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Free v Paid for protection


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As a service engineer I am am often asked for free(ware) protection or told 'Ive heard program X can do it for free and is much better'.

Now I happen to think that buyers are much better served in the AV and AM market than by supplier(s) of operating systems.

Certainly prices are much more affordable (reasonable). Perhaps it's the competition.

Anyway I usually put it like this

"When you take your automobile for its annual service, do you ask the garage to only use water, not antifreeze in the radiator, in order to save a few pennies?

Compared to your investment in hardware and software why begrudge the relatively small cost of protection."

Comments welcome

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Norton's and McAfee have some real deals on their software, unfortunately they have focused on marketing and profit potential not malware detection or prevention, the object is to cure and protect a computer, not increase market share and profits.

People should pay or donate for good programs but they should shun bad ones.

As far as I am concerned this program here has followed in the footsteps of a standard set long by spybot years ago.

Even if MBAM goes to trial from free some day I would continue to support them, since they deserve a big raise for all the hard work they do.

Paying 100$ for windows oem doesn't seem excessive, paying 20-40$ a year for antimalware does, it's all about the attach rate, if a million people bought MBAM next week I wonder what would happen?

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You can protect a system just as well with all free software. Most software you pay for you are paying for added features not a higher level of protection. Norton and McAfee are two I never recommend. The are bloated resource hogs and don't do the job. They are also antivirus programs and can't really be compared to MBAM. While MBAM will remove some malware considered virus. It is not specifically an antivirus program. you need an antivirus with MBAM.

Spybot is a known rogue. Spybot Search & Destroy is a well known antispyware program. The reason I make a point of separating these names is people read these forums and don't have the knowledge to know they should not install spybot.

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Good post Chewy ;), wise words indeed in my humble opinion. All I will add is the large vendors you mentioned may be ok in a corporate/server environment.

However for the average home user not so good I think for many reasons ranging from resource problems to actual reliability but that is just my take :P

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You can protect a system just as well with all free software. Most software you pay for you are paying for added features not a higher level of protection. Norton and McAfee are two I never recommend. The are bloated resource hogs and don't do the job. They are also antivirus programs and can't really be compared to MBAM. While MBAM will remove some malware considered virus. It is not specifically an antivirus program. you need an antivirus with MBAM.

Spybot is a known rogue. Spybot Search & Destroy is a well known antispyware program. The reason I make a point of separating these names is people read these forums and don't have the knowledge to know they should not install spybot.

Good post also ;). We must have been typing sending around the same time :P.

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Norton's and McAfee have some real deals on their software, unfortunately they have focused on marketing and profit potential not malware detection or prevention, the object is to cure and protect a computer, not increase market share and profits.

People should pay or donate for good programs but they should shun bad ones.

As far as I am concerned this program here has followed in the footsteps of a standard set long by spybot years ago.

Even if MBAM goes to trial from free some day I would continue to support them, since they deserve a big raise for all the hard work they do.

Paying 100$ for windows oem doesn't seem excessive, paying 20-40$ a year for antimalware does, it's all about the attach rate, if a million people bought MBAM next week I wonder what would happen?

Not entirely true. When you are a publicly traded company, with stock offerings to the public, those people who buy your stock, in other words, invest in your company, expect a return on their investment. So, yes, it really *is* their objective.

What would be more apropos to say here is that we should scrutinize any publicly traded company that is offering protection services / software / hardware to us and evaluate their product(s) to see if they are in it for the profit motive or not.

The same holds true for shareware authors / teams, except for the small fact that they may not have stock offerings to the public - in which case I still say the exact same thing - evaluate the company and their offering(s). A shareware author's prime objective should not be for profit,... or should it? If a person / group did not want to profit from his / her / their development, then wouldn't that mean that said individual / group should not bother with shareware at all, instead making their product careware / donationware / freeware / open source?

Also, you have to realize that *your* definition of a good product is not necessarily *everyone's* definition - some people will automatically downgrade the rating of a product simply because it is / it is not free. However, I know what you meant - the merit (and thus the end user support) of an given product should be based upon the performance of the product in its niche - does it do what it is supposed to do, and does it do that job well?

