All pc antivirus software free.Best Antivirus Software for 2022
A good antivirus program is essential to a secure system, and you most definitely do not have to pay for one to get great protection.
Below is our hand-picked list of the nine best free antivirus programs that you can download for Windows today. All of these programs perform definition updates automatically, are always running to make sure your files are protected from malware and your personal information remains private, and can start scans on-demand whenever you like. However, each of them do have a few prominent differences that make them stand out, so pay attention to those as you decide which one to use.
If you don’t want to install a full antivirus program, there are also several other kinds of free virus and security-related scanning tools we recommend: on-demand virus scanners , spyware removal tools , online virus scanners , and firewall programs. If you can’t even log in to Windows to install one of those, get a free bootable antivirus app instead.
The main component in Avira’s free software suite that makes it stand out is the optional “in-the-cloud detection” feature called Protection Cloud. This scanning method lets Avira’s antivirus tool identify and stop threats before they get out of hand.
This is how it works: When a suspicious file is detected on any computer running Avira, a fingerprint of that specific file is generated and uploaded anonymously to Avira so that they can scan it and report its status whether it’s safe or dangerous back to every Avira user so that the program can take appropriate action. Avira can scan and remove existing threats as well as automatically detect and stop new ones.
It protects you against ransomware, Trojans, spyware, and other kinds of malware. You can even choose which ones to actively watch out for, and disable others though it’s not recommended like dialers, jokes, adware, etc. Avira Free Security can also scan on a schedule, check files with any file extension or just the ones you manually choose from, disable the ability to stop active scans so that viruses can not stop the program from finding them , adjust the scanner’s priority level, scan primary boot sectors, follow symbolic links to scan the actual files, search for rootkits before starting a scan, scan the Windows Registry, ignore files on network drives, automatically repair, rename, quarantine, delete, or ignore threats when they’re found, use heuristic scanning, add files, folders, and processes to the ignore list, manage Windows Firewall settings, password protect the program’s settings, block autorun on removable devices, and make the hosts file read-only.
This program offers more than just a very extensive antivirus application. It includes several other “layers” of security that will install automatically, and they might take a while to download since there are several. However, you don’t have to use them, and they won’t bother you unless you open them.
These separate modules include a VPN that encrypts all your traffic up through the first MB each month , a password manager to securely store complex passwords, and a software updater that identifies outdated programs and gives you the download links to update them. In addition, Avira can speed up your computer and reduce boot time with its tune-up tool, help you find the best deals as you shop online, and warn you of malicious websites or software bundles before you download them.
These extra features can be annoying if you’re strictly after an antivirus solution, but again, you don’t have to use them; just keep them tucked away where they are, and you won’t have to worry about them. Avira Free Security is intended to run on computers with Windows 7 and newer; this includes Windows 11, 10, and 8.
Adaware Antivirus installs in minutes, is light on system resources, and can be used in one of two ways. The first is in regular mode where it checks for threats as they happen, but the other lets you use it in addition to your primary antivirus program.
What this so-called “second line of defense” does is disables real-time protection but still lets you use Adaware Antivirus to manually scan for existing threats. This feature is helpful if your primary AV software doesn’t seem to find malware that you know is infecting your computer. Whichever way you use it, Adaware Antivirus provides a defense against ransomware, spyware, viruses, and other forms of malicious software.
You can find those threats through a quick, full, or custom scan. Daily, weekly, and monthly scheduled scans are supported, and you can even run a scan to just check certain things, like only rootkits or just tracking cookies and boot sector viruses, for example.
For real-time protection, you can toggle on or off the following options: scan archive files, scan email databases, deep scan that checks CHM files and executable files, smart scan that skips previously checked files, scan boot sectors, scan files as they move throughout the network, and skip scanning files that exceed a custom file size e. Adware Antivirus definitely has its advantages but because there’s also a non-free version you can upgrade to, many additional options are not supported.
For example, parental controls and advanced network, web, and email protection are only available in Adaware Antivirus Pro. The official list of compatible operating systems include Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. Avast is used by hundreds of millions of people and ranks high in nearly every “best list” of antivirus programs, and for good reason.
If you want a solid program that is sure to block new threats but is still easy enough to customize, you should consider using it. Avast Free Antivirus is similar to Avira; supplemental modules enhance the virus shield and provide additional services related to security and privacy. The antivirus portion has lots of options you can change but it’s still easy enough for anyone to use since there are information blurbs next to most items so you’re not left wondering what will happen if you enable them.
