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Best Free Anti-Malware Software?


I have been using Avira for years, but it have become worst lately in Windows 10. It keeps blocking host file at startup and doesn’t tell what it is. I have done a scan with Avira and Malwarebytes with nothing found. I think it’s a false block. Now I am thinking of switching to another free Anti-Malware software. AV-Test has AhnLab V3 Internet Security 9.0 has the top, but can’t find if it’s free or how to get it? I have used Avast in the past and found it to not detect everything and you have to register every year. What is the best free Anti-Malware Software that I should be looking at?


Malwarebytes? I see you are using it already. It’s my go to anti-malware application on Windows. Have you tried running scans in Safe Mode yet (with networking off)?


With Malwarebytes you have pay to have real time protection. I have not tried to scan in Safe Mode yet. I will do that and give a report when done.


Avira is worse than useless. It fails to detect a lot of basic PUP’s.

Cant say about AhnLab, never used it. Nor can I recommend what I use at work. (Custom IDS)

But for a home user, I’d say stick with a premium Malwarebytes subscription (it’s worth it) and use good computer & online hygiene. That is 98% of the battle.
uBlock Origin + ScriptSafe / NoScript suite and avoid most pirated media sites.

If you ever actually get hit with custom targeted (0 day or otherwise) malware there’s nothing any AV on the market can do and you’re screwed anyway.


It would not let me open any anti-virus software in Safe Mode.


If you’ve already got malware on your machine, Malwarebytes to clear out the crap and CCleaner to sweep up after.

I’ve found that for the vast majority of cases, most viruses and malware are brought on board by the end user. Use proper judgement online and 99.99% of the time you’ll be fine.




@KemoKa73 CCleaner comes with malware, at least sometimes :smiley:

I’ve opened a similar thread a while ago and discussed this issue with an university Professor of mine and the general consesnus seems to be to trust Windows’ default one. Every other anti-malware application seems to open your PC up for attacks, rather than closing it. (Some, go even as far as inspecting SSL traffic…)

However, scanners are useful and you don’t have to limit yourself on one, you can use many different scanners :slight_smile:
If you want to be securer, create various VMs for different web-realted task. For example, have a banking VM, general browsing VM, work VM, porn VM, etc :smiley:


That’s strange. You should be able to launch Malwarebytes even under Safe Mode. I have sometimes run into nasty malware that renames executables for common Anti-Virus/Malware that prevent them from launching.
Windows’ own scanner has an option for running in Safe Mode if I recall. Have you tried that yet?


Run this then:

If malwarebytes gets blocked by something this is their answer for it.


Is anyone using anything to supplement ClamAV in Linux?

Not saying you need to, just wondering…


My go to for most of my machines.


We use Sophos Enterprise at work, so maybe their free home version is good as @Adubs said. I’d give that a shot.

I haven’t run Windows at home for a couple years now, but when I did it was just MSE, maybe Malwarebytes, an ad blocker, and a whole lot of common sense.

Most of the time now the attack vectors are ads and suspicious links in email. Sometimes you’ll happen across a nasty website, but a lot of the time browsers will block them.


I dont think its any better or worse than the alternatives out there but it does have a handy portal to manage all your machines and its free from a big name brand. I have a feeling its only free because they can use what they find on your machine to better protect their higher paying customers. For the price though, I cant really argue. Youd be hard pressed to get the same feature set from another big name.


You can read and compare whats out there for yourself here. I dont know how much I agree with the testing methods but its generally a good enough indication on whether somthing is good or garbage.


I use and haven’t had issues with Sophos Home for both Windows and macOS. Good for keeping an eye on family machines.




Relying on only one is a fool’s game… Never seen just one of anything in the antivirus or anti-malware class that was worth a damn as a standalone. You need both definition based and heuristics based protection.




As said by someone … just before they get clipped by a 25 year old piece of malware that everyone forgot about. :slight_smile: While it certainly helps… it is just not enough.