Free Antivirus: Top 5 Software of 2022

Not so long ago, I ventured into the confusing world of antiviruses. Having made our way through it, in order to compile a top list of the best antiviruses, taking into account the attractiveness of paid offers, I had to stop a little at free solutions. Indeed, before investing, it is better to familiarize yourself with this type of increasingly complex tool, which is complicated by a number of additional features (privacy options, performance optimizations, etc.). That’s why I went looking for 5 free antivirus offers with no time limit to give you easy access to effective protection against viruses and other malware. Of course, “effective” does not mean “complete”, but each free version of the antivirus services listed here has its own set of advantages, which I will try to describe in detail here!

Podium 2022

Ranking the best free versions of antivirus software

Avira free antivirus comparison

8.8/10: tested on
9/10: user reviews on Trustpilot

Avira is our top pick for two reasons: a flawless score in AV benchmarks and AV tests, and many amazing features in the free version, including ransomware and VPN protection. We also appreciate the firewall and password manager. To this, the paid version will add, among other things, real-time data breach alerts, multiple device protection (5 desktop or mobile devices) and unlimited VPN. Antivirus software that also pays for the luxury of being lightweight, but doesn’t skimp on pop-ups in return…


  • Low impact on your IT system
  • Hyper full
  • Best test scores

Download Avira Free Security for free

Should I download Avira Free Security?

  • You want maximum protection for free
  • Your computer may be lagging

Don’t download if…

  • Are you struggling with repetitive ads?

Main characteristics

OS COMPATIBLEWindows (Version 7+), Mac OS X, Android, iOSON-DEMAND CHECKYesFIREWALLYesVPN FREEYes (500MB/month)Ransomware ProtectionYesPhishing ProtectionnetGAME MODENOINDEPENDENT LABORATORY – 100%
AV Comparison – 100%

Avast Free is the best free antivirus

8/10: in the test at
8/10: user reviews on Trustpilot

For a security that is always up to date with the threats that hang around the Internet, Avast is hard to miss. With a very high level of protection, including ransomware protection and a Wi-Fi inspector that detects vulnerabilities in your network, the free package more than covers the essentials. Attention, if you are on a Mac, you must have at least OS X 10.10. Of course, you may often hear about premium subscriptions, the quality of which you can check in our Avast One test. An upgrade that could really be worth it, with a very user friendly interface. In short, free or paid, we are definitely in good hands with Avast.


  • Very high level of protection
  • Low impact on the computer
  • Very user friendly interface

Download Avast antivirus for free

Is it worth downloading Avast Free Antivirus?

  • You want a preview before buying a premium
  • Are you used to playing online?

Don’t download if…

  • Pop-ups hit you on the system

Main characteristics

Comparative VA – 99.7%

Free AVG Antivirus Comparison

8.5/10: tested on
7/10: user reviews on

Yes, I know what you will say: AVG, Avast, same fight. But there are not so many reliable free solutions in the long run! Thus, you can also choose the most effective ones. Moreover, the fact that AVG is owned by a Czech company can only convince you of the quality of its protection, which includes spyware, ransomware and suspicious insecure URLs. Add to this the performance analysis of your device. As such, some tests have already noted slowdowns in PCs running AVG; it seems that the brand has responded to the limitation of this black point. It is still noted in the risks of use. Regarding the data collections that have already caused controversy in 2020, I have posted their privacy policy here, updated in February 2022.


  • Automatically updates
  • interesting for poppy
  • Ransomware Protection


  • May affect the performance of less powerful computers
  • Questionable story regarding privacy policy

Download AVG Antivirus Free Edition for free

Should I download AVG Antivirus Free Edition?

  • Do you know how to change the browser (in case of automatic download of AVG Secure Browser)
  • You want a minimum of advertising

Don’t download if…

  • You do not want us to collect your data at all
  • Your computer sometimes slows down

Main characteristics

Comparative VA – 99.7%

The best free antivirus Bitdefender

8/10: Tested at
7.2/10: user reviews on

A brief overview of the Germans at Bitdefender, whom we appreciate for their excellent results in AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, as well as their high detection rate as the antivirus software manages to scan suspicious behavior for malware. Malicious URLs are also blocked so gamers can play online safely. Note, however, that there is no protection against subscription-only ransomware attacks, as well as a firewall, secure transactions, and other means of destroying malicious files.


