Here are some common comments from church attenders:
- “Hey my computer came with an anti-virus program installed on it, isn’t that good enough?”
- “My computer asked me to buy another year of this anti-virus program, why does it costs so much?”
- “Do I really need this program?” ”I don’t think I have any program like that installed.”
- “My friend told me that __________ is the best program, what do you think?”
- “I got mine free, just install it on the church computer and you’ll be okay.”
With all of these questions and opinions, what is one to do when it comes to protecting the church computers from virus’? “Help!”
Here are some of the best options that I’ve encountered for small churches to consider:
- Free: Sorry, but there are no free options for churches. I should be speaking to the choir, but unfortunately I find that some churches like to use the “home free” versions at church which is a clear violation of the license agreement. If you are using a “free” version of an anti-virus program, please check the license agreement very carefully. I’ve never found one that is “free” for churches. I shouldn’t have to say it, but using these “free home” versions is stealing. Sorry for being blunt, but someone has to say it.
- 50% Discount – Avast: Yes, there are still companies out there that offer goodwill gestures to churches. Avast is one of them. You will need to fill out their discount application form to apply for the discount. Once accepted, you can buy any of their products for your church. However, with a myriad of products on their site, it can be confusing as to which ones you should buy. A couple of suggestions for small churches are:
- Avast Internet Security: At the time of this writing they are offering this product for up to 3 computers for the retail price (before discount) of $60 a year.
- Avast Professional Anti-Virus: This is a just a basic anti-virus program that works very well. At the time of this writing this product is being offered for 1 computer for the retail price (before discount) of $40 a year.
- 30% Discount – AVG: Another company that offers a decent discount is AVG. This product also requires you to fill out their discount application form to receive the discount. Be sure you read their requirements first. They only offer the discount on their business products. So here are some suggestions for small churches:
- AVG Anti-Virus Business Edition: This product is for any small church with a file server. This product is a bit more expensive but provides protection for your file server as well. Currently it retails for $160 a year and covers 5 computers.
- AVG Internet Security -: This is the home office product on which AVG currently offers no discounts. To keep up with the competition AVG has also created this security package. It is normally $55 for 1 computer, but currently they are offering 2 additional computers for free to match the competition. So you can get 3 computers for $55 a year retail.
- AVG Anti-virus: This is the basic anti-virus program that currently is retailing for $35 a year for 1 computer.
You may be wondering why Symantec and McAfee didn’t make the recommended list. While these are decent programs, they often are confusing and cost a lot more money than the above options. Both programs are also notorious for making your computer run slower because they add on additional features that are often times unnecessary. If you have other suggestions for our readers, please make a comment below.
- For home use, the free versions are wonderful, and I highly recommend the Avast Free program.
- For church use, please install an anti-virus program that you purchased on your churches computers.