Short on time? Here’s the best antivirus with a free trial in 2023:
- 🥇Norton: Combines 100% malware detection with a wide range of industry-best security tools, including anti-phishing protection, a VPN, parental controls, and much more. All Norton plans are available with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.
Most top antiviruses offer free trials, but there’s usually a catch. They often limit the tools and protections available until you commit to a plan, so you won’t know if you’ve found the right antivirus until you’ve paid. And then you might discover the antivirus doesn’t fit your needs or offer enough protection — after all, a free trial isn’t the only thing to look for when choosing an antivirus.
To save you the trouble of signing up for countless antiviruses, I’ve tested the best programs that offer a free trial or risk-free money-back guarantee. I installed each one on my Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS devices and tested every feature and tool, including malware protection, web protection, and extras like built-in VPNs, password managers, parental controls, and much more.
While many antiviruses performed poorly in my tests, I did manage to find some really good brands that you can try 100% risk-free. My #1 pick is Norton 360. It packs a wide range of tools and features into a simple, easy-to-use interface, with different price plans to fit every budget. It also comes with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, which gives you 2 months to try it and see if it works for you.
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Quick summary of the best antiviruses with free trials:
- 🥇 1. Norton — Best overall antivirus in 2023 (with a 60-day money-back guarantee).
- 🥈 2. Bitdefender — Most feature-rich internet security suite with a 30-day free trial.
- 🥉 3. TotalAV — Most intuitive antivirus with a decent free plan.
- 4. Intego — Best macOS antivirus with excellent Mac cleanup tools and a 30-day free trial.
- 5. Avira — Best free antivirus plan on the market.
- Plus 2 More Antiviruses With Free Trials.
- Comparison of the Best Antiviruses With Free Trials.
🥇 1. Norton — Best Overall Antivirus With an Extended Money-Back Guarantee
Norton is our top-rated antivirus for 2023 — it has perfect malware detection rates, a ton of useful features, and intuitive apps for all major platforms. While it doesn’t have a free trial, it has a generous 60-day money-back guarantee, which gives you around 2 months to use it risk-free.
Using a comprehensive malware database along with machine learning, Norton’s malware scanner is able to identify, block, and remove all types of malware, from simple viruses to advanced threats like ransomware. The scanner is pretty fast, taking around 1 hour to scan an entire system, and it causes zero or minimal slowdown during full system scans (so you can continue using your device normally while running scans).
Norton also comes with:
- Web protection.
- VPN with unlimited data.
- Password manager.
- Privacy protection.
- Parental controls.
- Dark web monitoring.
- Cloud storage.
- And more…
I really like Norton’s Smart Firewall — it doesn’t just offer significant improvements over Windows or macOS’s built-in firewalls, but it also lets you set rules for how every program on your device is protected, depending on its importance or type. While leaving the settings on default works for most people, advanced users will enjoy the opportunity to tweak them.
Norton’s dark web monitoring is among the best on the market. Its agents scan the dark web to ensure that none of your sensitive information (like your home address, credit card details, phone number, and more) is leaked online, including on forums that buy and sell private (often stolen) data.
The built-in password manager is another highlight. It’s not as comprehensive as dedicated password managers like 1Password, but it’s by far the best on this list. Norton’s password manager makes it easy to generate, save, and auto-fill passwords, and unlike many antivirus-bundled password managers, it lets you monitor the strength of your passwords and automatically update weak passwords across compatible sites from within its app.
Norton has several plans to choose from, but Norton 360 Deluxe is the best-value plan for most users. It included all of Norton’s features and covers up to 5 devices for $24.99 / year. US users can also get the Norton 360 LifeLock plans, which start at $69.99 / year and add excellent identity theft protection tools.
Norton is my favorite antivirus in 2023. It has perfect malware detection rates and a ton of features, including a highly customizable firewall, a VPN with unlimited data, a full-featured password manager, and excellent dark web monitoring. It doesn’t offer a free trial, but there’s a 60-day money-back guarantee, which gives you plenty of time to decide if Norton is right for you.
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🥈2. Bitdefender — Tons of Features + 30-Day Free Trial
Bitdefender is one of the most comprehensive internet security packages on the market — and it comes with a 30-day free trial period AND a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its plans, which is more than enough time to thoroughly test all of its features.
Like Norton, Bitdefender also uses a massive malware directory and machine learning to detect both known and zero-day threats. However, Bitdefender’s malware scanner also operates in the cloud, so you’ll barely notice it’s running. During my tests, Bitdefender caught all my malware samples, and I could stream video and play a game without any issues during a full PC scan.
