If you’re on a tight budget, but still need to safeguard your devices from the latest ransomware and malware threats, free antivirus software is an excellent option. Free antivirus programs employ the same malware-scanning engines as their paid counterparts. However, they do not have additional tools that offer online security such as VPN, password manager, and parental controls.
The best free antivirus software should offer effective real-time malware protection, which means that the program actively detects and blocks threats while they are trying to download or get onto your computer. Prior to this, this type of protection was only available through premium subscriptions. However, it’s becoming commonplace in free antivirus.
The best free antivirus programs should come with a basic password manager as well as a VPN at the very least on an initial trial basis. McAfee for instance, offers a free 30-day trial to its highest-tier package. It includes all premium features such as security for the web and ID theft protection.
The best antivirus software for free is one that is easy to use. The majority of brands on our list feature intuitive features and user-friendly dashboards. Some also have mobile apps that allow you to protect and scan your Android or iOS devices. Additionally, the top free apps are licensed to use on just one device, while paid versions have family-friendly plans as well as business tools.