Free antivirus software is a good option for those on a tight budget, but want to safeguard your device from the latest ransomware and malware threats. Free antivirus software typically employs the same malware scanning engines like their paid counterparts, however, they aren’t as equipped with additional tools that offer total online protection, such as a virtual private network (VPN) and password manager and parental controls.
The best antivirus software for free will provide real-time malware protection, meaning that the program is actively catching and blocks malware while they attempt to download or snoop on your computer. In the past, this type of protection was only available to premium subscriptions, but it’s becoming widespread among free antivirus.
The best antivirus software for free should also include a basic VPN and password manager, at least for a trial time. For instance, McAfee’s free software offers a 30-day trial of its top-tier package, which includes all premium features, such as web protection and identity theft protection.
Finally, the top free antivirus software should be easy to use. The majority of the brands on our list of top picks come with user-friendly dashboards, easy-to-use features, and decent customer service. Some brands also offer mobile apps that aid you to scan and protect Android or iOS devices. In addition, the best free programs are licensed for use on only one device as opposed to paid versions that offer plans for families and business tools.