Best Antivirus Software For Mac And Windows

01.08.2020by

Looking for the best free antivirus software?

At the moment, we think that Bitdefender is the best antivirus available, as it combines watertight security tools with an array of other excellent security features. It’s also super easy to use. Dec 15, 2019  Intego is the only provider on this list that specializes solely in Mac security. The result is a well-polished, effective and easy to use product. In independent antivirus tests, Intego is among the top performers. Strong tests scores combined with an abundance of useful features put it.

Keeping your Laptop or PC (Windows or Mac) safe is important, so antivirus software is a must.

But when you go to any so-called free. software download sites, you quickly find out that they aren’t really free. You have to pay big bucks after using the 30-day free trial or be stuck with a “free” software that doesn’t have any of the actual features that make it useful.

  • Jun 26, 2020  Norton 360 is the gold-standard of antivirus software. The antivirus engine — powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning — is excellent in protecting against all cybersecurity threats. I’ve tested many Windows 10 antiviruses for security, and Norton was among the best, scoring a 100% detection rate.
  • Mac edition less feature-rich than Windows or Android. Still fewer features for iOS. Bottom Line: A single subscription for McAfee AntiVirus Plus lets you protect every Windows, Android, macOS.

What if you don’t want to part with $100s of dollars?

Well, handily enough, there are plenty of antivirus tools available for Windows and other platforms that won’t cost you a penny!

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Here is a list of the best free antivirus software for this year.

1. Kaspersky Free

  • Download Kapersky Free here:https://usa.kaspersky.com/free-antivirus

Kaspersky will protect your PC from viruses.

It offers a free and a paid version of its software. There are some differences between the two, which we’ll discuss below.

Pros
  • Secures your PC: It uses award-winning technologies to secure your PC. It automatically receives real-time data about new threats, which helps to protect your PC from range of digital dangers. Also it offers great phishing protection.
  • Blocks content: It blocks dangerous files and apps.
  • Protects you against suspicious websites: It warns you about suspicious websites.
  • Automatically receives updates: So your antivirus software will always be up to date.
Cons
  • Certain features aren’t available in the free version: For example, the paid version gives you protection when you’re banking or shopping online. And, it also manages and stores passwords. However, you don’t get those features on the free version. So it’s a little more basic compared to the paid version.

Overall, Kaspersky is an excellent piece of software that performs incredibly well. And it’s definitely one of the best out there.

2. AVG Antivirus Free

  • Download AVG Antivirus Free here:https://www.avg.com/en-us/free-antivirus-download

AVG Antivirus Free is another great piece of software that’s totally free to use.

Pros
  • Protects your PC: It stops viruses, spyware, ransomware and other malware.
  • Blocks things: Blocks unsafe links, downloads, and email attachments.
  • Scans your PC: It also scans your PC for performance problems.
  • Gives you security updates: You’ll get real-time security updates.
Cons
  • Slow scanning: Some people report that it scans slower than average.

This is another one that has a paid version as well. The paid version has a few more features like an enhanced firewall that keeps hackers away, and it also helps you to avoid fake websites for safer shopping.

Overall, it offers lots of good features for free.

3. Bitdefender Free Antivirus Software

  • Download Bitdefender Free Antivirus Software here: https://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html

Bitdefender offers antivirus protection for Windows.

Pros
  • Quick: The program is quick to install and light on computer resources so it won’t slow down your PC.
  • Real-time protection: Bitdefender uses behavioral detection to closely monitor your active apps. It takes instant action when it detects anything suspicious.
  • Offers virus scanning and malware removal: Its scan engines ensure that all malware from viruses to spyware are detected and removed.
  • Protects against internet fraud: It protects you against phishing by blocking, by default, websites that pretend to be legit in order to steal your data. And it protects you from fraud by detecting suspicious webpage behavior and stops your financial data from being stolen.
Cons
  • It’s not customizable: You cannot do quick scans or schedule scans.

Overall, for free software it’s excellent – it may have few features, but it runs so quickly, offering great protection from viruses and malware.

