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Antivirus - Free or Paid?


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#1 A Former Geek

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 04:53 PM

One of the questions that I frequently receive is "should I pay for an antivirus or is a free one good enough"? The answer may seem obvious but I'm not so sure. After all, most of us have the mentality that "you get what you pay for". Based on the computers that I see in my shop, I honestly do not believe that a paid solution is necessarily any better than a free one. I have seen computers with multiple infections that used a paid product and others that were infected while using a free product. On any given day there are infections that a specific paid solution will catch, but a free one won't and vice versa. I often here some say "I use (insert name of an antivirus program here) and have never had a problem with viruses". The problem with the statement is that I have heard just about every well known AV named. Once I begin asking questions, it becomes apparent that the primary reason they have not had any problems is because they do not engage in risky behavior with their computer. Behavior is the real key to avoiding an infection rather than a security program.

Below is a quote from, and a link to an interesting article from one of the MS Windows gurus:

How effective is free antivirus software? I had a chance to see a real, in-the-wild example just this month, and the results were, to put it mildly, unexpected. The bottom line? Microsoft's free antivirus solution found and removed a threat that two well-known paid products missed.


http://www.zdnet.com...t=Google+Reader



#2 MillCreek

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:00 PM

You're totally right, Mike...............:good: :good:

#3 ~Chester~

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 11:06 PM

Not engaging in risky behavior is the key to everything.

#4 C Mark Palm

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 11:14 PM

I use Avast Free Home Version. Love it. I also don't go in for risky behavior.

#5 momof 3

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 12:13 AM

We have AVG free and run SpyBot once a week or so and have had no problems at all.

#6 naturegirl

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 05:48 AM

Sometimes even good behavior results in some nasty stuff. I try to avoid any and all links and I won't open email if I don't know who sent it to me. Even with that, some viruses attack people you know and send you email with malicious software. Heck, even here there have been several attacks............so from personal experience I will say be cautious but make sure I have some type of anti-virus software. Eventually, no matter how careful you are, it happens.
In history there are people who have had their clothes, food, housing and jobs provided to them.

Those people were called "slaves".





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#7 elliesgranny

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 05:53 AM

I'm using AVG Free and Superantispyware that Mike recommended. Love it! Have had no problems at all! :clapping:

#8 A Former Geek

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 10:32 AM

Sometimes even good behavior results in some nasty stuff. I try to avoid any and all links and I won't open email if I don't know who sent it to me. Even with that, some viruses attack people you know and send you email with malicious software. Heck, even here there have been several attacks............so from personal experience I will say be cautious but make sure I have some type of anti-virus software. Eventually, no matter how careful you are, it happens.


Great points and you are exactly right. Just as being perfect driver can result in an accident caused by someone else, safe computing behavior cannot guarantee that you will never be infected. However, those that only rely on security software to protect them without practicing safe behavior is the equivalent of driving 150mph and running every stop sign and red light simply because you are wearing a seat belt and have an airbag installed.

As for the malicious email from someone you know, this is a bit of social engineering by the hackers that has proven very effective for them. One thing to keep in mind if that the "From" field on an email is just like the return address on snail mail ((you can put anything you want in the field).

I'm using AVG Free and Superantispyware that Mike recommended. Love it! Have had no problems at all! :clapping:


These are two products that I use and still recommenced. There are others that I like as well, but I encourage my customers to choose from the products that I use everyday. That way if someone calls with an issue, I am usually able to answer any questions within just a few minutes. Brief calls like this are free which saves my customers money and saves me time.






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