The Best Free Antivirus Software for 2020

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The Best Free Antivirus Software for 2020

New approach for the best free antivirus Software 2020

In this era every other person uses electronic devices like laptops, computers, mobile phones, etc. With the advent of such technologies, our lives have become admittedly easy. But they come with some consequences as well. The rate of cyber crimes like exploiting a person’s privacy and stealing confidential data has increased exponentially. How to beware of such attacks and threats and keep your personal and confidential professional data safe? This is where the need of antivirus was felt. and more ever free antivirus software.

What is an Antivirus software?

Before answering this question, one needs to understand what a virus means in terms of computers. Just like a virus that infects our body, this virus enters the computer system and replicates in number. It affects the existing programs in your system by modifying them in such a way that they get corrupted. To keep your system safe from such virus attack, anti-virus are used. Antivirus identify the possible threats to our system and prohibit them. While downloading a file, sometimes you get a prompt saying that the file is not safe. This prompt is generated by the anti-virus software. This is one basic feature of the antivirus software. Let’s look at some other common features that an antivirus offers.

Features 

Antivirus not only gives protection against computer viruses but also protects it from the various malicious attacks that pose a threat to your confidential and personal data.

Some of the threats that antivirus protects us against, are:

  • Malicious browser helper objects: It is an additional plugin which is added to internet explorer to provide some additional functionalities which are originally not available.
  • Browser hijacking: Just like hijackers hijack buses, airplanes, etc. to fulfill their spite, browser hijacking is a process in which your browser is hijacked and the settings of the browser are modified without your knowledge. This is mainly done so that unnecessary advertisements can be pushed into your browser.
  • Ransomware: I am sure you are aware of the term ransom. It is something that is asked for in exchange of something that is important to you and if it is exploited, it will harm you. Likewise, ransomware is a type of cyber attack in which the users data is illegally accessed and stolen and the user is asked to pay a ransom in exchange of that data.
  • Keyloggers: This attack is extremely harmful because through  keylogging your confidential data like your password, bank details, etc. can be captured in order to rob you or exploit your confidentiality. Keylogging is a type of cyber attack in which your keyboard is being monitored by some outsider without your knowledge.
  • Backdoors: The shadiness of this attack can be extracted from the name itself. Backdoor are usually used to sneak in or out of the house. Now, you must have gotten an idea of how backdoors can exploit your privacy. Backdoor is a type of cyber attack in which someone can enter your computer without proper authentication and access sensitive data.
  • Rootkit: a rootkit is a type of malicious cyber attack. Rootkit refers to attaching a root i.e., a set of malicious software to your computer system or to a specific area where it is normally not allowed. This software is capable of accessing all the confidential information and modify it or use it maliciously.
  • Trojan horses: Trojan horses are very much like a backdoor. They trick users into clicking them (can be an advertisements). As soon as the user clicks them, they enter the system without your knowledge and access all the sensitive data and exploit it.

These are some of the common cyber attacks which can exploit your sensitive data. Antivirus software protects your system against all such threats.

How does an antivirus operates?

There are a few mechanisms that are used by the antivirus software to identify elements that pose a threat to your system.

Sandbox detection: It is a process in which the antivirus is fed with a lot of different kind of malware data as well as normal data. This classification of data trains the software in such a manner that it identifies a pattern which helps it in detecting a malware. 

Data mining techniques: Another way is to use machine learning algorithms to detect malware.

This is how an antivirus work. Now what are the features and functionalities that come along with an antivirus? Here they are:
  • Real time scanning: The scanning differs from software to software. Some require manual scanning and some scan the files automatically. Among all sorts of different antivirus software, best are the ones that repeatedly check the system for any kind of malware. 
  • Automatic update: Software update is extremely important. Like the developers keep trying to add new and interesting features to an antivirus, the hackers try to come up with new ideas to hack your system. This is the reason automatic update is one of the most important features that an antivirus software must have.
  • Auto-clean: Usually when an antivirus detects a threat it places that file in a completely abandoned zone which can be manually deleted later. Ideally what should happen is, as soon as a threat is detected it should be immediately deleted. This feature is known as auto clean. An antivirus software must have this feature so that your system is 100% protected from any kind of malware.
  • Protection against different variations of malwares: In the earlier sections we discussed about some of the malwares, i.e.,:
  • Malicious browser helper objects: an additional plugin which is added to internet explorer to provide some additional functionalities.
  • Browser hijacking: This is mainly done so that unnecessary advertisements can be pushed into your browser.
  1. Ransomware: ransomware is a type of cyber attack in which the users data is illegally accessed and stolen and the user is asked to pay a ransom in exchange of that data.
  2. Keyloggers: Keylogging is a type of cyber attack in which your keyboard is being monitored by some outsider without your knowledge.
  3. Backdoors: Backdoor is a type of cyber attack in which someone can enter your computer without proper authentication and access sensitive data.
  4. Rootkit: a rootkit is a type of malicious cyber attack. Rootkit refers to attaching a root i.e., a set of malicious software to your computer system or to a specific area where it is normally not allowed. This software is capable of accessing all the confidential information and modify it or use it maliciously.
  5. Trojan horses: Trojan horses are very much like a backdoor. They trick users into clicking them (can be an advertisements). 

