Antivirus free of charge: sensible or unusable?The big test!

Antivirus free of charge: sensible or unusable?The big test!

For all those who access the Internet with their end device, an antivirus program should be part of the basic equipment.After all, there are a lot of dangers on the Internet that can damage.From malware, botnets, keyloggers and other viruses - without adequate protection, one runs out at the risk of being infected.Often these viruses remain unnoticed and unknowingly spread.However, certain viruses can also cause considerable damage to the device.So if you use the internet, my good protection needs.That is why we deal with the topic today: Antivirus free of charge - sensible or unusable?Is free antivirus protection enough?Are there any good, free virus scanners?

In this article we explain what an antivirus actually is, how it works and what types of viruses your device can affect.We tested various free antivirus programs and have come to a sober result: A free antivirus scanner is not sufficient for all -round protection.But don't worry: there are also antivirus programs that offer a test phase or a money back guarantee.So you can test these programs first.But of course we also looked at completely free antivirus programs.


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What is an antivirus?

An antivirus program or antivirus software is a tool with which you can protect your computer or your network from viruses.As a rule, antivirus programs act similar: As soon as an infected file is found, the user is warned and asked what should be done.Infected files are then placed under quarantine.Isolated and cleaned as required or completely deleted.

There are now many providers who don't just protect a Windows PC.Antivirens software is already available for MacOS devices, Linux, Android and iOS.Click on your respective operating system to find out which antivirus protection for your operating system is the best and how you can.

In any case, an antivirus program should be part of the standard equipment of each end device that has a connection to the Internet.There are many dangers on the Internet, starting with viruses, malware to cybercriminals who want to get your data.That is why it is also advisable to set up a VPN in addition to an antivirus.We explain how you do this here.

Why do I need virus protection?

As already mentioned, every computer, every smartphone or tablet can now be infected with a virus.This is usually easier than you think.You click on a link that leads to a dubious side or you open attachments that are already infected.There are many ways to catch a virus.With the constantly developing technology, there are also more and more cybercriminals that develop viruses to spy on data or to cause damage to devices.

Especially if you have a Windows computer, you shouldn't rely too much on Windows Defender.He does his job, but is by no means as good as an antivirus program.

What happens if a virus infected a computer?

If a virus infected a computer without an antivirus program, this can have a significant effect.Depending on the type of virus, deleting this files, blocking access to files, sending spam, spying on, or carrying out other harmful actions.In some situations it also happens that a computer is only used to infect other systems.As a rule, you don't notice whether you are infected or not.The meaning of a virus is usually that it is not discovered and can infect as many other devices as possible.However, there are also types of viruses that paralyze or lock your computer equally.

Types of viruses

Computer viruses constantly develop.Therefore, it turns out to be relatively difficult to categorize a computer virus. In der Regel spricht werden alle Types of viruses als Malware (Malicious Software) bezeichnet.As the name suggests, this is malware that can harm you and your device considerable damage.Over the years, however, viruses have been divided into the following categories:

Trojanerscript virus program virus -computer computer worms

Trojans are available on almost all end devices and operating systems.This is a very harmful virus that is mainly used to spy on the user.Trojans are often sent to attachments and usually remain unnoticed for the user.This virus also likes to hide in a program or app.As a rule, it is quite difficult to remove a Trojan, especially if you don't have an antivirus program.

This type of virus is a script that is integrated on websites.These viruses are written in the most common programming languages.So the browser does not see them as a virus.These viruses are also not clearly recognizable for the end consumer.Often these viruses then spread on the computer to send spam emails or delete files.

These viruses infect computers via programs or files in which they are manifested.As soon as you the program or.The file opens, the virus is activated.This type of virus is particularly captivated when you download certain programs or files from dubious websites.In the end, this virus can also cause considerable damage to the end device.

A macrovirus behaves like a Trojan or a program virus.The only difference is that this virus is Word or Excel files as a macro.This type of virus spreads via the Internet via emails or the download of files.

This special type of computer virus nests and spreads and independently.Usually this virus spreads very quickly and is not activated by the user.Computer worms are often in emails (z.B.Chain emails) and therefore not only infect your own device, but many others.

What does an antivirus do?

As already mentioned, an antivirus is software that protects your computer from viruses.The program already prevents downloading a virus, tracks down viruses in the files and even removes all malware - i.e. harmful software.Originally, antivirus programs were only intended to delete viruses from computer.Nowadays, however, an antivirus program protects almost every operating system from keyloggers, browser hijackers, trojans, worms, rootkits, spyware, adware, botets and adware.

How does an antivirus work?