4. Avast Free Antivirus

  • Download Avast Free Antivirus here:https://www.avast.com/en-us/free-antivirus-download

Avast offers free virus protection for Windows PC. It’s also available for MAC and Android devices.

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Pros
  • It’s light: Avast’s software is light, meaning that it won’t slow down your PC.
  • Blocks viruses: It detects and blocks viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware and phishing.
  • It offers real-time protection: By analyzing unknown files before they get to you, Avast protects you in real-time.
  • Offers extra features: Considering it’s free Avast offers tons of bonus features, like password management and the Wi-Fi Inspector tool that will detect weaknesses in your home Wi-Fi and strangers who may be using your network.
Cons
  • Many features aren’t available in the free version: Avast offers a few different plans, one of which is free and the others, you need to pay for. There are also additional tools that you can pay for. For example, you won’t get the Ransomware Shield or Firewall. So with the free version you are getting a more limited selection of antivirus tools.

With the extra features, Avast is certainly one of the best out there!

5. Avira Free Antivirus

  • Download Avira Free Antivirus here:https://www.avira.com/en/free-antivirus-windows

Avira provides software for Windows, and it won’t cost you a penny!

Pros
  • Effective protection: Avira Free Antivirus offers malware protection, cleans adware and removes spyware.
  • Repairs: It will also repair damaged files.
  • It’s customizable: This is always handy!
Cons
  • It impacts system-performance: Although it claims to be light, it’s pretty heavy on system resources.
  • Many of its extra features are trialware. So many of its tools are actually limited trials – basically teases for paid services.

Avira is a good option, but it doesn’t offer quite as much as Kaspersky and Bitdefender do, which puts it down our list a little.

6. Sophos Home Free

  • Download Sophos Home Free here:https://home.sophos.com/en-us/free-anti-virus-windows.aspx

Sophos Home is another software company offering free and paid versions of its products.

Pros
  • Offers protection against a variety of things: This software protects against known viruses, malware, Trojans, worms, bots, potentially unwanted apps (PUAs), ransomware and more.
  • Provides parental website filtering: This lets you control what content your kids can view online.
  • Provides web protection: Using its blacklist database, Sophos Home blocks compromised or dangerous websites.
Cons
  • Many of its features expire after 30 days: Sophos has a version of its software that is always free. But many of the free features advertised on the site are only available with a complimentary trial of Sophos Premium, which is the paid version of the software.

7. Panda Free Antivirus

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  • Download Panda Antivirus Free here: https://www.pandasecurity.com/usa/homeusers/solutions/free-antivirus/

Panda Free Antivirus offers protection for Windows and Android devices.

And
Pros
  • Protects against all types of threats: You get protection against all types of malware and spyware. This tool claims to keep you protected at all times with free, up-to-the-minute updates.
  • It’s customizable: You can schedule periodic scans and/or scan your computer whenever you want to.
  • It offers USB protection as well: It scans all USB drives when you insert them into your PC, protecting you from malware.
  • Offers a PC recovery system: It’s called the Panda Rescue Kit. You can run an advanced scan of your PC or create a rescue USB drive you can use to boot and clean infected PCs that won’t start – this is a great feature.
Cons
  • Fewer features with the free version: As is the case with many of these no-cost tools, the free version has more limited features compared to the paid version.

8. Windows Defender

  • Learn more about Windows Defender here:https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/comprehensive-security

Surprisingly, the software that comes with windows is pretty good at keeping your PC safe.

Pros
  • It’s built-in: It’s already on your PC, so there’s no need to install anything. You can get started with it right away.
  • Offers real-time protection: So you can keep your computer safe from viruses and malware.
  • Small performance impact: It won’t slow down your PC, which is great.
Cons
  • It’s pretty basic: Windows Defender, while effective at protecting your PC from malware and viruses, is pretty bare bones, offering few bells and whistles.

9. Malwarebytes Free

  • Download Malwarebytes Free here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/comprehensive-security

Malwarebytes has both a free version and a paid version. When you first sign up, you get a trial of the Premium version. Once the free trial version has expired, you will stick with the free version, unless you decide you want to pay for the upgrade.

