The Best Free Antivirus Software in 2020

What is Antivirus Protection?

The quick answer is; Antivirus software is a type of program which is designed to prevent, detect, and remove dangerous files from your computer, network, or IT system. It was initially designed to detect and remove viruses from a computer. However, thanks to technological advancements, your PC protection software can now do much more than that.

Good antivirus software will protect you against malicious software such as keyloggers, browser hijackers, trojan horses, worms, rootkits, spyware, adware, botnets, and a whole bunch of other annoying infectious file types.

Most Antivirus software packages will run discreetly as a background process. It will scan your computer, server, or mobile device to make sure they aren’t at risk from the above files. The majority of antivirus software now offers a real-time threat detection guard which will alert you of potentially hazardous files when you come across them.

Free Antivirus Vs. Paid Antivirus

A big question a lot of people seem to ask when figuring out what antivirus to use, is; if these free antivirus options are so good, why bother forking out for the premium, paid version?

Andrew Laughlin supports that “You should only pay for antivirus software if you want to protect more than one device and you’re convinced that the extra features it offers are worth the price. Otherwise, just install a good free package”.

Well, the answer is many things. But usually, it means better features, higher levels of protection, protection across multiple platforms, business protection, and more. Paid versions of antivirus are more commonly referred to as full security suites and are utilized by companies. However, there are plenty of reasons why your home personal computer should have premium virus protection.

Antivirus Features: What to Look For

Like any software or hardware offering, each antivirus software has its own unique set of pros and cons. We have compiled a list of things to look out for when choosing an antivirus package to make sure you are selecting the best one for your needs.

The following is a list of key areas that make an antivirus software a great one:

Effectiveness

As mentioned above, antivirus software will continuously scan for viruses and malware to offer real-time protection and threat alerts. It overlooks your online browsing to make sure you aren’t entering into shady websites or clicking on suspicious links. Having an antivirus package that can do this task efficiently is one of the most important aspects you should look out for.

Not too hard on system resources

Even though you want your antivirus software to be as powerful as possible, you don’t want it taking up all your computational power. If you install some antivirus software and you see a dramatic drop in performance, then I would recommend trying one of the other options available. Some are more taxing than others. It’s all about finding the right balance between protection and practicality.

Privacy

Privacy can mean one of two different things. For the most part, it means keeping your information private from malicious files, which could ultimately lead to your data being used by a third party. However, when the antivirus software monitors your PC’s activity, it usually checks in with company servers regarding the unusual activity. This information should be kept private at all times. We always recommend reading the privacy terms and conditions of the antivirus package you choose before downloading.

Are they always free?

It’s a good question because many antivirus software will offer a free trial but then ask you for a subscription after a month. Every product in this list will be free to use for as long as you want. However, remember that free versions won’t offer the same amount of protection as paid products. They will run low on features as well.

Multiple Platform Protection

As many will already know, Microsoft is by far the biggest target for viruses and malware. However, Android is a close second.

Android gets hit from several angles, including sideloaded apps, which are downloaded from outside sources. Google stated that 0.99 percent of apps installed outside of the Play Store were potentially harmful. That being said, it’s definitely worth looking at your antivirus software package to see if it will cover you over multiple platforms.

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