The 5 Best Free Anti-Virus Software Programs of 2019

The 5 Best Free Anti-Virus Software Programs of 2019
Photo by Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

There’s basically no excuse for not having top-notch anti-virus software on your personal computers these days.

You have multiple well-rated — and no-cost — options to choose from, as PCMag’s latest ratings of free anti-virus programs illustrates.

The publication tested and reviewed 17 free programs and examined the results of other independent labs that have tested the programs.

The best free anti-virus software

PCMag awarded its “Editor’s Choice” honor to two programs:

  • Avast Free Antivirus 2017
  • Kaspersky Free

Both earned overall ratings of 4.5 out of 5 from PCMag.

Kaspersky Free stands out for getting perfect marks from four independent testing labs. Avast Free Antivirus is distinguished by its “many useful, security-related bonus features” — including a password manager — PCMag notes.

Additionally, three programs earned overall ratings of 4 out of 5:

  • AVG AntiVirus Free
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition (2017)
  • Check Point ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus+ 2017

Windows Defender

Windows computers now come with Windows Defender, but that doesn’t mean you should rely on it.

PCMag gave it a rating of 3 out of 5, noting that it’s not so much an anti-virus product as a component of Windows. The publication continues:

“And the very best free antivirus utilities offer many more layers of protection. Windows Defender doesn’t make antivirus software obsolete.”

Should you pay for anti-virus protection?

PCMag notes that paid anti-virus programs offer more protection and better protection than free versions. Whether you should pay for such protection comes down to your budget.

If a paid program isn’t in your budget, PCMag recommends trying a few of the free programs to see which you like best.

One exception is for business computers. Free anti-virus programs are often free only for noncommercial use, meaning only for use on personal computers.

What’s your experience with anti-virus programs, free or paid? Share what has or hasn’t worked for you by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

This savings account pays 19 times what your bank pays

Why not ditch your low-earning savings account and open a high-yield one instead? Enter CIT Bank, an online bank that offers a 1.75% annual percentage yield (APY) with its Savings Builder Account. That's one of the highest rates available, and it's a 100% risk-free return because it's FDIC-insured. If you're ready to start earning far more interest on your savings, click here to get started now.

Read Next
20 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money
20 Surprising Things You Can Sell for Extra Money

From your closet to the beach, the trash you find may be someone else’s treasure.

Never Buy These 12 Things at a Thrift Store
Never Buy These 12 Things at a Thrift Store

Sometimes a great deal is not worth it — or, even worse, is dangerous.

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom in Minutes
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom in Minutes

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Comments

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.

Trending Stories