While on Twitter I happened across a hashtag a computer company was using to peddle their services. One tweet said Norton 360 was the absolute best Antivirus program and that they offer it for sale. I then tweeted that experience and conscience would not let me agree. I soon had a response directed to me from Norton support offering to help me with any problems I may be having.
I quickly responded that most techs agree that Norton is not the worst but not the best. Seeing self proclaimed professionals state that it is makes me think affiliate. The quick response from Norton Support was:
“Okay, if you ever need any help with Norton, do send us a tweet”
I explained that Symantec was an asset in tools and knowledge which ended the conversation but not my thoughts about the antivirus industry as a whole.
Why Do Opinions About Antivirus Programs Exist
Lets stop for a second and think about this topic. What makes a person think that one antivirus program is better than the other? Technicians and users are likely to have different reasons for their opinions. What might those reasons be though?
- Profit margin from resale/Affiliate Sales
- Familiarity with how the program works
- Six one way half a dozen the other syndrome
Home Owners/Computer Users
- Least amount of interference
- Have never seen an infection while using it
- Friends recommend it
A computer business owner or technician are going to view the antivirus solution from a different point of view. First and foremost is money. What does it cost them and how much profit can they make from it. Secondly, people are more partial to what they are familiar with. That means if the technician is more comfortable using it and supporting it that it is going to be the suggested antivirus solution.
One of the biggest influences is that there is nothing that is 100% effective so as long as it does a decent job and has decent resource control then the previous views are going to hold the higher influence weight. Not to mention companies that have better marketing and name recognition are going to be easier to sell. Bottom line is that being the best holds a very low decision factor.
Computer owners and users are going to first look at cost. Everyone has an acceptable reliability versus cost point. What this means is as long as it works to a certain level then why pay more or anything in the case of the free protection programs. Antivirus programs also have another attribute that means a great deal to a computer user. How much interference does it have. Being safe is one thing but not being able to do what you want with your computer in order to be safe is a completely different issue.
Name recognition and marketing also has a very large impact on what a computer owner may see as being acceptable or best. If it is something that friends recommend or that is plastered all over the Internet with a high rating thanks to a great affiliate program then it is quickly accepted as being at least among the best.
Reality vs. Hype of Antivirus Protection
So there is a reality in how good an antivirus program actually works. That reality isn’t the result of a test performed under artificial circumstances. It is actually how well it performs for regular people and businesses in the real world. This brings us to the how I choose what security software to use.
If you have been a member of PC Helper 123 for any period of time you will have noticed that the protection that is part of the membership changes from time to time. This is because what programs are doing the best jobs changes. Not because the affiliate program payouts change causing different review results. Because of the amount of threats I and other find on computers that has protection installed. Real life performance is the true measure of what is the best protection. After all the goal is keep a computer healthy and working. The less you have to do to one the better job you are doing.
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