These days, most devices come with malware defence built in, like XProtect for Mac or Windows Defender. Most of the time, though, these antivirus programs aren’t enough to keep your device safe from more dangerous threats like keyloggers, ransomware, and more.

Best Free Antivirus Software for Windows

It’s too bad that third-party antivirus software can be pricey or not! If you want a free antivirus, you’ll be happy to know that there is a lot of good anti-malware software with great protection plans that are entirely free.

1. Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Free Antivirus is a popular antivirus software program that offers real-time protection against viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. It also includes features like a firewall, browser protection, and email scanning.

Here are some of the details about Avast Free Antivirus:

  • Real-time protection: Avast Free Antivirus scans your files and applications for threats in real time, helping to prevent malware from infecting your device.
  • Firewall: The built-in firewall monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic, helping to block unauthorized access to your device.
  • Browser protection: Avast Free Antivirus protects you from harmful websites and online scams by blocking malicious links and scripts.
  • Email scanning: Avast Free Antivirus scans your incoming and outgoing emails for threats, helping to protect you from phishing attacks and email malware.
  • Smart scans: Avast Free Antivirus performs quick scans that focus on the most critical areas of your device, such as your operating system, registry, and startup files.
  • Virus definitions updates: Avast Free Antivirus automatically updates its virus definitions to ensure that you are always protected against the latest threats.

Avast Free Antivirus is a good option for users who are looking for a basic antivirus program that provides real-time protection against common threats. However, it is important to note that Avast Free Antivirus does not offer some of the features that are available in paid antivirus programs, such as identity theft protection, parental controls, and password management.

Overall, Avast Free Antivirus is a good free antivirus program that provides basic protection against common threats. If you are looking for a more comprehensive antivirus program, you may want to consider a paid option. Download Avast Free Antivirus.

2. AVG AntiVirus Free

AVG AntiVirus Free is a popular free antivirus software that offers basic protection against viruses, malware, and other online threats. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

Here are some of the key features of AVG AntiVirus Free:

  • Real-time protection: Scans your files and applications for threats as you use them.
  • Virus and malware detection: Detects and removes a wide range of viruses, malware, spyware, and other threats.
  • Phishing protection: Blocks phishing websites that try to steal your personal information.
  • Ransomware protection: Helps to prevent ransomware attacks that encrypt your files and demand a ransom payment.
  • Smart Scan: Combines multiple scans into one quick and easy scan.
  • Performance scan: Identifies and fixes performance issues on your device.
  • Software Updater: Keeps your software up to date to help protect against vulnerabilities.

AVG AntiVirus Free is a good option for users who are looking for basic antivirus protection. However, it does not offer some of the features that are available in paid antivirus software, such as firewall protection, parental controls, and identity theft protection.

Here are some of the pros and cons of AVG AntiVirus Free:

Pros:

  • Free to use
  • Easy to install and use
  • Real-time protection against viruses and malware
  • Phishing and ransomware protection
  • Smart Scan for quick and easy scanning

Cons:

  • Does not offer firewall protection, parental controls, or identity theft protection
  • Can sometimes slow down your device
  • May display nag screens for paid AVG products

Overall, AVG AntiVirus Free is a good free antivirus software option for users who are looking for basic protection against viruses and malware. However, if you need more advanced features, you may want to consider a paid antivirus software program. Download AVG AntiVirus Free

3. Avira Free Antivirus


Avira Free Antivirus is a highly-rated antivirus software that offers valuable protection for your devices without costing you a dime. Here’s a rundown of its key features:

Protection:

  • Real-time malware scanning: Scans your system continuously for viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, and other threats.
  • Cloud-based protection: Utilizes Avira’s global threat intelligence network to stay ahead of emerging threats.
  • Phishing protection: Blocks malicious websites and protects you from online scams.
  • Software updater: Keeps your programs and drivers up-to-date to patch security vulnerabilities.
  • Optional web protection (in Avira Free Security suite): Blocks malicious downloads and trackers while browsing.

Privacy:

  • Web protection browser extension (in Avira Free Security suite): Encrypts your web traffic and blocks online trackers.
  • VPN (subscription required): Anonymizes your online activity and secures your connection on public Wi-Fi.

Performance:

  • Game Booster (in Avira Free Security suite): Optimizes your system for smoother gameplay.
  • Startup optimizer (in Avira Free Security suite): Speeds up your computer’s boot time.

