Free vs Paid Antivirus Software

There is often the question to individuals and businesses whether it is worth paying for Internet/Antivirus Security software. There is a vast amount of free antivirus software out there with unlimited updates which does make you wonder.

The most basic levels of antivirus products are free and paid antivirus, suites and premium suites, As you move up levels you usually get more features such as parental controls, mail filters, identity theft protection, device location, firewalls and system performance tools. But to determine whether a paid subscription is worth it, we have offered a comparison below:

Free Antivirus


  • Free
  • Unlimited malware signature updates which are installed automatically
  • Most offer web browser add-ons
  • Offer same user interface as paid versions
  • The detection rates are very similar to paid versions
  • They are faster than their paid counterparts hence are not as resource demanding



  • Offer only a minimum level of protection
  • Very few of them offer a firewall
  • Most of them do not support behavioural malware detection (method to detect brand new malware outbreaks)
  • They display annoying advertisements and reminders to upgrade to a paid version
  • They offer no technical support
  • They are not suitable for businesses or business users since the free antivirus software only come with a personal license


Paid Antivirus / Security Suites


  • Typically, they include add-on software such as firewalls, parental controls, identity theft protection software and backup software
  • Better at detecting newest threats
  • Offer Tech Support
  • Scan faster than their free alternatives
  • No advertisements



  • Cost of purchase and cost of annual subscription
  • More resource demanding making your computer slower


More tips and symptoms to look out for can be found on our virus removal page