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7 Best Free Antivirus Software

Free antivirus software is a virus protection software that companies provide for free. There are many companies that offer completely free antivirus software. Firstly, I doubted them and then decided to do a thorough research. After a lot of research, I am writing this post to describe everything about the “free antivirus”. We can not rely blindly on any of them. So, I made the list of the top antivirus software available for free after installing and testing many popular free antivirus software.

best Free Antivirus software 2022
Best free antivirus software

Before we do further discussion about free security software, Lets first find out the best free antiviruses. I attempted to compile a list of the top 10, but after the top 6, I couldn’t find any free security software to round out the list.

My Picks for the Best Free Antivirus Software (Lifetime Free – Not Trials)

These are always free antivirus software from trustworthy security vendors. This list is primarily for Windows 11 and Windows 10 users. However, all of these programs are also available for Mac and mobile (Android, and iOS). Today’s mostly security software comes with cross-platform compatibility. Finally, here is a list of the top ranked truly free antivirus, not just the trials.

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

I have prioritized and ranked them based on their experience, user interface, and user reviews. It is my own mind; yours may differ. While all of the free anti antivirus software on this list is nearly identical in terms of effectiveness. The additional features they provide may vary and may make the difference. Indeed, all of these software performed well in testing labs.




Why do companies provide antivirus software for free?

Many companies provide free antivirus software to get popular and attract more and more users. They can later convert these free customers to paid customers by providing additional services or making the product advertisement free. With free antivirus software, users can’t ask for customer support. So, to get support from the company, users need to take a paid subscription. So even by providing the software for free, companies are still making money.

Is free antivirus good to use?

The answer depends on which free antivirus are you going to use. Because in the market some fake antiviruses are also available. So obviously they are of no use, because those are just made to trap you steal your hard earned money. But if I talk about the free antiviruses from reputed and trusted companies then they are some use.

Many people think that free antivirus can’t give the same level of protection as a paid antivirus. But actually, free antivirus software by reputed companies provides the same level of basic protection as their paid products. As a result, legitimate free antivirus software is recommended, and they are good to use. These include antivirus, antimalware, anti-ransomware, web protection, etc. in its basic protection module. Some companies also provide additional tools like WiFi security and limited use of VPNs. Compare and find the best free antivirus. I have written a short review below with the pros and cons of popular free virus protection software.

Popular Free Windows Antivirus Software

I have also written a short review of each security software below. I tested them on Windows 10 and 11, so the features mentioned here are for the Windows operating system. Refer for detailed feature comparison of free antivirus software for Windows 11/10.

1. Avira Free Security

Avira is a well-known name in the security industry and is famous for its free antivirus. It is known for its reliability and authenticity. And this could be the reason behind the acquirement of Avira by the security giant Norton Lifelock. It is a lightweight free security software.

Avira Free security
Avira antivirus free

Download Avira Free Antivirus

Features

  • Realtime antivirus, antimalware protection.
  • Anti-ransomware (basic protection).
  • Phishing protection.
  • Avira protected Opera browser.
  • Access to Free Avira Phantom VPN (500mb /month)
  • Malicious ad blocker.
  • Browser tracking blocker.
  • PUA Shield.

Observation

The Avira free security suite is packaged with multiple useful utilities. Though some of them are paid for full features, some basic features are available for free.  These are Free Antivirus, System Optimizer, Driver Updater, Phantom VPN, and malicious ad blocker, unwanted app shield etc. Additionally, the best thing about Avira is that it comes with a preconfigured Opera browser which helps for safe banking and shopping. This enables users to browse the internet in a secure environment. It also comes with a cloud detection technology powered by artificial intelligence & provides a zero-day protection.

As a matter of fact, I found an option in this software called “Windows privacy setting fixes.” Despite the fact that it is only available for paid subscriptions, it is really useful for privacy protection. These are the hidden options in Windows 10. Even though this feature is not available in paid security software. Another thing that we noticed is that it installs the Opera browser automatically in the background. And we didn’t find any option to skip it.

Pros

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

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.

Observation

Avast is the first security company to start offering true free antivirus. It has refined its products to a great extent. It provides some extra features, like a password manager and WiFi security, which other companies don’t provide. Though it recently lost credibility due to news about privacy issues in its browser extension. But still, it is the number one choice and there is no issue with using its antivirus product. Of course, in the 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 antivirus – free edition

Next is Bitdefender’s free antivirus. Very few people know that Bitdefender has its own free antivirus product. It is a light-weight and silent antivirus utility. I can say that it is the least annoying free antivirus.

Download bitdefender free edition 2018

Download Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Features

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

Observation

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, it’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 of light-weight free antivirus solution. Even though there aren’t many configuration options, you can install it and forget about it. Bitdefender’s free antivirus also includes free phishing protection and fraud protection. So it could be the best option to protect the PC for free.

Pros

  • Phishing protection and safe website filter.
  • No ads

Cons

  • There are no extra features like WiFi security or a password manager, whereas some others provide these in their free versions as well.

4. AVG Antivirus Free

AVG is offering almost the same things that 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 still 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 is free and is available for Mac, Android, and PC. It has features like link scanning for malicious links, downloads, and emails. You can also scan for PC performance problems with this free antivirus. Recently, AVG was acquired by Avast, but all AVG products are still continuing. So it is your choice whether you choose Avast or AVG. Both are equally good and provide the same technology.

