Best free antivirus for Mac and PC

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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. 

Mac

The myth that Mac’s software is not susceptible to viruses and malware continues to persist among Mac users, but it is not true. Mac’s OS X software is much less prone to malicious threats than Windows is, due to both a significantly smaller user base and some differences in the structure of the operating system, but that definitely does not mean that Mac users don’t need any antivirus software. If you want the best you can get for free, we’ve got two options just for you.

1. Avast

If you read the PC section on the previous page, then you’ll already know about Avast. It is the most popular option for virus protection and it is now available for Mac users. It’s easy to use, will scan your files and emails and protect you while you surf the web.

2. Sophos

Sophos is a light and simple choice for Mac protection, once installed you’ll probably forget its there, until it finds a threat that is. You can even schedule it to scan automatically, and like all the other software on this list, it’s 100 per cent free.

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Written by ryanbo

24 Comments

Total Comments: 24
  1. 0
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    Don’t forget the free version of ZoneAlarm that contains both, anti virus and Firewall. Excellent!

  2. 0
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    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.

  3. 0
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    That’s right Kristo, straight from the horses mouth

  4. 0
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    Bitefender seems to be ’30 day free trial’ then you have to pay. Can’t find free download full stop,.

    • 0
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      Allieannie,

      I don’t see anything about a trial period at http://www.bitdefender.com.au/solutions/free.html — are you looking somewhere else?

    • 0
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      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.

  5. 0
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    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

    • 0
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      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

    • 0
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      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

  6. 0
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    When i had Zonealarm it gave me nothing but trouble

  7. 0
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    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

  8. 0
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    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.

  9. 0
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    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.

  10. 0
    0

    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/

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