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In this digital era, you can put yourself and your data in danger if you aren't careful enough with your online activities. Viruses and other malware are widespread in the digital community, so the chances of contracting one are high.

Thus, it's time to wear that digital mask and protect yourself from the invisible enemy. Open-source antivirus can be one of the most efficient tools to help you overcome these boundaries. Let's see what it is before exploring the best open-source antivirus software .

In this article
    1. Quick Check: Top Open-Source Antivirus Programs
    2. Intego: Best for Digital Threat Protection
    3. MoonSecure: Best for Net Security
    4. ESET: Best for Antispyware Protection
    5. ClamWin: Best for Hard Drive Scanning
    6. Bitdefender: Best for Web-Based Threats
    7. Armadito: Best for Real-Time Protection

What Is Open-Source Antivirus Software?

As the name suggests, open-source antivirus software is a program with source code that is open and available to the public. That means anyone with access to the source code can use it for free, modify it, and distribute it however they like. That code usually carries a general public license, making it safe for public use.

Since you can customize your experience, open-source antivirus software solutions are versatile and universal. The best part is that you can get a plan with open-source code for free or for a small sum. The code is usually robust, making it safe to use.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Open-Source Virus Protection

Open-source antivirus programs carry numerous benefits, but they also have downsides. Let's check out the most crucial advantages and disadvantages of these tools.

Pros
  • Cost efficiency – If you are searching for a program to protect you from malware but want to stay on a budget, open-source solutions are the key.
  • Customization – Since the source code is open to the public, you can completely customize your experience.
  • An exceptional community –The open-source antivirus community can effectively resolve all possible issues with the source code while sharing the solution with other users.
Cons
  • Potentially malicious source code – Sometimes, hackers and cybercriminals insert their malicious code into the source code, making the antivirus contagious.
  • Privacy – Since the code is available to everyone, you may not have the privacy you need or want with your antivirus software.

Best Open-Source Antivirus Software

If you want to try open-source antivirus platforms but don't know which one to choose, we're here to help. Check out the best, safest options on the market.

Quick Check: Top Open-Source Antivirus Programs

Antivirus SoftwareFinal score (X/5)Best for
Intego4.2/5Digital thread protection
Moon Secure 3.9/5Net security
ESET4.3/5Antispyware protection
ClamWin4.0/5Hard drive scanning
Bitdefender4.6/5Web-based threats
Armadito4.1/5Real-time protection

Intego: Best for Digital Threat Protection

intego logo

Over the past 25 years, Intego has become a staple of Mac and Windows security. The platform offers numerous plans and features you can choose from according to your preferences and needs. It's trendy among Mac users due to its convenience and leading performance rates.

After testing this program for some time, we can conclude that Intego is among the top open-source solutions. It's effortless to navigate and master, and you will be surprised by how many features you will get for your money.

Key Specs & Features

Some of the most prominent features of the Intego antivirus are:

  • Automatic and scheduled scanning
  • Firewall network protection
  • Anti-phishing protection
  • Simple setup and configuration

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Built-in firewall protection
  • Excellent anti-malware testing scores
  • Incredible malware scanners
Cons
  • Not the best solution for Windows or Linux devices
  • Mediocre web protection

Pricing plans

You can find three pricing plans for Mac devices: Mac Internet Security X9 ($39.99), Mac Premium Bundle X9 ($69.99), and Mac Premium Bundle + VPN ($89.99).

As for Windows devices, you can choose from three options: Personal ($37.99), Family ($51.99), and Extended ($65.99). Intego's pricing plans include an annual subscription.

MoonSecure: Best for Net Security

moon secure interface

Moon Secure is an antivirus program millions of users worldwide trust. The best part is that the antivirus carries a GPL (General Public License), making it safe, secure, and trustworthy. It's one of the rare, entirely free, open-source solutions to protect your computer.

When we first started using the tool, we honestly didn't like the outdated interface. It may take some time to adjust to these visuals, but once you do, you will get the best antivirus experience in the world.

Key Specs & Features

Here are Moon Secure's best, most robust features and specs:

  • Multiple scan engines
  • Rootkit prevention
  • Anti-spam features
  • Email notifications

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Entirely free
  • Low CPU usage
  • Scalable
Cons
  • An outdated user interface
  • No advanced features or options

Pricing plans

Moon Secure is a solution for virus protection that will give you its all without asking for anything in return. In other words, this antivirus solution is entirely free; you can use all the features at no charge. You can donate a symbolic sum to support the program's creators.

ESET: Best for Antispyware Protection

eset protection

ESET is one of the most universal antivirus programs, supporting Mac, Windows, and mobile devices. Thus, no matter what you need the antivirus for, ESET has got your back. However, some of the features may not be available for Mac devices, so if you're an Apple user, we advise you to try another option.

icon note
Note: If you are a Mac user and want more features, you can choose the Best Free Antivirus Software for Mac and build a solid shield for yourself.

One of the benefits we've noticed during the testing period is how well the malware scanner worked. It managed to "catch" all the challenges we threw at it, making it impressive and extraordinary.

Key Specs & Features

ESET's key features and specs include:

  • Parental control features
  • Removable media control
  • Anti-phishing systems
  • Personal firewall

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Mobile version available
  • Anti-theft systems for stolen devices
  • An excellent network scanner
Cons
  • A limited parental control feature
  • Too many pop-ups

Pricing plans

You can get ESET protection for your home or business and choose a pricing plan accordingly. The Home pricing plans range from $39.99 to $59.99 a year, depending on the number of devices and features.

The Business plans start at $270.80 a year, and the price goes up depending on the number of devices you need.

ClamWin: Best for Hard Drive Scanning

clamwin logo

ClamWin is another free, open-source antivirus software to help you detect and remove possible viruses and threats. It offers a high level of protection for a free tool, making it among the best in the industry. However, it's only available on Windows.

