Best free antivirus for Mac and PC

Protect your Mac or PC for free.

Best free antivirus for Mac and PC

PC

Here are three of the top free virus protection options for your PC.

1. Avast

Avast is a veteran of virus protection, with its first release dating back 25 years, to the early days of the internet. Boasting 200 million users worldwide, it is the most popular option for free virus protection. The large number of users makes Avast very efficient when it comes to detecting and preventing the latest threats in the online world. With a simple user interface, automatic updating, email scanning and plenty of other features, Avast Essential is a great option for protection. I have been personally using this software for years, and I haven't had a single issue with online protection since I installed it.  

2. AVG

A great option for free protection is AVG, it's a classic and it’s easy to use. It may pester you a bit to upgrade to the paid version, but if you can resist then it is a great free tool for protection. One of AVG's most popular features is an internet toolbar which monitors the websites you use and tells you whether or not they are safe to browse.

3. Bitdefender

Bitdefender has been around since 2001 and has been gaining popularity ever since. It's simple and sticks to the essentials, which is great if you don't want to clutter up your PC with lots of software. If your PC is a few years old and running slow already, Bitdefender may be the right option for you.

Click NEXT to see the best free options for Mac. 

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    COMMENTS

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    AussieTuca
    15th Jan 2014
    8:55am
    Don't forget the free version of ZoneAlarm that contains both, anti virus and Firewall. Excellent!
    buby
    30th Nov 2014
    9:38am
    Sorry Aussie i have to say Zonealarm was the worst i'd ever had and caused me no end of trauma i would never use them again
    Kristo
    15th Jan 2014
    10:11am
    For PC (Windows) why not go straight to Microsoft.com ,select downloads and load Microsoft Security Essentials free gratis and for nothing as well.
    Nothing like getting the real thing, straight from the horses mouth so to speak.
    Upgraded all the time; no emails or messages offering you a super deluxe version for an annual fee.
    buby
    16th Jan 2014
    4:49pm
    sorry i've done that also kristo, and security essentials didn't seem so crash hot either?
    postage stamp
    15th Jan 2014
    10:20am
    That's right Kristo, straight from the horses mouth
    Allieannie
    15th Jan 2014
    10:20am
    Bitefender seems to be '30 day free trial' then you have to pay. Can't find free download full stop,.
    A. N. Onymous
    15th Jan 2014
    12:55pm
    Allieannie,

    I don't see anything about a trial period at http://www.bitdefender.com.au/solutions/free.html -- are you looking somewhere else?
    micky d.
    17th Nov 2017
    11:40am
    BitDefender is consistently very highly rated. It has various levels of protection (suited for your computer usage). It is, fundamentally, a no-fuss anti-virus ( plus) programme - but I do not believe there is a free version (free trial, maybe).
    Their website will assist you determine which programme will be best suited to your requirements.
    Have used it for a few years, very happily, but given my now very limited usage have opted for free AVAST. No firewall (at my peril !) but good, basic protection.
    normie 39
    16th Jan 2014
    12:13pm
    Not too many years ago I had a free AVG put on by a Tech guy, but after a while I started
    getting lots of spam and bugs, so I bought a McAfee Security and when I tried to install it
    I couldn't as the AVG would not let me.
    So I had to visit a local Computer shop to have them remove the AVG and install the new
    security at a cost that I did not expect.

    Have used McAfee for three years, but decided on a change in 2013 to Norton and am
    more than pleased.

    Normy39
    buby
    16th Jan 2014
    4:53pm
    nonrmie thats because before you put on another virus detector you must uninstall the last one, for the next one to work. if you have more than one on your computer, neither of them will help u any, nor work properly.
    you have to uninstall one before the other will work. Uninstalling is quiet easy. YOU go to computer/control panel/then add or remove programs to do it, perhaps next time
    Anonymous
    2nd Nov 2015
    2:18pm
    Both Mcafee and Norton used to be good now they are loaded with allsorts of rubbish that slows down your computer and you have buckleys if you want support.

