The 5 Best Free Internet Security Software for Windows

As a Windows user, you have three possible paths regarding system security. You can use the built-in Windows Security suite, install third-party security software, or ignore security altogether. The path you take is crucial.

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Windows Security (formerly Windows Defender) is better than it has ever been. As a default security option, you’re in safe hands. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t opt for a free security suite alternative.

So here are five of the best free security suites for Windows, all of which offer antivirus, antimalware, and real-time protection features.

bitdefender free antivirus

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition consistently ranks highly on independent antivirus testing sites, offering award-winning protection for your Windows computer.

The free Bitdefender version brings you the core of the premium Bitdefender suite. This means excellent protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, phishing, and other scam sites. Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition provides real-time antivirus protection and takes instant, autonomous action to protect your system.

The only downside to Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is that autonomy. There is little by way of customization in the free Bitdefender version. While that is perfect for those that want to download, install, and receive instant protection, it can cause issues at times with false positives.

That said, those instances are few and far between. Overall, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is an outstanding free internet security suite.

Features at a glance:

Award-winning antivirus and antimalware protection Automatic detection and removal of malware, zero-day exploits, rootkits, and spyware Works well with other resource-intensive programs, such as games and media editors

kaspersky security cloud internet security

Kaspersky Security Cloud Free is the free internet security suite from Kaspersky Lab. Although there were allegations of Kaspersky Lab antivirus products being spyware tools Is Kaspersky Still Reliable Antivirus Software? Security news is currently awash with a series of accusations against one of the world’s leading antivirus developers, Kaspersky Lab. So, can you trust Kaspersky antivirus, or does it let Putin into your PC? Read More for the Russian government, there is little indication that regular consumers should stop using one of the most effective antivirus tools around.

In that, Kaspersky Security Cloud Free is another internet security tool that performs consistently well in antivirus and antimalware tests. Like the free version of Bitdefender, the free version of Kaspersky brings you the core antivirus experience from the premium product, without all the bells and whistles.

Recent updates to Kaspersky Free include an integrated VPN option to protect your online data, plus a secure password storage function. Plus, the security suite is simple to navigate.

Kaspersky Lab also offers a bootable antivirus disk 7 Free Bootable Antivirus Disks to Clean Malware From Your PC PC struck down by malware and you’re unable to safely boot your computer? Clean your PC with one of these antivirus boot disks. Read More you can use to clean stubborn malware from your system.

Features at a glance:

Automatic silent virus and malware removal—no irritating popups Very low impact during system scans, runs well in the background Optional Kaspersky Free browser extension to check malicious webpages Includes email, instant messaging, and other local program scanning and protection

avira antivirus free 2020 internet security

Avira Free Antivirus (not to be confused with AVG or Avast) is one of the best free internet security suite options currently available. It regularly outperforms the big-name kings of security—including Kaspersky, Norton, and McAfee—in controlled comparisons of real-world effectiveness from sites like AV-Comparatives.

You get what you’d expect and more. The antivirus/antimalware scanner provides manual and real-time protection against all kinds of hazards, and the real-time scans use a cloud database to stay up-to-date and guard you against new and emerging threats.

What’s nice about Avira is that it also detects and blocks potentially unwanted applications—those bundled programs that hitch rides within installers and end up on your system without your knowledge.

If you install the free Avira browser extension, then you can also take advantage of features like harmful website detection and the ad-tracker blocker.

The only major downside to Avira Free Antivirus is the number of popups. It does hassle you at times to upgrade to the premium version of the internet security suite. There are several alternative free suites that don’t bother you with desktop advertisements, which Avira could learn from.

Features at a glance:

Antivirus blocks malware, Trojans, worms, and spyware Real-time protection based on up-to-date cloud database Blocks unwanted applications bundled inside installers Browser extension offers even more protective features

sophos home free internet security suites

Sophos Home Free brings Sophos’ powerful business-grade internet security suite to your home computers. You can use Sophos Home Free to protect up to three computers simultaneously, which is a handy option in conjunction with the integrated parental controls.

Sophos Home Free doesn’t offer much in the way of advanced features. However, you can happily download and install Sophos Home Free and let it go to work. It’ll block and remove viruses and malware automatically.

Furthermore, Sophos Home Free adds internet protection. The free security suite blocks malicious websites from opening and stops potential phishing attacks.

You’ll note that the image displays the Premium version of the Sophos Home security suite. When you download and install Sophos Home Free, you receive a 30-day free trial of the premium version.

Features at a glance:

Handy cloud-control of security settings for computers in your network Integrated phishing and malicious webpage blocking Easy to use interface with parental controls Unlimited protection for Android and iOS devices

panda free antivirus internet security

Panda Free Antivirus is a highly rated free internet security suite for Windows. You must feed it bamboo to get it up and running, but it is well worthwhile. Silly name aside, it nails the trifecta of security software: light on resources, easy to learn and use, and effective at keeping your system secure.

Panda Free Antivirus is as simple as they come. It was designed with the phrase “install and forget” in mind, with few settings to fiddle with. It stays out of the way, making it great for those who aren’t tech-savvy. If you want a simple solution that’s better than Windows Defender, this is it.

Recent updates to Panda Free Antivirus have modernized the user interface, giving it a sleek and modern feel. Yet, it remains easy to navigate. Those same updates also introduced a multimedia/game mode which stops Panda Free Antivirus interfering with system resourcing at critical points.

Compared to their premium products, Panda Free Antivirus might seem a bit limited. There is no online shopping protection, no data backups, no file encryption, no system optimizations. But what it does do, it does well, and that’s real-time protection against malware and spyware.

Features at a glance:

Antimalware, anti-spyware, and external device protection Up-to-date malware definitions using a cloud database Internet protection through URL/web filtering and analysis Advertisement popups asking to upgrade every once in a while More Free Security Software for Windows

Here you have the choice of five excellent free internet security tools for Windows. They all offer exceptional protection against malware, viruses, phishing attacks, malicious web pages, and much more. However, some of the options might struggle against advanced threats, such as code-signed malware.

Your choice comes down to what you need, what you can live without, and how much you trust the companies behind said products.

Of course, these are not the only security tools on the market. There are plenty of excellent security, antivirus, and antimalware tools The Best Computer Security and Antivirus Tools Concerned about malware, ransomware, and viruses? Here are the best security and antivirus apps you need to stay protected. Read More to consider.

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