Is using a free antivirus worth the risk?


A decent antivirus software costs around $39-$55. Not that expensive, right? If you skipped 10 Grande servings of your favorite Mocha Frappucino then you could already buy protection for your computer. It does not cost the earth. So why do people still rely on free antivirus?

One thing could be because of the fact that “free” is one of the most persuasive words that ever existed. Another thing is that there are actually free antivirus programs that are doing an amazing job at protecting your computer against malware. They even have useful add-on features that were also offered for free. But as the line goes, there is no such thing as free lunch so expect these tools to have their limitations. Here are some of them:

Most free antivirus programs have no automatic email attachment scans:

There are three common ways an email virus can infect your computer. The first one can be in the form of sending hoax messages. The second is through malicious content in the body of the mail. The third is through attachments. Downloading it will not cause any harm but opening the attachment gives the intruder remote access to your computer.

They have no file shredder:

If you have sensitive data or company files that you want deleted, you should not simply rely on standard deleting because the files still remain on the hard drive. There are specialized software that can recover files deleted via the Recycle Bin. You need to shred the files to permanently erase the files. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in free versions of antivirus software.

They cannot harden your browser:

Although most browsers these days are more secure than ever, they were not hardened enough to protect you against security and privacy threats. You need to install the paid version of antivirus to harden your browser.

Free antivirus programs give support only via online forums:

You can count on one hand the free antivirus providers that offer support through chat, phone, and email. Almost all of them will only give support via forums. When you get some issues that need to be fixed soon, you have to spend time reading FAQs or waiting for answers in forums.

They do not come with game mode:

Ever experienced receiving a pop-up alert saying you need to do an antivirus update while you are in the middle of playing your favorite game? When you are an avid gamer, you know what it feels like to have your game ruined because of unnecessary notifications. This feature is not often offered in free antivirus apps.

Going back to the question, is free antivirus worth the risk? You surely got the answer now. You should not rely on free antivirus tools to give maximum protection for your computer. There are better-rated items that only costs around $20-$29. They can support only up to three devices, but they are better than having no protection at all. If you cannot decide what antivirus software to install, check out the list of the best-rated antivirus here. It has a comparison table of the top antivirus software in 2017.

Last Updated on August 11, 2019.


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