View Poll Results: Are paid Anti-viruses better than free ones?

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  • YES

    1 5.00%
  • NO

    3 15.00%

    16 80.00%
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Thread: Are paid Anti-viruses better than free ones?

  1. #1
    Senior Member alakhiyar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Land of Oryx

    Are paid Anti-viruses better than free ones?

    Are they? Post your opinion here.

  2. #2
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Shawnee country

    Obviously, on a large network, a AV app like Symantec or McAfee gives an admin some options for managing clients you wouldn't have, or even need, at home or on a small peer-to-peer network. And the more expensive AV apps will have options and features the free ones may not; more complete definitions or better heuristics.

    On the flip side, if you're a home or SOHO user running older hardware, the free AV apps will run with less overhead. Try running Nortons 2006 on an old PIII and it is rendered almost useless it'll be so slow. And, hey...they're free.

    And there's all kinds of situations in between. Sometimes the best AV app is the one you know the best and have the most confidence in.
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Pay for software is "better" than free software in this area, there really isn't much to discuss there, other than you can sometimes get a stand alone home/non-profit licence for the full shooting match.

    The real question, as I see it, is: "do you really need the additional features of the pay for version?"

    In a lot of cases this is more frequent updates (although that does not seem to be the case unless you want it once an hour of something, these days)

    Major benefits of the pay for versions seem to be:

    1. Version has network support............ could be an issue with the growing popularity of home networks?

    2. Interactive functionality. A few systems will only let you have this for a limited period of time (the "trial")

    3. Product support/warranty

    4. Multiple/corporate licensing

    5. More functionality/integrated functionality (particularly with those that do not have a free version)

    A lot of home users may not need some or all of these?

  4. #4
    I think for home use the "free" (or voluntary contribution) antivirus packages are quite good, particularly for knowledgeable users.

    For basic home users though the paid ones often offer more "user friendly" or "idiot proof" programs that make life easier for them.

    For corporate use, well I can't imagine anyone offering a free antivirus for corporate use - particularly for Windows!

  5. #5
    Antionline Herpetologist
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    I'd say the free versions are merely adequate, while the really good ones tend to be paid for. However, I'm not really talking about Symantec or McAfee, since I've had bad experiences with both on the desktop.

    Buy the Snakes of India book, support research and education (sorry the website has been discontinued)
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  6. #6
    Senior Member JPnyc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    I think an AV's effectiveness depends in part on it's popularity. You're better off with a more obscure one, as is the case with a browser or OS. How many people around looking for holes in Opera, or writing viruses for linux?

    If you're a sociopath writing a virus, you'll want to check that it can't be detected by the well known AVs, wouldn't you?

  7. #7
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    JP: I doubt that a virus writer would take the time to install all the different antivirus programs. They could just use a site like

    If found free antivirus programs to be just fine for home use.

    I've been a fan of Avast for a while now. In the past, I used AVG.
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by phishphreek80
    JP: I doubt that a virus writer would take the time to install all the different antivirus programs. They could just use a site like .
    excellent site there. Thanks for the share!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Falcon21's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    I find freeware like AVG is sufficient for myself as I don't need heavy and non-free antivirus software like Norton which use up too much system resources. You just need to be careful on what you download and run, keep your system updated and use firefox. These are what I do and my system never get infected for years.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    I'm surprised this has a thread...

    Here's how it works..

    PAID AV = Bloated and a Resource Hog
    Free AV = Light weight and all you really need.

    There's no such thing as better...

    Paid AV is like buying a Hummer when you live in the city, have narrow, paved streets and travel ALL the way across town each day to get to work... It just doesn't make sense.

    Free AV is like buying a smart car under the same scenario... You might not have all the bells and whistles... but it does what it needs to.

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