Best Free Antivirus 2018

Here, in this article, we present TechNadu’s picks of the best free antivirus 2018. Picture this: if there’s one piece of software that’ll inevitably be found on most modern devices and computers, it has to be the antivirus program. This software is the single most important utility that can mean all the difference between a PC with rock-solid, unbreakable defense system on the guard, 24 x 7, and a broken system crying for help. Once users make up their mind to install an antivirus program on their PC, however, the second step is even more difficult – than of choosing one from amongst the bewildering diversity of antivirus software available in the market today!

In this article, we’ll take a look at the best free antivirus 2018 and see how they compare with each other in terms of antivirus performance, independent lab test results, impact on system performance, the UI design, ease of installation, and the availability of additional features, to name a few of the most important parameters. The following table presents our rating of the various antivirus software we’ve tested and analyzed in detail.

Antivirus Name Rating
Bitdefender Free Antivirus  9.7/10
Sophos Home Antivirus  9.7/10
Baidu Antivirus 2015  9.7/10
Kaspersky Free Antivirus  9.7/10
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware  9.7/10
Windows Defender  9.5/10
360 Total Security 9.3/10
Adaware Antivirus Free 9.2/10
Avira Free Antivirus 9.1/10
Avast Free Antivirus 9/10
COMODO Free Antivirus 9/10
BullGuard Antivirus  8.1/10
Panda Global Protection  8/10
AVG Free Antivirus  8/10

I think the above table will allow you to make a clear decision in choosing the right software. Now, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the best performing and winning Antivirus of 2018.

Best Free Antivirus 2018 – TechNadu’s Picks

At TechNadu, we pride ourselves in conducting in-depth tests and analysis to arrive at the ratings and results for comparing software. Such extensive tests ensure that our results are up-to-date, comprehensive, and reflect real-world findings, which prove helpful to users deciding between various software makes and applications, which serve similar functions.

In this case of tracking down the best free antivirus 2018, we set out to evaluate each of the software named in the above table, installing them on our systems and testing them through various stages of use right from installation until performance optimization and system impact. In this article, we’ll compare the software one on one, so you get a better idea should you be faced with a dilemma over the best free antivirus 2018 that’ll perfectly suit your needs and keep your devices safe online as well as offline.

Bitdefender Free Antivirus

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Bitdefender Free Antivirus
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Prominent Features One of the top performers in lab tests; Bitdefender Autopilot technology does not display pop-ups, handles system on its own; Active threat scanning for suspicious program identification; Web Protection; Anti-Rootkit scanning; Cloud Scanning; On-access and On-demand scanning
What’s Missing Lack of deeper customization; Additional features lacking as compared to peers.
Visit Bitdefender

Bitdefender is a name that needs no introduction when it comes to cybersecurity tools and routines. It hardly comes as a surprise, then, that the software tops our list of the best free antivirus 2018 with its superior performance and top-notch efficiency. If there’s one thing that separates the Bitdefender Free Antivirus from its peers, it undoubtedly has to be the power of minimalism, which most impressed us in our tests here at TechNadu. The software is so fundamentally minimal in its design you’ll be left wondering how it combines so powerful a performance in such a lightweight package. It’s a no fluff, down to the bare essentials solution to your PC security problems. Period.

Another area where the Bitdefender Free Antivirus excels is in the minimal user intervention the software requires – the Bitdefender autopilot technology handles all bothering areas by itself without the user having to instruct the software of the best possible course of action, every time. Where the Bitdefender Free Antivirus lacks, however, is in the absence of deep levels of customization- the user can just turn the shields on/off, at the most, without being able to fine-tune controls to suit himself. You can read more from Bitdefender Free Antivirus Review.

Sophos Home Antivirus

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Sophos Home Antivirus Download
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
Prominent Features Protection for the whole family: protects up to 10 Windows and Mac machines at a time; Powerful malware protection; Blocks inappropriate/malicious websites; Lots of additional features such as Web filtering, Phishing protection & Management of all devices from anywhere.
What’s Missing The software only functions upon the creation of a free account. Requires the creation of a free account to download; Installer file is quite large.
Visit Sophos

The Sophos Home Antivirus is a protection shield for the whole family. The software creates a central user online interface through which various devices (up to 10) can be administrated with the click of a mouse. Make no mistake – this software is a strong contender on the list of best free antivirus 2018 thanks to its powerful feature set, which includes the ability to even schedule scans on a remote device. Device turned off? Don’t worry! Sophos Home Antivirus will run a scan on the device the moment it comes back online. Talk about security!