Bitdefender also has multi-layered ransomware protection, which adds numerous layers of defense to your devices and files and stops hackers from encrypting your files and locking you out of them during a ransomware attack. I tested Bitdefender against a series of ransomware simulations, and its real-time protection blocked each simulated attack before it could encrypt any files on my device.
I also like Bitdefender’s SafePay browser, built specifically for online banking and shopping. SafePay prevents hackers from remotely accessing your device through your browser, blocks spyware from taking screenshots, and filters spammy and unsecured websites to protect you from phishing.
Bitdefender also has:
- Firewall with stealth mode.
- VPN (200 MB/day; unlimited only on Premium Security).
- Password manager.
- System cleanup and optimizer.
- Parental controls.
- Webcam and microphone protection.
- Anti-theft protection (Windows and Android).
- And much more…
Bitdefender’s VPN is one of the best antivirus-bundled VPNs around, with speeds that are comparable to the top standalone VPNs. During my tests, it maintained lightning-fast speeds on both local servers in Europe and distant servers in the US, allowing me to stream content and download files without any interruptions. However, you have to get the most expensive Premium Security plan to get the VPN with unlimited data. Bitdefender’s other plans limit you to 200 MB/day, which is only enough for a couple of hours of streaming. In comparison, all of Norton’s 360 plans provide a VPN with unlimited data.
Bitdefender’s Antivirus Plus plan covers up to 3 Windows devices for $23.99 / year, whereas the Total Security plan adds coverage for up to 5 devices for $35.99 / year. Each of these plans also includes a 90-day free trial of Bitdefender’s password manager. However, after 90 days, you have to pay an extra fee to continue using the password manager, and I think you’re better off with a dedicated password manager like 1Password or Dashlane.
Upgrading to Bitdefender Premium Security, which costs $59.99 / year, gets you a VPN with unlimited data, the full-featured password manager, and coverage for 10 Windows, macOS, Android, or iOS devices.
Bitdefender is one of the most comprehensive antiviruses on the market, and it comes with a 30-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee. It has a cloud-based scanner that is able to identify all types of malware without slowing down your device. It also offers multi-layered ransomware protection, a secure browser for online banking and shopping, and one of the fastest antivirus-bundled VPNs on the market. There are several plans to choose from, but my favorite is Premium Security, which includes all of Bitdefender’s features without any limitations for up to 10 devices.
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Read the full Bitdefender review >
🥉 3. TotalAV — Easy-to-Use Antivirus With a Decent Free Plan
TotalAV is one of the most intuitive (if not the most intuitive) antiviruses I’ve ever tested. Its dashboard is super easy to navigate, and all of the features are easy to find and use, so I’m confident that even beginner or non-tech-savvy users will have no issues running scans and accessing and tweaking all of its additional protections. While TotalAV doesn’t have a free trial, it has a limited free version (it’s actually one of the best free antiviruses for Windows), and all of its plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Like Bitdefender, TotalAV’s malware scanner is also cloud-based, but TotalAV missed a couple of malware samples during testing that Bitdefender caught, scoring a 99.6% detection rate (this is still excellent and way better than most antiviruses). That said, TotalAV’s real-time protection is excellent. I tried to download a bunch of malicious programs and files, including roughly 500 different viruses, and TotalAV identified all of the threats before they could do any damage to my test device.
TotalAV also comes with:
- Anti-phishing tools.
- VPN with unlimited data.
- Windows and Mac system cleaner.
- Password manager.
- Identity theft protection (US only).
TotalAV has the best antivirus and VPN bundle in 2023. I tested its speeds by connecting to random servers around the world, and my connection only slowed down slightly, so websites and streaming continued to load without much delay. It also works with every major streaming service, including Netflix and Disney+, and it supports torrenting on all servers (unlike Norton’s VPN, which allows torrenting on a small number of servers).
The built-in password manager is much more limited, but it fulfills all the basic password management functions most users need, including generating complex passwords, saving them all in a private virtual vault, and auto-filling them on appropriate websites. However, there’s one major flaw: it’s not available on mobile. If you need a password manager on every device, Norton is a much better option (or you can check out our list of the best standalone password managers).
TotalAV has a Free Antivirus plan that only includes the antivirus scanner (but no real-time protection) and some anti-phishing tools for 1 device. Its paid plans start with the Antivirus Pro package, which adds real-time protection and coverage for 3 devices for $19.00 / year. Its Internet Security package costs a little extra, $39.00 / year, but it covers 5 devices and includes the VPN with unlimited data. Finally, the Total Security package adds the password manager, ad blocker, and coverage for 6 devices for $49.00 / year.
