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You’re likely already more than aware that some form of internet security software is essential for computer users. However, you’re likely also aware that both free and paid variants of this type of software are available. Which leaves the question, do you need to pay for internet security software or are free alternatives sufficient?

It appears to be the case that most internet security software providers offer both free and paid variants of their software. But what are the differences and how should those differences affect your choice of internet security software?

What are the free options?

If you’ve bought a pre-built PC or laptop, it’ll likely already have some form of internet security software or anti-virus installed. Some of the biggest providers of such software are AVG Free, Avast and Avira. In fact, Microsoft even offers their own internet security software in the form of Microsoft Security Essentials, promising to provide everything that you need in a security package for your Windows PC.

Some of these pieces of software are actually some of the best you’ll find and that’s no surprise considering some of the best software is free, including most notably, the best free VPN service. So it’s safe to assume that when you opt for a free internet security option, you’re likely going to be getting a piece of software that does a good job.

How do paid alternatives differ?

So if free internet security software provides everything you need in order to protect your computer system, how do paid alternatives differ? Well, the paid internet security software provides everything you need and more.

In order to make their paid solutions a little more attractive, many internet security software developers chuck in some interesting extras. Antispyware, firewalls, online backup and parental control are some of the common additions that you’ll find with most paid anti-virus solutions. With that in mind, whether or not you need access to those extras should help you decide between free and paid internet security solutions.

Of course, many of those added extras are similarly available as free standalone packages. However, you’re basically paying for the convenience with such an all-in-one solution and for many not so tech savvy users, that’s exactly what they want.

Should you pay for internet security software?

With all the above taken into consideration, should you pay for internet security software? Well, the answer to that question largely varies depending on the type of PC user you are.

If you’re looking for a convenient solution that provides you with comprehensive internet security and a number of added extras, including firewalls and online back-up, it’s more than worth shelling out for a paid solution.

However, for those who simply turn on their PC for occasional internet browsing and have little need for many of those aforementioned extras, a free solution should work just fine. However, most free solutions offer quick and easy upgrade to their paid version, meaning your choice in internet security software doesn’t have to be definitive.

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