  • Interesting game mode
  • Includes anti-phishing
  • Prevents online threats


  • The Mac version is much less interesting
  • Pretty long scans
  • Slows down old computers

Download Bitdefender free for free

Should I download Bitdefender for free?

  • Are you used to playing online?
  • Do you have a powerful PC?
  • You upload files to a tedious larigo

Don’t download if…

  • Are you using Mac
  • You have sensitive files that could be the target of ransomware.

Main characteristics

Comparison AV – 99.9%

Panda Dome Free is the best free antivirus

8/10: Tested at
7.6/10: user reviews on

To be honest, I was hesitant to place the Panda Dome in this top five, in part because of the rather infrequent tests in the AV-Test labs and, according to some of them, a much improved battery life. However, with its user-friendly interface, game mode, and better ransomware and spyware detection than Windows Defender, I decided to give it a try. A small addition is a VPN limited to 150MB per day, but that might be enough for a reasonable online presence. Another interesting argument: the Rescue Kit, which allows you to control the machines again via the USB port. Finally, while compatible with macOS 10.10 or later, we recommend it on PC, including very old versions of Windows (XP, Vista, etc.).


  • Low impact on your machine
  • PC recovery kit
  • Allows you to check USB drives


  • Lots of ads for the paid version
  • Not many modern tests for this sequel

Download Panda Dome for free


Should I download Panda Dome?

  • You use a PC, especially older versions of Windows
  • Do you need an express cleaning?

Don’t download if…

  • Pop-ups annoy you too much
  • You prefer software at the top of independent lab tests

Main characteristics

Comparison AV – 99.9%

4 reasons to download (at least) a free antivirus

You taught a lesson with paid antiviruses that give you real control over almost all your Internet interactions, and some packages even protect your data on the dark web. So, here are 4 reasons to choose a free antivirus, at least initially.

Frequently Asked Questions About Free Antivirus Software

Is Microsoft Defender a good antivirus?

In the early days, Microsoft Defender was not considered a serious antivirus tool. Today, it offers a decent service in terms of performance as well as features like ransomware protection, webcam protection, privacy options, standard parental controls, and cloud space. In addition, it is certified by AV-Test. If it doesn’t appear in this comparison, it’s mostly because it’s already natively installed on a certain number of machines; so diversify solutions!

How about Total AV Free?

Total AV, which is the subject of a very powerful online marketing campaign, almost made our list. But it turns out that (unsponsored) tests of the free version showed that it was only used to run scans with questionable results in order to better promote very aggressive offers without ever showing its qualities. What keeps them on our top 15 antivirus list? Very decent results on AV-Test.

Can you trust Kaspersky?

With the antivirus suite very good in both free and paid versions, and the CEO of Kaspersky Lab trying to keep his company out of geopolitical affairs, it’s tempting to say yes. However, the war in Ukraine is a special context in which many people prefer to protect themselves from the slightest risk of a cyberattack, whether the Russian public wants it or not. Therefore, as a precaution, we removed it from our comparisons.

What is the best free antivirus?

Our current preference for Avira Free Security is not only because it passes the latest independent lab tests with flying colours, but also because it offers a range of features including 500MB per month VPN, firewall, password manager and software protection -extortionists. However, this is the only one we didn’t find a game mode for in our free antivirus comparison.

Is Free Antivirus Enough?

Of course, it all depends on the nature and frequency of your online activities. If you have kids old enough to log in, download a lot, do a lot of online transactions, have a lot of passwords, store very sensitive files, and surf the dark web occasionally, we prefer to direct you to a paid subscription for complete protection. But if your internet connection is only used to open YouTube and send emails, the free software will be more than enough.

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