Cyber-criminals who design and propagate computer viruses and other malware are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their approaches. These misfits can steal and/or destroy the information stored on your individual computers, your computer network, and on all your mobile devices.
With this in mind, it is a “no brainer” that you need antivirus protection and antispyware protection. However, you may not understand why you should pay for this protection when there are so many free programs/services available.
Below, you will find a discussion of why you should use paid antivirus software/services instead of free software/services.
Free Programs Will Continually Nag You
Many “free” antivirus software programs are basically a barebones version of the higher security paid program offered by the same company. In these cases, these companies are giving away the free version hoping that a good percentage of those who use it will upgrade to the paid version. This would be fine except for the fact that many of these companies will basically hound you to death with pop-up messages and emails about upgrading and why you should upgrade. It can become quite annoying and time consuming to deal with.
Faster and More Complete Updates
This is probably the biggest advantage you receive with a paid antivirus program or service. Many businesses offering free antivirus protection simply can’t keep up with the staggering number of new viruses unleashed every day, week, month, and year. According to the latest Kaspersky Security Bulletin, more than five billion cyber-attacks occurred in 2013, as well as three billion malware attacks. Within these attacks, approximately 1.8 million malicious viruses were unleashed. The worst part is that this number continues to skyrocket with no hope for this growth to taper off within the next several years. While no service could possibly track down every single virus unleashed, a paid service will certainly track down a much higher percentage of them and will do so at a faster rate, in many cases offering you almost immediate updates.
Paid Antivirus Services Offer Additional Services
With paid services, you usually get a whole host of related services in addition to your antivirus protection. These include identity theft protection, secure firewalls if you are on a network (great for businesses, schools, and other organizations), parental controls (helpful to prevent misfits from phishing your kids), and various performance and clean-up tools for your computer(s) and personal device(s). With some of the better antivirus services, such as Trend Micro, you get an additional layer of security protection for ultra important files via cloud computing.
PC Magazine Testing
PC Magazine runs a variety of bench tests on various computer products, including antivirus protection services and software. These are rigorous tests done on a wide variety of computer platforms. They are also performed by computer experts who really understand how to fully evaluate the results of these tests. In essence, they are the “Consumer Reports” of the computer world. Across the board, they report that paid antivirus protection services outperform free services.
The Cost Of “Free”
Everyone wants a bargain and “free” is very hard to resist. However, before you jump onboard with free antivirus protection software, you should first give considerable thought to how valuable your data and your identity really is. You may have banking information, client information, personal identification, health information, business information, and sensitive information about your family stored on your computer. What would happen if any of this information were stolen and/or destroyed? This is a case where the cost of “free” could be tremendous and it’s worth paying for a more up to date, secure, and complete service. You’ll have peace of mind and far less chance of anything happening to your data if you do so.