Many top antivirus programs have free versions that are just as effective as their paid counterparts at stopping malware. Most antivirus programs come with a basic, low-end program with limitations on features. A mid-range product includes additional security tools, while the most expensive programs come with all the bells and whistles.
AVG Antivirus The free version of the program offers superior security against malware with minimal impact on the system. The free version includes a range of useful tools, like junk file cleaning, RAM optimization and WiFi network scanners. It’s also completely ad-free and doesn’t nag you to upgrade to premium features.
Microsoft Defender is the default antivirus software that comes with Windows systems. It’s not the best at blocking malware files from being downloaded to your computer, but its free version includes several tools like health and performance analyses as well as parental controls that aren’t found in paid versions of other anti-virus programs.
Bitdefender’s antivirus suites are among the most well-known on the market and its free edition of its software is as robust as its paid versions. It’s free of ads and has no limit on the number of devices that can be scanned and includes a robust anti-theft set of features, including the ability to locate, lock or wipe an Android device that’s been taken.
Sophos Home Free is perfect for people who need to manage antivirus protection for the computer of a family member who does not live in the same household. It is a top malware detector with excellent scores, however it has a lower score for phishing protection.