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dowload or buy physical

I am purchasing an antivirus program and usually download, but I am wondering if there is any advantage to buying the physical product instead of downloading besides a box.

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Re: dowload or buy physical

In reply to: dowload or buy physical

In any event, whether you download or buy the CD in a box, there is little if no difference between the two options.

There couldn't be. Say you were thinking of purchasing NIS, (Norton's Internet Security). What would Symantec, the makers of NIC, do? Would they give you different copies of the same program whether you download or buy the CD?

I think not. It just wouldn't be practical or viable.

There are differences. Buying the CD means you have the disk(s) available if ever you need to reinstall the program. And you will have a booklet with installation instructions and how to use instructions.

But the software will be the same. And if you retain your product code and serial/id number separately, if ever you have to reinstall the program, you can re-register it.

Also, I have found that the booklets I get with the boxed CD's are read once and then forgotten. Most instructions can be found in the program help files, or at the program web site, or forums like this.

An advantage to downloading is "instant access" to the program. A disadvantage is that you have to trust to online secure purchasing with your credit card, and I agree that there are many concerns about this. But I often purchase online, and to minimise the risk I do not use Internet Explorer but use another, more secure, browser, and I purchase from reputable "named" companies, and I make sure their purchasing page is a secure page, (ie, the http part of the web page is https).

Mark

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Re: I prefer to download

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Years ago I used to buy boxed versions of all products.

These days my preferences are always to purchase any products as a downloadable version from a SECURE site to stop the massive space use with the boxed versions.

Help files are readily available with them and you only need to ensure you have a copy of your registration information.

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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I've done both and prefer to buy the CD. If you do choose to download, be sure to burn a copy on a CD and keep it along with the product key number.

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For me it depends- If I need/want it NOW, I download. Also it's frequently a little cheaper and it brightens my environmental halo. But some programs still come with a manual and I find that I like reading a book more than a computer screen- for one thing, I can sit wherever I want with a book; for another my kids hate it when I write on the screen to underline the important parts Happy

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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There are two reasons why I prefere to purchase rather than download. The downloaded version invariably is activated by a key sent later by email. This is fine until the day you decide your slow computer needs to have the drive reformatted and software installed from new. Downloading the software isnt usually a problem, but finding the original key can be. An additional problem comes when the software key has a time limit for its installation. Imagine calling the provider and trying to talk them into providing a new key without payment!

Second. It is frequently possible to purchase from a local supplier at a cost lower than the original vendor will ask for the download.

Hope this helps

Meongroup

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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You have mentioned the main reason I disagree with downloading... PRICE! For example, not only can you buy a copy from a local retailer of Norton Antivirus cheaper than downloading direct from the site, even if you did order direct from them (the reseller), the cost of a download is exactly the same price as a physical shipment.. Why?

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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"This is fine until the day you decide your slow computer needs to have the drive reformatted and software installed from new. Downloading the software isnt usually a problem, but finding the original key can be."

I can't tell you how many times I've had friends or family download a program or upgrade, fail to make a hard copy of the download, loose the activation or product key number and have a major computer problem that requires a restore. For those who aren't very organized, I vote for buying the product.

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Re: download or buy physical

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True, depending on the product, some software can be found at a lower price from local vendors or possibly on eBay. Just make sure your comparing apples with apples. For Antivirus programs there should be no difference.

As for concerns about losing the key: Usually, if not always , when you purchase a downloadable program on the web you will receive a receipt by email and you will receive your activation key by email. I use Yahoo's free email which is now 100MB of storage. After creating a folder for that particular company or product I will move any important messages for that product to the folder and permanently save receipts and activation keys right there in my online email. In addition to this I keep the install program which I have downloaded on CD or CD-RW. It shouldn't be necessary to keep the install file as long as you have your receipt & activation key. With your receipt saved you should be able to contact the company if you ever need to reinstall the program. The ONLY time this proves to be a problem is when the company goes out of business.

By the way, I suggest using Avast free antivirus found at http://www.avast.com

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Re: download or buy physical

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I have looked at many of these responses and would like to weigh in on the side of purchasing the physical disk. Some of us are less computer adept than others and are less comfortable with computer speak. I may be in the minority, but I often find the download instructions confusing and difficult..and if there is a problem...Oy Vay

When downloading, the need to copy and save this and that and the next thing is a pain. Hving the disk is easier and saves a lot of bother.

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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I keep a document called these are registered in my name, containing all the product keys. When I download another program I put it on the list and burn a program CD with doc aboard.
Hope this helps

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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I, too, prefer the downloaded versions. With respect to the download keys and also the software, I always back it up on a CD-RW or Memory Stick along with the registration key. Has worked fine for me. In addition, if you do misplace the key, I have always been able to have the retailer send me a copy and/or a new one. All they usually need to do is verify your email address and/or additional info from you.

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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I write my passwords and registration numbers in my Outlook and Palm. I make a new contact and put in the company name (i.e. CNET) then in the notes section I put the reg number. For passwords I use just a few so I put ******* which will remind me that it is the 5 letter password I usually use or if the password is longer I may put in the first couple letters st********. This will spark my memory. You could also put in the key question like "What's my cat's name".

