Best Free Antivirus Providers, One of the easiest ways to stay protected against malware is by using an antivirus. Although the latest operating systems have built-in anti-malware tools, you will prefer a third-party solution. They usually not only help you remove malicious software, but have additional uses as well. Unfortunately, most top-of-the-line antiviruses are not free.
However, if you are thrifty, sometimes a free antivirus is the only thing you would like. Therefore, we compiled an inventory of the simplest free antivirus suites, no matter what type of device you are using.
7 Best Free Antivirus Providers 2021
- Bitdefender – The most secure free antivirus
- Avira – The best antivirus for Apple users
- Kaspersky – The best free antivirus features suite
- TotalAV – Most Extensive Free Antivirus Scanner
- Sophos Home – Best Free Antivirus For Families
- Panda Free Antivirus – Best Free Antivirus For Windows
- Malwarebytes – Best Free Lightweight Antivirus
Best Free Antivirus Providers – our detailed list
Bitdefender – The Most Secure Free Antivirus
It’s no wonder Bitdefender is our best free antivirus software. In our overall list of the best antivirus services, it also triumphed against all the competition. This praise is justified: Bitdefender has one of the most extensive feature lists for a free service.
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Customer support:||24/7 email, phone, and live chat|
On Windows, it’s Bitdefender Shield – real-time protection against a wide range of cybersecurity threats. Real-time scans of your files and emails with minimum effect on system performance.
However, the service doesn’t just believe in the data in the database. Its Advanced Threat Defense uses machine learning to detect indications of threat-like behavior. Suppose that software is accessing an excessive amount of data, making changes, or uploading data in the background. in that case, it will be marked long before the database entry as a replacement malware type.
Bitdefender also has measures against various phishing websites. Every website you visit is thoroughly screened for signs of spoofing, ensuring your data is out of the dark web marketplaces.
Bitdefender offers the simplest customer support for non-paying customers. If you have any issues, you will reach out to your support agents via live chat, phone, email, or community forums. When it comes to free antivirus, hardly any service has that many options.
The main disadvantage of this service is that the Mac version does not have a free option. It only has a separate Virus Scanner for malware removal. The iOS app also offers minimal features.
The base version is free forever, but if you want to try the premium ones, you will try all versions (including the more expensive ones that include better features for macOS) for free for 30 days without providing your card information.
- Excellent protection against malware
- Limit scans if you are actively using your device
- Many customer support options
- 30-day free trial of all premium versions
- Sophisticated phishing filters
- Not ideal for macOS or iOS users
- Long initial scans
Avira Free Security – Best Antivirus For Apple Users
Successor to the previous Avira Free Security Suite, this tool combines the features you used to have and adds new additions to keep the service capable and competitive. It seems like a fairly limited, but an excellent version of your paid software.
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Customer support:||24/7 live chat and community support|
Although you will find many great antiviruses regardless of device type, support can be a key area that sets this service apart from all the others. Avira presents an excellent free version available for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS. So it covers all the bases and offers comparable performance across the board.
In independent tests, Avira gets the best rating score for macOS protection, which is extremely impressive. It’s an industry staple to bypass Apple users because they are traditionally more secure when it comes to malware. Meanwhile, Avira even has real-world test data to copy its strength.
If you are a Windows user, they are scoring even that high on PC. Therefore, whatever system you are using, you will get high-quality antivirus. The installation process is straightforward and Avira will update automatically, so you don’t have to work for your safety.
As a free user, you get a system, ransomware, and web protection. However, the latter will be available separately through the browser’s security plugin. Even the free version will detect all known ransomware threats, so you get the full package.
In general, plugins like Browser Safety and Safe Shopping contribute to safer browsing. Whether you’re worried about intrusive trackers or someone stealing your data, they should use it. there’s even a VPN, but with a limit of 500MB / month, it can hardly be considered a useful feature.
- Includes password manager
- Supports many operating systems
- Secure shopping suite
- Adds to the protection of your browser
- Reliable malware removal
- Lacks features
- Long and full system scans
Kaspersky Security Cloud – Best Free Antivirus Features Suite
Kaspersky has one of the longest track records when it comes to free malware removal services. However, don’t expect Kaspersky Security Cloud to share many similarities with your premium Kaspersky Anti-Virus. However, while there is an everlasting feeling that the suite is somewhat on hold to maintain more features within the paid edition, the package you get adds value.
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Customer support:||24/7 live chat, phone, and email|
You get the standard features like system analysis, but there are additional bonuses. There is a System Watcher feature, which uses machine learning to detect malware that you had no prior knowledge of. The Network Attack Blocker is available too, which notifies you when suspicious connections are detected on your LAN.
Not all threats will be malicious software available, sometimes leaving an unpatched software component that will be exploited by hackers. For that, Kaspersky offers a vulnerability scan that analyzes programs that require security patches.
