Anti-malware software, which is also known as a malware removal tool, is slightly different in how it works. While anti-virus software is all about prevention, the anti-malware program looks to root out and destroy the malware that is already downloaded and activated on a system.
While you can remove some active viruses with anti-virus software, they are likely to recur on the system sometime in the future. This is because they are not eliminated but just simply hidden on the infected computer and thus can be re-activated at a later time.
Malware removal tools, on the other hand, completely remove the malware from an infected computer and the virus is unlikely to recur on the system. This is because it’s incredibly important to use good and free anti-malware software alongside an anti-virus program to protect your system from harmful malware.
Before going forward, let’s see,
What is Malware?
Malware has actually been a threat to individuals and organizations since the early 1970s when the Creeper virus first appeared. Since then, the world has been under attack from hundreds of thousands of different malware variants, all with the intent of causing the most disruption and damage as possible. In fact, 2019 was a year of the nastiest malware attacks.
Malware typically consists of code developed by cyber attackers, designed to cause extensive damage to data and systems or to gain unauthorized access to a network. Malware is the collective name for a number of malicious software variants, including viruses, ransomware, and spyware. Shorthand for malicious software. Most common, it is delivered in the form of a link or file over email and requires the user to click on the link or open the file to execute the malware.
Types of Malware
Possibly the most common type of malware, viruses attach their malicious code to clean code and wait for an unsuspecting user or an automated process to execute them. Like a biological virus, they can spread quickly and widely, causing damage to the core functionality of systems, corrupting files, and locking users out of their computers. They are usually contained within an executable file.
Worms get their name from the way they infect systems. Starting from one infected machine, they weave their way through the network, connecting to consecutive machines in order to continue the spread of infection. This type of malware can infect entire networks of devices very quickly.
Spyware, as its name suggests, is designed to spy on what a user is doing. Hiding in the background on a computer, this type of malware will collect information without the user knowing, such as credit card details, passwords, and other sensitive information.
Just like Greek soldiers hid in a giant horse to deliver their attack, this type of malware hides within or disguises itself as legitimate software. Acting discretely, it will breach security by creating backdoors that give other malware variants easy access.
Also known as scareware, ransomware comes with a heavy price. Able to lock down networks and lockout users until a ransom is paid, ransomware has targeted some of the biggest organizations in the world today — with expensive results.
Best and Free Anti-Malware Software in 2020
So, now we move on to reviewing free malware removal software and malware removal tools. Here is the taste of which programs are included. Also, we should note for all tests we used a typical laptop on Windows 7 64-bit system. And finally, you will find another table with a summary of performance metrics in the end of this article.
This is one of the most important decisions that you need to make while choosing a malware removal tool. First of all, you must know that a free malware software is not the same as the malware software with a free trial period.
Today, you will come across several free anti-malware software that is free to use for 30 days. When the free trial ends, you are asked to buy a full subscription. On the other hand, free malware software does not have any trial period and is free to use as long as you use the software.
Malware Fighter 6.2 Free is a part of IObit security and performance optimization software, which includes Driver Booster, Advanced Systemcare, Smart Defrag, Password manager, etc. This one is a security package that aims to protect casual web surfing from the newest malicious threats like ransomware and adware. It detects all kinds of malware, and there are various types of scans (critical, full, direct) which are pretty handy.
|Extensive database of threats, updated regularly||Pushing for other additional IObit products|
|3 types of malware scanning for various scenarios||Full scanning is quite lengthy|
|Informs users about new ransomware in Notifications||Static size interface that takes most of the screen|
|Attractive user interface.||Slow Scan Speed in Some Cases|
OS: Windows (XP to 10) | Installer: 41 MB | Trial: free version, Pro: $19.95/year | Money back guarantee: 60 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: USA
Note: Select custom installation at the very beginning if you don’t want any additional software and newsletter subscription. Take advantage of extra tools, like Safe Box – to keep sensitive files separately, safe boot times, ads removal, browser protection against cryptocurrency mining. For more: read the full Malware Fighter review.
Conclusion: The best and free anti-malware software particularly recommended to identify mining activities, ransomware, as well as protect PCs against unwanted ads, PUPs, that may slow down browsers. Overall, a good web protection tool for both home and business use, but only for quick scans of critical areas.
