Here are a few of the best free anti-virus programs for PC and Mac

File photo.

(REUTERS/Kacper Pempel )

These days, anti-virus and anti-malware protection is not only for the PC. Here are the best for both the PC and the Mac, according to Consumer Reports.

On the top of the free antivirus for Windows, Bitdefender Free Edition. Bitdefender, a Romania-based cybersecurity company, is not as well known as Norton or McAfee, but it was on the top of the mountain for both free and paid programs from Windows, according to Consumer Reports (CR).

Other free antivirus software that scored well were Avast Free Antivirus 2018 and Avira Free Antivirus 2018 for Windows, CR said.


But note that as things like a firewall, password manager, and protection of e-mail are important to you, are these functions usually do not come with free antivirus software.

And what about Microsoft Windows 10 Defender (firewall) that ships with all new Pc’s? It is “not as strong” as the three programs mentioned above, but “still provides a considerable protection,” CR said.

They are important to the consumer, if you are planning to install another antivirus program on your PC, make sure that it is not just replicate what Windows Defender does.

Are the extra features worth the extra money? It depends

Upgrade to “pro” or “premium” paid versions often you get valuable extras such as a firewall, password manager, and a spam filter such as Bitdefender Internet Security 2018 ($40) offers.

Ransomware protection is also included in a number of cases. Paid versions will also eliminate those annoying ads that are part of free software.

But not all upgrades are equal, CR said. “The opening of your portfolio does not guarantee you a better product,” CR said, adding that the Malwarebytes Premium and Dr. Web Security Space suites “both scored lower than Windows Defender without offering a meaningful extras.”


Mac’s need protection too

In the past, a common refrain from Mac enthusiasts that Apple computers were not vulnerable to viruses as pcs. Well, that is certainly no longer the case.

“Although there are plenty of Mac users who are quick to point out that the Macs should not need protecting by a security software, it is a fact that Macs are aimed exclusively by bad guys more and more,” Travis Witteveen, CEO of Avira, told Fox News in an e-mail.

“Macs are actually hacked by a variety of methods, such as scripting languages [and] web-based attacks…Mac owners are not safer than Windows users,” Witteveen added.

In the Mac category, Avira Free Antivirus for Mac had the highest score, according to the CR.

The best paid programs are Norton Security Deluxe for Mac (currently $39.99 for 1 device for a year) and G Data Antivirus for Mac ($39.95), CR said.

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