Plus, both definition and program updates are performed automatically a manual option is available, too , meaning you can install Avast and let it do its thing without worrying whether you’re running the latest and greatest version.
Avast is customizable and lets you make changes to everything from whether to make a sound when threats are detected and how long notifications should remain on the screen, to the kinds of file extensions that should be scanned. Here are some more features supported in this program: scheduled scans, custom scans that can check only the memory, rootkits, auto-start programs, etc.
Before Avast is installed, you have the option to include over a dozen different tools: file, behavior, web, and mail shields; software updater, browser cleaner, rescue disk, Wi-Fi inspector, security and SafePrice browser extensions; password manager; junk file cleaner; and Game Mode. Technically, if you only want the antimalware protection, you can install just the shields from the start of that list; the others are add-ons that aren’t necessary but could be helpful at some point.
For example, the software updater is a nice tool that will not only check for and report outdated software but also install the newer versions for you even in bulk. Wi-Fi Inspector scans the network for devices that could be vulnerable to attacks. For instance, it might identify that a computer is running a file sharing service that has been known to facilitate the spread of a certain kind of worm.
You can install these tools it takes less than five minutes and then disable or completely remove them later. Or, you can ignore them during setup and just install them later, or not at all. However, the password manager and Cleanup tools are only trial versions that will expire after a time-limited trial.
There’s also a firewall, file shredder, and sandbox feature that’s unusable in this free version. Avast Free Antivirus is compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7. Kaspersky Free is a good choice for a free antivirus program if you want a simple program that boasts lots of features.
This free AV program is also useful if your computer is low on system resources. It can automatically postpone scans and reduce display animations if the CPU runs too high. Kaspersky’s free antivirus program runs on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7. There’s also an app for Android and iOS that goes by the same name. Resets browser home page and default search engine unless specifically deselected during installation. Panda Security’s free antivirus program installs in minutes and has a minimal design.
However, even though it’s not a CPU or memory hog, and doesn’t appear to be customizable, all of its many options are tucked away in the program’s settings. From there, you can do things like set up both on-demand and automatic scans to check compressed files and scan for potentially unwanted programs.
The automatic, permanent scanner includes some additional options, too, like behavioral and analysis scanning options, the ability to ask you before neutralizing a virus, and blocking files from running for so-many seconds until results on whether it’s safe or harmful are obtained from the cloud.
Something entirely unique to Panda Free Antivirus is its security news and alerts sections that can show you critical, warning, and informational messages like when a popular vendor experiences a data breach that could affect your personal information.
You can, however, turn those off if you want to. Complete a scan in just a few minutes if you only want to check for actively running threats, like browser cookies, processes, and things currently loaded in memory.
However, there’s also, of course, an option for a full system scan or a custom scan. This software does a fantastic job at keeping the important buttons up front and hiding the additional options within menus so that you’re not constantly bombarded with options or alerts. However, the program will change your home page and the search provider in your web browser, unless you uncheck those options during the initial setup.
The minimum operating system requirements for installing this program are Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, or XP. It should work equally well on Windows 11, too.
There’s also an Android antivirus app from this company, and one for macOS, though it’s free only during a trial. Below is the Windows download; those other download links are available on Panda Security’s website. AVG’s free antivirus program is easy on the eyes and even easier to use. The scan button is right in the middle of the screen, turning features off is dead-simple, and all the advanced options are tucked away from view in the settings.
You can either install it and leave the settings alone to have regular protection, or go into the settings and make adjustments to nearly anything. Choose how to scan files— include only content that might include malware like executable data , only files that use a file extension considered potentially dangerous like EXE , or all files regardless of content type or file extension. Enable rootkit detection, hardcore mode, and CyberCapture technology, which helps detect threats in unrecognized files.
During setup, you have full control over which components should be enabled or disabled after AVG is installed. Windows 10, 8, 7, and XP are the official minimum OS system requirements. It also runs on Mac You can also run scans at any time, either quick scans, full scans, scans of commonly infected areas, and custom scans. A custom scan in COMODO Antivirus lets you choose which files or folders to scan and enables a host of other customizations like whether to decompress and scan archives, use cloud scanning, automatically delete threats, enable heuristics scanning, check for threats running in memory, skip files over a maximum size, run the scan with full system resources, delete PuPs, and more.
