What are the options for security software on Windows 7?
(And what would be the best security suite for windows 7? Why?)
Is it for commercial or personal use? I use Avast personally, which is free and has a light footprint. On the other side of the spectrum I would concur with Eset's NOD32.
ESET Smart Security 4 is very good. $60 USD yearly. I've been using this for a long time and I have had no problems. Very low system resources. Updated all the time. All around great product. I'll never use anything else.
While no one product is perfect, I have been using Comodo Internet Security for a while. It also works on Windows 7. I have not had any trouble since then. Most importantly, it is FREE and it includes Firewall, Antivirus, and regular updates. Try it out...you will not be disappointed.
I use Norton 360 (retail 3.0, upgraded to 3.5) and it works great. It's not free, but 3-license copies seem to always be on sale for $30-50. I've not had any performance issues with it, and as far as I can tell it's been doing its job since I installed it.
Also worth noting: it tracked my desktop license to the same machine after a full Windows reinstall. Very nice, as most "activated" apps don't.
Since no system is going to be 100% secure the goal becomes how best to minimize risk, so that's all this is, it will not help you from being hacked, just to minimize risk.
Keep your Windows 7 box updated and patched via Windows and other tools:
I am surprised no one is talking about Microsoft's Windows 7 firewall which is loaded with tons of options for blocking specific outbound and inbound traffic. I like to think of AV (free or paid as mostly cosmetic to some extent, I mean they are signature based and regardless of which AV you have it might not catch everything; nevertheless, it's better to have some protection on your Windows box than none:free or paid).
In my case I have MSE, Spybot SD, and CCleaner, and a hardened firewall.
If you want to find out how secure you computer is to some extent download some linux live CD like:
and Nessus scans
One advantage of using a tool like this is all your security auditing tools for the most part are on one live CD with the exception of the Nessus scanner and they are all free to use.In addition to the fact that the live CD comes pre-packed with tons of other tools you can use to play around with to see how secure your computer is.
Disclaimer: some of these tools are also available on certain Windows systems and Windows 7 has seriously made it easy for the average PC user to backup his/her PC, there really is no excuse for not backing up your PC these days, especially if you are running Windows 7 and security is important to you.