Hacking, copy infringement, unwanted mass surveillance, etc. all come under the broad term “cyber-crime.” Huge data loss is one of the consequences of corrupted files. Also, it comes under cyber-crime.
So, data loss or viral attacks is not pleasurable. A solution to this problem is anti-malware software. Scroll down to get to know about these and a guide to breeze through them.
The cyber world is full of potential threats, and it’s crucial to ensure the safety and security of our digital assets. This is where anti-malware software comes into play. But what exactly is anti-malware software?
How does it differentiate from traditional antivirus programs? Let’s dive into these questions and more, shedding light on the importance of anti-malware tools in today’s digital age.
What is Anti-Malware Software?
Anti-malware software is a specialized tool designed to detect, block, and remove malicious software (malware) from your computer or network. Malware is a broad category that includes viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, and ransomware.
These malicious entities can harm your device, steal sensitive information, and even hijack system operations.
15 Best Free Anti-Malware Software for Malware Protection
Let’s study free anti-malware software and malware removal tools. We have provided in this article the pros and cons of each. The tests of all the Best Free Anti Malware Software were done on a Windows 7 64-bit system.
Malwarebytes free version gets rid of spyware by identifying and removing any suspicious files in an uncomplicated manner. It should be noted that it also helps in cleaning up infected computer drives.
Malwarebytes defends the system against ransomware, spyware, crypto-jacking, phishing, adware, malware, etc. Furthermore, it effectively “bites off” any popup ads that may spawn your computer.
- It is as easy as ABC to use!
- It detects and removes spyware, botnets, and other infections too.
- It cannot do malware scanning automatically.
- It cannot operate independently and requires reinforcement of other anti-virus software.
- The majority of its features lapse post-haste, which may cause you to update the paid version.
2. IObit Malware Fighter Free
The software security package detects all kinds of malware, includes full, direct, or critical scans, and safeguards surfing web pages from cyber-crime activities like ransomware, adware, etc. The operating system of this software is Windows (XP to 10).
- Firstly, it consists of three types of malware scanning for various scenarios.
- Secondly, it keeps the users well informed about any new ransomware through notifications.
- Lastly, it has an extensive database of threats that are updated regularly.
- it includes full scanning, which quite lengthy and, thus, time-consuming as well.
- A static size interface occupies the majority of the part of the screen.
- Pushing for other IObit products.
3. Zemana Antimalware
Using negligible hard drive space, Zemana does a full scan upon prompting. The operating system is Windows (XP to 10). It should be noted that Zemana detects and stores file fingerprints on a cloud server after deleting them from your system.
Zemana can be very effectively used with our antivirus tools as well.
- Real-time protection is a key feature of Zemana.
- Following, the installation is quite facile.
- Zemana won’t leave any footprint on your PC.
- it is highly efficient and light in weight too.
- It should be noted. the scanning time is quite long.
- It doesn’t detect many malware files as compared to other tools.
- Lastly, there is no free version of Zemana.
4. Hitman Pro
Hitman Pro very effectively and efficiently detects and removes malicious software. The operating system is Windows (XP to 10). Moreover, it can be used along with other software.
- It very clearly signals in big red interface color, if it detects a threat.
- Hitman Pro also includes cloud technology scanning.
- It saves log feature.
- Hitman Pro is available only for Windows.
- It collects all information regarding the PC’s performance and issues related to the same rather than focusing on the much more essential malware issues.
5. Emsisoft Anti-Malware
Emsisoft Anti-Malware comes with a portable version. Scanning, detecting, cleaning harmful viruses, keyloggers, etc. are some of its features. In addition to these, it also has a comparatively higher speed as compared to other tools.
- Compatibility with all the versions of Windows.
- Destroys malware very effectually.
- A new version of Emsisoft is released every month, thus, ensuring its security.
- Its functioning requires to stop a running anti-virus program.
- It is more effectual when used as a counteractive tool against malware as compared to its performance against infections (viruses, etc.)
6. AVG Antivirus Free
Using cloud technology, AVG is a subsidiary of AVAST and is well- known for software antivirus programs. In short, AVG is quintessential for basic protection.
- On average, AVG blocks around 4 million threats to the system in a single day.
- It is facile to use.
- Furthermore, it provides real-time protection while working unnoticed in the background.
- AVG is not very effective for anti-phishing operations.
- Lack of automatic ability causes the user to monitor the tool manually.
7. Spybot Search and Destroy
Mostly, it is perceived by professionals and advanced users. Furthermore, it provides a solution to spyware and adware by detecting and removing malware from a Windows system. Moreover, the credit for introducing the first adware in the industry also goes to Spybot.
- It offers immunization against future malware attacks.
- It is cheaper as compared to other software packages.
- Sluggard scanning and updating.
- The free version does not scan for viruses.
- The workflow and interface are somewhat tricky.
8. Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
It was developed for the Windows operating system and has been in operation since 2005. Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool tool is most effective when used with other antivirus tools.
- First of all, its Portability
- Furthermore, it can perform three types of scans.
- It also checks/detects an extensive list of malware.
- Real-time protection is not a feature of this security package.
- it is cumbersome to use, since the machine must be restarted time and again, to fix any detected malware.
RansomFree is created by former US military cybersecurity experts. Following, it detects and destroys malicious ransomware.
- It is effortless to install.
- It is correctly used to detect and destroy the ransomware worms.
- It is free of cost.
- RansomFree runs only on Windows devices.
- Scheduling, custom or manual scan are not included in RansomFree.
- It cannot be automatically updated.
10. Comodo Free Antivirus
Comodo Free Antivirus is a product of the Comodo Company and is also known as the best virus removal tool currently available. It performs the functions of both an anti-malware tool as well as an antivirus. Comodo Free Antivirus is a coherent tool for malware detection and removal.