There are also some cool additional features. for example, you will find a password manager. It is not as good as the dedicated ones, but surely it is better than keeping your credentials during a .txt file on your desktop. Also, the installer automatically installs add-ons for Firefox and Chrome. Mainly, the plugins highlight dangerous URL links when browsing online and include an on-screen keyboard if you think your system has been infected with a keylogger. There’s also a Kaspersky VPN sample, but as long as it’s limited to 200MB / day, this isn’t a great feature.
Kaspersky offers a great free antivirus alternative, but you’ll need to influence attempts to urge you to purchase a subscription.
- Protection against ransomware
- Excellent mobile apps
- Use machine learning to detect malware
- Excellent scores in malware lab tests
- Password manager
- Limited iOS functionality
- Lacks customer support
TotalAV – Most Extensive Free Antivirus Scanner
You receive the fundamental degree of security with the free edition of TotalAV. Includes a malware scanner for local cleaning. With it, you can remove nasty viruses from your device. At the online border, you get protection against phishing. will filter fake websites to request your credentials or other information. Customer service is also not prohibited.
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android, iOS|
|Customer support:||guides, FAQs, phone, online forms, live chat|
You will gain more of it if you increase stakes and support your premium plans. Its scope of security provides outstanding defense and ransomware protections in real-time. In addition, there is also a cloud scanner that lets you keep you up-to-date against zero-day assaults.
Other advantages also exist. Disc cleaning and optimization tools are available, for example. This can help you free up some room on your disc and improve the effectiveness of your startup.
The tool is not intended to ruin your wallet. Premium plans are often obtained at a fairly reasonable price. When compared to most of its competitors, it doesn’t seem that expensive, which is usually somewhat honest to the end-user.
- Smart scan
- Safe site extension
- Free trial of the Pro version
- Good scores in laboratory tests
- No real-time protection
- Locks many functions
Sophos Home – Best Free Antivirus For Families
The main reason you may not have heard of Sophos is that they primarily target businesses. Naturally, the Sophos Home Free edition retains a number of features that are directly carried over from its enterprise version. While it is a free service, it will manage three devices remotely from one console. This is usually perfect for small groups of friends or families.
|Customer support:||24/7 email|
Sophos Home Free has two main functions: Malware Protection and Web Protection. You won’t get any anti-ransomware tools or real-time monitoring, so you need to be very careful when downloading suspicious email attachments.
Sophos Malware Protection relies primarily on scanning. Unfortunately, there is no room for customization here; a full scan is the only option. This suggests that if you want to quickly scan some key places in your storage, you will have to wait until the full scan is complete. few time-saving approaches.
Web protection focuses on preventing access to suspicious URLs, including phishing sites. When you try to access an incomplete web page, you receive a high-risk website blocked warning. In cases where the website is not blocked, but your download contains malicious code, Download Protection is activated. It evaluates the file compatible with the information shared from other computers, the reputation of the hosted website and shows the acceptable warning.
There is also a Parental Control tab. There, you will customize the type of content you want to block. Considering that you can simply manage the antivirus remotely from a second device, it is an honest choice for people. It includes alerts about filters that have activated some content and can work with the most recent browsers.
Overall, Sophos Home presents a basic package that will really become a useful addition to your family’s security. Suppose you are a member of your household who manages everyone else’s devices. in that case, Sophos Home can greatly facilitate these tasks. And you’re going to cost nothing.
- Parental controls
- Remote management capabilities
- Lightweight antivirus software
- Locks many functions
- Weak security measures on the Internet
- No customization for scan options
Panda Free Antivirus – Best Free Antivirus For Windows
Apart from the unusual name, this service is one of the most popular home user antivirus programs. Often this is because it is a free version, which may be used independently and yet offer dependable safety.
|Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Android|
|Customer support:||24/7 email, phone|
If most antivirus software interfaces evoke existential dread, Panda Free Antivirus is an outlier. Their apps use nature scenes with a trendy user interface, which is one of several. However, despite its unconventional taste for color palettes, background images, and thus the odd choice of name, it’s one of the most capable free antivirus options you’ll find.
Of course, once I say capable, I only have Windows and Android in mind. Mac and iOS users will have to look elsewhere because the only versions that are available to them are the paid ones.
However, the list of features for Windows can be much longer than you would normally find. There is real-time malware protection, it will schedule periodic system scans and crashes against automatic malware execution from USB devices. It will also create a partition on your USB drive for extreme cases where your PC won’t start due to malware.
If you are an Android user, moreover, you can get a real-time scan not only for your internal storage but also for SD memory cards. However, one of the most useful features is the Privacy Auditor. One of the most prominent ways that Android applications obtain malware is within the type of incomplete applications that steal your data thanks to the granted permissions. This feature checks which apps have access to which features, so it will remove the ones that pose for access where they don’t need it.
There are other useful features, such as battery optimization, and device tracking help you discover lost phones.
Typically, the most prominent groups that require antivirus software are Windows and Android users. And for those people, Panda can be a great free choice.
