Survey Finds Over Half of Antivirus Users Pay for Security Software

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sirhawkeye64

I have to agree with some people that I think that paid AV/Security Suites are better than free ones. There are some good free ones, but I think you'll get better support and more frequent updates with paid versions. The other thing is that most people don't realize that with their cable subscriptions they can often times get a version of Symantec anti-virus free with their subscription. OK, so it may not be the best compared to a paid version, but it's far better than the other freebies out there (in my opinion) such as Avira, AVG, etc.

AVG used to be good, and I used to use it on "non-important, web browsing" computers only but even today, I don't use or recommend AVG any more simply because I've read stats that lately it only has about a 60-80% detection rate, which in my book is low. 95%+ is good enough for me, but anything less concerns me.

I do agree that your first step is good web browsing/computing habits, but beyond that (such as borrowing a USB flash drive from a friend or using a USB drive to transfer from the office to your home system) you still need a good AV program, and with ID theft on the rise, I am not terribly confident in free AV Apps or suites.

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Gikero

I always tell customers that a AV software is a 2nd line of defense. First is the user. Safe browsing habits go a long way.

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carage

Hmm...Norton is no longer tested, I wonder why?

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lifeboat

Norton is part of Symantec.

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Insula Gilliganis

I agree that paying for anti-virus is a waste of $$ since the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report found that Java represented 91 percent of all Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) in 2013. Does any anti-virus help with Java exploits??

Perhaps I have been very lucky but I dedicate one machine to use to bounce around the open as well as dark places of the Internet.. and all I normally use is MS Security Essentials and run MRT once in a while. I also do things like disable javascript and run AdBlock Plus (as malware is now starting to get into ads.. Steve Gibson on "Security Now" has mentioned this recently as a new trend). Plus I occasionally run a FREE online virus scanner like Trend Micro Housecall. I also NEVER keep anything I want to save on this computer very long, so if I do get a ransomware trojan like Cryptolocker, I don't lose anything.

And don't run the machine in Administrative mode and but instead in Standard user mode. To quote Steve Gibson from "Security Now: episode 444: "A research company, Avecto, A-v-e-c-t-o, did an analysis of last year's Patch Tuesday vulnerabilities. They titled it "Mitigating Risk by Removing User Privileges." And the summary is: "Analysis of Microsoft Security Bulletins from 2013 highlights that 92% of critical vulnerabilities would be mitigated by removing admin rights."

Just practice safe computing practices mitigate most online threats so it won't matter which anti-virus you are using.. free or pay.

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devin3627

any antivirus with a gaming mode is in my favor.

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John Pombrio

I put that up there with paying for defrag programs. What a waste.

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chaosdsm

Paid-for A/V & Security programs are nothing like paid-for defrag programs.

AVG free was good years back, then they got greedy, and started making you pay for the better features.

If you're an internet/network security professional, sure, you can get away with using the free stuff, or even none at all. But for the people who don't know that your CPU isn't the big plastic / metal box with the on-button (which is the majority of computer users) same people who are likely to click on the link when they get an email saying their bank account will be frozen.... free shit doesn't cut it.

Eset Smart Security is the only one I've seen that will stop those links (zero-hour/zero-day) from ruining your grandma's day. Hell, even Norton Internet Security (rated better by MaximumPC - what a freakin joke) doesn't do that. Sure Norton will fix it days later once they figure out there's an issue, but by then damage is already done.

"Paid-for" Security isn't a guarantee of a good product, but most are better than any free versions.

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John Pombrio

What I object to from paid A/V programs is the scare tactics that they are still using. "Millions infected! Billions of dollars lost! Only OUR program will prevent this from happening!". That is the same tactics that paid defrag programs did years ago "Your computer is running 50% SLOWER because you do not use our program!"
I use free programs and urge others to do the same. "Good enough" is good enough. I am not trying to prevent all the programs that are loudly screamed about by companies that just happen to be in the business of "fixing" these world shattering viruses. When my computer starts getting overwhelmed with all of these "TERRIBLE THREATS" then I will think about it. Otherwise, I just consider paid A/V programs as another form of overblown, obnoxious advertising (along with all of these "studies" that are, conveniently enough, done by these same companies).

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JosephColt

Almost all companies do that to get your attention and wallet open, it's called marketing. Even a company selling the highest quality product for a good value will do it.

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JosephColt

I would say paid for security suites are better, but it depends on which ones. Every single person has a different opinion on anti-virus choices as there is no real sound way to test which one is better.

My picks are Malwarebytes plus one of the following: Norton 360, Bitdefender, or Kaspersky. I use Norton 360 and Malwarebytes primarily now. A messily 35 dollars for Norton 360 on Amazon, and a lifetime of Malwarebytes for $15 on a sale isn't much of a loss in my opinion.

When it comes down to it using common sense will be the best defense for your system. For myself, I have not had a single issue with an infection on any machines I've ever owned in the last decade as a very heavy internet user. It's kind of ridiculous to even compare paid anti-virus software to paid defragment software in terms of wasting money too.

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Bucket_Monster

Sorry, the paid options have a better detection rate and protection. I'm pretty happy with ESET and I'd rather pay for a quality product. It beats the pants off of AVG and Avast, not only in quality but the interface and program itself.

I'm sure someone will say "but I never got a virus with free software!" Sure that's great, but doesn't change the fact that the paid options are typically superior.