Save up to 73% OFF on IObit Malware Fighter 7 PRO:
Developed to offer a multi-layered security level to PCs by cleaning and keeping at bay all forms of malware currently known. Malwarebytes free version also easily gets rid of spyware by identifying and removing any suspicious files. Malwarebytes is one of the good and free anti-malware software that detects and cleans up infected computer drives. The free version is actually a 14-day trial.
Additionally, Malwarebytes defends against all kinds of online threats and takes one more step further by educating users about it. For example, it covers:
- Malware – malicious programs or codes that aim to invade and damage computers/devices, i.e. viruses, worms, trojans, crypto mining, keyloggers, rootkits, exploits, etc.
- Ransomware – a type of malware that blocks users from the system or personal files, demanding payment to regain access.
- Spyware – malicious programs that infect a PC/phone to collect user information, browsing habits, etc., i.e. password stealers, banking trojans, keyloggers.
- Adware – programs that aim to display ads on a screen or in a browser, a.k.a. PUPs – potentially unwanted apps and programs.
- Cryptojacking – a newly emerging threat, programs that hide on devices and use it to mine cryptocurrencies.
- Phishing – the most direct and blatant form of hacking in the form of deceiving users into sharing sensitive data, like passwords or credit card numbers. Malwarebytes Premium detects such suspicious sites and warns you from going there.
|It detects and removes spyware, botnets, Trojan horses and other infections||Does not operate singly and needs reinforcement from antivirus software|
|Very easy to use and has straightforward instructions that can be easily followed||Cannot be automatically scheduled to carry out malware scanning|
|Enhances real-time protection against infection when used with antivirus||Most of the features quickly expire prompting you to update to the paid version|
|Scans quickly and accurately assess real and potential dangers||Not a full-stack Anti-Virus solution – While good with Malware, it was not built to be a full suite antivirus program.|
OS: Windows (XP to 10), Mac, Android, iOS | Installer: 77.3 MB | Trial: 14 days, Pro: $40/year | Money back guarantee: 60 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: USA
Conclusion: Malwarebytes effectively ‘bites off’ any popup ads that can easily spawn your computer. With this program, Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) are instantly deleted and removed from the system. While running Malwarebytes, we didn’t notice any PUPs, it brings a professional feel to the way one uses their PC.
3. Zemana Antimalware
Developed to run a full scan upon prompting, Zemana works by detecting and storing file fingerprints on a cloud server after deleting them from your computer. This free anti-malware program uses negligible hard drive space and can be used together with other similar tools.
|Highly optimized and lightweight||Does not have a free version, therefore, one needs to pay for annual usage for after the trial|
|Works without leaving any footprints on your PC||It hadn’t detected plenty of malware files as other tools had|
|Quick and easy-to-install||It hadn’t detected plenty of malware files as other tools had|
|Offers real-time protection||Quite long scanning times|
OS: Windows (XP to 10) | Installer: 6.3 MB | Trial: 30 days, Premium: $15/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Note: Drop specific files or folders (see the main dashboard) for a deep scan. For best results, it should be used alongside another antivirus as an additional security tool. It has a built-in scheduler that one can program to run every time the PC is booted, daily, weekly or at set times.
Conclusion: Zemana utilizes few resources and yet conducts full scans. Since it was never developed to be the first line of defense this free anti-malware software is very effective to compliment other antivirus software. It’s helpful in the sense that it seamlessly works with our other antivirus tools and lives to fulfill their claims.
4. iolo System Mechanic Ultimate Defense
System Mechanic Ultimate Defense is a new product from IOLO that offers a modern all-in-one solution. It implements 6 layers of protection (modules), the main being a real-time antimalware scanner, of course. Certified VB-100 technology halts potential infections in the early stages, applying behavioral analysis. To speed up scan and detection, System Mechanic has its own threat database, which excludes trusted files from scanning to save PC resources and time. bypass password manager and automatic Privacy cleaner are integrated as part of a secure networking system.
|Unlimited licenses. Enhances PC performance. Privacy tools. Excellent explanation of PC problems. Backs up the Windows 10 registry.||Real-time optimization slows Windows 8|
|Works as advertised, very easy to use, thoughtful reminders, generally speedy and easy on the eyes.||Lack of easily accessible and detailed fix history before, during and after scans; no warning of how long some things might take|
|Built-in PC optimizer, USB Guard and browser Protect||NetBooster grants a marginal internet-connection performance boost in testing.|
OS: Windows (7 to 10) | Installer: 31 MB | Trial: 30-days, Pro: $63.96/year | Money back guarantee: 60 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: USA
Note: Check the security component tabs from time to time for advice to improve the security of the PC and browser. For more: read the full System Mechanic review.
