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The 5 Best Free Antivirus Software 2020

1. Avira

Available on: Windows, Mac

With a reputation for consistently solid performance and easy-to-use tools, Avira is a great choice. The most recent antivirus test from AV-Comparatives gave the pro version a 99.9% protection rate, and you can bet the free version packs similar power.

Scheduling options are intuitive, and you can create a number of scans that run throughout the week. Just schedule a quick daily scan or a weekly full scan, and you’re set. Combined with real-time protection, the scans will keep you safe from just about everything (though there are some things antivirus suites cannot protect you from).

Download: Avira

2. Bitdefender

Available on: Windows, Mac

Another antivirus app whose pro version got a 99.9% protection rate, the free version of Bitdefender will keep you safe from almost every piece of malware in circulation. Anti-phishing and anti-fraud features help keep you even better protected.

The simple interface won’t overwhelm you with options, and automation means you don’t have to actively manage it. It was also designed to be light on system resources, which is a bonus, as some antivirus apps can be resource hogs.

Download Bitdefender

3. Avast

Available on: Windows, Mac

Although Avast secured a slightly lower protection rating than some other options (98.9 percent), it’s still very high. The app also has relatively low resource usage, making it unlikely to noticeably slow down your computer.

A simple, easy-to-use interface means you don’t need an instruction manual to get it set up. Despite ranking slightly lower on threat protection, Avast is a solid choice for anyone looking for a free antivirus. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular options out there.

Download: Avast

4. AVG

Available on: Windows, Mac

AVG ranks well in both protection (98.9 percent) and system resource usage. And while they now offer unnecessary things like system clean-up and mobile antivirus apps, their core product is still one of the best.

AVG does have a reputation for some annoying nag screens, but many people find the occasional upgrade request an easy price to pay for solid antivirus performance.

Download: AVG

5. Lavasoft Ad-Aware

Available on: Windows

Lavasoft’s pro version of Ad-Aware scored a 99.3% protection rate in recent tests, making it a solid contender. And while that version did tend to use more resources than other antivirus options, it’s still a great choice for Windows users. Its focus on anti-adware and anti-spyware features are especially nice.

And although using a free antivirus app is going to be sufficient for just about everyone, the various paid levels of Ad-Aware are quite affordable, so if you’re looking to upgrade to something more fully featured, sticking with Lavasoft will be easy.

Download: Ad-Aware