Level 37
After reading a wealth of perspectives in these many posts, I am reminded of just how personal ones configuration can, in fact, be; and in keeping with everyone's consideration for their own privacy, the public aspect of being connected is as surely a part of computer security as there are two sides to the coin of options when choosing between either paid or free.

Shortly after joining MT, experienced members & staff encouraged selecting a 3rd party firewall to our Windows XP system which (at that time) had a native firewall that was somewhat lacking in protection. Here was the beginnings of my becoming aware of the different aspects, layers, and what could be applied (or not) to benefit ones computer security ..and privacy, (2) sides of a single coin.

I have come to look upon a good configuration as also a very personal choice that can be compared to how one keeps a garden. I do not keep a garden, but I have watched (& learned) the foods that come from an excellent garden taste delicious!:p A garden is arranged and planted according to the owner's choices. This is based upon personal decisions, and created to ones exacting wish to make it the very best that is possible; and similarly to a garden, no matter how well meaning (& cared for) a configuration may be, it will always exposed to the unpredictable conditions of the environment. This includes unforeseen and constant change (vulnerabilities, incompatibilities, and the developments aimed to rectify these.)
As mentioned, paid & free are two equal sides of a coin; and one of these requires payment of such coins! ..or not.o_O
Thanks to Malware Tips, and many of it's members whom are as generous with their willingness to share their experiences (both good and bad) as well as being presented with the benefit of being granted paid software keys either through Giveaways or as generous gifts shared, I have had the benefit of testing (& sharing) a number of paid options I would, admittedly, not been able to have afforded. Each opportunity has presented me with the choice to try the trial version first, before installing the software (activating the key). Sometimes, the trials did not go as hoped; and I'd chosen not to use the "Premium" product because it didn't fill my needs. Instead, I'd happily kept the subscription key to either use at a later time, or share with another member in need.

The moral of this looong winded tale: Enter every Free Giveaway offered here that interests you. Even if you do not win, there's always a link to download a free trial usually for 30 days.;) I've been generously fortunate to use both paid and free versions of software, but have not (yet) needed to purchase one, although I've often come close.o_O Please, don't get me wrong. I would gladly pay money for one of the many fine protections available today for the sole purpose of supporting the continued development of great software!:D

Here is my one plug, and it's for the free version of VoodooShield anti-exe. Read more about it here: It protects my wife's Windows 10 along with Defender (also free) and the anti-exploit, HitmanPro Alert.

Be open, and realize what every gardener & computer enthusiast comes to eventually know, that everything doesn't always go according to plan, and sometimes when you think you need :rolleyes:rain you might, instead, get drought or even an unexpected flood.:oops:
Creating a satisfying configuration (paid, free, or a combination of both) shall be a lot more predictable and ultimately safer because of You!:D
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Interesting thoughts here. How would you know Avast Free would sell your data, ads, etc and Avast premium won't ?
Same goes to Bitdefender Free vs Pro, Avira Free vs Pro,
I believe it says in their user agreement that in the free version they'll sell your data if you use the free version. Not the paid version. Also from what I last heard (back in 2015) The only free antivirus' who didn't sell your data was avast and bitdefender. But I only know this because I am into security. A normal person looking for security wouldn't know the user agreement of avast and bitdefender. Not sure if they began selling data this year or will next year. As far as ads, I mean you can see ads on free versions, not on paid ones.


Level 4
Sorry I come from the mindset that you get what you pay for. Or if you pay nothing, then I start to question privacy integrity, since they must generate revenue somehow, and many times it's with information sharing with 3rd parties.