Conclusion: The integration of this free Anti-malware software modules in System Mechanic Pro has created a universal software product. It provides basic protection against network threats and high-quality protection against viruses and malicious files. During our tests, it successfully detected more than 90% of the threats.
5. Free Anti-Malware Software: Kaspersky Internet Security
A new antivirus product from Kaspersky Lab now comes with a module defending against malicious software, and it consumes fewer system resources thanks to rebuilt algorithms. You can manage devices in My Kaspersky account, which also provides access to a password manager and parental control options.
|Probably the least “hungry” product in terms of using your device’s resources||The entry-level package comes with a very limited set of features|
|The totally free Kaspersky TDSSKILLER will scan your computer for rootkits and bootkits and remove them||For some users, the ultimate plan might seem expensive (but it’s actually not)|
|The customization options will satisfy the fans of tweaking||f you are concerned that the Russian government is spying on the users through this antivirus, then it might not be the best choice for you (there’s no official proof, though)|
OS: Windows (7 to 10) | Installer: 182 MB | Trial: 30 days, Pro: $40/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: Russia
Note: Kaspersky Secure VPN can be safely removed if you don’t want to use it – it won’t key Kaspersky functionality.
Conclusion: Kaspersky Internet Security has definitely become better in recent years. However, it still needs more tools for protection and configuration options.
6. AVG Antivirus Free
AVG is a subsidiary of Avast and has been in operation since the 90s. It is well known for its strong antivirus software programs. AVG malware removal must be fully installed on the machine to use the services and as an anti-malware tool. AVG employs cloud technologies to scan the attachments and computer drives for malware.
|The tool works to block an average of 4-million threats on any single day||Not very effective for anti-phishing purposes|
|Provides real-time protection and works unnoticed on the background||The user has to manually monitor the tool to keep it updated as it does not have an automatic ability for this function|
|Easy to install and use and utilizes||No longer offers web protection browser extension.|
OS: Windows (XP to 10), Mac, Android | Installer: 7.2 MB | Trial: 30 days, Pro: $80/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: Czech Republic
Note: First, use AVG’s real-time protection feature for cloud scanning to get an early warning on threats. Second, if you are looking to find a report log after scanning, you’re in bad luck. In fact, AVG support team acknowledges that their anti-malware tool does not have scan results in the user interface. Instead, we can find it in C:\ProgramData\AVG\Antivirus\report – in Windows. Overall, AVG not only protects your system but also covers internet activity, thus AVG detects various malware and ransomware in real-time.
Conclusion: The effectiveness of AVG scans and repair coupled with the ease of use makes it a popular antivirus, as well as a free Anti-malware software. Although, don’t forget this is a free version, and even with the “Deep Scan” feature to find spyware, limitations apply. Overall, AVG is worth trying out for basic protection.
7. Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
This is a malware protection tool developed for the Windows operating system and has been in operation since 2005. A new version is released monthly as an update. The tool must be used together with a trusted antivirus program as advised by the developers, Windows Defender Antivirus first of all. Using MSRT is most relevant when one turns off automatic updates for Windows, which would also run the tool in the background.
|Works to check for an extensive list of the different types of malware||Cumbersome to use since the machine must be restarted in order to fix any detected malware|
|Can perform 3 types of scans||
Doesn’t scan the whole system
|It is portable||Does not offer real-time protection since it does not stay running all the time|
There’s no need to set up the tool, it comes with all versions of Windows and as long as you install important Patch Tuesdays updates the tool will be up to date.
Runs only once a month, The tool automatically runs after each “Patch Tuesday” patch has been installed. And there’s no way to have in scheduled to run more often.
OS: Windows (7 to 10), Windows Server | Installer: 46 MB | Trial/Pro: free forever | Money back guarantee: not required | Custom scan: no | Country: USA
Note: Should best be used in conjunction with other antivirus tools because it does not stay running in the background and need to be manually started. The program automatically removes any active malicious software detected with just a click of the restart button.
