Top Rated Free Antivirus Software – Why you need it?
Information from the leading antivirus software testing labs
If you use a computer to work online or even if only for recreational purposes without antivirus software, you’re taking a big risk. More than ever, users are the target of online attackers looking to take advantage of their personal data using viruses, Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransomware, and a number of other types of malicious software. The only way to defend yourself from these evolving internet attacks is through virus protection software.
There is currently a great deal of free antivirus products that offer different levels of protection and it isn’t easy to pick the best one. When choosing the most suitable one users are recommended to rely on reviews and comparisons provided by reputable third-party independent testers, such as expert virus lab AV-TEST who regularly evaluate the true effectiveness of their virus protection as well as a whole set of additional criteria.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 free antivirus software products whose products combine fully-loaded features with ease of use, reliability, value, and excellent customer support. Our comprehensive reviews and comparisons will help you pick from these top providers and select the antivirus protection that is right for you.
Avast Free Antivirus
All reputable online publication, such as PCAdvisor, PCMag, AV-TEST and Tom’s Guide unanimously put Avast at the top of their lists. And for a good reason. Avast offers strong protection against both common and zero-day malware. Its clean and uncluttered but option-packed interface can take a while to get used to, and slower computers might see a performance hit during active scans. However, Avast Free Antivirus’ boasts unsurpassed effectiveness, high degree of customization and wide range of free add-on features, which include a VPN client and a privacy-minded Web browser — making it a popular Editor’s Choice.
Avast Free Antivirus continuously scores high in independent lab tests and as well as tests performed by PCAdvisor and PCMag, especially antiphishing tests. It has bonus features like the new password manager and innovative router security scan that make it an excellent choice for free antivirus protection.
Bitdefender Free Antivirus
A close runner-up, Bitdefender’s malware-detection rate is second to none. This antivirus product covers all the basics, offering a very low system-performance impact and, in combination with free add-on software, provides useful extras as a secure browser and a limited password manager. Its interface is a tad too minimalistic, which makes it hard to figure out, although some users like its unobtrusive style. On the downside there are no customization options and scans can’t be scheduled.
Avira Free Antivirus
In tests Avira performs just slightly less impressive when compared to the likes of AVG, but it boasts the slickest, cleanest and least system intensive antivirus package. Users love it for the great balance between features, usability and performance. On top of that, it does not install a host of additional services to slow down the system. Overall, it is a strong virus protection suite that covers all the basics.
AVG Antivirus Free
AVG has improved its malware-detection rate over the past year, putting in the top spot next to industry leaders Avira and Bitdefender. AVG Antivirus Free slows down a user’s PCs a bit more than other programs, but it offers a wide range of customization options and extra features. It is a bit pushy in recommendations for upgrade to paid AVG software, hence the 4th spot in the list for top free antivirus software but other than that – it performs its job well. It scores high with independent testing labs and has a clean and easy-to-use interface. AVG is packed with useful features and offers great protection.
Comodo Free Antivirus
Comodo is one of the stronger, more robust antivirus software programs, offering serious malware and online security protection. The combination of decent antivirus protection and a whole range of advanced security features make it an above-average antivirus, although it might be a bit complex for novice users. Its strict ‘default deny’ mode makes it downright impossible to compromise the security of your PC unless you authorize a new program/app to access it first, which is scores Comodo a perfect 100% against AV-TEST’s barrage of zero-day threats, and an overall protection at just over 97%.
Panda Free Antivirus
Panda is known for its good malware-detection scores, although it is also plagued by high rates of false positives, or benign files mistakenly flagged as malware. Its fresh, customizable user interface is easy to use, and it only has a small system-performance impact, and enough configuration options to satisfy most users. On the downside, it offers few extra features, pesters users with a lot of ads and tries to hijack your Web browser’s settings. While Panda Free Antivirus doesn’t outperform the best free antivirus tools, it’s better than a great deal of the for-pay solutions.
ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus
ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus includes a firewall by default, which is a rare feature among its ilk. The program is easy to configure and is a competent choice for comprehensive virus protection. Based on an award winning firewall and Kaspersky-licensed virus protection, ZoneAlarm has its virus signatures regularly updated and the software is still updated despite it not having been tested by AV-Test for over a year. All in all, it remains an all-in-one security solution that seamlessly integrates antivirus and firewall together for maximum protection and performance.
LavaSoft Free Antivirus
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus focuses on the job of identifying and removing malware and fending off future attacks, without frills. It demonstrates good antivirus lab test scores in independent trials and has extra features, such as the Web Companion that blocks malicious URLs and protects browser settings. The built-in Help Centre is helpful for users who don’t have the time to browse online, looking for answers to their questions. Overall, LavaSoft is an effective antivirus, matching what AVG and Panda scored against this same collection in AV-Test trials. It is amongst the top picks for free antivirus products for both performance and usability.
Microsoft Windows Defender
Windows’ default antivirus suite known as Microsoft Windows Defender on older versions and rebranded as Windows Defender for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, has subpar malware-detection rate and a high rate of false positives confirming its ranking. It impacts system during full scans, and does nothing to protect non-Microsoft browsers from online malware.it has nearly no extra features with an overall score of around 92% during AV-Test trials . Although it is not as effective as other third-party tools, it is still quiet and unobtrusive.
Qihoo 360 Free Total Security Essentials
The free Qihoo 360 Total Security offers a ton of bonus tools, although its core antivirus protection doesn’t measure up to other free antivirus tools. The program has a smartphone app, cleanup, tuneup, vulnerability scan, and many other bonus utilities. Quihoo detecs an average of about 84% of viruses during tests and comes with a substantial set of tools to speed up your system’s performance. In fact, Qihoo 360 Free Total Security packs in more security-related bonus features than any other free antivirus that make a good addition to your overall protection and user experience.
For The End
There are other free antivirus software products worth considering based on your system requirements and browsing/computing habits but these 10 programs have proven time and again to perform better than what’s available out there both in independent third-party trials and in reviews by reputable online publications.