Securing Windows from external attacks without bogging said PCs down or annoying users is a big challenge, but modern security software has risen to it beautifully, and we now have a huge range of highly effective suites to choose from. Our readers have made their favourite clear below.

WINNER

AVG 2016
Price: From Free to R695 for a 2-year renewal

About
• AVG INTERNET SECURITY 2016
• Complete protection for everything you do
• 1 year R449
• 2 year renewal R695
• AVG ANTI-VIRUS 2016
• Essential protection that won’t get in your way
• 1 year R349
• 2 year R523
• For Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10

Nothing beats free, and South Africans were only too happy to embrace AVG as their favourite supplier of security software thanks to the company’s very capable free anti-virus solution. That goodwill has likely translated to actual purchases of the company’s paid-for security software as well, and cemented AVG in the minds of South Africans as the name to trust when it comes too securing their computers.

This is remarkable, as AVG was up against the biggest hitters in the security industry, including the likes of Norton, Kaspersky, McAfee and BitDefender, who all offer their own security suites that are backed by years and years of experience and marketing. While many offer trials, none have a truly free solution, and AVG is only too happy to swoop in and save the day for many cash-strapped Windows users.

Votes
Percentage of votes: 29.1%
Runners-up: Kaspersky Total Security (22.8%), BitDefender Total Security Multi-Device 2016 (14.5%)

Journalist’s choice

Deon du Plessis

While I like free, I prefer to pay for my security software for the peace of mind it offers. In my experience nobody can beat Norton Internet Security in terms of performance, unobtrusiveness and effectiveness against both known and unknown threats. The software tends to be quite pricy and has a legacy of poor performance that still haunts it despite massive improvements, and maybe that’s why readers went with AVG instead.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.