Following article is originally as my Quora answer to this question. – What are advantages of genuine Windows 8.1 over pirated 8.1?
First of all, you should not use non-genuine copy of anything at all. Any free software comes with a compromise of some kind. The patches and cracks we install are generally full of viruses, malware and backdoor, that can transfer your important/sensitive data to hackers, malicious users.
Let me give you an example.
A non genuine copy of Windows, with probably a non-genuine copy of antivirus can work. But your PC might get sluggish over the time, so slow you might format every 3-4 months, I have seen it happen with some friends.
In other case, I have 4 PCs and 3 laptops with genuine Windows 8 ( Now upgraded to Windows 10), with the fresh installs of these I had also installed a genuine antivirus on them. And since last two and half years, none of them are ever been slow, formatted or gone through any data loss.
Note that being a tech blogging team, we do constant experiments, run virtual machines, play high-end games, and transfer loads of data every day. And even with this much intense use, the performance is consistent.
As a student may be sometimes you can waste time doing these reinstallation activities, but as a professional, it saves you huge amount of time and frustration using genuine Windows 8.1/10.
Other general advantages of having genuine copy are –
1. Regular Security Updates/Patches
2. On-call Support from Microsoft.
3. No annoying activation notifications.
4. Full feature access of Windows.
5. Maintain hardware/data integrity especially precious data on the hard drive.
6. You buy once, and you own it forever. You can even transfer this genuine license to your next PC or laptop, in case it dies.