Do you need to pay for antivirus in 2021?
If you have seen a popup suggesting you should purchase an antivirus subscription to protect your PC or Android device from malware threats, rest assured that paying for antivirus software is virtually never necessary. And those programs telling you that you should pay may be doing more harm than good, especially if they came pre-installed with your machine.
The problem with most antivirus software
Most antivirus software take up a lot of storage space and hog up resources even when your computer does not need extra protection. This means that the antivirus can be slowing down your machine. This can be particularly bad for lower-end or cheaper models.
Sometimes these antivirus tools also bundle web browser extensions for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and others. These browser extensions claim to protect users from dangerous websites that steal information or download viruses. What they don’t tell you, however, is that they also inject code while you are browsing that can both slow down your browsing experience and also track your usage data. They can then sell this data to third parties. This is also true about the main antivirus software.
What to know about bundled antivirus
In order to increase profit margins on Windows desktop and laptop sales, many manufacturers bundle their devices with pre-installed software, including antivirus tools. This is also happens with some Android phones, especially if you purchase a cheaper model from a carrier. Many times, these bundled antivirus programs are not even enabled and waste storage space.
If your Windows computer came with a third-party antivirus such as Symantec/Norton or McAfee pre-installed, we recommend checking which features are enabled and systematically removing the entire software from Windows.
On your Android phone or tablet, things can get a little trickier. Pre-installed bundled software can be very difficult to remove and can require special techniques.