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5 Best Free Antivirus 2021

Malware, Spyware, and Adware Protection

If you work in an office, chances are good the IT department manages your antivirus protection. That doesn’t leave you well-protected if you suddenly must work from your home computer.


It’s bad enough to think that ransomware might encrypt your personal documents, but so much worse if it denies you access to months of documents on a work project. Likewise, you won’t appreciate getting burned by a Trojan that steals hundreds of dollars from your bank account, but imagine if it stole millions from your employer. More than ever, you need antivirus protection both for your own files and your company’s. We’ve evaluated more than 40 antivirus tools to help you pick the one that best suits your needs.

  1. Bitdefender
  2. Norton
  3. Kaspersky
  4. Trend Micro
  5. Webroot

You may be most familiar with names such as Norton, McAfee and AVG – but are they really the best? Well, luckily, we’ve tested and reviewed the latest packages – both premium and free antivirus – from the biggest names in cyber security. More than 80 antivirus and security suites have been reviewed and re-reviewed by our experts, as of January 2020, so you can be confident that our recommendations can be trusted and you find the very best solution to protect and secure your devices.

Creators of malware and viruses are always coming up with new ways to gain access to your PC and other internet enabled devices (with your mobile phone and tablet included). Luckily, online software security companies are also constantly updating their security software packages to protect against phishing scams, ransomware and all other types of viruses and malware.

At the moment, we think that Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is the best antivirus available, as it combines watertight security tools with an array of other excellent security features. It’s also super easy to use, and best of all, it also offers extremely good value for money. You can read more about what it offers below. Together with Norton AntiVirus and Webroot SecureAnywhere, they complete our top three.

If you’re looking for all-round protection against the latest cyber threats, then investing in the strongest programme is the best solution you can hope for – and we also have the best business antivirus plans if you’re looking to take care of your company computers. That doesn’t mean you have to start spending big money either, as our guide also gives you the best available prices for the best software. And if it’s the best free antivirus that you’re after, we have some top recommendations for you, too.

Kaspersky’s Windows products have excellent malware-detection scores and a moderate system-performance impact, which are the two most important criteria in our rankings.

The entry-level program, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, has dedicated ransomware protection, a virtual keyboard and a convenient online account portal. But at this level, it’s beaten by Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, which has even more features.

Kaspersky Internet Security is our top choice among the midrange packages. It has decent parental controls, a secure browser, anti-theft protection for laptops, webcam protection and a limited-use VPN client that kicks in when you connect to an open Wi-Fi network. It also includes software for macOS, Android and iOS.

  • Nearly perfect malware protection
  • Backup software, rich parental controls, unlimited password manager
  • Two-factor authentication for online account
  • Heavy system impact during full scans
  • VPN data usage capped unless you pay extra

The premium antivirus suite, Kaspersky Total Security, adds backup software, file encryption, a file shredder and an unlimited password manager. We think it’s the best antivirus software you can buy.

For a long time, respected security company Norton Security from Symantec, now called NortonLifeLock, has earned high marks from AV-Test for virus and malware detection. A five-device subscription via Norton Security is normally $99.99, but you can sign up for $59.99 to get coverage across PCs, Macs, Android devices, and iPhones and iPads. (But note, again, that we don’t think antivirus protection is terribly useful outside the Windows realm.) In addition to malware and virus protection, you get 100GB of automatic backup to the cloud, safe-browsing tools, a VPN, an easy device management via a web-browser console and LifeLock identity-theft protection.