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Anti-Virus Software: Needed but…

… the pricing on this stuff is nuttier than a Brazil Nut grove! Yes I have talked about Anti-Virus software being a Scam before, but hey, I get to rant sometimes about the same things (I’m old, respect your elders).

For now I am speaking of the mainstream Anti-virus folks (not the AVG and Malwarebytes who offer free stuff which works fine (heck even Microsoft’s free security essentials is pretty good these days)), no I speak of Norton and McAfee and their insane pricing methodologies which force me to go to a store and buy NEW copies of their software instead of making a renewal as cheap (if not cheaper) than it is to buy something new.

Before you think I am saying you don’t need this software, that is definitely NOT what I am saying, you need this software, so get some, or you are asking for trouble.

OK, just so I don’t have someone claiming I told them not to get anti-virus software (oh and all you Mac snobs, don’t be thinking you are somehow exempt from Viruses, they are already here for you too), but I grow weary of the game that is played for Anti-virus software on the PCs.

Example: you buy a new computer, and it comes with a 30-day trial of either Norton or McAfee (depending on who you buy the system from). OK, that is good, your new PC is protected for the first 30 days you own it, however, pretty much every day your PC now flashes up a “You Should Renew Your Anti-Virus Software” advertisement. You decide that yes it would be a good idea to do that, so you click and see that to “renew” your software will cost $59 (for one machine). This seems a little expensive, so you go to Staples, or better still to the Dell On Line store and you see you can buy a 3-Computer license (so software for 3 of your home computers), for $69 (or less), you scratch your head and wonder why these companies price this way?

Why? My guess is they catch many folks, who simply don’t want to be bothered to look around and check the prices of software, so they simply “renew” their anti-virus that way. This has been going on for more than 10 years, so it must be working, or the Anti-virus biggies would have changed their ways, but no, I saw this again Sunday morning, so nothing much is changing.

Shop around for software prices. I found a McAfee 3 computer license on sale at the Dell Store (on “Boxing Day”) for $12.99, so yes this stuff does get steeply discounted as well. Shop around and don’t get your pocket picked by the big software companies.


Feel Free to Comment

  1. Windows Security Essentials is sufficient for almost everybody out there; I’ve used it for years and I’ve never had a problem. But most people don’t know about it and I think Microsoft can’t bundle it with Windows because of (stupid) antitrust concerns.

    1. That is what I have heard as well, it is interesting if you install Microsoft Essentials on your machine and have McAfee on it, McAfee tries to kill it (at least I saw that on a couple of machines I take care of). I believe you are correct about the Anti-Trust stuff as well.

  2. You just put your finger on the specific reason I moved to the Mac: the constant, expensive hassle of dealing with AV software and updates that were out-of-date on the very day of installation and that gummed up the operating system so it barely worked.

    That said, I’m less than thrilled with the Mac, too. Yes, it’s vulnerable to various kinds of malware (had to disable Java to protect my system, and that creates hassles), but more to the point, Apple has mastered the technique of rendering your software unusable by updating its OS so that programs you use all the time will no longer run under the latest Big Cat. IMHO, the entire system, from the Apple & Microsoft to the AV software makers, is based on a business model of extortion.

    1. Agreed, the whole thing is a mug’s game. I like LINUX more these days, but I suspect it will be heading in this direction as well. I have let LINUX go by the wayside for a while, I suspect I will be picking it back up very soon.

  3. Personally I am fine just using the free options with a little bit of preventative measures. I couldn’t imagine shelling out that much for antivirus software. I do have to admit their business plan of coming installed with windows as a trial version is pretty smart. So many people just won’t bother looking around for a different option and will just click the renew button that keeps popping up every day.

  4. The problem with the AV model is that their entire business is predicated on their software not working too well. If their software worked well enough to prevent exploits along all possible attack vectors, you’d never need to buy another version. Instead, they only prevent exploits once someone has actually exploited them.

    Strange business model.

    1. I think their model is that of a defensive mechanism, in that they can’t really fix problems until they happen. It is more interesting to see Microsoft coming into the picture since most of the issues are with unsecured OS features. Either way, I agree their biz model is a bit etrange.

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