If you’re a Windows user, you shouldn’t completely rely on Microsoft’s security tools. Today, because of the increased rate of cybercrime, your Windows may remain at a threat if you don’t take precautionary measures, such as, third-party security applications that are more effective at keeping you safe. The rules to keep your Windows secure include, not opening unexpected emails, not tapping on unnecessary links from unverified websites and not giving out your personal information. Therefore, effective antivirus software may come in handy when it comes to running a secure system. Below is the list of the 15 best antivirus software for Windows users to keep you safe from cybercrime.
1. Panda Dome
Starting off with the simplest antivirus you can get, previously known as Panda Free Antivirus. It installs very quickly, in minutes. As you set it up in your PC, you can start scanning (on-demand or automatic) to check files for unwanted programs or protection from viruses or malware which could harm your PC. Here’s one thing unique about Panda Dome: its security news alerts section shows you some important warnings as messages which you can turn off if you prefer. Panda Dome scans fairly quick for running threats such as browser cookies and processes. You can choose between two different scan options: custom or system scan.
Moreover, you can use a password to protect the application. Panda Dome will remove some files from the scanning process if you wish. Also, USB protection can be used to make sure removable devices don’t spread anything to the computer. You can also use Panda Safe Web to protect your Windows against malicious websites, but that is optional. You can use this software for free in all versions of Windows. However, the software would change your home page and it consists of advertisements.
2. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Some of us do not like the idea of lots of buttons and menus that come with antivirus software. This option is not only free but is easy to use and is free of buttons and menus. This antivirus software will give you instant protection against viruses, threats, rootkits, spyware, frauds that wander around when you are surfing the internet and entering passwords. Although Bitdefender has less customization, it works very well and does the job. You have a drag and drop option to scan your files with ease and fast. You can scan several files at the same time.
The most obvious flaw of this software is its minimal design, but there’s another flaw which is that it takes too long to be ready for us. Also, there are unnecessary advertisements which ask you to buy the professional software version. It is supported on Windows 10, 8 and 7.
3. McAfee Total Protection
Another antivirus software option that is free and comes with essential guards against viruses and malicious software. It can be run from Windows XP to Windows 10. It involves speedy installation, protection against typos, scanning downloads and making sure the antivirus is turned on before you surf the internet. It consists of free anti-malware tools such as Trojan-remover and has a simple interface.
The unique thing about this is that it has a virtual assistant as a tool too. Moreover, it is also supported on phones. However, it lacks password features as well as the feature set overall. The performance is quite inconsistent as well.
4. Avast Free Antivirus
Always appearing at the top ranks, Avast Free Antivirus never fails to do the job perfectly. With built-in features and good test results, it has proven to be an excellent malware protector and phishing protector. Avast’s smart scan looks for hidden malware, network threats, add on while you browse and PC performance or processes issues. Therefore, it is loaded with features and is highly customizable with a VPN client as well.
However, the downside to it is that the malware protection can be a bit unreliable and possible privacy concerns can arise. It can cause a heavy load on your operating system too which might lead to lagging.
5. Kaspersky Free
If you’re looking for antivirus software that is simple to use, is packed with features and is absolutely free, then this would be a good choice for you. With a super clean user interface, it becomes very easy to understand even for a beginner. It has unique features which are sometimes not found in other programs. Moreover, the protection goes on till your email too. You have options to customize and set up a scanning schedule. All you need to do is to create a user account to activate this in your PC.
However, most of the features are not actually free and it has a slow installing process. Another drawback is that you need to renew the free license every year to be able to use this software and there is no direct tech support. All in all, Kaspersky Free still is able to give you real-time security and protection and warnings against malicious websites and software, so its not really bad for free antivirus software.
6. AVG AntiVirus FREE
Another really good antivirus software is AVG AntiVirus FREE which is also easy on the eyes as the scan button is right in the middle of the screen. Turning the features off becomes super simple. This may be a treat to beginners as all the advanced options are moved away from the view in the settings. It is highly customizable and manageable as it lets you schedule scans and looks for threats in the archives. Better yet, it installs in a matter of minutes and updates automatically. The user will have full control over how things work.
Good things do come with their own flaws and this is no exception either. AVG shows you features which you can’t really enable in the free version and it always shows advertisements related to AVG Internet Security. It looks like the benefits of this software overweigh the drawbacks as AVG also has a file shredder tool which can be used easily to overwrite files using data destruction method.
