I just recently finished my yearly evaluation of antispyware, firewalls, and antivirus programs and switched to different antivirus and anti-spyware programs (the firewall still rated pretty high). Since the programs tend to change in effectiveness (for example, back in the day Norton antivirus was a hoss at finding/nuking viruses; now it tends to fall behind some other antivirus programs) almost every 6 months but since I am lazy I don’t bother researching them except every year. The best free (non-cracked since I try to avoid that stuff nowadays) antivirus seems to be antivir and best (free) antispyware seems to be SpywareTerminator, and Comodo is still one of the better firewalls out there or so I have concluded after reading the reviews, forums, etc.
My main grip is bloat. Three programs (six processes) take up over 85mb of memory on my computer now I do have a gigabyte of memory (which doesn’t go as it used to) but it still feels like bloat. I didn’t start to use antivirus/spyware software until about two years ago, I believe I am savvy enough to identify viruses via email on flash drives etc (looking for strange hidden files, executable attachments etc) but its gotten over my head and especially where I work now (where they have no sense of computer security and are the USB flash drive happiest people I have ever seen) this security is really needed.
What actually prompted me to post this was that I had also been looking for a functional IM client that was small and efficient and I came across Miranda, after seeing that and other programs like utorrent I have come to the conclusion that there are a lot of lazy programmers out there (ironically all the security software I use is produced by companies were as Miranda and utorrent are open source community efforts) that could make their code a lot more streamlined and stable.