I've just gone back to McAfee after years with Kaspersky
It was a simple issue -- my Kaspersky license key kept being lost by the program, and that meant I wasn't regularly getting updates, so when it came up to renewing, I have decided to jump ship.
IMO, Kaspersky is one of the fastest and best protection against virii on the market, with the best response times to new virus threats. This ongoing technical problem meant I had to ditch it, for now, and find something else.
I tried dozens of different alternatives, and chose McAfee in the end. It offers the best value for money -- their VirusScanPlus gives you reliable anti-virus, anti-spam/phishing, and firewall in one product for ~$40/yr. It's also very fast for scanning and loading, although can be a resource hungry at boot-time.
A few of the others I tried include:
SymantecNortonAV - one of the oldest programs around, now one of the worst -- the most bloated and slow program, and not effective enough at picking up new threats, for my money.
PandoAV - very easy to use but had installation problems with WinXPsp2, that caused it to crash routinely, even after several unsuccessful installs, I had to ditch it. It offers good value, only IF you can get it to work reliably.
VET - years ago was one of the best products on the market until, like Norton and CA (Computer Associates), the company developing VET was bought out, and now nothing is spent on researching new virus threats. it is now abysmally poor at picking up virii in the wild, you are now better protected with a free product.
AVG - fast to load, not resource hungry at all, until you have to do a disk scan, at which point your PC will become a vegetable until AVG has finished, hours later. you could disable the scheduled scan, but that's not a sensible idea in the real world of broadband. IMO, this has the LEAST user-friendly, MOST ugly interface of any AV product I've tested. It's notably very poor at picking up virus threats in the wild. Their pay-version doesn't compare with the competition, however they do offer a free version if you're really desperate.
Some other free offerings included:
AVG (as above), NOD32, Avast - typically they suffer from poorly designed interfaces, (little surprise when unpaid programmers attempt the job of a graphic designer); don't offer active, real-time scanning, only an on-demand disk scan (this lacking makes a product 99% useless, since they aren't able to protect against any new downloads/removable disks inserted, or any websites you visit); slow to respond new threats in the wild (arguably the most important aspect of any AV product -- there are many websites that test/compare this statistic); in their favour, they are fast and use very little resources (largely since they really aren't actively doing anything) and they're completely FREE (it's for you to decide if, being able to use your PC and keeping all of your data, is worth less than $40/yr).
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