My dear frugal friend Michelle sent me some great information on how to save on anti-virus software for your computer…. unfortunately for me, I renewed my Norton about a month and half ago. But I thought it would be good to share this information with all of you.
Here’s what Michelle writes:
“I bought a new computer three years ago and got a great deal on it (still have the computer, still love it). Like most computers, it came with a 90-day free trial of an anti-virus software product. When the 90 days were up, you had to purchase a subscription to the product (at a cost of about $40 for one license for one year). I’d renewed the subscription twice since then and it recently expired. (Side note: you have to be careful with products like Norton & McAfee. When you buy a subscription, it will automatically renew itself when the license expires, unless you specifically tell them you don’t want automatic renewal. Another reason it always pays to check your credit card statements.)
I’m no longer paying for anti-virus software AND I’m actually happier than I was before when I was shelling out $40 or more a year for protection. Why? AVG Anti-Virus software. They have a free edition available on their website and I’m much happier with it than I ever was with Norton (or McAfee). My computer runs faster (you wouldn’t believe how much working memory Norton and McAfee use–it’s unbelievable) and there are DAILY updates with AVG as opposed to the twice or thrice weekly updates with other products.
As for the lack of technical support, I think there’s a workaround in that you can look at online support for the product even without purchasing an “upscale” version of it (that’s what I’m calling the versions that aren’t free). And if the answer you need isn’t found there, you can probably find it by entering search terms in a search engine.
(Side note: I know how important it is to have your security software up-to-date. I got hit a few years ago with a virus (on a previous computer) and although the damage wasn’t as extensive as it could have been, it was still annoying to have to spend a few hours of my time cleaning up and fixing something that could have prevented with a few minutes work on the front end.)
Another idea, if you have internet service through your phone company, they often give you a CD to install to set up their software on your computer. Many of those phone companies also include free anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam software with their product. When I lived in Illinois , I had DSL with SBC. You could download and install anti-virus software for free from their website–all you had to do was log in with your username and password. I believe Qwest has a similar arrangement.
Anyway, in the spirit of helping people save money, I thought I would pass this stuff along.
Editor’s Note: Michelle is a great frugal friend. She’s toiled on a graduate student’s salary , so she knows how to pinch pennies! Thanks for the info, Shel!