TotalAV is an easy-to-use antivirus with a decent free plan and a 30-day money-back guarantee on paid plans. It performed near perfectly in my malware tests, it has the best antivirus-bundled VPN on the market, and it comes with other extras like a password manager and system optimization tools.
Read the full TotalAV review >
4. Intego — Best Antivirus for Mac Users With a 30-Day Free Trial
Intego is easily the best antivirus for macOS on the market. It was built from the ground up to improve Apple’s native security features and includes the best range of features for Mac of any antivirus out there. The 30-day free trial lets you try out all of its features before committing to a paid plan, and there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee on all subscriptions.
In addition to scoring a 100% perfect malware detection rate in all my tests, Intego also comes with a purpose-built Mac firewall (NetBarrier) that builds upon Apple’s built-in version. It’s surprisingly simple to navigate and has tons of customization options. I like how it automatically detects what kind of network you’re using (e.g., home, work…) and changes its security settings accordingly.
Intego also provides:
- Parental controls.
- Advanced Mac backup options.
- Washing Machine system optimizer.
- And more…
Intego’s parental controls are a massive improvement on Apple’s built-in controls and include features you won’t find on other antiviruses on this list, including Norton. You get highly customizable website blocks and filtering, scheduling tools, and activity reports, alongside unique tools like screenshot recordings, keystroke tracking, and “anti-preditor alerts” — Intego will monitor chats and alert you to any suspicious messages sent to your children via messaging apps, email, and chat rooms.
The Washing Machine system optimizer tools are great additions to make sure your macOS devices are running as efficiently as possible. And the Personal Backup cloud storage feature provides more personalized options to back up your files
While Intego may be the best antivirus for Mac, it does have a few issues. Its VPN is only available on a separate subscription, and there’s no password manager. There’s also no standalone iOS app – but you can plug your iPhone or iPad into your MacBook to scan for viruses and malware.
Intego’s Internet Security X9 plan covers 1 device and includes real-time protection and a firewall for $19.99 / year. However, I think the Mac Premium Bundle X9 offers a much better value, as it includes all of Intego’s features and coverage for up to 5 devices for just $34.99 / year.
Intego is the best macOS antivirus out there, with excellent features that build on Apple’s native security features, and it’s available with a 30-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee. Its scanner detects 100% of malware, and it also comes with an advanced firewall and excellent optimization tools to improve your device’s performance. Intego covers up to 5 devices, and while it’s not available on mobile, you can connect your iOS device to your Mac and scan them via its VirusBarrier tools.
5. Avira — Best Free Antivirus Plan
Avira doesn’t have a free trial, but it offers the best free plan available — the free version of Avira is packed with useful features (although most of them come with limitations), and the premium packages are covered by a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.
Throughout my tests, Avira’s cloud-based scanner picked up on 100% of my malware samples. In fact, Avira’s scanner is so good that it licenses the software to many competitors, including TotalAV. It also goes further than just scanning for viruses and similar issues. The Smart Scan feature also scans your devices for out-of-date software, privacy settings that might be exposing you, performance issues, and much more.
Avira’s free plan also has:
- Password manager (limited).
- VPN (limited).
- Device optimization tools (limited).
Another highlight in my tests was Avira’s password manager. It’s one of the best antivirus and password manager bundles, only beaten by Norton. It’s easy to use, syncs across multiple devices, and includes essential tools like a password generator, two-factor authentication, and biometric mobile login. Upgrading to the premium version of the password manager brings password security auditing and data breach monitoring.
Avira’s free plan is pretty good, but upgrading to Avira Prime gets you all of Avira’s features, including advanced device optimization and a premium VPN with unlimited data. Avira Prime covers up to 5 devices across all operating systems and costs $59.99 / year.
Avira has a really good free plan, plus a generous 60-day money-back guarantee on the paid plans. The free plan comes with real-time malware protection and limited versions of Avira’s password manager, VPN, and device optimization tools. Upgrading to Avira Prime unlocks all of Avira’s features and provides coverage for up to 5 devices.
6. Kaspersky — Good Parental Controls + 30-Day Free Trial
Kaspersky has perfect malware detection rates, offers some of the best parental controls on the market, and provides coverage on up to 20 devices, making it a good choice for families. It also comes with a 30-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Kaspersky’s Safe Kids parental controls include all industry-standard tools such as usage limits, website and app filtering, location tracking, and activity reports, as well as extras like Youtube and social media monitoring. The parental controls can’t be bypassed with a VPN, and they come with uninstall protection, so there’s no way for your child to delete the app from their devices.
