The Best Free Antivirus Programs

Many top antivirus programs have free versions that are as effective as paid versions at stopping malware. Most antivirus programs offer the basic, low-end option with basic features. A mid-range program adds additional security tools, and the most expensive programs come with all the bells and whistles.

The free version of AVG Antivirus provides excellent malware protection and a light system impact. AVG Antivirus is free and includes many other useful tools such as junk file cleanup, RAM optimization, and Wi-Fi network scanners. It’s also ad-free and does not prompt users to upgrade to premium features.

Microsoft Defender is the default malware protection program that is preinstalled on Windows systems. It’s not the greatest at protecting against malware files downloading on your computer but its free version has a number of tools like performance and health analyses and parental controls that aren’t available in paid versions of other anti-virus software.

Bitdefender’s suites of antivirus software are among the most well-known on the market. The free version is equally robust and effective as paid versions. It’s free of ads and does not have a limit on the number of devices it will check and comes with a powerful array of anti-theft capabilities, that allow you to locate, lock or wipe the stolen Android device.

Sophos Home free is perfect for those who want to manage the antivirus protection of the computer of someone in the family who does not live in their household. It has high malware detection scores, however it has a lower score for phishing protection.