4 Reasons to Use Commercial Antivirus over Free Antivirus

by Guest Author on November 15, 2011

in Guest Posts, Security

Antivirus vendors today faced a very tight competition when there are more than 20 well-known vendors out there competing with each other. Each of them produced a very quality product where at times, it gives the consumer a big headache when it comes to selection.

Situation got worse when most of the antivirus vendors start to adopt the trend of releasing free version of their antivirus software. The trend of releasing free products had lead most of the consumers to try out most of the free antivirus before they actually seriously look into the commercial one.

I am not trying to say a free antivirus is not reliable but if a user is really concerned about his computer security, these are the reasons why you should filter off the free antivirus and focus into selecting among the commercial antivirus.

  1. Features of the product. One thing we are sure is free antivirus doesn’t bundled with lots of useful features. It usually comes with just basic scanning, cleaning and probably real-time protection to give you a better security. If you happen to need features like safe-browsing, parental control or sandboxing which are pretty popular in today’s commercial antivirus, you need to start all over again to shop for your security software. You should always put in your mind that free antivirus is there just for you to test the look and feel of the product. If you really like it, you should consider upgrading it to a commercial one or even upgrade to an internet security suite.
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  2. Advertisement. Of course a free antivirus comes with advertisement. The reason most antivirus vendors today are giving free products so that you will be able to try out the product. As a result, advertisement is everywhere when you navigate around those free products so that the vendors will be able to lure you into upgrading or purchase the commercial one.
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  3. False malware detection. People used to have the perception where free antivirus does not have a good malware detection rate. However, that is not entirely true. Free antivirus is as good as any commercial antivirus when it comes to malware detection. They only make a difference when it comes to measuring the false detection wherein the latest false detection test from AV Comparative, most of the free antivirus performed badly. Based on this test, we can conclude that free antivirus might have a good malware detection rate, but not differentiating whether those detected threats are malware.
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  4. Support. One thing I really don’t like about free stuff is the lack of support. It is true since we are not paying anything and there is no reason for them to support further. Unlike the commercial antivirus, they don’t only provide email support. Some even provide up to 24×7 phone support. If you are using free antivirus, you need to run into community forums if you are infected with some sophisticated malware infection. This will take a lot of time and the worst thing is they might not even solve your problem.

Do you use a free antivirus or you are more comfortable with a commercial antivirus? Let us know what do you think?

Guest article written by: Alan Tay is the author who runs IT Security Column, a IT Security blog where he mostly writes about computer security tips and security software reviews.

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Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate Brown Wilson November 15, 2011 at 11:40

For me I was thinking that it is better to used a licensed anti-virus than to use free software, because something I encounter using free anti-virus is not that very effective.

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Alan Tay November 15, 2011 at 13:10

Disinfection for free antivirus might not be so effective like you said. However, do take note as well not all licensed antivirus can do a good disinfection. The catch here is, if you can disinfect with the licensed one, you can always reach the support to help you out. That is where problem can be solved.
Alan Tay recently posted… 30 Copies of ArcaVir Product Giveaway Worth Over $850

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Brad November 15, 2011 at 17:44

Microsoft security essentials – no ads, best detection. Opendns for parental protection, and web of trust for web safety.

Done, and done…for free.
Brad recently posted… Easy ways to reduce and prevent spam emails

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Alan Tay November 16, 2011 at 00:45

MSE is a good AV but it does not come with firewall. So I assume you are using Window’s firewall. Make sure that it is not Windows XP and below as the firewall at that version is a one-way firewall instead of two way.

I find the OpenDNS thing interesting and thanks for sharing. I will check it out and see how it can help in parental control.

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Aanchal November 16, 2011 at 06:30

I’m using licensed Kaspersky anti-virus and it’s working great but I hate it’s notification system, sometimes it’s too annoying. I think there should be option to rectrict such notification but overall it’s a great anti-virus to use. :)
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Alan Tay November 16, 2011 at 07:30

I still do not find KAV annoying compared to Comodo Free antivirus. KAV/KIS is still doing great so far in terms of user experience. Especially the cloud based technology, it really boosts my computer performance ever since.

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Aaron November 16, 2011 at 06:34

I’ve been using avast! free antivirus for last 6 months and it’s working great. I know free version doesn’t provide full proof protection but if you use them with precaution then they’re very useful. Though I’m considering to buy it’s pro version and may buy it next month.
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Alan Tay November 16, 2011 at 07:31

Avast save my ass once in disinfecting a specific Malware which AVG failed. However, when I look further into requiring a good firewall, it failed and I made a switch over to KIS after that.

