Best Free Antivirus – Top Free Security Tools for 2024 Compared

Getting the best free antivirus will ensure you have at least basic protection for your device. Free plans are ideal for getting started with a security tool, and antivirus companies often promote their security features by offering free plans and trials.

Depending on their features, some antiviruses are better suited to some use cases than others. Our experts have tested a wide range of the top free antivirus software tools, looking for the most effective and reliable solutions for every situation. Here’s our complete guide to the best free antivirus software for 2024 and exactly what they have to offer free of charge.

The Best Free Antiviruses Ranked

Here’s a quick rundown of the best free antivirus products for 2024. Find the best antivirus solution for your family or business.

  1. TotalAVBest free antivirus solution for real-time protection
  2. Trend MicroBest free social media account monitoring tools
  3. IntegoBest free antivirus for Macs
  4. AvastBest free antivirus with a free-forever plan
  5. McAfee – Best free antivirus for PCs and Windows 10 and 11
  6. NortonBest free antivirus for system optimization
  7. ESETBest free antivirus for Chromebook
  8. BitdefenderBest free antivirus for Android
  9. AVGReddit’s best free antivirus solution

Reviewing the Market’s Top-Rated Free Antivirus Solutions

Here are our reviews of the top free antivirus solutions on the market today. Read below for more.

1. TotalAV – The Best Free Antivirus Solution for Real-Time Protection

TotalAV - Best Free Antivirus
TotalAV’s dashboard
Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
17/18 Free scans $19/yr Windows, Mac, iOS, Android 30 days

TotalAV is overall the best free antivirus in 2024 for real-time protection. This antivirus scored highly in the most recent lab test results, and it offers a decent amount of high-quality, cost-free features.

It is one of the highest-performing antivirus solutions you can find today, as proven by countless independent tests. Under AV-Comparatives’ Tests, TotalAV blocked 506 malware threats out of 512 and delivered an impressive 98.8% protection rate.

When it comes to free antivirus protection, TotalAV covers everything you need from A to Z. It includes:

  • Malware Scanning
  • Malicious URL Blocking
  • Phishing Protection

The Malware Scan option will search your device’s directories for viruses and unwanted software, and it’ll allow you to select the drivers you wish to be scanned manually. This is an especially good option if you’re in a hurry and don’t want to spend countless hours scanning your laptop or mobile phone.

If you think you may have downloaded a contagious document, simply select the file you wish to scan, and TotalAV will inspect it immediately.

Phishing protection, meanwhile, will keep your devices safe against phishing and web addresses hosting malicious links. TotalAV free antivirus will scan your email inbox for these malicious websites and prevent hackers from locking your device.

Finally, TotalAV’s free antivirus protection will work in the background to prevent you from entering potentially harmful websites. If there’s a chance of infecting your devices while browsing the web, the free antivirus will recognize the danger and block the URL you’re about to visit.

If you want more, you can also upgrade to TotalAV’s paid version. The Antivirus Pro plan includes real-time protection against viruses, malware, and ransomware. This plan is only $19/y and covers the needs of individuals and small-to-medium businesses.

For further coverage, see our standalone TotalAV review.

Pros

  • Excellent protection against viruses
  • Intuitive interface
  • Great free scans
  • 30-day money-back guarantee for annual plans

Cons

  • No free trial

2. Trend Micro – Best Free Social Media Account Monitoring Tools

Trend Micro - Great All-Around Antivirus Solution
Trend Micro email security
Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
18/18 Free antivirus and ransomware tools for mobile, 30-day trial $19.95/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chromebook 30 days

Trend Micro is an excellent solution if you use several devices of different types – it’s great for protecting Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. It offers a range of free antivirus security tools that cover different areas. That said, it doesn’t offer a traditional free antivirus software package.

There are free tools to:

  • Generate and manage strong passwords
  • Get alerts if your details appear in a leak on the dark web following a data breach
  • Protect your social media accounts
  • Block trackers
  • Protect your identity on mobile devices

You can download the tools from Trend Micro’s official site. The download shouldn’t take more than a few seconds, depending on your network speed, and the files won’t make any significant impact on your smartphone memory, as they only take a few MB of space.

Given this, we rate Trend Micro as one of the best free antivirus software solutions for Android and iOS devices.

If you wish to increase the level of security, you can try the Basic account to get further access to some of the most advanced antivirus software around. This option includes antivirus and security features for one device of your choice. This plan offers more advanced protection against internet and email scams, plus ransomware protection. It costs just $19.95 a year.

