Ok, may be you have read this story a thousand times, and you might read the Toptenreview about Top ten AntiVirus programs, but I do not believe it much since it seems like an advertising website, and they do not even test all the programs themselves.
I have been using Avira AntiVir free version for almost 6 years and I do not have any intention to change. Actually I installed Avast Home Edition and AVG free on some other computers, just for testing but then I have to remove all of them and switched back to my beloved AntiVir.
At least until now, I am not wrong. Avira Antivir has been rated as the Overall best Anti-virus Program of 2008 by Av-comparavies, one of the most reliable independent Anti-virus tester on the Internet.
Here is what they say:
"To be rated „Best Anti-Virus Product of 2008“ by AV-Comparatives, an
Anti-Virus product should have high detection rates, high proactive
detection rates, very few false positives (zero is preferable), be
fast with a low system impact, cause no crashes or hangs, and have
no annoying bugs. The following products received at least 3
ADVANCED+ awards during 2008: AVIRA and ESET NOD32. It was very
close, but the detailed scores of AVIRA were higher than the ones of
ESET NOD32. The overall Best Anti-Virus product of 2008 is AVIRA "
On another test done by av-test.org on December 2008, once Avira AntiVir has showned its effectiveness but catching 99.8% of the total tested virus, surpassed all other antivirus programs.
But these tested are done with AntiVir premium edition, with the built-in anti-spyware engine. But you can use the AntiVir free edition with one of the free anti-spyware program like spybot S&D for more protection.
Yes, and this is what I have got for more than 6 years of using computer and Avira along with me. Now since I am a student of KULeuven, I got the campus license to use McAfee for free, but I am still in love with Avira AntiVir free version since it is so effective and use very small memory.
The drawbacks of free version is a nag-screen appears everytime you update. But you can get rid of it by searching through the Internet, or reading my upcoming article ;)