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best free antivirus software for your computer

Best Free Antivirus Software for Your Computer

Whether you own a brand new device or have been using it for years, security software is one of the most vital software programs to be installed into your computer. But, you might say, you don’t want to spend some extra money on a software application, which is fine.

There are plenty of free antivirus or security software programs you can use for your computer. Some security applications offer a trial for a certain amount of time.

Is Free Antivirus Good for Your Computer?

Free antivirus is a step closer to protecting your device. It is much better to have a free security software program installed on your device than surfing the net without one. Free antivirus software can provide the primary protection you will need. It could include real-time protection, scanning, VPN, and ransomware protection.

Of course, the paid version is much better, as it is equipped with advanced tools that the free version cannot provide.

So, if you need an antivirus but don’t have the budget, for now, you can opt for free versions.

What are the Best Antivirus Software Programs for PC and Mac?

Avast Free Antivirus

Avast Brand Page Banners

Compatibility: Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS

Avast is a household name when it comes to cybersecurity. With years of experience in the industry, it knows how to provide features that will protect your device.

The Avast Free Antivirus is named as one of the best free software for protecting your computer. In 2018-2020, it received the Product of the Year/ Top Product award.

The latest version of free Avast is lightweight, detects network threats, equipped with machine-learning technology, and more. Other latest features include,

  • Easy to use interface to check all aspects of your computer’s security, from passwords to home network security.
  • Game Mode or Do Not Disturb Mode can block any popup notifications whenever you are watching, playing a game, presenting, or so on.
  • Behavior Shield is a technology used to detect suspicious activities or behavior in your device, so even the most stubborn threats can be noticed immediately.

Main Features

  • Detects all kinds of threats such as viruses, ransomware, malware, and spyware. It stops the threat before it can affect your device or deploy its action.
  • Recognizes zero-day threats using the CyberCapture technology. It sends all suspicious files in the cloud and sends out solutions or patches to all Avast users.
  • Check for vulnerabilities on your home network connection.
  • Smart Scan gets to check every unsecured part of your computer and suggests solutions to keep it safe. It detects unsafe passwords to outdated software.

Despite the advantage and excellent free features, Avast still has some downsides. Avast collects web browsing data of users (they don’t collect personal information) and sell them to their parent company, Jumpshot.

AVG Free Antivirus

The free version of AVG has features that can provide you with the best protection you need. Although opting for AVG Ultimate 2020 version brings far more protection than the free option, but you can still get the best out of the free antivirus.

With AVG being named one of the Top Products of 2020, you’ll get plenty of benefits from it. You’ll get top-notched features unlike any other free antivirus software in the market.

What are the benefits of Installing AVG antivirus?

  • A basic antivirus scan detects threats such as viruses, ransomware, and other malware.
  • File Shield scans added files and quarantine them for further testing.
  • Scan emails for unsafe attachments or phishing content.
  • Scans web pages and data being transferred.
  • Performance Scanner detects and stops unnecessary files that slow down PC.
  • AVG SafePrice tracks online shopping to get the best deals and discounts.
  • Provides real-time protection to detect threats before it affects your device.
  • The Do Not Disturb Mode blocks popups when playing a game or watching.

The AVG antivirus software is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, but they don’t share the same features. Some features seen in Windows are not available in the AVG free version for Mac.

If you run a business, the free version is not the best fit for you. Instead, using the paid version of AVG is better. You can read about AVG Ultimate 2020 reviews online if you are looking to purchase a paid version.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free

Bitdefender Brand Page Banners

System Compatibility: Windows, Mac, and Android

The free edition of Bitdefender antivirus has a powerful component even though it doesn’t have plenty of features. Bitdefender focuses on automatically scanning your device for threats using cloud-based technology.

You’ll get real-time threat detection by using behavioral analysis to monitor activities on your computer. Once suspicious activity is detected, it will provide a patch or action to the threat.

Moreover, it removes viruses and malware from the device by scanning and recognizing various threats, from malware to zero-day exploits.

