It seems that the article I quoted in my previous blog entry (http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2009/07/04/symantec-its-dangerous-to-rely-on-free-antivirus/) generated a fair amount of interest and disagreement. And the general opinion seems to be the same as what I posted in my blog entry—that the major free antivirus solutions are in fact very good.
Since my earlier posting on this subject, a few other items have been written that you may find interesting or want to pass around:
- Larry Seltzer of PCMag wrote a very nicely balanced blog/article on the issue. He also points out how well the "Big Free Three" (avast, avira, and avg) perform on industry AV tests. Take a read; it is quite good: http://blogs.pcmag.com/securitywatch/2009/08/the_case_for_free_security_sof.php
VB100 came out with their most recent test results: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/06/vista_anti_virus_tests/. This test/certification is kind of an industry standard although some argue that it is not as meaningful as it once was. There are a few interesting pieces of information in here:
- Avast of course passed the test and received another VB100 award
- Two major paid products did not pass the test—one of these is the paid product from the company that started this whole controversy about the quality of free antivirus
- It appears that only one free product failed the test. Once again it is the free product from the company that started this whole controversy.
My objective here is to not malign that company or any of the top antivirus products. Most antivirus/internet security products on the market are quite good. We can all have bad days where a piece of malware is missed or a test is failed. It is easy to find failures for all of the major products. So we shouldn't sling mud or demean any of the products—all are designed to protect users on the internet. That is a very difficult thing to do and success is not guaranteed.
But my position is that the simple fact that a product is free does not make it less safe or trustworthy than a paid product. That is like arguing a toll road is better than a free highway because one has to pay money to use it. Heck, the German Autobahns are fantastic and free—I have been on many toll roads that are in terrible shape.
So when you have the choice between a toll road/paid product and a free highway/free product—both of which are good—I am sure you will choose the free route.
Spread the word and the product: http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html