These antivirus recommendations are personal opinion based on my experience. I will list many common ones below in alphabetical order. This post will occasionally be updated. The last update was November 15, 2017.

One important note: Regardless of which antivirus program you use, you should never ever use automatic renewal. This will prevent accidental renewals in case you want to use a different antivirus program. Make the company earn your business; don’t be loyal to any one product.

  • Avast — This is a pretty good program, especially the pay version. The free version is decent too. If you are a cheapskate then I recommend this over AVG free. It isn’t my favorite but I did pay for it a few years and was happy with it.
  • AVG — A lot of people love the free version of AVG. For certain people, AVG is probably good enough. Detection is okay, not great. I do not recommend this product but you could do worse. AVG is now owned by Avast.
  • Bitdefender — This program has excellent detection, but it has a heavy footprint. The footprint is almost as bad as Kaspersky.
  • Eset — This is still my personal favorite and has been for several years. It has excellent detection and has a light footprint. Once installed, your work is done. You don’t need to do any scheduled scans because the real-time detection is as good as the one from a manual scan. It is not perfect. Some malware it cannot remove. You have to download a removal program on their website for these. It is more expensive than the others I’ve used.
  • F-Secure — I do not have a very good opinion of this. Although I have not seen it in a while. The last time I saw it, it really slowed down the computer. I don’t know how well the detection is.
  • Kaspersky — This antivirus program does a good job at detection. But it has a heavy footprint; it really slows down your computer. You have to be careful because sometimes a debugging mode is enabled and it will start generating several large log files, and won’t delete any of them. This can cause you to run out of disk space fast. And no, Russia is not hacking your computer with Kaspersky.
  • McAfee — Terrible, just terrible. It would have trouble finding water standing knee-deep in the ocean. Worse, it has a heavy footprint. Not as much as Kaspersky, but close. McAfee was bought by Intel but surprisingly the product has not improved at all despite Intel’s deep pockets. Intel recently spun off McAfee, but it hasn’t improved one bit.
  • Microsoft (Security Essentials) — This program is okay at detection but has a heavy footprint and is slow to remove viruses. I do not recommend this product.
  • Norton/Symantec — A decent program, but not great. Detection is better than McAfee but worse than Eset or Kaspersky. Norton 360 is a pretty sorry product. But the other programs are decent. The main problem with Norton is that the program itself is buggy and has been for years. If you make it a year without it blocking a program you use or requiring a reinstall, you are doing well.
  • Panda — Not enough experience to form an opinion. I know some people who have used the free version and were satisfied with it.
  • Sophos — Not enough experience to form an opinion.
  • Trend Micro — At one time Trend Micro was really good. Not anymore. Detection has become mediocre. I no longer recommend it.
  • Vipre — Not enough experience to form an opinion.
  • Webroot — Best Buy loves this product, which means you won’t. Every time you buy a computer from Best Buy they push this product hard, which means Webroot is paying a lot of money to Best Buy. It isn’t that good, and it seems to slow a computer down. Not as much as McAfee but more than others. One more note: this really isn’t an antivirus product.

Now, a note. These companies also make individual standalone tools for removing certain malicious software and viruses. My opinion on the antivirus programs is unrelated to these standalone repair tools. I use many of these tools to clean malware even if I will not buy their antivirus package.