The design is very simple and intuitive and it will only be a matter of seconds before a user will learn to find his way around the software. With advanced functionalities such as website filtering (for enforcing parental control) and phishing protection, the Sophos Home Antivirus certainly deserves a try if you’re looking for a complete protection suite for all home devices. You might find our Sophos Home Antivirus review useful in deciding whether this is indeed the right fit for you.

Baidu Antivirus 2015

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Baidu Antivirus Free
Supported Platforms Windows, Android
Prominent Features Real-time protection; Fast installation; Plug-in scanning; Proactive Defense for protection of registry, critical locations, drivers, and apps; USB Protection; Anti-Phishing; Download Protection; Anti-Keylogger; Webcam Protection; Firewall; System Capture Protection
What’s Missing Only Windows version available for computers – no Mac/Linux version
Visit Baidu

The inclusion of the Baidu Antivirus 2015 in the list of the best free antivirus 2018 might come as a surprise to some, which is understandable considering that the software is not as popular as the other well-known names and brands in the antivirus industry. However, the Baidu Antivirus 2015 packs in a powerful punch with its superior performance and lightweight design.

The best part of this software is that it supports multiple malware scanning engines – users can choose which scan engine they’d like to scan their system with. The software’s minimum system requirements are pretty lean too, which means it can easily run on older Windows hardware, even Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista! The software, however, lacks a Mac or Windows version. We recommend reading our Baidu Antivirus 2015 Review for a detailed know-how of this software.

Kaspersky Free Antivirus

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Kaspersky Free Antivirus
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, Android
Prominent Features Real-time automated malware blocking; Blocks dangerous downloads and websites; Very deep levels of customization; Cloud-based protection; Web, IM & Mail Antivirus; Secure Connection; Password Manager; On-screen Keyboard.
What’s Missing The main UI has premium-only features with the free utilities occupying a backseat; Many additional features require an upgrade.
Visit Kaspersky

The Kaspersky Free Antivirus is well-known the world over for its powerful malware protection. What we liked the most about this software was the deep level of customization that it offers users when it comes to fine-tuning the controls. Another great aspect of this antivirus software is its layered security: it protects your files, mail, web, and messages – all from one single place.

The threat detection is extremely powerful, as is evident from the AV-TEST results, wherein the software detects 100% of the 0-day malware attacks as well as the widespread and prevalent malware. Nothing comes even close, with this level of malware protection. We disliked the presence of several upgrade-only features in the UI though, which unnecessarily takes up a lot of space rather than exhibiting the great features included in the free version. You can know more about the Kaspersky Free Antivirus Review.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Malwarebytes Free Antivirus
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, Android
Prominent Features Powerful malware protection; Detects malware often missed by other antivirus software; Useful tool to have on your PC in addition to an antivirus app; Rootkit scan; Protection from Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)
What’s Missing Lacks additional features; No real-time protection against threats in the free version
Visit Malwarebytes

It’s easy for antivirus applications to miss deadly malware hiding around the corners. If this comment raises eyebrows, well, take a look at the Malwarebytes real-time detection map, which tracks worldwide instances of malware detection on PCs running a standalone antivirus application in addition to the Malwarebytes anti-malware, of course.

Malwarebytes works in tandem with your preferred antivirus application – there’s no need for you to uninstall your antivirus to be able to benefit from Malwarebytes malware protection – they’ll both run side by side without a conflict. The software is particularly efficient in detecting rootkits and 0-day malware, which often go unnoticed. It’s that one software tool we recommend must be installed on every PC. We were disappointed by the fact, however, that Malwarebytes anti-malware, being a top contender for the best free antivirus 2018, lacks real-time protection, which is only available in the paid version. More about this powerful tool in our in-depth Malwarebytes Anti-malware Review.

Windows Defender

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Windows Defender
Supported Platforms Windows
Prominent Features Built into Windows 10; Real-time protection from viruses and threats; Cloud-based malware protection; Exploit Protection shield protects from undiscovered threats; Offline scan feature; Firewall; Family Protection
What’s Missing Lacks deep customization options; Scores lower in lab tests as compared to its competitors
Visit Windows Defender

If you’re looking for powerful, built-in security for your Windows PC, considering upgrading to the latest Creators Update to be able to benefit from Windows Defender’s comprehensive security. The Windows Defender is very tightly integrated into the host OS – which makes it all the more powerful when it comes to malware detection and system optimization.

