As the Chief Technology Officer at Pristine, I have been involved in almost all high profile purchases that we have done in the tech department. Starting from the latest allotment of machines and laptops to the software licenses which are needed by the firm to avoid any piracy issues. These are pretty easy to do and follow … but when it comes down to purchasing software licenses for my family’s personal use, then the same set of equations do not apply.
When I decided to purchase a set of anti-virus packages for my house (we have two laptops and a desktop), the price point was NOT the deciding factor, neither was the performance or the memory print. I thought that I could put down my thoughts on each of the popular anti-virus solutions out there.
McAfee – This used to be an awesome security package has somehow declined over the years into this clunky bundle which is forced (read pre-packaged) into your computer’s operating system. I generally try and avoid this these days.
Norton Antivirus – Norton AV is by Symantec and used to be the top AV of its time, over a period of time it became clunky and heavy almost making the system which it was meant to protect inoperable. But over the past couple of years, they have re-written their entire system from scratch. You can read more about Norton Antivirus. From what I have been reading about Symantec and Norton is that it is one of the most respected and widely used antivirus. Overall, this package works and it is doing well with the SOHO segment. The only disadvantage that it has it is popularity among the technical crowd, so much so that even hackers are using the Symantec name to extort money from unsuspecting victims.
ESET – I first heard about ESET when I was in Hyderabad, the best part about this package is the light memory print. It runs well on old machines. However, for feature junkies, there are newer versions released already which have better UI, more features and obviously a higher memory print.
Kaspersky – I have tried the demo version and I was impressed, over the past few years it has been consistently topping the charts. I do not know how much of a performance trade off it leaves behind, but it sure is the most effective of the lot!
For the average user, Microsoft has also released the Microsoft Security Essentials, which keeps your average trojan at bay.
In the end, if its peace of mind with usability that you want, then do give Norton or Kaspersky a whirl. If its the ability to be very very specific, then its ESET.