The best anti-malware shields your computer from all kinds of harm, such as viruses, ransomware, spyware, rootkits, and more. Therefore, this article talks about the best malware removal tools (both free and paid) you can use to protect your computer and the data stored in it.
Internet is like an open door for malware to enter and infect your computer. When you surf the web, shop online, or perform other such activities, malware such as virus, Trojan, ransomware, etc. can easily attack your PC. And even if you browse cautiously, there are many other ways, such as a legit-looking email attachment, for malware to invade your privacy. And not to mention, Windows 10 has many loopholes that hackers can exploit. Due to these reasons, the best anti-malware software exists in the marketplace. The good news is that most of these powerful malware removal programs are free to use.
In case you are wondering which free malware removal software should you pick, this article is your go-to guide. Here, we give a shoutout to the best tools to detect, remove, and protect your computer from malware.
Without further ado, let’s take you to the best free anti-malware Windows 10, handpicked exclusively for our readers.
What are the Best Malware Removal and Protection Software of 2021
Below are the best malware removal and protection software you can use this year to disinfect and protect your computer from malware attacks.
Best malware removal software with LifeLock Select
Norton is among the well-known names in the antivirus industry. We have included it on our list of the best anti-malware for Windows 10 due to its wide spectrum of features, such as parental control, VPN, and a whole lot more. The cherry on top of the cake is that it comes with LifeLock Select, i.e., your credit monitoring with major bureaus to keep a watchful eye on the activities of lenders. Below we discuss all its features, pros, and cons.
Features of Norton
- It protects your computer from threats in real-time.
- You get a VPN to browse anonymously and securely.
- Norton alerts you in case your social security number, address, or date of birth are used in any application for credit/services.
- There are parental control options to keep your kids safe when they use the internet.
- It lets you create, store, and manage your passwords, credit card info., and other confidential details securely with its bank-grade encryption.
- With this anti-malware, you stay protected from credit frauds as it monitors changes to your credit with leading bureaus.
- There is a 100 GB cloud backup to store and protect your crucial files and documents.
- With its privacy monitor, you can remove your information from people-search websites.
- You get up to $25K reimbursement in case of stolen frauds, $25K compensation for personal expenses, and $1 million coverage for lawyers and experts needed to help restore your identity if it gets stolen.
- Identity theft protection.
- Robust security mechanisms
- Mult-platform support
- Promises complete protection from viruses.
- Confusing pricing plans.
- Identity theft protection is not as powerful as expected.
Price: You can get Norton with LifeLock Select for $14.99/month or $149.99/year. To the disappointment of many users, there is no free trial of this software.
Bottom line: After doing a detailed analysis of this software we can say it is the best program to remove malware for users who are looking for advanced protection and features, like parental control, VPN, cloud backup, and more. If only basic but robust security is all that you need, then you can go for the other free options on this list.
2. McAfee Total Protection
Best malware removal tool for all your devices
Here comes another popular automatic malware removal tool. It helps you keep all your devices secure from malware threats. McAfee Total Protection is not your regular antivirus software, it is a lot more than that. It provides many features, such as ID theft protection, secure VPN, password management, parental control, and more to give your computer all-around protection. Let’s take a quick dip into the details of this software.
Features of McAfee Total Protection
- There is a power-packed antivirus to shield the PC from virus attacks.
- You can browse safely and securely with its VPN.
- It prevents auto-play of videos on websites to minimize bandwidth usages and optimize performance.
- There is strong firewall protection to prevent hackers from accessing the home network.
- McAfee comes with a password manager to let you store all your passwords securely in a single location.
- It blocks the risks on the web so that you can browse safely.
- This software uses 256-bit AES encryption to keep your sensitive files secure.
- It provides complete ID theft protection by alerting you about any leaked information, such as an address, SSN, and more.
- A file shredder is also available to make the deleted files irrecoverable.
- It keeps all the devices in your household secure.
