Reddit’s 5 Best Free Antivirus Programs Are Killer

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Reddit’s 5 Best Free Antivirus Programs Are Killer

Antivirus software will help to keep your computer protected and safe online. There are all kinds of risks like computer viruses and malware and the best way to stay safe is to have antivirus software as the first line of defense. But, with all the free antivirus options out there, how do you choose the best software for your needs?

In this article, we’ll take a look at Reddit’s best free antivirus programs. Reddit is a great way to find unbiased opinions from users since there’s no financial incentive involved. Plus, Reddit’s communities are usually very honest, since the platform is pretty against promotional posts. With that said, let’s get into Reddit’s best free antivirus programs, as endorsed by experienced users and tech-savvy Redditors.

We’ll provide you with a breakdown of each antivirus software’s features, performance, and overall value based on the opinions and experiences shared within the community. This way, you can confidently choose the antivirus program that best suits your needs and security requirements.

Reddit’s Best Free Antivirus Programs

Below you’ll find the best free antivirus programs that are the most recommended and talked about on Reddit.

Bitdefender Free

bitdefender antivirus mobile app on a smartphone screen
Both Bitdefender’s free and paid options are wildly popular, making it one of the most used antiviruses.

Bitdefender Free is one of the most highly recommended free antivirus programs on Reddit. When you install the software, it looks similar to the premium Bitdefender, except certain features will be disabled. However, it does include the standard antivirus scanning and removal features, plus real-time protection. Since it’s free, you won’t find ransomware-specific protection, and the time it takes to scan your system for viruses can be a bit slow.

Although it doesn’t offer a ton of additional features with the free version, the quality and level of depth it scans your system with is very high. It offers near-perfect blocking of phishing websites too. It’s available for Windows and Mac, but the Mac version only supports virus scanning and removal.

Kaspersky Free

largest cybersecurity companies
Kaspersky is an antivirus software company, founded in Moscow, Russia.

Another top recommendation is Kaspersky Free. This antivirus is known for its comprehensive protection, ensuring your devices stay secure. It offers email file scans, a limited password manager, ransomware reversal, along with top-notch malware protection.

Plus, when scanning your system, you’ll barely notice it’s working since the impact to your system is so small. You can even schedule scans to make sure your computer is protected regularly. However, it’s only available for Windows, so MacOS users will need to look for a different free alternative.

Windows Defender

windows server
Installed by default, all Windows users automatically have access to Windows Defender.

Windows Defender is a reliable, built-in antivirus solution for Windows users. It’s not as high-performing as Norton or Kaspersky, but it does come out ahead of a lot of other free tools. Plus, you’ll barely notice it’s running, since it operates entirely behind the scenes, protecting your computer while you work or browse the web.

The tool offers real-time malware protection and ongoing updates to protect against the latest threats. Plus, it has a built-in firewall and drive-level encryption. The software is simple and there are no upgrades, but since it’s already built into Windows 8.1 and above, it’s a simple way to protect your computer.

Avast One

screenshot of Avast homepage
One of the more popular free antivirus options, Avast provides most of their security features in the free version of their antivirus.

Avast has been in the antivirus software space for decades. With the Avast One software, you essentially get their high-level antivirus protection for free. Beyond scanning and virus protection, the free version will also scan and identify apps with missing security patches, and patch them. It’ll also block unsafe websites that you might come across.

Depending on which operating system you’re using, you’ll get access to different features. For example, protection is higher for Windows and Android operating systems when compared to iOS. You can also utilize the bundled free VPN for more privacy protection.


Although Malwarebytes doesn’t offer a free antivirus per se, it serves as a reliable virus scanner. While it doesn’t replace a dedicated antivirus with real-time scanning, it adds an extra layer of protection by detecting and blocking even the most advanced threats.

This can be a great tool to have if you want to scan your system for viruses manually and aren’t too worried about real-time protection and other advanced features. You can also use it side-by-side with other antivirus software if you want an additional scan to ensure there are no viruses or other threats on your computer. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

What to Look For in a Free Antivirus Program?

