Antivirus programs can be beneficial, even though they are not a guarantee of online security. They’re designed to thwart malware from infecting your computer and protect your information from theft by scanning for harmful files on your drive and online. They can scan archives as well as check email databases for attachments. They can perform deep scanning that checks executables and CHM files.

Free antivirus software doesn’t include features like advanced web protections or identity protection, which are available in premium security suites. It’s nevertheless important to know what you require from your cybersecurity program prior to choosing a free one.

The majority of the antivirus programs for free that we tested had excellent malware detection capabilities and offer basic security. However certain free antivirus programs include some additional features including a free VPN service (up to 100MB per day) as well as a password management system storage-optimizing feature, and parental controls.

Most free programs, unlike premium antivirus software collect information about your device and your online activities in order to convince you to buy their paid plans. This could include pop-up ads or messages that urge you to purchase the products of their partners, and other strategies. But, this shouldn’t deter you from using a reliable free antivirus for Windows. All of the antiviruses we tested are easy to use and come with user-friendly dashboards. They also offer excellent customer support.