Everyone loves free stuff – FACT. Antivirus is no different as there are numerous companies out there with a free version of their antivirus for people to use. The question is are they any good?
If I was asked that question 12 months ago I would have said free antivirus wasn’t bad but paid versions were better. Ask me the same question today and you would get a completely different answer.
Free antivirus is no longer upto the job of protecting your systems from the nasties that roam the internet.
So why the change?
Over the last 12 months or so I have seen countless systems infected with viruses. More specifically infected by different versions of the “police virus”. You know the one where at startup you are greated with a page from the Metropolitan Police(or Manchester, Cheshire etc) stating you have been caught by their cybercrime divisions looking at indecent images on the internet. All the systems were running free antivirus from the likes of Avast, Microsoft, Avira, AVG etc and everytime the virus was getting through. Some even got infected twice!!
Then there are nasties such as Cryptolocker which encrypts your hard drive and no free antivirus will fully protect you against this.
Only last night I had to deal with a virus that kept resetting the LAN Proxy Server settings on a Windows 7 laptop. Even with the virus removed there was lasting damage and the laptop now requires resetting.
So what is the difference between paid antivirus and free antivirus?
Basically the level of technical support you get and the amount of security features you have access to. The more security features available to you the more secure your system will be.
Everyone has their own favourite antivirus so asking which one is best will always get a different answer. Personally I opt for BitDefender Antivirus Plus but I know others who like Norton, AVG and McAfee. Like I said personal choice.
Last but not least under no circumstances should you ever use free antivirus within a business setup. Apart from being against licensing laws every business will have confidential and business critical data on their systems and this needs to be protected with the best possible security tools. I know of too many businesses using free antivirus to protect their systems and this is crazy. Do yourself a favour and go and spend some of your (or your businesses) hard earned on some proper protection. You will be glad in the long run!!
About the Author
Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in Stirling and Falkirk.
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