One of the biggest gripes we hear about is the cost of renewing anti-virus software. Well, a new site claims to save us £1,200 by comparing renewal prices. Have you been caught off-guard by antivirus renewals?
Many people don’t realise that the initial cost of the anti-virus/internet security software you buy (£30 RRP for Norton Internet Security 2011) is just the start.
After the first year, you’ll also have to pay an annual subscription fee (roughly £30 for Norton) to receive software updates, without which your anti-virus software simply won’t work very well. Is this a small price to pay for peace of mind?
New anti-virus price comparison site Renewalbuddy.com claims ‘consumers are being misled by anti-virus software vendors when it comes to the cost of renewing their solutions’. It reckons that, just by shopping around, you could save a whopping £1,240 over a lifetime.
Anti-virus comparison tool is good news
A tool like this one is, in many ways, long overdue. The fact is, the security software industry does confuse customers with its prices and sales model. We’ve already highlighted the unfairness that any existing time left on an old software subscription isn’t transferred when you upgrade. On that Conversation PJ told us that:
‘I’ve been using Norton Internet Security for years and have learnt the hard way months can be lost from a subscription if you’re not careful about how you renew it. My advice is to go to Amazon or whoever is offering the best deal and buy the latest version of the product just before the old one is due to expire.’
Also, when you’re asked to renew or upgrade your software, the vendor (such as Symantec) will quote its RRP, skipping over any potential special offers that might be available – Amazon.co.uk is offering £20 off Norton Anti-virus 2011 today, for example.
In principle, Renewalbuddy.com is a great idea, as it provides a one-stop shop to let people shop around for the best available deal. It claims it will show you the cheapest renewal price on your existing software and also show you cheaper alternatives.
Of course, there’s more to security software than price alone. You’ve got to think about quality as well – only two packages were up to receiving one of our Best Buy awards.
Why pay anything at all?
That said, there’s no need to pay anything at all for decent security software. There are a number of free packages out there that provide more than adequate protection, notably Microsoft Security Essentials.
With these, there’s no up-front fee and no ongoing or unfair auto-renewal subscription costs. You don’t need a price comparison site to tell you that that’s a good deal!