Posted 01 June 2010 - 12:22 PM
This is a highly subjective question bomblast and open to many opinions/interpretations. One of the best (by most standards) is of course Norton/Symantec. The problem though is it is still a resource hog. It has gotten better with the latest incarnation of 2010 but still uses more resources than most AV programs. Personally it's going to depend on the user's knowledge level. I know many who never use an AV program and they don't have any problems because they're very careful about where they go and what they do.
For the average or casual user many of the free programs available are fine and will suit them perfectly. AVG, Avira, Avast, Trend Micro PC-cillin, etc. These are just a few of the free ones available that I use on some of my customers computers.
With that said, I also recommend not using many (if any) P2P type programs such as Limewire, Freezewire, Torrents, etc. The problem being is you don't always know what it is your really downloading and after it's done, it's usually too late. The same can be said about e-mail attachments once you've opened them up as well.
To be truthful it doesn't matter what AV program you use because if the user allows permission by clicking on an unknown .exe file or similiar, the user has then for all intensive purposes, given permission and opened Pandora's box, you've basically by-passed your AV program. Your best safety is a decent AV program followed up by some very careful safe surfing habits.
My own personal recommendation is to stay away from McAfee altogether for various and obvious reasons.
Other than that you can also use programs such as Malwarebytes, Ccleaner and a good defragging programming which should provide you with a considerable level of protection. Even with these tools though, if you have bad surfing habits nothing will protect you 100%! Knowledge is the key and then practicing it on a daily basis!!