Is free virus protection worth the hassle?

@derek_a (10903)
June 2, 2007 9:46am CST
I was having a debate with the brother-in-law the other day about virus on-line virus protection. He was telling me that he couldn't understand why I paid yearly for Mcafee virus software when he could get other programs for free. Now I may be wrong on this, but I believe that you get what you pay for and with virus protection, I am better off paying. It updates every day both virus and firewall and I have very little problems, where my brother-in-law's machine started running slow and wouldn't load some programs and a lot of other problems. He had to call out a software engineer who found 75 viruses on his machine, but he still insists that it's nothing to do with his free virus programs that is was just some dodgy sites he came across whilst doing a search. How can he possibly say that? I've done loads of searches and Mcaffee has popped up straight away if there was anything wrong with a site. It could be that he just doesn't want to admit that he was being a little bit "too clever". What are you opinions of free versus paid anti-virus software?
5 people like this
11 responses
@Kythe42 (1413)
• United States
2 Jun 07
The paid anti-virus software is going to be better in most cases. With most programs, the paid versions are going to be better. Most of the time with the free programs, they rely on donations to develop the software. This means they don't have as much funding to keep everything up to date. I use McAfee as well. I'm lucky though that I don't have to pay extra for it because it comes with my internet connection. ~Kythe42 http://lemurianphoenix.blogspot.com
2 people like this
@derek_a (10903)
3 Jun 07
I think I have to agree with what you are saying. It's not a huge amount to pay (something like $30 a year and if I renew early, they nearly always knock a third off). It gives me peace of mind.
@nnsb75 (632)
• United States
2 Jun 07
im using avg free version and its doing a good job it updates everyday sometimes twice a day so my comp. is doing good, beside if ever i had a problem my stepson fix it quick coz he builds computers.
2 people like this
@derek_a (10903)
3 Jun 07
I've heard that this AVG protection is quite good, and it's useful to have someone in the family that can fix problems. I have been into my registry once or twice, but it is not something I enjoy doing.
• India
11 Mar 10
hello friend i always use the free virus protection and update it, after a month or so i change that, but i avoid the 'free error cleaners', 'free scans', they always say 100+ virus were found, 80 could be cleaned, PURCHASE our product for removal What a headache bhuwan
1 person likes this
@derek_a (10903)
11 Mar 10
Thanks for responding Bhuwan. I agree with you fully that the "free error cleaners" are a complete scam and sometimes even put unwanted programs onto your computer. I will only use my own mcAfee virus scanner and ignore all other offers. _Derek
• Singapore
10 Jun 07
If I am rich, I would take the option you are using. That is, to pay for the anti-virus software. Unfortunately, I am not lol. :P I have been using AVG free for YEARS and I have not got a single virus attack. But then again, I know how to protect my computer and I am half a geek. The free anti-virus has worked well for me and I see no reason to change it for now. :PP
1 person likes this
@derek_a (10903)
11 Jun 07
Thanks for posting. Can we look forward to you sharing some computer tips here on mylot? That would be good :-) I share some, but I am only quarter geek! ;-)
@abednego7 (1060)
• Philippines
8 Jun 07
I just want to add up that there are also operating system that works fine or even more that windows that is free. LINUX. So I believe there are people who love to create program not just to have money but to have prestige in virtual community. If you will search for the top anti-virus that Mcaffee only ranked 6 http://anti-virus-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ and now I will recommend a anti-virus which is almost identical to the top 2 in that list which is Kaspersky. This one is being given for free by AOL.com that is run under in Kaspersky engine. You can try it and you will be surprise that it might be better that what you are using right now. Here is the link: http://www.activevirusshield.com/antivirus/freeav/index.adp?
