Many people assume that if something is free, there must be a catch. With antivirus software, either it can’t be any good at stopping malware or you are the product being sold.

Of course, both of those are wrong: there is such a thing a free lunch and this article will reassure readers that not only can they get great malware protection for free, they can also have a VPN, password manager and more.

What’s more, they can all be accessed by downloading just one app. Avira Security’s excellent free tier offers all the features most people need without paying a penny. Microsoft Defender is built into Windows 10 and also free, but  has a limited set of features compared to Avira.

Both the mobile and desktop apps are broken down into clear sections: Security, Privacy and Performance. All are crucial to the effective running of your device, so a useful Smart Scan function covers all three at the click of a button.

That’s great for regularly keeping everything secure, but more specific options can be found within each section. Security is where you can run in-depth virus scans and delete unsafe files, with the ability to schedule both ahead of time.

Privacy-focused features include a built-in VPN, which encrypts the connection between your device and a server on the internet to give you an extra layer of privacy while online. That’s bolstered by the free Browser Safety extension, which can block tracking and ads across Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Opera. In addition to this, the app is also available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.

If that’s not enough, Avira also has a free password manager. This allows you to keep all your passwords in one place, as well as automatically entering them on relevant sites and suggesting new ones that are almost impossible to guess. If you ever need to delete sensitive data, the File Shredder function means you can do so securely. 

Running out of storage is a common issue on modern PCs, but the Optimizer function helps identify ways to free up space and keep your device running smoothly. There are separate functions designed to remove duplicate files and keeping drivers up to date, as well as for extending battery life.

It’s hard to believe that all this is available in an app that’s completely free, especially when some paid-for antivirus software offers a limited range of features by comparison.

But does Avira really offer the same level of protection as premium services? Independent research suggests so. AV-Test has certified it as a ‘Top Product’, while SE Labs’ Home Anti-Malware Protection report gives the antivirus software a total accuracy rating of 99%.

However, there are additional features available if you sign up to a Prime subscription. This removes the 500Mb monthly limit on the VPN, as well as alerting you in real-time if your personal data has been leaked online. It also provides advanced protection from viruses across the web, and stops ransomware from potentially locking you out of your PC remotely. If you rely on the internet every day, these add crucial extra layer of security, protecting your device and personal information.

Whether you opt for Prime or not, Avira doesn’t sell your data under any circumstances. The user is never the product being sold, so there’s no catch to using Free Security – it really is as good as it sounds.

Download Avira Free Security now from the Avira website.