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Free antivirus provides the most basic level of protection for users. Although it blocks viruses and spyware, threats such as rootkits, bots, keyloggers, hackers, phishing scams and infected websites breeze right past most free antivirus software.
While free antivirus offers you some value, it doesn't have all the features that paid antivirus programs can provide. It generally lacks important features such as a firewall, website health checks, automatic updates and customer support. So with free antivirus you are on your own if you have any problems.
With Norton Internet Security, on the other hand, you are offered more robust protection as well as additional security tools such as parental controls and identity theft protection. And unlike free antivirus programs, Norton also provides free technical support by phone and online chat.
*Ranked #1 in Overall Protection and Remediation: AV-Test GmbH, "Real World Protection and Remediation Testing Report," August 2011; Ranked #1 Performance: PassMark Software, "2012 Consumer Security Products Performance Benchmarks," August 2011.
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