Are your files getting corrupted randomly? If yes, then it’s a sign that you may have to change your antivirus software. In fact, this is not just something you’ll face on your computer, but also in your mobile phone. Your smartphone is no less prone to virus and malware attacks. This is the reason why cybersecurity companies have been designing antivirus apps that can be used for both phones and desktops.
A virus can really devastate your system if you don’t fix it on time. In fact, a lot of times you just have to get your OS reinstalled. Now that can be way too expensive. Instead, you can get an antivirus app that is a lot cheaper, or even free.
What is an Antivirus?
To be precise, an antivirus is software that can detect and prevent a virus from spoiling your operating system. It does the following to keep your system clean:
- Immediately kills any virus that it detects entering the system.
- Blocks possible channels from where a virus can enter the system.
- Deletes all corrupted files from your computer or phone.
- Protects your system from other malware, hackers, phishing attacks, and spam.
It is more like a vaccine for your computer or smartphone than a medicine. Its functions are primarily prevention-based, stopping a virus from causing any damage to the system. In fact, these days they do a lot more than just stopping viruses. There are so many other malware, like Trojan horses, worms, and ransomware that your antivirus can protect your computer or phone from.
Why Do You Need an Antivirus Software?
Suppose, you don’t have an antivirus and a virus entered your system. I’ll paint you a picture as to what kind of trouble you might have to face:
- In mobile phones and laptops, the battery could start draining like anything.
- The CPU, base of the laptop or base of the phone heats up.
- Gradually, your system becomes slower and slower in terms of responding to your inputs.
- Your system keeps crashing and restarting on its own.
- All of a sudden, you see weird apps you never downloaded in your phone or computer and your existing files may start disappearing.
- You can get excessive number of pop-ups and spams in your messages or email.
- A lot of these pop-ups even come with some weird sound.
- Even worse – a lot of spams could go from your email to others.
Now this is happening to any one system that you’re assuming. However, what if this is the server and connected to plenty of workstations through a network?
Of course, it gets even worse. If you have other systems connected to the infected one, the virus will spread to each and every one of them. That implies looking at all the above symptoms in each and every machine of the network.
And what about the cure?
Well, it involves a system clean-up and reinstallation of the operating system. That could cost you a lot because you’ll need a technician to deal with a virus. It would be more than double the amount if it’s for an entire network.
Best Free Antivirus Software
Compatible with Windows OS, MacOS, Android OS and iOS, Avast has free and paid services for providing multiple cyber security services. Apart from being an antivirus, it also acts as a firewall, antispyware, anti-phishing and anti-spam software.
This is the best free antivirus for Windows 10, which is now available for the older versions also. If you have Windows 10, you don’t even have to download this antivirus because it is already there. You just probably need to ensure it is on. You’ll get it with a firewall that will protect your system from all kinds of malware as well as illegal files.
The Kaspersky Antivirus has been a very popular choice for securing laptops and personal computers. The most popular premium products they have is Kaspersky Internet Security for Windows and Mac. However, there are some Kaspersky free products available too. These include:
- Virus Removal Tool
- QR Scanner
- Rescue Disk
- Virus Scanner for Windows and Mac
- Security Cloud
- Password Manager
- Kaspersky Internet Security for Android
- Parental Control
- Battery Saver
This is a Chinese anti-malware program that primarily provides protection from viruses and trojan horses. You can get this antivirus for free, where you’ll get the following services:
- Real-time detection
- Document protection
- Smart blocking
- Multiple-engine protection
- Secure online shopping
- Securing Privacy
- System clean-up
- Wifi check and internet security
Apart from that, there is a paid version available too, where you can get additional features like scheduled clean-up, firewall, ad blockers, desktop organizer, disk analyzer, and driver updates.
Panda Security also provides you with free as well as paid versions of its anti-malware programs. Their software is compatible with Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. The basic features include:
- Real-time protection from all kinds of malware
- Protection from USB drives
- Advanced scanning and clean-ups
- Privacy protection
- Battery saving (for Android)
For Mac and iOS devices, there are no free plans available by Panda as of now.
Paid Antivirus Software
They have plenty of plans for protecting single devices as well as business networks. They provide you with the following services:
- Real-time threat protection from all kinds of malware
- Cloud Backup
- SafeCam (for laptops and PC) – preventing unauthorized access to your webcam
- Parental control
- Password security
Norton Security has been one of the best-known paid antivirus software and has very reasonable offers for both individual and network devices.
Based in Slovakia, Eset also provides many anti-virus and firewall products. Their most popular plan is the Eset internet security, which provides you with protection from malware, hackers, and ransomware. It also provides you with safe online shopping and banking. The best part is that the plan includes providing security to multiple devices connected to a network. It supports Windows, Android, Mac, and Linux.
This is an Indian cybersecurity company that develops anti-malware products for individual devices, networks, and cloud-computing environments. Apart from providing antivirus for Windows, Mac, and Android, they also provide multi-device and smart home protection.
Among all their products, the most popular one is Quick Heal Total Security for Windows, Mac, Android, and multiple devices. It includes:
- Real-time malware protection
- Web security
- Parental control
- Remote device management
- Tracking lost devices
- Email security
This American cybersecurity company has been popular worldwide as one of the best antivirus systems. One of their most popular plans is McAfee Total Protection, which comes with a 30-day free trial. It is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.
Another award-winning plan that they have is McAfee LiveSafe, which provides both online and offline protection from malware, ransomware, security threats, spam, and PC optimization.
This is just one of the cybersecurity products developed by Broadcom. This security software provides you with a firewall, malware protection, and intrusion prevention. It is designed mainly for computers having Windows, Mac or Linux OS. Unlike other companies, they sell their antivirus software products through distributors and partners only.
This is one of the best-selling plans of K7 Security, that provides you with the following benefits:
- Real-time threat detection
- Internet protection
- Advanced security
- Privacy protection
- Parental control
Which Antivirus Will You Choose?
Usually, in most cases, we feel that paid software can provide more than something that is free. This does hold true for an antivirus too unless you have the most basic needs from it. All of these provide you with the same basic purpose – protection from malware.
What you need to look into are the additional features that you’re getting. If you want multi-device protection, you’ll need a paid plan. For your mobile phones, free ones are actually enough. So, do you think you need more than just malware protection?