When choosing a free antivirus program, there are several key features you’ll want to look out for in order to ensure the highest levels of protection.

Malware Protection

A solid antivirus program needs to provide comprehensive malware protection. This includes guarding against various types of malware, such as viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, and spyware. You should look for a program that can effectively identify and remove these threats without hindering your system’s performance.

Real-Time Protection

Real-time protection is another important feature to consider. This allows the antivirus program to monitor your system continuously and prevent malware infections before they can cause any damage. In other words, real-time protection keeps your device safe by actively scanning for threats in files, emails, and web downloads.


A built-in firewall is an essential component of any antivirus program. Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic and help block potential attacks by implementing strong security rules. A reliable antivirus program should include a robust firewall to provide an additional layer of security and prevent any unauthorized access to your computer or other devices.

Phishing Protection

Phishing attacks can be highly damaging, as they trick users into divulging sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial information. A good free antivirus program should offer effective phishing protection to safeguard against these scams. This feature typically works by alerting you when you’re visiting potentially fraudulent websites and preventing you from entering personal information on those sites.

Benefits of Free Antivirus Software

Even though you don’t have to invest money into free antivirus software, it’s still packed with valuable features. Plus, you can always start with free antivirus software and upgrade to a premium version for more features.


The Most Expensive Thing in the World
Free is certainly very cost effective. Note that some “free” options subject users to Adds to make up for the lost revenue.

Choosing free antivirus software can be a financially savvy decision, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Many free antivirus programs offer essential features that provide an adequate level of protection against viruses, malware, and other online threats. By using a free antivirus software, you can save money without compromising your digital security.


You might think the best virus protection comes with a price tag, but some free antivirus programs out there are surprisingly reliable. Many reputed companies offer free versions of their software that can rival some paid alternatives. These software programs are frequently updated, ensuring your computer is protected against the latest threats.

User-Friendly Interface

Many free antivirus programs feature an uncomplicated interface that’s easy to navigate, even for users who lack extensive technical expertise. An intuitive and straightforward design allows you to access key features quickly, customize settings, and manage your computer’s security efficiently. When choosing antivirus software, consider ease of use and select one that best fits your needs and comfort level.

Closing Thoughts on Reddit’s 5 Best Free Antivirus Programs

By now, you should have a better understanding of the best free antivirus programs recommended by Reddit. Using an antivirus tool is necessary to keep yourself safe and protected online. Best of all, all the antivirus tools highlighted above are completely free. So, you can essentially test them risk-free to see which tools work best for your security needs. Finally, make sure the free antivirus software you choose is compatible with your operating system and device.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do free antivirus programs compare to paid versions?

Free antivirus programs typically offer basic protection against common threats, such as viruses and malware. On the other hand, paid versions usually provide more comprehensive security features, like advanced malware protection, phishing protection, and additional tools like password managers and VPNs.

Are free antivirus programs safe to use?

Most free antivirus programs from reputable providers are safe to use. However, it’s crucial to download them directly from the official websites to avoid counterfeit software and other issues.

Will using a free antivirus program slow down your computer?

The impact of an antivirus program on your computer’s performance varies based on the software itself and your system. While some antivirus programs might slightly slow down your computer due to continuous background scanning, most new antivirus software is designed to minimize this impact.

Can you use more than one free antivirus program on your computer for extra protection?

It’s generally not recommended to use more than one antivirus program on your computer. Antivirus programs can interfere with each other, which leads to decreased performance and potential system instability. However, you can use something like the free Malwarebytes scanner along with another antivirus tool, since the free tool doesn’t scan continuously.

Can free antivirus programs be used on different operating systems such as Mac and Linux, or are they just for Windows?

Many free antivirus programs are available for multiple operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and occasionally Linux. However, the availability and functionality can vary between platforms, so it’s important to check the specifics on the software provider’s website before installing.

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