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Why Is Security Software Sold As a Subscription?

Thursday, June 15th, 2017 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized

I’ve had a few questions from people recently as to why the majority of security software like Norton, Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Mcafee, and Malwarebytes is sold as a subscription. It’s not cheap, a year of Norton can run close to a $100.

So why a subscription and not a one-time price?


Security threats are changing daily, even hourly. In our everyday life, there are many forms of security. You could buy a deadbolt for your door for a one-time price. That’s because that deadbolt is designed to do one thing that never changes. All it has to do is make that door more secure. Once it is manufactured, the maker never has to put any more money into it. They know what the materials and labor cost and what to charge the store for in order to make a profit. The store doesn’t have to do anything other than selling it to you. It’s designed to protect again someone pushing in your door.


Nothing about the threat to your door ever really changes and nothing about that lock’s job ever changes.  The police force in your town is another type of security. What threats they have to look our for change from day to day, depending on what types of crimes are happening and what tools criminals use. What a police force needs to do could change drastically if a criminal gang were to move into your town to set up shop.  That’s why instead of a one time fee for lifetime police protection, the police budget changes yearly and we pay our fees with taxes that are subject to change. Those taxes could be paid yearly, quarterly, or with every purchase, depending on how your community pays for the police force.

It’s the same with security software. Companies have to work constantly to be aware of and fight new threats. They also have to apply their security technology to new types of devices as they gain popularity. It would be almost impossible for a company to know what it’s going to take to protect and individual’s device five or 10 years from now. They could guess, but new threats could come along that might require them to double the staff to stay up to date.

When you buy security software, you aren’t just buying a program that sits on your computer and never changes. You’re purchasing something that requires constant maintenance by the developers to be effective.

I hope that makes sense. If you have any more questions, let me know in the comments.

~ Cynthia

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2 Responses to “Why Is Security Software Sold As a Subscription?”

  1. denise smith says:

    i resubscribe to norton every year and have never been disappointed. sometimes it showss a false positive on programs that norton says is bad for the computer that should be ok and one of these programs is your own password program. i have written 3 times already about that and gotten no reponse. usually if i get a false positive i email the company in charge and they tell me how to get around that. i also use ccleaner, malwarebytes and advanced system care and but i don’t pay the extra for the better programs. i seldom have any major problems since i do clean my computer every week and some things are run daily and norton live update all the time. gives me piece of mind.

  2. Walter Roeske says:

    I have been told by the “geek Squad” that a combination of Malwarebytes & Windows Defender is adequate protection unless you have a need for the additional features of the “pay-for” products; parent control, backup, PC tune-up. Your thoughts, PLEASE!!

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