Phishing attacks, malware, identity theft, ransomware, data breaches, and other online security threats are on the rise. Not only do these vulnerabilities and cybersecurity attacks keep surging, but they also impact individuals and firms heavily with a lot of costs incurred if they are hit by a successful cyberattack. And recovering from such attacks also takes longer than it did in the past. Therefore, if you’ve never considered your Windows system security, it’s high time you do. Fortunately, there are a plethora of anti-this and anti-that programs in the market. But here again, it could be overwhelming to separate the cyber chaff from the security wheat. It’s no longer a question of whether you can afford to install Internet security software in your Windows. Now, the question should instead be if you can afford not to do so. Your Windows PC requires protection, and free antivirus software may be all you need. Luckily, there’s a plethora of free Internet security software available that can protect your Windows device.
With the global pandemic requiring that many folks work from home, the need for the best antivirus has never been this important. Bad actors are looking to take advantage of the increased numbers online, and hence it’s a no-brainer to have online security software for Windows.
However, you must be very careful with free antivirus as they can be a risky affair with some being malware in disguise — looking to steal private information as well as damage your computer.
Although Windows comes with built-in Windows Defender software, for some, it may not be good enough that you can fold your hands and entirely trust it for protection.
So, here are the top-rated free Internet security software that you can consider for your Windows PC protection;
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
If you are serious about your online security and do not have a budget for it, Bitdefender’s free antivirus has to be on the top of your list. Bitdefender says it has more than 500 million users — and there are good reasons for its success. It offers comprehensive protection for Windows against malware, viruses, phishing, ransomware, and several other scam sites.
What makes it even more appealing is that it offers real-time protection with instant and autonomous action in protecting your system. It’s the free antivirus type that you won’t have to think about right after installation.
It runs in the background and will only notify you of essentials whenever a suspicious program activity is attempted. Moreover, your PC will be working at similar speeds as before, meaning that it won’t slow it down. It’s straightforward to set up, and Bitdefender works perfectly with several resource-intensive programs such as media editors and games.
However, some will argue its downside because it offers little in terms of customization, at least with the free version.
Avira Free Antivirus for Windows
Avira free antivirus for Windows is another overall top-notch option to consider. It runs on arguably the most powerful and best antivirus engines across the globe. Its virus scanner operates merely in the cloud, meaning that the detection and analysis don’t happen on the PC. That makes Avira fast and lightweight as it doesn’t tax system resources.
It offers real-time and manual protection against all hazards. The cloud database ensures that the software is up-to-date for countering new as well as emerging threats. It also detects and then blocks all the potentially unwanted apps that may find their way into your PC without your knowledge. With the Avira browser extension, you get extra features such as ad-tracker blocker and harmful website detection.
Unfortunately, the several popups that may result from the Avira free antivirus version may be the only reason you may not want to get it for your Windows device.
Kaspersky Security Cloud
Despite all the controversy surrounding Kaspersky, the product remains at the top of the Internet security food chain. Its cloud-based malware scanning engine works excellently by getting hold of almost all the threats that may be presented to your device.
The security cloud not only gets rid of malware but it also offers privacy protection with a password manager, a VPN as well as Dark Web scanning.
It brings out the core antivirus experience that’s offered in the premium product only. All it lacks are the bells and whistles. Moreover, the security suite is a breeze to navigate, and there are no irritating popups. The software runs in the background, and hence it has no impact whenever there’s a system scan.
If you’re looking for a secure, lightweight, and easy-to-use free antivirus, then Panda free antivirus is a good choice. You’ll get everything on the dashboard in a very intuitive and attractive manner.
Moreover, for beginners, it’s the best alternative as it doesn’t include advanced manifold settings. You’ll only need to open it and then let it run.
Several updates have been made within the software, which has introduced a game/multimedia mode that stops it from interfering with your PC’s system resources at crucial points.
Unfortunately, you won’t enjoy other features as there are no data backups, no online shopping protection, no system optimization, and no file encryption.
Are you looking to go beyond Windows protection and protect your household? Sophos home free is then one you need as it offers protection against malware, and you can use it to protect your household for free.
It includes a free plan with excellent parental controls (more like the premium Internet security package).
Moreover, there’s a web-filtering tool that can enable you to block the kids from wandering and accessing malicious sites or adult content.
It features real-time protection against malware as well as a security browser extension that blocks all phishing websites. It can be installed on up to three computers.
Free Internet security software: You don’t want surprises
There are many free Internet security software, but they differ in terms of security and quality they provide. However, when looking for the best free Windows Internet security software, it must be genuinely free, must offer substantial protection, excellent test results, and the antivirus should offer exactly what it says without any surprises.
Featured image: Flickr / Richard Patterson