Best Free Antivirus Software for 2024: Keep Your PC Protected

We live in a time, where we store all our important data on mobile devices and computers. This makes it mandatory to keep these devices protected.

When accessing the internet, your devices are exposed to various threats, such as viruses, malware, spyware, phishing, and more.

These things can be extremely harmful to your device and data. You need good and efficient antivirus software to combat these issues.

We have put together some of the best antivirus programs that are completely free to use. These are the most popular options in the market.

If you are looking for reliable antivirus software, we suggest you give this article a read. Go through the details and pick the right antivirus program for your device.

Best Free Antivirus Software


What Is Free Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software is a program designed to detect, prevent, and remove malicious software from computers and other devices.

This software protects your device and data against various threats, including viruses, spyware, malware, adware, ransomware, and more.

Antivirus programs offer an array of security features, such as scanning, firewall, password manager, VPN, and more.

They scan files, programs, and data on a computer and detect the presence of malware. The antivirus software then takes action to remove it.

It plays a crucial role in maintaining the security and integrity of digital devices.

Features Of Free Antivirus Software

The key features that antivirus software should offer include:

Real-Time Scanning

Real-time scanning enables the software to continuously monitor your device for potential threats.

Whenever you open a file or download something from the internet, the antivirus software scans it in real time to detect and prevent any malware from infecting your system.

Malware Detection and Removal

The main function of antivirus software is to detect and remove malware.

Good antivirus software should have a robust malware detection engine that can identify both known threats and new ones.

Firewall Protection

Many antivirus programs include a firewall that acts as a barrier between a computer and the internet. It monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic.

It helps prevent unauthorized access to your system and can block potentially harmful data packets from entering your device.

Automatic Updates

Antivirus programs should provide automatic updates to ensure that they can combat new threats.

Regular updates are vital for maintaining the security of your system.

Additional Features

Some antivirus software comes with extra features, such as a password manager, VPN (Virtual Private Network), parental controls, and identity theft protection.

These additional features can enhance your overall online privacy and security, making them valuable additions to consider.

Best Free Antivirus Software

1. TotalAV – Best Free Antivirus Software for Windows


TotalAV is hands down the best free antivirus software with a myriad of anti-malware and security features.

The user-friendly interface makes it easier to handle the software even for first-time users. With this software option, you can keep your PC protected from various malware attacks.


  • The anti-phishing and anti-malware features protect your devices from various threats.
  • The built-in VPN tool allows safe browsing by encrypting user data online.
  • Ransomware protection ensures safety against ransomware threats.
  • WebShield extension is effective in blocking harmful sites.


  • Antivirus Pro: $29 first year and renews at $19 per year
  • Total Security: $49 first year and renews at $49 per year


  • Provides ID theft protection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Built-in password vault
  • 100% malware removal rate
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Anti-phishing and anti-malware features
  • Can optimize device performance


  • Slow scanning
  • Limited customer support

2. Norton 360 – Free Anti-Virus with Advanced Security Features


Norton 360 is known to provide all-around online protection. It has a 100% malware detection rate and the free version includes a virus protection plan.

With Norton 360, users enjoy AI-driven protection in real-time. It keeps your device safe from ransomware, malware, viruses, and spyware.


  • Smart firewall blocks all unauthorized access to your device.
  • Built-in VPN prevents data leaks and encrypts data online.
  • With Norton’s PC cloud backup, you can restore all your data in a safe place.
  • You can store all your passwords safely with the password manager.


  • Plus: $19.99 for the first year
  • Standard: $39.99 for the first year
  • Deluxe: $49.99 for the first year


  • 7-day free trial period
  • Very affordable plans
  • AI-powered protection
  • 60-days refund policy
  • Includes parental controls
  • Scans full system
  • Ease of use


  • The free version is limited
  • Resource intensive

3. Bitdefender Antivirus Free – Feature-Packed Completely Free Antivirus for PC

Bitdefender Antivirus Free

Bitdefender provides real-time protection and allows users to browse the internet without worries.

It has the best malware protection for all-around security. It can protect your device from all types of online threats, including older and zero-day malware.


  • It provides webcam and microphone protection from hackers.
  • Anti-phishing features protect your device from spam attacks and trackers.
  • It blocks unauthorized access with its powerful privacy firewall.
  • It helps optimize your system by removing duplicate and junk files.