- Modern user interface
- VPN capabilities
- Good protection against malware
- Sales tracker
- Protection against infected USB drives
- Limited support for macOS and iOS
- Frequent false positives
Malwarebytes – Best Free Lightweight Antivirus
Sometimes when trying to find an antivirus service, you may feel that your choice is not light enough. This is especially the case with providers that have apps equivalent to their premium versions, packed with features that you can’t use unless you decide on a subscription. The free version of Malwarebytes is nothing of the sort.
|Customer support:||24/7 email|
If you simply need an antivirus to clean your PC from time to time, Malwarebytes is an exceptional tool. However, Malwarebytes is often used as an additional antivirus by users, as it can remove threats that are not detected by other scanners. for example, the program examines your system’s boot records using a rootkit scanner, so it operates even within the deepest layers of your system.
Sadly, this suggests that you simply won’t find things like firewall protection, a VPN, or a password manager. Malwarebytes Free can be a lightweight solution by design that consumes few system resources and sacrifices additional features in favor of efficiency. So, suppose you have an older or weaker machine. in that case, you should be aware that you will get much less initial hit with Malwarebytes compared to other options on the market.
The main problem is that it does not have any web protection function. Block dangerous URLs online, but this does not apply to email attachments. Therefore, malicious files that you simply get through other sources will meet no resistance and can be found on your system. This is usually a priority, so you should use some real-time protection measures, such as the default Windows security.
You are ready to install Malwarebytes on Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, Android, and iOS devices. As is often the case, the iOS version can be the laughing stock because it provides protection only against malicious URLs.
If you’re using the free version and then decide you just need one more touch, you’ll get a 14-day free trial for Malwarebytes Premium. Add features like ransomware protection, anti-phishing measures, and an anti-crypto-jacking response.
- One of the lightest options
- Works well with weaker devices
- Detects hidden malware in deep layers
- Good Malware Labs Results
- No real-time protection capabilities
- No additional functions
How we selected and tested
Sorting out the simplest antivirus programs is a tedious task. We tested several antivirus services before selecting those that deserve a place on our list, paying the utmost attention to their ease of use, intuitiveness, and virus detection rates.
We also collect data from reputable anti-malware labs such as AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives. Then we draw conclusions for the simplest relationship between security, performance, and other additional benefits such as customer support and additional features.
Is it safe to use a Free Antivirus?
A free antivirus solution is minimal, but it’s better than no protection. Sometimes it will be comparable or better than the built-in antivirus applications. For this reason, it is essential to be picky and learn what you really get: if you install an antivirus, you will likely disable other built-in options.
However, you should be aware that free antivirus tools sometimes don’t have an important feature called real-time protection. This suggests that a free app will only remove the predominant threats, it will not prevent new malware from entering your system.
Free Antivirus vs Paid Antivirus
When it comes to free and paid antivirus programs, the last option is usually the highest. For example, once you get a paid antivirus tool, it will make sure that it protects your computer from online threats while browsing online. Also, the paid apps will always offer customer support like live chats, while their free versions will only allow you to use their knowledge bases.
Plus, paid antivirus tools (like our best antivirus in 2021 list) include tons of useful features that will enhance your online experience. Built-in VPNs, parental mode, and various browser extensions are often helpful for beginners and advanced users alike.
However, when chosen carefully, even a free antivirus program is usually sufficient. Take the free version of Bitdefender as an example. It uses equivalent advanced technologies because the paid version protects you from malware. the only thing that the free option lacks is some additional features.
So if you simply need basic protection against malware, free antivirus software is usually sufficient, but only chosen wisely.
Is it Worth it to Pay for Antivirus?
If you want the simplest experience possible, you add up to buy the subscription. Generally, you will get more online protection features and you won’t need to see all the grayed-out icons asking you to subscribe when pressed. Plus, it always means better customer support in case something goes wrong.
How can I get free antivirus?
Usually getting a free antivirus is as simple as accessing the provider’s website and downloading an app. In other cases, you might have to go to the dedicated app store like Google Play or Microsoft Store to download the app. Most free antivirus services do not require registration, so you should be ready to use them right from the start. It usually makes more sense to sign up because that way you will get a free trial of the premium version.
Is it safe to use a free antivirus?
If you stick with reputable antivirus service providers, there is nothing wrong with using the free version. Usually, it will be a bit limited compared to the paid version, but you will feel safe using it.
Will my computer become slow if I install an antivirus?
If you have an older device, it will be more difficult for you to meet some demands of the antivirus service. Very frequent background scans can make your system feel sluggish, especially once they are performed when you are performing other tasks. However, lately, computers have a lot more resources than before, so the performance impact should be minimal.
What is the best free antivirus in 2021?
Today, the simplest free antivirus is Bitdefender. It uses machine learning to detect suspicious software behavior, offers customer support even for non-paying users, and protects you from network threats and phishing.c
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