When I found that Norton was causing my Screen Saver problem, many of you experts out there recommended Microsoft Security Essentials.
I am a bit suspicious of ‘Free’ AV as When I used to use one (AVG Free) my PC got infected, according to my local PC shop who cleaned my old PC and said they had found hundreds of viruses.
This was why I switched to a paid for AV, i.e. Norton.
Looking at the reviews, Bitdefender came out top with Kaspersky & Norton not far behind.
So, do you get full protection from free programmes like Microsoft Security Essentials?
If free AV software dose the job, then why do people buy commercial programmes?
Companies offer free AV software for at least two reasons. The first being the free version is often what they term a 'lite' version and they hope you'll fork out for the full Monty version of their product, or sometimes hope you'll buy different software that company sells.
The second reason is that by offering free versions of their software they can collect data from users, of nasties out in the wild and thus keep their virus databases relatively up to date. Anti-virus software is a competitive market and those who are ahead with their databases should, in theory, be the more attractive product to prospective purchasers.
To me the free version is just like a test drive. The companies hope you like it, and as FBS says will go for the full monty. I use Avast and MSE and they both do what the tin says. The biggest enemy is the user itself. Stay away from shady sites and you will be fine. As well as MSE and Avast, I also use Web Of Trust