By Achilleion Team / Dec. 5, 2020, 3:50 p.m.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Free vs. Paid Antivirus

TL;DR - Don’t trust free antivirus. It’s not worth the risks.
Don’t use free antivirus because it could be used in other ways to take advantage of you. Many free antivirus solutions are spyware themselves.

If you don’t want to spend any money, you’re better off just making sure all your software and operating system are up to date at all times. If you need more protection and want coverage in case something goes wrong, check out Achilleion .

Benefits of Free Antivirus


New computer viruses and malware are popping up every single day. It is, without a doubt, best if you have antivirus software for your computer. With the help of free antivirus software, you don’t need to spend to protect your computer from common viruses. Most free antivirus software is suitable for most computer users that want basic virus protection. Some companies already include advanced virus detection for free. Their virus signature database is also regularly updated, just like paid antivirus software.

Price
One of the main benefits of free antivirus is the price. You don’t need to pay anything to have an antivirus installed on your computer. There are no costs involved, which is great if you want to benefit from standard virus protection.

Good Basic Virus Protection

Even though it’s free, it usually offers decent protection for your computer. You can avoid viruses that can steal your passwords and important data stored on your computer with free antivirus software. It prevents data from your PC from getting corrupted.

Free Access to a Wide Selection of Products

There is a wide variety of free antivirus software available in the market. You can try a product, and if you’re not satisfied, You can easily search for a better product and try it without incurring any costs. Free antivirus software is a convenient way for you to test out the product before committing to buying the full version.

Disadvantages of Free Antivirus


Lack of Complete Virus Protection

Free antivirus isn’t the best choice when you want to protect your computer completely. You should not rely entirely on your free antivirus, especially when you’re visiting unknown or dangerous websites. Downloading unrecognized or unknown programs for your computer also compromise security as free antivirus can only detect common viruses. New trojans, spyware, and worms are being released every single day, and free antiviruses cannot detect specific viruses that are strong enough to bypass regular antivirus security checks. Free antivirus just scans limited and typical viruses, which can cause an inconvenient situation if it were to happen.

Annoying Upgrade Prompts

Almost all free antivirus programs will have pop-ups that tell you to upgrade now. Often, it tells you that your computer’s security is compromised, and it is best if you upgrade to their paid version. This disadvantage seems like a minor issue, but it can get annoying if you see it every day.

Lack of Customer Support

Compared to paid antivirus software, you won’t get superb customer service in their free products. Usually, companies would not want to spend additional resources on their free products. If you ever get a problem with your antivirus, it is hard to contact customer support if you’re using a free version.

Annoying Advertisements

Because companies offer these products for free, they still have to make money. One of the ways they can earn through their free antivirus versions is by advertising. Numerous advertisements can degrade the overall user experience for the antivirus software.

Benefits of Paid Antivirus


Having paid antivirus software for your computer is an excellent way to protect it fully. There are many more features and advantages that paid antivirus software offers than their free version counterparts. Typically paid antivirus provides you with more comprehensive protection, strong anti-spyware, strict firewalls, e-mail scanner, deep scans, and so much more.

Newer and Wider Range of Features

Paid antivirus software boasts a full suite of features and tools for your computer security. You can get anti-phishing features that can alert you if your visiting unknown dangerous sites that can steal your personal information. Phishing is a rampant problem in internet security as it can disguise as a legit e-mail or website that tells you to input your username and password. New features are also included in paid antivirus, such as anti-ransomware. This feature can protect you from viruses from locking and encrypting your data. Ransomware can encrypt and lock your files, making them unusable unless you pay for the ransom.

Easy to Use

There are no pop-ups, unwanted ads, and notifications telling you to upgrade your software. It can let you use the antivirus software simple and easy.

Great Customer Support

Paid antivirus software usually has excellent on-call support if you run into some security problems for your computer. Free antivirus software rarely has a telephone or technical support as good as their paid version counterparts.

