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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > Computers & Internet > Anti-Virus Software

Anti-Virus Software Cost

How Much Does Anti-Virus Software Cost?

low costBasic Virus Protection: $30-$50average costSoftware Package: $40-$50 high costSoftware Package With Internet Security Features: $60-$80
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Anti-virus software is used to protect a computer from malware, which includes viruses, spyware, adware, computer worms and Trojan horses. Anti-virus software prevents infections and removes recognized threats. Anti-virus software often includes firewall protections for computers, which prevent hackers from accessing personal information. Anti-virus software usually needs to be purchased and renewed annually.

Typical costs:

  • Basic virus protection typically costs $30-$50 for home computers. McAfee's Anti-Virus Plus 2011[1] , the company's basic product, is $50 and includes anti-virus protection, firewall protection, and protection while surfing online by warning of malicious websites.
  • Sometimes anti-virus software is packaged with utilities to optimize a computer's performance. These software packages cost $40-$50. Amazon, for example, sells PC TotalCare[2] for $45. This includes anti-virus and anti-spyware software as well as programs to diagnose and fix problems and repair system errors.
  • A more comprehensive anti-virus software package with more extensive Internet security features costs $60 $80. Bit Defender's Total Security 2011[3] costs $80 and includes antivirus protection, firewall, tune-up programs, antispam filters, chat and file encryption and a file shredder.
Related articles: Internet Security Software, Data Recovery, Internet Access

What should be included:
  • Basic virus protection includes the software that scans and protects computers from attacks. The software should provide regular online updates of virus definitions, to keep protection up to date.
  • A more comprehensive Internet security package includes computer firewalls to prevent hackers, protection from spam, email filtering and ongoing monitoring of potential threats from websites visited. Some software specifically protects from Facebook phishing scams, where malicious users try to obtain a user's personal information.
  • Business anti-virus protection should include licenses for installation and use on multiple workstations.
Additional costs:
  • Unlike other software programs, anti-virus software should be replaced or upgraded annually. Out of date anti-virus software is ineffective. Subscription renewals can cost $40-$80, as much as the initial software itself. Kaspersky[4] provides discounts on multi-year subscription renewals of up to $80.
  • Some anti-virus software makers offer 30-day free trials of their software. AVG[5] offers a free download of its 2011 software which includes virus protection and protection from malicious websites for 30 days.
  • Generally, anti-virus software costs less later in the year. Online stores such as Amazon[6] offer discounted prices on software later in the year. Consumers can save up to 50% on anti-virus software by waiting to purchase it until April or May. Amazon also offers free shipping on some items.
  • F-Secure[7] offers 30% off on one- and two-year subscriptions for its 2011 anti-virus software if the product is purchased online.
  • Panda Cloud[8] claims to have the first free anti-virus software in the cloud, which offers the advantage of stories files remotely, rather than on a personal computer or laptop. The product provides free protection from virus and spyware from the cloud. The version with ads is free and not a trial; an ad-free upgrade[9] costs $30.
Shopping for anti-virus software:
  • TopTenReviews provides a comparison guide for top-selling Mac[10] and PC[11] anti-virus software and suites.
  • PC Magazine[12] offers a look at what's included and what works best in some popular PC anti-virus suites.
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