    Try Emsisoft one of the best around and support is excellent

    I have had this for years and when needing support its first rate no waiting around for weeks for an answer
    buby
    16th Jan 2014
    4:48pm
    When i had Zonealarm it gave me nothing but trouble
    normie 39
    16th Jan 2014
    6:01pm
    Yes Buby I realize that I must uninstall old programs first as I have removed quite a few
    in my time, but I forgot to say that I had many attempts but the free A.V.G. would not budge hence the trip to a specialist.
    Normie 39
    buby
    30th Nov 2014
    9:41am
    i'm sorry to hear that normie, usually an uninstall removes everything needed perhaps you had a bug in there already~!
    buby
    30th Nov 2014
    10:15am
    while avg was free it was not protecting you so you still got a bug in the system.
    Senior
    4th Feb 2014
    11:37am
    I saw reference to MicroSoft Security Essentials; DO NOT rely on MSE. Link to Bob Rankin's web site (http://askbobrankin.com/best_antivirus_programs_for_2014.html?awt_l=MIENN&awt_m=J89lx2_2yuP6SL); he provides a lot of information for non-technical people (mostly for PCs). MSE has failed 3rd party testing...badly. I think the tests he quotes for PC ratings are similar to those given here; AVAST high on the list. Here's his comments:
    "What About Microsoft's AntiVirus Offerings?
    Interestingly, Microsoft Windows Defender, (the renamed version of Microsoft Security Essentials) which is included with Windows 8, received the absolute worst scores from AV-TEST. Defender scored a big fat ZERO in the Protection category. If it's any consolation, it got good marks for performance and usability. Likewise in the latest AV-TEST results for the Windows 7 version of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), the product scored a miserable 0.5 out of 6." He also gives a link to his more detailed comments on MSE.
    Mak
    18th Feb 2014
    12:50pm
    AVG is bloated freeware, uses too may computer resources.
    Windows Essentials is now almost worthless as a virus/malware defender.
    Avast is one of the better alternatives.
    However, if Avast is uninstalled it is very difficult to remove it completely and leaves items buried deep in the registry.
    If high class security is required it is far better to pay for the Pro version of a highly rated program, costing less than $1.00 per week.
    People will pay for home security, vehicle maintenance, a faulty appliance repair yet the computer is expected to run flawlessly 24/7 without maintenance and low-level security protection.
    Freeware is not 'free', it is bundled with annoying advertising, and on many occasions if care is not taken when downloading, puts unwanted toolbars such as nasty Ask, Conduit and others which bloat the computer, seriously affecting performance.
    There is an independent test laboratory, AV-Comparatives which lists the best Anti-Virus programs on a regular basis, available at the link below, and should be read by everyone using a computer, instead of relying on recommendations from technicians who have varied opinions on 'which is best'.
    I have been involved with computers for 30 years, 15 of which was servicing computers for seniors.
    http://www.av-comparatives.org

    After reading the article check on what Emsisoft Anti-Malware can do for you.
    http://www.emsisoft.com.au

    MalwareBytes was good, now has flaws and does NOT remove some of the nasties.

    SuperAntiSpyware should also be used, so try the free version and see what is hiding in your computer.
    http://www.superantispyware.com

    Regards,

    Oracle .. Seniors Computer Services.
    buby
    30th Nov 2014
    9:43am
    i reckon any virus detector that you have to pay for will do the job. Well thats what i have found
    Mak
    28th Aug 2014
    7:19pm
    Whoever writes this article is WAAAAY off track with "the best". No way is Avast, AVG or BitDefender the best.
    Security Essentials is bottom of the list and Microsoft admit it and are moving away from the Anti-Virus programme market, leaving it to the experts, so with bad advice being given, it is not surprising that computers are 'hacked'.

    The only way to keep up with top-rated antivirus programmes is to regularly check the site below.

    http://www.av-test.org/en/home/
    Aquarian
    14th Nov 2014
    4:34pm
    We who are members of various Mac Groups see this periodical scare mongering aimed at Mac users from time to time. It is NOT a myth. It has never happened. I have virus protection on my Mac only to protect my friends who use Windoze PC's. I do not wish to pass on any viruses I receive to Windoze users. Most of the time it is switched off because it can slow processing down as it grinds away in the background.

    However it concerns me that YOUR LIFE CHOICES would involve themselves in this age old task of scaring mongering. Especially as this site is directed at Seniors.
    buby
    30th Nov 2014
    9:46am
    P.S NOT all of us use macs! using Micro Trend or Avg Paid they all work well, from my experience anyway. I've NO troubles
    missmarple
    22nd Oct 2015
    11:27am
    many years ago I paid for Virus protection, can't remember company but do remember at the time it was a well known name,then I was told about AVG free and installed it, AVG picked up virus's that the paid version missed, and I've never had a problem with AVG free
    Libby
    24th Nov 2015
    9:40pm
    Ok guys,what about Kaspersky? Has anyone ever used this? I've been with them for several years and I NEVER encountered any problems. It has "Safe Money" protection I use for internet banking, paying bills etc. giving me green border screen protection. You can just about use it for anything to give you double protection such as banking, Paypal, emails what ever you want to protect. I found Bitdefender a bit complicated which my bank gave us as free 6 months trial. They also gave us another 6 months free trial on McAfee and I am not convinced it it safe so I always end up back with Kaspersky which got a good report over other anti virus programs. It always removes last anti virus programs still lurking somewhere after uninstalling old ones. I buy them on eBay, cheaper than retailers. Very interesting and informative info on this subject. If you're happy with your anti virus programs then stay with them.
    George42
    22nd Dec 2017
    9:41am
    I have used Zone Alarm Free for many years and , never an infection no problems at all and top Fire Wall I also give it an Excellent , Thanks Ian


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