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Veronica Cervera November 16, 2011 at 08:48

It’s true that it’s advisable to use commercial antivirus over the free ones. There are a lot of benefits such as more features and functionality. Most free antivirus doesn’t have web and mail protection. By purchasing commercial antivirus, it gives you more comfort that you’re protected from malicious files and viruses.

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Alan Tay November 17, 2011 at 03:13

It is quite true when you pay for security, you feel more comfortable and secured.

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David November 16, 2011 at 10:44

When it is an issue of website security, I always prefer premium one regardless of its cost. Advertisement from free one annoys users and me.

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Alan Tay November 19, 2011 at 13:05

I hate those advertisements as much as you do ;)

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Kate Brown Wilson November 16, 2011 at 12:42

I see I never knew about this before, all I know that license anti-virus is very effective in disinfection of our system unit , well I guess I am wrong, I really want to thank you for sharing this to me, now I know that even you have the original anti virus, we can’t say that it is perfect.

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Alan Tay November 17, 2011 at 03:16

Well, you are not completely wrong because some commercial antivirus really have a better disinfection. But that does not mean a free one cannot perform that. There isn’t any 100% software. If there is a 95% complete software, it is a good software.

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Katie Woodard November 16, 2011 at 20:13

I learned the hard way not to use free anti-virus protection because my last computer basically got destroyed by viruses when i just used Avast
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Marty November 17, 2011 at 22:24

Antivirus is very important and the best protection comes from commercial software. It’s safer to pay for your software and can make you feel much better knowing you’re getting top quality protection.
Marty recently posted… 5 Unique and Creative Uses for Your Dropbox Account

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Alan Tay November 18, 2011 at 02:32

That is also true. What I think the most important thing is the support quality. Some antivirus vendor provides even online chat support or phone call support.

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Jakk @ Technology Blogged November 18, 2011 at 14:15

I have used Avast! free and it’s great.

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Alan Tay November 19, 2011 at 13:07

Yes, Jakk. I do feel Avast rawcks. I used to run it on my computer 5 years back. But when I try to better protect with firewall, I go to the configuration and ask myself “Where is the firewall?”.

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Michael Aulia @CravingTech.com November 19, 2011 at 13:02

Sometimes it’s hard to tell that a commercial one is better than the free we are using, simply because since our machine is not infected, we’ll just say the free version is enough.

Problem is when we’ve got a nasty virus coming in, the commercial ones tend to get the quickest and best support to battle it
Michael Aulia @CravingTech.com recently posted… Dyson DC39 Review

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Alan Tay November 19, 2011 at 13:10

I totally agree with your point there, Michael. People only start to realize when they are in deep shit. When I had an infection with AVG few years back, I begin to run into forums and uses tools like HijackThis which did not help at all. Eventually, I had to format the whole computer. Sometimes we assume certain things to be perfect simply because we don’t see the problem in the future.

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Shane Ryans November 21, 2011 at 18:42

You make a great point. I got a rally bad Trojan form not having a good anti virus but also I did get more alerts when they weren’t necessary.
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Bill Smith November 24, 2011 at 08:09

Very illuminating post. I read it very vigilantly. The things for what we paid are very useful for us instead of free things. I agree with your points but some free anti viruses are also very affective. For example,
a ) Clam Win:
Free and open source.
No on-access scanning.
Not a great detection rate.
Slow on-demand scanning.

b ) BitDefender Free Edition:
No on-access scanning.
Better detection rate.
Slow on-demand scanning.

c ) PC Tools Antivirus:
Buggy.

d ) Comodo Antivirus:
Not a great detection rate.
Still in beta stages.
Bill Smith recently posted… Nokia launches new Windows Smart phones; Lumia 800 & Lumia 710

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Alan Smith November 25, 2011 at 13:02

I always like to use full and paid version of anti virus, because free version doesn’t give good result to me.

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Shane Ryans November 30, 2011 at 21:39

You are right about that. while free versions do an ok job they don’t defend against everything.
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David December 12, 2011 at 13:11

There is a clean difference between Free and Premium one in terms of providing security and updates. I used to have free version of Norton and when I have upgraded for premium one, I have seen clear difference.

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randy February 14, 2012 at 15:28

i use a free one and works good i use zenok free antivirus is free and keep my computer clean since 1 year so for that reason a dont pay for a premiun .. if somebody wat to check here is http://www.zenok.com/en/free-antivirus/

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