Security Software: Free VS Paid

A lot of PC users out there use free security software as alternative to paid security software. And for a good reason: why pay money for antivirus software when free alternatives are readily available? Read on to see what we think about this highly controversial question. 

There are quite a number of free security solutions available on the Internet that can perform well in terms of: detecting known viruses, spyware, and trojans, as well as filtering access to phishing web sites. However, paid security definitely comes with increased protection for the system. These protection technologies include: web filters, firewalls, content-based detection, and anti-spam. If you are an IT expert and are aware of the limitations to your free antivirus software, you could probably fix these limitations using extra tools (and save money in the process). But if you rely solely on one free security solution to protect your computer system, that means you are taking risks with your confidential data and passwords.
More business processes are being transferred to the cloud, because it saves costs and provides a faster way to provide services. However, this also means that hackers are switching their targets from computer systems to social networks and web 2.0 platforms. And so far, free security solutions do not monitor mail traffic or web traffic, making them defenseless against online attacks. 

Some of the freebies available are pretty good at detecting and eliminating known malware, but they may come with annoying pop-up advertisements. The providers of security software make money by purposely omitting some of the functions or tools from the free version, and then sell those tools as paid upgrades to customers who need them. Developers also do not provide any professional help in case of (free) software problems. Do not expect any customer service, either by phone or email, if you are not paying for it.
In the end, it all comes down to your own preference. If you can troubleshoot your security software by going through FAQs and online forums without customer service, then you may choose to go for free security solutions. But you should know which protection modules are missing and therefore complement the virus protection with suitable tools. You should also know that there may be security loopholes as a result of incompatibility issues. If you consider all these operation work too troublesome, then go for paid security software.

This is a guest post by Dickey. Dickey is a software engineer and the owner of System Tool. He shares useful Windows applications and also Malware Removal Guides through his website.