Finally, it’s really worth noting that Trend Micro excels in several fields, including protection against worms and Trojans. The latest AV-Test shows Trend Micro has 100% efficiency against these online threats, with minimal impact on your device performance.

For further details, see our in-depth Trend Micro review.

Pros

  • 100% protection against Trojans and worms
  • Compatible with Windows, Android, MacOS, and iOS devices
  • Cheap basic protection
  • Easy to download
  • Very limited impact on performance

Cons

  • Free features come in separate download files

3. Intego – Best Free Antivirus for Macs

Intego - Best Free Mac Antivirus
Intego Antivirus trial dashboard
Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
16.5/18 30-day trial $37.50/yr MacOS, Windows, iOS 30 days

Intego is a well-known brand that focuses on Apple devices. Since 1997, this company has been developing MacOS antivirus solutions and, as a result, has reached over 34 million users and counting.

We rate it as the best free antivirus for Mac devices and it offers a massive library of features designed for home and business users.

When it comes to protecting MacOS, Intego offers three paid and one free subscription plan. You can get the Virus Barrier Scanner at no cost via the Mac App Store.

The Virus Barrier allows you to run an unlimited number of daily scans. You can pick between a manual and an automatic option. You can also manually pick which computer partition you wish to scan.

The free Intego antivirus will scan your computer against known threats periodically. It’ll also scan your emails to eliminate potential threats. Once a potential threat is detected, you can either put it in quarantine or remove it completely from your system.

All in all, Intego offers excellent free software. You can combine it with some of the best Mac password managers for maximum results.

However, you need to remember that the free version of Intego antivirus does come with certain limitations. For instance, its free plan doesn’t cover real-time protection. Hence, your Mac device might be vulnerable to freshly created viruses.

Because of that, it’s worth checking the Intego Personal plan. It covers daily scans against all known viruses, malware, and ransomware. The price for an annual subscription is only $39.99, which is relatively little considering this antivirus hits 99.2% detection rates on AV-Tests against Trojans and worms.

For further details, see our Intego antivirus review.

Pros

  • Protects against Trojan horses, worms, malware, and keylogging for free
  • 99.2% protection against Trojans and worms
  • 0% impact on download and frequently used apps
  • 0% false malware detection
  • Best free Mac antivirus

Cons

  • No browsing protection

4. Avast – Best Free Antivirus with a Free-Forever Plan

Avast - Best Free PC Antivirus
Avast Antivirus dashboard
Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
18/18 Free plan with scans and real-time protection $49.99/yr Windows, Android, Mac, iOS 30 days

The Avast free antivirus is among the best antivirus software available, and it’s popular for a good reason – it’s safe, reliable, and offers plenty of features.

Many rate it as the best free antivirus for PCs using Windows. However, it also offers a great selection of Mac, Android, and iOS features.

In fact, it offers several layers of security. The security software will regularly scan your device, looking for viruses and vulnerabilities in the defense shield. Once it finds a threat, it’ll immediately send that information to the cloud and push the cure directly to the user.

Avast’s free protection will monitor behavior in real-time to detect suspicious apps and infected files. You can allow your antivirus to quarantine online threats or manually isolate malware or viruses.

Besides device protection, Avast is the best free antivirus solution for WiFi network security. It offers an intelligent firewall that scans the traffic between your device and the network. Once it detects a threat, it’ll block it immediately.

Avast also has an impressive rate of success for blocking malware, catching 100% of prevalent viruses and zero-day threats under independent testing by AV Tests.

The Avast free plan is among the best antivirus programs available. However, if you need a strong web shield, we recommend opting for the Premium Security plan. It costs just $49.99/yr and includes a range of features to protect your business against hackers and novel malware attacks. See our Avast vs AVG guide for a deeper comparison of the product’s place in the market.

For more information, check out our Avast antivirus review.

Pros

  • Behavior Shield feature that detects infected apps and issues alerts
  • Scans your device even after the system is shut down
  • 100% malware detection and removal success rates
  • Premium Plan includes zero-day malware protection
  • Best free antivirus for Windows 11

Cons

  • May slow your computer by 11% during app installations

5. McAfee – Best Free Antivirus for Windows 10 Protection

McAfee - Best Free Windows 10 Antivirus
McAfee Total Protection dashboard
Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
18/18 30-day trial $35.99/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 30 days

McAfee is a popular Windows antivirus solution with 108+ million users in 182 countries. It offers an antivirus, VPN, and mobile security, and many rate it as the best free antivirus for Windows 10.

