They are free because microsoft and avg avira avast also offer these for free from download.com and other legit sites. What the company wants is you to buy and either forget to send the rebates or keep buying their products down the line in next years update and so forth. Antivirus, spyware, internet security products and stuff is what they want you to keep buying year after year.
I have not had problems with rebates from frys or other vendors. I did have to email biostar but that's 1 rebate issue in many years of doing frys, office depot, and staples rebates.
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