Conclusion: It is effective for malware detection and cleaning up but cannot guarantee total protection if used alone – most effective if used together with another antivirus. This is a major concern though because one can never fully rely on Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool for a thorough job protecting their system. Hence, the program has a low rating/score based on failure to offer solid stand-alone protection in real-time.
8. Spybot Search & Destroy
Spybot offers a counteractive solution to spyware and adware by detecting and removing malware from a Windows system. Spybot introduced the first adware in the industry by picking it out soon after establishment in 2000. It additionally acts as a guard against future attacks by malicious software. Mostly understood by professionals and advanced users who have an excellent understanding of malware.
|The full version is relatively cheaper in comparison to other antivirus packages available||The Spybot free version does not scan for viruses|
|The Spybot free version does not scan for viruses||It is slow in scanning (over 1 hour) and updating|
|Offers immunization against future malware attacks||Somewhat tricky interface and workflow|
OS: Windows (XP to 10) | Installer: 66.7 MB | Trial: no, Pro: $25/year | Money back guarantee: no | Custom scan: no | Country: Ireland
Note: It is best to use Spybot together with antivirus for the best results. Also, be on the lookout to avoid the fake versions in circulation. To download SpyBot free edition, click Donate in the products section to name your price or visit here. Also, a save scan log in .txt is available.
Conclusion: Spybot Search & Destroy malware did an above satisfactory job in identifying and fixing malware, spyware, and adware on our system. We discovered that it worked more as a system repair tool as opposed to the protection feature we expected. Thus, Spybot is not the number one recommendation for system protection.
9. Emsisoft Free Anti-Malware Software
This kit is useful for scanning, detecting, and cleaning harmful viruses, spyware, keyloggers, adware, and other malware on your PC. It comes with a portable version, meaning it can be carried on a device like a USB drive. It has a relatively faster speed when compared to other anti-malware tools of the same scope.
|Very effective in destroying malware with a 90% success rate||Less useful against infections, rather effective as a counteractive tool against malware|
|The monthly release of newer versions of Emsisoft ensures that it is not easy to modify or replicate it thereby making it more secure||Not actually free – only 30-day trial available|
|It is compatible with all Windows versions||Requires to stop a running antivirus program, and it may slow down the system|
OS: Windows (7 to 10) | Installer: 2.1 MB | Trial: 30 days, Pro: $23/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: New Zealand
Note: Users can take advantage of the custom scan feature to decide what or what not to remove, in case you’re a noob, you can opt for default scan settings that will automatically carry out a full scan according to the engine’s capabilities.
Conclusion: We ran Emsisoft and initially had time to select the files and programs to be scanned. The scan engine works quietly in the background. Later, we shifted to manual selection – which still works but takes a lot of time and proved to be taxing. Thus, when using Emsisoft, it would be best to use the manual side. The anti-malware scores highly in malware detection and cleaning out malware from a PC.
HitmanPro by Sophos offers a fast and targeted malware scanning, and it can run alongside other antivirus software. The US vendor also claims to be applying special “behavior-based techniques”, unlike virus signatures in typical tools, that help identify brand new malware files even if they seem innocent.
|Signals in big red interface color if it detects threats||Only trial for 30-days free|
|Save log feature||Available only for Windows|
|Available only for Windows||Collects all PC performance issues rather than focusing on malware|
OS: Windows (XP to 10) | Installer: 12 MB | Trial: 30 days, Plus: $25/year | Money back guarantee: no | Custom scan: no | Country: USA
Note: Take advantage of the powerful 30-day trial version to find malware and suspicious programs. It can also run from any PC, flash drive, or other storage/device.
Conclusion: HitmanPro is a small easy tool, that is effective in detecting and removing malicious software. During the test, it found the biggest number of issues, even beyond malware/adware, e.g. old cookies, outdated drivers, trails of past programs, etc.