An antivirus usually runs in the background as a process.He checks all files, servers or mobile devices.An antivirus can thus track down harmful programs or files.Many antivirus programs also contain real -time protection.This means that your device is protected and protected from all the dangers from the Internet. Sobald du also mit dem Internet verbunden bist, schützt dein Antivirenprogramm dich davor, auf gefälschte Webseiten zu klicken oder dubiose contentse herunterzuladen.Usually this happens in the form of a warning or an immediate quarantine, the file or.the program be particularly dangerous.

An antivirus program carries out these functions:

Virus scanner virus scanner is the most important of every antivirus protection.Files, folders and entire systems are scanned and checked for malware.The consumer can also decide for themselves when a scan is carried out.You should also be able to set when scans will be done automatically.So you always stay protected.

Removing Malware Obald malware on the end device is found, a virus scanner should be able to remove them.The consumer is often given the choice: either the infected file is placed under quarantine, clean them or delete them.

Reality protection Especially in times when there are many fake websites, a virus program should have real -time protection.This prevents the user from clicking on dubious websites from the outset (the Z.B.Contain viruses or download files).A virus scanner should also scan attachments from emails and messages.

Regular updates This point should actually be a matter of course.An antivirus program should update yourself regularly to get the signatures of the latest viruses.If you don't constantly update your antivirus program, it is outdated and you are not protected from new viruses.

To Totalav website

Antivirus: free or chargeable?

There are enough antivirus programs.Of course you ask yourself the question of which antivirus protection you need for your device.You have to know which additional functions you would like to have and, above all, how safe antivirus programs are.That is why a distinction is made between free and paid antivirus programs.

Antivirus for free: they are good for what?

Most free antivirus programs have a virus scanner, but are usually not sufficient for all -round protection for your device.Furthermore, many free virus scanners have the disadvantage that they are bothering you with advertising.This is how most free antivirus programs finance.And that's a big disadvantage.Antivirus protection should protect you from adware and not bomb it with it.

Another disadvantage of a free antivirus is the functionality.Most of the time they are very slimmed down.You can often not carry out automatic scans and always have to do this manually.In addition, updates are often not automatic.This means that the virus database is then outdated and hardly any protection is guaranteed.

In short: there is no really good free antivirus protection.

Advantages of free virus scanners

The biggest advantage of free antivirus software - as the name suggests - is the price.That is for free.As a rule, free virus programs offer a basis for protection for your computer or your network.

Free antivirus programs are usually part of a free test period for paid programs.In this case, you often get full range of functions for a certain period of time to test a paid antivirus.Of course, this has a big advantage: you get all the functions for free and can then decide whether this program is the right one for you.

Disadvantages of free virus scanners

As already mentioned, a free virus scanner often only offers minimal security.Furthermore, most free programs contain pop-ups and other forms of advertising that can be quite annoying in the long run.With completely free antivirus scanners, you also have to do without additional functions.A good example of this is for Windows users of Windows Defender.It offers basic protection for every Windows PC, but you have almost no additional functions.

Antivirus free - our test

Antivirus kostenlos: Sinnvoll oder unbrauchbar? Der große Test!

In our test we looked at free antivirus programs.We differentiated between the following types of antivirus programs: completely free virus scanners and virus scanners who offer a test phase and are therefore free of charge during this period.The result is sobering: In our top 3 of the best antivirus scanners, only antivirus protection landed that is completely free, namely Avira.However, the functions at Avira are very limited if you only use the free variant permanently.That is why Avira also offers premium protection that is definitely worthwhile.

However, our test winner is clearly Totalav.Although this is not a "free" virus scanner, you have the opportunity to test the software for 30 days.Also in our second place, intego, you have this option.So you can test the program and if you are not satisfied, you will get your money back.

Antivirus free - our test winners

We tested the best free antivirus programs for you and have found a clear test winner: Totalav.If you want to know more about Totalav, then you should read our detailed rating for this antivirus program.Android, iOS and Windows user can also benefit from Totalav, since this program is across platforms.Totalav is not completely free, but offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

1st place: Totalav

Totalav is excellent antivirus protection for all your devices.This app not only offers a virus scanner, but, as the name suggests, a total protection of your security.The free version offers you a virus scanner and shows you whether your system is infected or not.So you can test Totalav completely free of charge before you may choose the paid version.

The following features convinced us:

Kompletter InternetschutzMit TotalAV bist du gegen jegliche Types of viruses geschützt.

Reliable virus scanner dank of the virus scanner is checked your entire system for malware, adware, trojan, spyware and ransomware.

Security and privacy thanks to included VPN, you will also remain safe and anonymous on the Internet.Furthermore, Totalav also offers you a password manager, AdBlocker and an extended web protection.Thus phishing websites are blocked by house.

System tune-up to the excellent virus protection also offers Totalav other tools.So you can free yourself from unnecessary files, delete your cache, and clean up your device.

