Free lightweight antivirus

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
Author and references

An antivirus is a software aimed at preventing, detecting and, if necessary, rendering harmless those elements harmful to the computer, such as: viruses, adware, backdoors, BHOs, dialers, trojans, etc. Or to intercept malware, ie those computer programs, used to disturb the operations carried out by a user of a computer.

By now we all have an antivirus in our PC but, at times, this can be detected as a hindrance, slowing down the functioning of Windows too much.


Since being completely unprotected is not the right solution, the advice is to use lightweight antivirus, those able to protect our computer without limiting its performance.


In this article we will examine some of them: light and free, making comparative tests, even for smartphones and tablets.

Free lightweight antivirus for PC

Microsoft Defender Antivirus (Windows)

Microsoft Defender Antivirus is suitable for a Windows operating system.

Indeed on Windows 10 or later, we find it by default, without requiring any operation for its activation or to keep it updated.

To verify that it is enabled and working correctly:

  •  press the Start button, the flag, on the taskbar,
  • select the item Settings, the gear icon, from the menu that opens,
  • on the next screen click: Update & Security> Windows Security
  • check for a green check mark next to Virus and threat protection.

If not:

  • press the Activate button, located under the heading Virus and threat protection settings,
  • click the Yes button.

Now:

  • by pressing the Open Windows Security key, you can access the antivirus and perform manual system scans,
  • in the Home section, first click on the item Virus and threat protection and then,
  • on Quick Analysis.

You can also choose Scan Options, to decide to run a custom scan.



Panda Dome Free (Windows/macOS)

One of the lightest antiviruses that you can install on your PC is Panda Dome Free: an antivirus that uses cloud technology and therefore performs its function without putting the computer's processor and RAM under stress. By practicing file analysis and database update with antivirus definitions, online and constantly updated.

To download Panda Dome Free on your PC:

  • connect to the official website of the software program,
  • click the buttons:
  1. Download,
  2. Download now,
  3. Download it for free.

After acquiring the .exe file, double click on it,

  • press the Yes button.

On the installation screen:

  • click the buttons:
  1. Following,
  2. I accept,
  3. Install.

At this point:

  • remove the check mark on any third-party software download,
  • press the Next button to start the installation procedure.

When the operation is complete, you can use the Panda Dome Free antivirus by starting a full system scan. To do it:

  • click on the Analyze icon on the main screen.

Panda Dome Free is also available in a paid version, with prices starting from 26,24 euros / first year. On the official website you can check the differences in functionality between the various paid versions.

Panda Dome Free is not available for free for Mac, you can still try one month for free and afterwards with costs starting from 2,99 euros / month.

Among the features present, there are those for blocking malware and secure Web browsing.


Bitdefender (Windows/macOS).

Bitdefender Free is another light free antivirus for Windows (but not only) that stands out for its high effectiveness in fighting viruses and malware as well as for its ease of use.


To download Bitdefender Free:

  • connect to the program's website,
  • Click the Download Now button to download the installation package.

Once the download is complete:

  • double click the .exe file to open it,
  • begin installing the software on your computer.

In the Windows dialog that opens:

  • click the Yes button to allow the installation,
  • wait a few minutes for the download and installation of all the components necessary for the antivirus to work,
  • continue the installation by pressing the Install button.

With a Mac, you can download the free version with protection features directly from the Mac App Store:

  • access the application tab,
  • press the appropriate download button,
  • wait for the procedure to be completed.

When installation is complete:

  • you will be asked to register for an account in order to proceed with the activation of the antivirus,
  • press the Sing In to Bitdefender button,
  • follow the procedure that will be shown on the screen.

To start a full system scan, on the main Bitdefender screen:

  • press the System Scan button.

The Bitdefender antivirus is also available in a paid version with prices that vary depending on the antivirus package we want to buy, starting in any case from a minimum of € 29,99 per year.
Also in this case, to save money, you can turn to the Mr Key Shop website https://mrkeyshop.com/it/21-antivirus.


Free lightweight antivirus for smartphones and tablets

Bitdefender Antivirus Free

Bitdefender is also available as an app for smartphones and tablets.

It is a free lightweight antivirus for Android that is reliable, free and ad-free.

The Bitdefender Antivirus Free version for:

  • Android, you can download it from the Google Play Store or from alternative stores.

At the end of the installation, which is started by pressing the Install button of the store:


  • wait for the app to be installed,
  • scroll the screen,
  • accept the conditions of use,
  • press the Continue button.

At the end of this installation procedure:

  • press the Start scan / New scan button to start checking the device for any security threats.

The features of Bitdefender can be expanded by purchasing a subscription plan for € 9,99 / year.
On iPhone and iPad there is no need for antivirus, however, the Bitdefender Mobile Security app is available on the App Store which contains several additional security tools, to be used also on iOS and iPadOS, which contains among other things: a VPN with a daily limit of 200MB.

Avira Security Internet

Another lightweight and free antivirus that you can download on Android is: Avira Security Internet.
Although it is free, to access additional features, such as blocking deceptive websites and call filtering, you need to take out a subscription starting at € 7,99 / year

To download Avira Security Internet for:

  • Android via the Play Store, (or alternative stores),
  • press the Install button,
  • start the Avira Security Internet app with its quick start icon,
  • click on Accept,
  • tap the Smart Scan button, in order to start the device security check. .

On iOS / iPadOS, the Avira app is available which does not contain an antivirus, which is not needed on these platforms, but other security tools, for example to check:

  • your privacy settings,
  • the performance of the operating system.

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