Just a few days ago I took my son along to a few electrical retailers looking for a new laptop to get him geared up for his first year in college, and I know I've touched the subject before on buying a new PC and not to be fooled into buying unecessary software, but I can't stress the importance of it to be honest. I refer, of course, to the fact that the sales guys in these stores almost always try and convince us that without McAfee or Symantec on our new PC's then we stand little chance online.
It's obvious that all these companies are in cahoots with each other, with the likes of PC World agreeing to push security products for the developers in return for a great price although on this visit the guy more or less questioned why I didn't want to take the security package on offer and opposed to telling him to mind his own business, which if it had been any other situation I may have, I told him about FreewareBB.
He then went on to explain that most freeware didn't include a lot of the important features that were built in to their commercial security bundle. Interested, I questioned him!. Real-time scanning, for example, isn't included in most freeware spyware software and having to use different products for different area's of security is never a good idea. I asked the guy when he last was on a freeware site such as ours, and he admitted it had been some time. When I further questioned him about using different products for different purposes, such as a seperate firewall, antivirus and spyware application I asked him to elaborate on why he considered it a bad idea. He couldn't offer any explanation other than to say it 'just was'.
I put it to him that in fact in my opinion it could be considered a more secure option, as if a security package were to be compromised then this would mean a vulnerability could potentially exist throughout the entire package, whereas using seperate products would mean if a vulnerability existed in one, it wouldn't necessarily affect the other. He agreed that was one way to look at it!.
Regarding freeware software not having as many features as commercial software, I again asked if he knew of any freeware titles for antivirus, firewall or spyware which he didn't, therefore I didn't understand how he could possibly say freeware wasn't as good as commercial software if he was unable to give any practical examples, but to his annoyance I offered him plenty of alternatives. In the end, I think he was just releaved to get rid of me but my point in all of this is simple - go armed with a little knowledge and put these people in their place who are only trained to sell commercial products and have little to no knowledge of freeware.
You DO NOT need to spend £100 on additional software for your new PC, you simply need to uninstall the trial versions which come pre-installed and download any one of the many antivirus, firewall or spyware applications on offer here on FreewareBB, and if anyone cares to recomend their favourite please feel free
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Importance of standing firm when buying a new computer
Posted 15 August 2009 - 10:59 PM
It's frightening the amount of people who don't yet know about freeware; I've lost count of the people I've helped with their PC's with the likes of installing antivirus software, etc only to be asked if I downloaded it from a warez site. When you tell people the software is free, they simply assume it's warez!!!
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