  • Antivirus Plus: $10.82 per year
  • Total Security: $18.03 per year
  • Internet Security: $15.33 per year


  • Works on multiple platforms
  • Includes a password manager
  • Strong online security
  • Real-time scanning
  • Less resource intensive
  • 30-day money-back policy
  • Fully free for Windows PC


  • Difficult installation process
  • Auto-renewal issues

4. Surfshark Antivirus – All-Around and Intuitive Antivirus Software

Surfshark Antivirus

Surfshark offers advanced online security and protects your device from data breaches, malware, adware, and other threats.

It has all the necessary features like a folder, quick, file, and full scans. It provides real-time protection so you can enjoy your online sessions without any worries.


  • It alerts users about data breaches.
  • Users can create alternative IDs and emails to use.
  • With Surfshark search, you can enjoy secure browsing in private.
  • It features a minimalistic and easy-to-use interface, supported by various platforms.


  • Surfshark Starter: $2.39 per month
  • Surfshark One: $3.07 per month
  • Surfshark One+: $4.78 per month


  • Includes an in-built VPN
  • 7-day free trial
  • Real-time protection
  • Quick and full device scans
  • 30-day refund policy
  • Data breach monitoring
  • Has an ad-free search engine


  • The free version is limited
  • No app for iOS

5. NordVPN Threat Protection – Free and Effective Malware Protection Tool

NordVPN Threat Protection

NordVPN is the ultimate threat protection antivirus software that keeps your device protected from malware and viruses 24/7.

It detects malicious ads and trackers and blocks them. Plus, it includes a VPN and ad blocker for an enhanced browsing experience.


  • It works as an efficient malware remover tool and provides quick virus protection.
  • It has an intuitive interface that is easy to use and navigate.
  • The tracker blocker feature blocks cookies and allows users to browse the internet without leaving a trace.
  • Get rid of annoying pop-up ads with the in-built ad blocker option.


  • Complete: $5.19 per month
  • Plus: $3.99 per month
  • Standard: $3.19 per month


  • Blocks malware
  • Threat protection tool scans files
  • VPN encrypts online data
  • Blocks malicious ads
  • 7-day free trial
  • Protection from trackers
  • 30-day refund policy


  • Not lab tested
  • No real-time scans

6. Avira Free Security – Best Antivirus for Apple Users

Avira Free Security

Avira is a user-friendly antivirus program with a 100% malware detection rate. It has a built-in VPN feature that makes online browsing safe and private.

New users can take advantage of the free plan. If they are not satisfied with the performance, Avira offers a 60-day money-back guarantee.


  • It blocks malware and other threats in real time.
  • Software updater helps keep all the installed apps updated. It looks for outdated apps and installs the latest version.
  • The firewall is efficient enough to block all unauthorized access.
  • It detects malicious files and quarantines them in a safe location.


  • Avira Antivirus Pro: $11.03 the first year
  • Avira Prime: $24.16 the first year
  • Avira Internet Security: $14.19 the first year


  • Easy to use
  • Feature-rich antivirus program
  • 60-day money-back policy
  • 100% malware detection rate
  • Protection against ransomware
  • Real-time malware removal
  • Updates system apps


  • Takes time to run full scans
  • Less web protection options in the free version

7. ESET NOD32 – Multi-Platform Free Antivirus


ESET NOD32 is compatible with all the major platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Android.

It scans the full system to detect and remove malware. It also offers web filters that protect malicious and phishing websites.


  • Ransomware protection ensures protection by preventing ransomware attacks.
  • Prevents device theft with its powerful anti-theft features.
  • For safe and secure browsing, it offers an in-built web browser.
  • The password manager allows users to store their credentials in a vault.


  • Premium Security: $42.85
  • Antivirus: $23.80
  • Internet Security: $33.35


  • Clean and clutter-free interface
  • 30-day free trial
  • Web filters to prevent phishing
  • Real-time protection
  • Works with multiple platforms
  • Includes a web browser
  • Effective against ransomware threats


  • Expensive premium plan
  • Doesn’t support iOS

8. Avast – Best Free for Malware Protection

Avast free antivirus software

Avast is comprehensive antivirus software that is available for free for Windows users.

It includes a powerful firewall, VPN, and other necessary features that an antivirus program should have. It also includes a gaming mode that keeps you protected while gaming.


  • It includes a password manager that is undeniably good and keeps all your credentials protected.
  • The auto gaming mode reduces system load and mutes annoying pop-ups.
  • It provides real-time protection and quarantine malware files after detection.
  • It includes a free VPN, allowing you to browse the internet in complete privacy.