Pros
  • Offers different scanning options: You can do a quick scan or a full scan if you want, depending on your needs. This is always useful! The quick scan is good when you’re in a hurry.
  • Get it on multiple platforms: It’s available for a wide range of platforms, including Windows, MAC, Android, and iOS.
  • Works well alongside other software: So you can use it alongside software, like Windows Defender, for example.
Cons
  • The free version is limited: For example, it doesn’t offer real-time protection, whereas the paid version does. If you use it alongside Windows Defender though, which does offer real-time protection it works great.

10. ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus

  • Download ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus here: https://www.zonealarm.com/software/free-antivirus/

Another good piece of antivirus software is ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus.

Pros
  • Offers protection: It blocks viruses and malware.
  • Keeps you secure online: It secures your identity and online privacy.
  • Keeps your PC and files safe: It shields hackers from accessing your PC, and keeps your files safe with data encryption.
Cons
  • It’s a little basic: It doesn’t offer too many extra features.

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Closing Thoughts

There are so many places that offer free antivirus software. So if you want to keep your PC protected you don’t have to pay anything to do so.

Of course, paid software usually does offer more bells and whistles. However, free programs can be great if you are on a budget.

Let us know about your favorite budget-friendly antivirus software in the comments section below.

Looking for the best free antivirus software? AVG AntiVirus FREE is obviously our favorite pick, but if you’d like to know what other trusted experts think about the best free antivirus programs out there, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled insights from some of the most well respected antivirus software review sites and summarized them here. So if you’re in need of free protection for Windows 7, 8, or 10, here are the experts’ top picks, presented in alphabetical order.

Top picks:

  • Avast Free Antivirus
  • AVG AntiVirus FREE
  • Avira Antivirus
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
  • Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
  • Microsoft Windows Defender
  • Sophos Home Free

Additional options:

  • Adaware Antivirus Free 12
  • Check Point ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus+
  • Qihoo 360 Total Security 8.6

Read on for a quick summary of the best choices for free antivirus software for 2020.

Avast Free Antivirus

One of the oldest antivirus companies, Avast has been protecting users since 1988 and is trusted by millions of people around the globe.

Essential protection: Avast Free Antivirus consistently ranks extremely high for its core protection engine. Top antivirus test lab AV-Comparatives named Avast Product of the Year 2018 and Top-Rated Product in 2019, in addition to giving Avast awards for Malware Protection and Advanced Threat Protection. Avast continues to support Windows 7, even though Microsoft has stopped updating the operating system.

Features: Offering an easy-to-use interface, a secure web browser, a network security scanner, and more, Avast has a host of useful bonus features. Lifewire praises its Do Not Disturb Mode, which blocks pop-ups while you watch a movie or play a game, so you aren’t interrupted. Lifewire also highlights the Behavior Shield, which keeps an eye on your apps to make sure they don’t start to act strangely, a potential sign of a malware infection.

Need a second opinion?TechRadar notes that several special features are only available in Avast’s paid version. However, they still rate it as “a powerful antivirus which offers solid all-round protection. Experienced users will appreciate its lengthy feature list and the fine control they get over how the package works.”

AVG AntiVirus FREE

Download latest os x for mac. One of the pioneers of the free antivirus app, AVG has consistently won awards from AV-Comparatives over the past decade — including Top-Rated Product in their most recent test.

Essential protection:PCMag praised AVG AntiVirus FREE for achieving very good scores in a variety of independent tests, and for its excellent protection against phishing. AVG’s on-demand scan searches for hidden malware, which includes viruses as well as other sneaky malicious software such as spyware and ransomware. AVG also scans for malicious URLs, unwanted browser add-ons, and PC performance issues. AVG protects against 0-day threats by preventing unknown (and potentially dangerous) files from opening, and then sends these files to AVG Threat Labs for deeper analysis. If they’re found to be malicious, a cure is created and pushed out to you and all AVG users.

