There are plenty of good-quality free antivirus software services, particularly for PCs and Macs.

The reviews determine that each service has the necessary elements of good antivirus software, aiming to stop threats before they set foot into your device.

For antivirus software to be effective it must identify the danger before the download, installation, or execution of malicious software.

But of course free software does comes at a price. Most of these products are free only for non-commercial use. If you have a business you have to pay for premium service. But these days the annual cost for basic anti-virus software is so low you’d be crazy not to.

Here’s our overview to finding the best free antivirus software.

Avast Free Mac Security

Mac laptops may be a far less tempting target for malware and viruses, but they’re not immune from attack so you need to be prepared. Even if you don’t care about adware or being used as a means to infect users on other platforms, it’s still possible to fall victim to ransomware,  password theft, or stolen iPhone backups, so please read on.

free antivirus

In security lab tests, Avast detected 99.9 percent of macOS malware, and 100 percent of Windows malware, which is a fantastic score. However, if you want more advanced protection (like ransomware detection), you will need to upgrade to a paid software.


The Free Virus Scan of Kaspersky focuses on a malware-fighting technology. Independent lab tests rated this one highly in being able to identify phishing expeditions on your computer.

free antivirus

During the installation of the software, you must first create a My Kaspersky account and login for full activation. The product also installs a toolbar for Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, providing markup for dangerous links in your search results and access to the on-screen keyboard.


The BitDefender product offers protection against attack by a very specific collection of ransomware families. It isn't even remotely a general-purpose antivirus tool, but it does exactly what it promises to do.

The key to this technique lies in the fact that the cybercrooks who inflict ransomware in the world don't want it to infect the same PC twice over.


Yes, modern versions of Windows come with built-in antivirus protection, but most third-party antivirus software—even free antivirus—is significantly more effective. The free, lightweight, and attractive Panda Free Antivirus is one such utility.

free antivirus


Sophos Home

Sophos Home has earned itself a great score in our antiphishing test, but doesn't do so well in our hands-on malware protection test. And its independent lab results, while good, aren't great. Still, it's worth consideration, especially if you need to manage free antivirus protection for others.

free virusscanner

In a business setting, employees don't manage their own security tools. Rather, the IT department handles that task remotely. It's not surprising, then, that configuration for Sophos Home is an online affair. With a free subscription you can install the product on three systems, Windows or macOS, and manage them online.

So, for example, you could install the product on an aging relative's computer, and remotely view and manage security events. A paid subscription to Sophos Home Premium is also available for purchase.