There are a lot of free antivirus software available on the market. In reality, some only provide limited free trial. Others provide limited free edition functionality. It’s a time-consuming job to test each of these. So we did the homework and put together a handpicked list of the best free virus protection for Windows 10. All these are always free antivirus software from reputable security companies. We’ve primarily prepared this list for Windows 10 users. But all of these programs are also available on other platforms such as Mac, Android and iOS. Today’s security software comes with multi-device compatibility.

Best Free Antivirus
Best free antivirus software

Best free antivirus for Windows 10

As all the software are almost equally good. So recommending a particular software to be the best is not possible. But still we have listed them priority wise according to their experience, user interface, and user reviews etc. Its my own mind yours could be different. All software listed here are almost equally effective but extra features they provide may vary and could make the difference. In fact all these software performed good in testing labs. Additionally, Best thing is that they all are free for life, you just require a one time registration. Finally, here is the list of best free antiviruses tested by us.

  1. Avira Free Security
  2. Avast Free Antivirus
  3. Bitdefender Free Antivirus
  4. Sophos Home Free
  5. AVG Antivirus Free
  6. Panda Dome Free
  7. Zone Alarm Free Antivirus & Firewall

Free antivirus software reviews

We have also written a short review of each security software below. Refer for detailed feature comparison of these antivirus software.

1. Avira Free Security

Avira is a well known name in security industry and is famous for its Free Antivirus as like Avast. It is known for its reliability and authenticity. And this could be the reason behind the acquirement of Avira by security giant Norton Lifelock.




Avira Free security
Avira antivirus free

Download Avira Free Antivirus

Features

  • Realtime antivirus, antimalware protection.
  • Anti-ransomware (basic protection).
  • Phishing protection.
  • Password manager.
  • Avira protected Opera browser.
  • Access to Free Avira Phantom VPN (500mb /month)
  • System speed optimization tool.
  • Avira privacy pal (personal assistant to safeguard your privacy).

Review

Avira free security suite is packaged with multiple useful utilities. Though some of them are paid for full features but some basic features are available for free. These are Free antivirus, System Optimizer, Driver Updater, Phantom VPN & password Manager. Additionally Best thing about Avira is that it comes with preconfigured Opera browser. This enables users to browse the internet in a secure environment. It also comes with a cloud detection technology powered by Artificial intelligence. It provide a zero day protection.

As a matter of fact, I found in this software is ‘Windows privacy setting fixes’. Though it is only for paid subscription. But it is really useful for privacy protection. These are the hidden options in Windows 10. Even this feature is not available in paid security software. Another thing that we noticed is that it install the Opera browser automatically in the background. And we didn’t found any option to skip it.

Pros

  • Integrated Opera browser for safe browsing and integrated ad blocker.
  • Free limited VPN (500 MB / month).

Cons

  • No network security

2. Avast Free Antivirus

It is a cloud based light weight security tool to protect the computer for free.

Avast Antivirus Free
Avast free antivirus

Download Avast Free Antivirus

Features

  • Realtime antivirus, antimalware protection.
  • Anti-ransomware (basic protection).
  • Password manager.
  • Wi Fi Security.
  • Full screen mode disables notifications and reduces system load while you play games or watch movies.
  • Smart Scan to scan the system for unsafe settings and software which require updates.

Review

Avast is the first security company who started offering true free antivirus. It has refined its products to a great extend. It provide some extra features like Password manager, WiFi security which other companies don’t provide. Though recently it looses its credibility as there were some news regarding privacy issues in its browser extension. But still it is the number one choice and there is no issue in using its antivirus product. Of course in free version it may display some ads. And most of these ads offer to upgrade to the paid version. during installation it provides an optional Chrome installation. But you may skip it.

Pros

  • It is light weight and have good score in testing labs.
  • Password Manager available in free version as well.
  • WiFi Security.

Cons

  • No master password in password manager.
  • It aggressively advertise for paid version.
  • No automatic USB scanning for newly connected drives.

3. Bitdefender Free Antivirus

Next is Bitdefender’s free antivirus. Very less people know that Bitdefender has its free antivirus product. It is a light weight and silent antivirus utility.

Download bitdefender free edition 2018

Download Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Features

  • Realtime antivirus, antimalware protection.
  • Anti-ransomware (basic protection).
  • Phishing protection.
  • Safe website filter.