1 person likes this
@derek_a (10903)
8 Jun 07
Thanks for posting and for the useful links and information. I have until next year when my virus software needs renewal, and will bookmark these links.. :-)
@santuccie (3377)
• United States
8 Jun 07
Different security programs have different features. Kaspersky is one of few remaining that offers rescue disk creation, which is useful if your system files are damaged. Of course, it may do you just as well to do a repair install, or use a drive imaging program that you can use to backup and restore everything. Basically, what every home computer should have is antivirus and antispyware with automatic updates, scheduled scanning, and real-time monitoring (also POP3 scanning if you use an e-mail client, such as Outlook or Thunderbird); as well as a firewall with IPS (Intrusion Prevention Systems) to block known malicious protocols. These days, signature detection, and even most heuristics currently available will only take you so far. Most threats these days come in the form of drive-by exploits when you visit a site (legitimate or not) that happens to be infected. An increasing number of modern firewalls can detect and block anomalous protocols, which is a technique that offers greater proactive protection than signature detection. There are free products that do all these things. AOL Safety and Security Center is an all-in-one, which uses McAfee VirusScan, McAfee Personal Firewall Express, and CA PestPatrol antispyware. It does all of the things I mentioned, and is fully automated, requiring minimal user intervention. It's also a bit lighter on resources than your full version. :) Your friend is right. I'd suggest you install two things: McAfee SiteAdvisor to verify a site's legitimacy, and LinkScanner to verify safety. This would give you an idea just how many sites these days are infected, as well as help you to steer clear of them. Salute! -santuccie P.S.: Laughing at dumb jokes is still good for your health!!! AOL S&SC: http://daol.aol.com/safetycenter SiteAdvisor: http://www.siteadvisor.com/ LinkScanner: http://www.explabs.com/products/lslite.asp
1 person likes this
@derek_a (10903)
8 Jun 07
Thank you for a very informative and clear response together with the links that I am sure that many visitors to this discussion would find invaluable. I stopped mcafee installing my siteadvisor, because I was concerned it would interfer with the smooth running, but I'll now god and install it :-)
• Philippines
4 Jun 07
Its true, we get what wepaed for but in fairness, there are also excellent free virus protection softwares that we could download from the net. I had been using AVG for years and Im so satisfied with its performance. You can it from www.download.com There is no hassle that goes with it. I am a thrifty person so I wont pay if I could get something good for free. But only if the stuff is good. If not, I would just pay.
@derek_a (10903)
5 Jun 07
Thanks for posting. There are many people using AVG, so it seems to be one of the best free virus software. Thanks for telling us about download.com, I have used this site many times and there is some excellent free stuff that can be downloaded from there :-)
@nancyrowina (3852)
4 Jun 07
I use AVG which is free and have never got a virus I've heard it's the best, I have to check for updates manually but that's no trouble. I use zone alarm firewall to that's free and automatically updates so it goes to show you can protect your computer for free.
@derek_a (10903)
4 Jun 07
Thanks for posting. I used to use zone alarm free too, when I first had a PC. Unfortunately, that was when I got the virus. I suppose though that things are better with free anti-virus programs these days :-)
@anonymili (3140)
3 Jun 07
I use AVG free edition and find it works fine. When I bought this new PC over a year ago they gave me Norton Anti Virus free for a year and I found it gave me lots of regular problems and seemed to slow down the PC, when the year was up they asked me to renew at a cost of about £50 so I decided to go back to using AVG free edition which I'd used for 4 years prior to getting this PC with no problems. It's been several months now and I've had no problems with it all, uninstalling Norton has actually made my PC work better! I work in IT and asked my very technical colleagues what they thought of AVG and they said it's a fully capable free bit of software and there's no reason to pay for anit-virus software if free software does the work just as well! x
1 person likes this
@derek_a (10903)
3 Jun 07
My very first computer that ran Windows 98, had Norton, but it let viruses through several times. Mcafee in those days was better but everything had to be done on line, like scanning etc. and with a slow connection, I was spending loads of time updating etc. But I got to admit, mcaffee has proved its worth to me. I have heard mixed things about AVG from people who have used it. At the end of the day, I think protection is a must, but the hackers are always looking for ways to get round the systems.
• United States
2 Jun 07
I bought PC-cillin for my computer and l find that it works great. I have used the free on- line protection and a few times a virus had been undetected. So l would rather be safe then sorry. To me if your going to spend all that money on a nice computer, fast connection and what not, why not spend the extra money on a decent virus protection. The same applies to Spyware protection.
@derek_a (10903)
3 Jun 07
Thanks for posting. Yes, I have had the same thing when I purchased a free one several years ago when I was first on line. A virus came through into my inbox in Outlook Express and all I did was to highlight it to delete it without opening it, and the next thing I knew was all hell broke lose with windows opening on their own and pop ups opening. The only free one I use now is spybot, but perhaps I'm paranoid, but I also have a paid one.
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
28 Feb 10
I would go for the free version. There are good anti viruses such as Avast and AVG which can detect quite a considerable amount of viruses. If you upgrade and pay for the antivirus I think you ll receive better service but that does not mean that your computer is not going to get a virus. I think it all depends on which sites you browse and how much careful you are. If your browse warez it is very likely to end up with spyware on your computer.