Best free antivirus software for 2022

Antivirus software is not always free. Antivirus software is unnecessary when your operating system already has built-in protection against malicious code.

Windows Defender is available in Windows 10/11 and offers only mediocre security. This tool doesn’t have any additional security features, and its threat protection rates are lower than those of third-party products.

An excellent third-party antivirus is available free of charge and can offer top-quality security, as well as being approved by independent labs. An antivirus can offer additional protection such as password management, identity theft protection and VPN. The majority of high-end antiviruses do not come with a complimentary licence.

You don’t always need protection, but you may not have to pay a lot if you’re thrifty. No matter what type of device you have, we’ve compiled a list that includes the best free antivirus software.

Here’s a quick list of the top free antivirus software programs:

  1. TotalAV – The best free antivirus scanner

  2. Norton Antivirus – Free, state of the-art antivirus

  3. Bitdefender – An extremely secure and free antivirus

  4. Surf Shark Antivirus is a free antivirus program that protects your computer from viruses.

  5. Avira – The best family antivirus

Paid antivirus vs. Free antivirus

When it comes to free and paid antivirus programs, the latter is the best. Paid antivirus programs will protect your computer from online threats. Paid antivirus programs offer 24/7 customer support while the free version does not.

Paid antivirus software, such as the ones on our Best antivirus in 2022 list, offers many useful features that can enhance your online experience. Experts as well as beginners can both benefit from parental mode and built-in VPNs.

If you carefully choose your antivirus program, even a free one is not sufficient. Let’s look at TotalAV, the free version. It uses the same advanced technology as the paid version to protect you from malware. The free version has no additional features and is therefore limited in functionality.

You can get basic protection from malware with a free antivirus program, but you need to choose wisely.

This comprehensive list contains the top free antivirus services

It can be difficult to find an antivirus that detects malware at high levels without spending a lot. It is not easy to find an antivirus with a high detection rate that also includes additional features. These are the best free antivirus services:

1. TotalAV – The best free antivirus scanner

TotalAV is not a well-known program, but it’s a great option if you want an antivirus program that can be installed on your computer. All the necessary features are contained in one package

TotalAV provides a comprehensive Smart Scan. However, paying customers can only get a real-time scan. This tool does more than scan for malware. It scans startup programs for duplicate files and also finds them. It also evaluates browser safety.

To compensate, they offer a Safe Site Extension that works with Chrome Firefox Edge Edge and Edge browsers. It blocks dangerous URLs. This will prevent malware from being installed on your device.

Independent malware labs highly praise the service. It was rated as the best product by antivirus testing and has the highest performance score. You can be sure that you’re getting the best possible performance.

The paid edition can be viewed in conjunction with the free version. After installing the free edition, you can get the Pro version free of cost. All features of your antivirus are available to you, including ransomware prevention and real-time Ransomware Protection. Read more about TotalAV in the TotalAV review.

Pros

  • Smart Scan

  • Safe site extension

  • Get the Pro version for free

  • Excellent laboratory test scores

Cons

  • Real-time protection is not possible

2. Norton Antivirus – Free, state of the-art antivirus

Since its partnership with Avast, Norton 360 has been a cybersecurity king. The 14-day trial is worth it, even though it’s more costly than we would prefer to pay. Norton will give you all the tools necessary to protect your devices against infection.

You’ll find AI-powered, real-time protection that prevents viruses, spyware, and ransomware causing damage to your device. A two-way Firewall is also available. It is capable of monitoring network traffic and sending one.

Another great feature is parental control. This allows you to limit online access for your children on different devices. To protect yourself, you can also use a dark-web monitor. It will notify you if your credentials have been compromised via forums or dark websites.

Norton offers additional security features that go beyond what is standard. Norton comes with a password manager and a VPN built in. Norton offers encrypted storage. You don’t need to worry about additional security services.

Although Norton Antivirus is not available for free, it is unavoidable that it provides reliable and powerful security tools.

You can find more information about Norton security in our Norton Antivirus Review.

Pros

  • One of the most powerful feature sets

  • Built-in password manager and VPN protection

  • 100% Protection against all types and forms of malware

  • Great for mobile devices

Cons

  • There is no free version

  • Quite expensive

3. Bitdefender – An extremely secure and free antivirus

Bitdefender is our top antivirus service. You get many amazing free features.

Bitdefender Shield can be downloaded on Windows. It provides protection against a variety of cybersecurity threats in real time. It protects files, emails, and other sensitive information in real-time with minimal impact on system performance.

This service doesn’t rely on only data from databases. Advanced Threat Defence uses machine learning to identify signs that could be interpreted as a behavioural threat. Imagine a program having too many data files and uploading or changing background data. It will be detected as malware before it is added into the database.

