A recent study performed by Microsoft finds that having an expired antivirus program is no better than having no antivirus. Microsoft was studying to find a correlation between malware infection rates on PCs and the quality of the antivirus program on Windows 8 endpoints.
What they found some programs would continue to search for malware on computers past their expiration date they also found that they were not receiving any database updates. Therefore, the computers were not being protected against the latest threats. They also found that Windows 8 computers with expired antivirus programs are 4 times more likely to get an infection than a computer that has a current up to date antivirus program.
Microsoft found two antivirus program that accounted for 88% of the expired software, but Microsoft has declined to name the two vendors. This may be to protect the company or to avoid criticism.
Even if a user is to download a trial for an antivirus program let it expire and then getting the software after a period of time can result in missing data that could be crucial to protecting your computer. Antivirus programs are becoming smarter they analyze your computer’s habits the way your browser acts and more. When Bitdefender Photon was launched you needed to have the program run for 2 weeks before it had enough information to properly protect your computer. Therefore, the smartest thing you can do is either use a free antivirus solution or to purchase and download the product the same day. Avoid trail periods unless you are deciding between two different programs.
If you are not using protection I recommend 360 Total Security as it is the most comprehensive protection that you will get for free for your Windows PC.