Although there are free anti-virus programs out there, I have used Norton as my anti-virus program for most of my computer life. One of the primary reasons is not only does it periodically scan my system for any viruses and trojan malware, but it also remembers my passwords and performs periodical backups. The only problem is, what if you have a virus attack on your computer between backups and you lose critical information? Believe me, this can happen. While working on my dissertation, I had my laptop computer crash twice. This was after the screen had died in the middle of working on my dissertation proposal. Luckily, my son-in-law is a computer wiz and he took out my hard drive and put it in an external case and I was able to use my old hard drive like a regular external hard drive and was back in business. If my son-in-law wasn't able to retrieve my hard drive and I had relied on my Norton backup, chances are I would have lost hours or days of work. That was when I decided to subscribe to Carbonite.
Carbonite has saved me several times over the past three years. The great thing about Carbonite is it constantly backing up your system. Anytime you are connected to the internet, Carbonite does it's thing. When you need to recover your files, the process is easy. Not only that, you can access your files remotely. Well, my dissertation has been done for a couple of years now, but I have maintained my subscription to Carbonite. I realized it would be as detrimental to lose hours or days worth of work on my genealogy.
I know there are many less expensive programs out there, but Norton has a deal that for $135 you can protect up to five devices (PCs, Macs iPads, iPhones, and Androids) for two years. That's less than $6 a month for five devices. Carbonite runs $60-$100, depending on the options you choose. The basic is $60 ($5 a month) and works just fine. The $100 is if you want to back up an external hard drive as well. The other advantage with Carbonite is if you do your own taxes, you automatically have a back up of your returns and supporting documentation. The IRS may or may get away with their excuse that their hard drive crashed, I'm sure we wouldn't be as lucky to get away with that excuse.