Many top antivirus programs offer free versions that are just as effective in stopping malware as their premium counterparts. Most antivirus programs offer a basic, low-end program with only a few features. A mid-range program adds additional security tools, and the most expensive programs come with all the bells and whistles.
The free version of AVG Antivirus is a great protection against malware, as well as a minor impact on your system. The free program also has numerous other useful tools like junk file cleanup, RAM optimization and Wi-Fi network scanners. It’s also ad-free and does not pester users to upgrade to premium features.
Microsoft Defender is the default malware protection software that is preinstalled on Windows systems. Although it’s not the best in preventing malware from downloading on your computer, the free version comes with a variety of additional tools, including health and performance analysis and parental controls that aren’t found in paid versions of other antivirus programs.
Bitdefender’s antivirus suites are among the most well-known available and its free edition of its program is just as powerful as its paid offerings. It is free of ads, has no limit on the number of devices it will scan, and comes with a comprehensive array of anti-theft capabilities, including the ability to track, lock or wipe the contents of a stolen Android device.
Sophos Home Free is the perfect choice for users who must manage antivirus protection for a family member’s computer who doesn’t live in the same household with them. It has outstanding malware detection scores, however it has a lower score for phishing protection.