This antivirus is simple to use and has an intuitive interface. Click on the McAfee antivirus free download button to get the latest version of the malware removal tool. The download takes no more than a few seconds and set up is simple, and you can then start using McAfee’s free protection to scan your downloads.

McAfee’s True Key feature serves as a password manager. It’ll save your passwords as you enter them into the browser. WebAdvisor, meanwhile, can keep you safe from malicious domains and phishing websites. If it detects a suspicious website, it automatically blocks the URL, and the antivirus has tools to detect fake sites.

See our McAfee review for more details.

Pros

  • Simple to download
  • User-friendly interface
  • Built-in password manager
  • Missclick and typo protection to stop you visiting scam websites

Cons

  • Slows down PC performance by 15% when launching websites

6. Norton – Best Free Antivirus for System Optimization

Norton - Best Free Antivirus Money-Back Guarantee
Norton Antivirus settings screen
Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
18/18 Free privacy and tracking scans and password manager, 30-day trial $29.99/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 60 days

Norton is one of the best spyware removal tools and has been around since 1990. It stands out with an impeccable 100% malware detection and removal success rate.

First of all, it’s important to stress that Norton doesn’t offer a traditional free virus protection tool. Instead, the company has decided to make the free trial and money-back guarantee its main competitive advantages.

Norton Security Deluxe is one of the most powerful malware scan and removal tools you’ll find on the market. It boasts a 100% accuracy rate when it comes to detecting and removing malware and spyware from your system.

On top of that, the Security Deluxe will scan your downloads and block or eliminate potential threats. At the same time, the Norton virus protection will maintain zero influence on your computer performance while downloading frequently used applications.

The Norton Security Deluxe is available for a 30-day free trial. If you’re satisfied with the level of protection you’re getting from this antivirus, you can get a basic annual subscription for $29.99 per year. You’ll have 60 days to make a decision whether to use the one-year subscription, or you can ask for your money back if you’re not satisfied.

Check out our Malwarebytes vs Norton guide for a detailed comparison of the two and our comprehensive Norton Antivirus review.

Pros

  • 100% malware detection and removal rate
  • 30-day free trial
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Low subscription cost

Cons

  • Somewhat complex subscription plans

7. ESET – Ultimate Windows 11 Protection

ESET - Best Free Windows 11 Antivirus
ESET NOD32 Antivirus dashboard
Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
18/18 Free scan, 30-day trial $39.99/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 30 days

ESET has over one billion users around the world. The company’s computer security software hit 6/6 under AV-Test lab tests, which puts it among the best antivirus software for 2024.

The product issued a single false warning when scanning 1,172,113 samples, and it has minimal effect on your system performance, and it matches or beats industry averages in eight out of ten categories.

Like Norton, ESET also does not offer the antivirus for free. Instead, you can pick any of the three subscription plans and test them for 30 days at no cost.

Once you download the antivirus, you’ll get a referral link. Send it to your friends, and if someone subscribes to the ESET’s services, you’ll be able to renew the trial period for six months.

For further details, see our complete ESET antivirus review.

Pros

  • 100% malware prevention
  • Referral program triggers six-month trial period
  • Minimal performance drop while downloading
  • Scans for viruses while downloading files

Cons

  • Not as lightweight as might be hoped

8. Bitdefender – Best Free Antivirus for Android

Bitdefender - Best Free Antivirus for Android
Bitdefender Total Security Online Threat Prevention settings
Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
18/18  Free scanner for multiple devices, 30-day trial $29.99/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 30 days

Bitdefender takes the lead when it comes to protecting Android smartphones. The free antivirus software scored highly with AV-Test, showing 100% accuracy against Trojans, malware, and worms.

On top of that, it’s incredibly efficient. Bitdefender’s impact on your Android device will be minimal. For instance, for Windows devices, Bitdefender may slow down your computer by 1% when downloading and 1% when copying files, with an industry average of 2% for Windows antiviruses.

You can expect the same from its Android protection. The Bitdefender free Android antivirus uses services deployed in the cloud to look for infections instead of storing information on the device. As a result, you can expect a fast, lightweight service that’ll do most of its work without you even noticing it’s there.

This covers malware protection and cloud scanning. For further protection with smartphones, you’ll likely benefit from advanced phishing and VPN protection. This is available by upgrading from the Bitdefender antivirus free plan with a one-year subscription and costs $29.99 annually.

Check out our guide to the best antivirus for Android for more mobile recommendations.