- There are no bandwidth restrictions while using the VPN.
- It provides powerful protection from phishing attacks.
- Monitors and alerts you about identity theft.
- You get parental control and file encryption options.
- The security questions are simple enough to weaken the encryption.
- Reimbursement is no longer a remedy for identity theft.
- Beginners may find it difficult to use.
- It is priced on a bit higher side.
Price: $79.99 (for a single PC), $99.99 (for five PCs), $119.99 (for ten licenses), $159.99 (unlimited licenses). There is also a 30-day free trial available for McAfee Total Protection.
Bottom line: Considering the features of this software, such as protection for all household devices, VPN, ID theft protection, VPN, parental control, VPN, password manager, and file encryption, we believe that it is among the best malware removal programs available currently. However, if your top priorities include reimbursement for identity theft and ease of use, then there are more free programs for you on this list.
Best free anti-malware for Windows 10 PC with an anti-phishing tool & VPN
Malwarebytes is one of those rare free malware removal software that offers you a VPN with unlimited data and protection from phishing attacks. Moreover, its user interface is also highly intuitive and user-friendly. Apart from this, there are quite a lot of things, such as malware scanning and removal even in the free version, that attracted us to this program. Below are the useful details about it.
Features of Malwarebytes
- It scans and protects your computer from malware including ransomware in real-time.
- Malwarebytes employs advanced techniques to detect the never-seen-before malware.
- You get a VPN with no limitations on the data.
- There are three scan options, namely threat scan (scans the computer thoroughly), custom scans (runs a scan as per your preferences), and hyper scan (runs quick memory and startup objects scan).
- This software offers a browser guard to block malicious websites and ads.
- Blocks viruses and quarantines them.
- Performs automatic PC scans.
- It offers real-time protection from malware.
- There is a VPN with no data limits.
- Scored great in independent testing.
- No real-time scanning in the free version.
- Auto-update fails at times.
Price: $39.99 (single PC license for one year), $79.98 (single PC license for two years). Malwarebytes is also available in a free version that you get after trying the premium version for 14 days.
Bottom line: Malwarebytes is a good anti-malware to use for free. However, if you want advanced protection with real-time scanning, then get its paid version or try other tools from this list.
4. Kaspersky Total Security
Best malware removal software with a two-way firewall
When talking about the best malware removal software, skipping Kaspersky Total Security is not an option. It comes with some of the most power-packed features, such as a privacy cleaner, two-way firewall, password manager, and more to protect your computer from all threats. Let’s explore this program in a bit more detail.
Features of Kaspersky Total Security
- It keeps your PC protected from all the latest viruses and other malware.
- This software isolates the infected files to ensure other files remain safe.
- Kaspersky works in the background to give real-time protection from malware.
- It filters and protects you from phishing emails.
- There is powerful ransomware protection to keep your data secure.
- Its network attack blocker continuously monitors and defends your computer against hackers trying to access the computer through a network.
- It employs bank-grade encryption to secure your payment information.
- The two-way firewall monitors and notifies you if the WiFi is unsecured. Moreover, it also lets you control the internet data reaching your computer.
- There is a privacy cleaner to wipe out all traces of your computer activity, such as passwords, logins, and bank card details.
- Webcam protection prevents any unauthorized access to your webcam.
- It encrypts and protects your confidential files with a password.
- There is a password manager to create strong passwords and store them securely.
- It logs you into your accounts and fills the online forms automatically.
- With advanced parental controls, you can keep your kids protected from online threats and track their whereabouts.
- Exceptional parental control with GPS.
- Multi-platform protection.
- Encryption and file shredding options.
- Powerful protection from malware.
- It shields you from stalkware.
- Excellent password manager.
- It is difficult to enable microphone protection.
- No hosted storage available for online backup.
- It is a bit expensive than other similar anti-malware programs.
