The Most Dangerous Hackers Today. Regardless, keep your eyes open for the combined Avast-AVG antivirus that's on the cards for later this year, because the two products running in tandem might be hard to beat. You get standard antivirus and anti-malware protection, along with browser tools like anti-phishing and, most importantly, content control. The good news is that top quality protection can be completely free, but with so much choice, picking the right one can be difficult.
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Free antivirus software is great. But it gets even better. Get more with the full protection of Internet Security. NEW Now includes an advanced layer of Ransomware Protection and stops hackers from hijacking your webcam. Get 30 days of total online privacy for free. Usage For personal and family use only. Not for business or commercial use. Stay up to date with the latest security news. Windows has come a long way in terms of security, but it's still fair to suggest that Windows 10's built-in antivirus solution, Windows Defender, is the last free AV app you should trust to keep your system clean.
We have more information at the bottom of this page as to why we think it's time you replaced Windows Defender. Once again we've consulted the experts at the AV-TEST virus lab to find the most effective virus protection, and we've listened to your comments regarding usability, too. Free antivirus downloads do come with a cost though - they serves as an advert for many vendors' more premium offers and the data collected helps them to boost security for all of their products.
We understand that for many of you the constant hassle presented by free antivirus popups can be a bit much to take and, in any event, upgrading to a paid-for solution costs only a tiny amount per month. So before you get to the free download list, it's well worth thinking twice about getting more robust defence against malware with the chart topper in our best antivirus software list. The best antivirus protection in the world right now is: Bitdefender It's worth thinking twice about whether you should pay a little bit of money to massively improve the virus protection on your PC.
Bitdefender combines clinical virus detection with a simple-to-use interface and is chock full of features, too ,without constantly dogging you with adverts. Bitdefender Antivirus Free edition has received a major overhaul and taken the top spot in our free antivirus roundup. It's the best free security software you can download today. Windows, Mac, Android Version: Phishing protection, Behavioural analysis, Automatic scanning.
Essentially consisting of the AV section of the full product, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition's clean, light, well constructed scanning mechanisms — which are almost universally faster than the industry average — and unrivalled virus definitions mean Bitdefender is back at the top of the free tree. The free version's insistence on running in autopilot mode is a double-edged sword, making the process of virus management easy but taking it out of the user's hands; while we're inclined to trust it, there have been cases in the past of automatic systems going slightly rogue, such as the incident a few years back when Panda Antivirus identified itself as a virus and locked up a large number of Windows systems.
Review and where to download: Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition. Virus detection, Gaming mode, Password manager, Malware scanner. Avast and AVG haven't yet fully merged, despite the former formally acquiring the latter in mid The newly combined company says the two free antivirus products will remain separate, although there's apparently a joint AV package on the way soon. Obviously, though, Avast now has a lot more data to work with, having expanded its effective userbase and, therefore, its threat detection network to a whopping million users.
The latest edition of Avast Free Antivirus adds an automatic gaming mode to mute popups and reduce system load when you're firing up a processor-hungry game, which is very handy indeed, and the interface has been given a clean new overhaul.
There's a password manager, too, which is an undeniably good addition to your security portfolio. It scores well on AV-TEST's widespread malware benchmark and continues a clean sweep against 0-day attacks — presumably that expanded detection network is really helping. Less impressive is the slight negative effect Avast has on software launch times, and its slightly popup-heavy attitude.
Marketing itself as "business-grade security", Sophos Home does a little more than most free antivirus software, and actually seems better suited to families. You get standard antivirus and anti-malware protection, along with browser tools like anti-phishing and, most importantly, content control.
Combined with central management of up to 10 PCs, this means you can effectively lock down your kids' browsing options. Although Sophos Home has always had desktop notifications, there was no premium version of the software for it to encourage an upgrade to. That changed in February with the launch of Sophos Home Premium. Real-time scanning, Anti-phishing, Email scanning, Spyware protection. The paid-for version of Kaspersky's Windows security software frequently tops charts of best virus prevention solutions and AV-TEST once again gave it full marks across the board in its latest round of testing.
As you would expect, Kaspersky Free is a scaled down version of the full program - an antivirus download that we really like more on which below.
The free version ditches additional features such as privacy protection and safe payment sandboxes to concentrate on powerful, no-frills and - most importantly - free protection for your PC. The result is a tremendously easy to use and navigate bit of software that does an effective job of keeping you protected from viruses. Using the nuts and bolts real-world scanning engine of the paid-for suite, Kaspersky Free is fiendishly hard for viruses and trojan horses to break down.
And we love that it doesn't constantly pester you with nudges to upgrade to the full version. But, ironically, we will just for a moment, because Kasperksy Anti-Virus isn't expensive to buy and yet affords much better protection to your PC or PCs.
Avira Free Antivirus remains a superb free antivirus suite, but its frequent popup alerts are annoying, resulting in a drop down our chart. It has a clean, friendly interface - with a swish redesign ready for - and throws up minimal false positives. This is one of the best free antivirus packages of So why, then, have we dropped it from the top spot on our list, a position it's held for the past two years?
It's the constant badgering. There's a certain level of popups and advertisements that's acceptable for a free product, and Avira has begun to cross the line. Virus detection, Phishing protection, System optimization tools, Malware scanner. There's a growing trend amongst some online pundits to label antivirus apps like AVG — and, indeed, AVG specifically — as 'crapware'. We don't subscribe to that definition; if that term is supposed to mean that these apps are ineffective or pointless, it's simply not true.
AVG offers reasonably effective virus protection for free, and it does so with minimal system impact. If, on the other hand, the derogatory term refers to products which go a little heavy on the advertising and features that don't matter — AVG AntiVirus Free 's 'tune up' portion, for instance — perhaps the shoe fits here.
Popups or not, it's the antivirus we're most interested in. Looking at AV-TEST's figures, and considering AVG shares the same expanded userbase as Avast, we were a little surprised that its strength doesn't quite match up to its new parent, and anti-phishing tools could use some improvement, too.