12 Free Antivirus Compared – Avira, Comodo, BitDefender, Avast, AVG, Panda and Microsoft

Updated: April 8, 2019 / Home » Computer and Internet Security » Download Free Antivirus [ Windows / macOS ]

Using Microsoft Windows 7, 8 or 10 without installing any antivirus security software is like not using any protection with an escort. Having said that, if you are still using Windows XP, you are literally asking for trouble. Windows XP is a 10+ years old operating system developed by Microsoft 13 years ago, Microsoft no longer provide crucial security patches and updates for XP.

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Free Antivirus Compared - Avira, Comodo, BitDefender, Avast, AVG, Panda and Microsoft

Summary Of All Free Antivirus Features [ Comparison ]

In this article, we’ll be looking at all of the 11 free antivirus available in the market by leading antivirus software maker. Remember that free is not always free, there are hidden cost. There is a saying: “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.”

In this case, the free antivirus software are free because it is used by these companies to gather intelligence, discover potential new outbreak, modify your browser’s search engine, nag you with nagware to upgrade and etc. Nothing is free, this includes Microsoft Security Essential, it is free provided that you own a genuine windows operating system.

  • On-Demand Scan – Refers to the possibility of performing a manual scan (by the user) on the entire computer/device
  • On-Access Scan – Refers to the ability of a product to automatically scan every file at its creation and/or subsequent modification.
  • Boot-time scan – Scheduled to run the next time your computer boots up to scans for known types of malware and removes threats before the operating system and other services are running.
  • Intrusion Detection System (IDS) – Monitors the network or systems for malicious activity or policy violations.
  • Heuristic – Is an analysis is a method employed by many computer antivirus programs designed to detect previously unknown computer viruses, as well as new.
  • CloudAV – Refers to the ability of a product to automatically perform scans on the cloud. This new technology enables the antivirus software to detect 99.99% of malware before it cause problems to your system.
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 On Demand ScanOn Access ScanBoot Time ScanIntrusion Detection SystemWeb ProtectionHeuristicCloud

Avira Free Antivirus


Comodo Antivirus Free


BitDefender Antivirus Free


Windows Defender


avast! Free Antivirus


AVG AntiVirus Free


Panda Antivirus Free






360 Total Security




IObit Malware Fighter


Which Free Antivirus To Choose?

Avast vs ESET vs Malwarebytes vs McAfee vs Avira vs AVG vs Kaspersky vs Symantec Norton vs Bitdefender, which is the best? I am not a big fan of free antivirus, but that doesn’t mean I do not use free antivirus. My primary workstation is protected by Symantec Norton Antivirus. If you can’t decide which free antivirus to use, my advice is to go with the antivirus with the most installation base. Meaning to say, if more people uses that antivirus, the chances of the antivirus to discover new malware are higher, thus the faster the security team will come out with a new solution to counter it.

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antivirus market share 2017

Microsoft is the bigger AntiVirus software maker in the world because every Windows 7 and 10 comes pre-installed with it. However, being number 1 means being the target by hackers and virus author. Therefore it might be a good idea to go with the 2nd or 3rd most installed free Antivirus, in this case, it is Avast or AVG. Reason being that antivirus are now crowd based intelligence, the more antivirus installed means the better the intelligence gathering is – also known as Cloud Antivirus.

Cloud Antivirus

33 comments on “12 Free Antivirus Compared – Avira, Comodo, BitDefender, Avast, AVG, Panda and Microsoft

  1. Gravatar
    57Revy [ Reply ]

    Your conclusion does not follow the reasoning of your own article. Did someone else write your conclusion? Why is ‘best’ related to market shares? Should I buy a car or TV based on who sells the 2nd or 3rd most? The summary chart clearly shows BitDefender with a rating of 5 stars in every category.

    • Gravatar
      Ngan Tengyuen [ Reply ]

      Earning 5 stars does not automatically makes it the best product. The best product is the one that you feel most comfortable installing. Just because a person won Miss Universe, this does not mean she is the prettiest women in the world.

      Likewise, you may find some internet provider better than the best internet provider in your area. It could be the location of the base towers, the number of users congesting the internet provider or their backbone. At the end of the day, you define best based on your comfort level, not the amount of stars.

      • Gravatar

        I totally agree with InkFloyd! What is the value of your comparison if hard skills like protection, performance, etc. will not lead straight to a objective ranking??? And a recommendation: include the date of the comments (at least it wasn’t shown to me here).

