Free VS Paid – The Great Antivirus Fight!


We all know that Antivirus software is important, but the big question is whether or not you should pay for the software, or use a free version?

TLDR: you should pay for it!


What’s the difference?


For some people, seeing an Antivirus program that is free is excellent news as it does save them some money, however what they should ask themselves is: why is it free? Most free Antivirus software is without cost because it’s not updated as much as its subscription based older (more expensive) brother. Viruses are created constantly, and spread like wild fire. Having an Antivirus program that updates itself once a week will be nowhere near as secure as a program that has live updates released on the fly. Subscription based Antivirus companies constantly & actively investigate for new and upcoming viruses, where as the free versions only respond to threats as they make themselves known. For example, your free software just updated and will update again on the same day the next week. If a virus is discovered and heads your way you wont have the update to protect against it for 7 days. If you’ve got the paid software, the update would have been pushed to you as soon as a fix had been created, thus protecting you from the threat. Occasionally, the odd free Antivirus software will update reguarly, but the quality of the protection is inferior compared to paid software. Let’s be honest here, companies who offer both free and paid protection are going to favour providing the latest fixes to their paid customers.


Which software should I buy?


Similar to the Graphics Card blog we posted, there are many options as to which software to purchase, it just depends on personal preference. Here at ECS we recommend Norton Antivirus/ Security. In the past many users disliked Norton as it seemed to slow their PC down to something resembling a snails pace. After fine tuning their software Symantec (the developers of Norton) have rectified the issue and you now wouldn’t even notice it’s there (until it tells you that it’s removed a virus!). Norton will run background tasks as long as your PC isn’t doing anything strenuous. For people that use their PC often this is brilliant, as it wont impair your work by scanning your PC until Norton sees your PC is completely idle. This along with the constant updates is why we recommend it. The other options are vast, but either way the paid versions are far superior.


We get a lot of customers bring in their computers that have viruses. Sometimes when we turn them on we notice that they have free versions of Antivirus programs. After we remove these, and install the full subscription based versions of the software, the viruses are usually removed without any trouble. Although the free version was giving them some protection, it wasn’t powerful enough to protect them. Had they had a paid version, they would not have needed to bring their computer to us to fix.

Just remember as with all things in life:


You get what you pay for


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Thanks, Tom M



About Tom M

IT Engineer

Specialist in Gaming PC Systems