Purchasing a new PC is an exciting experience, but one decision you may want to reconsider is whether to keep the preinstalled antivirus software that often comes with it. Retailers like Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi frequently bundle their PCs with antivirus solutions, including popular names like Norton, Trend Micro, and McAfee. However, our 25 years of experience in the tech industry have shown us that these preinstalled options might not be in your best interest. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why you should think twice before relying on these preinstalled antivirus programs and suggest alternatives that can provide better protection for your computer.
- Limited Choice: One of the main drawbacks of preinstalled antivirus software from retailers is the lack of choice. These retailers often push a handful of brands, such as Norton, Trend Micro, and McAfee, which may not necessarily be the most effective or cost-efficient options for your needs. This limited selection can prevent you from exploring other reputable antivirus programs that might better suit your requirements.
- Profit-Driven Recommendations: It’s important to understand that retailers have a financial interest in promoting certain antivirus products. The brands they push typically have partnerships or agreements in place that allow retailers to profit from each sale. This financial incentive can lead to biased recommendations that prioritize profit margins over your computer’s security.
- Deceptive Practices: Unfortunately, some retailers engage in deceptive practices when selling preinstalled antivirus software. They may use scare tactics to convince customers that they need additional layers of protection, upselling unnecessary subscriptions and add-ons. As a result, many users end up with multiple expensive subscriptions, only to find that they’re still susceptible to viruses.
- Specialized Removal Tools: Another significant concern with antivirus programs like Norton, McAfee, and Trend Micro is that they often require specialized removal tools to uninstall completely. This is a red flag in itself. The fact that these programs don’t uninstall easily through conventional methods can be frustrating and time-consuming for users. It raises questions about the user-friendliness and transparency of these products.
- Better Alternatives: There are several antivirus brands that offer excellent protection but are often ignored by retailers because they don’t yield the same profit margins. Brands like Avast, AVG, Malwarebytes, and Bitdefender consistently rank highly in independent tests for detecting and eliminating malware. These options are typically more cost-effective and provide comprehensive protection without the need for multiple subscriptions.
- Bitdefender Basic Protection with Added Features: For those looking for a robust antivirus solution, Boss IT offers Bitdefender Basic Protection starting at just $59-$79 per user per year, depending on the level of security you need, such as VPN capabilities. Bitdefender not only provides top-notch antivirus protection but also offers additional features like phone tracking, remote locking, remote data wiping, and even the ability to capture photos of potential thieves. This comprehensive package ensures not only your computer’s security but also the safety of your mobile devices and personal data.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. Whether you prefer Norton or any other antivirus program, we respect your choice. However, we believe it’s crucial to provide you with the information and advice needed to make an informed decision that prioritizes your digital security and financial well-being. Retailers may prioritize profits, but your security should always come first. By considering the alternatives and evaluating your options, you can ensure that your computer remains protected without unnecessary expenses or risks. Of course, we’re here to guide you if you are unsure.
Even our IT professionals acknowledge that relying solely on Windows Defender for virus protection may not be suitable for those who aren’t tech-savvy. It’s a risk we wouldn’t recommend. In our office and workshop, we install Bitdefender on all our PCs, not only to clean and disinfect other systems but also to ensure our own protection. Despite our expertise in virus prevention, we maintain Bitdefender subscriptions for added peace of mind.