Do I need to pay for antivirus software?

A common question I’m asked from customers and friends is Do I need to pay for antivirus software? If you’re a home user the straight forward answer this is no.

There are many different free antivirus programs available on the market now and whilst some may not provide a full range of utilities for free, almost all will provide protection again computer viruses. Examples of such programs include Avast, Bitdefender, Panda and AVG. In terms of basic performance in catching infections, testing has shown that the free and paid-for products were about the same. Some were faster than others, but

In terms of basic performance in catching infections, testing has shown that the free and paid-for products were about the same. Some were faster than others, but more expensive software wasn’t necessarily faster than the free versions or any better at identifying viruses.


I’m a business user – Do I need to pay for antivirus software?

Technically, yes. This is because free licenses seldom extend to commercial computer systems. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from installing a home-user version of an antivirus program to you work PC but you’ll likely be breaking the terms of the license agreement. Free antivirus software generally doesn’t extend to file servers, either.

Buying a full business suite can have some other built-in advantages, like allowing you to block employees from visiting certain websites and I would urge any business to look at a full solution such as Kaspersky.


Keeping your computer up-to-date is a great way to prevent malware and viruses infecting your PC.

Sadly, the people who write malware and viruses one step ahead. This is why you should install any Windows updates as soon as they are offered to you. Every time Microsoft becomes aware of a security vulnerability they will provide an update to fix the problem. Keeping your computer up-to-date means you’ll get the latest security updates as soon as they become available, thus lowering your chances of an infection.


I like Windows 7 and don’t want to install Windows 10

There are lots of people who are resistant to installing Windows 10 due to the bad press Windows 8 got, but you really should consider it.

Windows 10 offers a more secure and safer operating system. Upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 will make your safer online and less vulnerable to viruses or malware. Don’t ask Do I need to pay for antivirus software if you’re still using Windows 7. Go ahead and get one of the free software suites.


I’m still using Windows XP. Am I safe online?

No, you’re not. Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. There are no new updates and the operating system is vulnerable to security attacks. You should definitely consider upgrading your computer, especially if you use it to access the internet. At a minimum you should stop using Internet Explorer and upgrade to a more secure browser such as Mozilla Firefox.

Definately don’t carry out any online backing using Windows XP. If a security vulnerability is discovered by hackers Microsoft aren’t going to fix it and you risk having your personal information hacked.


Which free antivirus solution do YOU recommend?

Personally, I prefer Bitdefender Free as it’s lightweight and works silently (also recommended by PC Advisor Magazine). However, if you’re looking for software which will tell you a bit more about what it’s doing and “hug” you a bit more, go for Avast.

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