While most of what you say is true, free anti virus software CAN BE as good as paid for anti virus software. Conversely, some paid for anti virus software CAN BE worse than free anti virus software (quoting your good self re. Nortons. LOL).
The free version of AVG uses the same engine, DB and signature reference files as the paid version. Same with the free version of Avast.
IMHO, the real key is not to place 100% of your AV needs in one product. No AV, I don’t care who puts it out, knows everything, otherewise we’d all run that AV. A sound practice is to have one AV product installed with its real time scanner active and have a second AV product installed to do on-demand scanning to verify the on-demand and real time scanning of the first product.
Is Comodo’s free AV good enough?
V1.1, in my opinion, wasn’t up to scratch. The beta versions of V2 are soooooo close to being ready for prime time, it’s not funny. Where it differs to traditional AV products is that the “traditional” AV’s were based on a two layer architecture - detection and removal. CAVS2 BETA has added a third “outer” layer - prevention. If the infection can’t get in, you don’t need to detect it or remove it. This is a new approach for AV apps and is causing some confusion in how to accurately test the accuracy and efficiency of CAVS2, and most test suites revolve around the old detection-removal scheme.
CAVS2 BETA, combined with Comodo Firewall Pro, provides an exceptionally good security perimeter and interior defense layer. Other AVs may have more samples and signatures in their DBs, but the CFP/CAVS2 combo has so far prevented 5 trojans (unknown at the time) from entering one of the test systems. It did this without the benefit of a signature to identify it, it picked it up through its attempted ingress and its method of system attachment.
Should people run CAVS2 as their prime AV?
Not unless they are fully cognizant of what it means to run a beta software package on a production system.
Ultimately it comes down to peoples educated choice. Personally, I run CAVS2 BETA on 5 PCs at home, but they ALL have different secondary AV products installed and these are used regularly to verify CAVS2’s scans. The firewall/AV combo is currently installed on a 45 PC test lab and has performed flawlessly to date. That doesn’t mean it won’t all go to hell in a handbag tomorrow, but I’m pretty sure it won’t.
It’s really personal choice, and the more educated and better informed that choice is, the better it will be.
P.S> All ofthe AV products mentioned in your previous posts are top quality AVs.