The main function of a free antivirus is to let you know the product so that you would later acquire the paid licenses of that brand. Such licenses may be a paid version of the same product with more features unlocked or a superior product. It is also common that some brands launch free versions to gain market share and create a user base.
In many cases, the free versions are maintained by advertisements for paid products of the company. Free antivirus typically provide a minimum level of protection. They scan for malware, and often can perform automatic scans too. One of the biggest drawbacks to going with a free product may be the lack of technical support. While most companies offer some sort of phone support for paying customers, free antivirus users usually have to take care of themselves.
On a research conducted online, companies say that they deal with the database updated the same way for free and paid products, for domestic and corporato users. But some companies said that their free versions are for common users, while their paid versions are for advanced users. On the case of Nortons PCTools, they seem to admit that the main virus database to be updated is the one of the paid versions, look: “Paid antivirus software, like PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus or PC Tools Internet Security, both protect against known threats and unknown threats. Such software takes a heuristic approach to internet security by providing advanced methods of detection and protective measures like firewalls. Although free antivirus software is far better than nothing, you need to appreciate the fact that the information in most free antivirus products comes from a database of information that isn’t top a priority to update.” Frase retirada de: http://www.pctools.com/security-news/how-free-antivirus-takes-on-a-paid-product/
That would be like saying: if you are a regular user (meaning a user bit daring) you might as well use the free antivirus and not have many problems. But if you are an advanced user and uses all functions available on a computer (internet, file sharing, social networking, etc …), oh yes you better protect yourself and using a paid antivirus. What sounds somewhat controversial since the average user (without much knowledge) is much more likely to click on a suspicious link, while the advanced user can usually distinguish a malicious email from a real email address. For example, phishing cases (in plain language: an attempt to trick the user taking 0 to click on something that is not what it says) are very common in social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and many users are finding that their friends sending you interesting links, just by clicking potential viruses.
Free antivirus x Paid: what antivirus is ideal for you
If you have a small business, a complete set of security paid (even domestic) is the best alternative. Technical support will be essential if a virus were to take down their computers. In addition, comprehensive programs have features, for example, that allow you to block certain types of sites, and that can keep employees out of trouble. Many Small office suites also protect a server, usually present in many small businesses.
Parents should also consider buying a complete program. Not only controls access to websites can be helpful, but the warnings about phishing (data collection) can educate younger users on the Internet (their children). Tools like Kaspersky Pure ultimate tools are complete with Parental Controls to know what sites your children have accessed, controlling passwords, etc … and control multiple computers in your home from your. Other examples of complete suites are Norton 360 and Mcafee Total Security. All of these tools also have online backup.
For businesses, the paid antivirus is the best solution after all you do not want to run the least risk entrusting your company’s data to a free option. Here in this case, again it is common is the support you will need if you ever have a problem and do not want your production to be affected by problems with viruses. Some security companies offer computer support 24 x 7 support and also paid in addition to paying for the product (and the common support included) you can choose to pay a little more for different levels of support. See the table below for examples of levels of corporate support company Sophos. It is important to note that some of these options may not be available in your region, or may be deficient (promise one thing and reality is another.) Stay tuned. Translate some parts for you to understand what they offer. The details in green are comments GuiaAntiVirus to the original table, visit: http://www.sophos.com/en-us/support/technical-support/support-packages.aspx
|24/7/365 Support (Suporte todos os dias do ano a qualquer hora do dia)|
|Unlimited support cases and authorized contacts|
|Software downloads, updates and maintenance|
|Phone, email and web-based support channels|
|Access to Support Knowledgebase|
|Basic incident handling|
|Access to Support Forums|
|Access to News Subscriptions|
Defined Service Level Agreements with Support Credits* (geralmente um contrato entre a empresa de antivirus e o client corporativo com cláusulas definidas, como por exemplo, em caso de um problema sério em quanto tempo a empresa se compromete a enviar alguém para resolver o problema)
|Remote Technical Consulting/Training (4 hours included per contract)|
|Priority incident and malware sample handling|
|VIP Access to dedicated Senior Technical Resource Team**|
|Online Support case management and reporting portal|
|Sophos ZombieAlert Service and Sophos WebAlert1|
|Remote Assistance Support|
|Named Technical Support Account Manager (TSAM) (ex.: Gerente de suporte técnico dedicado e conhecedor da estrutura da empresa contratante)|
|Proactive communications and alerts|
|Performance and feature optimization|
|Enhanced SophosLabs Services|
|Championed access to Sophos resources|
And for home users, the free versions can serve as an initial help if you have some knowledge and insight about what to click and what not to click. If you do not have this knowledge, then the paid version is the best option if you do not want all the time have to format their computers. A good choice for any home user are the Internet Security suites, which are a product with enough features for the home user today, with internet access, social networking, etc …