The Best Free Antivirus Downloads of the Year

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The Best Free Antivirus Downloads of the Year© Pinterest

You can actually offer your PC top-quality protection for free! Since it can be difficult to pick the right antivirus with so much choice, this guide is just what you need.

If you’re a Windows user, Windows 10’s built-in antivirus solution is the last thing to trust when it comes to keeping your system protected and clean. Not that it’s openly bad but because its popularity comes with extremely high risks of frequent attacks. If you rely on Windows Defender, you’d simply be the perfect host for viruses.

And to ward off identity theft and infections, you need to be running advanced security essentials, such as anti-ransomware, anti-malware, zero-day virus protection, and virus detection.

Also, you should know that when providing free AV, many vendors use it as a way to advert more premium offers as well as use the data collected to improve their products’ security.

With that being said, move to the next pages to check out the 10 best free antiviruses in 2018. (Some of them actually come without the constant hassle of free AV popups.)

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (2018’s best free antivirus scanner)


Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
© Reviewedbypro.com

Operating system: Android, Mac, Windows

Features: Automatic scanning, Behavioral analysis, Phishing protection

The best things about this free AV are its really fast scanning and excellent virus detection, even though scans can’t be scheduled and advanced users might want more control.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is light and clean, and although its insistence on running in autopilot mode makes the virus management process easy, it takes it out of the users’ hand. So it’s a double-edged sword.

Avast Free Antivirus (a much-improved suite)


Avast Free Antivirus
© Mega TutosPC

Operating system: Android, Mac, Windows

Features: Malware scanner, Password manager, Gaming mode, Virus detection

This AV’s strongest points are its great virus protection and the amazing fact that it doesn’t slow the computer. Yet unfortunately, it has irritating privacy settings and links to paid-for components.

In fact, Avast now owns plenty of additional data to work with, boosting its effective userbase, as well as its threat detection network, to 400 million users!

What’s more, Avast Free Antivirus’ latest edition comes with an automatic gaming mode to mute popups and reduce system load, and there’s a password manager as well.

Sophos Home (perfect for a home with multiple PCs)


Sophos Home
© Geckoandfly

Operating system: Mac, Windows

Features: Protection for up to ten PCs, Parental controls, Phishing protection, Virus detection

Sophos Home is simple, non-intrusive, and has a good cloud-based control of protected devices, but it doesn’t allow scan scheduling and advanced users are likely to feel limited. This one actually offers a bit more than the majority of free antivirus software, and it’s ideal for families.

It offers standard antivirus, anti-malware protection, browser tools, and content control, in addition to central management of ten PCs, meaning that parents can successfully lock down their kids’ browsing options.

Kaspersky Free (Kaspersky’s first foray into free internet security)


Kaspersky Free
© De Standaard

Operating system: Windows

Features: Spyware protection, Email scanning, Anti-phishing, Real-time scanning

The best thing about this Free AV is its user-friendliness, even though it comes with limited technical support and basics-only feature set.

Although the paid-for version usually tops charts of best antivirus solutions, the free version of Kaspersky’s Windows security software eliminates extra features like such as safe payment sandboxes and privacy protection so it can focus on powerful, free protection for your computer.

And we just adore that it doesn’t keep wrecking your nerves with nudges to upgrade to the full version (even though it’s actually one of the best out there.)

Avira Free Antivirus (Nice but a bit Noisy)


Avira Free Antivirus
© Tech Advisor

Operating system: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows

Features: System optimization tools, Built-in VPN, Phishing protection, Virus detection

Avira Free Antivirus for Windows doesn’t really put a large heavy load on your hardware. It has a friendly, clean interface, and it comes with almost no false positives. What sweetens the deal is the free security suite (optional), ransomware and phishing protection, 500MB per month VPN, and several speedup promises.

This is actually one of the greatest free antivirus packages of 2017, yet, it includes a certain level of popups and advertisements. These are honestly acceptable for a nice, free product.

AVG AntiVirus Free (Nice looking antivirus)


AVG AntiVirus Free
© AVG Support

Operating system: Android, Mac, Windows

Features: Malware scanner, System optimization tools, Phishing protection Virus detection

AVG AntiVirus Free is pretty configurable, with a great track record of malware protection. But, it doesn’t have the best phishing protection, plus, the scans can be slow. It offers reasonably effective virus protection not only for free but also with minimal system impact. It’s actually a very interesting antivirus, popups or not!

Given the fact that AVG has the same large userbase as Avast, it’s quite surprising that their strength doesn’t really match up. Also, the benefits aren’t the same. Regardless, you needn’t be too concerned about the credentials of AVG.

Panda Free Antivirus (feature-rich PC security)


Panda Free Antivirus
© Mega TutosPC

Operating system: Windows

Features: Bootable rescue kit, USB immunization, Gaming mode, Cloud-based scanning

Panda Free Antivirus comes with a USB stick vaccination tool and quite good malware and virus detection rates, yet, it still isn’t as lightweight as it promises.

Besides the fact that the never-ending war against popups starts really bad with the website shouting about a discount on the full version even before allowing you to download the free one, let’s look at the software itself…

It goes about as lightly on system resources as possible, but you’ll probably find that it has a bigger impact on various common system tasks than the majority of the opposing AV apps. There’s also heavy CPU peaks at random times and during updates.

With that in mind, Panda has a bootable rescue kit and a threat-weighted process monitor, also, its overall look is refreshing.

360 Total Security (overloaded with features)


360 Total Security
© Neowin

Operating system: Windows

Features: Mobile app, Phishing protection, Malware scanner, Multiple virus scanners

Although it’s loaded with features and includes Bitdefender and Avira engines, it also includes lots of ads, also, most tools are underpowered.

In fact, it’s quite difficult not to recommend 360 Total Security when considering what it can give you for free, notably AV protection from multiple concurrent engines and reasonable extras such as a mobile app and anti-phishing.

Many users will love that it doesn’t wreck your nerves with popups, yet, they do have to be concerned about its privacy policy. The company doesn’t mention what it does with your personal sensitive information, so feel free to guess.

ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus


ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus
© Softpedia

Operating system: Windows

Features: Online file backups, Identity protection, Personal Firewall, Malware scanner

ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus does great in security tests with firewall and identity protection, but it comes with a very slow installation process and it will try to sneakily install Yahoo software. When it’s about the firewall, ZoneAlarm’s reputation is one of the best out there, and this is solid extra for those who don’t trust their router or Windows’ built-in firewall.

The antivirus is user-friendly and also your greatest option in case you want to use both the ZoneAlarm firewall and an anti-malware app besides Windows Defender. It’s worth mentioning though that it isn’t a particularly quiet program, alerting you of pretty much everything. Depending on your needs and personality, it will either seem helpful or frustrating.

Adaware Antivirus Free


Adaware Antivirus Free
© PCMag.com

Operating system: Windows

Features: Download protection, Behavioral analysis, Malware scanner

What’s awesome about Adaware Antivirus Free 12 is that it can be installed alongside other protection tool and its gaming mode kills notifications. However, it doesn’t have proper email protection and its malware and virus blocking is far from being perfect.

This new AV also has a shiny, slick interface, but to be honest, given the lack of many important features, you should better opt for another free antivirus on this list.

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