Every system today needs an antivirus program or at least a goof firewall to prevent any unwanted security breaches by hackers and automated malware. While all operating systems provide their own firewall to protect the systems of their users, antiviruses are made by independent developers who may or may not charge people for the protection they provide. The paid antivirus software comes with better tools and features than a free version, but that does not mean that free antivirus cannot work efficiently. Free antivirus from recognized developers allows users to scan their systems just like the paid version; however, lacking a few features that can further improve security. Here we take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of free antivirus tools to find out how effective they can be in providing online security.
Benefits of free antivirus
Even though the free antivirus tools lack a ton of features, they should not be disregarded right away. If the antivirus promises to scan your system for viruses, it will do not properly. Free antiviruses are generally suitable for personal use as they can reduce the risk of getting your PC infected by small malware programs that you may download without your knowledge.
Any free tool will not be offering all the features to the users when it also has a paid version. The developers need to make money for their work, and introducing a few extra features is a way for them to make profits. These extra features, however, may not be important for all users. Some good antivirus programs like Avast and Norton provide equally effective scanning for viruses in their free versions. Some antiviruses also provide full access to their tools but only for a limited time, after which you will have to pay to continue their service.
Free antiviruses are usually meant for use and throw purpose. You can change the tool whenever you want and install a new one. On the other hand, if you are paying for it, you will have to stick to it until your subscription expires to prevent losing money.
Free tools are made generally for home users who can have a trial of the antivirus before they plan on paying for the security. Generally, the big malware threats do not happen to general users and can be handled using a free tool. It is the businesses that need to be extra careful in securing their information with a good paid antivirus.
Drawbacks of free antivirus
We already know that free antivirus tools will not offer us all the features as the paid version. Usually, the free versions of antivirus are the marketing tools from the developers that are meant for testing purposes. If the users find the potential in the tool, the developers want them to purchase the full version.
The free antivirus may also not have customer support, while the clients who have paid for the software receive mandatory customer service. If you experience technical difficulties with the tool, you will not be able to contact the team to solve the problem.
Another problem that the free users have experienced is that the antivirus runs slow in the free version compared to the paid version. This is usually an attempt by the developers to encourage users to buy the paid version. But since the scanning process is done in the background, this should not affect the free users if they can keep their PC on for hours.