Kaspersky’s other top features include:
- System cleanup tools.
- Secure browser.
- Password manager.
- Backup and Restore.
- And much more…
Some of Kaspersky’s other features are a bit lackluster. For example, Backup and Restore lets you backup files to Dropbox or another cloud service. But as Dropbox only offers 2 GB of free storage, this feature doesn’t add much value. In contrast, Norton offers up to 500 GB on certain plans, and you don’t need to subscribe to another service.
Kaspersky offers several plans, but if you need to protect multiple devices with different operating systems and want to keep your kids safe online, I recommend Kaspersky Premium. It offers all the above features on up to 20 devices and costs $22.99 / year.
Kaspersky offers excellent malware detection and robust parental controls. It’s compatible with all major operating systems and covers up to 20 devices. I like that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 30-day free trial period, so you’ve got plenty of time to try out all of its features before committing to a subscription.
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Read the full Kaspersky review >
7. Panda Dome — Flexible Plans With Unique Features
Panda offers a good malware scanner and standout features like its Rescue Kit and file encryption options. Its flexible pricing — including a 100% free plan — makes it a great budget option, and the 30-day trial allows you to thoroughly test all of its features before purchasing a subscription.
Panda’s antivirus scanner detected 95% of malware on my test devices. This is a pretty good result, but brands like Norton and Bitdefender had perfect 100% detection rates in my tests. In addition, while Panda’s quick scan only took about 5 minutes to complete, which is on par with top competitors, its full system scan took up to 8 hours! Norton, on the other hand, takes roughly 1 hour for a similarly comprehensive full scan.
Panda also offers a cloud-based scanner called Cloud Cleaner, which is much quicker (the scan took less than an hour during testing). It’s available as a free separate download or as part of the Rescue Kit suite of tools. Rescue Kit lets you boot an antivirus from an external USB, which then connects to the cloud to clean up your PC (it’s only available on Windows currently). Not many antiviruses offer something like Panda’s Rescue Kit. However, while I appreciate that Panda offers a separate cloud-based scanner, I’d like to see it included within its main antivirus engine.
Panda also offers:
- File encryption and shredding.
- Anti-theft tools.
- Password manager.
- Dark web scanner.
I like Panda’s file encryption and shredding tools. The file encryptor gives you the option to add different levels of encryption to individual files and folders, depending on their importance and sensitivity. The file shredder allows you to completely and permanently delete files, so they can never be recovered. Unfortunately, these are only available on Windows and are not included in the free plan.
Panda also offers a VPN, but I’m not a big fan. The Premium plan (the most expensive option) is the only one that offers unlimited data. On every other plan, you only get 150 MB/day – barely enough to browse, let alone stream or download anything. Worse still, the VPN lacks some really basic security features, like a kill switch, and it doesn’t let you pick your server.
My favorite Panda plan is the Complete package, which gives you access to real-time protection on Windows and mobile devices, the password manager, the Rescue Kit, and file encryption for $42.99 / year.
Panda offers several plans that range from a simple, free malware scanner to a full-featured antivirus package that includes a ton of extras, including a VPN, password manager, file shredder, and its Rescue Kit tool. It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 30-day free trial.
Comparison of the Best Antiviruses With Free Trials in 2023
|Antivirus||Free Trial Length||Starting Price||VPN||Maximum Devices||Password Manager||Money-Back Guarantee|
|1. 🥇Norton||60-day money-back guarantee||$54.99 / year||✅ Unlimited data (with all 360 plans)||5 (with Norton 360 Deluxe)||✅||60-day|
|2. 🥈 Bitdefender||30-day||$23.99 / year||✅ Unlimited data (with Bitdefender Premium Security)||10 (with Bitdefender Premium Security)||✅||30-day|
|3. 🥉TotalAV||30-day||$19.00 / year||✅Unlimited data (with Internet Security and Total Security plans)||6 (with Total Security)||✅||30-day|
|4. Intego||30-day||$1.67 / month||❌ (separate purchase)||5 (with Mac Premium Bundle X9)||❌||30-day|
|5. Avira||60-day money-back guarantee||$45.99 / year||✅Unlimited data (with Avira Prime)||5 (with Avira Prime)||✅||60-day|
|6. Kaspersky||30-day||$16.99 / year||✅ Unlimited data (with Kaspersky Plus and Premium)||20 (with Kaspersky Premium)||✅||30-day|
|7. Panda||30-day||$23.99 / year||✅ Unlimited data (with Panda Dome Premium)||Unlimited||✅||30-day|
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How to Choose the Best Antivirus With a Free Trial in 2023
- Real-time malware detection. Your antivirus should constantly scan your device in the background to identify and block malware and attacks as they happen. However, you’ll need an antivirus that doesn’t slow your device down while doing so. I only recommended antiviruses that achieved perfect or near-perfect results in my stress tests without impacting the performance of my devices, such as Norton.