Reviews

Bitdefender offers the best protection against cyber threats. And is known for its best antivirus engine. Its antivirus engine is used by many other antivirus companies. Thus, there’s no surprise that the free version of Bitdefender is among the best free to download Security software. It’s not only compact, but also runs in the background protecting your computer without troubling you. In short, it is an install and forget type light weight free antivirus solution. Even though there is not much option to configure in it, just install and forget it. Bitdefender free antivirus also includes Free Phishing protection and fraud protection. So it could be your best option to protect the PC for free.

Pros

  • Phishing protection and safe website filter.
  • No ads

Cons

  • No extra features like WiFi Security, password manager whereas some other are providing these in there free version as well.

4. Sophos Home Free

Unique thing of Sophos is that it is providing parental control in its free version. Other software in this list is not providing this feature for free.

Sophos home free

Download Sophos Home Free

Features

  • Real time antivirus, antimalware protection.
  • Anti ransomware (basic protection).
  • Parental website filtering.
  • Web protection to block dangerous websites.

As like other free antiviruses, Sophos also provide protection from viruses and malware and basic protection from ransomware. Other then these features unique feature that give edge over others is its parental control feature. It also has a cloud based device management dashboard. Though it lacks some other features like WiFi security and password manager.

Pros

  • This is the only software providing parental control in free version.

Cons

  • It lacks other features like wifi security, password manager etc.

5. AVG Antivirus Free

AVG is offering almost same things which Avast is offering except its user interface. Avast & AVG are now a single company.

Download Free AVG Antivirus

Download AVG Free Antivirus

AVG antivirus is yet a good choice for the protection of your computer. It earned good ratings from independent labs as a good free protection software for common computer threats. AVG free is available for Mac, Android and PC. It has features like link scanning for malicious links, downloads and emails. You can also scans for PC performance problems with this free antivirus. Recently AVG was acquired by Avast but still all AVG products are continuing. So it is your choice either you choose Avast or AVG, both are equally good and providing same technology.

6. Panda Dome Free

Panda Dome

Download Panda Free Antivirus

Features

  • Improved protection against Phishing, Spyware, Trojan and Rootkits.
  • USB protection.
  • Real time protection.
  • Improved protection against both known and unknown viruses.
  • Rescue disk option to create a bootable rescue to scan any infected PC.
  • Free VPN with daily limit of 150mb.

Reviews

Panda is another light weight cloud antivirus. USB protection is its unique feature that other antiviruses not offering in its free version. It also has an option to create a bootable rescue disk for infected PC. It also provide Free VPN with a daily limit of 150 mb. During installation it also provide option to install opera browser. But there is option to uncheck it. Every free antivirus is promoting some kind of another software, but it is always optional and you can skip it.

Pros

  • Panda provides USB protection and USB rescue disk option in its free versions where other don’t provide this feature.
  • Free VPN with 150mb / day limit.

Cons

  • No password manager, WiFi security, game mode in its free version.

7. ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus + Free Firewall

ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus
Zone Alarm Free Antivirus

Download Free ZoneAlarm Antivirus

Features

  • Realtime antivirus, anti-malware scanner.
  • Firewall available.
  • Identity protection.
  • WiFi Security.
  • Game Mode.

Review

ZoneAlarm by checkpoint is the only company offering firewall for free. Actually these are two separate products free antivirus and free firewall. So you need to install them separately. In fact its antivirus includes features like antispyware, personal firewall, identity protection, wireless network protection, gamer mode and online backups etc. So it looks a nice package to protect your computer for free. In addition, ZoneAlarm revamped its user interface and it is now available in a fresh new look.

Pros

  • This is the only free antivirus that also offers a free Firewall. No other free antivirus has this feature.
  • WiFi Security, Identity protection and Gamer Mode.

Cons

  • Good antivirus and firewall but lacks other extra features like password manager etc.

Comparison of free antivirus programs

Here is a brief features comparison apart from antivirus, malware and ransomware protection. all of them have these common capabilities. Today mostly all software have integrated the cloud based technology, which make these software light weight. So they put little impact on system performance.