Pros

  • 100% effectiveness against malware, worms, and Trojans
  • Low battery impact at top speeds
  • Minimal effect on Android smartphone performance
  • Extremely cheap monthly subscription
  • Best free Android antivirus

Cons

  • Virus false detection is slightly above the industry average

9. AVG – Reddit’s Most Popular Free Antivirus

AVG - Best Free Antivirus on Reddit
AVG AntiVirus Free dashboard
Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
18/18 Free scans and ransomware protection, 30-day trial $46.68/yr Windows, Android, MacOS, iOS 30 days

AVG is a family-oriented antivirus software solution. After 30+ years of experience in the industry, it shouldn’t come as a surprise this antivirus hits the highest marks when it comes to detecting and blocking malware, Trojans, and worms.

The AVG antivirus software free plan includes six layers of protection when protecting against viruses, malware, and spyware.

Simultaneously, it boasts around-the-clock ransomware protection, blocking malicious websites from accessing your email inbox. Moreover, the AVG antivirus will stop you from entering rogue or suspicious websites, providing web protection and protecting you from online scammers.

AVG offers real-time protection to its users at no cost, which is a rare benefit among the many free antivirus solutions in 2024. For this reason, AVG is frequently mentioned as the best free antivirus on Reddit, alongside providers like Avast and TotalAV.

AVG has paid plans, as well. The Basic Protection is dirt cheap, and it includes AI Detection, CyberCapture, and Behaviour Shield features for only $46.68/yr.

Pros

  • Great AV-Test scores
  • Massive number of free features
  • Free version includes real-time protection
  • Cheap paid plans

Cons

  • Impacts computer speed when launching popular websites

Comparing the Best Free Antivirus Programs in 2024

Here’s a brief comparison between the best free antivirus services in 2024. Read the table below and find the best free antivirus protection.

Best Antivirus Free Independent Test Results Free Offerings Cheapest Paid Plan Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
TotalAV 17/18 Free scans $19/yr Windows, Mac, iOS, Android 30 days
Trend Micro 18/18 Free antivirus and ransomware tools across devices, 30-day trial $19.95/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chromebook 30 days
Intego 16.5/18 30-day trial $37.50/yr Mac, Windows, iOS 30 days
Avast 18/18 Free plan with scans and real-time protection $49.99/yr Windows, Android, Mac, iOS 30 days
McAfee 18/18 30-day trial $35.99/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 30 days
Norton 18/18 Free privacy and tracking scans and password manager, 30-day trial $29.99/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 60 days
ESET 18/18 Free scan, 30-day trial $39.99/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 30 days
Bitdefender  18/18 Free scanner for multiple devices, 30-day trial $29.99/yr Windows, Mac, Android, iOS 30 days
AVG 18/18 Free scans and ransomware protection, 30-day trial $46.68/yr Windows, Android, MacOS, iOS 30 days

Are Free Antivirus Software Solutions Enough?

Free antivirus software solutions can provide enough functionality to cover the most basic user needs. Free antivirus products will generally scan your device for malware and detect and delete harmful software on your device.

Best Free Antivirus Computer Scan

ESET NOD32 Antivirus computer scan optionsThis may be sufficient for an average user with limited needs – for example, if you want a basic level of protection while browsing the internet. However, some free security products only include performance optimization tools or data breach monitors and not the core scanning functionality.

Other free plans require you to engage with advertising or will persistently try to upsell you. If you want robust, multi-layered security, including virus scans, a firewall, and features to combat ransomware and phishing, you’ll get a much better package with even the cheapest paid plan.

Given this, if you run a startup or small business or simply need robust security for your own use then it will be very challenging to keep your network safe with a free plan.

You can also see our guide to the best free VPNs, which explores why cheap alternatives may be better than free solutions.

What Features Can I Expect From a Free Antivirus Program?

You can’t expect the same level of protection from free and paid versions of an antivirus. Getting a premium version, though, will generally protect you from known and unknown threats with 99% accuracy or higher.

The most common security features you can expect to find in a free antivirus are:

  • Anti-malware scanner For protection from known malware and PUAs on your system.
  • Anti-phishing protection Scans your email inbox to block phishing emails that may contain malicious content.
  • Low battery impact – Some free antiviruses are equipped with a low battery impact feature to reduce the device’s battery consumption.
  • Download scanning – Protect devices from online threats in real-time while downloading files.
  • Performance scan – The best free antivirus will provide you with tips on how to remove unnecessary files to optimize your system’s performance.
  • Home network scan – Looks for potential risks and protects devices that connect to your home WiFi.

