Westpac bank: AVG's toughest competitor

Westpac bank: AVG's toughest competitor

Summary: The next time you're buying antivirus software, don't go direct to Symantec or McAfee. Don't download free antivirus. And definitely don't see Harvey Norman. Ask your bank — they're quite literally giving the stuff away.

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The next time you're buying antivirus software, don't go direct to Symantec or McAfee. Don't download free antivirus. And definitely don't see Harvey Norman. Ask your bank — they're quite literally giving the stuff away.

For years, free antivirus software from AVG or Avast has been top choice for those who don't like paying for protection. But their edge over paid-for equivalents is being gnawed away in Australia — not by direct competitors but by banks.

NAB, Commonwealth Bank and St George have offered their customers 25 to 50 per cent discounts on various security products for some months now. But Westpac recently upped the ante by offering its customers several PC Tools products — antivirus, browser privacy protection, and firewall — absolutely free for 12 months.

Westpac's offer throws a spanner in the works, not just for AVG, but for Symantec, McAfee and Harvey Norman. Why? It now makes more sense to join a bank, if only for a year, to get the best price for PC security products compared to any other source.

Take Symantec's current pricing for the Norton range. Symantec charges AU$130 for Norton 360 version 2, AU$49 for its Norton AV 2008, and AU$99 for Norton Internet Security 2008 for three users per year.

Standard charges for maintaining a bank account meanwhile sit around AU$5 per month or AU$60 per year. So instead of activating the security software that comes pre-installed on your new laptop, simply open an account with Westpac — even if you don't actually use the account, you'll still be better off than spending up at Harvey Norman!

It's an interesting change for banking consumers also. This could be the first time in a decade that consumers financially gain from paying what are seemingly pointless monthly fees to a bank.

Oh, how good it is to be a customer in Australia.

Topics: Security, Banking, Symantec

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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5 comments
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  • Or you could just use a more secure operating system than Windows...

    Linux does not suffer from the virus/spyware/trojan issues that Windows seems plagued by. Why do the banks not offer a free LiveCD of Ubuntu or Fedora or something similar? That way people could boot from the LiveCD each time, ensuring a totally virus/trojan.spyware free environment - the ideal environment for Internet Banking.
    anonymous
  • Because...

    1 - The vast majority of their customers use Windows (as does 90%+ of the world)

    2 - They are a bank and thus they cannot dictate to their customers what OS they use.

    3 - None of the different Linux builds offer an in place upgrade from "Windows to Linux" without loosing their personal data and URL favourites.

    4 - Linux and OSX still have viruses, trojans and spyware

    NO OS is 100% secure
    NO OS is unbreakable
    anonymous
  • How Can You Recommend??

    Okay,..so after all the years of reporting issues with Westpac Online, your now going to recommend Westpac beacuse its offering 12 months of free anti virus. Get real! It's just plain wrong to advise this. Especially when there are so many terms and conditions to meet, before you are able to pay that minimum per month. Its just plain irrisponsible of you giuys.
    anonymous
  • RTFA

    "even if you don't actually use the account, you'll still be better off than spending up at Harvey Norman!"

    That doesn't sound like a recommendation to me
    mkotadia
  • re RTFA

    "It now makes more sense to join a bank, if only for a year..."

    Sounds like a recommendation to me!

    You won't be better off, as you will be paying account keeping fees if the account is opened and not used!!

    Have you even seen the previous WESTPAC articles??

    If you are after a free anti virus product, AVG and ANTIVIR are just as good....
    anonymous