I asked the same question years ago, got told "why pay for something when the free stuff is just as good", and I'll be honest I've never looked back. In fact the only "paid for" program on my pc is MS Office, everything else is free.
I have always had Norton, but having read on various threads, here and elsewhere that many people use free stuff, I thought I would try and ask directly for opinions, but when one does some research, I sometimes find there is not one 'thread' that has all the major brands together, which are updated, say, every three months, so one can compare.
I know it is a question of personal preference, but personal opinions count.
What may have been in vogue, shall we say 3 or 6 months ago, may not necessarily be in the running stakes now.
Thank you for some useful hints and not very helpful thoughts.