Tag Archives: anti-virus software

Choosing an anti-virus software

Anti-virus software products are a lot like new cars — each year brings different models, which may be better or worse than the previous year’s product. While it’s impractical to change vehicles every year, it’s relatively simple to give up one anti-virus software and switch to another annually, if needed.

I explained in my last post why I decided to end my subscription with Webroot. My search for a new product focused on two main criteria: price and performance.

To get an idea of which products offer the best protection for my computer, I turned to two trusted sources of technology information. PC Magazine offers a review of the best 2013 anti-virus products and PC World offers a similar set of test results. Unfortunately, not every product tested by one publication was evaluated by the other, so I looked for commonalities between the two articles. The products they seemed to agree on were Norton, Bitdefender and Webroot.

Step two was to compare the products offered by Norton and Bitdefender, since I’d already ruled out Webroot. Much like the “trim levels” offered in new cars, anti-virus products offer varying levels of protection. Most product websites provide a comparison chart which shows the features that are common to all its products and then the “extras” you get for upgrading beyond the lowest-priced model. When comparing products, be sure to think about how many computers you need to protect. Some products give you a software license for only one machine, while the more expensive ones typically protect three computers and purchase additional licenses as needed.

The two products that seemed to best fit my needs were Norton Internet Security and Bitdefender Internet Security. Much like cars, these products are constantly “on sale” or subject to various promotions. To get the most bang for my buck, I did a Google search for promotional codes for these products. One of my favorite promo code sites, RetailMeNot, offered a coupon code for 70 percent off the purchase price. This allowed me to purchase Bitdefender Internet Security for $20.98.  The best deal I could find on the Norton product was a 25 percent off promo code, making the purchase price $37.50.

Since the two products appear quite similar, I chose Bitdefender. Removing Webroot and installing the new product was a simple process. After I have several months of experience with Bitdefender under my belt, I’ll post a review of my new anti-virus software.

Have you tried Norton or Bitdefender? What as your experience?

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Filed under Product recommendations, Shopping tips, Technology and office equipment

Experience with Webroot antivirus software ends on a sour note

I’d never heard of Webroot anti-virus software until the beginning of 2012, when my McAfee subscription was about to expire. Disappointed by the high subscription fee for McAfee’s anti-virus product, I set out in search of a more affordable way to protect my computer. I found Webroot had good reviews and an attractive subscription price. For $45 plus tax, I got a three-seat license, allowing me to protect my computer, my husband’s and my son’s. You can also get a nice cash-back reward if you start your purchase at Ebates.com — currently, you get 75 percent off your Webroot software via cash back.

Things went very smoothly with Webroot throughout my initial subscription. I never had any problems with computer viruses, malware, etc. I even got a free upgrade to the company’s top-of-the-line product. As the renewal period for my subscription approached, Webroot sent me an email reminding me the product would be automatically renewed on Feb. 13 and explained how I could turn off the auto-renewal if I wanted to. When I noticed the renewal price was $80 (due in part to that free upgrade to a more expensive product), I turned off the automatic renewal on Jan. 30. I received an email confirming I’d successfully completed this task.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email on Feb. 6 stating my subscription had been automatically renewed. While this renewal was at a price $20 cheaper than what was stated in the initial email, this didn’t change the fact the product was renewed without my permission. Equally  concerning was that the product was renewed a week early, and based on the new expiration date, the company had shaved a couple of days off the subscription I’d previously purchased.

I emailed Webroot about my concerns and asked them to reverse the unauthorized charge made to my credit card and to restore my remaining subscription. I received a response in about six hours — an impressive turnaround time. While Webroot did refund my money, it also canceled my current subscription, leaving my computer unprotected. The only way I figured this out was to check the software icon in my system tray — the company never pointed out it had taken this action. Concerned about the safety of all the computers on this subscription, I emailed Webroot again and asked them to restore the remaining week of my subscription. While the company did so within a few minutes, it offered no apology for its mistake.

Overall, Webroot has been a very reliable product, but its customer service when the time came to renew was clearly lacking. I plan to try a new anti-virus software for the next 12 months. In my next post, I’ll offer tips for how to choose such a product.

Have you tried Webroot? If so, what was your experience with the company?

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Filed under Customer service, Technology and office equipment