Free security packages. Your thoughts ?

  mooly 08:18 04 Jan 2009

I don't want to start a riot or anything, but the question of free security crops up time and again.
Are all you folks 100% happy with the packages ? Do you find they work unobtrusively, do they update every couple of hours automatically without you needing to do anything ? Why are they free ?
Again you always recommend several different packages be installed, in the hope that what one misses the others will catch.
Myself, I just use one paid for package -- FSecure -- under £12 from Amazon for an OEM which ties it to one PC or £19.5 for a full 3PC licence. This is the full internet security package, spyware, rootkit scanner, spam, antivirus, firewall etc.
In two years of using FSecure I have never had a problem. The real time scanning did pick up a trojan instantly once and cleaned it and the spyware scanner has picked up a couple of tracking cookies.
Just interested really in your thoughts.

  swapper 08:34 04 Jan 2009

I have been a member of this Forum for many years, and there are a great number of excellent people, willing to give time and effort to help us.

I have taken their advice, never bought a package, after the first year or so, and have been more than happy with the result, in fact, one particular "bought" package seems to be so secure that it can create its own problems at times.

So, my answer to your question, I would never buy a package but use a number of free ones.

  mooly 08:43 04 Jan 2009

As I say, just wanted to find out folks experiences, thats all, don't want to cause an uprising.
There seems to be conflicting advice on having more than one security package running at once.
What is compatable with what ? for instance. The one time I tried a free spyware package (spyware S&D ) it caused major problems for me, half the screen disappearing.
Yes there are many folks willing to help out, I appreciate that, and this forum has helped me several times, I am just interested thats all.
Perhaps I should have asked, what are the downsides to a free package rather than a paid for one ! All comments welcome.

  oldbeefer2 09:37 04 Jan 2009

I started off with a paid package - Norton. Never again - endless problems. Since then, with advice from here (particularly Skidsy 'safe and clean...' I have only used free progs (and recommended them to my friends). No one has had a problem (other than an infection by Antivirus 2008 which was quickly dealt with by - free - Malwarebytes). Pay? No way!

  oldbeefer2 09:39 04 Jan 2009

should have been 'Skidzy'.

  Belatucadrus 09:46 04 Jan 2009

When did I last pay for PC security, eeerm ?

That would be never, I've been online for about nine years now and through a combination of free AV and cover disks I've successfully kept a desktop and a laptop fully effectively and legally covered. So far so good.
Pay if you're a commercial operation not eligible for the free license copy. If you do then why bother ? There are now more free AV packages to choose from than ever before and most of them are extremely good.

  mooly 10:17 04 Jan 2009

Interesting comments, and I do wonder how much of a threat is out there. I am sure the darker corners of the web is where most of the problems are, you here tales of having an unprotected PC connected for half an hour and it picking up all sorts. How true is that ? I wonder.
Interesting, I have yet to have Windows defender pick anything up although I do have real time scanning disabled ( 2 scanners and all ) but occasionally do a full scan with it. It didn't pick up the tracking cookies -- FSecure did.

  birdface 11:10 04 Jan 2009

Likewise I do not like packages.If used individually if one goes wrong it is easier to fix it.All of mine are freebies and I am thank full for them.Normally something will slip through a package and if you have no back up that is when the problems start.So I would say if you do have a package always have something to back it up with.Better safe than sorry.

  ^wave^ 11:24 04 Jan 2009

i use avg free comodo firewall and i have never had a prob. but the threats are out there to be sure so better to be safe than sorry

  DieSse 11:40 04 Jan 2009

The main thing you should look at is where the free versions have important elements missing that are included in the paid versions.

For instance AVG free anti-virus and Avira free version have things missing. Both companies have pages clearly showing you the missing parts. There is no way I would use the free versions of these programs exactly because of this.

I've always had good results from what I've used for many years (eset), and so don't see the point of risking a change merely to save a few currency units (!) per year - my time and data is too important to me for that.

I still spend a fair amount of time clearing up major system problems (on other peoples systems) where AVG free version (in particular) has let viruses and other malware through. I actually have one here today to look at!

  DieSse 11:46 04 Jan 2009

To add - there are a number of new free security suites (Comodo springs to mind) - the problem for me is - although they may be excellent, how would I know that?

Long term reliable protection is what I look for - in my experience, in tests, and in others experience. I get that with what I have, so why take risks to save a relatively small amount. Less per year than the equivalent of one months net access for me.

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