Additional features:

  • Password manager (subscription required): Stores and manages your passwords securely.
  • File shredder: Permanently deletes sensitive files to prevent data breaches.
  • Privacy cleaner (in Avira Free Security suite): Removes tracking cookies and browsing history.

Limitations of Avira Free Antivirus:

  • Lacks features like advanced ransomware protection, email protection, and firewall (available in paid versions).
  • Doesn’t offer unlimited VPN data (limited amount in free version).

Overall, Avira Free Antivirus is a fantastic choice for users seeking basic yet effective protection against online threats. However, if you need more advanced features or unlimited VPN data, consider upgrading to a paid version. Download Avira Free Antivirus.

4. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is a powerful and effective antivirus software that protects your computer from viruses, malware, ransomware, and other online threats. It’s completely free to use and offers many of the same features as paid antivirus software.

Here are some of the key details about Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition:

  • Real-time protection: Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition uses advanced real-time protection to scan your files, folders, and applications for threats. This helps to prevent malware from infecting your computer in the first place.
  • Anti-malware scanning: Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition can also scan your computer for existing malware. This is a good way to remove any threats that may have already infected your system.
  • Ransomware protection: Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition includes advanced ransomware protection that can help to prevent your files from being encrypted by ransomware attacks.
  • Phishing protection: Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition can also block phishing attacks, which are designed to trick you into revealing your personal information.
  • Web protection: Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition can block malicious websites and prevent you from downloading infected files.
  • Lightweight and easy to use: Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is lightweight and easy to use, so it won’t slow down your computer.

Overall, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is a great choice for users who are looking for a free and effective antivirus solution. It offers a variety of features that can help to protect your computer from online threats.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition:

  • It is only available for Windows PCs.
  • It does not include some of the features that are available in the paid versions of Bitdefender Antivirus, such as firewall protection and parental controls.
  • You may see occasional prompts to upgrade to a paid version of Bitdefender Antivirus.

Despite these limitations, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is a great option for users who are looking for a free and effective antivirus solution. Download Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

5. Kaspersky Security Cloud Free

Kaspersky Security Cloud Free is a freemium antivirus software that protects your devices from malware, viruses, and other online threats. It offers basic protection for your PC, Mac, and Android devices.

Here are some of the features of Kaspersky Security Cloud Free:

  • Real-time protection: Scans your files and applications for malware and other threats in real time.
  • Virus and malware scanning: Scans your devices for existing malware and viruses.
  • Web protection: Blocks malicious websites and phishing attacks.
  • Email protection: Scans your incoming and outgoing emails for threats.
  • Anti-spam: Blocks spam emails.
  • Anti-banner: Blocks unwanted banners and pop-ups.
  • App Blocker: Blocks specific applications from running on your device.
  • Privacy Protection: Protects your personal data from online threats.

Kaspersky Security Cloud Free is a good option for users who are looking for basic antivirus protection. However, it does not offer some of the features that are available in the paid versions of Kaspersky Security Cloud, such as:

  • Parental controls: Controls what your children can see and do online.
  • Password manager: Stores your passwords securely.
  • File and folder encryption: Encrypts your files and folders to protect them from unauthorized access.
  • VPN: Encrypts your internet traffic to protect your privacy.

If you need more than basic antivirus protection, you may want to consider purchasing a paid version of Kaspersky Security Cloud.

Overall, Kaspersky Security Cloud Free is a good option for users who are looking for basic antivirus protection. It is easy to use and offers a variety of features that can help keep your devices safe. However, it does not offer some of the features that are available in the paid versions of Kaspersky Security Cloud. If you need more than basic antivirus protection, you may want to consider purchasing a paid version. Download Kaspersky Security Cloud Free

6. Sophos Home Free

Features:

  • Free protection for up to 3 devices: It safeguards Windows PCs, macOS desktops, Android, and iOS devices.
  • Real-time malware protection: Continuously monitors your devices for suspicious activity and blocks threats before they can harm you.
  • Web protection: Blocks malicious websites and phishing attempts to keep you safe online.
  • Advanced ransomware protection: Shields your files from unauthorized encryption by ransomware criminals.
  • Automatic updates: Ensures you’re always protected against the latest threats with automatic updates.
  • Simple and easy to use: The intuitive interface makes it easy to manage your security, even for non-technical users.

Limitations compared to the paid version (Sophos Home Premium):

  • No parental controls: You can’t filter websites or set time limits for internet usage on children’s devices.
  • No remote device management: You can’t manage the security of your devices remotely if they’re lost or stolen.
  • No webcam and microphone protection: The free version doesn’t protect your webcam and microphone from unauthorized access.
  • No data leak protection: It doesn’t monitor your files for sensitive information that could be leaked online.

