It’s no secret that antivirus protection is essential in today’s threat-filled digital world, but not all antivirus software is created equal. Many people and even businesses are lured by the promise of free protection. What’s not to love about a program that keeps the greatest digital threats at bay at no cost? Turns out, quite a bit.
Many supposedly free antivirus programs lack even the most basic protection that today’s users require. What’s worse, some scammers also target victims by luring them with promises of the very antivirus support that’s supposed to protect their networks in the first place. With so much at stake, it’s more important than ever to work with a trusted provider.
The Functionality of Free Antivirus: What Can It Accomplish? What Are Its Limitations?
In most cases, free antivirus for Mac or PC is better than no protection at all. What it offers, however, will differ based on which provider you use. Typically, free antivirus systems perform basic virus and malware scans – often on an automatic basis. A few services also offer free browser add-ons that monitor for problematic links.
In general, free antivirus solutions are best suited for improving your awareness of existing viruses and other security concerns currently plaguing your computer. Few offer the proactive services needed to prevent the most dangerous viruses from striking in the first place.
Common concerns posed by free antivirus software include:
- Minimal Customer Support – If you require considerable feedback about your system’s security, you probably won’t find it with customer support for your free program of choice. Typically, free software keeps such offerings to a minimum. If you reach out, expect to encounter numerous delays – and don’t be surprised if the suggested solution involves some sort of purchase.
- Slow Scans – Free antivirus uses a portion of your device’s RAM to perform essential scans. This can slow down your system considerably. You might not notice a huge difference when simply browsing the internet, but the slow-down will become quickly evident as you edit videos or play games.
- Inability to Catch All Viruses – Despite claiming to provide thorough antivirus protection, many free programs fail to catch security threats that are observed and dealt with by more advanced systems. Yes, free antivirus offers a base level of protection, but this may not prove sufficient for heavily targeted devices.
Benefits of Avast Antivirus
While free antivirus solutions are rarely the most effective, select options provide a more proactive approach to keep threats to a minimum. Avast, for example, offers a myriad of benefits above and beyond other free options. The following are just a few of the reasons why Avast is the best free antivirus for 2019 and 2020:
Effective Password Management
Password management provides one of the first and most effective lines of defense against today’s hackers. Unfortunately, despite being one of the easiest protective measures to implement, passwords remain a notable area of weakness for most computer users. Avast addresses this ongoing problem by providing a simple and effective approach to password management.
Often, PC users observe noticeably slower speeds after downloading free antivirus solutions. With Avast, however, you can harness the power of a strong antivirus system while still maintaining a reasonably fast connection.
Viruses and malware are by no means the only issues to strike your network or device. If you’re like many users, your Wi-Fi network is regularly plagued by strangers trying to access your connection. This is just one of several potential weaknesses that can be addressed by Avast’s regular Wi-Fi inspections.
Special Mode for Playing Games or Watching Movies
When you’re relaxing at home with a favorite game or movie, the last thing you want is to be disturbed by incessant pop-ups. Luckily, Avast Antivirus allows you to set your preferences accordingly. With Do Not Disturb Mode (formerly known as Game Mode), you can temporarily silence any notifications you deem unnecessary.
When Should You Consider a Paid Antivirus Solution?
Avast Antivirus provides a worthwhile start as you strive to ramp up your system’s security, but it may not be sufficient for your network or device. If you’re ready to level up your security, consider investing in a paid antivirus solution. This may not be free, but it could deliver a significant return on investment. Chief benefits may include:
- Faster Performance
- Thorough Virus Scans
- Improved Customer Support
- Minimal Ads or Upgrade Prompts
An upgrade may also be warranted if you’re on the hunt for business-level antivirus solutions. Avast Business, for example, could prove a viable option for enterprise security.
What Else Can Be Done to Amp Up Your Network Security?
In today’s vulnerable digital environment, a layered approach is essential. While Avast can serve as one of those critical layers, it alone should not be relied on to keep your system secure. Ideally, you should also invest in other solutions to provide as many barriers to hackers as possible. At a minimum, you’ll want a high-quality firewall, robust password protection, and an up-to-date operating system equipped with all of the latest security patches. You’ll also benefit from strong encryption and a virtual private network (VPN).
NerdsToGo Computer Services
If you’re ready to invest in an effective antivirus solution, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts at NerdsToGo. Our Nerds understand what it takes to build and maintain a secure network. We can help you implement Avast or a paid antivirus program. Additionally, we offer in-home computer repair as well as a variety of virus removal tools and solutions. Contact us today to learn more about our services!