Ruja, what DO YOU base your statement on, "In my opinion Norton is crap"?
First it isn't. Yes, any and ALL A/V's can load down a low performance system, period... some maybe more than others.
Free vs. Fee, well some Fee can be Free. In the US on Black Friday sales (the day after Thanksgiving) most computer stores will sell s/w at huge discounts with some having rebates if you own prior versions for either free or a low $10 or so price. I buy my Norton ISS like that and save the license number until ours expire (3 PC box versions). I can't remember the last time I actually spent more than a stamp to get the refund (yeah, I loaned Symantec $60 for a month or so, and I do know some people have problems getting rebates).
Also look at this --> www.pcworld.com/article/210589.....pared.html, a little old but mostly valid.
I myself PREFER a suite. Total protection, both in and out... to each their own.
Norton is 'crap' you say? Hmm, a lot of sites sort of differ with you, see :
Do I work or have I worked for Norton, NO, but I am a user, for many years. And I've used others too and even now, McAfee is on one machine that shipped with it. As soon as it is off subscription, Norton ISS is going on it, from using both it appears Norton is better (subjective). Why not move now, because I know removing ANY suite can be a pain. I'll cross that bridge when I have too.
Is 'Free' bad? Absolutely not. But I want a suite, not a collection of apps creating a suite. One interface.
Ask yourself this? If a suite is free, who pays to do the work? Some suites and A/V's have paid counterparts and they might pay the way, but why would someone pay if Free was the same. It isn't... either updating is slower or some other feature (maybe you don't need that feature).
BTW, all A/V's are good, until something slips by and you get infected. Maybe you practice SAFE COMPUTING and wouldn't be infected anyway, you never know when you'll get a ZERO-DAY attack either...
I've been infected with Norton running. In most cases it did stop it cold. In ONE it didn't, it let part of the payload in. That was sitting in a TEMP folder and on every boot re-installed itself that Norton caught. Simple removal of the file fixed that.
I wouldn't disparage any app or vendor unless one has proof.