        • Gravatar
          dafuqIsWrongWithThisIdiot [ Reply ]

          Who writes shit articles like this basing their decisions on “Use the one with the best marketing department”… oh yeah… not an IT person…

  2. Gravatar
    Inkfloyd [ Reply ]

    Really? If the 5 star ratings are arbitrary and ‘comfort level’ out ranks the testing, we’ve all wasted a bunch of time. Miss Universe still has to RANK above 1000’s to be eligible for a top comparison and then eventually win THAT comparison. I thought the comparison was to be based on measurable stats like uh: performance, protections, etc. I feel that ‘comfort levels’ should be reserved for background screen options and avatars, not data security…

  3. Gravatar
    Jeremy [ Reply ]

    Still using XP with AVG (free version). No problems, no viruses, no trojans. Please stop this unfounded scaremongering regarding XP. I still use it because I have hundreds of games that I can still play on it, some even pre-dating XP itself. As a life-long gamer, there hasn’t been a single Windows 7 or 8 exlusive game that has caught my eye. And even then, a single game wouldn’t be justification enough for ditching XP.

  4. Gravatar
    Gustav [ Reply ]

    As the other people said, if you judge the quality of a product by the marketshare it has (which more or less means the fame it has as a brand) then you„ve done your calculations wrong. Its like wanting to buy the best specced-phone out there, but going for the iPhone 6 despite the fact that OnePLus1 has the best components, just because Apple is more known as a brand.
    PS: the miss universe example actually makes your side of things even shadier

    • Gravatar
      Ngan Tengyuen [ Reply ]

      1. I don’t think iPhone has the biggest market share in the smartphone sector. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2015/05/07/apples-iphone-continues-to-lose-market-share-month-to-month/#2f183e265461 I believe Samsung has the biggest market share.
      2. By using your logic, Google must be a lousy search engine.
      3. Android must be the worst mobile OS.
      4. Facebook must be the worst social media.

      We live in a digital age, the more data you collects, the better you are. This is why Google can and have the ability to know which is the best article for XXX keyword, why? because they’ve collected so much data, how? by being the most used and biggest search engine in the world. Same goes with Facebook.

      • Gravatar
        ByteBabe [ Reply ]

        Based on current events, I trust FB, Google etc even less than I did before all the recent drama. They’re all huge market shares, and they’re all instigators/magnets for data/ID theft/misuse and vectors for more viruses, hackers, and other greed-based pathological narcissistic entities all vying to separate us from our money, privacy, and freedom.

        I understand the volume variable, AND I’m looking for performance in specific areas, and I could care less how pretty the box is…

  5. Gravatar
    Alice Wonders [ Reply ]

    This article doesn’t make any sense, you should advice the AV that protects in the most effective way against viruses! And that has nothing to do with the one that gets used the most, Microsoft essentials is rubbish… AVG and Avast are quite heavy on the system, so I don’t know why you think they are top… Market shares apparently, never heard of that criteria.
    Anyway, for Windows 7 I would go with Avira and for 8 with bitdefender.

    • Gravatar
      Ngan Tengyuen [ Reply ]

      There are many other factors to consider apart from effectiveness. Cost? Business connection (AV sold via enterprise are usually made via business connection deals, not via the quality of the product)? Compatibility? There is a reason why Toyota or VW have the most market share, when Mercedes is a better car.

      What I am saying is, go with the crowd and you can never be wrong.

  6. Gravatar
    LeeToh [ Reply ]

    imbecile! wasted my time here!

  7. Gravatar
    xxnot telling [ Reply ]

    THis is FAKE TEST, avira does not have firewall, but only overlook over windows firewall.

    Also comodo has firewall build in, and it test it says it has none, BECAUE you did not use Comodo internet security which is free.


    • Gravatar
      Ngan Tengyuen [ Reply ]

      Only Comodo Internet Security comes with Firewall, the free version doesn’t. Comodo Internet Security is free for 30 or 60 days only. Avira does come with Firewall, do check the official website. Thanks.

      • Gravatar

        Comodo Internet Security is free. Comodo Internet Security Pro/Complete are paid versions.

      • Gravatar

        As of 2014, yes it does come with Firewall in the Free Comodo Internet Security. UPDATE your information.

        Aug 21, 2016

  8. Gravatar
    Awesome1pc2 [ Reply ]

    Comodo now has Comodo Internet Security Free, which would definitely beat Avira, especially since Comodo uses only 20 MB of RAM on average and does just as good of a job.

    • Gravatar

      Actually Comodo is very resource hungry. On low end laptops Comodo is not advised. For them any other free antiviruses are preferable. For example, on one laptop we switched to Avira, and on second one – to Avast. After that laptops stopped hanging and lagging.

