Now that most people worldwide are using personal devices to work remotely, it becomes difficult to protect their personal information online. With an increased online time, you need to improve your device’s security, including using a password manager to track login credentials and VPN to protect internet traffic. Most importantly, it would be best if you used antivirus software to observe system activity and monitor downloads for any suspicious behavior or malicious software.
The best antivirus is one that can completely root out existing malware and still prevent botnets, Trojans, ransomware, and other destructive programs from attacking your device. In this article, we will explore the best free antivirus that you can access in 2021.
What Makes the Best Antivirus?
There are certain factors that you must consider before settling on antivirus for your device:
- Malware detection abilities: The best antivirus is one that can detect different malware, including but not limited to rootkits, keyloggers, spyware, and trojans. All the top antiviruses that we have highlighted below have these abilities.
- Additional features: Antivirus must do more than just malware detection. A good antivirus comes with additional features such as anti-phishing protection, password managers, and VPNs.
- Ease of use: Both non-technical and technical antivirus users should find the antivirus easy to use. All the products below have decent customer support, intuitive features, and a user-friendly dashboard.
- Genuinely free: Some brands trick you into a free trial and then later forcing you to pay to keep the service. An excellent free antivirus is genuinely free without any hidden conditions.
Top 5 Considerations
Avira tops our list of the best Windows antivirus software for 2021. Avira offers the best anti-malware engines on the market. The antivirus is also easy to use.
Its virus scanner is located in the cloud, meaning that analysis and detection don’t happen on your device. This makes Avira low on system resources, extremely fast, and lightweight.
Statistics on the Avira site show that the antivirus blocks 108 million malware and 570 thousand phishing attacks on average monthly and thwarts 17 million ransomware attempts yearly on both smartphones and computers.
The free package also comes with 500MB/month of free VPN, which can help you anonymize and secure your online activities. There is a password manager that helps with identity protection. A speed booster improves the speed of your PC.
Avira is also designed with other features, which include:
- An anti-scam protection
- A firewall to keep hackers away
- Software updates to help you patch vulnerabilities
- PC cleaner
If you use this antivirus, I am sure you’ll love the privacy optimizer and the safe shopping browser extension.
Sophos antivirus is the best when it comes to real-time scanning. Although not popular like other products on the list, it’s still among the best free solutions that you’ll come across.
For free antivirus, Sophos offers good anti-malware protection. However, anti-malware protection will expire after the 30-day free trial ends. At this point, you might be forced to purchase a premium solution.
Sophos can only cover up to 3 devices. However, the Sophos Home premium can cover up to 10 devices. It also includes helpful web protections which block dangerous and compromised websites.
The antivirus is designed with predictive AI (Artificial intelligence) threat detection.
The good thing about this antivirus is that it has parental website filtering, enabling you to control the contents that your children see. This means that you can leave children with your device without any worries.
The only challenge is that the free version doesn’t include ransomware protection.
Bitdefender is an award-winning antivirus that can help you to protect your device from existing and new e-threats. It’s one of the best and most popular products in the industry. Bitdefender is light on computer resources and quick to install. One advantage of using this product is that it has a free window, Mac OS, and android solution.
If you’re looking for a simple antivirus scanner that you won’t have to think about completing the installation, then Bitdefender is your best option. The antivirus has a cloud-based anti-malware engine that runs the background. You’ll only get important notifications in cases where there is a suspicious program activity. Unless you adjust the settings, malware removal, detection and scans will happen automatically.
The free version of this product will detect almost every malware, including rootkits and adware. You’ll also notice that it scans your device faster than other products.
The fraud detection and anti-phishing features are also top quality. There is also a Bitdefender total security that offers additional services such as:
- Parental controls
- Performance optimization
- A password manager
If you’re looking for an antivirus that can protect you while you work, play or work online, then Panda is the best solution. Panda-free antivirus has proven to be easy to use, secure and lightweight.
When you compare its performance with other free antiviruses, it usually detects more spyware, ransomware files, and adware than other free products. The free version of this product also has a gaming mode that automatically suspends notifications anytime you play or watch or play a video on full screen.
Panda free antivirus has a secure VPN that offers fast connection speeds. However, it has a data limit of 150 MB daily. Although it’s an improvement over Avira’s monthly 500MB, it isn’t enough for sharing files and streaming. The VPN also lets you access a single server.
However, the Panda Dome Premium can offer you extra features such as anti-ransomware protection, password manager, parental controls, a firewall, anti-phishing protection, and advanced tune-up tools.
There is no arguing that Avast is among the most popular and effective antivirus software on the market at the moment. Thanks to offering excellent free solutions, Avast received the prestigious 2021 PCMag Editors’ Choice award.
The best thing about Avast is that it offers an easy-to-use interface, a network security scanner, and a secure web browser.
Avast blocks any pop-ups every time you’re watching a movie or playing a game. With this product, your device is free from any ransomware attack. It’s also developed with a unique behavior shield feature that checks for applications to ensure that they don’t go rogue.
If you’re looking for the best free antivirus software, then you can choose one from any of the above. For effective performance, we recommend Avast since it has a long history of proven quality performance. However, remember that the best solution serves your needs and protects your devices 100%. We hope that you remain safe even while you work, play or browse online.