11. Trend Micro Internet Security
Trend Micro Internet Security is a solution for those who want to organize an “impenetrable” multifunctional defense against malicious files. It allows to protect up to 5 computers in a home. In addition to antivirus, there are built-in parental control, email protection, PC Health Checker (wipe out junk files).
|Multiple products for different kinds of users||Multiple products for different kinds of users|
|Affordable prices yet robust and reliable solutions||Lacks the firewall and protection for the webcam|
|Free anti-ransomware, web and mobile tools||Not as configurable as some other antiviruses|
OS: Windows (7 to 10) | Installer: 182 MB | Trial: 30 days, Pro: $40/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: Japan
Note: The Anti-ransomware module controls access to files and folders and requires a password to open it. Therefore, it will be a bad idea to place files that are in frequent use there.
Conclusion: A plain Trend Micro interface holds powerful tools inside It monitors all directions of potential malware attacks.
12. RogueKiller Anti-malware Software
Small but industrious app to seek and destroy malicious software and ill-minded attacks. If you’re wondering what is an anti-malware software and how does it work, RogueKiller is a nice example of a product that has everything for digital protection, minus active protection in real-time. In quarantine, users can view infections up and close, and then decide to delete or allow.
|Portable version available||Only for advanced Windows users, Database updates only manually|
|Quick and well-performing scan||No real-time protection mode|
|Easy to use, interface themes to choose||Some features aren’t fully implemented|
OS: Windows (XP to 10) | Installer: 277 MB | Trial: 30 days, Pro: $13/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: USA
Note: RogueKiller has 3 themes for the interface, which can be selected without a restart.
Conclusion: RogueKiller free Anti-Malware software is good to scan a PC or a laptop for viruses, bots, scripts, spying apps, etc. and neutralize them before the damage is done.
13. Comodo Free Antivirus
Lightly coined as the best virus removal tool currently available, Comodo antivirus combines the functionality of antivirus plus free anti-malware software. The tool is the product of the Comodo Company, which has been in operation since 2001. It is compatible with most operating systems and detects different types of malware.
|Scores highly in AV tests for virus and malware detection||Automatic operation sometimes interferes with legitimate programs|
|Has proof of capabilities in the form of battle-tested and proven technology||Use of implied protection can block outbound files wrongly identified as malware by the tool|
|Comodo has one of the best technology against complicated threats||Installs additional files even if a user chose not to|
|Pause/Stop button during scans||Slows the system down considerably|
OS: Windows (7 to 10) | Installer: 5.3 MB | Trial: N/A, Pro: N/A | Money back guarantee: not required | Custom scan: no | Country: Romania
Note: The Comodo Antivirus package can be used in its entirety to successfully identify and get rid of the constantly changing cybersecurity threats. The free Anti-malware software comes with the malware removal services, this can help in getting used to and trusting one brand for a thorough job. In addition, here’s a useful overview of how to use Comodo:
Conclusion: Comodo provides users with a mature, full package. A quick basic scan took us about 10 minutes and found 1 threat, while a full scan lasted over an hour and resulted in 55 threats. Overall, testing Comodo was fine because of its straightforwardness, advanced operation features. When looking for a serious and effective tool for malware detection and protection, Comodo free Anti-malware software is sure set to deliver.
14. Gridinsoft Free Anti-Malware Software
This antimalware app by Gridinsoft company runs on all popular versions of Windows OS and it is great to check for spyware, adware, PUPs, etc. The main drawback in its free version is that it only scans a computer – for removal functionality, one has to pay. After the scan, all threats are grouped and there’s a notification, a path to it on PC, and a threat level to each threat or suspicious program.
|Pause/stop scan||To remove malware threats, activation is required ($30 minimal)|
|Detailed progress display with each file, folder, registry, etc.||May slow down your PC while scanning|
|Several types of scan, scan logs, extra tools||No possibility to remove threats separately|
|Portable Trojan-killer edition available||No customization of interface or screen size|
OS: Windows (XP to 10) | Installer: 0.8 MB | Trial: N/A, Pro: $40/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: Ukraine
Note: A good tool to check for spyware and other types of malicious software. Pro version (select 6 months or 12 months) offers benefits like unlimited scans, malware removal, 24/7 support.
Conclusion: A fine malware scanner tool, that does not take much space on the user’s PC or device. The publisher follows a typical business strategy: use for free to scan, pay to remove and clean.
