Anti-virus renewals: why so expensive?

My McAfee subscription recently ran out. On one of the last days of my subscription I got an email asking me to renew it online, and telling me I could save £12 by doing so.

Not being totally soft in the head, I had a quick search for other options, and discovered that I could buy it on Amazon for nearly £40 less (and maybe even cheaper on EBay).

I understand that these companies want to make a profit, but charging almost three times the retail price for an online renewal is an absolute rip-off!

I can't imagine that anyone apart from pensioners or others unfamiliar with the internet would be gullible enough to pay these prices..

Caveat Emptor!
Personally I wouldn't let McAfee anywhere near my computer.
Not sure what your point is TBH, you pays your money and you takes your chances. I can recommend Webroot from past experience, $51 Dollars for five devices is a bargain, it has an amazingly small footprint and doesn't cause havoc with other programs. Webroot works a bit differently to most AV and some will tell you that it's pants - I've used it to clean up heavily infected PC's that nothing else could.

McaFee is quite good but so are lots of others - it can be a bitch to uninstall though and can also affect performance, especially if you're at the lower end of spec.
There are plenty of free AV Tools out there if you don't want to pay daft money to the vendors. Here is an independent evaluation. I read several and they all seem much of a muchness. It looks as if something beginning with AV might be a good option.

So Which Is Best?
Avira is the technical standout. It has posted excellent scores in recent protection tests and it also ran away from the competition in our performance metrics. The downside is a confusing user interface. I had to explore the software for a few minutes before I understood how to operate it. If Avira could make the software just at tad more intuitive it would have the perfect product.

Avast! may be a better option for users who want to fuss with protection as little as possible. It is nearly as good as Avira in our performance benchmarks and it offers a slick, simple interface. Advertising is kept to a minimum, as well.

Lavasoft and AVG are suitable choices, but both have a catch that may be significant for some users. Lavasoft uses far more resources than the competitors while running in the background and AVG has an unattractive interface loaded with advertisements for the full version and other AVG products. Both offer competent protection, however.
I read an article in PC-PRO a few years ago that evaluated and compared most of the AV and AS products on the market.

The conclusion was pretty much take your pick out of the top five contenders in each category.

The good point made was that you should download the top three products. Run any one permanently and every so often kill that one and spark up one of the others, or both consecutively. That way you would almost certainly get the best of all the available virus and spyware definitions. Don't run two consecutively as they will each regard the others as dangerous.

Seemed like a good plan.

The number of times I have followed this sound advice is exactly zero.


War Hero
Use Avast it's free and better than that
completely agree.. I have used AVG in the past and I am now using AVAST free version. I use the Boot-Time Scan
every couple of weeks and regularly manually delete my Temp Internet Files, Ok this may knock off some of your auto stored passwords also I limit the size of my Temp Internet file down to around 10 Meg or less and I have been virus free for around 5 years.
Trying to remove McAFee or Norton can be a pain in the butt... but far easier to remove in Safe Mode.

Avast Free Version now and again does throw up a box stating my lappy has issues to try and get me to upgrade to the paid version I just ignore that.. If I am in doubt I will carry out the procedures that I listed above.

Job done.
Kaspersky, Lenovo & MS

I suspect my PC already got lots of security issues before the it downloads anything off the net ;)


Kaspersky, Lenovo & MS

I suspect my PC already got lots of security issues before the it downloads anything off the net ;)
Lenovo, have a known habit of stuffing all kinds of 'potentially unwanted' garbage as part of their install image, and recently using bios based tools to reinstall after removal, even reinstall into non Lenovo images. Very ******* shady.

As for the OP and renewal, you got to think of anti virus like car insurance, only a cretin goes with a renewal offer, if you need to buy, Avira or Nod32 will be very good choices, you can usually buy a 3 year license online for less than the big boys renewal cost.

Mcafee/Norton/Symantec are comprehensive, but crap, designed more to tick insurers boxes from a corperate install perspective, the AV is cumbersome and hogs CPU and disk space, some of their enterprise add ons will actually kill PC performance.

Example Symantec Data Loss Prevention, designed to be push installed to many clients over a network, it can have a serious fit when installed on a machine with an SSD drive and bit locker encryption enabled that effectively nukes the drive. And it can't even tell the difference between a virtual (.vhd) drive and an external USB drive, useless box ticking shit.

I have come across all sorts of shit that defeats the big boys, which is picked up by common free stuff like malware bytes or even Windows defender.

A few basic rules.
Don't visit shady porn sites or sports tv sites that will stream you content as long as you download their client, install their client your computer is compromised simple as.

Install browser plugins such as ad blocker, and no script then use them, you'd be surprised how much this alone will reduce your attack surface.

If you must mount ISOs you downloaded from uncertain sources, disable auto runs and scan them once mounted before using.

Never download and open attachments or follow links to login pages from emails you didn't explicitly ask for, these are always an easy way to end up compromised.

As an aside, a friend of mine does consulting for an 'ethical hacking' company and in their most recent exploit they created a false login server for the target company intranet, created a very official looking email with embedded links, and sent it to the target finance department just after their yearly itsec presentation and quiz.
37 idiots clicked the link and entered their full enterprise credentials, resulting in a few firings, and that's just the result of a good guys actions.
As a matter of interest, why is that?

Because, along with Norton and Kasperky, the are a bunch of sneaky feckers and will throw lots of 'oooh look what I found' your way which half the time, they themselves create. It lulls you into a sense security that your antivirus is doing its job and you feel that your computer will go into meltdown if you uninstall it. Meanwhile, lots of genuine malware gets through.
Lenovo, have a known habit
yes, I view my PC as 3 way fight between Chinese, US & Russian intelligence.

I just hope it does'nt end up with me dead & zipped up naked in suitcase in the bath tub.

However I doubt any spy ring will be hard up enough to my gmail account, halifax overdraft or 32 quid in tote sport casino
Avast, AVIRA, AVG, Norton MCAffe are all poo. If you want a good free on use Microsoft Essentials, but it doesn't give full support. The best all round for full protection....IMHO is ESET. I said this before and will again. I wish I had a pound for the amount of times people have said to me AVG or whatever is great I never have problems and then I tell them put ESET on and then see how many problems you had. When they do ESET finds all sorts of pish.

(and no, I am not an ESET sales person, just use the product and seen it find a lot of things on machines that were allegedly protected by AVG, AVST etc)
I used AVG free for years and liked it, but then newer versions started playing up quite a bit

I'm currently trying out Avast. The free version is a little intrusive with popups going off hither and thither.

It wasn't getting on at all well with Thunderbird email either, although I think that I might have found a workaround solution for that.

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