With an alarming rise of malware, having anti-malware software can ultimately vouch for online security. Let your choice platform be Mac, PC, iPhone, or Android; various vulnerabilities within systems can carve a path to malware within your device.
Now, most people would argue having a VPN connection is an ultimate form of protection and, evidently, reduces the chances of a malware infection. However, ensuring ultimate protection against a wide range of cyberattacks is ultimately up to the user itself.
One popular protection method is opting for a free anti-malware software version. Albeit this gets the job done, however, paid versions to tend to come along with a horde of various other protective features within a nominal fee.
Fortunately, several vendors provide free and paid versions, but picking out the best among them is a tedious task- precisely, when most internet security software may give weak malware security with no malware removal.
I have therefore compiled this article. It consists of some of the best anti-malware software that is all tried and tested. Apart from that, this article gives you in-depth information on:
- What is a malware infection
- Signs of a malware infection
- Best anti-malware software to opt from.
So, keen on staying protected? Read along!
Best anti-malware software 2021
Malware, along with a hoard of various cyber attacks, is prowling over the internet in search of gullible victims. This malware may be present in some seemingly legitimate link, download file, or even on dating apps victimizing lonely souls in search of love!
Once infecting your device, it goes on with making various changes ranging from downloading even more harmful viruses and malware, leaking your personal data, or opening up malicious toolbars.
In par with this, this malware may simply infect your device. It may stay there to multiply and cause harm, such as wiping off every speck of data from the device, rendering it useless.
As malware is present quite everywhere over the internet, it is better to arm up with security software and not ignore any warning pop-ups it sends your way. Therefore, here are some of the best anti-malware software for 2020.
- Frequent updates
- Deep scanning
- Works well with an antivirus software
Available for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac, Malwarebytes is one of the most popular anti-malware software available. Upon installation, it offers luxurious protective measures for 14 days, after which it reverts to the unpaid version.
The 14 days free trial of the paid version is there to offer a sneak-peek into superior protective measures such as real-time scanning along with ransomware protection. Additionally, the recent partnership of the company with Adwcleaner adds up to its popularity.
Partnered with this software, Malwarebytes is equipped to target and remove programs that hack devices and make undesirable changes to homepages or browsers. Moreover, this software faces religious updates allowing it to keep up and provide protection from the latest malware and ransomware infections.
Although it is available for free, the paid version has the above-mentioned distinct advantages and is quite feasible, too, costing about $40/year! However, despite being quite praiseworthy, it nurses a flaw of requiring manual running. With that, it is better to run a weekly test to ensure protection.
2. Hitman Pro
- Efficient threat detection
- 30 day trial period
- Compatible with the antivirus program
Working under the wing of Sophos security, Hitman Pro is quite a decent anti-malware software rated as a second opinion scanner. This software stands out amidst other software due to its reliance on “behavior-based technique” instead of relying on viral signatures.
Through this technique, it skillfully roots out even unknown threats by keenly observing their behavior. In addition to fast and targeted malware scanning, HitmanPro works compatible with antivirus software.
It is sufficiently well developed to scan and clear out issues apart from traditional malware and adware, namely, tracking cookies, old drives, cache files, etc. that, it allows additional security with cloud scanning technology. This software is, however, unfortunately, only available for Windows users and demands its users go through painful custom scans.
To get HitmanPro, you will have to buy a subscription of $25/ year that comes with no money-back guarantee. It, however, offers a thirty-day free trial period to fully satisfy its customers, which is enough to test it out thoroughly.
- Simple, user-friendly interface
- VPN service protection
Boasting superb security features, Bitdefender comes with a clean, comfortable, and simple interface. The software is designed to dish out ultimate levels of protection and security with a VPN service, and multilayers ransomware protection.
Moreover, it offers a password manager and online banking protection guaranteeing safe online bank transactions. It further provides safe browsing through it, an anti-tracking competent. It works to keep your browser history privacy, allowing you to retain your privacy online.
However, probably the best thing about this software is that it’s unintrusive. It works silently in the background without any annoying pop-ups on prompts. Silently it goes on efficacy cleaning out potential threats and displaying potential risk files on the home screen. The only time it shows up with a prompt is in case of detecting anything suspicious.
Although available for free, it is better to get its paid version, which is around for a mere $26/ year. Compatible with all platforms, let it Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android, this software guarantees protection and privacy online.
- Efficient malware protection
- VPN protection
- Best anti-phishing score
Promising “solid malware protection,” Kaspersky offers considerably great security features. Not only is the software efficient in scanning and rooting out malware, it further has a secure browsing feature and web filtering, which blocks suspicious URLs.
Additionally, for all the concerned parents, this software comes with strict parental controls to ensure safe browsing for underage kids too. Along with that, Kaspersky offers dedicated ransomware protection, anti-theft protection for laptops, and webcam protection.
Furthermore, there is a VPN client available that activates with connection to an open WiFi. However, its features and VPN client servers are somewhat restricted in the free version. Meanwhile, the paid version comes with a variety of features such as a file shredder, unlimited password manager, backup software, and file encryption- all that in $29.99/year.
5. Comodo Anti Malware software
- Stop button available during scans
- Zero-day threat protection
- Efficient malware and virus protection.
