There are many stories that are reported in the media about millions of Internet devices being compromised. While the majority of these attacks can be attributed to hackers’ experience however, there are other factors that are at play — namely, the lack of security tools. Fortunately, there are plenty of free antivirus programs to pick from that provide robust protections against the most commonly-spent threats.

Look for a free antivirus that is able to perform a solid malware detection. The capacity of a program to distinguish malicious intruders such as worms, viruses and ransomware from innocent programs is a crucial metric of its effectiveness. Look for a scanner that is able to recognize all kinds of malware including trojans and rootkits, and that has perfect or near-perfect rate of detection for viruses.

Also look for programs that won’t slow your system down too much. Certain programs can significantly impact your computer’s performance while a scan is in progress or other functions that are demanding. This can make it difficult to play games or stream videos. Select an antivirus program that is lightweight, easy to install, and uses minimal resources.

Another important aspect to take into consideration is the addition of additional features. Certain antivirus software offers cleaning tools that are designed to improve OS performance as well as speed up startup times and get rid of junk files while others offer virtual private networks (VPN) that allows you to hide your online activities from the scrutiny of. The majority of paid antivirus programs offer live chat or email support. However, this is not always the case with free antivirus products.