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Best Free Antivirus Software

Free antivirus software is a great option if you are on a tight budget but want to protect your device from the latest threats of ransomware and malware. Free antivirus software typically employs the same malware scanner engines as their paid counterparts however, they do not have additional tools that offer total online security, such as a virtual private network (VPN), a password manager and parental controls.

The most effective free antivirus programs will provide real-time malware detection and protection. This means that the software actively detects and blocks malware as they try to download or infiltrate your computer. In the past, this kind of protection was only available to premium subscriptions. However, it is nowadays common in free alternatives.

The best antivirus software for free should also include an easy VPN and password manager, at a minimum for a trial time. McAfee, for example, offers a free trial of 30 days to its most expensive package. It includes all premium features, including security for the web and ID theft protection.

The best antivirus software for free must be easy to use. The majority of brands on our list have intuitive features and user-friendly dashboards. Certain brands also have mobile apps to make it easier for you to scan and protect Android or iOS devices. The best free programs can be utilized on a single device. Paid versions provide families-friendly plans as well tools for business.