- Generous free trial period, risk-free money-back guarantee, and/or free plans. I only included antiviruses that let you test them out without committing to a long-term plan. Most offer a 30-day trial, they all include money-back guarantee periods, and a couple of them have free plans, such as Avira and TotalAV.
- No limitations. The best free trials don’t come with too many limitations. The antivirus providers on this list give you full access to each antivirus’s malware protection features, but the best ones (like Bitdefender’s 30-day free trial) will give you full access to all of its features.
- Web protection. Without good web protection, your antivirus won’t protect you from dodgy or poorly secured websites, or threats like phishing and malware. Features like Bitdefender’s SafePay browser for online shopping and banking go a long way to improving your online security.
- Firewall. In my opinion, the best antiviruses will always include a firewall to protect your devices. A firewall essentially controls what comes and goes between your device and the network you’re using to get online, protecting you against hackers, malware, and viruses. Norton and Intego, for example, both come packaged with a firewall that’s far better than your computer’s native option.
- Extra features. The best antiviruses don’t just offer malware detection and anti-phishing tools. They keep you safe by providing a suite of additional security and privacy features, including VPNs, password managers, parental controls, dark web monitoring, and much more. Norton offers the most comprehensive antivirus and online safety package on the market, which is why it’s my #1 pick.
- Compatibility. Make sure your chosen antivirus is compatible with every device you plan to protect (laptops, Apple and Android phones, etc.) and covers multiple devices on a single plan. Some antiviruses, like Panda, allow you to cover an unlimited number of devices.
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Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut
- McAfee. McAfee is an excellent, easy-to-use antivirus — especially for families. It’s packed full of excellent features and offers a great value. However, McAfee doesn’t offer a free trial.
- Malwarebytes. Malwarebytes has a 14-day free trial and a 60-day money-back guarantee, but its malware detection rate is lower than the brands on this list and it also lacks many security and privacy features I consider essential to any antivirus, such as a firewall, parental controls, or a password manager.
- PC Matic. PC Matic offers decent antivirus protection, but it doesn’t currently offer a free trial. It’s also missing a few extra features I want to see in a premium antivirus, like a VPN or password manager, and it doesn’t offer any mobile security apps for Android or iOS.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in antivirus free trials?
Most antivirus free trials include all of the features of the full premium version.
With the best antivirus free trials, like Bitdefender’s, you get access to everything from its malware scanner and anti-phishing features to its VPN, password manager, system optimization tools, and more.
This allows you to really test all of its features and make sure it works for you before committing.
What are the benefits of a premium antivirus package?
A premium antivirus package provides a lot more protection and much better features than a free version.
For example, alongside essentials like a malware scanner, anti-phishing tools, and web protection, premium antivirus providers also offer tools like a VPN, password manager, identity theft protection, and more to further protect your devices and your data.
Also, many antivirus software providers offer live customer support with their premium plans. You can speak directly with a support agent to resolve issues, from setting up the software to successfully removing malware.
The benefits of the features listed above far outweigh the cost of upgrading to a premium antivirus package — especially as most antiviruses offer sizable discounts and free trials for new users. So you can try everything before purchasing a plan.
Why pick a premium antivirus over a free one?
Premium antiviruses, like Norton or Bitdefender, offer considerably more tools and features for detecting threats, keeping your data safe, and cleaning up your devices.
A free antivirus might still give you decent security, and the best free plans from premium providers (like Avira’s free version) offer some useful features. But there are always some shortcomings. For example, free antiviruses can often have annoying limitations, lack standard features, and constantly prompt you to pay to unlock more.
For those reasons, I’d recommend trying a premium antivirus that offers a free trial or money-back guarantee, like Norton or Bitdefender.
Will an antivirus with a free trial remove existing viruses?
Yes! If you are already dealing with viruses on your device, you can use a free trial period to remove these viruses and keep your device healthy.
A full system scan like the one offered by Norton (or any other premium antiviruses) will scan through all the files, apps, and software on your device and look for viruses. I’d recommend regularly scanning your devices, even after you’ve removed any viruses or malware.