Price: $99.99 (five PC license for one year), $199.98 (five PC license for two years), $299.97 (five PC license for three years), $149.99 (ten PC license for one year), $299.98 (ten PC license for two years), $449.97 (ten PC license for three years). There is no completely free anti-malware software from Kaspersky. However, a 30-day free trial is available for Kaspersky Total Security.
Bottom line: If you want a plethora of features, such as parental control equipped with GPS, password manager, file shredding and encryption, network attack blocker, and more, then it is worth paying for Kaspersky Total Security. However, if too many features are not what you want, then there are other free malware removal software for you to try.
5. Avast Free Antivirus
Light and powerful free anti-malware software
Though named as an antivirus, it also provides complete protection from other malware types, such as spyware, ransomware, and more. The best and most attractive feature of this program is that it uses behavioral monitoring to detect suspicious applications. Moreover, it also comes with many power-packed options, like file shield to detect and isolate malware-infected files, and more. Below are all the details of this software you must know before choosing it.
Features of Avast Free Antivirus
- It detects the infected files and moves them to its virus chest to prevent the infection from spreading.
- The online security browser extension stops you from stepping on any malicious website and redirects you to the correct URL if you mistype it.
- Its real site feature keeps you protected from hacked routers that use a fake DNS to get sensitive information.
- There is a web shield to block malicious downloads.
- Email shield stops malicious attachments from being downloaded or sent from your computer.
- Behavior shield uses advanced artificial intelligence to detect and block suspicious applications.
- CyberCapture blocks unrecognized files that may be malicious.
- The ransomware shield prevents unauthorized applications from changing, deleting, or locking your private photos and files.
- Its remote access shield prevents hackers from controlling your computer remotely to infect it with malware.
- Its ransomware shield is highly effective.
- Easily configurable.
- It boasts a plethora of features.
- Its free version skips many core features.
- The scan time is quite slow.
- It has a slight negative impact on PC performance.
Price: As mentioned above, it is a totally free malware removal software. However, for advanced protection, you can get Avast Premium Security for $69.99/year (single device license), $89.99/year (multi-device license), or Avast Ultimate for $99.99/year.
Bottom line: If highly powerful protection from ransomware is what you are looking for, then Avast Free Antivirus is among the best anti-malware you can use. But if your priority is a fast scan, then keep on reading to know other options.
6. Bitdefender Total Security
Best anti-malware for Windows 10 with powerful protection from zero-day attacks
Exploiting the software weaknesses that are even unknown to its developers is one of the most popular ways hackers use to invade your PC. Such attacks are known as zero-day attacks and Bitdefender Total Security employs smart technologies to keep your computer protected from them. Apart from this, the software also has many useful features, such as VPN, vulnerability assessment, and more. Below we give you a detailed overview of this program.
Features of Bitdefender Total Security
- It protects your computer from malware in real-time.
- With this software, your computer stays protected from zero-day attacks.
- You also get a VPN to have an anonymous browsing experience.
- There is a one-click optimizer to perform disk cleanup, registry cleanup, and privacy cleanup.
- The startup optimizer analyzes and informs you about the time each startup item takes to load.
- It allows you to prevent your computer from getting stolen with the anti-theft feature.
- There is also a microphone monitor to prevent unauthorized access to it.
- It blocks unauthorized access to the webcam with its webcam protection.
- With its password manager, you can keep all your passwords safely.
- You can keep a check on your kids’ activities with its parental controls.
- Scores high in independent test labs.
- It boasts online management tools for your devices.
- Privacy protection tools, like a password manager, VPN, and more.
- There are tools to optimize PC performance.
- Multi-layer ransomware protection.
- VPN has a daily limit of 200MB.
- There is no file encryption.
- A bit heavy on the system resources.
Price: $89.99 (five devices license for one year). It also has a 30-day trial available. However, if you want entirely free malware removal software, then there are more options on this list for you to choose from.