Bitdefender offers protection against phishing websites. Every website you visit is thoroughly scanned for phishing indicators in order to make sure your data doesn’t end up on dark web marketplaces.  Find out more about Bitdefender by reading our Bitdefender review

Bitdefender offers the best customer support for those who don’t pay. If you have any questions, you can reach Bitdefender’s support agents via chat, email, or community forums. Virtually all other services offer antiviruses for free.

The Mac version of this service does not offer a free option. It does not offer a separate malware scanner. It has very few other features.

The base version is free for life, but the premium versions are available for 30 days free of charge.

Pros

  • Superb malware protection

  • Limits scans if you’re actively using your device

  • All premium versions can be tried for 30 days

  • Advanced Phishing Filters

Cons

  • It isn’t great for iOS and macOS users.

  • Initial scans can take a while

4. Surf Shark AV antivirus software is all-around.

Surfshack VPN is a trusted VPN service that offers Surf Shark antivirus software. This product is all-in-one and designed to protect your online safety. It is extremely affordable, even though you only get a seven-day trial and a 1-month money-back guarantee.

Antivirus software is light and can scan your device for malware quickly. It can detect 70% of them within a matter of minutes.

Although Surfshark’s antivirus software is quite small, it offers outstanding additional features. Surfshark’s next-generation VPN service uses military-grade encryption as well as the best tunnelling protocol on the market.

Secure search engines are also beneficial. They don’t collect any data and won’t frustrate you with ads popping up randomly. Data breach monitoring will notify you of any data leaks.

We must mention that the Surf Shark virus was independently tested and certified by Virus Bulletin. These results were outstanding. This is a testimony to the security-oriented nature of the company.

Surf Shark antivirus still lacks some useful antivirus features. This product was created by top cybersecurity professionals. We can therefore be sure that it will soon become an excellent antivirus software.

Surf Shark antivirus: Learn more

Pros

  • Next-gen features

  • Protection in real time

  • Fast and thorough device scans

  • Unlimitless security

Cons

  • There is no free version

  • Poor selection of antivirus features

5. Avira Free Security is the best Apple antivirus

Current tool is the successor to the Avira Free security suite. The current tool combines the best features of the previous version with new features. This keeps the service affordable and highly capable. This is a very limited version of the paid software, but it’s still very good.

Although there are many great antiviruses available for all devices, the best part about this service is its support. Avira provides a free antivirus for Android, Mac, and PC. It provides comparable performance and covers all bases.

Independent testing has shown that Avira’s macOS protection rating is the highest. This is quite remarkable. Apple users are more secure in malware protection than other users. This industry standard is difficult to ignore. Avira even has real-world data that supports its strength.

Windows users score as high on PC. No matter which operating system you are using, you will receive a high-quality anti-virus. Avira is simple to install and will automatically upgrade, so there’s no need to worry about your security.

As a free user, you get ransomware protection and system protection. Additional protection will be provided by the Browser Safety add-on. You get the full suite, even though the free version cannot detect ransomware threats. You can find more information on all features in our Avira Antivirus Review.

Two browser add-ons that can make surfing safer are Browser Safety and Secure Shopping. These add-ons can help protect you against intrusive trackers or data theft. Although there is a VPN available, it is difficult to use because the monthly limit of 500MB per person makes it unusable.

  • Secure shopping suite

  • Your browser protection has been increased

  • Reliable malware removal

Cons

  • Made without any features

  • System scans can be tedious and lengthy.

6. Sophos Home – Best Free Antivirus for Families

Sophos is a business-focused company. You might not have even heard of them. The Sophos Home Edition has many of the same features and benefits as their business edition. Even though this is a free service, you can control three devices with one console. This is a great service for small groups of friends or families.

Sophos Home FrePros

  • Includes password manager

  • Supported operating systems include many

e has two main features: Malware Protection and Web Protection. There are no tools that can protect against ransomware or real-time monitoring. Be cautious when downloading attachments or files via email.

Sophos Malware Protection relies heavily on scanning. This does not allow for customization. Only one option is a full scan. You will need to wait until the entire scan is complete if you only need to scan a few areas of your storage. This is an inefficient and slow way to scan your storage.

Web Protection is a tool that blocks you from visiting suspicious URLs. This includes phishing sites. You will receive a High-Risk Website Block Warning if you try to access suspicious websites. If the website isn’t blocked, but your download contains malware codes, then Download Protection will be activated. To determine whether the file is safe to download, it examines the file with data from other computers as well as the reputation of the host website.

The Parental Controls tab can also be accessed. . You can choose which content you wish to block.This is a great option for parents as you can remotely manage your antivirus on another device. It works with all modern browsers. You can also get alerts about filter triggers.

Sophos Home provides a basic package that can add value to your family’s safety. As the household manager for all devices, imagine yourself. Sophos Home is an excellent solution to these tasks. It is free and doesn’t cost anything.

