What Does Free REALLY Cost?

October 11, 2013

Our computers

Our computers (Photo credit: aranarth) 

The other day, I read an article on FutureLawyer that I read to see if it was worth sharing -- The Frugal Lawyer- Free Software That You Can Use.   In it, he links to an article in PC World article listing free software for everything from malware & antivirus to recording software.   I didn't just outright share that because it worried me, frankly, but it took me awhile of gnawing on it to figure out why. Here is a clip from his synopsis:

 ...I keep seeing people buy antivirus and security software in a box at the store. Waste of money. Windows Security Essentials is as good as it gets, and you already have it...

Don't get me wrong, there is a place for free software.  In fact, there are several items that we use and/or recommend to our customers all the time.   But Windows Security Essentials is NOT as good as it gets and the free malware and antivirus software that he recommends, may not be either.  Those pieces of software could do an okay job of protecting your computers IF you want to be the IT guy.  You need make sure that they are installed properly, updated frequently, & functioning daily.   But why would you want to be the IT guy when you went to school to practice law?  

What should you have?  

 trusted IT professional who can help you decide what software worth way more than it's (free) cost and where you could cut corners, if necessary.   Odds are, your IT company will have recommendations for almost any software you need and can steer you clear of pitfalls like applications that can dog your computer down to practically unusable.   And if something DOES happen, it might cost you more to have your IT guys come in and fix it than it would have to follow their recommendation.  

A good managed service company can also make sure that the "free" security software is working properly.   Find a trusted IT company who has your best interests at heart.   One who takes your needs AND budget into account when making recommendations.   One who is more interested in what is going on at your business than in selling you the latest & greatest IT widget.  

Call Advanced Computer Solutions at 877.404.8224 if you need a trusted IT provider for your small to medium-sized law firm.    

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 Jen Steed writes about technology, travel and more.  You can find her writing for various online and print publications.  To talk to Jen or see all of her articles as they are published, you can follow Jen on .