Bitdefender is excellent at running in the background. It provides on-demand and on-access scanning with no lag, no ads, and no time-consuming scans.

The latest edition of Bitdefender Antivirus provides anti-phishing and anti-fraud features. It keeps your usernames and passwords safe from sites that steal the data of users. Furthermore, it blocks any suspicious websites.

Other features of free Bitdefender:

  • Free online support.
  • Automatic update of the system.
  • Heavy scanning occurs in the cloud.
  • The actual content of files and folders is not scanned and uploaded to the cloud.
  • Bitdefender Photon adapts to your device’s system to conserve resources and improve the speed of your device.

ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus

zonealarm free antivirus software
Screengrab from the ZoneAlarm website.

Compatibility: Windows, iOS, and Android

If you are looking for an antivirus with a free firewall solution, ZoneAlarm has it. It comes with reliable and powerful tools to protect your device from viruses, phishing attacks, malware, ransomware, and spyware.

Outstanding Features:

  • Be confident as you browse online, as you do not need to worry about hackers. You’ll get excellent protection from threats like viruses, spyware, bots, Trojan horses, and more.
  • Firewall protection makes you invisible from hackers so your data won’t be stolen. You’ll get proactive protection from threats and detects suspicious activities before it causes any harm.
  • The Chrome extension, Web Secure Free, makes sure you’ll get a safe online experience by blocking sites with phishing content.
  • Choose the scanning option you want that will best protect your device and identity.
  • Get real-time security updates.
  • Game mode to block updates, popups, alerts, and more when playing a game.

ZoneAlarm works with Microsoft Defender but not with other antivirus software.

Panda Security Software Free

Panda Dome is one of the friendliest free security software that you can try. Secure your device with the maximum protection you need without affecting the performance of your device.

It is one of the best free antivirus applications for your Windows PC.

  • Real-time protection can detect viruses, malware, ransomware, and more. You can choose to set schedule scanning, on-demand scanning, or real-time detection. It can also scan your external devices once it is inserted into your PC.
  • Game Mode or Multimedia Mode stops disturbances like notifications while playing or watching.
  • 150 MB per day VPN.
  • It protects your phone’s contacts, accounts, images, locations, and more.
  • Optimizes the battery life of your mobile device.
  • Rescue kit allows downloading a bootable version of Panda into a USB drive. The USB Drive can be used to clean the infected PC and keep it running again.

Sophos Home Free

free sophos antivirus

System compatibility: Windows and Mac

Sophos can protect up to three devices without the need to manage them individually. You can configure all your devices using a central monitoring app.

The free version of Sophos has all the features seen in the paid version but is limited to a 30-day trial. So, when you use the free version, you get to experience the paid version.

What’s in Sophos Home Free?

  • Uses AI technology to scan, detect, and block known and unknown threats.
  • Get rid of threats in real-time.
  • Parental control over web content that children can see online.
  • Protect your online activities with the help of blacklisted sites on SophosLabs so you won’t access them.

30-day free trial features:

  • Stops ransomware attacks to encrypt important files and folders.
  • Blocks phishing sites to create a safe browsing and shopping site.
  • Adds a layer of protection to secure your credit card and other banking information.
  • Get premium support via email or chat.
  • It blocks unauthorized access to the webcam.

The premium version can protect up to ten devices at a time.

Malwarebytes Free

Compatibility: Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android

Malwarebytes offers a lightweight solution to protect your device. Due to its function, Malwarebytes free version has limited features. It detects threats, even the ones that go undetected by other software.

However, there is no free VPN, password manager, and firewall protection on the free version. In addition, there is no web protection, so it doesn’t block dangerous URLs.

The free version is best when with other antivirus software to provide real-time protection, while Malwarebytes scans your device for threats undetected by other software.

Malwarebytes offers a 14-day free trial of their premium version. If you are interested in more features, then go for the premium version.


Free antivirus software, although limited in protection, can still provide an excellent barrier to threats. It can perform simple tasks such as detecting threats, real-time scanning, web security, and more. But, it’s better to install a free version than have no security or protection at all on your computer.

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