If you think that an effective antivirus costs a good amount, you will be pleased to know that you can get it absolutely free.
Of course, they lock some advanced features or additional tools like a password manager so that only paying customers can get the whole set.
Most of the software here is Windows macOS, available for Android and iOS, but you’ll see fewer features on iOS especially as Windows users use it more, but since it’s all free, you can install it on as many devices as you want.
It comes with Windows Defender, and you may be surprised to learn that it’s no better than paid antivirus protection. If you’re using Windows but know it doesn’t have any additional features, this is definitely an easy choice. Features you get elsewhere, such as browser plug-ins that warn you of fake websites to protect you from phishing attacks
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Release used to be one of our top recommendations, but unfortunately the company no longer offers it. All you can get now is a test for Total Security.
Should you get a free antivirus?
The advantage of free antivirus is that it does not always offer the most complete protection. This is better than nothing, but the free versions don’t have some advanced protection layers that you often get paid for the equivalent.
Therefore, the use of the term antivirus can be confusing. Antivirus is usually only one component of a good security product and is only one component of a good security product, which may include special protection from ransomware, as well as parental controls from a spam filter. If you are not interested in free products, you will be surprised at what you can get without paying or even delivering your email address.
Free antivirus software from Avast and others provides excellent protection against viruses, as you can see below.
Note: Authorities such as the FCC and BSI do not currently recommend the use of Kaspersky products, and although Tech Advisor owner Foundry has stopped cooperating with Russian companies and removed Kaspersky-related content from our websites, you will not find any purchase links. for these products
If you want comprehensive protection and support, including the paid version, you can find recommendations in our best antivirus compilation.
Best Free Antivirus for 2022
1. Avast One Essential
|Excellent protection||Some features require you to upgrade|
|5GB VPN usage per week||More limited protection for Android & iOS|
Avast One is a new security package that combines anti-phishing VPN and other protections in one application. If you go to the website, the Free download message is a bit confusing, but it has a completely free version called Avast One Essential.
Easy to understand and use, has an intuitive light interface, Windows macOS supports Android and iOS, although it also works on the iPad, only the iPhone app is really enlarged
Windows and macOS, despite the most limited features, get the largest share. This is standard, mainly for the way iOS works.
Under this new interface, Avast Free Antivirus has the same excellent antivirus engine and shows very good results in tests performed by independent laboratories, and in addition to blocking viruses, it reliably warns you about fake websites where you can accidentally enter your login information and block it by default. .. ransomware program that encrypts files stored in typical folders
There is also a built-in VPN that offers a generous 5 GB of bandwidth per week. Several big names that pay for security packages offer less, so it’s free. The bad news is that you can’t choose from the list. Avast One Premium is available in 35 countries. It only connects to the fastest places in your country, so it doesn’t block websites or streaming services for you.
Essential will check certain email addresses and let you know if they have been compromised, but you will have to re-pay for the Premium to track the address and receive alerts.
But the limitations are inevitable Avast, of course, can not give everything for free, and what you get with One Essential is surprisingly generous, our new choice for free antivirus software
2. AVG AntiVirus Free
|Great malware protection||No VPN|
|Some useful extra features||Slows down web page loading times|
AVG belongs to Avast, but unlike Avast’s One package, AVG does not have a new interface with dark gray and green accents that do not fully reflect the same friendly atmosphere.
AVG’s free offer includes antivirus ransomware protection and stops other types of malware such as spyware.
AVG AntiVirus Free offers six different types of scans, including Deep Scan USB / DVD scan, single file or folder scans, and a download time scan that runs before Windows starts, so there is no chance of any hidden malware running and protecting itself. Product.
In addition to antivirus tasks, AVG alerts you to dangerous web connections and can block dangerous email attachments. really complain
In independent laboratory tests, AVG showed very good results, for example, in the latest report of the AV Test, Windows 10 scored an excellent 18/18. installed antivirus and an average slowdown of 17% in the industry
Unlike Avast One Essential, there is no VPN, so while this is still a good choice, if you are looking for a free antivirus, there are better ones these days.
Like the free version of Avast, AVGs are also available for Windows macOS for Android and iOS
3. Avira Free Security
|Scores top marks in independent tests||Lots of features require an upgrade to Prime|
|Doesn’t ask for any personal details|
Avira is a German company that offers as much free antivirus software as we can remember.
