I have used ESET for many years and it has served me well.
There are several reputable labs which test the effectiveness of major anti-virus programs and security suites to include AV-Comparatives.org, Virus Bulletin Comparative Tests, AV-Test.org, NSS Labs Consumer Anti-Malware Products Group Test Report, etc.
These kinds of comparative testing results will vary
depending on a variety of factors to include but not limited to who conducted the testing, what they were testing for (type of threats, attack vectors, exploits), what versions of anti-virus software was tested, what type of scanning engine was used, and the ability to clean or repair. There are no universally predefined set of standards or criteria for testing
which means each test will yield different results. As such, you need to look for detailed information about how the tests were conducted, the procedures used, and data results.
Some of the testing criteria and standards may even be misleading.
Comparative testing: A bit of background for the uninitiated
...for some unknown reason...the renowned German test lab AV-TEST has quietly (there was no warning) modified its certification process. The changes mean that the certificates produced by the new rules are, to put it mildly, pretty useless for evaluating the merits of different AV products...With AV-TEST’s new certification standards, the onus is on the user to carefully investigate the actual results of each individual test…they may find that a product that blocked 99.9% of attacks has the same “certification” as a product that only blocked 55%.
I use the free versions of...
CryptoPrevent - CryptoPrevent FAQs
HitmanPro.Alert with CryptoGuard - HitmanPro.Alert Features
Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit (MBAE)
Symantec's NoScript tool