Not only can the Windows Defender protect your PC from malware threats, it also features anti-exploit features, similar to the ones provided by the popular Malwarebytes software. As a part of this functionality, Windows Defender uses specialized algorithms to go beyond traditional malware protection and identifies exploit attacks as well, which look for loopholes in software security. You can learn more from the Windows Defender Review.

360 Total Security

Best Free Antivirus 2018: 360 Total Security Antivirus installation
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, and Android
Prominent Features Integrates multiple antivirus engines for powerful protection; Ransomware protection; Real-time cloud-based scanning; Backups files before they are affected; Sandboxing; Secure Online Shopping; Privacy Protection; WiFi Security Check; Clean Up.
What’s Missing Includes many paid-only features alongside free tools; Scores lower in AV-TEST reports; Incorporates ads and recommendations
Visit 360 Total Security

The 360 Total Security antivirus app features a powerful, ‘universal’ application, for, it allows users to run scans with scanning engines of their choice. This single most important factor makes the software exceptionally powerful, even though it scores less in AV-TESTS. We also liked the fact that the software inculcates several useful additional features such as a sandbox, which provides users with an isolated virtual environment in which to run potentially dangerous apps without harming the host computer.

What we disliked about this software, apart from its test scores, is the fact that it includes several ads and recommendations in the design. It has many paid-only features listed alongside the genuinely free tools. This makes it score comparatively lower on the scale of the best free antivirus 2018. Feel free to read 360 Total Security Software Review

Adaware Antivirus Free

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Adaware Antivirus Free
Supported Platforms Windows only
Prominent Features Malware protection (ransomware, spyware, viruses, etc); Real-time protection; Download protection checks all files before they damage PC; Download Protection tracks downloaded files to ensure no viruses harm the PC; Gaming Mode for obstruction free-gaming
What’s Missing Lacks many additional features which other antivirus software offer users; No options for deep customization
Visit Adaware

When it comes to the raking of the best free antivirus 2018, the Adaware antivirus free scores moderately. We really liked the versatility of the malware protection that this software offers – it detects ransomware, spyware, and viruses with equal ease. The software also features download protection wherein all downloaded files are tracked and monitored to ascertain that no malware harms the computer, making its way through the internet. What we liked the most about this software is its lightweight design, though.

The software lacks deep customization options, which means there aren’t many choices for those wishing to customize the software to match their interests. Additional features commonly found in other antivirus software are also absent. To see how this software fares in our real-world tests, please read our Adaware Antivirus Free Review.

Avira Free Antivirus

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Avira Free Antivirus Review
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Prominent Features Artificial Intelligence and Cloud-Based antivirus protection; Real-time scanning; Ransomware protection; Deep levels of customization; Password Manager; Phantom VPN; Free Software Updater; SafeSearch Plus
What’s Missing Requires an upgrade for full functionality of additional features
Visit Avira

The Avira Free Antivirus is another well-known name in the field of antivirus applications and the app lives up to its name. Featuring intelligent AI-based protection, which is also strengthened by the power of the cloud, this software features ransomware protection and extremely deep levels of customization – in fact, one of the deepest, making this one of the customizable antivirus software out there. You can easily modify the settings to suit your PC.

The application, however, requires a paid upgrade for all additional features to be functional. If you are contented with the core antivirus functionality with some basic additional features though, this software is certainly one of the must-try tools in our list of the best free antivirus 2018. You might consider reading our Avira Free Antivirus Review.

Avast Free Antivirus

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Avast Free Antivirus home screen
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, Android, iOS
Prominent Features Consistent performer in lab tests; Behavior Shield scans apps for viruses; CyberCapture feature offers cloud protection; Smart Scan offer loophole scanning; Includes Password vault; Driver Updater keeps drivers up to date; Game Mode; WiFi Inspector
What’s Missing Most features in the free version require a paid upgrade; Installation takes up longer time; Lack of detailed reports for individual components.
Visit Avast

The Avast Free Antivirus needs no introduction in the antivirus space, being used by millions worldwide. We found that the software is a consistent performer in independent lab tests and scores brilliantly when it comes to powerful malware protection against both 0-day malware attacks and prevalent malware.