Good for businesses

If you’re running a small organization that uses several computers, enhanced security features are detrimental. Paid antivirus software has comprehensive security to protect client and employee information stored on the computers.

Disadvantages of Paid Antivirus


Lack of Complete Virus Protection
Free antivirus isn’t the best choice when you want to protect your computer completely. You should not rely entirely on your free antivirus, especially when you’re visiting unknown or dangerous websites. Downloading unrecognized or unknown programs for your computer also compromise security as free antivirus can only detect common viruses. New trojans, spyware, and worms are being released every single day, and free antiviruses cannot detect specific viruses that are strong enough to bypass regular antivirus security checks. Free antivirus just scans limited and typical viruses, which can cause an inconvenient situation if it were to happen.

Annoying Upgrade Prompts

Almost all free antivirus programs will have pop-ups that tell you to upgrade now. Often, it tells you that your computer’s security is compromised, and it is best if you upgrade to their paid version. This disadvantage seems like a minor issue, but it can get annoying if you see it every day.

Lack of Customer Support

Compared to paid antivirus software, you won’t get superb customer service in their free products. Usually, companies would not want to spend additional resources on their free products. If you ever get a problem with your antivirus, it is hard to contact customer support if you’re using a free version.

Annoying Advertisements

Because companies offer these products for free, they still have to make money. One of the ways they can earn through their free antivirus versions is by advertising. Numerous advertisements can degrade the overall user experience for the antivirus software.

Benefits of Paid Antivirus


Having paid antivirus software for your computer is an excellent way to protect it fully. There are many more features and advantages that paid antivirus software offers than their free version counterparts. Typically paid antivirus provides you with more comprehensive protection, strong anti-spyware, strict firewalls, e-mail scanner, deep scans, and so much more.

Newer and Wider Range of Features

Paid antivirus software boasts a full suite of features and tools for your computer security. You can get anti-phishing features that can alert you if your visiting unknown dangerous sites that can steal your personal information. Phishing is a rampant problem in internet security as it can disguise as a legit e-mail or website that tells you to input your username and password. New features are also included in paid antivirus, such as anti-ransomware. This feature can protect you from viruses from locking and encrypting your data. Ransomware can encrypt and lock your files, making them unusable unless you pay for the ransom.

Easy to Use

There are no pop-ups, unwanted ads, and notifications telling you to upgrade your software. It can let you use the antivirus software simple and easy.

Great Customer Support

Paid antivirus software usually has excellent on-call support if you run into some security problems for your computer. Free antivirus software rarely has a telephone or technical support as good as their paid version counterparts.

Good for businesses

If you’re running a small organization that uses several computers, enhanced security features are detrimental. Paid antivirus software has comprehensive security to protect client and employee information stored on the computers.

Disadvantages of Paid Antivirus


Costs The main disadvantage of paid antivirus software is the cost. Paid antivirus packages can be expensive, and there is also the cost of updates to be considered. After the initial period, you must pay for the yearly subscription in order to have the benefits of a paid antivirus. Sometimes, paying for antivirus packages include some extras that you don’t need. It gives the possibility that you’re paying for a selection of tools and features that you will never use.

Why Free Antivirus is Not a Good Choice


A lot of free antivirus software has a lot of bloatware. Companies earn money from free software by injecting a lot of bloatware on their free products. It can include crapware and junkware that can be annoying and useless for your computer. Sometimes, free antivirus can slow down your computer significantly with unwanted bloatware. Another extra that is common with free antivirus is toolbars. Toolbars can impact the speed of your web browsing. Uninstalling it will often leave behind some traces in your computer’s registry. It can also change your favorite homepage so that they can earn some money by redirecting your internet traffic. Free antivirus software can also track your browsing habits that they can sell to different companies. It is best to consider what you get when installing free antivirus software, as it may have some disadvantages that can degrade your overall user experience. You don’t want to compromise your computer’s usability with just one free software.