The basic view for the program’s settings runs scans, unblock applications, updates the program, and runs software in a virtual mode, while the advanced view reports more details about those areas of the program and displays logs as well as toggles various things like HIPS and VirusScope. You can run any program you want in a virtual space completely separate from the rest of your files.
Launch programs in this protected container from inside the COMODO program, or by right-clicking an executable file and choosing the option in the menu. Here are some other features worth mentioning: password protect the program, show a floating desktop widget, hide the upgrade advertisement, choose which archive file types to unpack and scan, enable real-time scanning of files on the network, define heuristics scanning level low, medium, high , schedule scans as frequently as every hour to as infrequently as once a month, customize the HIPS rules, turn on Silent Mode, force the auto-containment of suspicious or malicious files, and use a unique password for the Virtual Desktop feature.
It’s also available for macOS and for Linux. Immunet offers real-time protection for Windows. It has a bit of an outdated interface but the software is still current and even connects directly to the cloud for updates.
There are lots of options you can toggle on or off to customize how the software works, but you can also leave all the defaults and it will still check your computer for threats in real time. Here are some other features you get with Immunet: detects and removes bots, viruses, worms, Trojans, keyloggers, and spyware; three scan modes let you check just running processes Flash Scan , any location of your choosing Custom Scan , or the entire computer Full Scan ; schedule any scan type daily, weekly, or monthly; start scans directly from Explorer on any folder or file; run a FlashScan right after installation to check the registry and running processes for threats; use a special blocking mode that prevents all programs from being installed unless they first pass a security scan; prevent notifications from the program while you watch movies or play games; automatically exclude certain folders and file types from scans, including temp folders and certain system32 folders; manually exclude any file, folder, or threat by its name ; toggle scanning for archives and packed files.
There’s also a handy timeline that shows the history of threats on the computer, to 30 days in the past. The extremely detailed history of events that have happened in the program can be filtered by date, keyword, and type such as quarantines, cleanings, blocked processes, etc. This program runs alongside many other antivirus programs, such as security software from Comodo, Avira, AVG, and Norton.
You not only have protection against threats like spyware, viruses, Trojan horses, and bots but there are also firewall shields to block intruders from reaching your computer files.
Here are some other important features in this free antivirus tool: real-time, cloud-based security updates that rely on millions of other users to stop threats quickly; Gamer Mode blocks interruptions while gaming, such as scans, updates, and alerts; you can set all alerts to be automatically denied or allowed; lock down ZoneAlarm’s configuration with a password to protect its settings from being changed; back up the program’s security settings and restore them later; run quick or full scans on a schedule; a network firewall that can screen every single program with “suspicious behavior” alerts that you have to explicitly allow or deny; and set up notifications for suspicious credit activity.
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You can find out more and change our default settings with Cookies Settings. By Tim Fisher. Tim Fisher. Tim Fisher has more than 30 years’ of professional technology experience. He’s been writing about tech for more than two decades and serves as the VP and General Manager of Lifewire.
Download Windows Antivirus for free | Avira.Download Free Antivirus Software | Avast PC Protection
Do you need antivirus software for your Windows PC? Yes, you do. Here’s what’s best for malware protection and more. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic. Clifford is a managing editor at CNET. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python.
Unrelated, he roots for the Oakland A’s. She’s a data-driven investigative journalist on the software and services team, reviewing VPNs, password managers, antivirus software, anti-surveillance methods and ethics in tech. When not tapping away on his laptop, Attila enjoys spending time with his family, reading and collecting guitars.
Antivirus software has had to get savvier, adapting to more complete malware as people spend more time online. The best antivirus software offers secure browsing, malware protection and monitored downloads so you can have peace of mind while you’re online.
Finding good antivirus software is especially important for people using Windows operating systems such as Windows 10 and Windows Windows devices make up three out of every four laptop or desktop operating systems, according to latest data from Statcounter , which paints a bigger target on those devices.
Windows-targeted malware has a larger base of devices to infect, giving it more potential in the eyes of cybercriminals. But don’t worry — we’re here to help you find the antivirus software that best fits your needs.
We regularly research and test software to determine which product leads the pack, and we update this list periodically based on those tests. Note that antivirus software is only a piece of the cybersecurity puzzle.
Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, and the more steps you take to lock down your online security, the safer you’ll be. A secure virtual private network can help protect your internet privacy, and a password manager will help you create and keep track of more secure login credentials.
These tools are all essential in protecting your personal information. Whether you’re looking for free antivirus protection or are willing to pay for a program that offers more security features, we have you covered. Here’s where to start when looking for the best antivirus software for your specific needs. Note: The pricing structure for antivirus services can be complicated, since the providers often offer low introductory prices to entice you to sign up for their services.
After the first billing period — typically a year or two, depending on the plan you purchase — the amount you pay for the service may increase substantially. The regular rate for the services may be double the introductory rate or sometimes more. Be sure to check the terms of the subscription plan prior to making your purchase so you don’t get an unwelcome surprise once your subscription renews. Honestly, if you practice safe computing — you keep your software up to date, you use strong passwords with the help of a password manager , you steer clear of unexpected emails and you don’t click suspicious links that may be phishing attempts — you probably can avoid zero-day attacks and ransomware attacks.
And with the free Microsoft Defender Antivirus software running on Windows 10, you have a malware protection safety net if you do let your guard down. In fact, it is one of the best antivirus software options. Note: Microsoft changed the name of Windows Defender to Microsoft Defender and has expanded the service to other platforms. This free antivirus program is built into Windows, and it’s turned on by default, the antivirus engine does its thing, and this antivirus solution will cover the basics of internet security.
Microsoft pushes new updates frequently. Defender also lets you tune the level of protection you want, giving you control over blocking potentially unwanted apps and protecting folders and files from a ransomware attack.
Windows 10 and 11 will automatically disable its own Windows Defender antivirus when you install third-party antivirus. If you uninstall the third-party protection, Windows will turn back on its own antivirus.
Norton antivirus provides industry-leading security software for PC, Mac and mobile devices. In addition to malware and virus protection for your computer and mobile device, this antivirus suite provides GB of backup to the cloud, safe-browsing tools, a secure VPN, password manager, parental controls and LifeLock identity theft protection and fraud alert. While not all of those services are necessarily best in their respective class, getting them all in one package is a compelling option.
If you’d like to take a step up in securing your PC without taxing your wallet, it’s hard to beat Bitdefender’s free antivirus software for Windows 10 and The Windows security software offers real-time monitoring for viruses, malware, spyware and ransomware protection. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is easy to set up and stays out of your way until you need it. And the protection this antivirus product offers is solid.
Bitdefender antivirus software consistently earns top marks for its antivirus protection and usability from the respected AV-Test independent testing lab. The free antivirus version covers one Windows PC. Malwarebytes does protect your PC from a virus or malware attack, scoring reasonably well in recent independent testing for guarding against malware threats.
But that’s not really what Malwarebytes is known for. If you find yourself in trouble, the go-to disinfectant for many is Malwarebytes. To get the antivirus company’s free antivirus version, download this trial version , which “downgrades” to a no-fee on-demand cleaner with fewer features that detects and removes viruses and malware when you run an on-demand antivirus scan after 14 days.
In addition to the four antivirus apps we recommend above, a handful of other anti-malware tools are worth considering among the best antivirus protection if you find them at a better price or just prefer to use one over our picks above. It feels like McAfee Antivirus has been around forever, first on its own in the ’80s, then as part of Intel starting in , and then again on its own when Intel spun it off in And McAfee Total Protection has been around forever because quarter after quarter it creates solid, modern antivirus software that protects your PC.
In recent evaluations by AV-Test, it had high scores on both protection and performance. Maybe this antivirus provider isn’t as well known to consumers because of its focus on enterprise security, Trend Micro antivirus security quietly brings its business expertise to the home with its Trend Micro Maximum Security tools.
Trend Micro’s software earns high marks from AV-Test — consistently scoring well for detecting zero-day attacks and widespread viruses and malware. And Trend Micro does a good job of not taxing system resources.
Free version? It earns high scores for usability and offers solid virus protection. The free antivirus version of Sophos Home gives you virus protection for three Windows PCs or MacOS devices — using the company’s high-scoring anti-malware tool — plus a day trial of the company’s malware-removal tool. Test after test, Avast Antivirus for Windows performs well for malware detection with options ranging from Avast free antivirus software to Avast Premium Security.
