You should already know that every computer and IT network demands strong anti-virus protection. However, you may be tempted to avoid paying for professional software by downloading free anti-virus software from the internet. While such programs can work fine, they also come with several important drawbacks.
Here are just four reasons why downloading free anti-virus software just isn't worth it.
1. Inferior Support
Even the strongest of anti-virus software can sometimes be breached. If this happens, you'll want to know support is on your side. When you purchase a professional anti-virus solution, you're also buying that ongoing support. A representative should be able to look at what went wrong and provide a solution — they'll also usually have forums and blog posts online to provide support and advice. When your anti-virus is free, ongoing support is rare.
2. Lack of Updates
Strong anti-virus software doesn't stay strong forever. Hackers and other malicious web-users keep coming up with ways to exploit flaws, so anti-virus teams need to make frequent updates in order to keep up and keep you protected. Again, free anti-virus is not as reliable. If you aren't paying for the service, the developer isn't going to have much of an incentive to keep updating their software. That could lead to security problems in the future.
3. Ads and Bloatware
Just because your anti-virus software didn't cost any money, doesn't mean the developer is getting nothing in return. They need to turn some kind of profit, and this often means using either ads or bloatware. Adverts are easy enough to understand — they'll often pop up when you're working or stay at the side of your screen. Bloatware is additional software that you don't need — a developer may pay the free anti-virus developer to package in their own program to help gain exposure. These added programs will slow down your network.
4. Poor User Interface
The user interface is one of those things people tend to ignore as irrelevant. However, an intuitive interface really counts when you need to perform checks or look at security threats. Paid anti-virus programs put a lot of money into testing their interface to make sure it's easy to use and understand. With free software, that's rarely the case. When you need to check security, you may find it tough to find exactly what you're looking for. At best, that's annoying; at worse, it could mean missing something important.