Overall, Sophos Home Free is a good option for users who are looking for basic antivirus protection for their personal devices. It’s free, easy to use, and offers real-time protection against malware, viruses, and other online threats. However, if you need more advanced features, such as parental controls, remote device management, or webcam and microphone protection, you’ll need to upgrade to Sophos Home Premium. Sophos Home Free download

7 . Microsoft Defender Antivirus

Microsoft Defender Antivirus is a built-in antivirus and anti-malware program included in Windows 10 and Windows 11. It provides real-time protection against viruses, malware, spyware, and other online threats.

Features of Microsoft Defender Antivirus:

  • Real-time protection: Scans your files and applications for threats as they access your system.
  • Virus and malware scanning: Performs scheduled and on-demand scans to identify and remove existing threats.
  • Cloud-based protection: Leverages Microsoft’s cloud intelligence to stay up-to-date on the latest threats and provide enhanced protection.
  • Tamper protection: Prevents malicious programs from modifying critical system settings.
  • Advanced features: Includes features like exploit protection, behavior monitoring, and network protection for comprehensive security.
  • Integration with Windows Security: Easily accessible through the Windows Security app, which provides a centralized hub for managing your security settings.

Benefits of using Microsoft Defender Antivirus:

  • Free: Comes pre-installed with Windows 10 and 11, so you don’t need to purchase additional antivirus software.
  • Easy to use: Simple interface and straightforward settings make it user-friendly.
  • Lightweight: Doesn’t consume significant system resources, so it won’t slow down your device.
  • Effective: Independent tests show that Microsoft Defender Antivirus performs well against common threats.
  • Regular updates: Microsoft automatically updates Defender Antivirus with the latest threat definitions to ensure ongoing protection.

Is Microsoft Defender Antivirus enough?

For most home users, Microsoft Defender Antivirus provides sufficient protection against everyday threats. However, if you’re a power user or require advanced security features, you may want to consider a third-party antivirus solution. Some additional features you might find in paid antivirus software include:

  • Parental controls: Monitor and restrict children’s online activity.
  • Password manager: Securely store and manage your passwords.
  • File encryption: Encrypt sensitive files to protect them from unauthorized access.
  • VPN: Encrypt your internet traffic to protect your privacy.

Overall, Microsoft Defender Antivirus is a capable and convenient antivirus solution for most Windows users. It’s free, easy to use, and provides effective protection against common threats. However, if you need more advanced features or have specific security concerns, you may want to consider a third-party antivirus solution. Microsoft Defender Antivirus download

8. Panda Free Antivirus

Panda Free Antivirus is a freemium antivirus software solution by Panda Security that offers real-time protection for your Windows and Android devices against malware, viruses, spyware, and other online threats.

Key Features:

  • Real-time protection: Continuously scans files, applications, and processes for suspicious activity.
  • Virus and malware scanning: Performs on-demand scans to detect and remove existing threats.
  • USB protection: Monitors and blocks malware execution from USB drives.
  • Rescue kit: Creates a bootable USB drive to clean infected computers that won’t start normally.
  • Quarantine: Isolates suspicious files to prevent them from harming your system.
  • Game/Multimedia mode: Minimizes interruptions while playing games or watching videos.
  • Privacy auditor: Checks and displays app permissions for contacts, accounts, images, and more on Android devices.
  • Process monitor: Shows running processes and their resource usage.
  • Scheduled scans: Set automatic scans to run at regular intervals.
  • Lightweight and resource-friendly: Designed to have minimal impact on system performance.

Additional Features (Panda Dome Paid Versions):

  • Advanced ransomware protection: Blocks sophisticated ransomware attacks.
  • Parental controls: Manages children’s online activity and internet access.
  • Password manager: Securely stores and manages your passwords.
  • VPN: Encrypts your internet traffic for privacy and security.
  • Multi-device protection: Protects multiple devices with a single subscription.

Pros:

  • Free and effective basic protection against common threats.
  • Lightweight and resource-friendly.
  • Easy to use and manage.
  • Offers additional features like USB protection and rescue kit.

Cons:

  • Limited features compared to paid versions.
  • No advanced ransomware protection, parental controls, or VPN.
  • May occasionally display nag screens for paid upgrades.