And we’ve included its antivirus in our list of recommended security app options before. But Avast was in the news for several months for its non-antivirus business, so we looked at the company, specifically reports at the end of that Avast allegedly collected user data with its browser plug-ins and antivirus software and then sold data it collected through its Jumpshot subsidiary in early In response to the reports that his company gathered and sold the details of its customers’ online activities, Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek said in a statement that he understood that his company’s actions raised questions of trust in his company.
To address that, Avast terminated Jumpshot data collection in January and closed its operations because the data collection business wasn’t in line with Avast’s privacy priorities. Those reports followed another in from Avast that its internal network was breached , possibly to insert malware into its CCleaner software, similar to an earlier CCleaner hack that occurred prior to Avast’s acquiring the Windows utility.
Avast started saying the right things about taking its customers’ privacy seriously , but it only came to that point after reacting to investigative reporting that revealed the Jumpshot practices.
The CCleaner revelations, while concerning, were self-disclosed, which is important to building user trust. We hope Avast’s more privacy-friendly policies mean that there will be no further Jumpshot-style activities and that it returns to glory as one of the best antivirus software options.
In the meantime, we’d recommend using one of the many other solid choices in this realm listed above. Because the company has been in the news the past few years, let’s talk about Kaspersky Lab — specifically about the federal ban that blocks US government agencies from using Kaspersky Antivirus products.
Based in Moscow, Kaspersky Lab has for years produced some of the best antivirus software for business antivirus needs and home customers. But in the US government prohibited Kaspersky security cloud software on federal government computers because of alleged ties between Kaspersky and the Russian government. But as with China-based Huawei , the question remains: If the federal government doesn’t think the products are safe enough for its own devices, should consumers avoid them as well?
In a statement sent to CNET, the company said, “Kaspersky Lab has no ties to any government, and the company has never, nor will ever, engage in cyber offensive activities. Kaspersky Lab maintains that no public evidence of any wrongdoing has been presented by the US government, and that the US government’s actions against Kaspersky Lab were unconstitutional.
In Kaspersky’s favor, it continues to earn top scores and awards for virus and malware detection and endpoint protection from independent testing labs. And it’s reasonably priced. In the end, even though no one has ever publicly produced a “smoking gun” linking the company to Russian intrigue, we think any of the options listed above is a safer bet. And if you are a US government employee or work with the federal government, you’ll want to steer clear of Kaspersky internet security products — and perhaps use one of the antivirus software products mentioned here instead.
Picking the best antivirus software for Windows means finding one that keeps your PC safe, doesn’t take up a lot of system resources, is easy to use and stays out of the way till you need it. Here’s what to look for. Antivirus software runs virus scans for known viruses and malware, of course, and can offer real-time protection. And it watches for shady websites and suspicious links to keep you out of trouble. It can also offer ransomware protection and monitor unexpected behavior that may be a sign of new and not-yet-identified viruses and malware.
You want antivirus software that can successfully identify these unknown online threats without flagging too many false positives. Light on system resources. You don’t want antivirus software that taxes your PC’s resources. If after you install the program, websites open slowly, apps download or open sluggishly or file copies take longer than expected, you may want to try another service.
The good news is, all our picks offer a free trial or money-back guarantee to let you try out the antivirus program, so if your system feels sluggish after installation, you may want to keep looking.
Cost and discounts. Don’t just pay the sticker price for antivirus protection. Before you buy, check for discounts on a company’s website. Another way to save: The prices we list above are for 10 devices — if the company offered that package — but you can trim your cost with antivirus packages if you need to cover three or five devices. You may also find discounts on an app’s Amazon page.
To be effective, antivirus software needs to monitor what’s going on with your PC, check in with company servers about unusual behavior and should provide sound banking protection. The companies say they anonymize this technical data as much as possible to protect your privacy. But if you want to know more, the security companies on our list post privacy policies on their websites, so read their privacy statements to learn what the companies do with the information you share.
Protection for other platforms. Microsoft is by far the biggest target for viruses and malware. While the Mac does come under attack via side-loaded apps, it’s rare, and if you download apps only from the Mac and iOS app stores and keep your guard up when clicking links and download files, you should be OK without an antivirus app on Apple devices.
7 Best (REALLY FREE) Antivirus Software for Windows 
Join million others and get award-winning free antivirus for PC, Mac & Android. Surf safely & privately with our VPN. Download Avast today! We’ve tested the top free antivirus apps so you can protect your PC for free. All of the free antivirus programs we’ve selected here offer real-time.