The Best Free Antivirus for Windows in 2021
Having an antivirus installed on your computer has become something necessary, no matter how well you surf the Internet and do not download suspicious files. In recent years new threats have appeared on the market that endanger the security of the PC even with the basic protection of Windows Defender, which comes natively installed in the operating system and guarantees standard security, protecting the user only from malicious programs that are requesting permission to be installed on the hard disk.
One of the main advantages of using an antivirus is the fact that you get several types of protection, whether against malware, spyware, phishing or attempted intrusions when connecting to a public Wi-Fi network, such as those found in shopping malls or schools, for example.
What is the best antivirus?
There are several free options available for downlaod, such as Avast, AVG, Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky and among others, and you can choose the FREE version or sign up for a monthly or yearly subscription. Well, the best antivirus is the one that meets your needs and provides efficient security for your computer.
Something that also needs to be taken into consideration is the program's performance, i.e. whether installing the antivirus will impact the machine's performance. Ideally, you should still be able to run all your software even with the antivirus running in the background. Brands such as McAfee and Norton usually affect the speed of the desktop drastically, so they are not suitable for users with simple hardware.
In this article we will use AV Test as parameters to define which are the best free antivirus this year, taking into consideration the new obtained protection, performance and usability.
1. Kaspersky Security Cloud Free
One of the interesting points of Kaspersky Free is that it has protection for web browsing, thereby notifying the user before downloading a potentially dangerous file. In addition, the free version stores your passwords and documents securely, and encrypts data sent and received while using VPN.
There is also a more complete version that currently costs only $45 for a year and for a single device. The Personal version has a good cost-benefit ratio and delivers interesting features, such as a secure browser and VPN natively, for example. Here are the main features:
- Scanning of all files on your computer;
- Scanning of e-mails and instant message feeds for viruses and other malware;
- Web antivirus to intercept and block the execution of scripts on websites that threaten the security of your computer;
- Anti-phishing measures to block suspicious Web sites;
- Virtual keyboard to protect the information entered into your computer.
2. Avira Free
Avira Free is also an excellent choice for those who want efficient, optimized software for free. This antivirus is lightweight and has several interesting functions, such as frequent updates for new threats (real-time update in the cloud), protection against trojans, ransomware, worms, viruses and advanced repair.
One of the main advantages - and what makes it top of our list - is safe surfing where Avira blocks harmful websites even before they are loaded by displaying a warning that the page is potentially dangerous, and is also able to block website trackers and prevent ads from being displayed.
Since not everything is perfect, the free version presents ads to users, something that does not happen in Avira Pro.
Main features of the free version:
- Antivirus scanner (against ransomware, viruses, trojans, etc.);
- Repairs infected files;
- Good performance;
- Blocks infected websites;
- Blocks phishing attacks (email, social networks, etc.);
- Blocks potentially unwanted programs.
3. AVG Free
AVG was acquired a few years ago by Avast, although they seem like competitors, both belong to the same group. Despite this, AVG is still the better option compared to Avast, which causes system crashes and has poor protection, allowing the user to access dangerous websites and download executables.
Main features of the free version:
- Protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, spyware, etc;
- Protection of personal files;
- Block suspicious links, downloads and e-mail attachments;
- Optimization of PC performance.
Finally we present Bitdefender, an antivirus that has a free version with six functions available that aim to protect the PC both on the web and during software installation.
Main features of the free version
- Real-time protection;
- Advanced defense;
- Web attack prevention;
- Antiphishing and anti-fraud;
- Bitdefender Photon™;
- Global protection network.
Which one is the best?
On my personal computer I use the paid version of Kaspersky, which at the date of publication of this article is costing only $ 45/year on the company's official website. I tested all four antivirus products and from experience I recommend Kaspersky.
Never use two or more antivirus programs on the same computer, they will conflict and consume all the performance of the machine!