Found this article while I was browsing through PCWorld.com.
The cost of keeping viruses at bay just went up for users of Symantec's popular Norton AntiVirus program. The company recently increased the price of its necessary subscription renewal program from $3.95 to $9.95 a year, drawing the ire of some vocal PC World readers.
Symantec executives, however, defend the increase, saying it helps defray the company's costs of discovering new viruses and updating the software to detect and defeat them.
"The number of viruses we discover every day is dramatically increasing," says Laura Garcia, product manager for Norton AntiVirus. At the company's virus research facility--called Symantec Security Response--the company discovers 10 to 15 new viruses each day, she says.
Once the company detects a virus, programmers create a definition that lets the software detect it. Then they add that information to the weekly virus definition file that savvy PC users download regularly to update their antivirus software.
If a virus becomes very widespread, or particularly nasty, Symantec doesn't wait to add it to the weekly update, but offers it to customers for download right away, Garcia says.
Without these virus-definition updates, the antivirus software simply can't protect a PC against the latest batch of viruses. When you buy a full version of the software, Symantec includes 12 free months' worth of updates. To go beyond that, owners resubscribe, pay an annual fee, and receive updates for another year.