Awhile back, I began using free AV, AM, etc. on my desktop and two laptops. Later, I migrated to paid versions for AV, AM & etc. Not too long ago, I began dropping one or two at a time AV, AM and related utilities. Now, I've been using Windows 7 Pro Firewall, Windows 7 MSE, Windows Defender, and only one pay-for -- Emsisoft AntiMalware which includes an AV engine.
I've only ever used free ones because it just didn't make sense to pay for an antivirus, at least yet. I exercise caution by not clicking anything and everything I find on the net. So far I've had good experience with Bit Defender (nil resource impact on my 5 year old laptop running Win 8) and Malwarebytes Free.
I tried Malwarebytes' one month premium trial and must say that it makes more sense to get the paid version of Malwarebytes because it scans for malware in real time which can be serious if not detected in time. If a big virus is going to hit my computer then I really doubt if any of the paid antivirus is going to save me. For the other ones even free AV should suffice.
However, I've just joined this forum to get help with my first pc build so I will definitely buy Malwarebytes but will continue to run Bit Defender free.
I use bulldog, a paid one, my parents had a subscription for multiple computers, so I could just use it, if that wasn't the case I would've opted for a free one tho. But I wouldn't recommend going in without antivirus, especially not in older versions of Windows
I only use free antivirus, but because my system is so beefy, I have a few, and it still won't weigh down the system. I use Bitdefender as Real-Time Protection, Malwarebytes as my Scanner, and Comodo as my Firewall. I also use Windows Defender Browser Protection for Chrome. I love everyone of them. They are all free as well. I would recommend every one of these respectively.
Disclaimer: I'm with computer since pre-school times 20 years so far. Software Engineer currently
TL;DR: no antivirus and happy with it.
I don't use any antivirus software (except build-in Windows 10 one) for 5+ years. I went thru using Kaspersky AV, Kaspersky IS, Outpost Firewall, Nod32. As the time was going, I never saw it doing anything useful, because I don't click on random links, I don't visit untrusted porn websites, I don't click on huge buttons "press me". I DO, however, use some re-packed games, cracks, keygens and activators (which I download from trusted websites though, not via random google link "download keygen without registration sms"). And I do check my autostart list, processes list from time to time to make sure I don't have any bloatware.
So for me I saw anti-viruses blocking software I use and 5 years ago it was somehow simple to say "hey man, stop, this is not a suspicious malware, whitelist it\ignore\do whatever but let me use it". Nowadays it's becoming quite hard to find button "disable\ignore" in any AV software.
Having said that, I decided to go without any AV back it the days. And I've pretty satisfied with it so far. My system is not bloated with useless scans and CPU-eating checks of the files I trust.
From the other side, I was cleaning up several times PCs of my mother and brother which were completely bloated with malware. And YES, they had some AV installed! But AV won't help against stubborn user clicking on random links all the time! If you want to get your PC infected, you eventually will, regardless of amount of "protection SW" installed on your PC.
To each his own. If you're happy with BD fine. I'm happy with WD. The thing is, it shouldn't be an obsession. As long as one uses common sense (and no, I'm not going into the ins and outs of common sense... we all get what that entails), then WD should be fine and so it has proven with me. I like Windows 10 and I've had no issues so why concern myself. I do, however, find it amusing when some people jump from one AV to another to another and yet they have had no serious malware issues with any of their programs. It shows what marketing hype can do along with a healthy dose of paranoia.