Here are 5 best free antivirus software for 2017. These free antiviruses are handy to protect your PC from viruses and different types of malware (like adware, rootkits, trojans, etc.) in real-time. All the basic and important features are available under each individual antivirus. For example, you can schedule the scan, on-demand scan, star quick scan, view scanning report, quarantine suspicious files, etc.
Apart from this, you can also avail the benefit of unique features available in these antivirus software. Some of these let you protect PC from ransomware attack, control multiple PCs from one place, etc.
You can also check the AV-Test report of all antiviruses (based on protection, performance, and usability) using this link. Moreover, you can also get the Security Survey report 2017 (as PDF file) for antivirus generated by AV-Comparatives here. These reports will help you get more idea about which antivirus would be good for you.
Before I proceed, have a look at this quick video that covers necessary information related to these best free antivirus 2017.
Now let’s start with the first free antivirus software for 2017 listed here.
Avast Free Antivirus 2017
Avast Free Antivirus 2017 has a whole new interface, zero-day protection, faster scanning, better password manager, Game Mode, and other common features. If you are already using Avast Free Antivirus 2016 (here is its detailed review), then you will surely feel the difference between the scanning speed and like the improved features available in Avast Free Antivirus 2017.
The Smart Scan feature starts quick virus scan, checks for network threats, vulnerable software (outdated software), performance issues, weak passwords, etc. After completing the scanning, you can check the details related to every simple item. It also provides the option to resolve the issues. However, as per my testing, resolving the issues is not available in the free version. It will prompt you to select any of the available premium plans. Still, the free version is helpful to check if there are issues on your PC or it is working well.
It also comes with a Protection section using which you can access and start Smart Scan, full scan, and customized scan. Wi-Fi Inspector feature also comes under Protection section where it checks issues related to the router and other connected devices and shows details if a device is problem free or there are some issues.
I also like its enhanced password manager using which you can import all saved passwords from Chrome and other browsers, create secret notes, and manually add login credentials of other services. Some other features like Data Shredder, avoid fake websites, SecureLine VPN, Sandbox, etc., are also available, but those are the part of the premium plans. Still, with the free version, you will get many interesting features in Avast Free Antivirus 2017.
Note: To avoid extra toolbars and install only those components that matter to you, you should go with custom installation.
Sophos Home is one of the best free antivirus software 2017. It also provides zero-day protection and very helpful to protect your PC from malware, viruses, etc. It is well known for its unique centralized protection that I like very much. By the term centralized protection, I mean you can protect up to 10 Mac and Windows PCs from one place, using your free Sophos Home account. You will be able to install Sophos Home on all your desktops using the same account and then control all the devices with any modern browser.
You can check the status of each connected device, scan any device remotely, and clean the device from viruses. It also shows important alerts for each individual device. The alerts are related to virus or threat (if detected any). You can also control the web category access for every single device. That means you can select the type of category (entertainment websites, family, religion, shopping, and other category websites) that can be accessed on a connected device. If some application or website is not opening in a particular device, then you can also manually add that file or website in the exceptions list so that it can run on that particular device.
The desktop interface of Sophos Home is very simple and basic. There are three main options that you can enable or disable: Automatic Virus Protection, Web Protection, and Potentially Unwanted App Detection. So, if your main aim is to protect multiple computers, then Sophos Home is perhaps the best choice.
You can’t use it if some other antivirus is already installed. If you have already installed some antivirus on your PC, then it prompts you first uninstall that antivirus, and then only Sophos Home can be installed.
The Detailed review of Sophos Home is here.
Avira Free Security Suite 2017
Unlike most of the free antivirus on this list, Avira offers complete security suite for Free. You can install Avira Security Suite 2017 to get free antivirus protection, as well as protect other parts of PC, like, Browser protection, Firewall, etc. In fact, it also includes a free VPN (though, with a limited bandwidth).
Here are different components included in Avira Free Security Suite 2017:
- Avira Free Antivirus is a good free antivirus for 2017 that you can keep on your PC. This free antivirus provides real-time security and all other important features that should be available in a good antivirus. For example, you can start full system scan, quick scan, and you can also schedule the scan. Apart from that, you will be able to select a particular folder or drive for the scanning process. It protects from adware, trojans, rootkit, backdoors, and other viruses. Recently, it has also added ransomware protection, which will help in preventing ransomware from encrypting your important files. It also provides Firewall protection. Do note that you can choose to just install Avira Free Antivirus as well, in case you don’t want to install full fledged security suite. You can get that from here.
