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Anti Virus Free Trial - Are anti virus free trial packages as good as commercial anti virus packages?

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There are three general classes of consumer-grade anti virus software packages on the market, each with its own set of advantages and potential drawbacks. There are completely free anti virus programs, commercial anti virus programs, and commercial anti virus programs that come with a free trial. While the discussion about the quality of free anti virus software programs and their commercial counterparts is outside the scope of this article, many people wonder if anti virus tree trial software is as good as its already paid-for counterpart?
The answer all depends on the anti virus free trial package one chooses as well as what one chooses to consider. For example, almost no current anti virus program maker will offer free phone-based tech support for their own anti virus free trial software, but most do offer tech support for free via e-mail. If tech support is an important consideration, then a free anti virus trial may not be the best route to take because problems are most likely to show themselves within the first few days and weeks of using an anti virus program.
There may also be some additional features that are unlocked when an anti virus free trial software is purchased. For example, McAfee offers a free trial of their anti virus software that can be upgraded to a much more comprehensive anti-phishing/anti-identity theft/total-protection once a purchasing decision has been made. Of course, McAfee does offer trials of these full-protection suites, but this has not always been the case. Norton has followed a similar business model, initially offering only a free trial of its anti virus tools and allowing users to go from an anti virus free trial to a complete protection package, but later allowing consumers to trial the complete protection package independently.
Some companies that sell anti virus software to not even offer free trials, such as ZoneAlarm by Check Point. Those vendors that do offer an anti virus free trial of their commercial software generally do not cut back on features any more, though that has not always been the case. For example, both Norton an McAfee once limited configuration options for their free anti virus trials, though it has been a long time since this has been the case. These days, consumers can expect identical performance and compatibility between commercial grade software and its free trial version. The support options do seem to be far more limited as a general rule, but that does not mean that support is non-existent.

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