Don’t wait to get scammed. Try these best free antivirus programs and protect yourself now!
Sometimes it takes an accident to get protected.
Here’s the story of my co-worker, in her own words, which pushed her to get an antivirus right away:
One day, I got an insufficient balance alert when I used my debit card at a grocery shop. I instantly checked my account transaction history and realized that somebody had emptied my bank account a few days back. I panicked and complained to the police. They checked my laptop as part of their investigation. In the end, I was told that a spyware on my laptop had captured my login credentials when I used net banking. I was found partly at fault for using unlicensed Windows with no antivirus! 😓
That was back in June 2005 when there was no system of text alerts or one-time passwords. But she’s been paying yearly for Kaspersky Internet Security since then. And yeah, Microsoft Windows got one more paying customer.
If you’re guilty of doing the same, this might be the wake-up call.
Agreed, that was spyware, and most free antiviruses don’t provide online security for free.
But anyway, you’ll get a solid first line of defense.
So genuine Windows is a different story, but you must consider installing an antivirus.
And you don’t need a credit card but only a few clicks with this list of the best free antivirus.
Let’s get rolling.
Avast Free Antivirus
Avast Free Antivirus is the one I’ve been using since my first computer.
- Full, Targeted, & Boot-Time Scans
- Hack Alerts for Online Accounts
- Scans for Files, Web-Attacks,& Emails Attachments
- WiFi Inspector
- Online Security Browser Extension
- Network Firewall
- Ransomware Shield
- Do-Not-Disturb Mode
- Software Updater
You also get a Smart Scan which checks for outdated security protocols. Add in the ransomware protection, and you have excellent free antivirus protection in Avast.
Avira is an AI-powered feature-packed free antivirus. The free-features list is so long that you might not need to pay ever.
- Full, Quick, and Scheduled Scans
- Browser Safety Extension
- Free VPN (monthly 500 MB)
- Password Manager
- File Shredder (for unrecoverable deletion)
- Data Privacy from native OS
- Device Optimizer and Updater
- Battery Saver (for laptops)
- Duplicate Finder, Game Booster
- Start-up Optimizer
Avira has VPN and File Shredder for free, which were paid with Avast.
Besides, Avira helps you to get rid of annoying and malicious adverts. But the cherry on the cake is that they don’t sell your data.
ZoneAlarm Next Gen
ZoneAlarm has revamped its user interface and now is one of the most eye-pleasing, feature-packed, free antivirus programs.
- Real-Time Protection
- Full, Custom & Scheduled Scans
- Powerful Firewall
- Web Security
- File Quarantine
ZoneAlarm has a clean interface and doesn’t tease you with its premium offering. My brief encounter with ZoneAlarm was pleasing, with no unnecessary pop-ups hindering my routine work.
Total AV has been extremely generous with its free antivirus. It’s loaded with features that are otherwise absent in many other free antivirus programs.
- Scheduled & Instant Virus Scans
- File Quarantine
- Internet Security
- Ad Blocker
- Data Breach Check
- Junk Cleaner
- Duplicate Finder
- Application Uninstaller
- Boot Optimizer
- Browser Cleanup
- Password Manager
Notably, you’ll be missing VPN, real-time protection with its free version. Nevertheless, its free offering is feature-rich and should be given a try.
COMODO Free Antivirus
COMODO Free Antivirus has a very responsive user interface, and there are tons of unique free features to talk about.
- Full, Quick, and Custom Scans
- Cloud Memory for Infected File Reputation
- Auto-Sandboxing of Suspicious Apps
- Spyware & Malware Scanning
- Real-Time Threat Detection
- Virtual Container for Selected Programs
- Password-Protected Virtual Desktop
- KillSwitch for Advanced System Monitoring
Conclusively, you should install this program to benefit from the advanced features which are rare in others.
AVG Antivirus Free
I installed AVG antivirus to see how it stacked against the other free options. And, I noticed an overwhelming similarity with Avast’s free offering.
But that’s obvious, considering Avast’s acquisition of AVG in 2016, which later (2021) merged with Norton LifeLock.
If you’re wondering, Norton doesn’t have any free-forever antivirus as of this writing.
Anyways, sticking to the AVG free antivirus, these are the features you get:
- Variety of Scans
- Continuous File Monitoring
- Applications Behavior Shield
- Ransomware Protection
- Network Surveillance
- Hack Alerts for Online Accounts
- Email Attachments Scan
So this option ended up looking like a doppelgänger of Avast. But that’s okay, considering Avast is a strong antivirus program. You can try anyone and should expect comparable performance.
SOPHOS comes with an WITH recommendation. Its free antivirus, Sophos Home Free, is a web application. It comes as a download, but you get redirected to the web interface for every antivirus-related task.
- AI Threat Detection
- Virus, Malware, Ransomware Protection
- Remote Management
- Web Protection
- Parental Website Filtering
This free antivirus program can be slightly unusual at first since it’s controlled from your browser.
But it can help you to safeguard remote devices, including the ones operated by your elderly and kids.
Kaspersky Security Cloud
Kaspersky is a big name in the computer security domain. But straightaway, their best features are paid. And you get just the antivirus protection and some additional perks with its free version of Kaspersky Security Cloud.
- Full & Custom Scans
- Suspicious Advert Protection
- Critically Acclaimed Malware Protection
- Free VPN (300 MB per day)
- Free Password Manager (15 Entries)
Honestly, the free version felt quite limited. However, it has one of the most capable malware detection engines.
And should you ever think of paying for an antivirus program, this should be the first one to try.
Panda Dome uses behavior intelligence to safeguard its users from digital threats.
- Cloud-Based Antivirus
- Free VPN (150 MB/day)
- Auto USB Malware Removal
- Auto-Isolate Suspicious Files
- System-Process Monitor
The cloud attribute will ensure minimum system slowdown. In addition, the premium versions are comparably cheaper and come with a range of functions.
Malwarebytes Free Antivirus
Malwarebytes has one of the most restricted free antiviruses. However, you get a 14-day premium trial to get a taste of the complete package.
So basically, you can clean your computer from viruses and run manual scans. Besides, it can scan in real-time for unwanted programs and unnecessary modifications in the system’s settings.
In addition, you can also use their Browser Guard extension to filter out malicious websites. Everything else is paid for.
Adaware’s free version gives you essential on-device protection to get you started for free.
You get malware, ransomware, spyware, & virus protection. Additionally, the free version scans your downloads for any suspicious activity.
And finally, you get real-time virus protection with its free version.
Cutting to the chase, my personal favorites are ZoneAlarm and Avira. However, I would still recommend trying SOPHOS and COMODO free antivirus.
Regardless, you can try anyone and switch if need be. And remember to install one at a time to keep them functioning at their best.
You can also check out our list of Android antivirus to protect your smartphone, tablet, ChromeOS, or some of the premium antivirus software for your PC/Mac.