15. Avast Free Antivirus
Avast is an antivirus designed to offer real-time protection against malware threats by scanning and detecting potential threats on your system. At the same time, this tool is relatively lightweight and usually displays its ransom findings before files can be encrypted. Furthermore, Avast free Anti-malware software comes with the rare and highly-sought-after intelligent threat-detection feature.
|Scores highly in malware detection||It comes with many ads and pop-ups which can be distracting and time-consuming.|
|Easy-to-install and use, lightweight and easily optimized||Low antiphishing score. So, when using the program, you’ll still have to be vigilant about avoiding phishing attacks.|
|Compatible with most operating systems including Android for smartphones||Complicated data sharing opt-out. Avast’s settings make it hard for you to know when your data is being shared with the company, so you’ll need to take a few minutes to disable this feature.|
OS: Windows (XP to 10), Mac, Android | Installer: 7.1 MB | Trial: 60 days, Premium: $70/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: Czech Republic
Tips. It can be used in combination with another tool for example Malwarebytes. If you find it difficult to find a quarantine in Avast, not they just call it Virus Chest. Or, another way to find scanning logs is to go this route (C:\ProgramData\AVAST Software\Avast\log) on your PC.
Also, there is a brand new feature that has been added mid-2018 – Ransomware shield. Though it is available now in Avast Premier and Avast Internet Security, it’s great in a way that secures personal documents, photos, files from ransomware attacks. With it, users may specify which folders to protect more specifically.
Conclusion: Actually, Avast came with a host of security-related tools as well as handy utilities (which we found surprising since this was a free and trial version). At the end of the day, it was easy to understand that the ease of installation and usage, as well as the added real-time protection features, make Avast popular among basic users including gamers.
16. STOPzilla Free Anti-Malware Software
STOPzilla v.6.5., a tool against all kinds of online and cyber threats (also an entirely US product – fake news?) is designed to fight and remove malicious apps. It comes with the free 15-day trial version and a $30 one-year subscription for 3 devices, and it is suitable for Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista. Although being plain and intuitive in use, in terms of design and performance it seems this free anti-malware software is in need of improvements.
|3 types of scan: quick, custom and full||Out-of-date design and interface|
|Pause/Stop scan feature||Only 2 menu languages (English and Spanish)|
|Threat database check on every scanning||No macOS/iOS/Android versions|
OS: Windows (Vista to 10) | Installer: 33.1 MB | Trial: 15 days, Premium: $30/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: USA
Note: The most useful way to utilize STOPzilla is to run quick scans from time to time, which does not take much time. Also, make use of the settings section to adjust it according to your needs.
Conclusion: This is a decent malware prevention software, which desperately requires an upgrade.
17. Malware Killer
Malware Killer is the malware removal tool by IOLO Technologies who specialize in security and optimization software since 1998. This particular tool embeds cloud-based scanning and heuristic algorithm to be able to root out almost any kind of threat. All typical functionality of such apps comes with it – scheduler, scan logs, quarantine, etc.
|Quick in installation, light and simple in use||Requires user email address to activate a free version|
|Starts scanning process immediately after launch||All useful features are only available in paid version|
|Drag a file/folder’ option to scan files individually||Design is a 99% copy of Zemana|
OS: Windows (7, 8, 10) | Installer: 22.1 MB | Trial: N/A, Premium: $20/year | Money back guarantee: no | Custom scan: yes | Country: USA
Note: Skip Malware Killer landing page, and go to Iolo download page instead – to find a free version. If you face technical issues with the app, the fastest way to handle it would be login through a live chat with their support.
Conclusion: Effective in detecting issues, inefficient in practical use. Any action a user tries to undertake pushes him/her to buy a license.
18. Total Defense Antivirus
Some sources claim that Total Defense works through the Bitdefender engine, though we haven’t noticed anything about it, good or bad, or whatever. The main thing in our case, is that in real-time protection mode 70% of test malware was blocked, while regular scanning reached 94%. The app stores detected signatures on a local disk, so it could act even without the Internet connection.
|High detection rate||Unfriendly menu|
|PUA remover||Requires a lot of disk space|
|Affordable price||High resource use when scanning|
OS: Windows (7 to 10) | Installer: 277 MB | Trial: 30 days, Pro: $30/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: USA
Note: Total Defense official website doesn’t offer a direct link to trial. Instead, as one signs up, they send a one-time link to email, so use a real address.