A good antivirus should provide protection against all such malwares and should be adaptive so that it protects your system against any potential threat in the future.

What is the best free antivirus?

Here are some of the best antivirus softwares that are available free of cost.

Windows Defender (Free – built into Windows 10)

The newest version of windows which is windows 10 comes with a built in antivirus software i.e., Windows Defender. It possesses all the must have qualities that are mentioned in the previous section, i.e., Real time scanning, automatic update, auto clean, protection against all variations of malwares. Above all it is completely free of cost as it in an in-built software.

It is preferred that with windows defender is used along with some externally installed antivirus software. Sometimes the windows defender is not found to be as effective and can let in some potential threats that can harm your system in the long run and steal sensitive information that can be exploited further.

Windows sometimes fails to provide protection against some malwares like trojan horses, key capturing, etc. This is where an externally installed antivirus software becomes useful. Some of the advantages of windows defender are:
  • Realtime protection
  • Protection against ransomware
  • Cloud delivered protection
Some of the disadvantages of windows defender are as follows:
  • No auto update feature
  • No auto clean feature
  • We have limited control as to what the software can scan and what it can’t scan

Due to this reason, it is preferred to install another antivirus software that is more effective and has the auto-update and auto clean feature as well. Windows defender is not always effective and is not enough to protect the system from the malwares. Let’s discuss about some other antivirus software that are more effective and come with the five must have features i.e., is capable of real time scanning, updates automatically and not manually, has the auto clean features and is effective against all kinds of malwares.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition

Bitdefender is yet another antivirus software that provides protection against potential cyber attacks and is free of cost. The feature that is unique to this particular software is that it keeps updating itself with the new types of viruses that can harm the system, i.e., it has tha auto update feature which one of the five must haves in an anti-virus software. Besides auto update it has the feature of auto clean as well. Thus, saving us from all the manual task of keep scanning the system repeatedly. It has an automated schedule that allows it to repeatedly scan the system for any potential threats and remove it.

In airplanes we have an auto-pilot mode that can be used in emergency scenarios like when pilot has a lot on his/her platter. We can say that Bitdefender antivirus software is itself an auto-pilot that doesn’t require any instructions to perform tasks. It automatically updates and automatically cleans the system. In a nutshell,it is an ideal antivirus software.

Bitdefender overcomes the drawbacks that are present in windows defender. In windows defender, we need to schedule the scans as well as update manually which can sometimes be a tiresome task. Above all, this software doesn’t provide full protection against files that pose a threat to the data present in the system. When a windows defender encounters a questionable file, instead of immediately removing it from the system it places it in a quarantine area and waits for the user to delete it.

Bitdefender software is available for almost all variations of operating systems like windows, android and MAC. 

Avast Free Antivirus

Among all the three antivirus softwares that we discussed, Avast free antivirus software is the most effective software that comes with a lot of exciting features. Let’s understand the features offered by Avast free antivirus software.

  • It is available for all the operating systems, i.e., android, windows and MAC.
  • Password manager: It is an amazing feature of avast free antivirus. Avast passwords provide synchronisation so that you can use one safe password across all the different web pages. You don’t need to login again and again.
  • Malware scanner: It is the primary feature that every antivirus must have. Avast antivirus has an auto scanning feature so that we do not have to schedule the scanning. It has a real time scanning feature that allows it to repeatedly scan the system for any malwares.
  • Virus detection: The primary objective of any antivirus software is to detect viruses and not just virus but any potential threats. Avast free antivirus is quite effective when it comes to detecting malwares in the system.
  • Gaming mode: Gaming mode is a special feature that avast provides. Whenever you switch to the gaming mode,avast adds all the games to the list and checks if it is safe or not.
Besides these additional features avast has the five must have features as well. It
  • Provides real time scanning.
  • It has the auto-update feature
  • It cleans the system by removing any potential threat
  • It warns us about the files that are questionable
Although avast provide all these cool features, it has some drawbacks as well:
  • Avast contains nagware ( links to paid-for content)
  • We have limited control over the privacy as the privacy settings are only partially customizable.

But if we have to compare the three free antivirus software, then avast is the best choice.

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