Most of the programs in the link Budapest
provided, are real-time programs, and just as effective as their pay-for counterparts, but they lack some of the "bells-and-whistles" of the pay-for programs.
The one's listed are all reputable products.
The free programs will use less computer resources, because
they don't have all of the "bells-and-whistles".
Personally, I use Avira AntiVir Personal
, and have been completely satisfied with the program.
Selecting an AV is more of a personal decision, than a "which is better".
The reason I say it's more of a personal decision, is the fact that no AV program will catch every problem, so it boils down to which user interface you're more comfortable with using.
None of them are 100% effective, so for that reason, it's a good idea to occasionally run a couple of the free online scans, as an extra layer of protection.
I also recommend staying away from suites.
It seems the more they add to the program, the more problems people have with it, and the more resources they consume.
That's why, in my opinion, it's better to use programs that are dedicated to one job (AV, Firewall, Antispyware, ....)
, instead of trying to do everything.
You'll have fewer problems in the long run.
Why pay a lot for something (Antivirus, Firewall, Anti-Spyware)
, that you can get for free, that will do the same job, if not better.
While we're on the subject of security, I suggest you re-think Ad-Aware, and Spybot.
These 2 are not as effective as they used to be.
I used to use both of them, but find Malwarebytes' Anti-malware (mbam)
, and SUPERAntiSpyware
to be better programs.
More effective than the other 2, and highly recommended by our members.
Just my 2¢ worth.