Free Security Apps for Windows

Free Security Apps for Windows

It has often been recommended to use a full paid security suite to protect your Windows devices, as results showed that many full paid security suites scored higher in tests - when compared to their free counterparts.

However, since Windows 8, many of us have been using the free built-in security app Windows Defender - to successfully secure our Windows 8 and Windows 10 devices.

There are other free security apps for Windows of course, and this page introduces them.

Windows 10, 8.1 and 8

For Windows 10, 8.1 and 8 users: If you've just installed, upgraded or purchased a PC with Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 or 8, then you already have the security software Windows Defender - Microsoft's own security app, built into Windows. Just keep Windows and all of your apps up to date, and you should be fine.

Here are the main free security apps for Windows.

Windows Defender

Windows Defender is included with Windows 10 and Windows 8. It's Microsoft's built-in security app. It helps protect your PC against malware (malicious software), viruses, spyware, and other potentially unwanted software.

Windows Defender is my prefered main security app, and I use it on all of my PCs.

Windows Defender - Home tab - Free Security Apps for Windows

Windows Defender - Quick Scan - Free Security Apps for Windows

Windows Defender - Update tab - Free Security Apps for Windows

SecureAPlus

SecureAPlus uses no less than 12 antivirus engines! So, if you have a favourite antvirus app, the chances are that SecureAPlus uses its antivirus engine. This is one of the newer security apps available and it's growing in popularity. Be prepared for a very slow initial full system scan, while it builds up a whitelist of your apps.

SecreAPlus - Home tab

SecreAPlus - Antivirus Engines

SecreAPlus - Initial Full System Scan

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials is Microsoft's free security app to protect computers running Windows Vista, and Windows 7 from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Although, it's made by Microsoft, it isn't built into Windows, so you'll need to download and install it.

Microsoft Security Essentials free security - Home tab

Microsoft Security Essentials free security - update tab

Microsoft Security Essentials free security - Settings tab

avast! Free Antivirus

avast! Free Antivirus is a well-known free security app choice for Windows. It has a simple and clean UI, and it works well and does what it's supposed to.

avast! Free Antivirus - Home screen

avast! Free Antivirus - Quick Scan

avast! Free Antivirus - Smart Scan results

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+

Originally serving as an ad-awareness program, Ad-Aware has over the years become a respected security solution for the casual computer user - fighting spyware, adware, viruses and other malware.

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ Home screen - Free Security Apps for Windows

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ Scanning - Free Security Apps for Windows

Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ Real-Time Protection - Free Security Apps for Windows

360 Total Security

360 Total Security offers free antivirus and PC optimization. To be honest, I have only tried it, and not used it on a longterm basis. But it has gotten more popular since it was released.

360 Total Security - free security software - Full Check - Free Security Apps for Windows

360 Total Security - free security software - Virus Scan - Free Security Apps for Windows

360 Total Security - free security software - Tool Box - Free Security Apps for Windows

AVG AntiVirus FREE

AVG have been in the Windows security game for a long time. Their AVG AntiVirus FREE is a well-known and respected security choice for Windows users, and definitely worth trying.

AVG AntiVirus FREE - Home tab

AVG AntiVirus FREE - Scanning

AVG AntiVirus FREE - Scan summany

Panda Free Antivirus

Panda Free Antivirus is a light and easy-to-use free antivirus for PCs, which provides real-time updates.

Panda Free Antivirus - Main screen - Free Security Apps for Windows

Panda Free Antivirus - Scanning - Free Security Apps for Windows

Panda Free Antivirus - Settings - Free Security Apps for Windows

Sophos Home

Sophos Home is a simple-to-use free and effective security solution, allowing you to protect up to 10 computers per account. The install, and full scan both took a while, compared to other apps.

Sophos Home - Main screen - Free Security Apps for Windows

Sophos Home - Dashboard - Free Security Apps for Windows

Sophos Home - Scan - Free Security Apps for Windows

Comodo Internet Security Premium

Comodo Internet Security Premium has a clean and simple user interface, and does a good job of protecting your Windows PC. It's not as popular as the other free security solutions here, but the name Comodo is well known in security.

Comodo Internet Security Premium - Main - Free Security Apps for Windows

Comodo Internet Security Premium - Update - Free Security Apps for Windows

Comodo Internet Security Premium - Scan - Free Security Apps for Windows

Avira Free Antivirus

Avira Free Antivirus is a well-performing security app with a simple, and easy-to-understand interface, but it does contain some ads.

Avira Free Antivirus - Status tab

Avira Free Antivirus - Scanning

Avira Free Antivirus - Events

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So there you have it, most of the popular free security apps for Windows.

With Windows 10 I'm happy to use the built-in Windows Defender, which is regularly kept up to date. Alongside Windows Defender I run a copy of Malwarebytes Premium, which I mention on the computer maintenance page. I also do a scan with HitmanPro from time to time.

If you're looking for dedicated or second opinion anti-malware apps, please see the second opinion anti-malware apps page.

For some interesting security software comparisons, try visiting channels like The PC Security Channel on YouTube.

Let me know in the comments which free security apps you prefer, and why.

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