Antivirus has made tremendous strides in the last 10 years offering some great free security applications while at the same time producing more traditional paid security apps. You might be wondering, what’s the difference? There are MANY differences between free and paid antivirus and when it’s time to perform an upgrade on a clients corporate antivirus, the one thing I hate to hear is, “can’t we just get free antivirus?” The answer is always going to be NO for corporate atmospheres. Lets be logical here, if the free antivirus is so great then why do they even bother selling it? I’m not singling out free antivirus as terrible, I am an equal opportunity hater, all antivirus is terrible, and the reasons can be found in chapter 5 of our audiobook which deals with corporate securities. While antivirus may not protect you 100%, it does give you some blind sense of security, and I guess that’s important. I like to follow this rule of thumb, if your looking for antivirus for your home, I would stick with something free like Avast or AVG. If you want to go next level with firewall and some added security, go with Comodo Internet Security. These three free products are highly rated and have been for years. They do lack some of the bells and whistles that paid antivirus has. In general, free antivirus may lack automatic scanning options, they may not handle spyware and malware as well, just viruses, and they may lack options for custom security settings. I would safely say that if your remoting into your office from work, use Comodo, if you have a standard family computer, check out Avast.
When it comes to corporate, you have to go with a “premium suite” like Symantec or Kaspersky, not a fan of McAfee. The free antivirus simply will not protect you like a premium suite will. We call it a suite because it handles a bunch of security roles and it’s network based. This means that the AV client on your desktop constantly talks to the AV Software on the Server. The server hands out updates and logs any activity that can occur on the workstations. With premium suites there are a lot more options for your I.T. person to configure and it makes it a lot easier to manage, plus the protection is much greater. I hope you understand the reason why corporate atmosphere’s need paid antivirus while home users can use free antivirus. The truth is that if you don’t want viruses, get a decent firewall. I have an Astaro enterprise firewall in my house, I don’t use antivirus software and I don’t get viruses, but I’m a tech guy. I don’t expect your home setup to be as crazy as mine.