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personaaly : kaspersky & bit-defender ... install any 1..
i was advised to use nod32..is it bad?......i dont really like it because it once eat up my critical windows files
kasperksy is best.. i believe its better than bit-defender and nod32
most malicious software now days uses some form of social engineering. keeping that in mind is generally the best defense
norton 360 is currently the best so far when i compared between kaspersky and norton.
just use microsoft essentials.. its good enough.
If you want a free antivirus I'd advise you Avira AntiVir or Microsoft Essentials plus a anti-spyware software like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware. But if you want to pay choose Kaspersky, G-Data or a solution from ESET. These are DA best on the market nowdays. I'm personnaly using Nod32 but I've tried G-Data and it's a very good antivirus too. I've also heard that Dr.Web CureIt! wasn't bad. Last but not least, you're the best antivirus.
Free: Avira, Avast, AVG. Can't go wrong with any of them.
As a computer repair shop owner and tech, we use and recommend Kaspersky. NOD32 by Eset is good, Avira is good, AVG is OK. Stay away from the big 3: Norton, McAfee or TrendMicro - they seem to spend a lot more on marketing than they do on R&D.
I would say either Sophos or Norton 360. :)
You'll be fine with Windows 7. Tehmagik made a great point, it's mainly social engineering now that will get you. I've owned 4 computers with Windows 7 and Vista and I've never got a virus. Just be smart and you'll be fine.