You can protect a system just as well with all free software. Most software you pay for you are paying for added features not a higher level of protection. Norton and McAfee are two I never recommend. The are bloated resource hogs and don't do the job. They are also antivirus programs and can't really be compared to MBAM. While MBAM will remove some malware considered virus. It is not specifically an antivirus program. you need an antivirus with MBAM.

Spybot is a known rogue. Spybot Search & Destroy is a well known antispyware program. The reason I make a point of separating these names is people read these forums and don't have the knowledge to know they should not install spybot.

Yes, but one of the main features that is almost universally not available in freeware products is the ability to automatically update the product(s)' definition files, meaning that you fave to put a little elbow grease into keeping those free products working in top shape and most efficiently. I am not saying you're wrong, but playing Devil's Advocate - if PCs were not targeted toward the novitiates of the world, then many software developers and vendors would not be trying to get their software bundled with new PCs - it would simply not be a viable market to exploit. It's the new users, so many of whom, over the years, have told me that they would prefer to pay some money to have a "set it and forget it" attitude with their protection scheme. They begin to see the maintenance of a computer to be a drudge of a chore, something that they would rather not be bothered with.

I wonder how many of these people drive their cars, literally, into the ground because of poor maintenance?

Good post Chewy ;), wise words indeed in my humble opinion. All I will add is the large vendors you mentioned may be ok in a corporate/server environment.

However for the average home user not so good I think for many reasons ranging from resource problems to actual reliability but that is just my take :P

Good point Dak - my part time / side venture requires, by the IT department's mandates, that I install and use Symantec Endpoint Security client on my computer at home so I can VPN into their servers and not have them get some sort of electro-prod shock or bio-hazard warning or some such nonsense (actually, it is because the VPN software looks for the presence of an actual runtime scanning module that is not reporting any errors before allowing access, but that is a whole different ball game), and it does a pretty decent job, in terms of watching for Malware and firewall activity (well, it did on Vista 32 bit - I still have installed it on Vista 64bit yet.....)

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QUOTE (JeanInMontana @ Apr 16 2008, 05:15 PM) *

You can protect a system just as well with all free software. Most software you pay for you are paying for added features not a higher level of protection. Norton and McAfee are two I never recommend. The are bloated resource hogs and don't do the job. They are also antivirus programs and can't really be compared to MBAM. While MBAM will remove some malware considered virus. It is not specifically an antivirus program. you need an antivirus with MBAM.

Spybot is a known rogue. Spybot Search & Destroy is a well known antispyware program. The reason I make a point of separating these names is people read these forums and don't have the knowledge to know they should not install spybot.

Yes, but one of the main features that is almost universally not available in freeware products is the ability to automatically update the product(s)' definition files, meaning that you fave to put a little elbow grease into keeping those free products working in top shape and most efficiently. I am not saying you're wrong, but playing Devil's Advocate - if PCs were not targeted toward the novitiates of the world, then many software developers and vendors would not be trying to get their software bundled with new PCs - it would simply not be a viable market to exploit. It's the new users, so many of whom, over the years, have told me that they would prefer to pay some money to have a "set it and forget it" attitude with their protection scheme. They begin to see the maintenance of a computer to be a drudge of a chore, something that they would rather not be bothered with.

The point is protection power not whether or not a noob or lazy person will benefit from full features. Yes they will, but their protection otherwise offered will be no better for it. Any system can be properly protected for free, just as well as paying for the same stuff with an auto update feature, or any other feature that is added. I have the opportunity to compare many products pay and free just from my involvement in the security community and that is what I base my opinion on. It is also what I teach in my PC security class. It takes away the often heard excuse, I can't afford to use that stuff. It won't make them get off their lazy a$$ and download it though, so I do and burn it to a CD and sell them the CD for $20.00. This is the part that amazes me, they will pay for a CD of freeware!!

Using your car maintenance analogy these same people would probably drive the car into the ground even if they got free maintenance. Comparing water and antifreeze is not a fair comparison because they do not contain any of the same chemicals. Perhaps the bargain antifreeze compared to the Prestone or other major brand name would come closer. In that case, they both work the same, one saves you money.