Rated amongst one of the best anti-malware tools, Comodo offers a combination of antivirus and anti-malware properties. Additionally, various other security features are also available, including firewalls, sandboxing, and a protected shopping portal.
To ensure safe browsing, it further offers a safe browser. Collectively it protects from Trojans, spyware, adware, keyloggers, rootkits, and malware. However, it has two classifying features that are the Default Deny Feature and the Malware Analysis Feature.
The Default Deny Protection makes running filtering files easier as it works to scan and sort every file and application as “known bad,” “known good,” and “unknown.” Apart from that, the Malware Analysis Feature ensures user safety by thoroughly scanning every file running on the device. It additionally supports emergency malware removal.
Comodo is available for free, along with a paid subscription of $17.99. It supports all platforms from Windows, Mac, and Linux; however, for a drawback, there are no custom scans offered.
6. Avast free antivirus
- Real-time malware protection
- User-friendly and light-weight
- Compatible with varying OS including Android for smartphones
The offering combines malware and virus protection; Avast boasts several high-security tools. It offers real-time protection against every kind of known malware infection and thoroughly carries out scans in search of potential threats in the system.
Additionally, the tool is also easy to use and lightweight and offers a rare intelligent threat-detection feature. In addition to that, it displays ransom findings before files can go through encryption, ensuring protection and security.
Although it is available for free, a paid version comes with a lot of other security features costing $70/ year. With that, there is a 60 trial period and 30 days money-back guarantee to satisfy its customers.
How do you know if you are infected with malware?
Now that you are aware of what to do in case of a malware infection. But to execute any security measure, it is crucial to know if you’re infected with a malware infection or not.
Although these anti-malware tools are enough to detect, prevent, and remove such infection, however, it is still better to stay in the loop of telltale signs of malware infection. Some common signs of malware infection you might come across are as follows:
- Excessive drainage of battery
- Problems with functioning of hard drive or modem
- An abnormal amount of bounced emails
- Unresponsive web browsers or applications
- Unknown installed applications
Apart from such conspicuous signs, here are warning signs that you may experience in case of a malware infection:
1 – Run out storage space
If you are sure of having large empty spaces and still start receiving pop-ups of full storage, it is better to have a check. Most malware tends to take up every space present on the hard drive by manipulating files.
With this, the further duplicate and take over every single space available on the device storage. Therefore, if your storage is filled with suspicious files, it may be a sign of malware infection.
The smart move is not to open any file as it may cause further harm, instead search the file name on the internet and scan it with anti-malware software.
2 – Blue screen of death
Malware infection is there to cause hindrances within your device. Therefore, in case of a malware infection, your device may constantly face crashes. Now, this is something to be conveniently ruled out as a mere “technical problem.”
There are, after all, many reasons to which your device may face lags such as not having the latest drivers or running programs that are not compatible with the OS. However, if these issues are not the cause of such hindrances, it might as well be a malware infection.
To ultimately ensure that malware is the leading cause of BSOD, then you can always check it out in the following way:
- Go to the control panel
- From there open up system and security
- Here open administrative tools and click on event viewer.
- This event viewer contains Windows logs
- Go through these logs, and the programs marked as “error” here are the cause of BSOD.
Although it is possible to treat malware infections with an anti-malware tool, however, in the case of troubleshooting problems, it is better to consult an IT specialist.
3 – Hindering pop-ups or toolbars
Advertising pop-ups and toolbars are other exceedingly annoying signs of a malware infection. If any software you try to run greets you with an advertisement, then it inevitably means your device is infected with a malware infection.
The leading cause of this malware is downloading from unknown resources. They come as a package with legitimate-looking applications. Moreover, using free applications can also cause a malware infection.
In such a situation, it is better to think fast and get rid of any seemingly legitimate download you might have done, after which the pop-ups started appearing. Also, to mitigate further risks, while downloading from unknown resources, it is better to scan the download with anti-malware to ensure you are prone to infection.
How to choose the best free anti-malware
With malware being quite a common issue for netizens, the market is brimming with anti-malware tools claiming to be the best. Although the anti-malware software we have mentioned is tried and tested to provide excellent results- however, if you still want to go on par with the list, it is best to have a few things in mind.
Choosing the best free anti-malware may be hectic, with a large number of tools claiming to be the “best.” However, here are a few things that can help you choose the best and most suitable anti-malware software
- Choose the one that is most compatible with your device OS.
- As cybercrimes are entities that continually evolve, it is better to choose software that features regular updates.
- A malware program with sandboxing options ensures added security with threat actors becoming alarmingly creative in breaching security.
- Anti-malware software that comes with an integrated firewall guarantees timely protection and security. Therefore, it is better to choose a program that comes with an integrated firewall
- It is better to choose a program with a smooth and user-friendly interface so that it is easy to use.
- Checking the developing brand of the software is crucial as only legitimate brands guarantee protection and security.
Malware is sneaky and hard to get past. However, proper education on the matter and getting equipped with the right anti-malware software guarantees protection. With signs of possible malware infection in mind and the most suitable anti-malware program in your device, mitigating malware infection is a sure piece of cake!