Bottom line: In our humble opinion, Bitdefender Total Security is worth trying for its PC optimization features, protection from zero-day attacks, and anti-theft. However, it is not the best choice for you if you want a malware cleaner with an unlimited VPN.
6. Avira Anti-Malware
Best free malware scanner and cleaner with protection from keyloggers
Malware scanner and remover from Avira is among our top choices for the best free anti-malware for Windows 10, as it protects your information from keyloggers. Hackers log your keystrokes to get access to your passwords and other sensitive information. Hence, protection from keylogging is highly needed. Apart from this, it also boasts many other useful features that we share below.
Features of Avira Anti-Malware
- It offers real-time protection from viruses, ransomware, and other malware.
- This software also identifies and blocks PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications) hiding behind legitimate software.
- It identifies and prevents suspicious websites from loading.
- There is a blocker for malicious ads, banners, and popups.
- With its browser tracking blocker, companies cannot monitor your online activities.
- The price comparison features help save money while shopping online.
- It protects your computer from zero-day attacks.
- You also get a VPN, password manager, and performance optimizer.
- Highly effective protection against ransomware.
- It is friendly enough for beginners.
- Low resource consumption.
- Efficient free version.
- No customer support in the free version.
- The popup ads may irritate users.
- It limits the VPN to 500 MB per month in the free version.
Price: The pro version costs $44.99/year. If you do not want to spend that much, then you can get its free version.
Bottom line: If ease of use and strong protection from malware are among your top priorities, then it is one of the best choices. However, if you value other features, such as an unlimited VPN, then it is better to go for other automatic malware removal tools on this list.
Read More: Best Antivirus for Gaming PC
Free and easy to use malware removal software with remote firewall access
One of the best features of TotalAV that brought it to this list discussing the top malware removal software is that it even lets you access the firewall remotely. You can allow or disallow the firewall connection requests while on the go. Furthermore, it also boasts other features, such as protection from adware, etc. Below we discuss all the details of this program.
Features of TotalAV
- It hosts many PC optimization options, such as startup time reducer, junk file cleaner, and browser manager.
- There is a VPN to keep your browsing activities anonymous.
- You get a password vault to store all the passwords securely in one place.
- TotalAV offers a blocker for suspicious ads and websites.
- It also boasts protection against identity theft (separate purchase required).
- Strong protection against phishing attacks and unsafe URLs.
- It scans the computer at lightning speed.
- Availability of PC performance optimization features.
- No advanced firewall protection in the free version.
- The free version does not offer real-time protection from malware.
Price: TotalAV Antivirus Pro is available for $99/year. It also boasts a free version of itself. Moreover, the two other variants of this program, i.e., TotalAV Internet Security and TotalAV Total Security are available for $119/year and $149/year respectively.
Bottom line: You can choose TotalAV anytime if you want straightforward software with fast scanning capabilities and remote firewall access. However, you may not be highly pleased with it if your priorities are high scores from anti-malware testing labs and real-time malware detection for free.
8. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
Cloud-based malware removal software for Windows 10
Another software on our list of the best anti-malware programs is Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus. It is cloud-based, hence does not hog up the PC resources. Moreover, it also provides a wide range of useful features, such as identity theft protection, and more. Let’s discuss all its features and other details.
Features of Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
- It protects your usernames, passwords, account numbers, and other sensitive information from keyloggers.
- You get real-time protection from phishing attacks.
- It blocks unauthorized access to the webcam.
- There are firewall and network connection monitors.
- It got a high antiphishing score.
- There is strong ransomware protection.
- It does not put pressure on system resources.
- Light and fast malware removal software.
- Boasts multiple scan methods, namely quick, deep, full, and custom scans.
- There are only a few customization options.
- Some advanced features are difficult to understand.
Price: Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus with basic protection is available for $39.99, Internet Security Plus with AntiVirus is available for $59.99, and Internet Security Complete with AntiVirus is available for $79.99.
