Free antivirus software is a great alternative if you’re on a tight budget but want to safeguard your device from the latest threats of ransomware and malware. Free antivirus software typically employs the same malware-scanning 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) and password manager, and parental controls.
The best antivirus software for free should provide effective real-time security protection, which means that the program is actively catching and blocks malware while they are trying to download or sneak onto your computer. In the past, this type of protection was only available with premium subscriptions, but it’s becoming common among free outliers.
Also, the top free antivirus software should have a basic password manager and a VPN at a minimum, on an experimental basis. For instance, McAfee’s no-cost software gives you a 30 day trial of its most expensive package that includes all premium features, such as web protection and identity theft protection.
Finally, the top free antivirus software should be simple to use. The majority of the brands on our top choices have user-friendly dashboards, intuitive features, and decent customer support. Some brands also provide mobile apps to assist you to scan and protect Android or iOS devices. Additionally, the top free apps are licensed for use on one device, while paid versions have plans for families and business tools.