One of the benefits of my job is that I get first hand experience with all the different antivirus programs out there. That's because my clients use different programs and so I get to see how well they perform when the latest threat is making the rounds on the internet.
And I still personally think Norton Internet Security is the best program on the market today. Sadly, folks either love Norton or hate it - there isn't much middle of the road on this subject.
Norton's biggest competitors are McAfee, Trend Micro, Panda, Kaspersky, and AVG, AVast, and Zone Alarm, to name just a few.
I don't like these other programs because they tend to be a lot more buggy than Norton (let's face it, Norton probably has the highest number of folks on staff next to Microsoft). This means they have a lot more money and personnel than most of the competitors to work on problems and perfect their software.
I've seen many viruses slip through the cracks with many of Norton's competitors, and in all the years I've been Norton, I haven't seen one virus slip through (knock on wood).
Ask folks what they hate about Norton, and you'll hear two primary complaints .... "they slow down my computer" and "they're tech support stinks".
A few years ago, the tech support argument was valid. But since Norton started using the online chat support, this argument has been eliminated. I've used this chat support system a lot and love it. You may still be talking to folks in India, but at least you can understand them when chatting online.
And as for slowing down the computer, it's true that Norton can slow things down a little. But much of that depends on which Norton product you're using and how old your computer is. If you have an older computer that has 512 MB of RAM or less, you will notice some slow down. But if your computer is newer and you have at least 1 GB of RAM, chances are you won't notice much slowing if any.
Norton has several different products, and the big one they are pushing these days is called Norton 360 ... but I'm not crazy about this product. It doesn't appear to be as stable as Norton Internet Security, and I don't think it's as user friendly. Another thing that annoys me about Norton 360 is that although you can disable the automatic backup feature, you are still plagued by messages telling you to set it up (which defeats the purpose of disabling it).
By the way, it is worth noting that there is a difference between "antivirus" software and "internet security software". Given the choice today, the preferred software is an "internet security" program.
When asked by clients what product I recommend, I still say, Norton Internet Security (not Norton 360).