Cross -platforms is available for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android and iOS.With just one license you can protect all devices.

Price: The virus scanner is free.To get all functions, Totalav offers its virus protection from € 19.

Bonus: Totalav offers all its customers a 30-day money-back guarantee.So this antivirus is not completely free, but you can test Totalav for 30 days without risk.

Conclusion: When it comes to the safety of your device, Totalav is a clear test winner.In the first 30 days you can test this virus protection without risk.

To Totalav website

2nd place: Intego

Intego AV is a solid virus scanner that is mainly intended for MacOS, but also offers protection for iOS devices and Windows devices.Thanks to the numerous functions, Intego ends up in second place.The following properties stand out at Intego:

Excellent virus scannerinetego offers an excellent virus scanner with real -time protection.This means that your device is protected all over-the clock.

Intelligent firewall and network security thanks to the integrated firewall your network remains safe.Here, too, you can set your own rules.

Parental Controlithilfe from Intego you can set different profiles and decide which user has access to which pages.If you have children, you can exclude harmful websites.

Protection for your iPhone, iPad and also for Windowsintego offers not only protection for Mac devices, but also for iOS and Windows.So you can also protect all your devices.

Price: Intego offers 3 price models, depending on how many devices you want to protect it.In any case, we advise the Mac Premium bundle X9, which includes all the features that you can only want.With a Mac device, the price comes to € 59.99.

Bonus: Intego offers a free test phase for its products.So you can test this antivirus for free before choosing a possible purchase.

Conclusion: Intego is a very good virus scanner with additional functions.If you only have macOS and iOS devices at home, you should definitely try this software.You can also protect Windows with Intego - but only limited.But when it comes to macOS, you are in the best hands with Intego.

To the Intego AV homepage

3rd place: Avira Antivirus

Avira is one of the best known antivirus programs on the market.A big advantage of Avira is that this virus scanner is also free of charge.In our test, this was the only virus protection that also offers sufficient protection in the free variant.

The free variant already offers the following:

Virus scanner free virus scanner is ideal for checking your computer for infected files and programs.You can also carry out custom scans: from the hard disk check to discover rootkits.You can also check individual files or folders.

Real -time protectionwers Free virus protection already offers real -time protection.So if you download a file or install a program that is infected, Avira warns the user immediately.

Firewalldie Integrated Firewall protects against non -authorized access from the Internet or network.

Avira across platforms can be installed and used on all common operating systems.So you can protect your Windows, Android, iOS, or MacOS device at the same time.

The Premium version of Avira also includes the following features:

Security thanks to VPNavira comes with its own VPN.So you can surf in public Wlans.Your data traffic, your IP address and other sensitive data (account number, credit card number, etc..) remain hidden for third parties.

Further features you have enough in front of spyware, ransomware and much more.want to protect, you can do this with the premium version.Your emails are also checked.The web protection in the premium version in particular will help you protect yourself from phishing websites.

Price: Avira scores in our test as the best, absolutely free virus scanner.The antivirus protection is very good and is also constantly updated.However, the disadvantage is that web protection is not given.In the free version you are not really safe from ransomware and spyware.For this you need the paid version.

Conclusion: Avira is all in all a very good free virus scanner.The free variant is very well suited as a virus scanner.

To the Avira homepage


There are numerous antivirus programs that can be obtained free of charge.As you can read in our big test, you also have the opportunity to choose Avast or Bitdefender.These offer free variants, but only the premium version is worthwhile for these antivirus programs.If you want all -round protection, you have to fall back on a paid provider.So Totalav is our clear test winner because you can test these 30 days without risk.If you want to use a solid antivirus for free, you should use Avira.This virus scanner already offers numerous features in the free variant.However, if you have and want to have any further properties, you cannot avoid a paid antivirus.

To Totalav website


Is there a really free antivirus?

Yes, there is z for Windows.B.The Windows Defender.Nevertheless, you should install virus protection.In this case, Avira would be free when it comes to basic protection.This includes real -time protection, firewall and virus scanner.For all -round protection, however, one should fall back on the premium version.If you want to have more functions, it is definitely worth testing Totalav.

How do free virus scanners finance themselves?

Most free antivirus programs are financed by advertising.Several virus scanners show you annoying advertising based on pop-ups, or notify yourself constantly to buy the full version.

Which antivirus program is the best?

In our test, Totalav was completely convincing us.This antivirus program can be tested for 30 days and get pretty much all the features you want for your computer, network or smartphone.With Totalav you are completely protected.A look at Intego is worthwhile for Mac User - this antivirus was specially designed for MacOS devices and is available as a test version.If you really only want a basic protection without annoying advertising, you should fall back on Avira.

About Jasmin Fuchs

Jasmin Fuchs is a studied linguist with training in information technology and IT management.

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