If you are a Windows user, you must install an antivirus and anti-spyware software in your system. There are a few free antivirus and anti-spyware programs which provide almost all features which a paid security software provides.
AVG Antivirus Free is one of the best options for protecting your computer from all manner of security breaches. Features include scheduled scans, fast scans, folder-specific and root-kit specific scans, including support for mobile devices. Ongoing malware detection and anti-phishing provide more passive protection across a number of your activities. The newer browser control features also let you create history/privacy rules for browsing online.
The latest free antivirus suite from Avast is an impressive package. Aside from the usual virus and malware protection — including anti-rootkit and anti-spyware capabilities — the software comes with a slew of customizable options you can toggle at installation, including protection for your Android devices through Avast mobile Security & Antivirus. The 2017 version of Avast goes the extra mile when it comes to making sure you feel safe using the program; at installation, there is a very clear breakdown of exactly how Avast! uses your private information.
360 Total Security gets high marks for its sheer amount of choices. Antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware protection are backed up by multiple engine protection, including cloud scan, system repair, QVMII AI, Avira, and Bitdefender – in other words, it’s even compatible with other antivirus software if you prefer their scans more than 360.
Sophos Home is a free version of the Sophos security program for Mac and PC. It’s a particularly good choice for families with the ability to manage up to 10 computers on a single browser and block unwanted websites. However, it also includes classic abilities like antivirus and anti-malware protection and scans.
ZoneAlarm has a surprisingly deep roster of tools to use for computer protection, making it an ideal choice for a professional laptop or computer used for many different purposes. There are the basic antivirus and anti-spyware capabilities, but these are backed up by an additional personal firewall setting for ongoing protection, and identity protection that helps monitor your credit and spot any suspicious financial activity.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition revels in a minimalist design that makes it low-maintenance. Though the application features no configurations of any kind, it automatically scans your machine in the background using cloud-based detection, subsequently performing a deeper scan if it comes across any malicious software or red flags.
Comodo’s free download, available for both Windows and Mac, includes antivirus and firewall capabilities that are designed for small businesses, but available to private users via a free version (with no limit on how long you can use it). The interface is sharp and task-oriented, the options for control are diverse, and Comodo has a great suite of tools for sole proprietors and busy personal computers alike.
Malwarebytes provides some of the best and most comprehensive virus-removal software available, frequently making it one of the first go-to sources for tech agencies and support groups alike. It uses Chameleon technology to get the application running on already infected systems, triggering the “mbam-chameleon” app when necessary and helping install and update any required drivers crucial to the software’s functionality.
The “emergency kit” is a cloud based set of tools designed to help locate any malware or viruses on a computer experiencing problems, without the need to download anything. Although it’s extremely portable, it does an excellent job of debugging and removing most malware (including rootkits) without placing unnecessary strain on your system.
Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware is easy to recommend, with incredibly smooth installation, non-intrusive notifications, and fantastic results. The free version of the software provides real-time anti-virus and malware protection in addition to the latest in sandbox emulation technology, thus providing overarching protection whether you’re browsing the Web, downloading files, or merely checking your email.