Free and paid for Anti-virus

AntiVirus companiesThere are many types of anti-virus software for many different platforms, some are free while others are paid for Anti-virus.  Some companies offer both free and paid for versions of their anti-virus programs.

Do you really need one?

So there are some misconceptions when it comes to viruses and the need of an anti-virus, one that I’ve heard most is that you don’t need and anti-virus for Apple or Mac computers as they don’t get viruses, this is simply not true. Most viruses have traditionally been written for windows based operating systems because this has covered the majority of users and attackers want to reach as big an audience or user base as possible and so that was their target and viruses for other operating systems were not as common, however in recent years more and more users are utilizing apple products and their ecosystem so hackers and attackers targeting that operating system are becoming more and more common.

So whats the difference?

Most companies offer paid and free anti-virus programs with the difference being the features offered on both, popular free anti-virus programs include Avast essentials with paid versions including extra features like online shopping protection and an update engine which updates programs installed on your PC automatically. AVG another popular free AV program which was recently acquired by Avast has similar offerings as well as others but the biggest difference includes features such as sandboxing which allows you to test suspicious software for viruses in a secure environment before installing on your PC, product support, backups and restore options.

While I always suggest that users go with the best protection with a paid AV I also understand that cost may in some instances be prohibitive and so for home or personal use computers even I use the free version of an anti-virus however due to the importance of customers information or other business information it’s worth paying the price of an affordable AV solution.

A question I get regularly is, whats the best anti-virus and there is another issue all together as they vary on offerings and performance and tests performed to find the number of false positives and missed viruses changes year to year as the various offerings are tested by companies in the industry. You can always find reviews at tomsguide.com, pcmag.com, techradar.com or other tech blogs or sites which offer annual reviews.

About the author

Josue Nolasco – VP of Green Shield Technology.

Graduated from ITT Technical Institute with a bachelors in network cyber security. I attended the Travel Channel Academy  which was great fun and have been working with small businesses owners for years helping them implement new technologies for a better and more productive management of their business.

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