An Antivirus program is one of the most commonly used programs of all time, almost every PC in every corner of the world has one.
Most of the Antivirus programs that I’ve seen in my life, will offer a free choice and a priced one with the priced option promising to offer a higher level of security and peace of mind. But is it worth it? Should we pay for our Antivirus or stick with the free option?
The short answer
The short answer is yes. Paid Antivirus programs are more reliable, have technical support, and they take more responsibility in the case that they fail to do their job.
But it’s not that simple, according to Tom’s guide, those who have a small business could rely on a security suite as the technical support will be really useful if an employee or a virus brings down your computers. But, the rest of us who are more casual will be fine with a free option.
Priced options generally do offer more features and a higher level of protection, but you might not need them. The best way to know is to check out what are the differences between the free and the paid choices and see what fits you best.
Let’s take a look at a couple of Antivirus programs to use an example.
The difference between free and paid
AVG is by far the most popular free Antivirus. However, how is the paid version of it different in the amount of protection and what additional features does it offer?
In this case, both the free and the paid version of this Antivirus seem to offer the same amount of protection.
Both of them block viruses and malware, unsafe links, downloads and attachments, they both have real-time security updates, and they both scan for PC performance problems.
There are a ton of extra features with the paid version that could give you a boost of protection, but the basic amount of protection against viruses and malware is the same for both of them.
This is where the premium version proves it’s worth.
With the premium version you have 24/7 support, an enhanced firewall, banking protection, fake website protection, the scam-spam emails will be blocked, automatic maintenance, PC speed up, improvement of battery life (if you have a laptop), you can install it on an unlimited number of computers, find hidden duplicated files, and you automatically get the Antivirus for Android.
So there is no doubt that the premium version offers a bunch of extra reliability. The question is, do you need it? Let’s look at another Antivirus to make things easier.
Avast is a handy Antivirus because it offers 3 options to choose from, the free one and another two differently priced options with different features.
Both of the paid options have a trial of a month before you’ll have to pay for them, so you can try them out first before spending your hard earned money.
The same thing applies here with AVG for the basic amount of protection against viruses, both the free and the premium versions will offer the same amount of protection.
There is detection and removal of viruses and malware, real-time analysis of unknown files, an option for improving gaming experience, and the one password system.
The “Internet security” priced option offers everything that the free version does, but it can also spot fake websites, banking protection, increases privacy, and a spam blocker.
The “Premier” priced option offers everything that both the free and the internet security have to offer, but it also has an automatic updater and a file shredder so you’ll know that if you delete your files, they will be gone for good.
Don’t be in a hurry to render the premier version useless, you might think that when you delete your files they are gone for good on their own, but that’s a lie.
You can restore deleted files by using a data restoration program, this is what the premier version tries to prevent, so it’s not useless. Not by a long shot.
Those were two of the most famous Antivirus programs along with the differences between their priced and free options, hopefully, this has helped you decide on your choice.
If it did not, you can also check out Comodo as it is an effective free Antivirus. Or you can check Kaspersky which has an unlimited amount of features while it offers a lot of flexibility so that you can pick the best option for you, just keep in mind that it does not have a free option.
It’s considered a premium option, so it’s only natural that you’ll have to pay for it if you need it and it’s amazing that it offers protection for multiple devices too.
So that’s about it, paid Antivirus programs offer the same amount of basic protection as their free counterparts. But, which one should we choose anyway?
It depends on you, if you can’t answer that yourself even after reading this article, then chances are that you’ll have to get a paid option as you’ll need the extra security and features that it offers.
Tech-savvy users can survive with a free Antivirus or maybe even without one at all, average users will need at least a free option, and those that are either casual users or are relying on their PC for work will absolutely need a priced option as they can’t afford to get infected.
All in all, check if you need those extra features and reliability and decide for yourself. I have personally been using computers for more than a decade and it was once that my Antivirus detected a threat, only once.
So no paid options for me.
- Those like me who are using a free Antivirus or don’t have an Antivirus at all will have to be extra careful to avoid suspicious places on the web as it is much easier for us to get infected.
- When I say that the free and the priced options offer the same amount of basic protection, I’m not referring to the general amount protection. But to the basic protection against viruses and malware.
- No Antivirus is perfect, even the premium choices have leaks and security holes. You can’t install two Antivirus programs for extra security because that will slow down your computer and will create interference. You should install an Anti-Malware alongside with your Antivirus.