Antivirus software is a tool that’s designed to keep your computer virus-free and clean of any malicious threats that are lurking around on the internet. They are designed to scan your PC in real-time to detect and eliminate any potential dangers before they cause damage to your PC. They can also be installed onto an infected machine in order to clean it and ‘bring it back to life’.

A lot of companies offer FREE antivirus solutions. That’s great, right? Or is this too good to be true?

The need for an antivirus varies massively depending on what you’re doing on the device. For instance; If you’re connected to the internet, using online banking, playing games or just writing documents. Why does the type of use matter? For a start, every computer connected to the internet is vulnerable to viruses, scary huh? So, a general rule of thumb is that if you’re connected to the internet then make sure you’re running an antivirus, whether it’s free or paid is another matter.

Free antivirus software can work very well and it costs absolutely nothing, which is always a bonus! So why would anyone pay for software that you can acquire for free? Paid antivirus software comes with additional features that can work very effectively to prevent the installation of a virus. The kind of additional features you’ll usually get are: spam filters, browser protection, pc optimiser and firewalls. You may be sitting here thinking to yourself whilst reading this “well I don’t require those kind of tools as I only use my device for playing offline games” and in that case, you’d be correct but if you use your device for internet banking and emails then these additional features can save lives (computers lives).

Free antivirus software often does the basics quite well and will usually include the necessary tools to keep a device clean.  The problem is that virus writers are always developing them to work around antivirus programs. Having the additional features of paid software significantly increases the chance of protection especially as virus developers are targeting vulnerabilities in browser plugins and email clients.