleaning those files. For that, you have to go for its paid versions. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware also comes as a browser extension for Chrome and provides really good security features and protection.
- Detects infected files and folders very effectively.
- Comes with a free Chrome extension that provides a very good protection service.
- The free version is only good for the detection of infected files, and not for removing the same.
Download Link: https://www.malwarebytes.com/mwb-download/
12. ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus
ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus is one of the antivirus solutions that provide you firewall protection along with other security features. The firewall blocks hackers and intruders from breaching your privacy and corrupting or stealing your files and data.
Another useful feature that it provides is the community and cloud-based security updates feature, which makes it very fast while detecting threats and malicious programs.
ZoneAlarm Free also provides an option to set a password so that other users of the device can not access its settings. This free antivirus solution is only compatible with Windows though; Windows 7 and newer. It is also a heavy program that needs a good time to install.
- Provides firewall shielding.
- Comes with an option to set a password to prevent other users from changing the settings.
- Bulky program and takes time for installation.
- Supports only Windows devices.
Download Link: https://www.zonealarm.com/software/free-antivirus
In this article, we have discussed the top 12 free antivirus software. At present, there are several free antivirus software available on the internet. These 12 antivirus programs are chosen on the basis of their features and threat detection abilities.
We sincerely hope that this article gave you the worthy options for choosing the best free antivirus software. Which one did you choose? Which antivirus should/shouldn’t be on this list? Let us know in the comments.
People are also reading: