Think of antivirus protection as a blessing for your computer. It is a protection that keeps your computer safe from ransomware, keyloggers and other forms of viruses. For those watching their wallets, free antivirus software can be a real lifesaver, going beyond basic options like Windows Defender. Let us take a brief look at top 7 free antivirus and learn why they are worth considering in 2024.
1. TotalAV Free Antivirus
TotalAV stands tall among free antivirus options, offering a secure free version with versatile anti-malware features. It is easy to use. In our tests, it almost perfectly protected against different types of harmful software. It comes with a 100% success rate. Independent tests also confirmed its capacity, blocking 99.9% of widespread malware and an impressive 98.6% of zero-day threats.
The free version comes with strong tools to fight against malware and phishing. These tools keep your devices safe from harmful threats. And if you decide to go Pro, you get real-time protection, a VPN for online anonymity and even an ad blocker. The ad blocker, based on our tests, can stop almost 100% of malicious ads including those pesky pop-ups and in-video ads.
2. Norton 360
Norton 360 is a champion in the free antivirus segment. It is perfectly dedicated to keeping your online experience safe and secure. Even though it does not have a completely free version, it generously offers a 7-day trial and an extended 60-day money-back guarantee. In our tests, Norton performed exceptionally well, identifying and blocking all viruses and malware with a perfect 100% success rate. It is a reliable guardian for your digital well-being.
Norton, our antivirus superhero, comes equipped with AI-powered real-time protection. It ward off viruses, malware, spyware and ransomware to keep your gadgets safe. It offers quick and full system scans to pinpoint any safety concerns on your device. It is like having a vigilant guardian watching over your digital world. These scanning options are like superhero vision, seeing things others might miss. It even has the Norton Insight feature, checking files for suspicious activities before removing them from your device.
3. Bitdefender Antivirus Free
Bitdefender is a powerhouse among free antivirus options, offering a 30-day money-back guarantee. With its exceptional malware protection, web attack prevention and real-time protection, it acts like a powerful shield for your computer. In our in-house tests, it successfully identified all 10 threats presented to it, scoring a perfect 100%.
The free version of Bitdefender includes features like a Virus Scanner, real-time protection and web attack prevention. These features keep your online experience safe. Even though it does not have all the fancy extras of the paid versions, it still gives strong protection.
4. Surfshark Antivirus
Surfshark Antivirus is a fancy online security guard. It works hard to keep you safe from malware and data breaches. It can catch 9 out of 10 malicious files in our in-house tests, acting like a superhero with a keen eye for danger.
Its features include essentials like quick, full, file and folder scans. Plus, it keeps an eye on your device all the time to make sure nothing bad sneaks in. With the Surfshark One bundle, you get a top-notch VPN and an ad-free search engine focused on user privacy. However, it does not have all the features of its competitors, lacking a vulnerability scanner or a firewall for extra malware protection.
5. NordVPN Threat Protection
NordVPN Threat Protection is a free tool that protects your devices from malware, trackers and nasty ads.
In our in-house tests, NordVPN Threat Protection blocked 8 out of 10 threats with a basic scan and 9 out of 10 with a deep scan. It is not a bad result, but it is essential to note that it has not been tested by independent labs like other antivirus software. It is like having a superhero in training – showing promise but not yet a full-fledged hero.
NordVPN Threat Protection does not have traditional malware scans like Bitdefender, but it covers your security needs on all fronts with features like malware protection, an ad blocker, a market-leading VPN, a password manager and a data breach scanner. The app is user-friendly and intuitive, ensuring you won’t struggle with its superpowers.
6. Avira Free Security
Avira Free Security shines among free antivirus providers, especially for Apple users. Its exceptionally user-friendly interface, a free VPN and a 100% malware blockage rate make it a superhero in the Apple realm. Whether you are using the completely free version or testing it with an extended 60-day money-back guarantee, Avira ensures top-notch protection.
During independent lab tests, Avira achieved the highest score for both Windows and macOS protection. It blocked 99.3% of threats on macOS and a perfect 100% on Windows. In our in-house tests, Avira caught 9 out of 10 malicious file samples, showcasing its superhero-level accuracy. However, be aware that full system scans can be slightly resource-intensive, taking around 35 minutes, but catching 90% of malware threats.
Avira Free Security is a versatile plan, but it does have some limitations. It offers protection for only one device, lacks web protection, and excludes customer support. The free version even throws in a VPN with 500MB per month, making it a superhero with a sidekick. While the data cap may be limiting for activities like streaming or torrenting, it is sufficient for secure browsing.
7. ESET NOD32
ESET NOD32 is among the top free antivirus software, boasting a 100% malware detection rate. While it lacks a completely free version, it provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for advanced security plans.
Our in-house tests showed an excellent 100% malware detection rate. Independent testing by AV-TEST revealed a 100% score in widespread malware detection and a solid 98.6% against zero-day threats. ESET’s suite includes quick, full, custom or removable drive scans, providing different layers of protection.
The month-long trial allows users to explore premium ESET features. Even if you are not ready to commit to a paid plan, you get a taste of top-tier protection.
While these free antivirus options offer essential protection, it is important to understand their limitations. Free versions may lack some advanced features found in their paid counterparts. For those seeking a complete security package, exploring paid alternatives with trials or guarantees is recommended. One such option is TotalAV antivirus, known for its comprehensive protection and a 30-day money-back guarantee.