wow nice spread. I did a lot of research many years ago
(5=many to me) and had found that AVG was far better than most other common apps/suites. And that the difference between the free and paid is slight at best. You do not get "ID secure" and theres a ad banner, to name most of them. So I have advised it to clients for ~5 years and installed it for them. There IS a very noticeable pull on system resources, but for great security, I looked past it (myself I have never used antivirus/antimalware scanners or protection on an average of 5-6 personal computers around the house, I did use Norton in win 3.11 for a year, then trashed it - I would be lying if I said I had ever had a known infection on one of my computers - I just practice active awareness, thats for another thread - back on topic. A client had a full breach by AVG by a nasty rootkit, AVG recognized every viral/malicious component and logged it as they passed by for him. I can say thanks to SF and 2 weeks worth of man power the infection is believed to be clear. So I read up and spoke to those with more knowledge than myself on the various softwares available, and learned that AVG ranked LAST in several reputable studies. I now am transferring everyone to Avira (or Avast if the prefer) and so far so good, highly improved web performance. Many people love ESET - I have enjoyed the (financial) fruits of this software's occasional quirkiness, on a good deal of vista and win 7 systems, where they seem to suddenly experience changes in settings, even intermittent firewall protection, but just on some systems it seems. Finally any MS app is an opinionated type decision for people to make, more political based IMO than value-based. Regardless of what software you use, I will assure you to assume it is there, protecting you, is the biggest mistake people make, don't use it as a crutch..practice active avoidance, look for red flags, trust is quite a realistic looking mirage online. The actual software is not nearly as important as that advice can be. Take from my rant what you like! or not.
Best of luck!