Are you having troubles getting Steam to boot up today? If so, the problem might not be with Valve's blockbuster gaming service; the issue could be your antivirus, instead. This weekend, the freebie Avast! antivirus misidentified a Steam component as a nasty little Trojan and sent the executable to the time-out box known as Quarantine as a result. The problem: SteamService.exe was a totally clean file, and Steam won't run without it.
Selecting an Internet security suite is a lot like plodding through a Choose‑Your‑Own‑Adventure book. Remember those? The path of the protagonist was entirely up to you, and if those books taught us anything at all, it’s that every decision carries with it potentially devastating consequences. The same thing applies to your choice of antivirus software, only the repercussions of malware are real, and if a shoddy security suite fires off a blank and leaves you exposed to danger, there’s no flipping back the pages for a do-over.
That’s where we come in. We’ve called to arms a gnarly collection of security suites with the roughest, toughest reputations around. We’re also including three popular no-cost AV solutions to find out how they compare. Flip through the pages to get started, and if we miss one you think should have been included, let us know—we’ll run stand-alone reviews of even more AV apps in the future.