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Updated Oct 24, 2023

5 Free (and Legal) Antivirus Solutions for Small Businesses

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Max Freedman, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst

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There is a ton of free antivirus software out there. You may already be using one at your business. But did you know that most free antivirus software solutions are not licensed for commercial use?

Such free antivirus software solutions include AVG, Avast, and Malwarebytes, all of which are licensed strictly for home computers. For instance, Malwarebytes’ end-user license agreement (EULA) explains that the free version is limited to personal, noncommercial purposes, while AVG’s EULA explicitly states that any commercial use is prohibited and may violate copyright laws.

But that doesn’t mean you have to choose between abiding by the law and saving money. Here are five free antivirus software solutions that are completely legal for your small business. [Read related article: Cyberattacks and Your Small Business: A Primer for Cybersecurity]

1. Comodo Internet Security

Comodo Internet Security is complete virus- and malware-removal software. It detects and protects systems from viruses, malware, spyware, rootkit attacks, bots and more before they can infect your computer. It uses both local and cloud-based virus definitions, so computers are protected even if the software isn’t up to date.

Why it’s different

Unlike most free antivirus solutions, which have limited capabilities, Comodo is fully functional software that uses enterprise-grade technology at no extra cost. In addition to scanning, detecting, and protecting systems from viruses and other malicious attacks, Comodo features an auto-sandbox technology to safely run untrusted programs, Secure DNS to filter blacklisted websites in real time, personalized alerts, and the ability to lock down computers and restrict them to whitelisted applications.

Commercial license

The Comodo EULA states under Section 2.1 that “Comodo Internet Security (CIS) may be used royalty-free for both commercial and personal use.”

How to get started

You can instantly download and install Comodo Internet Security here. No registration or billing information is required.

FYIDid you know

Comodo Internet Security uses local and cloud-based virus references to protect your devices, no matter their software.

2. Nano Antivirus

Nano Antivirus is award-winning antivirus software that uses proprietary technology in the company’s own antivirus labs. It offers both downloadable software for Windows devices and a web-based antivirus program, allowing users to protect entire systems or scan individual files.

Why it’s different

Nano Antivirus goes the extra mile: Unlike most free antivirus software, Nano protects against winlockers and ransomware as well as viruses. Nano also aims to provide reliability, speed and convenience. First, it runs on its own antivirus engine to provide real-time defense for local systems, downloads and web traffic. As such, it also offers high-speed scanning, fixes, and software updates, thus minimizing downtime and loss of productivity. Nano also gives you the convenience of choosing the type of antivirus protection that best fits your organization. For instance, you can choose between recommended settings for hands-free protection or advanced settings in case you have your own IT department.

Commercial license

Unlike most antivirus software, Nano Antivirus has a fairly brief license agreement. Regarding use, it simply states that users “can use, copy and distribute this software without any restriction.” Its FAQs page also says the software is free for any organization and that a multi-license version is available for multiple PCs.

How to get started

Although there’s no need to register or provide any personal information to download the software, systems will require administrator privileges to install the software. [Read related article: Is Your Antivirus Software Really Protecting Your Business?]

3. Windows Security

Windows Security offers comprehensive protection against all kinds of malware and viruses. However, it is available only for PCs, which include it by default. Taking some time to tweak its settings is a quick way to improve your cybersecurity.

FYIDid you know

Your PC already comes with free legal antivirus software – Windows Security.

Why it’s different

Windows Security tries to stay invisible while giving you complete control. Even if you’ve installed no other antivirus software, Windows Security runs in the background. Its malware and ransomware protection are reasonably good for a built-in program. Additionally, the software has a simple, easy-to-use interface that lets you manually schedule and specify types of scans, toggle real-time protection, and view detection histories.

Commercial license

Windows Security is free to use on a limited number of small business computers. Its EULA states under Section 1b, “If you operate a small business, then you may install and use the software on up to 10 devices in your business.”

How to get started

Windows Security comes with your PC, so you don’t need to download it. Like Comodo and Nano Antivirus, Windows Security doesn’t require you to register or provide any contact or billing information – after all, it comes with your computer.

4. ClamWin Free Antivirus

ClamWin’s open-source antivirus software can remove attachments with viruses in Microsoft Outlook. It can also auto-scan for viruses in Microsoft Windows Explorer. It includes a virus-scanning scheduler and a regularly updated database of all concerning viruses.

Why it’s different

ClamWin’s open source code means you can tweak its software to fit your wants and needs. ClamWin is also part of the Free Software Foundation, meaning its free version isn’t a gateway to any sort of paid plan. With ClamWin, you get Windows antivirus software that’s easy to operate.

Commercial license

ClamWin operates on the Free Software Foundation’s GNU General Public License, which states, “You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a copy of the Program.” As such, any entity may use ClamWin.

How to get started

You can download ClamWin here. You won’t need to enter any information.

5. FortiClient

The Fortinet product FortiClient connects your device to the Fortinet network for security maintenance. Through this connection, FortiClient can analyze suspicious files, establish a firewall and protect you against malware. You can use FortiClient across several devices, in a web browser or in PDFs. It keeps your device connected to the Fortinet network safe as you travel.

Why it’s different

FortiClient is compatible with single-sign-on software, streamlining its use. It also blocks unauthorized USB devices from connecting with your device. FortiClient will also secure your devices to proactively defend against attacks rather than merely reacting.

Commercial license

According to the Fortinet EULA, all Fortinet software and documentation is “commercial computer software.” Like ClamWin, Fortinet follows the GNU General Public License.

How to get started

You can download FortiClient here. You won’t need to enter any information. Just click “Download” to obtain the installer file in seconds.

Sara Angeles contributed to the writing and research in this article.

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Max Freedman, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
Max Freedman has spent nearly a decade providing entrepreneurs and business operators with actionable advice they can use to launch and grow their businesses. Max has direct experience helping run a small business, performs hands-on reviews and has real-world experience with the categories he covers, such as accounting software and digital payroll solutions, as well as leading small business lenders and employee retirement providers. Max has written hundreds of articles for Business News Daily on a range of valuable topics, including small business funding, time and attendance, marketing and human resources.
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