Surely no one still pays for antivirus software in 2023, right? Actually, plenty of people do, and there are lots of good reasons to choose a premium paid antivirus suite, even with lots of free options on the table.
For one thing, you can’t trust every app that says it’s a free antivirus tool. Many of them are malware. Even if you get a legitimate free antivirus program, it’s going to be very basic in functionality and chock full of ads. Customer service will be non-existent, whereas with a paid antivirus program you’re going to get lots of features and functionality, a user-friendly experience, and live customer support. Here’s why it might be worth spending the money for a year subscription to a premium antivirus suite.
Some Free Antivirus Programs Are Malware
When it comes to downloading and installing free antivirus, you really have to be careful. There’s a lot of malware out there masquerading as free antivirus apps. Do your research – stick to the free versions of premium suites from reputable developers.
Free Antivirus Tools Are Very Basic
When you install a free antivirus tool, you’re only getting very basic protection. Yes, the free program will be able to detect and remove malware. It’ll be able to prevent new infections. You should also get some amount of protection against malicious websites and email scams, as well as perhaps additional security for shopping and banking websites and apps. Some apps may monitor your home network for intruders. You may also get some protection against ransomware. However, you won’t get bells and whistles like ID protection, parental controls, sandboxing, or file shredding.
You Won’t Get Much Customer Service If You Choose the Free Version
If you’re tech-savvy and not intimidated by the process of running your own system scans and removing malware and viruses unaided, a free program might be more appropriate for you. But a lot of people are going to need more customer-service support when it comes time to actually put your antivirus program to use. If you want to be able to call a live helpline and get a real human being who can walk you through the process of removing an infection or possibly even restoring your computer to a previous restore point or to factory settings, you need to pay for quality antivirus protection. Many paid antivirus programs also offer identity protection and assistance dealing with the consequences of identity theft.
Free Antivirus Programs Are Chock Full of Ads
Nothing is truly free, and the real price of a free antivirus program is all the ads you have to look at along the way. Free antivirus programs are going to be full of ads, and some of them will be scareware designed to frighten you into upgrading to the premium version. You’re going to get endless prompts to upgrade and endless notifications that something is wrong and you need to upgrade to paid protection in order to fix it. When you go ahead and buy the premium version, you won’t have to deal with all the adware that can come built into a free version. You also won’t have to deal with your antivirus program changing the default home page on your web browser or changing your default search engine.
Paid Antivirus Software Is Easier to Use and Has More Features
When it comes to the absolute bare-bones functionality of simply identifying and neutralizing malware and viruses, both free and paid versions of the same antivirus are going to be just as good. Reputable antivirus developers are going to use the same core malware detection tools in both their free and paid versions of popular software. But when you fork out the cash for a paid antivirus program, you’re going to get a product that’s more user-friendly, less glitchy, and more likely to be compatible with other programs you’re using. You’ll also get a wider range of features you can use to protect your family from malware, viruses, identity theft, and online scams.
Paid antivirus programs include features like password managers, automatic updates for other apps on your system, detailed parental controls, two-way firewalls, and more. You’ll be able to turn these features on and off as needed to get protection that’s less hands-on and more automated.
If you’re considering just using a free antivirus program, you should reconsider. A paid program might be better for your needs, especially if you’re not very tech-savvy. Don’t put your family at risk – make sure you have the level of protection you need.