Windows Defender is part of Windows 10 and offers basic real-time protection against antivirus and other threats. While it’s true that you can keep your PC safe from viruses without installing a third-party antivirus software and by paying a little more attention while browsing the web and downloading files, most users prefer installing a third-party antivirus over the built-in solution.
Choosing a good third-party antivirus solution is not an easy task. There are dozens of antivirus software out there for Windows with plethora of features. Some antivirus solutions are easy on system resources, while some of them literally slow down your PC.
When it comes to free antivirus, there are dozens of them and many of them are not really impressive, but certainly offer better protection than the built-in Windows Defender.
If you’re looking for a good, free antivirus software for your Windows 10 PC, following are the free antivirus available for Windows 10, and more importantly, all these antivirus solutions officially support Windows 10 RTM.
Avast Free Antivirus
Avast is one of the most downloaded antivirus software for Windows operating system. The latest version of Avast free antivirus officially supports Windows 10, which means there will be no compatibility issues while running the antivirus on Windows 10.
In addition to antivirus and anti-malware, the free version of Avast Antivirus comes with browser cleanup tool to remove annoying browser toolbars and plugins. The Home network security feature is another excellent feature available in the free version. It scans your home network and shows weak spots so that you can strengthen them.
Kaspersky recently released a free version of Kaspersky antivirus and is now available for download. The Kaspersky Free for Windows offers you basic protection against viruses.
Unlike the paid version of Kaspersky Antivirus, the free version doesn’t offer much in terms of security as it mises out some crucial features that are must in this age. It also lacks many of the features offered in Avast and AVG antiviruse software.
AVG Free Antivirus
AVG is another popular antivirus software. The free version offers protection from viruses, malware, and spyware. AVG Free Antivirus also includes a feature to automatically scan web, Facebook and Twitter links for unsafe links. AVG Free Antivirus is fully compatible with Windows 10.
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
The free version of Bitdefender Antivirus is the cut-down version of the popular Bitdefender Antivirus.
It offers real-time protection, intrusion detection system to ensure that apps trying to access the Internet from your PC are not masked malware, active virus technology to detect potential threats, HTTP scanning, and anti-rootkit.
Above all, unlike some free antivirus software out there (including some of them mentioned in this article), Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition will now display annoying offers every day to upgrade to the pro version of the software.
McAfee Free Antivirus
McAfee Free Antivirus is the latest offering from Intel security. This is a cut-down version of the well-known McAfee Antivirus and was released after the official release of Windows 10. The current version of McAfee Free doesn’t integrate into the file context menu, which means we can’t scan individual files and folders.
Although this antivirus is currently in Beta stage and ships with limited features, McAfee Free Antivirus is expected to include a few more features and options in the final version.
Panda Free Antivirus
Panda Free Antivirus 2016 is very light on system resources and can be installed with just two mouse clicks. Panda Free Antivirus has scored well in recent tests AV tests and malware detection rate is comparable to some of the best paid antivirus software.
Note that the installer tries to set Yahoo as your default search engine and changes the home page to MyStart.
Avira Free Antivirus
A couple of years ago, Avira was popular than Avast and AVG Antivirus among geeks. The recent versions of Avira for some reason are not very popular, but they still are one of the best if not the best when it comes to free antivirus.
The free version comes with an antivirus scanner and browser tracking monitor to prevent networks from monitoring your web activity.
The PUA blocker is probably the standout feature of Avira Free Antivirus and works more or less like the popular Unchecky software to prevent free software from installing junk software without your knowledge.
Avira Free Antivirus also officially supports Windows 10.
Which is the best free antivirus?
All of the above mentioned free antivirus software are pretty good and have been scoring good numbers than Windows 10’s basic antivirus. But if you want us to choose two software from the lot, we would pick up Avira Free Antivirus and Avast Free.
What about paid antivirus?
A few of the free antivirus out there offer better protection than some paid antivirus software out there for Windows. So if you have made up your mind to buy an antivirus software, please check the AV-Test score before making the final call.
That said, Kaspersky Internet Security, Bitdefender Total/Internet Security, and ESET NOD32 Antivirus are the best paid antivirus solutions out there for Windows and definitely offer better protection than free antivirus.
Which antivirus software you’re using with Windows 10?