We count down 5 antivirus features we think are worth paying for.
There are a whole bunch of great free antivirus options out there which are more than capable of protecting your computer from the vast majority of threats. However, is it a case of getting what you pay for, and is it worth upgrading to a paid option?
There are many factors affecting the efficacy of any one piece of antivirus software, and it’s well worth researching each of these points when it comes to choosing your preferred brand. Products such as Avast Free Antivirus and Avira Free Antivirus are a great place to start, offering effective antivirus, for free.
If free options are so packed with functionality, why, then, would you bother upgrading to the paid version? Well, if you change to a premium antivirus package, you can enjoy a whole load of extra features on top of those you presently receive.
#1 Ad Free
Often, when it comes to many digital products, if you want to use the software, app, social network, etc. for free, then you must normally accept being exposed to a little advertising as the cost of entry. After all, most developers aren’t in the game out of altruism and still need to make a living somehow. Most of us accept advertising as a necessary evil for many of the free services we enjoy in the digital world.
However, some would rather do away with the intrusion of adverts popping up and disturbing their experience altogether. Luckily, for those of us who want to get rid of the ads for good, most of these products will allow you to do so for a price – and antivirus is no different.
Upgrading to a paid version will allow you to continue enjoying the great benefits of powerful antivirus, without the intrusion of annoying adverts.
#2 Additional Privacy
Upgrading your antivirus can help you stay private while using the internet. As a general rule, the more you pay for your antivirus, the extra privacy you’ll receive, and there are a great selection of premium antivirus bundles that give you a heap of extra features.
Features such as secure VPNs prevent other websites from knowing your true location and monitoring your browsing activity. Additional security can prevent hackers from accessing your webcam and using it to spy on you in the privacy of your own home, and advanced data shredding ensures any files you delete are really gone forever and cannot be recovered. You’d be surprised how easy it is to recover supposedly deleted files from your machine.
You can also get access to a password safe, where all your login details can be safely stored and unlocked with a strong master key. This allows you to use a range of secure passwords while still logging in to your most-used sites quickly and safely.
#3 Ransomware Protection
Ransomware involves using malware to encrypt or obtain files from the target’s machine and then refuse to release them (or indeed threaten to release them publicly) if a ransom is not paid. It’s estimated ransomware demands an average of $643 per victim, with global losses rocketing into billions of dollars.
Additional protection can prevent untrusted software from making changes to your files, and thus keep them from the clutches of hackers. It’s probably still best not to go clicking random email links, however, no matter how desperate that Nigerian prince sounds.
#4 Automatic Updates
Hackers often rely on people hitting the snooze button on their machine’s updater time and time again. Having to wait for software to update can indeed be time-consuming and frustrating, but regular updates are especially important when it comes to antivirus.
Antivirus updates contain all important information about newly-discovered threats. It’s crucial for the ongoing efficacy of your antivirus that the virus database is kept updated with all the latest threats which have emerged since the last update. Failing to do so could lead to a virus slipping through the net and infecting your system.
#5 Advanced Behaviour Monitoring
A regularly updated virus database is all well and good, but what about those brand-new threats which have only just burst onto the scene?
Behaviour monitoring is what allows your antivirus to respond to these zero-day threats by looking for unusual patterns of behaviour on your machine. If a file or piece of software is found to be behaving in a way which is not expected, the antivirus can immediately isolate it and flag it for further investigation, potentially cutting off an attack before it begins.
As you can see, there are many good reasons to upgrade from a free to a paid antivirus. Depending on your budget, there are a range of options out there to choose from.