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Best Security Suites: PC Bodyguards

At a Glance

Symantec's Norton security suite will do a great job of keeping your PC safe, and the program is easy to use too.

Price when rated: $28.00

Pros

  • Great at keeping a PC safe
  • Smooth, friendly interface

Cons

  • Higher-than-average false-positive rate
 Compare

At a Glance

G Data's security suite is one of the best defenders we've ever seen, and it takes the top spot among this year's crop despite a rough interface.

Pros

  • Excellent malware detection and blocking
  • Low impact on PC performance

Cons

  • Interface needs a makeover
 Compare

At a Glance

A great choice for beginners and advanced users alike, Bitdefender's suite combines a friendly interface with top-notch protection.

Pros

  • Friendly interface
  • Provides great protection against malware

Cons

  • Slow scan speeds
  • Significantly slows PC performance
 Compare

At a Glance

Avast's latest security suite is effective in defending against malware, but it could stand to improve in cleanup.

Pros

  • Good malware detection and blocking
  • Friendly interface

Cons

  • Lacks some common features
 Compare

At a Glance

Although not a top performer, Smart Security 5 is a strong, easy-to-use upgrade over previous versions of Eset’s security suite.

Price when rated: $68.00

Pros

  • Pleasing interface

Cons

  • Malware cleanup lags behind top performers
 Compare

At a Glance

Despite its somewhat middling detection scores, Trend Micro's security suite is simple to use.

Price when rated: $25.00

Pros

  • Good--but not outstanding--malware detection
  • Simple, friendly interface

Cons

  • Light on features
  • File scanning is slow at times
 Compare

At a Glance

The latest F-Secure suite is quite capable of keeping your machine safe, but it may drag your PC down at times.

Pros

  • Effective at blocking malware

Cons

  • Occasionally sluggish performance
 Compare

At a Glance

While Check Point's ZoneAlarm security suite is a reasonably solid protector, it may drag down your PC’s operations.

Pros

  • Good protection against malware

Cons

  • Slow scan speeds
  • May hurt your PC's performance
 Compare
Where to buy

At a Glance

The Kaspersky security suite's on-access scans could be faster, but it’s very good at detection and blocking.

Price when rated: $20.00
Lowest price: $70.00 via Amazon.com Marketplace

Pros

  • Low impact on PC performance
  • Strong protection against malicious software

Cons

  • Mixed scan-speed results
 Compare

At a Glance

AVG's security suite will protect your PC, but it can’t quite keep up with the best performers in our latest test group.

Pros

  • Good malware prevention

Cons

  • Interface feels overly complicated in spots
 Compare

At a Glance

The 2012 edition of Avira's security suite gets the job done, but not much else.

Pros

  • Adequate protection against malware

Cons

  • Mixed scan-speed performance
  • Interface needs work
 Compare

At a Glance

McAfee's 2012 security suite posts mixed performance results, failing to keep up with top contenders.

Price when rated: $21.00

Pros

  • Well-designed interface
  • Effective at keeping malware off your PC

Cons

  • Subpar malware cleanup
  • Can bog down PC performance
 Compare
Where to buy

At a Glance

Panda's security suite is a decent choice for keeping your PC safe, but its sluggish performance and mediocre interface drag down its score.

Lowest price: $46.00 via Amazon.com

Pros

  • Strong malware detection and removal

Cons

  • Slow scan speeds
  • Interface is rough in spots
 Compare

At a Glance

Webroot's revamped security suite has a lot to like, but its low malware disinfection scores prevent it from becoming a top contender.

Pros

  • Slick interface
  • Keeps malware off your PC

Cons

  • Struggles at infection cleanup
 Compare

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