AVG continues to protect Windows 7, even though Microsoft is no longer supporting it.

Features: AVG AntiVirus FREE offers several bonus features, including a free File Shredder to securely delete sensitive files and prevent your personal data from being exposed. PCMag noted that, although AVG scans to find junk files and clutter that are slowing down your device, you’ll need to purchase AVG TuneUp to fix the problems.

Need a second opinion? In its review “8 of the Best Free Antivirus Software Options,” Mashable noted that AVG AntiVirus FREE has the most accurate virus detection, saying, “AVG AntiVirus FREE is near flawless with its ability to detect viruses and malware. It's unlikely anything is getting through this.”

Avira Antivirus

Avira has been creating antivirus applications for a long time, with the first one dating back to 1986.

Essential protection: While PCMag awarded Avira Antivirus a good score in their malware blocking test, they also found the on-demand scan slow and cautioned that its “real-time protection missed some malware EXEs and identified some valid programs as malware.”

Features: Avira’s free version is light on features. Safetydetectives.com notes that Avira’s focus is “on protecting computers without the bells and whistles.”

Need a second opinion? Tom’s Guide says, “Avira Free Antivirus has a heavy system load while providing only so-so malware protection.”

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Bitdefender protects half a billion users around the world and snagged the top spot this year from AV-Comparatives.

Essential protection: TechRadar praises Bitdefender’s “clean, light, well constructed scanning mechanisms – which are almost universally faster than the industry average – and unrivalled virus definitions.” But they also note that the product “grabs more resources than average, and might conflict with some programs.”

Features: PCMag says that “Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition includes the core malware-fighting components of Bitdefender's commercial edition, but without the vast collection of additional security features, and without some advanced layers of malware protection.' CNET notes that “Bitdefender Antivirus Free is refreshingly free of the ‘extra’ features and tools that make some apps unwieldy and confusing.”

Need a second opinion?DigitalTrends mentions that “the application features no configurations of any kind,” while TechNadu adds that “its minimalistic design ensures the app retains only the bare essential antivirus functionality monitoring the system in real-time without needless embellishments.”

Kaspersky Security Cloud Free

Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky has faced allegations of inappropriate connections to the Kremlin, prompting the US, the UK, and The Netherlands to ban the use of Kaspersky products across government agencies. Nevertheless, the allegations remain inconclusive and Kaspersky is consistently a top-rated product.

Essential protection: Kaspersky Free has earned excellent marks in independent test labs, including good scores on PCMag’s malware-blocking and malicious URL blocking tests and a perfect score on their phishing test.

Features: TechRadar says that Kaspersky is “short on advanced features and most of its extras are very limited, but you still get all the core antivirus essentials.”

Need a second opinion? A Tom’s Guide review found that “Kaspersky Free Antivirus delivers excellent protection with a moderate performance impact, but it has few extra features.”

Microsoft Windows Defender

Windows Defender is Microsoft’s built-in antivirus, which is included for free in Windows 10. If this app is already on your PC, you might be wondering why you should even bother with a free third-party antivirus. Short answer: Because many experts say Windows Defender still isn’t as good as the leading antivirus programs.

Essential protection: While Windows Defender traditionally ranked below third-party antivirus software, it’s now improved enough to claim the number six slot on PCMag’s annual top ten list. Its malware detection capabilities have risen greatly, and it performed well in hands-on testing. Still, PCMag is half-hearted in their recommendation:

“Windows Defender is improving, but you still shouldn’t rely on Windows 10’s security tools as your sole means of protection. Many free third-party apps are more effective at keeping you safe.” — Neil J. Rubenking, PCMag Best Free Antivirus Protection for 2020

Features: Windows Defender still lags behind in phishing protection and malicious URL blocking, and it can’t compete with the extra security features included in most free third-party security software.

Need a second opinion? Tom’s Guide gives Windows Defender a 3.5 out of 5, saying, “Defender's low system impact is offset by its long scan times and lack of creature comforts, such as the ability to schedule scans.”