Conclusion: Total Defense free anti-malware software has a decent antivirus engine, yet the interface lacks in terms of usability
19. Norton Security
Norton Security is a program from one of the oldest antivirus vendors. It provides protection against malicious files via modern AI- and ML-related developments. In addition, the company runs a huge R&D center, searching digital threats round the clock. There is a refund in case Norton does not neutralize a threat on the user’s PC.
|Norton Antivirus has a significantly smaller scan time hence is optimized to scan faster.||If you have multiple options provided, you can choose one for yourself that best suits your needs and budget, but Norton Antivirus is not provided with much of the subscription option.|
|Norton antivirus addresses the issue of the virus from a cloud-based approach.||It is often difficult for first-time users to cycle through the options provided in the software. Proper tutorial for the usage of the software is a must for software development.|
|Norton isn’t just an antivirus, but a malicious software protection program, a password manager, and has many other features.||Norton Antivirus is demanding on the resources, the antivirus software runs on the background and hence makes the resources occupied making other software slow.|
|Norton is always updated with modern style UI. The UI is very accessible and easy to learn and use as well.||Having Norton Antivirus in your system sometimes makes it very difficult to install some common and simple software.|
OS: Windows (7 to 10) | Installer: 355 MB | Trial: 30 days, Pro: $50/year | Money back guarantee: 30 days | Custom scan: yes | Country: USA
Note: To change the interface language in Norton, you must re-install. The vendor recommends using a special Norton Remove and Reinstall utility.
Conclusion: Due to the vast development expertise, Norton Security 360 can reduce the risk of malware infection significantly.
20. Xvirus Free Anti-Malware Software
A tiny and straightforward tool against malware, Xvirus free Anti-Malware software 7.0.5, will help you protect from various threats luring online. And even those that most antivirus programs won’t detect. It is totally free to use, even for real-time operation, and of course, they have a Pro version to purchase with some extra options. It works for all relevant versions of Windows.
|Makes friends with your current antivirus||Full scanning takes forever (over 4 hours during the test)|
|Database to protect from adware, ransomware, malware||Detects fewer threats compared to other tools|
|Automatic updates, scheduling, extra tools available||Unknown country of origin|
OS: Windows (Vista to 10) | Installer: 2.8 MB | Trial: 0 days, Pro: $23/year | Money back guarantee: no | Custom scan: yes | Country: N/A
Note: Use to express quick scans of critical areas to detect and remove malware. It takes 3-5 minutes and is able to find major threats.
Conclusion: Xvirus works well to detect all kinds of harmful threats to your PC (spyware, trojan horses, ransomware, adware) in real-time. On the other hand, if you have to perform full scanning of your machine, be ready to set several hours aside. Extra protection shields, e.g. files guard, network guard, behavior guard, accompany the main features.
21. MalwareHunter Anti-Malware Software
Utilizing the Avira engine, it is a fine program to detect malware through 3 types of scans and to optimize a PC afterward. An extensive database is also being regularly updated. By and large, Malware Hunter suits best for personal use, with free and Pro versions, for those who want to insure against modern web threats and data leaks.
Scanning does not slow down the machine, displays stages, progress, files found, and can be stopped, paused or resumed. Reports section provides threat analysis after detection, with risk level, type, as well as search or export options.
|Interactive scanning process, with many details||No ability to inspect individual files and folders|
|Avira engine with a high rate of signature detection||Scanning reports can’t be exported, only to view|
|Extra tools for PC optimization||No proper technical support and manuals|
Conclusion: Neat and compact interface is easy to operate, with features located on the left – scan, speed up, settings, clean up, etc. Extra tools available: CleanUp – to wipe the registry, plugins, random memory; SpeedUp – to analyze and improve startup files, running apps, system files, network, etc.
22. ByteFence Free Anti-Malware Software
Quick scanning and browser inspection are the highlights of ByteFence, which is a typical malware removal niche product. As proved by testing, it can find threats that other programs couldn’t and the general detection rate is above 90%.
Otherwise, there’s a lot of room for improvement. The scheduler only has 2 modes: daily or weekly, which isn’t great. Gaming mode that turns off any external alerts provides very little information to a user. Browser control identifies suspicious homepages, analyzes plugins and add-ons, but does not clean and optimize to the full effect.
|Free version without limitations||Uninformative scanning, no pause option|
|All actions accessible in the main windows||Clumsy and disorganized interface|
|Automatic database updates||Many issues in performance|