troubleshooting Question

Recommendations for new Anti-virus/firewall software

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ee_reachFlag for United States of America asked on
Anti-Virus AppsSoftware FirewallsAnti-Spyware
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Hi Experts -

I have used various versions of Trend Micro anti-virus/anti-spyware/firewall products for a number of years.  But I have been growing increasingly dissatisfied with them and am ready to make the switch to a new product.

I have 3 laptops to protect, all running win xp.  

I do software development so I am on my main system all the time and am very sensitive to system interruptions (e.g., slow-downs/grinding to a halt/forcing a reboot) whenever updates occur, etc.

One thing I liked about an older version of Trend Micro was that it would check for an update, but then allow me to choose whether it was convenient at that moment to allow the update or if I wanted to delay it while I was wrapping up something else.

Another thing that I liked about TM was that up until recently, when I did tell it to go ahead and do the update, it was quick to download and the download/install progress bar was very accurate.  

Lastly, I really liked the fact that TM didn't seem to slow my system down except during scans where it naturally was competing for system resources.

I currently am running a trial of Kaspersky PURE, but often times it slows my system to a crawl.  This is especially true during updates, where this relatively powerful laptop becomes completey unresponsive during updates and for about 15 mins afterwards.  And trying to work during a scan is just hopeless.

I care a lot about protection.  However, I rarely end up at risky sites, and since I really need my system to be responsive, it is just as high a priority for me to have an unintrusive anti-virus that allows me to keep working while it goes about its business.

Last on my wish-list, the software should offer me the ability to choose what I want to do if it spots a virus.  Kaspersky out of the box went about with its continuous scanning feature and deleted 5 files that I wanted saved and offered no means of recovering them.  They were viruses that I was doing forensic analysis on for a website that had been hacked, but before I could even get kaspersky configured it found the virus/spyware/all-over-nasty program files and deleted them.

Kudo's to Kaspersky for finding them - neither AVG nor malwarebytes nor super-anti-spyware, nor Trend Micro ID'd the files as a problem.  But I would have liked to have kept them around to finish my analysis rather than have them deleted without a choice. And even after I did find the settings for deciding what the default action would be with an indentifed piece of malware, it still isn't clear that the files would be held onto instead of deleted.  

So my other complaint about Kaspersky is that the result of selecting various options isn't very clear.  I'm highly technical and even I couldn't always be sure of the significance of various options.

So with all that info, what would you suggest I try for anti-virus/anti-spyware/anti-malware/firewall?

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