Want bulletproof security that's backed by human tech support? Skip the freeware tools and grab this top-rated, commercial-grade antivirus utility.
Arguably the only thing worse than a sick Cheapskate (which I am) is a sick PC. That's why it's important to run reliable antivirus software, as the last thing you want is an infection.
There are plenty of good free utilities that will get the job done, but to my thinking, why not get the commercial-grade stuff if you can?
For a limited time, Newegg has Norton AntiVirus 2013 3-user edition for free. That's after redeeming a $45 mail-in rebate (PDF), which comes in the form of prepaid debit card.
Also available: Norton 360 Premier 2013 3-user for $9.99 after a $55 mail-in rebate. That's arguably the better deal, as it offers a more comprehensive suite of tools, but for purposes of this post I'll focus on the freebie.
Symantec's security products are still overcoming their reputation for being slow, buggy beasts, but professional and user reviews alike indicate that Norton AntiVirus creates minimal impact on system performance. (Check out CNET's review of the product, in which it earned a 4.5-star rating.)
Because it includes a three-user license, you can install it on three PCs. However, take note that Norton AntiVirus auto-renews after one year (though you can cancel that option anytime you want), so check back with me in November 2013, and we'll see about finding another deal.
As I said before, I know there are plenty of freeware tools that can keep a PC secure, but Norton AntiVirus has the advantage of being backed by live human phone support. (Most of the freebie alternatives offer online support only, if that.) Thus, I recommend this for less tech-savvy users and anyone who just wants noninvasive security without a lot of hassle.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm crawling back into bed. Unfortunately, there's no antivirus software for humans.
Bonus deal: This may be a mistake, but there's a sign-up page where you can get a free six-month subscription to ShopRunner -- the service that gives you unlimited two-day shipping and free shipping on returns at a variety of stores (including Newegg!). Ostensibly this was for folks who signed up for Cozi (one of my favorite apps/services ever), and supposedly the promotion ended in August. But the promo page is still live. For how much longer, I have no idea.
Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.
Curious about what exactly The Cheapskate does and how it works? Read our FAQ.