Should You Pay For Anti-Malware and Anti-Virus Software?

In the past five years, cases of identity theft, phishing attacks, ransomware, and malware injection gained widespread media attention. Though these cases are not new, since the large-scale organizations fell prey to such incidents, it has become a global debate. On the other hand, these incidents have led to a massive rise in the promotion, and sales of anti-malware & anti-virus software. Hundreds of such companies have built advanced tools to help users protect their systems from such hijacking attempts.

anti malware
Image Source: Business Wire

But, these services come at a cost. Sometimes the pricing plans are designed as a package deal or sometimes companies tend to sell individual tools, with each of them designed to execute different functions. But are they really worth the money you have to pay to get them activated on your system? It can be said that the paid services do offer solutions worth the money. However, if we are talking about protection from malware, it’s just a facade of additional precaution that is making you pay money for the services you are already getting for free. In reality, you can stop paying for mere anti-malware protection.

Let’s break down what’s worth paying and what is not:

Why People Are Accustomed To Paying for Anti-Malware Solutions?

Not so long ago, users had no option but to buy an additional tool to keep the malware and virus attacks off their PCs. But then, starting from Windows 8.1, Microsoft gave an in-built security solution, rebranding Microsoft Security Essentials as Windows Defender. But it wasn’t enough. Defender wasn’t as safe as the others so, users sided to Norton, Kaspersky, and McAfee. In a safety test conducted by AV-comparatives in 2013, Defender was positioned at dead last among others when it came to protecting users’ systems from virus and malware injections.

anti malware solution
Image Source: Statista

But that was more than six years ago. In all these years, that Microsoft has spent in upgrading Windows 10, they have successfully improved every in-built tool that is offered. Windows Defender now comprises of modules such as Windows Firewall and Windows Defender Antivirus to provide all-round protection to systems.

Also Read: Best Free Anti Malware Software

Microsoft’s Windows Defender Outperform Paid Services

In a recent test conducted by the same agency, Windows Defender was able to detect 97.5 per cent of the malware and virus attacks thrown at it. Yes, it wasn’t a hundred per cent and a very few paid antivirus and anti-malware solutions were still ahead of it, but Defender has excelled itself in anti-malware protection in Windows PCs.  There was one more positive about Defender. Any warning pop from Defender was found to be a valid concern, while many others gave false alarms. These alarms are just deliberately embedded within the software to scare off consumers, and then lure them into paying for repeated subscription and add-on services.

windows defender
Image Source: PC World

However, there’s no need for it. Windows Defender can very well protect your system. Even 97.5 percent is a really great number. For those who claim that their services are 100% perfect, it’s a blunt lie. The rate at which new methods of phishing attacks and identity theft are being created, it’s impossible for any software solution to be that perfect. Still, there are those who pay for anti-malware protection.

Why People Do Not Trust Windows Defender?

windows defender post
Image Source: Tom’s Guide

There is a myth that since Defender is free, it won’t help your PC more than just preventing a few crashes. Everyone is led to believe that since it’s just a business, no one would offer true protection for free. But, Defender is not free. When you purchase a Windows PC, you pay for Windows OS, and its support as well. Defender being an in-built feature is a part of that price. So, you actually have paid for it. It’s a part of Microsoft’s bundled apps, and therefore, you need to stop believing in this myth that Defender is useless.

Also Read: Anti Malware For Mac

How Paid Anti-Malware Solutions Charge You?

To ensure that they are better than free solutions such as Defender, these companies have started building bundled services in the name of the antivirus. These services include VPNs, Password Managers, Parental Controls, Multiple Scan Options, Ad-Blockers, etc. A lot many of these features do offer you additional protection, but they aren’t directly associated with malware protection.

malware solution
Image Source: Tech Advisor

While VPNs are used to get you internet security, Password Managers are used to helping you avoid password reusing and have a vault for your password protection. Similarly, Ad-blockers can only help you avoid ads and enhance your web experience. With recent developments in browser security, for example, Chrome’s mixed content blocking, there are hardly any ad-content that may contain malware.

But yes, these additional features do come handy. However, the idea of using these features as anti-malware solutions is just a masked marketing tactic.

So, Should You Buy Paid Anti-Malware Solutions?

Well, it depends. A number of users, especially those running an enterprise do require solutions such as Password managers, blockers, and VPNs. For them, these solutions are worth paying for. But for those who are using a system for personal use can rest assured with the protection of Windows Defender itself. No other paid solution would provide more protection from virus and malware injection attacks.

Paid Anti-Malware Solutions

Yes, the additional services would secure your PC in other aspects, but that has nothing to do with malware protection.

No matter what additional feature these paid solutions offer you, but free anti-malware tools such as Defender are as good as they are. Yes, of course, it is recommended that you use only the trustworthy even if it’s free, but there isn’t a need to pay for them until it’s direly needed.So, in case you need those services, go ahead and choose a suitable paid anti-malware solution. But it’s time we drop the belief that Defender is any less than all those solutions and tools that are emptying pockets of their users.

Let’s Start The Discussion:

Tell us what you feel of our opinion and what are your views on the paid vs. free battle between anti-malware solutions. Follow us on social media – FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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