There are many free anti-virus software applications available on the internet. There are also many expensive anti-virus software applications. How can free software be as good as software you have to pay for? Well, usually it isn’t, and sometimes it can even end up damaging your computer or scamming you out of money. Let’s look at how free anti-virus software stacks up against other security software on the market.
While some free anti-virus software like Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and Microsoft Security Essentials works sometimes better than software you have to pay for, free anti-virus software lacks many features that paid security software provides. For example, most free software lacks the ability to scan emails, instant messaging chats and websites for viruses. Many of these applications also say that they scan your computer on a set schedule, but they often need to be started manually to perform a through scan of your drives. Usually you don’t have this problem with paid anti-virus software. Free anti-virus software’s lack of features may leave your computer open to attacks.
Where does free anti-virus software come from? It is usually a simplified version of a more feature-laden piece of software. Companies will draw in customers by getting them hooked on the free brand while constantly urging them to upgrade using pop-up ads, emails and advertisements that display on the software’s control panel. This can be an aggravation that just may not be worth the lack of a price tag. Not all free anti-virus software is just a dumbed-down version of another product. Some are actually created to scam you out of money or to infect your computer. This malware, called hoax anti-virus software, is very common.
This type of software is usually distributed through pop-up ads on the internet. The ads will appear to be a security software control panel. They inform victims that their computers are infected and need to be cleaned. They suggest that users download the free anti-virus software to their computer. Once the software is downloaded, it infects the computer with a virus that makes the system slow. This tactic makes the computer user believe that the computer is infected with a very bad virus. The software will claim to have deleted some viruses, but that to get rid of the other infected items, the user will have to purchase an upgraded version of the software. During all of this, the virus also spreads to other computers in the network. The user ends up with worthless software, less money and an infected computer that was fine before the download.
You can avoid fake software by downloading free anti-virus software from reputable publishers. Never download software from third-party sites, emails or pop-up ads.
For many people, the chance of downloading bogus software and the lack of features will make using free anti-virus software too aggravating. Luckily, there are many high-quality choices on the market that you can purchase, hassle-free.
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. 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.