7 of the Best Free Antivirus Programs to Protect Your PC
The internet has been described as the Wild West and as with the Wild West, you can find the Good, Bad and The Ugly. Here, the Ugly comes in the form of Malware, the umbrella term used to describe harmful software. This includes the like of computer worms, Trojan horses, computer viruses, computer worm, ransomware, and spyware. Malware is then used by hackers to wreak havoc, steal personal information and identities, hold your data for ransom and cause all sorts of damage.
Thus, going online without an anti virus is akin to a town without the protection of a sheriff – the outlaws will get their way. Thankfully, there are many free anti virus programs available if you don’t want to spend money on a paid anti virus. Here are 7 of the best free anti virus programs out there plus additional free software you can download to secure your Windows PC.
AVG Antivirus Free
AVG can scan and protect your PC from just about anything. Malware, spyware, ransomware, and viruses. It’s highly customizable, allowing you to choose which specific drives you want to keep protected. You can also create custom scans for your regular PC clean-up. On the plus side, AVG Antivirus is light on your computer system’s resources and installing it won’t take a toll on your computer’s performance. However, the only downside of AVG is it does not have a quick scan option for times you just want a quick check-up!
If you are pleased with what AVG offers, you can consider taking up their AVG Ultimate package. For USD$99 (SGD$ 130) a year, you can get their full Internet Protection suite and their TuneUp suite. Their Internet Protection suite comes with a load of simple to use features that offer class-leading protection without affecting security. This covers Ransomware Protection, Webcam Protection an enhanced firewall and AI-based real-time threat detection and removal to protect you from anything that comes your way. AVG complements this with their TuneUp suite, an all in one package that proactively fixes small issues before they become real problems. If you feel that your PC is becoming too sluggish, the TuneUp will clean up the junk on your PC and get it performing again.
Avast Antivirus Free
Alternatively, you could use Avast Antivirus, one of the free antivirus programs provided by the company that acquired AVG.
Scoring well on reviews from PC laboratories, Avast provides user-friendly PC protection that not only guards your computer against malware and viruses but also has a trusted password manager. With Avast installed, you can be assured that your personal information is safe.
Moreover, Avast scans your computer for possible security ‘cracks’ where malware and worms can crawl in. It then patches these vulnerabilities and secures your computer from future attacks. For added protection, upgrade to their paid plans for USD$59.99-119.99 (SGD$79-159) per year. With the paid plans, there is added protection against ransomware, people replicating sites to steal your logins, and protection against phishing. On top of these things there are extra features such as a dedicated game modes and browser mode.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Bitdefender is one of the best antiviruses that can protect you from online threats. It’s good at removing and blocking malware and phishing protection and protection from fraud. Bitdefender is known for their low impact on system resources, a more automated approach to protection that yields great results.
You can download the free version or you can opt for increased PC protection with any of their available paid plans for USD$50 -114 (SGD$65-150) a year. Their paid plans are worth considering as they received awards from sites such as AV-Comparatives, PCWorld, Tom’s Guide and more. Parents who want to protect their children will be happy with the extra features such as child mode.
Avira Free Antivirus
The free Avira Antivirus protects your computer with its malware, virus, spyware and ransomware detection. The Avira Safe Shopping is also best for those who love to shop online. It protects you from unsafe promos or deals. Plus, the Avira Antivirus program’s extra features include a VPN service to hide your IP and switch to a virtual one. Useful when you need to access sites with location restrictions.
In addition, you can also upgrade your protection to the Avira Prime Program for USD$69.99-90.99 (SGD$92-120) per year. If you are unwilling to commit to a yearly contract, you can consider getting their monthly plan for $USD6.99 (SGD$9.10) a month. With Avira Prime, you get access to extra features. This includes Avira Antivirus, Avira Phantom VPN, Avira Software Updater Pro that patches security vulnerabilities and Avira Connect.
Panda Antivirus Free
Alternatively, you can consider Pand Cloud Anti virus developed by Panda Security. What sets Panda apart from other antiviruses is its light footprint as your files are scanned on a remote server. This is less taxing on your computer as the processing for virus scans are done off your machine. This is done to provide PC protection, web protection, including virus definitions and detection.
Moreover, a paid upgrade will cost you just USD$35.24-53.24 (SGD$46-70) per year for protection across multiple devices. With the paid upgrade, you get extra features like Parental Control for managing your child’s internet use, Identity Protection while online shopping and banking, protection against ransomware, Data Shield and more.
Isolation is the keyword for Comodo Antivirus.
Their sandbox technology isolates unwanted or malicious programs on your computer from the safe ones. When you download any programs and installers,you can isolate and scan them for malware. In addition, it also isolates suspicious files from your system drives, putting them under quarantine right away. Known for their top-notch IT management platform, getting Comodo will be a good choice.
Protect your PC with their free version or upgrade for just USD$39.99-89.99 (SGD$52.40-120)/year. With their subscription, you will be getting online shooping protection, 24/7 tech support, prevention of unkown software running on your computer wrapped up in an easy to use UI.
Additionally, if you need an antivirus program that can scan your computer thoroughly and detect suspicious files, Kaspersky is another good option. As one of the more established antivirus brands, Kaspersky is a reliable option. The free version adequately scans your computer’s drives and browser’s toolbar to help detect malicious websites.
If you like what Kaspersky’s Antivirus offers, you can get the paid version for USD$41-58-58.10 (SGD$54-76)/year. As one of the more affordable paid antivirus programs on this list Kaspersky’s extra features include. Privacy protection, Safe Money, Security For Kids, a secure password manager, file backup plus encryption and more.
Bonus: ZoneAlarm Firewall and Malwarebytes Scanner
In addition to these free anti virus software, you can consider a firewall and a malware scanner. A firewall is important as it will protect your computer from external attempts to gain access and control your computer. Thus, ZoneAlarm’s highly rated firewall is a good choice. With ZoneAlarm’s firewall, you will be able to effectively fend off network attacks and prevent unauthorized access to your PC. This will complement your antivirus and will help prevent unauthorized access
On top of using a firewall scanner and antivirus, a malware scanner like the Malwarebytes Scanner would help secure your PC. Malware scanners like Malwarebytes are needed as they cover a wider range of software solutions. Getting one will protect your computer against spyware, phishing, spam and more sophisticated malware threats that aren’t detected by regular virus scanners. This complements your antivirus program as it will weed out the malware that is hiding in your computer.
Free versions of software are great. You can test the effectiveness of the protection and evaluate how the programme might affect performance on your computer. If it works well for you, you might even consider that purchasing the license. This would be a good investment to ensure the protection and longevity of your computer.