I'm an unashamed PC user. For the most part, life with Windows is pretty decent. Almost every worthwhile piece of software runs on my computer. I'm not locked into any particular hardware. I even think that the Windows UI is better than that of any other operating system (which isn't saying much - OS UI design needs a major overhaul across the board). But there's one little problem: viruses.
Actually, that's not quite true. I can deal with viruses, but there's something much more sinister out there: antivirus software. Seriously, most antivirus software is absolute garbage. It comes packaged with other software, slows even the best PCs to a crawl, constantly asks for money, and it's difficult to uninstall. I have trouble telling the difference between antivirus software and the viruses they claim to protect us against.
Until recently, I didn't even bother with antivirus software. About once per year I'd get a virus, and then I'd just re-install Windows. It worked out well because most PCs need a fresh install every year or two anyway to maintain performance, so the viruses weren't really that inconvenient.
Then last month I reviewed a product called Ninite which helps you install common software in bulk on your computer. One of the programs they offer to install is Microsoft Security Essentials which is a free antivirus tool by Microsoft. I figured I might as well give it a shot, and I've been using it ever since. I'm happy to report that so far, I haven't noticed my computer running noticeably slower and I've never been asked to upgrade to a paid version. To be honest, the UI is actually very straightforward and effective (a first for Microsoft?). It's like antivirus nirvana!
You may be wondering if Security Essentials actually works. Well, that's kind of hard for me to say for sure, but it did catch at least one potential threat on my computer. I'm certainly not an expert on this type of thing, but I trust Security Essentials as much as I ever trusted any other antivirus program. And as long as it doesn't slow my computer down significantly, I prefer it over Norton or AVG regardless of how well it actually works.
If you're a PC user and you're not wild about your current antivirus software, I suggest you go to their website and take it for a test run.