Ideally, the best free antivirus protection will offer all the features mentioned above, with scanning being the most fundamental.

How to Choose the Best Free Antivirus for PC or Mobile

Here are the essential factors to consider when choosing the best free antivirus solution for personal or business needs.

Type of ProtectionPerformance ImpactCompatibilityPrice of the Paid PlansCustomer Service

Type of Protection

Before even considering getting free internet security software, you should think about the type of protection you really need. The most common free antivirus uses are:

  • Virus scan and prevention
  • Malware, ransomware, spyware and worms removal
  • Blocks spam and ads through browser extensions
  • Firewall protection against phishing attacks
  • Protection against zero-day malware
  • Home network security
  • Removable device scan
  • Identity theft prevention

For example, if you’re using a home network, getting the best free antivirus software can protect you from hacker attacks. Hackers can easily access your personal, business, or bank information through cracks in your home network protection.

Getting the best WiFi router isn’t enough. The best antivirus software free tools are a great addition to your home WiFi security system. It adds an extra layer of protection and prevents hackers from gaining control over your home devices. As a result, you should look for a free antivirus with a WiFi scan feature.

On the other hand, if you intensively browse the web, it would be a good idea to look for antivirus programs that offer automatic and on-demand free virus scans and protection against phishing sites.

The benefits of having free antivirus protection are many. It’s up to you to choose the one that suits your needs the best.

Performance Impact

Each antivirus solution comes with different features. Because of that, the antivirus software impact on your machine will be different as well.

For instance, an antivirus solution offering real-time protection will consume more energy from your device than the one with webcam protection only. Having a cost-free antivirus installed may result in:

  • Slowing down your device while launching websites
  • Lowering the download speed and installation of frequently used apps
  • Sluggish app launch
  • Slower file copying

You’ll find many variations here. For example, Intego has a 0% influence on your computer speed while downloading. However, it may slow down the installation of some popular apps by 82%.

Best Free Antivirus Reports
Antivirus reports

On the other hand, AVG will slow down your download by 1%. But, the app installation will be only 12% slower.

Naturally, your antivirus’s impact on your device will also depend on the machine’s configuration, age, operating system you use, and other factors.

Compatibility

Make sure to pick an antivirus that works well with your device and its operating system. Some free antiviruses may cover multiple platforms and are compatible with different devices. However, some antivirus solutions focus more on one platform or device type.

Many users rate TotalAV and Avast as contenders for the best free anti-virus for Windows and Android.

On the other hand, Avast is a popular solution for iOS devices, while Intego keeps Macintosh computers safe against online threats.

Price of Paid Plans

Any free antivirus comparison should consider the cost of upgrading. Make sure to check the selected antivirus pricing before you download the software.

Pick an antivirus that offers multiple pricing plans. This way, you’ll be able to keep enhancing the level of protection as your security needs increase.

Customer Service

Not all antivirus users are tech-savvy. Some find antivirus complex and annoying with all those security pop-ups and notifications. Sometimes, an action demands immediate attention, but you’re not exactly sure what to do. Should you remove the virus, leave it, or send it to quarantine?

Because of this, you should look for a free antivirus that offers the best customer service. That way, you’ll have support every step of the way, from the free antivirus download to the manual virus scan setting.

Free vs. Paid Antivirus – Pros and Cons of Using Free Antivirus Protection

You should choose a free antivirus if you only need basic protection. A free version typically scans the network, looking for online threats. It’ll alert you if your system has been compromised and will generally attempt to isolate and remove the threat.

Some free versions of an antivirus come with a browser extension. This is great for those who want security when browsing the web or when making online purchases. Some free antiviruses feature advertisements, which can be annoying but are a necessary evil as they make such software available for free.

On the other hand, if you need advanced help against hackers or want to obtain multi-level security, you should look for the best paid antivirus software plan. Antiviruses with paid subscription plans offer important features like real-time protection and protection from zero-day malware.

Finally, paid plans typically offer more customer service options. Some of them also come with the best VPN apps attached as well as password managers and parental control options.

You shouldn’t make any compromises when picking the best antivirus for your needs, and there are many affordable options for paid plans. Here are some of the pros and cons of free antivirus apps:

Pros

  • Free of charge
  • Some free solutions have great detection rates
  • Free picks often have solid antivirus and firewall features
  • Free antiviruses are generally easy to install and simple to get set up
  • Many products can be upgraded if you want additional features

Cons

  • May spam you with ads or share your data with third parties
  • Generally lack extras like password managers, VPNs, or data breach management
  • Free solutions lack ransomware, phishing, and fraud protection
  • Generally can’t provide protection for additional devices
  • Generally won’t include any customer service
  • Not suitable for protecting business networks

Are Built-In Virus Protection Services Enough?

Modern devices, including PCs (Windows 10 and 11), Macs, iPhones, and Android smartphones, have some built-in security protection. But are built-in antiviruses good enough to handle online threats?

In general terms, they do provide a reasonable level of basic protection. For example, the Microsoft Defender Antivirus, built for Windows 10 and 11 devices, recorded 100% detection results when faced with common malware in independent testing. The free Windows antivirus also issued an extremely small number of false reports and had generally minimal system impact.

Best Free Antivirus Scan
Antivirus scan progress

Of course, the Microsoft Defender Antivirus will only protect a single device and it can’t help you with securing Android phones, iPhones, or Macs. It also doesn’t offer additional security features like ransomware protection, password managers, VPNs, or download monitoring – and you need to use Edge for Microsoft to provide browser security.

The bottom line is that while built-in antiviruses may be broadly sufficient to cover basic needs, they don’t provide multi-layered protection. If you want to successfully defend yourself from hackers, identity thieves, and malware with 100% certainty, having the best tools available is smart to ensure you stay safe.

Best Free Antivirus Solutions for Different Device Types 

Antivirus operators provide varying levels of support for different devices, so the best free antimalware software for you will depend on exactly what device you’re using. Here’s a free antivirus comparison by device:

WindowsMacAndroidiOSChromebookLinux

Free Antivirus for Windows

Windows is the most widely supported platform for free antivirus solutions by some margin.

It includes the Microsoft Defender Antivirus, formerly known as Windows Defender, and there are great forever-free antivirus products from Avast, Bitdefender, and AVG, as well as free trials from Norton and McAfee and money-back guarantees from all good providers.

Free Antivirus for Mac

The macOS operating system has a range of built-in security tools, but Macs aren’t immune to viruses by any stretch. Avast and AVG both offer free antiviruses for the platform, and you can enjoy trials and money-back guarantees for a range of antivirus products, as with Windows.

Free Antivirus for Android

Android devices also have built-in security features – but Avast, AVG, and Malwarebytes offer additional free security features. In addition, many products offer free antivirus trials and money-back guarantees so you can manage your security across devices with a single account.

Free Antivirus for iOS

The iPhone includes various security features and limits the access granted to third-party software. Nevertheless, there are several great cybersecurity products you can get for free for the platform, as well as free trials you can use to roadtest other free antivirus services.

Free Antivirus for Chromebook

Relatively few antivirus products are compatible with ChromeOS today, but you can use Malwarebytes and take advantage of other offers from providers, which can work in addition to Chromebook’s security systems.

Free Antivirus for Linux

While there are solutions for Linux network, endpoint, and server security, very few antivirus vendors provide consumer products for Linux today.

That said, there are open-source projects like ClamAV, which provide free security tools for Linux distros such as Debian and Ubuntu. Check out our guide to the best Linux antivirus software for more information.

How We Tested the Best Free Antivirus Software

It’s important to us that we thoroughly test all the products we feature in our guides, as well as researching vendors and their plans to provide a fully rounded view of their offerings. Here are some of the key criteria we used to rate the best free AV software:

  • Malware detection rates – Core antivirus functionality and the ability to detect and remove malware and viruses was a primary factor in our assessment.
  • System impact – Excellent performance is a high price to pay if it slows your system to a crawl, so we also looked at the system impact that each product had, as measured under independent testing.
  • Free status – We’ve included top free antiviruses with free plans, free features, free trials, or money-back guarantees. The more they had to offer at the lowest price possible, the higher we rated them.
  • Upgrade options – In addition to free options, we’ve considered what you get if you do decide to upgrade to the cheapest paid plan. We haven’t looked favorably on underpowered starter plans or excessive subscription costs for lower-tier options.
  • Customer feedback – It’s important to us to always incorporate feedback from real users so we can get the benefit of their experience using the product over the long term. We try to weigh up customer ratings and explore the downsides that users highlight.

Beyond the Best Free Antivirus Software – More Guides and Resources

For further advice on staying protected online, check out our other guides, which cover the best solutions, free and paid, for a range of use cases:

FAQs

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Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…