- Browser Safety tool: It’s a great tool that checks safety level of a particular website in real-time and also blocks tracking done by websites. This tool works as a browser extension. When the Browser safety tool is installed in a web browser, it is ready to protect you from harmful websites. Whenever you try to open some malicious website, a warning message is displayed.
- Phantom VPN: Avira Free Security Suite also includes free Phantom VPN. This tool helps to make your browsing connection private and lets you access regionally blocked websites. However, the free version of Phantom VPN tool provides only 500 MB per month to bypass restricted websites. If you already have an Avira account, then you can use 1 GB per month. So, you can extend 500 MB limit to 1 GB by creating a free Avira account.
- Software Updater: This tool is used to check outdated software and update them. So, you don’t have to install any 3rd party tool to update software. It is also useful to repair and remove already installed software. You can use this link to view its detailed review.
A system speedup tool is also available in this suite that can be used to optimize the speed of PC, but that tool is available as trial only. The detailed review of Avira Free Security Suite 2017 is here.
Bitdefender Free Antivirus
Bitdefender Free Antivirus is helpful enough to protect PC from malware and viruses in real-time. No doubt that it also a good free antivirus software. It has a new interface which looks really good. If you need a good antivirus with the clutter-free interface, then you should give a try to Bitdefender free antivirus. With its free version, it provides real-time protection, anti-phishing and anti-malware protection, and Autopilot feature. To get ransomware protection, password manager, secure browsing, etc., you need to get the Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2017. However, if you are OK with the features available in free version, then there is no need to buy the premium version.
This Autopilot feature of Bitdefender free antivirus is quite good as it helps to automatically fix the critical issues (if encountered any) and manages automatic updates, antivirus protection, privacy and antivirus protection. I didn’t see any button or option to turn on or off autopilot in the latest version of Bitdefender, though it is available in older versions. So, perhaps this mode works by itself.
On its interface, you will see only one button: SYSTEM SCAN. Press that button and it starts scanning the whole PC. However, if you are not in a mood for full scanning, then you can simply drag n drop files or folders for scanning. Other than that, there is nothing else.
A Settings icon is also there which you can use to check events (log), quarantine files, protection status (on or off), and exclusions where you can see the files and folders that are excluded by you from scanning. So, it is a simple yet effective antivirus and you can try it.
Full review is here.
AVG Free Antivirus
AVG Free Antivirus gives a strong competition to rest of the good antivirus software. You might know that AVG has been acquired by Avast, but that doesn’t mean it has lost its importance or it is not available anymore. It has its own importance and AVG continues to be one of the best free antivirus software for 2017. It provides PC protection, web protection, and email protection in the free version. The protection from hackers attack, private data, fake websites, etc., are part of its premium plan.
You can start the full or customized scan and it will find and remove viruses, rootkits, spyware, etc. You can start the manual scan or schedule scan as per your requirement. It lets you scan full PC, some specific files and folders, boot-time scan, etc. So, many options are available for scanning.
With AVG Free Antivirus, you get AVG Zen (you can say AVG Suite) that lets you connect and control multiple devices for free (but you need to buy AVG products like TuneUp and use other tools (just like Avira Connect). However, almost all its tools are paid. You can install all or some specific tool. AVG Zen provides:
With AVG Free Antivirus, you also get AVG Zen. This is basically the command center of Avira and lets you connect and control multiple devices for free. However, the tools that it includes are mostly paid. Tools available in AVG Zen are:
- PC Tuneup: It checks PC for registry issues, broken shortcuts, disk fragmentation, system cache & logs, etc. However, to resolve issues, it needs premium subscription.
- HMA! Pro VPN: To securely use WiFi network and access regionally blocked sites. However, this is a premium tool.
- AVG Web TuneUP: It is actually a browser extension (available for Chrome, Firefox, and IE). You can install it to protect your default web browser from harmful sites, see if a site is safe or dangerous, and block tracking.
Its detailed review can be found here.
This is my curated list covering best free antivirus software 2017. I personally prefer Avast free antivirus because I have used it for a long time and haven’t faced any issue related to virus or malware attack. However, others are pretty solid free antivirus too. Still, I would say if you are already happy and well protected with the antivirus installed on your PC, then you don’t have to look further. However, if you are facing issues and want to try some good antivirus, then these are probably the best free antivirus to try in 2017.