- Firstly, it has the best technology against complicated threats.
- Also, it includes a button for pause/stop during scans as well.
- Lastly, it scores high in AV tests for virus and malware detection.
- It installs additional files against the wishes of the users.
- Moreover, automatic operations interfere with legitimate programs.
- Sometimes it blocks the outbound files, which have been misjudged by the tool as malware.
11. Gridinsoft Anti-Malware
Following, it’s an antimalware application by the Gridinsoft company. Additionally, it runs on all simplified versions of Windows operating systems. Moreover, Gridinsoft Anti-Malware does not take much space on the user’s PC or device.
- Firstly, it includes several types of scans, scan logs, extra tools, etc.
- There is an option for pausing/stopping the scanning process.
- There is a portable Trojan-killer edition also available.
- First of all, it may slow down your PC while scanning.
- Secondly, there is no customization of interface or screen size.
- The threats cannot be removed separately.
- Lastly, activation is a must for Gridinsoft Anti-Malware, which involves some changes.
12. Xvirus Anti-Malware
Xvirus is a small and straightforward tool, which helps to protect your system from various threats luring online. It is free to use and is compatible with all versions of Windows.
- Automatic updates, scheduling, extra tools, etc. are available in Xvirus anti-malware.
- Furthermore, it has a database to protect from adware, ransomware, and malware.
- Also, it detects fewer threats as compared to other tools.
- Full scanning is very time-consuming.
13. STOPzilla AntiMalware
First of all, it is suitable for all kinds of online and cyber threats. Moreover, STOPzilla AntiMalware is designed to fight and remove malicious applications, but currently, it needs improvement in terms of design and performance.
- It includes three types of scans (quick, custom, and full).
- STOPzilla AntiMalware also includes the pause/stop feature during the scanning process.
- Furthermore, it also includes a threat database check on every scanning.
- It has only two menu languages (English and Spanish).
- It has no MacOS/iOS/Android versions.
- The design and the interface, being out- of -date, desperately needs an upgrade!
14. Malware Killer
Developed by the IOLO technologies, this tool makes use of cloud-based scanning and heuristic algorithm to detect any kind of threat to the system.
- Firstly, it is facile to use as well as quick in installation.
- Lastly, it starts the scanning process immediately after launch.
- Its design is a 99% copy of Zemana antimalware.
- All the useful features are available in the paid version only.
15. Avast Free Antivirus
Importantly, it works by scanning and detecting potential threats to the system and offering real-time protection against malware. A highly-sought-after, the threat-detection feature is the main characteristic of the Avast Free Antivirus.
- In addition to easy installation, it is light in weight also.
- It is compatible with most of the operating systems.
- It is highly efficient in malware detection.
- Distracting and time-consuming advertisements are a constant feature of the Avast Free Antivirus.
Is Malware the Same as a Virus?
While the terms “malware” and “virus” are often used interchangeably, they are not precisely the same. A virus is a type of malware. Think of malware as the broad category of unwanted malicious software, and viruses as a subtype within that category.
Viruses primarily replicate themselves and spread to other programs and computers, whereas other malware types may have different malicious intentions, such as data theft or system damage.
How is Malware Detected?
Anti-malware software employs several strategies to detect threats:
- Signature-Based Detection: The software maintains a vast database of known malware signatures – unique bits of code from recognized malware files. It scans files and programs to match against this database.
- Behavioral-Based Detection: This identifies malware based on its behavior. If a piece of software acts similarly to known malware after it’s executed, it’s flagged as potential malware.
- Heuristic Analysis: This method detects previously unknown viruses or new variants of known viruses by examining code behaviors and properties.
- Sandboxing: Suspicious files are executed in a virtual environment separate from the system to observe their behavior.
Benefits of Anti-Malware Software:
- Comprehensive Protection: While antivirus tools might focus on viruses, anti-malware offers broader protection against various malicious entities.
- Real-Time Defense: Many modern anti-malware tools offer real-time scanning, ensuring threats are detected and blocked as they occur.
- Performance Enhancement: By removing malware, which often consumes system resources, the overall performance of a computer can be enhanced.
- Data Security: It helps safeguard sensitive personal and business data from theft or ransom.
- Safe Online Experience: Ensures a safer browsing experience, blocking malicious websites and downloads.
Is Anti-Malware Software Safe?
Generally, legitimate anti-malware software from reputable vendors is safe to use. However, be cautious of “rogue” anti-malware tools that pose as genuine software but are, in reality, malicious or ineffective. Always download software from trusted sources and read reviews before installation.
Is Anti-Malware Software Free?
There are both free and paid versions of anti-malware software. Free versions usually offer basic protection, while premium versions provide advanced features, including real-time scanning, automatic updates, and technical support.
While free versions can be effective, investing in a paid version often ensures comprehensive protection and peace of mind.
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Lastly, each Anti Malware Software has a different detection strategy to protect against damaging threats. So, we may divide them into three categories-
- Signature-based such as Emsisoft Anti-Malware or McAfee.
- Behavior-based such as Malwarebytes or Hitman Pro
- Sandbox: such as Cuckoo Sandbox, Shade, or FortiSandbox.
Moreover, each Anti Malware Software has peculiarities in the user interface, system requirements, malware removal methods, etc., which should be in the mind of a conscious customer.
For anti-malware tools, the upcoming years will be a busy time, since, digital security suites are investing more money to protect computers, smartphones, IoT devices, networks, servers, etc.
In the expanding digital realm, threats have grown both in number and sophistication. Anti-malware software acts as a shield, defending our devices and data from potential harm. By understanding its significance and ensuring regular updates, we can navigate the digital world with confidence and security.