I’ve been using the free version of AVG Anti-Virus for years… before it became popular. Now it regularly tops the list of anti-virus software, especially considering that it’s completely and totally free for personal use. You can’t get much better than that. I’ve recommended it to anyone and everyone who’s ever asked me what they should use. Norton? McAfee? Nope. They were good in their day. Great, even. But it’s pretty hard to compete with something that is effective, easy to use, and (did I say this already?) free.
So I just plopped down $19.99 for a year’s license of AVG Anti-Virus…
Yes, it’s true. I had to reinstall Windows, and was putting all my programs back on, and when it came to AVG, I noticed that they were promoting their professional license option for $19.99 (regular $35). I compared the two of them closely. AVG Free does everything that the professional version does. I think that I have access to their support line now, not that I’ve ever needed it. So basically, I paid $20 for something that I could have gotten for free.
It’s an excellent piece of software, and something that I’ve been lucky to have access to for years. I think that it was a very gutsy call for the company to offer a full version of their software for free, in a market where their competitors generally charge $30 or more. Unlike many “free for now” models that aim to hook a user with a free product, and then turn it into a paying one (Bluemountain.com e-cards is a great example), AVG has continued to offer it’s free version… well.. forever.
I really don’t have a problem with companies that attempt to entrench their brand, and then move to a newly revised pricing model. They are businesses, after all. And businesses can’t survive without money. Even in the case of BlueMountain, I briefly had a paid membership with them, but closed it after deciding that I wasn’t going to send as many e-cards as I had thought. So it’s perfectly understandable that companies charge for their products, to be able to continue offering those products. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t enjoy a free option over a paid one, but in this case I think that I can throw a little money their way.
It is Christmas, after all.