There are many free antivirus applications available, and some of them are actually pretty good, so why would you want to pay for this protection when you can protect your computer with free software or even download full-version free trials of subscription services? The answer is simple. Because you get what you pay for, and nothing will work for free for long.
Compare AVG Anti-virus to AVG Anti-virus Free. The free version offers protection while surfing the internet or social networking. It compares potential threats against its database of known threats and keeps your computer safe from infections. It does not scan files as they are being downloaded to your computer, nor does it offer firewall protection or scan your email for spam and suspicious links. If you share files, shop or bank online, you need more protection than a free version of antivirus software can offer.
AVG Anti-virus addresses the vast number of viral threats to which your computer is vulnerable if you spend any time connected to the internet or a network. Installing anti-virus software and running regular scans is the baseline of protection, but not all threats are known viruses. AVG scans your computer, comparing files to its database of known threats. It updates this database on a regular basis but also has an opt-in feature where users can share data on new infections as they occur. This zero-day availability allows the software to address new threats as they are introduced. It then adds those definitions to the database and updates all active subscriptions.
Viruses are not the only threat to your computer. Possibly the most detrimental to performance is the presence of malware and spyware operating on your hard drive in the background without your knowledge. AVG Anti-virus addresses these threats as well, and regularly clears away applications that reveal sensitive information stored on your machine. The free version does not.
If you spend a lot of time in chats or communicate through instant messenger clients, using the full version of AVG Anti-virus makes more sense than using the free version. Opening a chat window leaves your computer vulnerable to back-door attacks that won't be detected by the free version of the software. The full version offers a chat link shield and scans all communication ports on your computer instead of just the active port to prevent hidden access to your files.
One problem the full version has that the free version does not is the impact on boot-up time for the average computer. Once installed, the free version has a minimal impact on the length of time it takes for your computer to start. The full version causes this process to take a bit longer, but this is a small price to pay for the added protection the full version offers.
Another important consideration is the number of computers you need to protect with your subscription. As with most free software, AVG anti-virus Free includes a license for only one machine and is specifically for home use. Multiple licenses and protection for commercially used computers is available through paid subscription only.
Whether you use the free version or a paid subscription, AVG Anti-virus is a solid choice. It will protect your computer and, should you experience any problems with the software, tech support is available through live chat or email.
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