Bottom line: In our view, Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is a great option for all those who are looking for a lightweight security solution with real-time protection from phishing attacks.
9. F-Secure SAFE
Best anti-malware with unique game mode
F-Secure SAFE not only gives full protection to your computer but also boasts its gaming performance with its game mode. Moreover, it also offers several other outstanding features, such as parental controls and more. Below we take a look at its complete features and other details.
Features of F-Secure SAFE
- It boasts multi-layered and real-time protection from both emerging and existing malware threats.
- F-Secure SAFE offers banking protection so that you can shop online safely.
- There is a device finder tool to track, lock, or delete your Android/iOS device remotely.
- It color-codes the search results so that you know which websites are unsafe for you to enter.
- There are parental controls to keep your child safe and track his/her screen time.
- The game mode optimizes security and Windows settings to give you an uninterrupted gaming experience.
- Easy to use interface.
- Lighting fast scan speed.
- Reasonably priced.
- Blocks harmful websites.
- No advanced features, such as a VPN.
- Not so high lab test scores.
Price: F-Secure SAFE is available for $69.99 (three devices license), $89.99 (five devices license), $109.99 (seven devices license). There is also a 30-day trial available for this software.
Bottom line: F-Secure SAFE is a good anti-malware for gamers and users who want a tool to find the lost device. However, if you need advanced security options, like a VPN, then it may not be the best choice for you.
After learning about the best malware removal software, several doubts might be lingering in your mind. We clear them all through the next section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below we answer the questions our readers have frequently asked about malware removal.
Q1. How is a virus different from malware?
The terms virus and malware are often used interchangeably. But they are quite different from each other as the virus itself is a type of malware. The term malware has a broader meaning and covers all those malicious programs that harm, spread, or provide anyone unauthorized access to your computer.
Q2. How is an antivirus different from an anti-malware?
In earlier days, the term antivirus was used to describe all those software programs that detected and protected the computer from viruses, i.e., a single type of malware. Whereas, anti-malware denoted all those programs that protect against all types of malware, such as Trojans, worms, rootkits, and more. Nowadays, almost all modern antivirus programs provide protect the computer from all known malware types.
Q3. What are the different types of malware?
Cybersecurity experts have detected many malware types to date. Below are a few of them.
- Worms: It comes through phishing websites and infects the whole computer.
- Viruses: Spreads via already infected programs and files.
- Trojan: It comes disguised as a legitimate file.
- Ransomware: It demands money in return for your data.
- Adware: An adware shows irrelevant popup ads to get control of your computer once you click on the ad.
- Spyware: It spies on you, i.e., secretly records your sensitive information.
Q4. Does Windows 10 need malware protection?
Although Windows comes with an in-built malware protection program, known as Windows Defender, third-party software is still needed to provide extra protection. The third-party software provides additional security in the form of a VPN, malicious URL blocking, and other advanced features.
Q5. What are the Different Attack Techniques that are used by Malware to Infect and Spread?
The popular techniques used by malware to attack a computer, infect it, and spread to other devices include:
- Phishing emails.
- Remote Desktop Protocol.
- Malicious advertising.
- Drive-by downloads.
Q6. Which is better antivirus or anti-malware?
In our opinion, there is not much difference between these two programs. However, to ensure total security, you should choose anti-malware software as it protects the computer from all harms, including but not limited to viruses.
Q7. What’s the best malware removal software for Windows?
We shared many malware removal programs in this article. However, below are our top three choices.
- Bitdefender Total Security
Q8. What’s the best free malware removal tool?
When it comes to choosing the best malware removal software that is available for free, below are our top picks.
- Avast Free Antivirus
- Avira Anti-Malware
That’s all folks!
Above we have looked at the best anti-malware, i.e., malware removal software (both free and paid). You can analyze each of them in the light of their features, pros and cons, pricing, and other details to find the perfect security solution for your computer. Do let us know your thoughts in the comments and keep visiting this space for more useful information.