  9. Gravatar

    Beware of Bitdefender. They took my money via auto-renewal, when I cancelled they refused to give a refund even though they sent me an email cancelling my license key days before the renewal was to start. AE refused to reverse the charge even though I gave them the Bitdefender email cancelling my license key. The software didn’t work, but I paid for it. I would never do business with them again. Bitdefender is in an east European country and apparently doesn’t have to follow US business customs.On top of that I found their software kludgy and difficult to use compared to others, which is why I tried to cancel after the first year.

  10. Gravatar
    roger hog [ Reply ]

    all antiviruses are junk lol

  11. Gravatar
    James Dean [ Reply ]

    The article and the conclusions make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

  12. Gravatar

    People should be rating how well the Antivirus performs.
    1. the most important consideration is how well it detects viruses
    2. the speed and reliability of the software
    3. the list of features in the software, beyond basic scanning.

    Of the 2016 reviews, Panda was a very high scorer in the detection tests and it placed in the top 4 for features and user experience.

    I have tried them all. Bitdefender was great, but created a lot of false positives and would delete things without asking first.

    Avast is great, but lots of ads.

    I’m currrently on Panda. Easy and effective.

  13. Gravatar

    According to NSA BitDefender and Comodo AV are the hardest for them to penetrate all the rest are easily bypassed :)

  14. Gravatar
    stv pls [ Reply ]

    for me norton security 2017 is the best

  15. Gravatar
    j94305 [ Reply ]

    I don’t see why Comodo does not have a Yes for “Heuristics”, “Cloud” and “Intrusion Detection System”. It has all of them, and in fact, one of the reasons why I use Comodo Internet Security is because of its holistic control over process invocation, access to protected interfaces and files, and the integrated firewall. I prefer to better have one popup too much than a comfort system that does not tell me about what is going on in my system. Whenever I need several tools to do the job or trust too much of this complex intelligence to automation, this is the point where security may be breached by exploiting exactly those automated mechanisms.

    • Gravatar
      Ngan Tengyuen [ Reply ]

      Thanks for pointing out, I believe they’ve updated the free antivirus to include these feature which was not available at the time of writing. Thanks.

  16. Gravatar
    Chris Cummings [ Reply ]

    I enjoyed the article and comments. I have to agree with the author, go with the crowd or use what you are comfortable with. Panda Free av for me with lifetime license for Malwarebytes Premium, works really nice and smooth. Good protection too.

  17. Gravatar

    I would recommend avast and avg. Before I recommended Avira and Bitdefender. But as of June 2017 things have changed in favour of avast and avg. It can change again. I recommend you to do research at the time installation and do not bother switching as long as they are performing well enough in independent review sites. Before avira always stayed in good detection. But this time it failed to 99%. 1%? Yes that’s huge :D

  18. Gravatar
    Perskakras [ Reply ]

    So far, I have been liking Avast and Comodo. In my opinion, they are lightweight and work fairly well. AVG has been bought out by a Russian hacker company – stay far away from them! The “big dogs” Symantec/Norton and McAfee are memory hogs and take too much control of your computer. Symantec Endpoint failed to catch several viruses including Cryptowall. Complete junk! Microsoft Security Essentials/Microsoft Defender is also complete junk! I need to try Panda. Used to like BitDefender, but their interface and control has changed – they now suck. For my clients that want to pay, I direct them to Eset Nod32 and TrendMicro. I don’t bother with paying for other free ones like Malwarebytes or SuperAntiSpyware, which are both good tools to use after you think you are infecteed.

  19. Gravatar
    Michael [ Reply ]

    Article written by a genius.

  20. Gravatar

    These are the same: Bulldog/Avira/Bitdefender/Kaspersky/Gdata <- German/Russian/Romanian

    These are the same: Avast/AVG/Nod32 <- Polish/Danish/Finish/Czech

    I really don't like the above options, same engines same junkware and a constant feeling your being watched.

    McAfee/Norton/Panda/Trend <- Shitware if that's even a word. You are most definitely being watched, lathered and leg humped.

    Defender/Comodo/Vipre/Webroot/ClamAV <- The best, stupid, simple, works.

    Fsecure/Ahnlab/Sophos <- Not sure about these.

    A bigger look: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_antivirus_software

  21. Gravatar
    donteven [ Reply ]

    I was gonna give you the benefit of the doubt, but then I read the first line: “Using windows without AV is like not using any protection with an escort”.
    I can’t believe I spent time reading this.

  22. Gravatar

    kaspersky free is not in list ? Unpossible!

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