Overall:

Panda Free Antivirus is a good choice for users who are looking for a free and basic antivirus solution. It offers effective protection against common threats and is easy to use. However, if you need more advanced features or protection for multiple devices, you may want to consider a paid version of Panda Dome. Panda Free Antivirus download

9. Comodo Free Antivirus

Comodo Free Antivirus is a powerful and feature-rich antivirus software that provides comprehensive protection for your Windows PC against a wide range of threats, including viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, and zero-day attacks.

Here’s a closer look at its key features:

1. Default Deny Protection: Unlike traditional antivirus programs that rely on whitelisting, Comodo Free Antivirus takes a “default deny” approach. This means that any unknown file attempting to access your system is automatically blocked unless it can prove its legitimacy. This proactive approach offers an extra layer of defense against emerging threats that haven’t been identified yet.

2. Cloud-Based Scanning: Comodo Free Antivirus leverages the power of the cloud to keep its virus definitions up-to-date and ensure real-time protection against the latest threats. This eliminates the need for manual updates and guarantees that your system is always shielded against the newest malware variants.

3. Auto Sandbox Technology: Suspicious files are isolated in a virtual environment called a sandbox, preventing them from interacting with your actual system and causing any harm. This sandboxing technology provides an extra layer of security and peace of mind, even if you accidentally download a malicious file.

4. Defense+ Technology: This advanced behavior-based detection system monitors applications and files for suspicious activity. Even if a file is unknown, Defense+ can analyze its behavior and identify potential threats, preventing them from causing any damage.

5. Advanced Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS): HIPS monitors and controls all system activities, including registry changes, file modifications, and network communication. This proactive approach can prevent malware from infiltrating your system by blocking unauthorized actions.

6. User-Friendly Interface: Comodo Free Antivirus features a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to manage your security settings and perform scans. Even if you’re not a tech expert, you can easily navigate the program and keep your system protected.

7. Additional Features:

  • Automatic file and application scanning
  • Email protection
  • Web filtering
  • Gaming mode for optimized performance during gameplay
  • Virus scan scheduler
  • Free technical support

Overall, Comodo Free Antivirus is a robust and feature-rich antivirus solution that provides excellent protection against a wide range of threats. Its unique “default deny” approach, cloud-based scanning, and advanced technologies like Defense+ and HIPS make it a compelling choice for users who want to go beyond basic antivirus protection. While it may not be as widely recognized as some of its competitors, Comodo Free Antivirus has earned positive reviews from independent testing labs and offers a great value for its free price tag. Comodo Free Antivirus download

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • System requirements: Comodo Free Antivirus is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 (both 32-bit and 64-bit versions).
  • Resource usage: Comodo Free Antivirus can be resource-intensive, especially during real-time scanning. This may not be an issue for high-end PCs, but it’s something to keep in mind if you have an older or less powerful computer.
  • False positives: Like any antivirus program, Comodo Free Antivirus may occasionally flag legitimate files as threats. However, the program offers advanced settings to fine-tune your security and minimize false positives.

10. ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall

ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall is a freemium security solution offering basic protection against online threats for your Windows PC. Here’s a breakdown of its key features:

Antivirus and Anti-Spyware:

  • Real-time scanning for viruses, malware, spyware, Trojan horses, worms, and other malicious software.
  • Scheduled scans and on-demand scanning options.
  • Cloud-based threat detection for up-to-date protection.
  • Automatic updates to ensure you have the latest virus definitions.

Firewall:

  • Two-way protection to monitor both incoming and outgoing network traffic.
  • Blocks unauthorized access attempts and hacking efforts.
  • Provides stealth mode to make your PC invisible to hackers.
  • Application Control lets you define which programs can access the internet.

Additional Features:

  • Anti-Phishing protection to block fraudulent websites and emails.
  • Identity theft protection monitors your personal information for exposure online.
  • Data Eraser allows you to securely delete sensitive files.
  • Game Mode optimizes performance for smoother gameplay.

Limitations of the Free Version:

  • No parental controls for managing children’s online activity.
  • No password manager for secure storage of login credentials.
  • No file and folder encryption for extra data protection.
  • No VPN for anonymizing your online activity.
  • Limited technical support compared to paid versions.

Overall, ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall is a good option for users who:

  • Need basic virus and malware protection.
  • Want a lightweight security solution with minimal system resource usage.
  • Appreciate the added protection of a firewall.
  • Don’t require advanced features like parental controls or encryption.

If you need more comprehensive protection or specific features like those mentioned above, consider upgrading to a paid version of ZoneAlarm or exploring other antivirus solutions that better suit your needs. ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Firewall download

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