Searching the web for the best free antivirus software can be overwhelming, to say the least. The plethora of free options to choose from makes it difficult for people to determine which one best suits their needs.
Note, however, that this article is not geared towards businesses. Since these are free antivirus programs, it may not be the wisest choice to use these for your business especially if you deal with a lot of sensitive information. We here at ETech 7 believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If your business deals with a lot of customer data and payment details, please consider a paid antivirus software.
This article is for the young professionals out there that need to work and play using the same device. And, now that we’re all sheltering-in-place and tightening our spending because of the coronavirus pandemic, we thought it would be apt for us to guide you in choosing the best free antivirus software in the market.
But first, what exactly is antivirus software for?
Antivirus software is designed to detect and remove malicious software on your computer, mobile phone, and other devices. These programs scan your computer and your network to detect any type of malware that has infected your computer. Most antivirus programs provide real-time threat detection and protection against potential vulnerabilities in your system that cybercriminals can exploit.
Some of these potential vulnerabilities include:
- Outdated software - Contrary to popular belief, software companies send updates to you not to annoy you but because they care. These updates serve as patches to issues that might have been discovered recently. The next time you think about ignoring an update, think about this: hackers know that not everyone updates their software. They target security flaws in past software versions in the hopes that people are still running unpatched versions of a program.
- Human error - Probably the most problematic, human error remains one of the most common potential vulnerabilities because… well… we’re humans. We are bound to make mistakes. In our other blog posts, we here at ETech 7 have gone to great lengths to emphasize how important it is to equip your employees with enough technological know-how in the hopes that they wouldn’t click that email from a Nigerian prince.
All jokes aside, familiarizing yourself with the most common online etiquette such as not clicking suspicious links and not sending sensitive information to an email you don’t recognize can play a big role in keeping your systems safe.
- Other network vulnerabilities - Network vulnerabilities come in many forms. These vulnerabilities may come in the form of weak passwords, too many people having access to your network, unpatched programs, and ill-defined network restrictions. Do an internal audit of the security measures you have in place so that you can determine which sectors are lacking and might be exploited by hackers.
Free vs Paid Antivirus Software: What’s the Difference?
Is there a considerable difference between free antivirus software and paid antivirus software? As with most free things, unpaid versions would almost always have limitations. Most limitations, for the casual computer user, are pretty harmless. It just depends on what you need and what sort of information you are dealing with on a daily basis.
Are you using your laptop or personal computer purely for educational and entertainment purposes?
Are you a young professional using your computer both for work and personal use?
Are you using your computer to play games and watch movies?
If you answered yes to at least one of the questions above, then a free antivirus might suit you. But if you answered yes to all of the above, then a free antivirus might do for now. We say for now because once you start dealing with more and more sensitive information, we would rather you upgrade to a paid antivirus software program.
For now, free antivirus software would do. Luckily for you, we tested three of the best free antivirus software out there so you won’t have to! Keep scrolling to read the best free antivirus software of 2020.
Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
Simplicity is Kaspersky’s main selling point. Once you start using Kaspersky, you would get the feeling that user experience has been given much thought in the development of this product.
Kaspersky’s virus protection performs extremely well and could compete with other paid versions in the market. Kaspersky’s key features include real-time malware protection, cloud protection, application and network management, as well as a strong data protection tool that allows you to delete files securely. Overall, Kaspersky’s key features definitely give it a bit of an edge against its other free competitors. The only downside is that Kaspersky has faced major controversy recently over its privacy policies.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Bitdefender’s free version is one of the most powerful free antivirus programs available. Why? Because Bitdefender’s free version has the same core antivirus protection as its paid counterpart. Its key features include real-time malware detection and protection, active URL blocking, and intuitive phishing protection among others.
Bitdefender’s real-time threat detection uses behavioral technology to detect anything suspicious. Its virus scanning and malware removal tool also ensure the detection of all malware from viruses, worms, and Trojans to ransomware, zero-day exploits, rootkits, and spyware. As a bonus, Bitdefender’s free version also comes with a free VPN service to keep your browsing data anonymous and encrypted. If you’re a casual web browser, Bitdefender’s free version is perfect for you!
Avast Free Version
As one of the easily-recognizable names out there, Avast’s reputability is second to none. And for good reason! Avast puts simplicity and fast performance before anything else. This antivirus software does not ask you to upgrade every five minutes and does not install any extras that might slow down your device.
Compared to the other antivirus software out in the market, Avast’s clean user interface gives users a seamless experience when scanning their system. Avast’s free version offers virus scans, customizable core shield options, a virus chest, and even a free Wi-Fi inspector that will let you find issues or holes in your network. Avast even gives you a free (albeit limited) password manager and real-time web shield.
Avast’s free version is a likable and capable antivirus program that can go toe-to-toe with some of the best free antivirus software out there. The only downside with Avast is that scans may, at times, be slow. Keep in mind, however, that you’re using a free service. The pros definitely outweigh the cons when it comes to Avast’s free version.
Each entry in this list has been carefully chosen for its security measures. The best free antivirus software should be able to offer you strong antivirus protection measures that can rival any paid software out there. If you’re worried about your device’s protection, talk to an expert about the measures you can take to further protect yourself and your information.
In today’s world, you just can never be too careful.
Stay safe out there!