In a world where every cent matters and company CEOs are watching their budget like a hawk, the looming question is: Should I pay for or use free anti-virus software? Sure, when your spring cold hits unexpectedly you could self-prescribe via WebMD, but if you have a day of serious decision making you’re going to want the strong medicine from the right prescription and that means you’re going to have to pay for it.

Let’s breakdown what you get for your FREE

  1. Most Free packages are licensed for personal or residential use and using them in your business is against the law and penalties can be up to $10,000 per device it is installed on.
  2. Free packages offer bare minimum protection via scheduled scans for malware. Without tech support you are required to download, set up and self-manage the software and all alerts that arise.
  3. Most freebies serve up a variety of offerings for paid packages and add-ons which may include firewalls, parental controls and identity theft protection.
  4. Unfortunately most free services have limited or zero tech support on almost all levels. A few companies offer email or chat support but mostly you manage your own install and daily operation setting up the features in a way that keeps your data secure.
  5. Many free offerings come with items you didn’t expect such as tool bars, advertisements for upgrades and trial versions that when expired require you to purchase anyway.
  6. If you have bought a new computer, you likely ran into auto renewals for the software and if you don’t catch it, you may be purchasing annually longer than you wish to have that service.

Let’s discover the PAID advantage

  1. When you pay for anti-virus software your package is typically full of customization and add-ons which may include firewalls, parental controls, identity theft protection, backup and recovery tools and some even offer PC performance utilities.
  2. Paid versions will have regularly scheduled scans, automated updates and multi-user licenses which are critical to keeping all networks and hardware in an office environment secure and easier to manage.
  3. Quality customer and technical support are one of the biggest things you pay for and this ticket ensures your software works across your entire network as well as, if your software is installed by a local team, onsite service calls may be a welcome option to your business.
  4. The primary function of antivirus software is to protect computers from viruses and to some extent malware, spyware and adware. With each new virus created by hackers, new definitions to “cure the illness” must be written by programmers. The shorter the time between infection and definition writing by programmers and the more complete the database of virus types, the safer your data remains.
  5. According to tests done by PC World you are paying for performance. In traditional signature-based detection tests, paid antivirus software that we tested found 96.2 percent of the malware samples overall. By comparison, free products’ scores were ever-so-slightly worse, detecting 95.7 percent of samples. In real-world detection tests, free products missed 15.2 percent of samples, while paid products missed 10.2 percent of samples. Paid products achieved a 44 percent removal rate in this test, while free products averaged a full removal rate of 34 percent.

NOTE: Antivirus suites guard computers from multiple threats like virus, Trojan, worm, malware, spyware, root kit infections etc.  While a single Antivirus program will not be able to stop all forms of threats.  It is recommended to use only one program, since multiple security programs can conflict with each other or slow down computer speed.

Purchasing your antivirus software is not unlike shopping at a warehouse where the options are unlimited and the opinions by other shoppers are nonstop. Future Link IT makes this a much easier shopping trip for you by always providing to you the top rated antivirus software available to independent lab tests. 

Future Link IT understands the large investment you made into your company, your employees and the office equipment needed to make your business a success. Their three-prong approach to securing your company network and information is tested and trusted. If you’re ready to limit your IT risk and have a recovery plan in place, call Future Link IT today.