The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This influences where, how and in what order such listings appear on this site.
Advertising Disclosure

Free or Paid Anti-virus Software? Staff
Free or Paid Anti-Virus Software?
If you regularly use the internet, you will probably already appreciate the importance of having some type of anti-virus software on your computer. There are lots of threats online and these can harm your computer, compromise your privacy, or steal your money.

If you go online with without some type of security protection, you will be at risk from viruses and other types of malicious software. The question should not really be if you need anti-virus software, but if you should choose a free product or something you pay for.

Good Reasons for Choosing Free Anti-Virus Software

Free anti-virus packages can offer a reasonable amount of protection online. If you only use the internet occasionally, and you are very careful about the software or files you allow onto your computer, this will probably be enough to offer you a reasonable amount of security. One of the nice things about the free versions is that they tend to be very basic, and this means that they are generally easy to use. Most of the premium products will also have a free version available, and it can be a good idea to try these before buying.

Disadvantages of Free Anti-Virus Software

The reality is that you sort of get what you pay for with free anti-virus software. The disadvantages of choosing this option would include:

  • The free software will only have a limited number of features.
  • The free versions focus more on dealing with problems that have already happened rather than preventing them happening in the first place.
  • The providers of this software have to make money somehow, and this may mean that you will need to put up with annoying pop-up ads.
  • It is unlikely that you will get quality customer service with the free version. This inability to have problems resolved quickly could put your machine in jeopardy.

Good Reasons to Choose Premium Anti-Virus Software

Many of the providers of anti-virus software will offer a free and premium version of their product. The free version is basically a marketing tool to encourage customers to invest some money in the paid package. It is sort of like choosing to test-drive the product before committing to buying it. The most common reasons for why you might choose to purchase the paid software will include:

  • It will provide you with increased protection.
  • The premium products not only detect threats after they happen, but they also prevent them from happening in the first place.
  • There will usually be lots of extra functions with the premium version.
  • The paid software can have some nice additional features such as email spam filters and parental control options.
  • It should be updated more frequently, and this means that the software will be better able to deal with the threats that are currently in circulation.
  • It means that you will not be bugged all the time with advertisements asking you to purchase the paid version.
  • If you purchase a quality product, it should mean that you will have access to high quality customer service.

Free or Paid Anti-Virus Software?

If you are a regular internet user, it might be better to invest in some paid anti-virus software. This will provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that you have a good level of protection. It can be a good idea to try out the free version first of all just to make sure that you like the functionality of the product. It is probably not a good idea to purchase something that will slow down your computer or that is too difficult for you to use. Staff's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.