This is one of the most important software one should have, even though I prefer to use GPL / Free software but when it comes to Antivirus, I fully support a paid version of Antivirus or a Security Suit which consists of Antivirus, Firewall etc compared to a Free version.
If you are going to pay for an Anti-Virus, I would recommend Kaspersky Internet Security (Currently Version 7.0) this cost around £25 per year with 3 licences, so you can install it up to 3 PCs, and if you prefer to have one licence, it cost around £18/Year. This will include an All-In-One protection suit which consists of an Anti-Virus, Firewall, and Intrusion Protection and so on…
I have used a lot of Anti-Virus software in the past and Kaspersky is definitely the far most advanced AV I have ever come across, I would personally say away from Norton because it is…
- A Resource Hog, i.e. It takes a lot of time to start up, which will dramatically slow down your PC.
- It is very expensive, simply because Norton is a well known brand compared to Kaspersky or Avast.
- Detection rate: Unfortunately Norton does a sloppy job at detecting a lot of Worm / Trojans (Mainly comes from P2P software like Limewire) compared to Kaspersky / Avast Pro.
See the following URL for more info http://www.kaspersky.com/kaspersky_internet_security
If you are going to use a Free Version, I would recommend Avast, only thing you have to do is, register with them for Home use and you will get a Free Key. Please see the following URL for more info… http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html
There are many standalone Firewall software around but for an average user, it is recommend to get a Firewall integrated into with the Antivirus Software such as Kaspersky Internet Security. If you are connected to the Internet via a Router, you are pretty much covered and the Router will act as a Firewall up to a certain point preventing unauthorised access to the computers connected to the Router.
This doesn’t mean you don’t need a firewall, you still need a firewall to stop unauthorised access from your computer in case you’re infected with a Virus / Trojan.