Should I Renew My Anti-Virus Software?


Why You Should Never Pay for AntiVirus Software (or, how to save $50.00 per year).

Every once in a while, someone will come up to me and say – “hey, good news! I paid for the latest anti-virus software renewal updates, just like you said!” At that point, I like to turn an odd shade of red and say … “Never. Ever. Pay. For Anti-Virus.”  If you think about it, it’s the equivalent of regular blackmail. “Keep paying us for ‘protection’ … or someone might get hurt.”

Anti-virus/anti-spyware software should be free, and always has been available in free forms from reputable companies. The best current free offering is from Microsoft, a company you clearly already know and trust. (If you didn’t know and trust them, would you be using Windows or Office?) Microsoft includes anti-spyware software in Windows 7 and Vista, called Microsoft Windows Defender. Their free anti-virus software, Microsoft Security Essentials, includes the anti-virus and anti-spyware components.  It works great on Windows 7/Vista/XP, doesn’t slow down your computer, scans whenever you’d like it to, updates regularly for no additional charge.

When I get a new computer, or work on someone else’s, I immediately uninstall whatever anti-virus or anti-spyware software in on there, whether it’s 14 day trial or a “free year” subscription. This includes anything called Norton, McAfee, or anything else you see with “Live-Update” or  “Anti-Virus” in the title.

So, make sure to never pay for anti-virus or anti-spyware software again. And if you have, call your credit card company and demand a refund.

(Bonus tip – Microsoft Security Essentials and Internet Explorer 8 prevent almost all viruses. Install that combination, and you’ll be on your way.)


Microsoft Security Essentials

  • Greg Pekaar

    I highly recommend Avast antivirus suite (Free Version) I use it and install it on all computers I work on. Its the only AV that I have ever used that doesn’t slow anything down and is fully featured. I tip my hat to MS Defender but I’d give the edge to Avast. Just my $0.02.