Free antivirus software is an excellent option for those on a tight budget, but want to protect your device from the latest threats to your computer from ransomware and malware. Free antivirus software typically employs the same malware scanner engines as their paid counterparts, however, they aren’t as equipped with additional tools that offer complete protection online, like a virtual private network (VPN), a password manager, and parental controls.
The top antivirus programs for free should provide real-time malware identification and protection. This means that the software actively detects and blocks malware as they try to download or sneak on your computer. In the past, this kind of protection was only available to premium subscriptions. However, it’s now common in free outliers.
The best antivirus software free should include an easy VPN and password manager, at least for a trial time. For instance, McAfee’s no-cost software comes with a trial period of 30 days of its top tier program that comes with all premium features, such as web protection and identity theft protection.
The best free antivirus software should be simple to use. The majority of the brands on our top picks have user-friendly dashboards, intuitive features, and good customer support. Some also have mobile apps that make it easier to scan and protect your Android or iOS devices. Additionally, the top free apps are licensed to use on only one device while paid versions offer family-friendly plans and tools for business.