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The importance of keeping computers safe and virus-free cannot be more stressed at a time when cyber attacks and online crimes are becoming more rampant and the criminals behind are becoming smarter. However, not everyone can afford malware protection subscription fees. Luckily, there are several effective antivirus software that you can use with your Windows 10 devices for free.

Windows 10 has a built in antivirus program to make sure all computers installed with the software receive the same type and level of protection. It is called the Microsoft Windows Defender, and some nice things about it are it runs almost unnoticed on your PC and it doesn’t bother you with a lot of ads. However, if you download pirated apps or engage in high-risk behaviors, the protection it provides won’t be enough. You need to beef up your Windows 10 PC security by installing additional products.

Avira Free Antivirus

Providing a good balance between protection and non-intrusiveness, it scores high in URL-blocking tests as well as in zero-day and widespread malware. It has a wide range of customizable facilities and free add-on features, is direct and easy to use, and has a well-designed interface. However, this might affect the performance of slower computers during active scans and there are popup ads occasionally.

BitDefender Free Edition

If you’re the type who doesn’t want to have to do manual scans and do setup changes, then this suite can be what you need. You can just install it and let it do its job. There are free add-on software (such as the limited password manager) and it covers all the basics. It also has a low impact on system performance and you will hardly notice it running in your computer until it detects and stops viruses.

AVG Antivirus Free

This product fares well in tests and offers a good selection of protections. It also only moderately affects the performance of the PC when in use. However, you have to make sure you are installing the right software and that you are okay with receiving constant recommendations to upgrade to a paid AVG version.

Panda Free Antivirus

This suite includes a couple of interesting extras, and it has a user interface that is fun and easy to use and is customizable. It receives high scores for detecting viruses, but these include ‘false positives’ (times when it mistook benign files as malware). It has a small impact on the system performance, but the initial and follow-up test scans may take some time. But overall, it is an antivirus product that provides good protection levels and easy software setup.

Avast Free Antivirus

With high test scores for antiphising, a network scanner and a password manager, and an excellent Android suite that covers AV and anti-theft, this is one of the best products you can install. Other extras included are application and browser app analysis and an innovative router security system.

So when choosing your free antivirus for your Windows 10 PC, consider its level of protection, ease of use, its effect on system performance, and its obtrusiveness.  Don’t wait until your computer starts showing signs of having malware before taking the necessary precautions.