Free antivirus software is an excellent option if you’re on a tight budget but want to safeguard your device from the latest More Info threats to your computer from ransomware and malware. Free programs use the same malware-scanning engines that their paid counterparts. However, they aren’t equipped with additional tools for online security like a VPN, a password manager, parental controls and more.
The top antivirus programs for free should offer real-time malware detection and protection. This means that the program actively detects and blocks threats trying to download or sneak on your computer. Previously, this type of protection was only offered by premium subscriptions. However, it is nowadays common in free alternatives.
Additionally, the top free antivirus programs should come with a basic password manager as well as a VPN at a minimum on an experimental basis. For example, McAfee’s free software gives you a 30 day trial of its top-tier package that includes all premium features, including web protection and identity theft protection.
The best free antivirus software should be simple to use. The majority of brands on our list feature intuitive features and user-friendly dashboards. Some brands also provide mobile apps to aid you to scan and protect Android or iOS devices. In addition, the best free programs are licensed for use on a single device while paid versions offer family-friendly plans and tools for business.