I run the free version of AVG and am very happy with it. I find that since they bumped the free version up to 7 (from 6), it's easier to use and automates more tasks.
I used to run McAffee, but the annual fee was crazy. They point you to their website, "for convenience", not pointing out that the online price is higher than what you will pay in a retail outlet (especially if you can get a rebate to boot). I have never had good experiences with Norton, so I've pretty much always avoided it.
One question: what is a good AV app to run in parallel with AVG? I believe you can never be too paranoid when it comes to viruses and trojans, which is why I run 3 anti-spyware apps.
I tried running Avast AV, but it did not like sharing my PC with AVG, so I dumped it. I'd like to have two AV apps running that do not conflict. Since AVG is already installed, who can suggest a nice AV playmate? (that sounds wrong somehow...)
DO NOT USE MULTIPLE A/V APPS
OR MULTIPLE SOFTWARE FIREWALLS
BBBob in post above wrote:A good, fast, free online scan is another must use tool
, I suggest the fine tool at http://www.trendmicro.com
to detect and remove viri/ pests. There are other free online scans, however I find trendmicro is the best of the bunch. AVG online only allows a file at a time check IIRC, not a complete scan (last time that I checked). I use and recommend AVG (free).
Some viri/ pests can alter the anti-virus application on your PC yielding false results from scans - coming up clean but actually being infected, hence the value of an online scanner.
AVG in conjunction with a using a good online scanner on demand and a good spyware plan of action is a what I recommend.
BTW, I don't use the "Auto-Update" feature for ANY application - I'm kind of anal that way, wanting to maximize system resources plus I regularly manually update everything. FWIW, I don't use the XP System Restore feature either. System Restore and the Fast Indexing service eat up a lot of resources that can be used for more important tasks... such as gaming LOL, video capture/ editing, etc.
Be sure to use a good firewall. I like the free version of ZoneAlarm. DO NOT use the built-in XP Firewall AND another firewall (as a matter of fact, just DISABLE the XP firewall as it is weak). http://www.zonelabs.com
I too use 3 Spyware tools, AdAware, SpyBot and MS SpyWare Tool - BUT I do not have any of them running on "auto"(innoculate). They are set to only run "on demand" only 9I told ya I was anal about resources LOL).
f you intend upon using a spyware tool to start when Windows starts to "innoculate" your computer - USE ONLY 1 SPYWARE TOOL SET TO INNOCULATE!! I suggest if using the MS Spyware tool on innoculate, if any. My second choice would be Adaware. But do not
have multiple s/w tools set to innoculate your computer.
To check/ Edit your spyware tool settings, open the too, and go into Options/ Settings.