Free antivirus software (or paid) is essential for securing your computer and mobile devices, especially if you’re using a Windows PC or Android smartphone or tablet, which are most often targeted by malware due to their popularity. And you can actually get some really solid antivirus protection entirely for free, and that’s what we’re going to be looking at in this article and the video above.
Also in the video I will be showing you guys a few tips and tricks on how to improve your security beyond just using an antivirus.
Best Free Antivirus 2017 List
If you’re looking for a free antivirus with all the essentials in one package, then look no further than Avira. It scored very well in the antivirus protection category in the last three tests at AV-Test.org, getting full points in two of them. This basically means that it provides very good antivirus protection.
I’m not going to get into too many technical details, but Avira has all the features you’d expect from a good free antivirus. It protects your computer in real-time from not only viruses but also spyware and adware, which not all antivirus programs do. The interface has a classic look and is quite easy to navigate. Also while Avira is not the most lightweight antivirus, it also does not consume too many computer resources.
Avira does have pop-up promotions which can be a bit annoying, but you can quite easily disable them with a program called BGP Killer. It’s totally legit and safe to use, and it seamlessly runs in the background.
Overall I think Avira is a really good free antivirus solution for the average person due to its range of features and user-friendliness. It is available for Windows and Mac computers, as well as Android and iOS devices. I’ll give Avira 8.5 out of 10 points.
Next up we have Bitdefender, which tends to actually score slightly better in AV-Test than Avira, in the latest test it scored 6 out of 6 whereas Avira scored 5 out of 6.
However, Bitdefender does not have any protection against spyware or adware. But for viruses, trojans and the more malicious kind of malware it does offer good and free real-time protection.
Bitdefender is more lightweight than Avira, and does not consume too many computer resources. The interface has also been upgraded since last year, it looks much more modern now. But it is still very simple and easy to use. However compared with Avira, its configurability and features are quite minimal.
One downside with Bitdefender is that you have to sign up for a free account, and then use that to login in the software to activate your free license. It’s just a bit more hassle, but you only have to do it once. Also nowadays Bitdefender has pop-up promotions, but they are easily disabled in the account section of the software by simply flicking a switch to turn off special offer notifications.
Basically with Bitdefender you should use another anti-malware software like Malwarebytes or Zemana, if you want your computer cleaned of all possible spyware and adware.
Bitdefender is available for Windows and Mac computers, but also has apps for Android and iOS devices. It is a decent free antivirus if you’re looking for something simple and lightweight. I will give Bitdefender 8.3 out of 10 points.
In third place we have Avast Free Antivirus. Avast actually acquired AVG Technologies in September 2016, so both AVG Antivirus and Avast now have essentially the same developer.
Avast is somewhat similar to Avira, but with a more modern looking interface. Although its detection rates seem to be closer to Bitdefender in the last couple tests at AV-Test.org. It also has some network scanning capabilities, where it scans your local network for vulnerabilities.
However, as a free antivirus it has one major drawback, and that’s the fact that you can’t entirely disable the annoying pop-up promotions. I was not able to find any software like BGP Killer which would solve this issue either.
Basically with some common sense, you will be pretty much as safe with Avast as you will be with Avira, except with Avira you won’t have to deal with the annoying pop-up promotions.
Avast also has a VPN service with a 7-day free trial called SecureLine. I have made a comparison and review video of Avast SecureLine and Avira Phantom VPN on my second channel, check the link in the description.
But otherwise Avast is a pretty good antivirus, and it is available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. I will give it 8 out of 10 points.
And finally we have Panda Free Antivirus. Compared with the rest of the antiviruses in this video, it’s actually on par with most of them. Except that it has slightly lower average scores on AV-Test.org. But its antivirus protection is still pretty good.
The Panda interface is quite modern looking and simple to use. Also the program itself is somewhat lightweight and doesn’t hog too much computer resources.
Panda has real-time protection against both viruses and spyware, or other potentiall unwanted programs. As with all of the antiviruses in this review you can also run full system scans on demand.
It also does have pop-up promotions, but they are easily disabled in the general settings menu by scrolling down to where it says “Panda news” and then just deactivate the news notifications.
One downside with Panda is that the free antivirus is only available for Windows. That being said I will give Panda 7.8 out of 10 points.