7. Avira Free Security Suite
Avira Free Security Suite is another good antivirus software which stands out because of the ‘in-the-cloud detection’ feature known as Protection Cloud. This feature involves identifying and blocking out potential threats before they take damage. It protects your PC from ransomware, Trojan, spyware and other threats. You are in control as you can choose which ones to activate and disable. Additionally, you can install other tools when you install Avira.
However, all this will only work for you if you have Chrome or Firefox. Other than this, it has password manager included, optional downloadable protection layers and cloud protection.
8. Adaware Antivirus Free
Another option that you need to try has to be this. Adaware comes from a company initially known as Lavasoft. It comes with a new look but has fewer features as compared to others mentioned in this post. Adaware Antivirus enables protection against ransomware, viruses, and other forms of malicious URLs or software. The threats can be found through quick, full, or custom scan. Though it does not allow protection against malicious URLs, it’s still free software to give a go. It installs very quickly and does not make your system lag. You can use it in two modes, regular or the main. The silent mode mutes’ notifications, alerts and limits resource use which makes it quite optimal for your PC.
However, it cannot be reliable as other software options and some useful features are only usable with the paid version. It can still be run as a substitute for other antivirus programs if you don’t have any.
Comodo Antivirus is an excellent source of protection against malicious software or other threats. It can be simple or complex depending upon a user’s experience level with tools. With Comodo, you can run scans at any time, either quick, full or custom scans. It supports cloud-based scans to detect new threats and has a built-in sandbox technology. You can use the customization tool to scan archives or check for threats running on your PC.
The unique feature of Comodo is its virtualization feature. This is where any program can be run in a virtual space separately and it becomes a chance to test it out for any viruses. The updates are automatic for the Comodo software, but it includes some other programs which you may not prefer.
If you’re looking for a quick malware deletion, then this is the best antivirus software for you. It is an award-winning Windows anti-virus which is loaded with extra features as compared to others. It has unique parental controls which allow not only imports of all user accounts, but also security templates based on the age of the user.
Additionally, BullGuard offers home network scanner which creates a notification every time a new device connects. The best thing about it is that it is very easy to use as the dashboard is very well-organized. Also, BullGuard’s tech support is responsive, unlike others. The drawbacks include a weak ransomware scanner. It does, however, protect against malware and unverified networks.
11. Heimdal Antivirus Free
This antivirus is best known for its threat education which is perfect for newbies. Heimdal goes above and beyond in the education aspect. The users can search for various sections such as, ‘cybersecurity for beginners’ to educate themselves about cybercrime and safety. The software includes a traffic scanner known as, DarkLayer Guard which stays on and blocks out malware connections automatically. This makes it a hassle-free software.
Moreover, software splits threats into two categories; infected and suspicious files. Having so much in one software, it may be a surprise to you that it does not have live chat or tech support options. Also, the basic plan does not include many features either.
12. Sophos Home Free
Sophos Home Free comes from the company that is focused on business security and their tools offer the same protection as their business products, including remote security management. This means you can install this on a family member’s PC and remotely manage their security for them if they are not able to. Sophos Home Free offers brilliant protection against malicious URLs by blocking them. It has very good anti-phishing score too. Also, it is free for use. However, the parental control filter is not that effective and the full scan is quite slow as well.
13. Immunet AntiVirus
Immunet AntiVirus software deals with real-time protection for Windows users. Though it is a bit old, the software still comes in handy and connects directly to cloud for updates. Moreover, you can choose to customize the scanning options. There are no advertisements on this antivirus software. It installs fast and is a small set up file so it is light on your PC. It also shows you a timeline of threats on your PC. It also consists of a blocking mode where it prevents programs from being installed unless they pass the security scan. There is a lot of helpful information that is built-in. So, Windows users are at an advantage since this is only available for them alone.
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Unlike many other options, FortiClient is unique because of its parental control features, and its ability to manually check your programs for threats functions as a VPN client, and has a firewall. It downloads and installs updates automatically, so not many efforts are required here. It comes with a simple user interface too. However, you cannot pause scans and there isn’t much useful information given. It can be time-consuming to download it as well.
This one is best known for security on multiple devices and is highly reputed too. The software specializes in internet protection with a remote firewall control that allows remote control of your security too. It also has a disk cleaner which many antiviruses don’t. This helps to keep your PC up to date and work faster. It also has a VPN which allows safe browsing experience that prevents you from entering into malicious websites. However, the tech support isn’t very responsive and the VPN takes some time to connect. For the paid plans, the billing practices can be confusing to some users.