It's hard to feel compassion for them and at times I would like to take their Internet drivers license away, because they are reckless and a danger to society. This personality type is responsible for the spreading of many infections and being part of a botnet etc. They won't take responsibility for how they use the WWW and are part of the problem.

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Exactly - but the other side of it is that the automation of products is a *major* plus, and a bigger selling point that 24/7 protection when it comes to end users. As you said, they are too lazy to download the apps, much less install them - whether free or shareware or commercial - so they are also less apt to remember to check for definition updates daily, or to scan weekly.

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 Comparing water and antifreeze is not a fair comparison because they do not contain any of the same chemicals.

At last someone has actually addressed my points, even if I don't agree with her!

I don't see why the comparison is invalid. In both cases the comparison is a free alternative against a 'paid extra for ' addition.

Incidentally many garages in the UK are making money hand over fist with sky high rates for the oil used in an oil change and now 'engine flushing agent' on top.

Paying 100$ for windows oem doesn't seem excessive, paying 20-40$ a year for antimalware does, it's all about the attach rate, if a million people bought MBAM next week I wonder what would happen?

I think you have you figures skewed here.

Firstly any version of Windows costs more over here. The fancier versions of Vista will set you back up to

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hello StudioT, I'M NOT ONE OF YOU TECH WIZARDS BUT EVERYONE HERE AND THEIR POINT OF VIEW IS RIGHT. BOTH FREE AND PAID COPIES OF CERTAIN VENDORS HAVE ADVANTAGES AND LIKE ALL OF YOU HAVE STATED IT DEPENDS ON HOW KNOWLEDGEABLE THE PC user is ( sorry for the use of caps my typing is terrible. ) I as an average user only owned Pc for 5years and learning the hard way find some paid work out well for my needs and paranoid feelings. and some free programs made by good people who want to help others workout well also. its all comes down to the individuals level of comfort, knowledge, and financial circumstance. this discussion is a great one to have and i have learned al ot from all the good people here and at other forums and will continue to soak up all this knowledge you have you . this is like having your own team of experts. YOUR OWN IT. dept, thats at the top of its game. I'm lucky to have stumbled upon this good fortune. and again i apologize for this terrible typing skill.

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CODE

Comparing water and antifreeze is not a fair comparison because they do not contain any of the same chemicals.

At last someone has actually addressed my points, even if I don't agree with her!

I don't see why the comparison is invalid. In both cases the comparison is a free alternative against a 'paid extra for ' addition.

Incidentally many garages in the UK are making money hand over fist with sky high rates for the oil used in an oil change and now 'engine flushing agent' on top.

Its not fair because water is NOT antifreeze. It will not do what antifreeze does even if you buy it. It's apples and oranges. Nothing in common.

Your equating inconvenience with protection quality and they are not the same. The convenience of a paid version that does auto updates does not increase the protection it offers. I understand why a business setting would choose to go the paid version route and it does make sense for them to do that.

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Over time we are going to make the pay version of MBAM be better and better compared to the free version but the free version will always maintain the scan and remove ability of the FULL database . Within the next month we will be adding some very good tools to the pro version . That is one of the good things about pay yersions of security software , you get more than just new defs .

I am not a fan of apps that do not let you remove without $ because with all the nasty malware out there I would want to know that removal works . MBAM has a powerful driver for removal and is going to be adding a second backup DOR driver within 2 weeks . People need to see these kick some butt before they buy so we dont make them pay first .

As far as free protection goes there are good options but all of them seem to require the user to do some more work and know a little more . Then there is the support issue . If your free antivirus app breaks something and the uinstaller does not work what are you going to do ? More advanced users will find a way to fix this with a combination of their own tools , knowledge and a little google but what about the noobs (its not bad to be a PC noob BTW) ?

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It will not do what antifreeze does

They both cool your engine.

I believe I said that I come across businesses that want to avoid paying, despite the licence conditions in some if not all free AVware.

MBAM has a powerful driver for removal and is going to be adding a second backup DOR driver within 2 weeks

I look forward to testing the new version.

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