Note for Windows 7 users: Microsoft's built-in security program for Windows 7 is Microsoft Security Essentials. The company will continue to support the antivirus software for the time being, but their overall support for Windows 7 has ended and they recommend you upgrade to Windows 10. If you remain on Windows 7, it’s more important than ever to protect your system with third-party antivirus software.

Sophos Home Free

Sophos Home Free comes from Sophos, which predominantly focuses on security solutions for businesses.

Essential protection: Sophos Home Free offers much of the same protection as their business products, including remote security management for up to three PCs or Macs. According to TechRadar, this means you can also install the free antivirus on a less tech-savvy family member’s computer and remotely manage their security for them. Sophos Home Free offers decent phishing protection and very good malicious URL blocking.

Features:PCMag found Sophos's parental content filter ineffective, but noted that, “If you're managing security for others, this product's remote management is a godsend.”

Need a second opinion?Cloudwards cautions that although Sophos has some nice features, most of them are only available if you upgrade to the paid version, and “rigorous testing sheds some doubts about its efficacy as an antivirus solution.”

Additional options

While they didn’t rank the highest this year, you may be wondering how these other popular free antivirus programs fared in expert reviews.

Adaware Antivirus Free 12

Adaware Antivirus Free comes from Adaware, a company formerly known as Lavasoft.

Essential protection: Adaware Antivirus Free has received mixed scores in independent tests, and it doesn’t provide any protection against malicious URLs. But, Lifewire notes that “constant, real-time protection against spyware, viruses, and other malicious items is important for any computer, and Adaware Antivirus Free can do just that.”

Features: Version 12 of Adaware’s free antivirus comes with a new look, but lacks features found in other free products — including the company’s own previous edition. Lifewire adds, “we don't think Adaware Antivirus Free should be your first choice when choosing a good antivirus program. There are too many settings in the program that would be useful but aren't allowed to function because it's just the free version.”

Need a second opinion?PCMag cautions that “Adaware Antivirus Free 12 has a new name and a new look. Under the hood, though, its test results aren't the best, and competing free products have much more to offer.”

Check Point ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus+

Check Point ZoneAlarm is a free antivirus-firewall combo that licenses its antivirus engine from security giant Kaspersky (see above for info on Kaspersky).

Essential protection: Pairing strong antivirus prevention with a firewall can be good enough for basic computing. However, TechRadar bemoans the lack of comprehensive protection, noting that the program is missing “web and email monitoring, network file scanning, and real-time cloud protection to keep you safe from the very latest threats…. These aren’t restrictions we’ve often seen in other free antivirus apps.”

Features: Unfortunately, this free cybersecurity solution is missing many features users would expect to see: web-based security, protection against malicious websites, and personal data protection are nowhere to be found.

Need a second opinion?Tech Advisor says ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus+ is “a basic, but capable internet security suite with average antivirus capabilities but a good firewall.”

Best Mac Antivirus Protection

Qihoo 360 Total Security 8.6

Qihoo is a Chinese company known for its antivirus software, web browser, and mobile app store.

Essential protection: Qihoo uses the same core antivirus as Bitdefender and Avira, but it lags behind them in performance. PCMag reported mixed scores on anti-malware and malicious URL blocking tests, and rated Qihoo’s anti-phishing performance as “dismal,” calling it a “phishing phail.” The AV-Test Institute gave Qihoo 360 4/6 on performance, demonstrating that it can worsen the overall system performance while it’s running.

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Features: Qihoo comes with an impressive suite of bonus features, including cleanup and tuneup utilities, a vulnerability scan, and more.

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Need a second opinion? TechRadar says, “There are one or two useful tools here, but 360 Total Security isn't accurate enough to be your sole antivirus app.”

Hindsight is 2020: Protect yourself now

Don’t wait until it’s too late to secure your PC against viruses and malware. As we roll into the new Roaring ‘20s, it’s more important than ever to guard against cybercrime and new threats. Get real-time security updates and 24/7 protection against viruses and other threats with AVG AntiVirus FREE. And stay safe while browsing, emailing, and downloading files with an extra layer of defense against malware.

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