2023 • The Best Free Anti-Ransomware Software for Windows PC

Thousands of individuals and businesses were forced to hand over millions of dollars to get their encrypted files back.
  1. Over 2 million computers across 150 countries were affected by ransomware.
  2. Even though there are a lot of good free antivirus programs around, not all offer dedicated protection against ransomware.
  3. We tested several free anti-ransomware applications available in the market to come up with the best ones. Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool topped the list.

Did You Know? Did you know that Ransomware attacks often demand payment in Bitcoin. This is because Bitcoin transactions are difficult to trace, making it an ideal form of payment for cybercriminals.

Don’t Pay: The Top Free Anti-Ransomware Software Picks for Windows

What is Ransomware? Ransomware is a particularly vicious type of malware. Once it lands on a computer, it begins to encrypt files on the hard drive. After it has encrypted files, the program demands money from the victim, usually in the form of Bitcoin. Victims have to pay the malware authors hefty amounts of money in order to get their files decrypted. Reveton, ExPetr, CryptoLocker, Bitman, Onion, Shade, Mor, Locky, CryptoWall, Fusob, Zerber, Crysis, Cryrar, Snocry, Cryptodef, Spora, CTB-Locker, TeslaCrypt, Cerber, WannaCry, Petya, Bad Rabbit, and Jigsaw are some of the widespread ransomware on the Internet today.

What to Look for in an Anti-Ransomware software? Anti-Ransomware is a program designed to help you increase the security level of your system by detecting and preventing potential ransomware threats that usually go undetected by antivirus solutions. Choosing the right anti-ransomware software is like picking the perfect avocado. You need to know what to look for. Real-time protection is a must—it’s like having a security guard who never sleeps. The software should be easy to use (because who has time to read a 200-page manual?), effective at spotting threats, and light on system resources.

How We Tested? We evaluated each free anti ransomware software for ease of use, performance, and reliability on our test system running Windows 10. We then obtained data from trusted sources to come up with the top free anti-ransomware list.

OS Compatibility – Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

1. Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool

Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Software
90% eScore

Picture this software as a digital bouncer, flexing its muscles at the entrance of your computer. It’s from the folks at Kaspersky Labs, who are like the cybersecurity equivalent of The Avengers. The Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool isn’t about cleaning up after an attack; it’s about stopping the bad guys at the door. Built on some of the most awarded security technologies in the world, it’s like having a digital superhero on your side.

This program is like a dedicated bodyguard for your files, spotting ransomware threats in real-time based on the Kaspersky Security Network. It’s got a Powerful System Watcher module that’s like a hawk, always watching, ready to block suspicious activities and roll back any malicious actions. It’s like a time machine for your files, undoing any harm done by malware. Plus, it plays well with other security software, serving as a secondary line of defense.

But wait, there’s more! This tool comes with built-in anti-crypto malware functionality, so it’s not just a one-trick pony. It’s vigilant, but not paranoid – it doesn’t raise many false alarms. However, it’s a bit picky about its company; it can’t be installed on a computer that already has other Kaspersky applications running. So, if you’re already in a committed relationship with another Kaspersky product, you might have to make a tough choice. But hey, in the world of cybersecurity, it’s better to be safe than sorry!


2. Bitdefender Antivirus Free

Bitdefender Antivirus Free
90% eScore

BitDefender Antivirus Free is the Robin Hood of the cybersecurity world. It’s out there, fighting the good fight against ransomware, and it doesn’t ask for a single penny in return. It’s like the friend who helps you move, doesn’t complain about the heavy furniture, and refuses to take any money for pizza.

This software is as user-friendly as a puppy. It’s got an interface so intuitive, even your technophobe aunt could navigate it. But don’t let its friendly exterior fool you. Underneath that easy-to-use interface is a robust detection system that’s always on the lookout for ransomware trying to sneak into your system. It’s like having a guard dog that never sleeps, always ready to pounce on any threats that dare to approach.

But the best part? It’s free. That’s right, you get all this protection without having to spend a dime. It’s like finding out that the best things in life really are free. So, if you’re looking for solid protection against ransomware without having to crack open your piggy bank, BitDefender Antivirus Free might just be your new best friend.


3. Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware

Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware Tool
87% eScore

Malwarebytes is a name that’s as respected in the cybersecurity world as a grandma’s cookie recipe is in a family gathering. It uses cutting-edge technology to keep an eye on ransomware and block it faster than you can say “Not today, cyber villains!”

This software is like a digital watchdog, always on patrol. It provides real-time ransomware protection and immediately puts a stop to any process that tries to mess with your data. It’s like having a personal bodyguard for your files. Plus, it’s got a simple user interface that’s as straightforward as a ruler, and it’s a lightweight tool that won’t slow your system down. It’s like a featherweight boxer – light on its feet but packs a powerful punch.

But here’s the kicker: it’s still in beta. That means it’s like a promising rookie, full of potential but might still have a few kinks to iron out. So, while it can run alongside other antivirus tools, you might encounter a few hiccups here and there. But hey, nobody’s perfect, right? And for a free tool that offers such robust protection, we’d say it’s worth giving Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware a shot.


4. Avira Free Security

Avira Free Security
86% eScore

Avira Free Security is the multitasking maestro of the cybersecurity world. It’s not just an antivirus program; it’s also an anti-ransomware tool. It’s like that friend who can juggle, ride a unicycle, and solve a Rubik’s cube all at the same time.

Avira Free Security is like a Swiss Army knife for digital threats. It’s got a tool for just about everything. Ransomware trying to sneak into your system? Avira’s got it covered. Virus trying to make itself at home on your hard drive? Avira shows it the door. It’s like having a vigilant sentinel, always ready to toss out any unwelcome guests.

Avira is completely free. That’s correct, you receive all of this security without spending a dime. It’s like discovering a $20 cash in an old pair of trousers. So, if you’re seeking for a versatile, dependable, and cost-effective cybersecurity solution, Avira Free Security could be the answer to your prayers.


5. Acronis Ransomware Protection

Acronis Ransomware Protection
81% eScore

Imagine this software as the seasoned guard who’s seen it all. Acronis Ransomware Protection is not just ready to tackle the usual suspects; it’s prepared for the new, never-before-seen types of ransomware that are trying to crash the party. It’s like the police officer who can spot a con artist in a crowd, even if they’re in a clever disguise.

This software doesn’t just sit around waiting for trouble to happen. It’s actively monitoring the processes on your computer, ready to pounce on anything that looks suspicious. It’s like having a digital Sherlock Holmes on your side, always on the case. Plus, it helps you create white and blacklists of applications and keeps an eye on their activities. It is the same as having a personal assistant who is always prepared to separate the trustworthy individuals from those who should be avoided.

But wait, there’s more! Acronis Ransomware Protection can recover infected files from your local cache or temporary files. It’s like a digital time machine, undoing the damage done by ransomware. Plus, it’s light on system resources, so it won’t slow you down. The only catch? You’ll need to create an Acronis account to start using the program. But hey, a small price to pay for such robust protection, right?


6. Trend Micro RansomBuster

Trend Micro RansomBuster
79% eScore

Trend Micro RansomBuster is like the master detective of the cybersecurity world, ready to spot even the faintest hint of a ransomware plot. And when it does, it doesn’t just stop the threat; it makes a secure backup of the affected files. It’s like an action hero, swooping in to save your files just in the nick of time.

RansomBuster isn’t just a catchy name; it’s a promise. This software provides real-time protection against ransomware threats and comes with a Folder Shield feature that protects your documents by blocking unauthorized access. It is analogous to constructing a digital fortress around the files that are the most important to you. Plus, it can recover any files that were encrypted before detection.

But here’s the twist: while it’s fully compatible with your current security software and won’t slow down your PC, it does have occasional ad pop-ups promoting other Trend Micro products. It’s like having a friend who’s always trying to sell you something. And while its behavior-based detection system is generally pretty good, some ransomware managed to give it the slip in our tests. So, while it’s a solid choice for ransomware protection, it’s not quite perfect. But then again, who is?


7. NeuShield Data Sentinel

NeuShield Data Sentinel
79% eScore

NeuShield Data Sentinel doesn’t just detect and block ransomware attacks; it can recover your damaged files without a backup! It’s like having Wolverine from X-Men on your side, healing your files as soon as they get hurt.