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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I always prefer physical merchandise as somehow the Windows XP I have will get into troubles very often. I just found out from www.whatisnew.com that there are many fake ( COA )Certificate Of Authenticity around and unfortunately I have them as Microsoft did not teach us to tell the difference between fake and real Windows XP. Having a physical software ( CD ), one can re-install on your own as it is not a common practice for the publishers to provide you a new link to re-download the software that you purchased say three or four months ago though you probably paid US$ 40.00 for it. I use " Nero Express " to BURN a CD from the link I downloaded and save US$ 15.00 to order from the publishers. If you know how to BURN a CD from the link that the publishers have provided for you on your purchase. Then , it is not much difference. The way I look at it, download from the publishers will save you some money and time. Having the software in a physical form will cost you more as you have to pay GST and time to travel to get it but it is an insurance to have a CD as a back up in the event that one needs to re-install Windows XP as frequent as I. It is lots of work and time to re-install all the software, believe me. Now I have to deal with the fake ( COA )!!!!

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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I download and copy to CD, then install from there. Often the software downloads while copying to CD, so the efforts are duplicitous - making the download and install very easy and quick. One saves money and time with little or no downside.

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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I prefer to purchase. I have lost my hard drives in the past and with no original disc to hook up to the internet it becomes a very difficult task to reload what is lost. Also with purchasing from a reputable retail store I get the real mcCoy and not some copy that is stealing from a software company and redistributing for Profit. Also I have found the software I want cheaper in the retail stores than online download

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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It depends on how fast you want the program. I always download and then burn to CD for future use. Not a hard choice really.

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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Hello,
I joined this forum just to answer this question. I own a computer sales and service store and I field this question everyday. If you purchase the online upgrade or downloadable version of any software and then encounter problems with your PC in the future, you do not have the software to load back into your PC. Many times I have run into this issue. People had let their anti-virus software expire. Then because their PC is slowing down, crashing or locking up, they renew their subscription online. Usually their PC is corrupted and they either can't install it, install it but, it doesn't work correctly or install it and it doesn't solve the problem. That's when I get the PC. By this time 75% of them need a reformat and because they don't have the CD, we can't put the software back in. This leaves them 2 choices; to try to contact the company and redownload - reactivate it or purchase another edition and have us install it. We have dealt with a lot of the major companies and being placed on hold, for hours sometimes, just to try to reactivate a program is very inconvenient. This results in more time spent on our part and consequently a higher bill. With more companies subcontracting their tech support to other countries; this just adds to the frustration and wasted time. Anyone out there who has tried to contact Dell, AOL, Compaq, Microsoft etc. lately knows exactly what I am talking about. We always encourage people to buy a physical copy(even if it is not from us). All it takes is a malfunctioning hard drive to lose those renewed or upgraded programs.

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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"All it takes is a malfunctioning hard drive to lose those renewed or upgraded programs."

BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!

Glenn

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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hi, i would say until we all work of some form of Linux and all have 512k broadband then buying ths physical disks is much better. There will be no corruption of data and you can make a copy straight off, and the installing will be much easier. Also as you are downloading an anti-virus software your open to attack as you wait for it to download. again this is only my opinion but a tried and tested method. goog luck

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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The only time I would puchase a downloadable piece of software is if it iis needed quickly, in an emergency!
I have sen a number of cases where people have downloaded the software, had their computer crash, lost the download(s) AND their copies of the invoices, as well as contact info! In some cases, by the time the were able to recover, the timeframe for getting a free replacement had expired!

If you do download the software, be SURE to make hard copies of all the "paperwork" AND copy the software to a floppy, CD, DVD or other removable media.

Dave

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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I think it all boils down to what your system can handle and what your personal preferences are. For me, I have a system that has fast access to the Internet, a decent printer to print the electronically stored manuals, and I have a CD RW so I can make a backup copy of the program, so I now tend to download the new programs. It?s faster, easier, sometimes cheaper, and convenient. Furthermore, I tend to get the latest editions of the program in question via download. Now minus even one element of my current system, I would then purchase the physical program.

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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I find that it is better to download the product then purchase the product in stores. The main reason is that most vendors allow for a $10.00 or more discount and I do not have any need for the boxes nor the instructions that accompany boxed editions. You have to be careful to keep up with the product activation code. To echo one other reply please download first to your CD Burner and then burn it to a CD.At least when you download a product it is normally up to date and the box version you will consistently have to update.

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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For any important software,anti virus,etc.,I always like to have the CD-ROM.To me it's worth it to store buy it or order on line[Amazon,etc.] GP

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Re: dowload or buy physical

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Howdy, I am not always handy at burning online purchased programmes to CD. I think I have done it then when I check, they won't re-install on a drive/system crash and I have to recontact the company, give my details etc and redownload! I prefer to purchase the disc so I know I can reinstal at a later date if I need to.If it is something like Ad-Aware etc, I can download as I know I can get it at any time but for Anti Virus, I prefer to purchase the disc.:)

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