technohyper -- I can't tell you which is best, it's a decision you have to make on your own
Specifically for paid or premium options, I'd actually answer with a question -- are there any must have features you're looking for?
Example being that all versions of Avast come with our nextgen protection (CyberCapture, Behavior Shield, etc. https/www.avast.com/nextgen). The paid versions offer additional layers of security (like Ransomware Shield) as well as additional features (Software Updater for example)
You could also start by downloading some free trials and exploring the features available, and ask questions from there!
I know self-professed computer nerds will all argue against this, but as owner of a very small computer sales/service company who has to do all support for customers and family myself, over 20 years experience has shown the best solution to be Norton Internet Security. Just don't do automatic renewal and buy it cheap each year around Thanksgiving (usually free after rebate). I get no repair calls or infection/malware calls from any of my customers who have Norton. Those who use free antivirus or "off-brands" are the ones always bringing their computers in for cleaning.
If you insist on using something else, best to make sure you have Malwarebytes anti-malware and Spybot Search and Destroy on hand to do your cleanups.