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Free vs Paid Internet Security Software: What’s best for your new device?

by Brian Cody

Having a productive and safe online digital life is important. You need a full-service Internet security suite to protect you from emerging threats online. If you’ve been looking around for products, you’ve probably noticed there are lots of options out there that are completely free and there are some that require a purchase. Taking the free option might seem like the most attractive option, but it’s not. In fact, free Internet security software isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Here’s why:

Is Free Really Free?

The first thing to note is that, as with most “free” services online, free Internet security suites aren’t actually free. They don’t cost any money, but users have to pay for them in other ways. Often times, an Internet security suite that doesn’t cost money is paid for by rendering services in kind. In most cases this means allowing extensive access to your browser use and Internet activity. That might not cost money, but it’s going to carve out a good chunk of your privacy. In effect, you’re just trading the devil of unknown spyware for the devil of spyware you’re aware of.

Anti-Virus or Internet Security?

Some free Internet security programs aren’t Internet security suites at all. On the contrary, they’re basic anti-virus software that doesn’t offer the kind of extensive and comprehensive coverage offered by paid services. When you get an Internet security suite, you don’t just want bog standard anti-virus software.

You also need to have anti-spyware and firewall services along with your anti-virus software. Anything else and you’re taking chances on your entire home network’s security and potentially your family’s privacy.

Configuration Options?

One of the big issues with free anti-virus software is that it tends to come as a “one size fits all” package for the average individual consumer. Compare this to commercial Internet security suites that allow you to tailor your program not just to your family as a whole, but the individual members of your family.

While you might be a little daunted by the number of configuration options at first, the best Internet security suites will make the process of setting up your preferred security features as easy as possible. Having peace of mind that your family is protected online is one of the upsides to investing is a reputable security suite for your device.

The Extra Benefits of Paid Security

There are a number of features that come with paid versions of security suites that generally aren’t a part of their free cousins. For example, you probably don’t think of a backup solution as part of an Internet security suite, but if you ever do get into trouble on the Internet, it’s going to make your life a whole lot easier to have a clean backup to go to.

What’s more, an Internet security suite that comes with web filtering that lets you monitor and control your child’s online activity will also provide another layer of protection and control over your home network completely. And, increasingly, a virtual private network (VPN) is a necessary part of keeping your connection safe and secure online. Is your “free” Internet security software offering that?

When you look at both options, the choice is clear: “Free” anti-virus programs are easy on the wallet but cannot afford you the level of protection a paid full-service Internet security suite can provide.

Consider trying a trial version Norton Security to begin to experience peace of mind that your privacy and online activities have that extra layer of protection.  

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