Read more about the Soph antivirus review.

Pros

  • Parental control

  • Remote capabilities

  • Lightweight antivirus software

Cons

  • Many features are locked out

  • Scan options do not allow for customisation.

7. Panda Free Antivirus for Windows is the best antivirus

Panda Free Antivirus is an exceptional antivirus software interface. Beautiful nature scenes are featured in the apps, as well as a unique user interface. Despite its eccentric taste in background images and colour palettes, it’s still one the best free antivirus software available.

Naturally, I only mean Android and Windows when I refer to “capable”. MacOS and iOS users will need to look elsewhere, as there are only paid versions.

Windows offers more features than you might expect. You can schedule system scans or block the execution of malware from USB devices. You can also create a partition on your USB drive in extreme cases when your computer will not start because of malware.

Android users have the ability to scan their SD memory cards and internal storage in real time. Privacy Auditor is one the most important features. It is the most common way Android apps turn into malware. This happens when you install sketchy apps that steal your data. This feature lets you see which apps have access to your data and allows you to delete those that do not.

You can also use device tracking and battery optimization to locate lost phones.

This security software is most commonly used by Android and Windows users. Panda is a great free option for such users.

Pros

  • VPN capabilities

  • Good protection against malware

  • Protection against infected USB drives

Cons

  • Limited support for iOS and macOS

  • False positives are common

We tested these free antivirus services and chose the best.

Ranking the best antivirus programs is no easy task. We test many antivirus programs before deciding which ones we will include in our list. We evaluate their intelligence, ease-of-use and virus detection rates.

We also gather data from anti-malware labs like AV Test or AV Comparatives. Then, we draw conclusions in order to find the best balance between safety & performance.

How to choose the best free antivirus

They are often very limited so there are not many things to consider when choosing a free protection tool. These are the top free antiviruses.

  • Malware protection rates. Antivirus software should detect cyber threats, even if it’s free. To find out how independent labs such as AV-comparatives and AV TEST assess the protection rate of free antivirus services, it’s worth checking.

  • Real-time protection. Antivirus software can be expensive. However, it is worth looking for one that provides real-time protection. It stops malware being installed on your device.

  • Extra features. There aren’t many antiviruses that come free, but you can still find providers that offer at least some of the features you want. To protect all your login credentials, you might need a password manager. You might prefer a browser extension that helps you stay safe online.  You must know exactly what you want and how you can get it.

 

It can be hard to find an antivirus program that provides enough protection. Any program you don’t like can be uninstalled and reinstalled. All of them are free!

Video Review: The Best Freebies in 2022

Is it safe to use a free antivirus program?

A free antivirus program may not be sufficient, but it is better than none. It might even be more effective than the included antivirus software. You need to be careful and fully understand what you get. Antivirus will most likely disable all other built-in options.

It is important to remember that free antivirus programs sometimes don’t provide real-time protection. While a free antivirus program won’t protect your computer against new malware, it can eliminate existing threats.

Is antivirus worth the price?

If you want to enjoy the best possible experience, an antivirus is essential. You will have better customer service and features depending on the service you choose.

Paid antivirus offers more features. These include additional security features like password management and identity theft protection. If children are online, a paid antivirus option can be used. Norton is the best choice for smooth operation and all of these features.

Paid antivirus will in most cases provide better customer support. For users who don’t pay, most providers do not offer live chat or email support. Their FAQs are all you can rely on. Depending on which antivirus you select, you can get 24/7 support via email or live chat. These services, such as Bitdefender or Norton, provide all of these options.

Paying for an antivirus will depend on your level of security and comfort.  For basic protection, a free plan is a great option.You might consider our 2022 top antivirus services if you want high-quality security and exceptional customer support.

CyberNews offers more anti-virus guides

Antivirus apps for Android are available free of charge and can protect your Android smartphone from viruses

These ChromeOS antiviruses will work best on your Chromebook.

Antivirus protection at its finest: Free protection with real-time malware scanning

FAQ

How can I get rid of antivirus?

Many antiviruses can be downloaded for free from the provider’s site. To download an app, you might need to go to a particular app store like Google Play or Microsoft Store. Most antivirus services are free and can be used without registration. Registering is a smarter move to receive a free trial of the premium version.

Is it safe to use a free anti-virus program?

It is safe to use a complimentary antivirus if you only trust reputable antivirus software providers. Although it will work less often than the paid version, it will still be effective.

What is the best anti-virus free in 2022?

TotalAV is the current best free antivirus. It is highly effective in detecting malware and has a few basic features.

My computer will be slower if I install an antivirus.

Your computer will not slow down if you have a fast antivirus installed. The resources available to computers are greater these days, so there shouldn’t be any significant impact on their performance. If your device is older, it may be harder to meet certain antivirus requirements.

 

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