After deciding which antivirus software is dependable, either Bitdefender, Norton, Avast or McAfee in 2020, you might still need to know whether to commit to their paid or free versions. This text will help you to decipher the key differences between the two categories. To learn more, one can see the peculiarities below.

The free version

Fundamentally, free versions are designed to offer essential computer protection. They may provide security against some common viruses; block suspicious files, and notify you about potentially fraudulent websites. By so doing, your PC can remain secure to some extent.

You should also know that the technology applied within the free antivirus service depends on the developer. Some developers prefer to leave a thin margin between the paid and unpaid versions. Thus, by chance, you can have access to real-time protection and other essential features.

How to choose a free antivirus package?

If you would like to have antivirus software and pay no money, you don’t have to pick randomly. You should first read the benefits and features of all your available options.

You will observe that some of the security solutions may be rich in features but not user-friendly. Others may not offer as many features but may come with clear and straight forward user interfaces.

An excellent answer to choosing the appropriate software will combine the best of these worlds. You should find a program that has all the necessary features you need, plus an easy-to-use interface.

The paid version

If you’re looking for more comprehensive computer protection, you might need to consider a paid version. Although the specific benefits you get may vary depending on the developer, you can be guaranteed more reliable security against attacks.

You can think of the paid versions as somewhat a ‘proactive’ than ‘reactive’ way of protecting your device.

While you get real-time protection, it’s easier to control the behavior of dangerous applications and malicious software. Thus, it’s possible to intercept infections before they infiltrate.

How to choose a paid antivirus package?

In order to find a powerful paid antivirus, you should take your time to read online reviews and watch videos that comprehensively explain how they work. Some studies may provide information acquired from third-party test reports. These reveal factual information about your available options.

In some cases, vendors may allow their potential customers to do trials of their products. You can also use this opportunity to find a product that’s suitable for you before you make a serious commitment.

Advantages & disadvantages of using a free software option

When you use free antivirus options, you may have security against common computer viruses. However, your PC will remain vulnerable to sophisticated and yet-unknown threats. You may be poorly secured when doing sensitive online activities such as banking, and, or just surfing.

Another major disappointment with free antivirus software is that they usually come without technical support. You won’t have access to any services over the phone, chat, or email. That privilege is reserved for paid versions.

On the good side, using the free ones means you don’t incur any costs. You can get your necessary computer protection without paying for anything.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a paid software option

Opting for a paid package comes with endless benefits. You’re not limited to essential protection like in the case with free versions. It gives you more control over your privacy and sensitive information.

You can do your online activities such as banking without the need to worry about keylogging and phishing etc. You can also have extended features that include parental control, anti-spam, password management, and firewall protection.

While you can enjoy all these vast features, they do come at a cost. Most premium antivirus programs are quite expensive. Furthermore, the availability of extra top tier features can make the programs bigger and too heavy to be run in low-end devices.

Computer type

Apparently, the type of device you’re using can also determine whether you can easily opt for paid or unpaid antivirus software. As mentioned, low-end devices may not smoothly run premium paid antivirus software. Their general performance can be significantly hampered.

And also, the make of the computer matters. Despite the increase in vulnerability, Mac computers are still regarded as more impenetrable by malware because of how their operating system functions. It’s said that the OS is “sandboxed,” which means there is minimal communication between programs. This makes it difficult for viruses to spread.

By virtue of this fact, hackers commonly attack PCs more than they do Macs. If you’re a PC owner, you might want to consider getting a paid antivirus software to get more protection. On the other hand, if you’re a Mac user, you can be okay with free versions because you’re at a lesser risk.


The level of security you may need for your device will depend on the type of your device and your general online activities. Users who use their devices for more serious and sensitive functions may require more durable protection than those who apply for casual purposes.

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