 AntivirusWifi SecurityPC optimizationGame ModeVPNOther features
1AvastYesYesYesNoPassword manager, Web protection
2AviraNoYesNo500 mb / monthPassword manager, Privacy & web protection
3BitdefenderNoNoNoNoWeb protection
4SophosNoNoNoNoParental control, Web protection
5AVGYesYesYesNoPassword manager
6PandaNoNoNo150 mb / dayUSB protection, USB rescue disk
7ZoneAlarmYesNoYesNoIdentity protection, Free Firewall
Avast vs Avira vs Bitdefender vs Sophos vs AVG vs Panda vs Zone Alarm

Above free antivirus program are suitable for basic home users. For a professional grade security go for best paid antivirus option

*Note: We have tried our best to keep the data correct but due to changing nature of the products, features may vary.

Is antivirus necessary for Windows?

Before going further first thing is to know why we use a third party free Antivirus? Because Microsoft defender bundled free with the Windows 10. And people also say that there is no need of antivirus in a mac device. Actually, these are just old saying. In recent years cyber attack has been increased and comes in various forms not just the viruses. Even Windows Defender is not able to catch all type of threats. Modern security software uses behavioral technology to catch the new viruses. Windows Defender is much better these days then its older versions, but still it failed to catch some malware. Actually Microsoft doesn’t focus on security products, so they recommend to install a third party antivirus software. Another good reason is the support and extra security features provided by the other companies. So a third party antivirus software is required for Windows.

Free Antivirus vs Paid Antivirus

Here is a brief comparison between free and paid antivirus software. Today it is a trend that if you are getting something in free you have to see some ads for that. Same thing is with the free security software.

FreePaid
Good for basic level of protection.Good with additional layer of protection that why paid antivirus are known as Internet Security or Total Security.
It is good for a user having less important data and who spend less time browsing online.It is good for the users having important data in the computer and works most of the time of internet.
Firewall is the main feature that free antivirus lacks, they uses the Windows’s default firewall.Paid antiviruses include a firewall for a more secure environment.
Free antivirus show ads / popups which could annoy a user.There are no ads or annoying pop ups.
Limited or No Support.Premium support.
Free vs paid

Is free antivirus good enough?

All these antivirus companies offers free edition as well as premium addition. Paid subscription provide more advanced level of virus protection. In terms of antivirus and antimalware capability all companies providing same level of protection in both free and paid versions. But these days there are more kind of threats and we also require some additional protection layer then just antivirus and antimalware. Like network security, browser security, email attachment scanning, USB protection, Potential unwanted programs, phishing protection, adware protection, ransomware protection, privacy protection, identity protection etc. So in paid version users get these extra layer of protection. So basically free versions are offered to attract the customer and later on convert them to a paid customer.

So which free antivirus should I choose?

This is the common question came into everyone’s mind after seeing many option or a list of good free antivirus software. Many people asked us which antivirus should I choose for my Dell laptop or HP laptop or my desktop pc etc. Actually antivirus software are operating system based and today mostly all antivirus are multi device and multi OS compatible. So here first thing is that we have already make the list short to choose the best one and now it depends on your choice and requirement. Consider the facts like support in your country / language, price and features they provide. From the above comparison we are listing our findings.

  • If you require a parental control then go with Sophos. Sophos is the only one providing parental control for free.
  • If you require a free Firewall then go with ZoneAlarm.
  • Free Antivirus which includes Free VPN are Avira and Panda.
  • For free WiFi security and game mode go with AVG or Avast.
  • For a silent, light weight and no ads choose the Bitdefender.

Avast is getting popular these days as it is offering lots of features in its free version. checkout what is the difference between free and paid Avast software. So actually choice is yours.

Windows defender comes inbuilt in windows 10 and is much better then its previous release. But still we recommend you to install a third party antivirus solution as they provide better level of protection along with variety of other tools. So, with these lots of  best free antivirus software options for your PC  in 2021, now you have no excuse for going without protection this year!

FAQs

Best free Antivirus comparison infographics

Also check :

Please share your experience and reviews. It will help other users to make the perfect choice to choose the best free antivirus. No more need to search counterfeit cracked antivirus from dangerous websites.

27 thoughts on “Best Free Antivirus Software (Always Free, Not Just Trial)”

  1. Has anyone used WEBROOT? I understand that it is AI Cloud based and does not use much systems resources.
    Appears to have everything, malware scans, anti virus, phishing, ransomware protection, 2 sided firewall etc.
    \
    Currently I have been using Kaspersky Total Security with Safe Money which slows down my systems. Kaspersky is a Russian company headquartered in Moscow,

    I am considering purchasing Webroot, a US company headquartered in Colorado..

