What is the best internet security and antivirus program?

I am looking for advise on what would be the best choice for internet security and antivirus program and why.
This would be for a home computer-no networking.
marvelousmarAsked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Lots of people swear by norton.  In my opinion, it's not bad - but I prefer McAfee - I feel it's easier and from my experience with their antivirus product, it's RARELY subject to conflicts with your system (Norton I believe has problems with Windows XP Service Pack 2 - they are fixable, but such issues just don't seem to arise for McAfee - at least in my experience).
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marvelousmarAuthor Commented:
What about zone alarm?
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woodendudeCommented:
To this question you'll find varying answers. I use Norton Internet Security, it's a combined pack, firewall, add blocker, e-mail spam blocker, parental control, privacy control, intrusion detection and anti virus on an xp pro sp2 machine with no problems. I have tried others in the past and think  I'll be sticking with Norton.
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woodendudeCommented:
What about zone alarm? <<<< zone alarm is a firewall, and a good one from what I've heard, I've never used it myself.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Zone alarm is fine - Most products are going to be pretty good for average home use.  But it does not include an Antivirus package.
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woodendudeCommented:
When considering a security set up you want  to have in place, a firewall, anti virus program  and a few choice ad/malware detection and removal programs.
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woodendudeCommented:
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marvelousmarAuthor Commented:
OK, so, I was planning on buying.......are the free ones as good as the ones that you would buy?
Thanks for the advise on zone alarm. I didn't notice that it did not have an antivirus.
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woodendudeCommented:
To that I would have to say " No they are not as good" My reasoning would not be from experience, just  knowing most of the companies that offer the free versions also have more advanced paid versions, so I would think not. But I do know of at least 2 people that have for quite some time now used both the free zone alarm and avg and thery have had no issues. Another suggestion to you would be to consider using a browser other then Internet Explorer. Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape are not as valnerable as IE. Keep IE around as some urls, etc. rely on it but don't use it as your default browser.
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marvelousmarAuthor Commented:
OK, another really good point woodendude. I do use Mozilla and internet explorer. I was just about ready to download McAfee while I was using Firefox and it said I would have to use internet explorer to do the download. So that makes me wonder if I need anything. I thought that the programs protected my computer. I am on cable modem and leave my computer on all the time. Am I at risk even if I don't have a browser window open? Does McAfee not protect me then if I use Mozilla. It can't be safe forever. I have norton right now and have had an alert from that even when I didn't have a page up. That was before sp2 for windows xp.
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woodendudeCommented:
If you're connected to the net, and not actually surfing you are still vulnerable, a line out is also a line in.  Macafee will protect you when using Mozilla/Firefox, any other browser, many products, pages etc... piggy back, so to speak on IE , they're download is an example. A firewall will protect you when connected but not using the computer.
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marvelousmarAuthor Commented:
Thank you very much woodendude.
I wanted to see if there was anything else out there that I wasn't aware of. It sounds like both Norton and McAfee are decent. I am choosing McAfee as I already have Norton and want to try something new. I also see that McAfee 2005 has Spyware/Adware Detection and Removal so I am hoping to delete my sypbot and adware removers so as to not have as much clutter. You have helped me sort out what I want.
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woodendudeCommented:
May I ask why you're switching away from Norton?
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woodendudeCommented:
Oops , posted at the same time.
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marvelousmarAuthor Commented:
Thank you leew.
I was having trouble with Norton after uninstalling and reinstalling on windows xp with sp2 and my subscription runs out shortly. Thanks for your help too.
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woodendudeCommented:
I would hang on to the spybot and adaware, especially the spy bot , the immunization feature is great in preventing future, repeated hits. You can't really be to safe the mal/adware and viruses are getting more aggressive and you want to be safe.
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woodendudeCommented:
Glad I could help!
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marvelousmarAuthor Commented:
OK, Thanks again woodendude. I tried to up the points to give you more but I couldn't seem to get it to work. I hope I can deal with you again!
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