Should You Be Using Free Antivirus Software?

free antivirus

If you are planning on hooking up your computer to a network or to the Internet, an anti virus protection program is an absolute must. Along with a firewall, these two programs are the only real line of defense you have against hackers, viruses and other problems that can plague Internet users.

The world of anti virus software is divided up into two main categories: programs that you pay for, such as BitDefender and Kaspersky and ones you can download for free. While having free anti virus software is significantly better than no protection at all, the time tested versions like BitDefender and Kaspersky are better in every respect. Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways in which store-bought virus protection is superior to free anti virus software.

When it comes to solid anti virus protection, the key lies in the support that backs the program up, and no one has better support than industry leaders like BitDefender and Kaspersky. They have huge staffs that work year round refining and updating their product so that users are always safe and sound from hackers and viruses. Although the free anti virus software that is available for download does an admirable job trying to keep the public safe, it simply doesn’t have the manpower or the resources behind it to provide the continually updated protection an avid Internet user needs. Again, the protection provided is better than nothing, but you should go with the store bought versions if you can.

Along with more regular updates, programs like BitDefender and Kaspersky can afford to provide around the clock tech support to help you if your computer should become infected. As hard as the free programs out there try, the best you can expect is an email response to your problem in a day or two, and that’s a best case outcome. Many free anti virus software programs don’t offer any tech support at all. It is up to you, the user, to figure out what to do. Even if you consider yourself a computer expert, chances are, at one time or another, you are going to run into a problem you need help with and if you go with one of the major free anti virus software programs, you won’t be able to get any help at all.

Finally, most free anti virus software programs are extremely slow when it comes to scanning your computer and fixing problems it finds. One of the major knocks against Norton Anti Virus, probably the most popular anti virus program on the market today, is that the system scans were too slow. Thankfully, this problem has been fixed Norton now performs better than it used to (depending upon the speed of the computer it it running on of course). Most of the free anti virus software programs out there, on the other hand, are not. In addition, many of these free programs are also resource hogs that eat up your free memory so that you can’t really do much else while it is running.

When you compare the two products side by side, it is easy to see that store bought anti virus programs are far superior to their free counterparts. That is not to say that traditional powerhouses like Norton and McAfee are inexpensive or without flaw, but if you are serious about keeping your new computer safe and sound, there really is no other way to go.

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