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26 May 09 Tired Of Paying For Antivirus Services?

Antivirus software is expensive, whether you’re talking about Norton Antivirus, McAfee, AVG, or Dr. Web.  The problem with these programs is that all of them tell you that you can’t possibly hope to keep your computer safe unless you pay them for security updates to keep your computer safe from viruses and malware, but how effective are they really?

The honest answer is, not as effective as you would hope considering the price you’re paying for the privilege of running these programs.  All of the aforementioned programs really only have a 30-50% detection rate when it comes to malware, viruses, and Trojans.  That means despite having dedicated security updates, the program’s scanning ability, a chief draw when we’re talking antivirus software, is pretty much lackluster at best.  Severely disappointing when you consider the amount of money you’ve probably shelled out on these programs over the years.

But probably the biggest factor that bothers me, and that should bother everyone, is the massive amount of freeware virus removal tools that seem to perform more effectively than any pay service.  Take Ad-Aware, and Spyware Doctor for example.  Both of these programs are completely free, and yet they tend to find more malware, viruses, worms, and Trojans than any of the pay services, and that completely bugs me.

What is it that the free programs do, that the pay services can’t achieve with their virus scanning?

Sure Norton is going to be better for you than a free antivirus program in the sense that it offers a fairly ironclad firewall, email scanning, and auto-protect against known viruses and malware as you surf the internet, all features that the free stuff doesn’t have.  But how useful are the preventative measures if Norton can’t detect the bad stuff that seeps through it’s protection?

I guess it’s pretty annoying, but you sort of have to take the free with the pay services, because the costly antivirus programs are fantastic at preventing virus intrusions, but you need programs like Ad-Aware and Spyware Doctor to detect all the stuff AVG, Norton or McAfee are going to miss.

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