TBH, the free ones are loaded with bloat, ads or hog resources, or struggle with certain infections. A real case of you get what you pay for.
McAfee & Norton are 2 that have fallen from grace and are really quite poor now, bad detection rates and resource hogs, they sell well because people know the names and they come bundled with many new PC's. Considered an instant uninstall from many IT people.
I would never recommend relying on the built in windows defender. For a lot of people it is a case of "it works because it says I don't have any viruses" when in fact they are riddled they just haven't been detected. Too many times I have had to go to fix PC's from people who rely on windows/norton/mcafee
Bit Defender is considered the best by many IT professionals, we use it at work and it is great. Personally I use ESET which also rates very highly and has a decent firewall. I also use SecureAPlus as a second line defence, although it can be a little user unfriendly, it uses virus definitions from many different AV products for a decent detection rate.
The thing is, it is not just about 'viruses' amymore. There are many types of malicious software that all fall under the umbrella of 'malware', viruses are just one of them.
There are a few tools that you can use that are good for keeping your PC healthy.
I also use Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware, a free program, Cybereason Ransomfree, also free, and Kerish Doctor for maintenance. None of them are resource hogs So the system runs smoothly.
Of course, the biggest help in preventing malware is your internet activity; dodgy websites, porn sites, scam emails, etc. are all sources of this stuff. And making sure you are on top of any security updates for windows. Also, Ad blockers will help your browsing experience. Do not use Internet Explorer/Edge.
Edited by rhoobarb2002 (9th Dec 2017 9:26am)