Antivirus software can be a bit of a hit or miss proposition – there are so many options out there right now that it can be hard for a normal person to be able to tell which one is the best one for them – so many people will try to go with factors that they use for other products to decide which software solution that they are going to use.
Will they use antivirus software that is free so they can forgo the cost? Or will they decide to pay for a premium antivirus program so that they know that they are getting the protection that they paid for?
It all depends on both the person and the software that they are looking at.
Paid Antivirus > Free Antivirus?
The world of software products is different than the world of any other business. You are able to build a piece of software by just having the idea in your head so some people who create software see that as a gift to be shared with the world. They will put the software out there for free and allow other people to change the software to what suits their needs. This is what is known as open source software and it is a good idea and the fact of the matter is that some open sourced software can be better than the paid for competition but usually there are some things missing in an open source or free product and in the next paragraph I will talk about them.
Before I go on, you must remember that open source does not necessarily mean free though – there are some open source products that you have to pay for; it just means that you are able to see the source code and change it to what you need.
What Additional Benefits Does Paid For Antivirus Protection Confer?
The first thing that you get is someone who is accountable to you. If there is something wrong with the software then you have someone to complain to (though I would note that some security companies don’t ‘get’ customer service, sadly). A paid product will have support and that is most of the time what you are paying for in the first place. Also, the paid for version of a product will extend above and beyond what the free version does.
The free version of antivirus software may scan your computer and search for threats whilst a paid version of antivirus software will not only search your computer, but it will also scan your email account, set up a firewall and do a number of other things that you wouldn’t expect from a free program. The company will be trying to distance themselves from the competition so that means adding new features to the product.
The free version receives no compensation so they may not have the desire to go above and beyond what the others are offering. Plus a lot of the times, the free version is just a set up so that you will purchase a version with a lot more features anyway.
A free antivirus product can work just as good as a paid version of the same software but if you want all round better protection, more features and customer support then go with the paid version.