The free anti-ransomware program is akin to a versatile digital multitool, ready to tackle ransomware, zero-day, and unknown threats. Its patented Mirror Shielding technology adds a protective barrier to your files, preventing them from being modified. It’s like having a digital force field around your data. Plus, it can prevent ransomware from making your system unable to boot and block wipers from destroying all data on your hard drive. It’s like having a digital firefighter, always ready to put out the flames.

But here’s the catch: while it has an easy-to-use interface that even beginners can navigate, most of its best features come in the paid version. It’s like going to a buffet and finding out that the really good stuff costs extra. But hey, even the free version offers solid protection, so it’s definitely worth checking out.


8. SBGuard Anti-Ransomware

76% eScore

SBGuard Anti-Ransomware is the underdog in the big, bad world of cybersecurity. It’s not as flashy as some of the other players, but it’s got heart. It’s like the Rocky Balboa of anti-ransomware tools, ready to go the distance against ransomware malware such as CryptoWall, CryptoLocker, TeslaCrype, CryptoXXX, CTB-Locker, and Zepto.

Life with SBGuard Anti-Ransomware is as easy as pie. From its streamlined installation process to its user-friendly interface, it’s all about making your life easier. To get it up and running, you just launch the app, click the Enable Protection button, and restart your computer. It’s like flipping a switch to turn on your home security system.

Not all ransomware is totally resistant to SBGuard Anti-Ransomware’s free version of protection. But as the saying goes, “Better safe than sorry.” Any tool that can boost your computer’s security, even by a smidge, is worth having. So, if you’re looking for an extra layer of protection against ransomware, why not give SBGuard Anti-Ransomware a shot? It might just surprise you.


Tips for Further Protecting Yourself from Ransomware

Anti-ransomware software is just one piece of the puzzle. To really armor up against ransomware, you need to take a few more steps. It’s like preparing for a zombie apocalypse – you need more than just a baseball bat.

First off, back up your data regularly. It’s like having a spare key for your house. If ransomware locks you out of your files, you can just whip out your backup and say, “Nice try, ransomware, but I’ve got a spare!” Remember, an external hard drive or cloud storage can be your best friend in these situations.

Next, keep your software up to date. Those updates aren’t just there to annoy you. They often contain security patches that fix vulnerabilities that ransomware could exploit. It’s like getting a flu shot – it helps protect you from known threats.

Also, avoid clicking on suspicious links. If it looks fishy, it probably is. It’s like seeing a big, red button with a sign that says “Do not push.” Just don’t do it.

And last but not least, use strong, unique passwords. “Password123” might be easy to remember, but it’s also easy for hackers to guess. A strong password is like a sturdy lock on your front door – it’s your first line of defense against unwanted intruders.

So, there you have it. With these tips and the right anti-ransomware software, you can navigate the digital world with confidence. It’s like having a map, a compass, and a sturdy pair of boots for your journey through the wilds of the Internet.

If your computer is already infected by ransomware, here the ultimate collection of 200+ Ransomware Decryption Tools to download and use.

The Endgame: Conquering Ransomware

So there you have it, folks! Ransomware might be a formidable foe, but with the right tools and knowledge, you can keep your data safe and sound. It’s like going into a dodgeball game with a shield and a strategy – you’re ready to dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge those nasty ransomware attacks.

Remember, the digital world is a bit like a wild west frontier. It’s full of opportunities, but it’s also teeming with bandits waiting to hold your data hostage. But with a trusty anti-ransomware tool by your side, you can ride into the sunset, knowing your files are safe from harm.

So, don your cyber armor, raise your shield, and step into the digital world with confidence. And remember, in the battle against ransomware, you’re not alone. We’re all in this together, fighting the good fight.

If you found this article as helpful as a GPS on a road trip, why not share it with your friends? And if you’ve got any tales from the ransomware trenches or tips to share, drop them in the comments. Together, we can make the digital world a safer (and more fun) place to be! Yeehaw!

Did You Know?

Did you know that according to a report by Sophos, only 8% of organizations manage to get all their data back after paying a ransom, while 29% get no data back at all. This highlights the importance of regular data backups and robust cybersecurity measures.

Author: Nik is an author with over 14 years of expertise in software and tech. Holding an Engineering degree in Information Technology and a Master's degree in Data Science from Liverpool University, he is adept at dissecting and discussing the nuances of technology with clarity and precision. Disclaimer: The content on this website is originally created by human authors and is refined using AI tools solely to ensure grammar, flow and clarity.