If you stumble upon a site that says it offers cheap malware protection software, what do you have in mind? Do you think of some antivirus system developed by some run-of-the-mill software company? Do you think of something that is cheap in price and also expectedly cheap in performance?
What “Cheap” Usually Means
First of all, it’s important to clarify what “cheap” means, in this context. Generally, the adjective “cheap” is used on most sites that promote or sell antivirus software, referring to price. This cheap price, though, is not in the context of software companies offering their software products at deliberately lower prices. It’s not about price competition. It’s not like some lesser known brand of consumer goods being offered at a lower price to better compete with the more established brands.
Cheap usually means discounted or at promo prices. In many cases, the phrase “cheap antivirus software” is something used by affiliate marketers or by resellers. Antivirus software is unlikely being sold cheaply because it is counterfeit/pirated or because it is defective. With the way antivirus systems work nowadays, it’s practically useless selling unauthorised copies. Most antiviruses at present employ the “freemium” model, wherein they offer a free copy of the software or a trial version and just let users upgrade to the premium version over the internet. This means that you can’t get access to the actual virus protection system including the updates and technical support if you don’t have the authorised software.
Cheap Price, Same Software Performance
It’s important to emphasise that selling software is unlike the sale of consumer goods or general merchandise. Buyers don’t decide based on the price but based on the reputation of the software. It’s just a bonus if they can get the software they prefer at a discounted price. As such, it can be said that cheap antivirus can afford quality protection. It’s not about the price. It’s about the antivirus itself, the team of security experts behind the antivirus software tool.
If you limit your choices to top dependable brands like McAfee BullGuard, Kaspersky, AVG, Norton, Panda, and Acronis, you can get the quality protection you need. If you encounter issues, you can always ask for technical support if you actually paid for the authentic software or subscribe to a premium virus protection service.
Again, “cheap” when it comes to software is not the same as the “cheap” perceived in the consumer goods market. As long as you make sure that you choose a truly reputable antivirus brand and you get authentic software (pay for the legitimate premium version), you can be sure that the cheap price does not equate to cheap performance.