In this day and age, everyone and their grandparents are on the Internet. With access to countless information at our fingertips, it’s easy to get side-tracked when you’re browsing the World Wide Web. This, in turn, leaves us prone to malicious attacks if we’re not properly protected. As more and more antivirus protection programs keep popping up, you will find yourself wondering which is the best to suit your needs. This will also beg the question on whether you are willing to pay for an antivirus program or does a free version work just fine for you?
For this month’s showdown, we’re comparing the differences between a free and paid version of antivirus and which will be the best for you.
ESET Smart Security Premium
Kaspersky Internet Security
Next up, we have Kaspersky Lab, a popular household name when it comes to cybersecurity and antivirus protection. This Russian-based multinational company started out in 1997 and is currently one of the most popular antivirus protection programs right now. Named after its founder, Eugene Kaspersky (who came up with Kaspersky’s first antivirus software in response to the Cascade virus), Kaspersky Internet Security is also an all-in-one security program that provides total protection to your PC as well as your other devices.
Kaspersky offers a wide range of offers for its Internet Security package where you can choose to have a one- or two-year plan across a total of up to five different devices. This way, you can protect your PC, smartphone, tablet and two additional devices of your choice. Priced from RM105 for one device, RM169 for three devices and RM253 for five devices, Kaspersky offers great value for money as you can have more devices protected for a longer time.
Kaspersky Internet Security also provides you a safe space to conduct online transactions and banking through its Safe Money application. This allows you to include your online banking website and even credit/debit card details through Safe Money and not have to worry about your personal data being deciphered. Kaspersky Internet Security also provides webcam security, much like what ESET Smart Security Premium.
To make it clearer, the Kaspersky Internet Security is considered its mid-tier program whilst the Kaspersky Total Security is its top-tier program so trying to justify between the ESET Smart Security Premium and Kaspersky Internet Security will come under much scrutiny. With that said, Kaspersky Total Security comes with identical features from Internet Security but with an added three features that makes it different from the latter.
These three features include Extended protection for your children across all devices, secured password storage, which can be accessed across multiple devices and data encryption and backup for photos, videos, music and other files. The Total Security program also runs the same as how the Internet Security package works where you can choose to have a one- or two-year plan across a total of five different devices. However, there is a drastic price increase between the two as Total Security is priced from RMxxx to RMxxx.
AVG Antivirus Free
Formerly known as just AVG (abbreviated from Anti-Virus Guard), AVG AntiVirus is most popularly famous for its family of antivirus and internet security software developed by AVG Technologies who is a subsidiary of Avast Software. AVG AntiVirus is most notably famous for providing top-quality ‘freeware’, which protects your PC and other devices from potential threats and malware.
Right off the bat, AVG Antivirus Free doesn’t offer much as compared to the paid antivirus programs, and rightly so. However, it does offer basic protection for your computer, your web browsing and even your email. By clicking on the Settings icon right next to ‘Scan Computer’ on the home screen, it will redirect you to a more detailed window about your scanning options. From here, you can perform a full computer, performance, deep virus, USB/DVD or a file and folder scan. For a free antivirus software, that is extensive in terms of computer scanning.
If you ever wanted to permanently delete files from your PC (let’s face it, it’s porn; if you don’t have a VPN, finding porn online is a task in itself), AVG Antivirus Free will do that for you. Simply select which file or folder you’d like to delete from and it’ll be permanently gone from your computer.
Sadly, to get the most out of AVG Technologies, you will have to purchase the full program online for a yearly fee of RM200. If you want the best that AVG Technologies has to offer, you can also check out AVG Ultimate, which combines every Internet Security feature alongside AVG’s TuneUp feature for a yearly fee of RM280.
As the name clearly states, Windows Defender is a pre-installed anti-malware component that comes with Microsoft Windows. Although first introduced as an antispyware program that is free to download for Windows XP, it was then shipped to Windows Vista and Windows 7 before being turned into a full antivirus program from Windows 8 and onwards, replacing Microsoft Security Essentials.
Seeing as Windows Defender already comes pre-installed into a Windows PC, you won’t have to scour the Internet for another antivirus program. Its scan is great as you can choose between three different options – Quick, Full and Custom. As its name suggest, Quick scan will go through your device to ensure there are no anomalies while Full scan will make sure there aren’t any irregularities. Custom scan allows you to choose which disc you want to scan and which you want to leave out.
Windows Defender also provides Real-time and Cloud-based protection to your PC and even Automatic Samples Submission. Real-time and Cloud-based protection helps to find and stop malware from installing and running itself on your PC. It will then send info to Microsoft about any potential threats that may occur. This in turn will help Microsoft improve malware detection. This would be great for all of you out there who like to partake in your usual night time streaming sessions (you know what I’m talking about).
|Brand/Price||ESET Smart Security Premium||Kaspersky Labs Internet Security||AVG Antivirus Free||Windows Defender|
|Price||RM164.50 (1-year); RM246.80 (2-year)||RM105 (1 device); RM169 (3 devices); RM253 (5 devices)||Free (AVG Ultimate – RM280, yearly)||Free|
|Number of Devices||1||Multiple||1||1|
|Secure Online Banking||Yes||Yes||No (AVG Ultimate – Yes)||No|
|Data Encryption||Yes||Yes||No (AVG Ultimate – Yes||No|
After running through all four antivirus programs (and having to restart my PC every time I switch between them), there is no clear-cut winner here as every internet user has different needs and wants when it comes to having an antivirus program.
If you’re looking for a security software that protects you from all type of potential threats while providing safe and secure online banking and transactions, encrypting all your data, keeping your children safe from potential harm and even safely storing passwords, the ESET Smart Security Premium is the one for you.
However, if you want to be able to keep all your devices safe and secure, have parental control on the PC and secure online transactions and banking, maybe the Kaspersky Labs Internet Security is the right fit for you.
But if you don’t feel like paying for an antivirus programs, the AVG Antivirus Free is a great freeware software that does a great job in keeping your PC safe. From being able to perform various types of scans as well as shredding files, AVG has got you covered. But if you just don’t want to download any freeware or pay for them, Windows Defender is perfectly fine as it can still provide virus and malware protection and removal as well as spyware detection and removal.
Byline: Teh Wi-Liam