The software features cloud-based protection and a smart scan to detect loopholes in system security. What’s more, there’s even a password vault to store (and forget) your passwords, a driver updater to keep your system drives up-to-date and a Wi-Fi inspector to monitor your Wi-Fi connections. Not to mention a dedicated Game Mode for interruption-free gaming. We disliked the fact that the software features several paid-only functionalities and does not display detailed reports for individual components of the tool. You can read more about this software in our Avast Free Antivirus review, which is based on our in-depth tests.

COMODO Free Antivirus

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Comodo for Mac
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android
Prominent Features Automated, real-time protection; Scans downloaded files and attachments; Provides safe Internet browsing; Safe online monetary transactions. Includes a protected sandbox for apps.
What’s Missing The software is complete with several additional features, and might be overwhelming at times, especially for beginners.
Visit Comodo

The Comodo Free Antivirus is undoubtedly a great tool par excellence. It would be more appropriate to call it a software suite, though. It’s completely feature packed with so many tools and functionalities it’s like many worlds rolled into one. We absolutely loved using this software and highly recommend it to anyone looking out for a very versatile software amongst the best free antivirus 2018.

Apart from automated, real-time protection, Comodo free antivirus also features protected internet browsing, secured monetary transactions, and sandboxing for testing unknown apps. If you wish to learn more, please have a look at our detailed Comodo free antivirus review.

BullGuard Antivirus

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Installation Bullguard Antivirus
Supported Platforms Windows
Prominent Features Layered real-time protection against a broad range of malware; Capable of detecting 100% of newest threats; User-friendly interface; Fast scanning; Advanced protection against complex threats; Proactive protection; Reliable spam filtering; Supports multiple languages
What’s Missing No free version; Trial period somewhat short; Only supports Windows OS
Visit Bullguard

The BullGuard Antivirus protects users from 100% of the newer threats as per AV-TEST reports, and features a layered protection against various malware types, operating in real-time. We found that the software scans fast and offers advanced levels of protection against even complex threats. In our reviews, we found that the software does a great job at protecting Windows machines and features a powerful spam filter.

There’s no free version, however, and the trial period is limited, which might be off-putting to some users. To know our take on the BullGuard Antivirus, we recommend going through our comprehensive BullGuard Antivirus review.

Panda Global Protection

Best Free Antivirus 2018: Panda Free Antivirus Download Page
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, Android
Prominent Features Deep levels of customization; Patented virus protection technology; Uses Artificial Intelligence models for virus detection; Safe Browsing; USB Vaccination; Firewall; Parental Control; Includes Password Manager tool; Defragmenter; File Encryptor; File Shredder; PC Tuneup
What’s Missing Links embedded in several sections of software; Buttons operate with some lag
Visit Panda

The Panda Global Protection application is noteworthy for its deep levels of customization and the advanced virus removal technology, which employs artificial intelligence for superior threat protection. The software also features unique features such as USB vaccination, which keep users’ USB devices safe and immunized against malware.

The software houses many additional features that are absent in many of the other tools in the list of the best free antivirus 2018 such as file encryptor, password manager, file shredder, safe browsing, firewall, etc, to name a few. However, we found that the software at numerous places features links directing users to the company website, which defeat the purpose of a self-sufficient tool somewhat. We recommend reading our in-depth Panda Global Protection Antivirus Review.

AVG Free Antivirus

Best Free Antivirus 2018: AVG Antivirus Free
Supported Platforms Windows, Mac, Android
Prominent Features Automated and manual protection; Easy on PC performance; Includes File Shredder; Scans downloaded files, email attachments, and email contents (for phishing attempts);  Deep customizations available
What’s Missing Basic antivirus tool without many additional features
Visit AVG

AVG Free Antivirus packs in incredibly powerful malware protection complete with both automated and manual shields. We found that the software has a minimal impact on system performance and runs seamlessly. The software offers automated protection shields that scan files, email attachments as well as contents to protect users from phishing attempts.

You will be able to fine-tune controls to suit your needs and try out unique features such as the file shredder. The software, however, does not have the additional tools commonly found in other competitors in our best free antivirus 2018 list. Wish to know more about the AVG free antivirus? Consider reading our detailed AVG Free Antivirus Review.

Final Thoughts

We sincerely hope that this article helps you with your quest to find the best free antivirus 2018. In a nutshell, the best antivirus application is the one that you feel comfortable with. Our reviews of these software are based on in-depth tests and analysis and we hope you’ve found them useful. We are indebted to our readers for staying with us here at TechNadu!

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop us a comment. Why not share this article on your social media if you liked it? Security serves us best when we’re all protected, together, after all!