Best Free Antivirus and Malware software
Antivirus malware software is used by everyone. Every window user needs a strong antivirus program to ward off malware attacks, to keep their computers running efficiently and to safeguard their online identities and personal information. Paid antivirus suites have many features to protect children online, manage security on mobile devices, and monitor a computer’s firewall, software updates, and other features. But some users just don’t want, or can’t afford, to pay a yearly subscription fee for those extra features.
If that describes you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve evaluated the most widely used free antivirus programs based on their malware protection, system impact, ease of use and useful extra features.
So which free PC antivirus product would be best for you? Of the seven free antivirus programs we’ve recently reviewed, Kaspersky Free Antivirus barely edged out Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition for the top spot. Both offer excellent protection against malware without slowing down your system, but Kaspersky lets you schedule scans and has a quick-scan option.
Bitdefender, however, is still the best “set it and forget it” option. After installation, it takes care of itself and doesn’t need user intervention. If you need to install antivirus software on your grandparents’ computer but don’t have time to monitor it, this might be the perfect solution.
Both Kaspersky’s and Bitdefender’s products offer only the basics. If you want features such as a password manager or a hardened web browser, normally found in midpriced paid antivirus suites, then Avast Free Antivirus might be for you. But its malware protection isn’t as good as the top two and its performance impact is heavier.
Lists of some famous antivirus:
Kaspersky Free Antivirus
- Lean and mean.
- Pros: Excellent malware protection; moderate performance hit; fast scans
Cons: Bare-bones with few extra features
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
- No muss, no fuss.
- Pros: Top protection against malware; super-easy to use; small performance impact
Cons: No customization options; no quick scans or scan scheduling
Avast Free Antivirus
- Nearly a free suite.
- Pros: Loaded with extra features; highly customizable; VPN client
Cons: So-so malware protection; heavy performance hit; possible privacy concerns
Microsoft Windows Defender
- Finally good enough.
- Pros: Good malware protection; built into Windows; small performance impact
Panda Free Antivirus
- Has its ups and downs.
- Pros: Very customizable; moderate performance impact; VPN client
Cons: Spotty malware protection; no opting out of data collection