questionsonce again, any suggestions or comments about…

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I'm a fan of Maximum PC's reviews. As a result of their advice, I started using Kaspersky years ago after a bad Norton experience. I've been very happy with Kaspersky since. Maximum PC's current newstand issue (Holiday 2011) reviews 10 products and gives Norton their "Kick Ass" reward (they liked it last year too). They do not review Microsoft Security Essentials this issue, but I've heard good things and I use it on my netbooks (and it's free). I hear Windows8 will include built in malware protection.

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I run Panda Cloud AV ... it has a very small footprint and runs in the background. I dont have problems with viruses so its the only thing I use but maybe would be great as a secondary check which is probably a good idea anyway. Oh and its free btw...

http://www.cloudantivirus.com/en/

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I use Avira and have no problems and I torrent alot. If there is something in the download that shouldn't be it catches it and tells me. Runs very minimal memory and it's almost invisible.
Best part, it's free.

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I know you mentioned moving away from Symantec's Norton, but the Norton AntiVirus tool (the later releases in the last couple of years) are really quite excellent. If you go for the AntiVirus tool alone (not the internet security) you'll find that it's quite diligent at keeping pc's protected without causing conflicts. Often I find that the Internet Security tool, which includes antivirus, plus other utilities is much more intrusive and has higher potential for conflicts.

The new Symantec AntiVirus is great, I recommend it if you're looking for something light and comprehensive.

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@nortonsark: Yep, I am familiar with Windows 8. Because it is intended to be a web-connected O/S with lots of background "cloud" interaction the firewall and AV hooks are built in as close to the hardware layer as possible.

The intention is that any data or code is sandboxed/walled off from every other application unless it goes through an explicit validation step. Doesn't matter if the action is via the web, local network or installed apps.

We'll see how the final implementation works, but I give it thumbs up for security so far. Not as thrilled with Metro, but I can see its utility on small form displays.

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@hunter306: Yeah, the Internet Security bloat was the big issue. It literally loaded the machines so badly they became almost unusable. This was at a time when dual-core machines were more expensive. I hated telling family they should spend $800 for a machine powerful enough to run a real-time antivirus good enough to protect them from themselves.

Instead I hunted for the best replacement and found several I could recommend in AVG, Avast and Avira. Antivir was actually too aggressive back then so we used Avast for several years before switching to Vipre.

Then removing Symantec's ISC was a chore. {whew!}

Glad to hear it has improved, but real-time active protection, web-scanning and active firewall are almost required with my ditzy family. If they had to pay for my time fixing their mistakes, they might realize how careless they have been.