However, one of the things that didn't come up immediately was the Norton Anti-Virus, which was pre-installed on this machine and which I've been updating since we bought it. And when it came time to re-activate it, I found myself unable to do so. Norton is *so* irritating that I would really prefer to find something else. It interferes with every process, slows down the machine dramatically, and is generally a pain in the butt. (I'm noticing that the machine is running much, much quieter now, with Norton not running constantly in the background.) Surely, there must be better options.
So a question for anyone with an informed opinion: what do you think is the best Windows anti-virus software? And why? Note that I care a lot about basic anti-virus and convenience -- the thing should protect well and update itself without hassle -- but I care a lot less about most of the bells and whistles like phishing protection (which is better handled in the browser and emailer). While email washing is useful, I don't want it to slow things down as much as Norton does. And the fact is, we've received less than one real virus a year by email -- Comcast actually does a pretty good job of filtering those before they get to us.
In short, I'm looking for a package that is designed for relatively experienced and well-set up Internet users, that isn't going to cost me half my CPU time. I'm also going to check various review sites, but I value the opinions of my friends, many of whom are pretty experienced in this field. So -- what do you use?