5. 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.

Observation

Panda is another light-weight cloud antivirus. USB protection is its unique feature that other antiviruses do not offer in their free versions. It also has an option to create a bootable rescue disk for an infected PC. It also provides a free VPN with a daily limit of 150 mb. During installation, it also provides the option to install the Opera browser. But there is an option to uncheck it. Every free antivirus promotes some kind of other 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.

6. 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.

Observation

ZoneAlarm by Checkpoint is the only company offering a 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, online backups etc. So it looks like a nice package to protect your computer for free. In addition, ZoneAlarm revamped its user interface and it is now available with 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 best 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
5AVGYesYesYesNoPassword manager
6PandaNoNoNo150 mb / dayUSB protection, USB rescue disk
7ZoneAlarmYesNoYesNoIdentity protection, Free Firewall
Comparison table Avast vs Avira vs Bitdefender 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 10 and 11?

The answer to this question is, “It depends.” It is important to note that antivirus software is not a requirement for Windows 10 and 11. However, it does provide an added layer of protection against viruses and other malware. Microsoft has been working on its own antivirus software for the past few years, and it has been getting better with every update. It is called Windows Defender Antivirus and it is free to download from the Microsoft store. But there’s some confusion around Microsoft Defender and whether it’s enough to keep your PC protected against malware.

Actually, Microsoft doesn’t focus on security products, so they recommend installing third-party antivirus software. Another good reason is the support and extra security features provided by the other companies. As a result, my suggestion is that Windows requires third-party antivirus software.

Is free antivirus software for PC better than Windows Defender?

Some people believe that free antivirus software is better than Windows Defender. The reason for this is that some of this free antivirus software is more up to date with the latest virus threats and malware. This can be seen as a benefit because it helps protect the computer against future attacks.

Others believe that Windows Defender has better protection and detection rates, which is why they think it is better than free antivirus software. Windows Defender is a pretty good option if you don’t want to install any additional software on your computer. But it lacks some extra features, like web protection.

From my point of view, they are both good, but some additional features provided by free antivirus software make the difference. Like third-party antivirus software, it comes with web protection and phishing protection, whereas there is no such option in Windows Defender. The other thing that matters is the option to upgrade to a paid subscription and support. Users can easily switch from free antivirus software to paid antivirus software to get more protection and help.

Is it safe to use a free antivirus?

There are a lot of free antivirus providers on the market, some of which offer excellent protection against viruses and malware. but some of them are not safe to use. Some free antivirus software might have malware bundled with it. So, it is very important to know about the antivirus software that you are going to install on your system. First of all, use only trusted and reliable antivirus software and, secondly, download only from the official and reliable source.

Who should use free antivirus software?

Free antivirus software is a great option for those looking to stay secure with minimal investment. Any user, like a blogger, freelancer, home user, or working professional, who is on a tight budget will suffice. However, there are many features that come with the paid version that make it worth the investment. Many free antivirus programs have both a free and paid version.

Free antivirus compared to 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.

Free AntivirusPaid Antivirus
Free to downloadRequired a paid subscription
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.

For more detail guide read Difference between Free and paid antivirus software

Best Free Antivirus for Gamers

Gamers are at a higher risk of getting infected with viruses and malware. This is because they are always downloading new games, playing online, and spending hours on their computers.

Many free antivirus programs for gamers exist but in my point of view best free antivirus for gamers is Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition because it is simple to use and provides protection against malware, ransomware, and other malicious threats. Some of the other options are Avast and AVG. They both provide full screen mode or game mode option in its free edition.

Best Free Antivirus with Firewall

Most of the free antivirus software does not include the firewall security. And this is the major difference between a free and paid antivirus software. All the free antivirus uses the default windows inbuilt firewall. I have only found one software which providing firewall for free. So best free antivirus with a firewall is ZoneAlarm.

So which free antivirus program should I choose?

This is the common question that comes to everyone’s mind after seeing many options or a list of good free antivirus software. Many people have asked us which antivirus to use for their Dell laptop, HP laptop, or desktop PC, among other things. Antivirus software is actually operating system-based, and most antivirus software today are multi-device and multi-OS compatible. So here, the first thing is that we have already made 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 below to help the users choose the best free security software for their computer.

  • 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.

In the end

In conclusion, completely free antivirus software are available in the market. Some companies provide them as a freemium service. Basic features are free, and premium features can be purchased as per requirement. Whether you are looking for free antivirus software for your laptop, desktop, or mobile, modern antivirus software are multi-device and multi-os compatible. Free antivirus from reputable brands is safe to use and is recommended for essential device protection. Download the free antivirus and check if it best fits for you.

FAQs

Best free Antivirus software comparison - infographics

Also check :

Please share your experience and reviews. It will help other users make the perfect choice for the best free antivirus. Now you do not need to search for counterfeit, cracked antivirus software on dangerous websites. They may harm the system instead of doing any good. Any of the above free antivirus programs is a good way to get the basic protection you need for free.

29 thoughts on “7 Best Free Antivirus Software”

    1. Antivirus programs are usually provided for free by companies because they want to make sure that their customers are safe from viruses. They also want to make sure that their customers are happy and continue using their products. Additionally, they add some advanced features like: Firewall, Ransomware, spyware protection which are paid. So basically they provide the basic features for free and if you want to use their advanced features then you’ll have to buy their annual subscription.

  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.

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