  • Avast One Essential: Free
  • Avast One: $4.19 per month
  • Avast One Platinum: 9.99 per month


  • Great for gamers
  • Provides VPN access
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent malware protection
  • Quarantine malware files
  • Live chat support for users
  • Includes a web browser


  • This can cause the system to lag
  • Lots of popup messages

9. Microsoft Defender Antivirus – Best for Multiple Platforms

Microsoft Defender Antivirus

With Microsoft Defender, you don’t need to download anything as the malware protections are already enabled.

It protects against both malware and ransomware. Additionally, it includes some parental controls.


  • Web protections detect potential threats even before downloading the file.
  • Parental controls allow users to set limits on internet usage for their kids.
  • The firewall keeps snoopers and hackers away from your device.
  • The webcam monitor prevents anyone else from accessing the webcam without your permission.


  • Microsoft Defender for Office Plan 1: $2.001 User Per Month
  • Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 2: $5.001 User Per Month


  • Comes pre-installed on Windows
  • Parental controls available
  • Powerful firewall protection
  • Webcam protection
  • User-friendly interface
  • Advance malware protection
  • No popup ads


  • Limited online security
  • Less advance features

10. AVG – Best Free Antivirus for Spyware

AVG Best Free Antivirus for Spyware

The free version of AVG may lack some features like phishing emails and spam, but it provides strong ransomware and malware protection.

The best thing about AVG is the interface. It is very user-friendly and takes only a click to perform a scan.


  • With its advanced firewall protection, you can protect your device from hackers and other unwanted attention.
  • It provides real-time protection against viruses, malware, and ransomware.
  • It is fast and runs full system scans in no time.
  • It detects malicious downloads and suspicious links and prevents them from affecting your device.


  • AVG Internet Security: $4.99 per month and $59.99 per year
  • AVG Ultimate: $6.67 per month and $79.99 per year


  • Excellent malware protection
  • Advance firewall
  • Lots of bonus features
  • Phishing protection
  • User-friendly interface
  • Fast performance
  • Real-time protection


  • No 24/7 customer support
  • Poor performance in detecting harmful URLs

Factors To Choose The Right Free Antivirus Software

When it comes to selecting the best free antivirus software, simplicity is key. Let’s break down the essential factors to help you make an informed choice.

Effective Malware Detection

The primary job of antivirus software is to shield your computer from malware, including keyloggers, spyware, sneaky trojans, rootkits, and ransomware.

You want an antivirus program that’s good at spotting both new and known malware threats. Look for one with high malware detection rates.

Minimal System Slowdown

Antivirus programs can sometimes cause your system to lag. This happens because the software consumes more resources.

Look for lightweight antivirus software that won’t disrupt your activities.

Extra Features

Most free antivirus software has limited features. It’s the paid ones that offer an extensive range of features.

The more features an antivirus software has, the better it is.

User-Friendly Experience

Look for an antivirus tool that has an easy-to-use dashboard, great customer support, and intuitive features.

Check If It’s Genuinely Free

Some cybersecurity brands may lure you in with a free trial and then prompt you to purchase a premium product.

So, make sure that the antivirus software you are choosing is genuinely free.

Affordable Upgrades

After using a free antivirus for a while, you might consider upgrading to a paid version for extra features and enhanced security.

Check the features included in the upgrade and the price before buying it. You should invest only if it is worth it.

Conclusion for Free Antivirus Software

Having the best free antivirus software keeps your device protected from potential cyber threats and attacks.

These free antivirus programs have essential features like virus scanning, real-time protection, and regular updates that are crucial for online security.

When choosing antivirus software, it’s a good idea to try out a few options to see which one aligns best with your requirements.


What is antivirus software?

Antivirus software is a program that helps protect your computer from harmful viruses, adware, spyware, ransomware, malware, and other threats.

How does antivirus software work?

Antivirus software scans your computer for viruses and malware and removes them if found. It also helps block new threats from infecting your system.

Are free antivirus programs as good as paid ones?

Free antivirus programs offer basic protection, but paid ones provide better security and advanced features.

Can antivirus software slow down my computer?

Resource-intensive antivirus software can slow down your computer, but modern ones have minimal impact on performance.

What should I do if my antivirus software detects a threat?

If the antivirus software on your device detects a threat, follow the software’s instructions to remove the threat.

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