Though much of what we do online is taken for granted, our safety performing those tasks never should be. Below, we’re going to introduce you to some of the best malware removal software that you can slap on your computer in 2017. Much of it is free, and while some of the recommendations we’re going to share carry with them a subscription cost, they’re nevertheless an essential tool for protecting the stability of your computer as well as your online privacy.
If you’re the sort that wants to take exceptionally good care of your personal data—most of you, we hope—then you’ll want to read on, to see if your malware removal software of choice makes the cut!
The consequences of not keeping proper security software on your computer aren’t always a known thing until your machine happens to contract a malicious bit of code. Whether it’s a worm, a virus, or something else, what results is frustrating, difficult to combat, and usually proves to be a maddening disruption to a user’s usual productivity. Several times throughout the year, some of these malware infections makes the news; you’ll hear about thousands of machines being infected by a particular strain. At the time of this article’s writing, a particularly nasty bit of malicious code is currently working its way through networks around the world.
And it can be incredibly easy to disregard such occurrences when they’re not happening to you. After all, if it’s not your productivity that’s being interrupted, why should you care? As is the case with most other unfortunate circumstances, you’ll never know the pain of such a thing until it happens to you.
The Problem of Malware
For some users, malware has been a reality of online activity for as long as they’ve been taking advantage of it. The idea of going without always-on antivirus software and a malware removal app is practically unthinkable. Younger users, especially those who have grown up with modern computer tech and internet access, are well aware of the risks that come with being online. A contracted bit of malware or a virus can render your entire computer corrupt, irreparably damage the operating system, or harvest personal data and information from your safe-kept files.
It’s a nasty business, and even though some of our readers might see it as an obvious threat, there’s a ridiculous number of unprotected systems out there.
Fortunately, safeguarding yourself and your computer isn’t a particularly hard task. In the same way that many of the best antivirus platforms can be used for free, so too can you use some of the better malware removal tools online without paying a dime. If you want an incredibly robust security suite, you should be prepared to pay for it, but users on a budget don’t ever have to think that they can’t have adequate protection.
Malware Removal Tools
Not all malware removal software is created equally. The same can be said for practically every software category, and of course, there are going to be certain options that will appeal more to those with specific use cases. And on top of that, some software is just going to be flat-out better than others
Which is why we’ve constructed this list of recommendations. You can worry less, and be protected sooner.
The better choices for malware removal tools all adhere to many of the same principles.
- They’re all updated frequently, usually at a scheduled time when your computer is active, every single day.
- This ensures that they have the most up-to-date malware definitions based on current and past threats that exist online.
- Essentially, they’re the types of updates that make sure you’re always protected. Excellent antimalware tools are also constantly active, meaning that they provide real-time protection during all of your activities, both on and offline.
- It’s important for all of your applications to be screened whenever they upload or receive data, to ensure that the data is free of malicious code
Best Malware Removal Software of 2017
Using the above as our standard for quality software, we’ve determined some of the better malware removal tools that you’ll be able to find in 2017. Once upon a time, most users needed to have separate antivirus and malware removal software, since those meager components packed into antivirus programs weren’t adequate for responding to the increasingly massive threat of malware, online. However, as those applications have evolved, the lines separating those two types of programs have increasingly been blended.
Most of the suggestions that we’re providing are representative of that. With these applications, you’ll get a healthy blend of antivirus and antimalware, with the always-on protection that’s essential for keeping you safe while you’re online.
Of course, we’re going to deviate from that premise with our first recommendation on this list—Malwarebytes is an excellent malware removal tool, but that might be because it’s express purpose is to combat malware. You’re going to need to combine it with a good antivirus option, but since many users choose to do this anyway, it isn’t asking for anything exceptional.
The only major caveat about Malwarebytes that we have to include up front is that you’ll need to use the paid version if you want the sort of robust, always-on protection that will keep you safeguarded at all times. Here at Digital Recourse, we’re not averse to encouraging our readers to be willing to spend money where it’s worthwhile, but it’s worth noting
If you’re looking to safeguard a machine that usually resides in a crowded, loud workplace, AVG Antivirus is the application for you. It’s a combined security software suite, which means that it will probably be the only form of always-on protection that you require. And the free version is pretty good, too, though the paid subscription service will lock you into much more robust protection options than you’d otherwise get.
Why is AVG best for loud places? Because this security solution itself is fairly loud, so much that many users give it a knock purely for how disruptive it can be to workflow when it’s scanning your computer, or when it does find an infected file.
One of the reasons that we like Malwarebytes is the fact that it’s very comprehensive, but also straightforward. BitDefender is both of those things too, but it’s also an antivirus and antimalware package with all of the tools that you’ll need to keep your PC safe. It’s quieter than most apps, but can also give you detailed feedback about how the programs installed on your computer are running, once you learn how to use it.
The interface is a real “win,” here, and we can’t stress that fact enough. Anyone who has ever been frustrated with an overly cluttered security application will be pleased to find that BitDefender is refreshingly minimalistic.
Ever since Panda debuted as an enterprise security solution, it’s been a source for well-regarded products for both individuals and businesses. That doesn’t change with the free version of Panda’s Antivirus software, which comes with all of the cloud-based goodness as the rest of its products. Though the paid version of the application will unlock some very important features, you can get the barebones necessities without any cost, at all.
We should clarify, though—even though Panda Antivirus works primarily in the cloud, it will have the same effects on your PC’s performance while scans and updates are taking place. That said, it’s comparatively lightweight when you stack it up against some of the other options on this list.
We’re a bit mixed on perception about Ad-Aware, but nobody can deny that it’s an effective security solution for your PC. As with our other options listed above, you’ll be able to download and use a free version that includes both antivirus and antimalware utilities, but also like those other options, the paid service is going to result in much more robust security options. Seriously, we’d give the keys to the kingdom to any software developer that added these options as part of their free package.
Many love Ad-Aware due to the fact that it’s fairly minimalistic, existing in the background and only giving you the most bare and slight interruptions while it’s working to keep your computer clean. It’s also incredibly easy to set up, which is something that can be said of many of LavaSoft’s different applications.
Some users find it difficult to choose between the various malware removal tools available online. Many of them are marketed in the exact same ways, with the exact same features—a free application being showcased by happy models holding various tech devices, and as soon as you click on one, they swiftly remind you that you’ll have to pay if you want to unlock that software’s full access.
Though you’re always going to get what you pay for when it comes to software—that reality hasn’t changed—the above recommendations that we’ve made will point you towards some of the best malware removal tools available in 2017. All of the software we’ve suggested can be used for free, but each of those options also has a paid subscription that will give you even more protection, if you can afford it!