“If you can have free internet security, why bother paying for it?”
This is something that we hear on a regular basis – and on the surface a reasonable question. If there is a good choice of free security solutions for your computer, why would you put your hand in your pocket and pay for something? Will you be any better off in terms of protection? In a nutshell, yes.
“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.
The economic theory behind this saying is that whatever goods and services are provided, they must be paid for by someone – that is, you don’t get something for nothing. And where internet security is concerned this is proven to be true. In February 2020 Which? Magazine reported that they were investigating the practices of free antivirus software companies after one well known security provider admitted to allowing ‘unacceptable’ data collection.
Free anti-virus comes with a hidden agenda – or price. In order to recoup the costs associated with providing you with free security, a lot of these products use their software as a means to gather data for advertising purposes; upon installation you are not only allowing the product access to your computer and your data, you are also allowing installation of other programs that will be following your movements online and using that information in a number of ways. These programs include Adware, unwanted pop-ups, and trackers.
Not only are you being snooped upon, and that data then shared with other sources, all these extra programs installed on your computer will slow your system down causing you unnecessary frustration. And the level of security you have with a free product is nowhere near as good as with a paid version.
Most free products only update once a week and so don’t update quickly enough to keep up with new vulnerabilities – there are a staggering 350,000+ new malicious programs (malware) recorded EVERYDAY. That is a potential in excess of 2 million new unwanted applications and malware that could get past your free anti-virus in between its weekly updates.
So what do we recommend?
We have been recommending BullGuard to our own customers for 15 years – we are so sure of its security coverage that we use it ourselves.
BullGuard provides Zero-Day threat protection, which in layman terms means this Internet Security is working 24/7 to monitor the threats that may be released, and updates automatically to keep you, your computer systems and your data protected.
One Bullguard licence will cover you for up to three machines, which brings the cost down even further for households with more than one device. The licence is renewed annually and our latest estimates are that more than 90% of our customers who try BullGuard stick with it, knowing as they do that they have some of the most cost effective, best performing internet security available.
And it’s not just us who think so: Bullguard has consistently won the industry coveted Gold Malware Protection Award from independent testing lab AV-Comparatives.
In its 2018 reviews of security software, BullGuard was one of only two companies to win the award, a testament, and an endorsement to the strength of its in-depth defences.
Returning to our original question, “I have a free anti-virus solution on my computer so why do I need the expense of paying for internet security?”
- Free means far less
- Free means far more likely to be hacked.
- Free means a slower computer.
- Free means one licence per machine.
- Free means your movements and data are being tracked.
- Free means a minimum cost of £55 to rid your machine of viruses and malware.
- Free means saving the discounted price Dolphin offer their customers for a premium security solution of just £34.99 a year.
Should you pay for anti-virus?
If you want to keep your data secure, stop unwanted programs being surreptitiously added to your computer, and to minimise the chances of your machines being hacked into then yes, you need to pay for an anti-virus that is designed with your security in mind rather than for its own hidden agendas.