I know…I know this topic has been done to death. There are hundreds of virus and malware protection programs out there both free and paid. There are tens of thousands of opinions out there. Every program and every opinion telling you which is best and coming up with a reason why.
Some of the reasons why make sense and others are just someone wanting to make a statement and really saying nothing at all. There are things to consider when trying to decide which antivirus program or security package to go with and those things are what this article is going to focus on. From price to effectiveness to computer impact.
Choosing Antivirus Protection Because of Price
I don’t recommend choosing an antivirus program just because the price is right. I understand being frugal. I also understand having to make a choice because I can’t afford going with what I want. Lost jobs, kids and school field trips are all really good reasons why people have ended up with the free version of AVG or Avast on their computer instead of the one they really wanted or were told they should have.
In the perfect world choosing an antivirus and antimalware protection program based on price is the absolute worst way to choose how you keep you and your family safe on the Internet. There are valid reasons behind choosing the right program for your computer and cost does factor in.
- Protection Effectiveness
- Computer System Impact
- Price and Overall Cost
Find Out What’s Really Being Said
When you are looking around for what programs out there are best don’t bother with the review or “testing” websites. Many of them are websites owned by the same people and have the sole purpose of generating income. Whether they are right or not is a hit and miss concept. It’s possible they may be right some times but it’s not because of a real life approach to figure out.
There is in fact an enormous difference between testing that is done in the lab and testing that is performed long term in the “wild” or real life. Most of the testing websites out there do their reviews based on testing in the lab and may differ greatly from actual real life performance. Things like the impact on computer systems, zero-day protection, and more will vary from individual to individual. To me this makes the lab tested review a starting point at most.
The Real Protection Effectiveness
So the way I see it most of the more popular antivirus programs will stop the normal stuff under normal conditions. Our own web surfing habits do have an impact on the level of what an antivirus is going to have to do everyday. Those people that click on every email attachment, go hunting for free music and software, and that click on every ad they see will be a lot harder on an installed antivirus program than someone who doesn’t do any of those things. That is not saying the antivirus program won’t have to still perform. Just that it won’t have to perform to such a high level to keep you safe.
If you want to find out what the real performance of an antivirus is look around to see what the people that use it are saying. Search Bing and Google to see if people are trying to solve problems with the program. Visit the programs website and look through their community forums to see what their other customers are asking for or complaining about. See how well they are responded to when they do complain. These are much better ways to get a real look than listening to an anonymous review or recommendation or even that coming from a single friend.
If Antivirus Programs Slow Your Computer Down Like Malware Are They Helping?
This is another tricky topic. The answer is not going to be the same with one person as it is with another. The program may run almost perfect on a Windows 10 computer with 8Gb or ram and an i7 Intel processor but run horribly on a budget computer with 4Gb of ram and a budget AMD processor. The same holds true with the software you have installed to. Someone with a virtually clean computer is going to get a completely different experience than someone that has MS Office, World of Warcraft, Adobe Photoshop and a number of other programs.
The bottom line is that every computer is different so you may have a completely different experience with a particular antivirus program as your family or friends do. Especially different than those who run tests in a lab environment and release the results of which antivirus program they think runs best.
When it comes to an antivirus and antimalware program being installed on your computer if it slows it down or makes it difficult for you to use your computer the way that you want to then they really aren’t any better than the viruses and malware they are there to protect you from. Almost all of them offer a free trial of their software. Definitely take advantage by trying it out to see if it is compatible with your computer and your habits.
The Price and Actual Over All Price Are Different
Whether a program is free, $29.95, or $89.99. The cost of getting the program and the actual amount of money that the program may cost you in a year are two completely different amounts. Things that may cause a large discrepency between the two are
- How many computers and devices are covered
- What type of support is offered
- How much will it cost if you do get malware or viruses
These are just the most basic things to consider. If a program is $29.95 and only covers one computer but you own four computers then $29.95 times 4 is actually $119.80 to have all of your computers protected. Does it cover one computer and offer discounts to protect the others may be something to consider. The program for $89.95 may cost over three times as much but may cover up to 4 devices including your smart phone.
Many of the companies will offer some type of virus and malware cleaning if their protection fails. Some of them are quite expensive while others are a tolerable rate. Some outside services like PC Helper 123 may resell the antivirus and antimalware program offering free computer cleanings with the purchase or as part of an annual membership. Buying a protection program for $29.95 and then turning around that year and then having to pay to have your computer cleaned is a little more expensive than the initial $29.95. Just some things to consider when looking at price and cost.
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