There is a paid version called Avira Prime, but the free version uses the same malware detection engine that previously received high ratings from two major virus testing houses, AV test.org and AV Comparatives. high level of achieving the best overall protection of any antivirus
This is definitely a great achievement, but as soon as you start using Free Security, you will understand why it doesn’t appear higher on this list. there are only Prime ads on them
If you can live with it, and it’s not like most people open your antivirus on a daily basis, then it’s a good idea to provide no personal information, not even a rare email address. Today and at this age, Avira makes it clear on its website that it does not sell information and will never sell it.
Our sister site Macworld also has a Mac version and Android and iOS versions that you can protect all your devices for free.
4. Microsoft Defender
|Class-leading malware protection||Won’t protect your non-Windows devices|
|Built into Windows||Lacks additional protections found elsewhere|
Many people think that Defender does not cope with this. It is part of Windows 10 and 11. It will work by default if no third-party antivirus products are installed.
In a recent report by False SE Labs, Windows Defender took second place, surpassing eight in fees paid for antivirus software. has excellent experience
It is also very convenient that Windows already protects your devices if you have not installed any other security software.
There is a widespread belief that Windows Defender has no toys in the box other than basic antivirus tasks. Recover files damaged by malware
You need to configure them, they are not activated by default, but this also applies to some competing products.
Suspicious samples can be sent automatically for a comprehensive cloud-based analysis Close integration with Windows also allows you to offer innovative login options, including Windows Hello, which allows you to access Defender with your face or fingerprint.
There is also an integrated Windows firewall, advanced maintenance protection and code protection against malicious software.
Secure Boot prevents other software, including AV software, from running and hiding rootkits or anything else until you have a chance to run them, scan tasks, run them during boot before Windows starts, thus preventing rootkits and other hidden malware. Delete programs include an offline scan that rejects it. a place to hide.
As a result, you may do worse than Microsoft Defender.
5. Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
|Top-notch antivirus & ransomware protection||Limited VPN|
|Desktop & mobile apps||Virtually no iOS features|
Kaspersky is a big name in the field of antivirus and offers a free version for PC.
In some ways, this is good because you get the same VPN as the paid version. Windows also has other features such as file splitter and scanning for weak security settings. You pay to upgrade to the full version of Security Cloud Either this or that is actually stopped Kaspersky’s password manager has a basic version that allows you to store 15 items.
VPN is similarly limited to providing only 200 MB of data per day, but strangely enough, it is the same as what you get with the paid version of Security Cloud.
Either way, you can get some nice free VPN and password managers, and it’s good to have them as separate apps.
The big advantage here is Kaspersky’s excellent basic antivirus protection, including file email and website.
Substantial threats are especially good to see automatic updates quarantine and more Effective ransomware protection
In a recent report by the independent SE Labs, Kaspersky scored nearly perfect for protection on Windows computers, which is especially reassuring.
There is also an Android version with antivirus protection, which received a full price in the latest tests of AV Test. However, this is not real-time protection, you need to perform scans manually Only the paid version constantly monitors threats.
Is free antivirus really free?
Yes, but you can violate some privacy Some companies may store and even sell usage information when you download and use their free products.
During the installation of these products, you may be asked if you want to allow data collection. Therefore, it is absolutely important that you read what you agree with when installing the program and be extra careful to turn off any data exchange.
Otherwise, you give the software the right to share some of your anonymous information with third parties, including advertisers and other companies.
The danger is that the company will understand how to anonymize this information, you do not want to take this risk.
Some free antivirus products will usually be supported by ads in their Android version. Find out if it’s worth installing antivirus on Android and whether iPhones need to be protected from malware.
And these days, antivirus software must comply with the GDPR in Europe and other privacy regulations in other countries.
Does the free antivirus program work?
Depending on how you look, privacy is probably not the most important factor. Antivirus software can infect your computer, laptop, phone, and tablet with malicious code, which can lead to problems such as stealing or even deleting personal information from annoying pop-ups. prevent. or encrypt your files
The effectiveness of an antivirus program changes over time, and a product that stops all viruses today may not do so tomorrow or within a month. protection from the same virus you received from the paid version of that product
So, yes, it works. Security requires a multi-level approach, and while it involves being careful and cautious about the links you click, the sites you use, and the things you download, it’s not an excuse to download cracked software or visit dangerous sites.