Combined with central management of up to 10 PCs, this means you can effectively lock down your kids’ browsing options. But, ironically, we will just for a moment, because Kasperksy Anti-Virus isn’t expensive to buy and yet affords much better protection to your PC . The standard price is $29.99 to protect three computers and includes more muscle when it comes to preventing ransomware, spyware and Trojans. If there’s one thing we’d change then it’s the tad overeager badgering – although popups and advertisements are very common to free products, and that doesn;t prevent us from wholeheartedly recommending Avira Free Antivirus.
That’s pretty good for a freebie, and why we have no qualms at all in naming it as our #1 best free antivirus download. Do bear in mind, however, that some of the independent testing labs have produced slightly worrying reports showing that ESET’s protection is a bit shaky, but others have come to more positive conclusions. While ESET Antivirus and, in particular, its NOD32 plan doesn’t have all that many features, it’s highly configurable. Beginners will find it a tricky program to work with in some ways, but experts will love the level of control available here.
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And while its antivirus capabilities get somewhat mixed ratings from the independent testing labs, they should prove solid enough. And at the top of the tree is Internet Security Complete which introduces an automatic backup tool and additional online privacy features.
Just about every antivirus tool claims to be ‘lightweight’, but Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus really delivers on this front. Installation takes seconds, and it only uses 15MB of hard drive space – plus the app’s memory footprint is just as tiny, with virus definitions stored in the cloud. There isn’t a huge amount outside those basics – you’d have to upgrade to either its Internet Security or Prime plan to start adding extra functions like a password manager, VPN, PC cleaning tools and mobile app support.
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- As you would expect, Kaspersky Free is a scaled down version of the full program – a tool that we really like .
- The result is a tremendously easy to use and navigate bit of software that does an effective job of keeping you protected from viruses.
- And it’s worth pointing out that for you can currently get our top rated paid-for solution – Bitdefender Antivirus Plus – for the equivalent of around $2 per month.
- The free version ditches additional features such as privacy protection and safe payment sandboxes to concentrate on powerful, no-frills and – most importantly – free protection for your PC.
As well as the essential security smarts, we also love the damon tools clean, friendly interface and the fact it has a track record of throwing up minimal false positives. The introduction of a free security suite to optionally run alongside it – with anti-ransomware and a 500MB/month free VPN and various speedup promises – just sweetens the deal. Avira Free Antivirus for Windows continues to score highly on AV-TEST’s stringent testing program, quashing 99.7% of tested threats, and it generally doesn’t put too big a burden on your hardware.
Although AV-TEST hasn’t formally assessed Sophos’ skills, fellow lab AV-Comparatives offers a decent rating of its abilities. You get standard virus protection and anti-malware protection, along with browser tools like anti-phishing and, most importantly, content control.
It’s turned off by default, perhaps with reason; we found it annoying that ransomware protection kicked in every time an installer wanted to place an icon on the desktop. In addition, you can’t authorize a program from the popup warning the way you can with the similar feature inBitdefender Antivirus Plus, Trend Micro, and others. Symantec’s first benefit is the company’s Insight file reputation technology, an effective way to detect and block even the very latest undiscovered threats. Other layers of protection include virus protection, behaviour monitoring, intrusion protection, a firewall, and the ‘Power Eraser’ to remove stubborn threats and repair your system. Although Sophos Home has always had desktop notifications, there was no premium version of the software for it to encourage an upgrade to.
It’s designed with novices in mind, which is no bad thing, although experts may find the interface oversimplified, and be disappointed that there are few options or low-level tweaks on offer. Premium Security is also highly configurable, even down to the installation process, which is a major boon.