    Any comments, opinions would be appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. Needless to say that nowadays people like to work digitally so they must use of an antivirus. There are a lot of antiviruses available out there. You can choose anyone out of them. I am an AVAST PRO user for the last 9 years and I often do not suggest to go for free antivirus for professional purposes.
    I use paid antivirus because it helps my data to protect from some malware.

  3. Is AVIRA is a free antivirus? I have used its paid version. Please let me know about this. I was looking best antivirus for windows 10  and came here at your blog. I really appreciate your work.

    1. Avira has a free version – antivirus, firewall.. but web protection is only in Pro version. I tried a lot of antivirus programs during years and if I can recommend you one, then Avast.

  4. Donna Gustavson

    I’m really unimpressed with Avast Free – it just took over my web browser – without permission and will not let me change it or uninstall it…..

    1. Yes, some anti-viruses (Avast, AVG, Norton) have a secure search engine, and all of them wants to set it on your browser’s homepage so that you can search on the Internet securely.
      If we come to the permission point, they must get permission while you are accepting their term and conditions part.
      You can easily remove/uninstall this type of homepage by removing Avast extension from your browser. Check how to remove a browser extension.

      1. It would be nice to be able to do that. Unfortunately it’s imbedded and won’t allow me to remove it….. at no time would I have approved a change to their preferred search engine. When I googled the problem there was a large columns of complaints about this issue.

        1. If the Avast search came into your computer, then there must be a way to remove it. Just follow the following steps to remove it from your browser.

          Manual steps to remove Avast Search
          1. Uninstall Avast Search from the control panel.
          2. Open up the browser which is infected by the Avast Search.
          3. Go to its homepage settings and change its homepage URL to http://www.google.com.
          4. Go to the browser’s extension area and then remove/disable the Avast extension from there.
          5. Go to Search engine settings in the browser and then change your default browser to google first, and then remove the Avast one from there.

          If the above steps did not work for you, then you should remove it through Avast uninstall utility.
          If the removal tool doesn’t work for you then we please tell me, in which browser is facing this problem so that we can you its step-by-step manual guide.

  5. Nice share this all are useful softwares.
    I have used avira and its good freeware software and also gets regular updates.
    I really appreciate your work

  6. Avira is NOT FREE! I just clicked the link & the page I was sent to has 3 paid for options, but NO “FREE” Download anywhere on the page. What gives?

  7. Will go with the free Avast. My former workplace uses AVAST; this article confirms that it is the best choice for me.

  8. Windows Defender is only there to protect Windows from getting infected. It is not a full Virus Protection for everything that is installed.
    Therefore if you need good protection for Virus, Phising , Rootkits and other Malware then you should install an Additional Tool. – BitDefender is a very good choice imho. For 2016 Kaspersky and BitDefender were equal and have received the AVTest awards. There is lots of information available and comparisons on the Internet, please review the details, as many tools have options that you may like, especially the paid versions. This Page for free AV tools is good but do educate yourself on what other AV Tools there are and what they offer.

  9. Thanks for this great info. It is really very helpful. But there is one question in my mind that windows defender lies for free in windows 10, So are these free antivirus really more powerful than the default windows defender or we have to go for the paid antivirus.

    1. Install and use AVAST and turn off Windows Defender…it’s main priority is protecting system files and also their database is not updated frequently enough, allowing new viruses to get right past it. AVAST on the other hand, or even AVG, updates their virus databases frequently; I haven’t had a virus in years using AVAST and have tried many times to get one. Running Windows Defender and any other anti-virus software at the same time, will significantly slow your computer down as AV software is always running and using RAM. Don’t pay for AV software, the free ones available are sufficient as long as you watch what executable files you run on your computer. Pay attention and don’t just click, click, click LOL

    2. Indica Jahson give a good answer of you. Windows Defender can not protect from the zero day attacks. Lots of malware are getting detected everyday and a dedicated company can only save us from them. So that why we need third party antivirus software whether that is Paid or Free. But I do recommend Paid software. Even a simple antivirus is not of any use these days. If you are serious about your security then use the Paid software otherwise at least use a Free Antivirus. Above list a very good ideas to choose a Free Antivirus for Windows 10.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *