Cyber threats are real. Even if you might not realize it, without a good antivirus your PC could get infected in a shortly after using the internet. This risks your personal data and could even making it impossible to boot the computer. Antivirus software not only defends your device against viruses and Trojans, but it also blocks spyware and it can provide efficient safety against adware or malware. And that’s a lot of protection to expect from free software. But which one should you choose with so many options on the market? Here is our list of best free antivirus solutions for Windows 10 in 2019.
The Best Free Antivirus Software for Windows 10 of 2019
Avast Free Antivirus
Avast Free Antivirus
This free antivirus is a sound choice for those looking for basic, straightforward software that is intuitive to use. It has a user-friendly interface and simple but efficient features, spanning the likes of automated file scanning, protection against threatening email attachments, and web monitoring. Avast Free Antivirus offers numerous virus scanning options and bundles in a few advanced functionalities like a password manager and a secure browser.
The password manager, which is one of the most interesting features of this software despite how simple it is compared to other free antivirus solutions. It has military-grade encryption to secure the most important information and supports cloud syncing so that it can be utilized from multiple devices.
In fact, Avast’s free solution in general can be used across multiple devices simultaneously, which is one of the main reasons for its popularity. Even though the Windows app is undoubtedly the most advanced of the available platforms, the Mac and Android versions are just as competitive when it comes to its antivirus protection and the extended features that are available.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Bitdefender’s free antivirus is an effective and solid line of defense that uses a basic yet well-structured interface and provides real-time cyber threat detection, virus scanning and elimination, and a couple of extremely useful security features in the form of antiphishing and antifraud protection. These extended functionalities are possible because the software can identify and block any the phishing websites before you’ll even click on the link. Bitdefender is able to identify malicious websites and it won’t allow them to access your financial information.
The software comes with automated antimalware protection and actually has very little impact on the performance the systems its installed on. There is the option to add or exclude files or folders manually, too, giving a little more control to the user.
Since the same antimalware protection as its paid upgrades is provided by Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition, you can rest assured that you’ll receive complete security for your device.
Avira Free Antivirus
This free antivirus is a complete solution that can identify adware, viruses, and spyware. It’ll repair any compromised files and block malicious websites. But it also comes with a few interesting extended protection features, for example a free VPN and password manager.
Avira Free Antivirus enables three-layer security that leverages heuristic monitoring, which analyzes code and searches for signs of infections. Based on cloud technology that scans files in real time for malware and exploits, this is a feature-packed suite for complete protection.
The free VPN, for example, allows users to connect to a network securely and anonymously, providing 500MB of encrypted traffic per month. Once this has been set up and activated, the software also enables you to personalize the controls to your own personal preferences.
Avira’s free antivirus offers complex and thorough protection with many features that enable it to become one of the most comprehensive solutions of this type at the moment.
What to Look for in Windows 10 Antivirus Software
With so many providers promising to offer “the best” antivirus solution, especially for the free versions, it could be difficult to choose one that really suits your needs. Here are a few must-have features that antivirus software should include so that you can be assured your PC is protected well.
With today’s e-threats having evolved so much, it is not only viruses that can threaten your PC. At present, an efficient antivirus should also provide firewall and ransomware defense, as well as security against phishing websites or VPN protection to prevent monitoring.
As such, nowadays the term “antivirus” has a much broader meaning, now implying protection against all types of cyber threats including the typical range of malware. Securing yourself from ransomware is also important since these can cause even more damage than a virus. That is why it is important when choosing antivirus software for Windows 10 to look for one that offers all-inclusive defense.
There are few features as crucial as email scanning when it comes to antivirus software, and it’s important primarily because it can actually save your hard drive from being erased or from having your personal information stolen. Numerous PC attacks and problems are transmitted via spam emails, so look for antivirus tools that scan your emails and alert you if one of these issues are detected prior to opening a nasty email or clicking anywhere on it.
Choose the Paid Upgrades for More Complex Defense
Even though there are free antivirus programs that can provide efficient protection against malware, keep in mind that for more complex protection – especially if you are a business owner – these free versions are only basic and designed for home use exclusively.
Their respective paid upgrades, however, all have more advanced features like a file shredder, built-in ransomware security, or a password manager.
Why Windows 10 Needs Antivirus
Even though Windows 10 is perhaps the most protected operating system that has been released by Microsoft until now, hackers and online criminals will always find new ways to detects its weaknesses and attack. These might come in the shape of ransomware or fileless attacks and can threaten the security of your device without you even suspecting it, even when using Microsoft’s latest operating system and regardless of how much attention is pay to the websites being visiting.
Microsoft declared that Windows 10 is so protected because it functions with sandbox apps from the Windows Store. This is a term used in computer security to refer to the protection technology that separates running programs in order to diminish system failures and software weaknesses from spreading into the system.
Even so, this might not protect you entirely from web browsing or infected links. You still could click on a malicious link by mistake and unknowingly download malware or adware onto your device.
Other Windows 10 Protection to Consider
Sometimes, even if you have a really strong antivirus, you might still not be completely safe from deeply embedded malware. What is there to be done in these instances? For this purpose, it is advisable to use a smart defense strategy to keep you on the safe side.
For example, it is important to have appropriate backups for your personal information. You could use open source programs that are free and use them to copy the most important folders onto an external hard drive daily.
Or, you could choose to set up an additional firewall that will block outgoing connections even if you purposely click on them, since Microsoft’s Windows Firewall doesn’t do this at all.
Another thing that you can do is to have your antivirus perform periodic scans to ensure your system is still free from any infections. This is a feature that comes with most free antivirus – as well as their paid equivalents – with most of them allowing you to schedule how often and the exact date of when you want these scans to be performed on your Windows 10 machine.
What do you believe is the most appropriate antivirus solution for your PC? Please let us know in the comments below.
Best Antivirus Software of 2020