Navigating the Abyss of Buying Anti Virus Software

Posted by Moaning Mary on November 27, 2015 in Business, The Daily Grind |

When I got my new computer last Xmas, it came with McAfee anti-virus program, that seemed pretty inclusive. I mean it let me protect all of my devices, without restrictions, which I thought was pretty cool.  When the trail period ended, it let me renew for a reasonable price for the year, about $20.

How things have changed in just a year

For starters, I have my doubts on just how good is the spyware and anti-virus protection with McAfee.  Hell I even wonder how good any of the programs are, but right now I know that when I run Malwarebytes, it finds a lot that McAfee didn’t even burp over.

User interface for McAfee


And then here comes “Sticker Shock” when they started to pester me about renewing the subscription.  For starters its like 90 days before its due, secondly its automatic renewal, unless I deselect something or other, that was not too hard to find, but certainly not bullet proof simple.

[lists style=”minus” color=”#dd3333″]

  • Price is $90 for one year
  • No information on other options
  • Program sells for $30 on McAfee website


What really sucked, is that when you go to their website, it’s nearly impossible to find out any information about renewals, unless you go to the support site, and even then it gets confusing, because well, there are more than one company, it seems.  Anyhow doesn’t matter, because when you click to send a ‘contact us’ email, the company I never heard of, is the one receiving the email.

Fills me with confidence, how about you?

So I sent then an email, asking why is the renewal price 3 times the price of buying the program, as it would make more sense for me to simply buy a new program, for $30 than give them $90. I can use the $60 elsewhere.

The reply simply blew me away, which basically said, gee we can’t see where you bought a renewal, so unless you can give us the details, you are SOL.  Oh and we closed your ticket too, which says to me that unless I paid them something, they aren’t interested in further discussion.

Now comes the fun part, hunting for a replacement Anti Virus / Internet Security program.

Sometimes I think we are forced to play Blind Man’s Bluff, because it is a nightmare to find out true unbiased reviews. Take one site, that tells me that the Editors Gold Choice for two years running is a program called VIPRE.  Now in reading the review, it sure as hell sounded like it would be an ideal replacement for McAfee and is not all that pricey either.  About $40 which is better than Norton at $80.

Plus they made me feel vindicated when they listed McAfee at the bottom, listing many of the issues I had with them as well, so my confidence was high in accepting their review.  BUT…

Independant Review


it seems they are the only one listing VIPRE so highly. In fact, in checking around this particle program gets at best, a medium ranking for all the things that this site claims they are Top Notch in.

But  (yes there is that word again) one of the sites who ranks VIPRE low, also ranks McAfee as the very best, saying it has the best user interface around, which i can personally say is utter BS.  So I mean, here we are, twirling around in some abyss trying to figure out, who is telling the truth, who is simply trying to sell me a product they get a good referral for.

[alert variation=”alert-info” dismiss=”dismiss”]Many sites get a fee for referring a sale, and many review sites, that is just how they make money, but it should not impact the actual review. If the item is crap, say so, but don’t go making it out to be the best, because you get a better return on sales from that outfit.[/alert]

After several frustrating hours, trying to find reviews on the various programs, I have come to the conclusion, that there simply is NO BEST ONE out there.  Least, if there is, it isn’t paying enough for a good review to all those so-called review sites.

Maybe that is being a bit unfair, but like I don’t want to spend $30 to Consumer Reports for a whole bunch of reviews on stuff I don’t care about, and still, how do I know they are above-board?  As to other ‘review sites‘ well Google and Bing are full of them, and yet it still comes down to the one question:    How do I know they are legit?

I thought the Internet was supposed to make life easier for us, instead it seems it has become a lawless land, where everyone has a license to steal.  We shouldn’t even need Anti Virus, Anti Spyware, programs, but then I am old, idealistic, and just well, fed up with all the consumerism and utter disregard business has for its consumers.



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