One feature we liked the most while using this product was the scanner. It managed to detect all possible dangers and update us about suspicious activities. However, we didn't like the absence of a real-time scanning tool, which can be crucial in emergencies.

Key Specs & Features

The best features you can find on ClamWin include:

  • A scanning scheduler
  • A regularly updated virus database
  • Email scanning

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Selective scans
  • Microsoft Outlook integration
  • Seamless navigation and use
Cons
  • No automated, real-time scanners
  • An outdated interface

Pricing plans

ClamWin is a solid choice if you're searching for a free, open-source tool. It doesn't offer paid versions with more features; everyone will get the same functionalities. Like with other free tools, you can donate to help the creators.

Bitdefender: Best for Web-Based Threats

bitdefender logo

Bitdefender has been around for over 20 years, which proves its credibility and trustworthiness. Across this timeframe, this tool has climbed to the top of the list every year and has been an unavoidable antivirus accessory. All experts in the field know and love this product, and we aren't an exception.

After using Bitdefender, we can conclude that it's one of the most advanced and modern antivirus solutions. It's ideal if you prefer a more elevated design. Aside from that, it's currently one of the fastest-performing programs.

Key Specs & Features

The most notable specs and features you can find on Bitdefender are:

  • Built-in firewalls
  • Real-time protection and scanning
  • Password managers
  • Ransomware remediation

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Built-in VPN
  • Multi-device compatibility
  • Seamless management and customization
  • Fast
Cons
  • Limited features for Mac devices
  • Limited VPN without a subscription

Pricing plans

Bitdefender is one of the rare solutions providing both free and paid options. The free version may have limited features, but it's still good enough to protect your digital valuables.

Regarding the paid versions, you can get Antivirus Plus for $28/year, Internet Security for $45.49/year, or Total Security for $59.50/year.

Armadito: Best for Real-Time Protection

armadito antivirus logo

This cute face from Armadito's logo is a virus' worst enemy. This tool can destroy any threat that comes its way, leaving you with a healthy and nourished device. You can also integrate it with other apps for maximum efficiency and protection.

While Armadito was on our test, it performed phenomenally. There wasn't a threat it didn't detect and notify us about immediately. The best part about it is its real-time scanner and protection that won't allow the virus to penetrate further and put your device in danger.

Key Specs & Features

The best features and specs you can discover on Armadito are:

  • On-demand and real-time scans
  • Virus quarantine
  • Real-time alerts and notifications

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Detecting a wide range of viruses and malware
  • Highly customizable
  • Beginner-friendly
Cons
  • Complicated integration
  • Better performance on Linux devices

Pricing plans

Armadito is free of charge, meaning you won't find any pricing plans on the platform. As usual, you can donate to support the creators and their content.

Some Open-Source Antivirus Tools Are Malware

Before jumping into a deal that sounds too good to be true, be aware of potential threats. As mentioned above, open-source antivirus solutions use public code, meaning anyone can modify them.

However, hackers can reach your computer by inserting malicious code into open-source solutions. Instead of downloading a reliable antivirus, you will download malware, turning your good intentions for protecting your device into a nightmare.

Be extra careful when choosing an open-source antivirus solution and check for the needed licenses. However, if you have already downloaded an antivirus and noticed something's up, act fast and delete the application from your system.

In most cases, infected source code will delete data from your device, which can be stressful. Once you notice missing data, take action and eliminate the enemy. However, you may wonder whether you can recover what has been lost.

Well, with the help of an advanced recovery tool like Wondershare Recoverit, this mission should be a piece of cake. This program can help you recover data from almost all data loss scenarios, regardless of file type or device. It's one of the most successful recovery tools, with a 95% success rate, meaning it will retrieve your valuables.

Free Download
Free Download

Thus, download the program from the official Wondershare website and start your recovery journey by following the steps below:

  1. Open Wondershare Recoverit and head to Hard Drives and Locations.
  2. Choose the storage unit.
    choosing the location
  3. After choosing the source, the program will automatically start scanning it for lost files. You can pause this process if necessary.
    scanning the location
  4. Filter your files according to their type for quicker access and recovery.
    filtering the files
  5. Preview your recovered files and select those you want to save. Click Recover to continue.
    preview and recover
  6. Choose where to save your files.
    saving the recovered files

Conclusion

Antivirus solutions represent a shield between the good and the evil and will always be the heroes of the digital era. However, choosing one may be challenging due to the number of options, features, and other elements involved. Luckily, we've come to the rescue on this quest.

We have presented the best virus protection deals you can find on the market right now that will undoubtedly protect you and your data. Choose your fighter, and let the games begin!

Free Download
Free Download

FAQ

  • Are open-source antivirus software solutions safe?
    In most cases, open-source antivirus software is safe to use. Many solutions have operating licenses, claiming the source code is secure and malware-free. However, hackers and other cybercriminals sometimes use the public source code to their advantage and insert a malicious, infected code. Thus, be careful when choosing antivirus software and only opt for reliable tools.
  • Can a virus enter my system even if I have an antivirus?
    Even though antivirus software solutions offer high protection, none will be 100% safe. Unfortunately, you can still contract a virus, even with these advanced tools. That is especially the case when a new virus enters the crowd; an antivirus still doesn't have the antibodies to deal with the new infection.
  • How can I choose the best open-source antivirus solution?
    Choosing the best solution will depend on your needs, lifestyle, and preferences. For instance, if you need an antivirus for your business, find one that can handle more devices and workloads. Thus, determine your priorities, wishes, desired features, and pricing points before hunting for an open-source antivirus.
Alex Nappi
Alex Nappi Jan 24, 24
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