I got my Consumer Reports and it has Ratings of Antivirus Software this month.
They have Avast down as the only free antivirus, and they do say it is the best free antivirus. Since they don't mention other freebies, it is an odd rating system.
I think using Bitdefender as an extra virus scanner (not actively running) as many have mentioned on this forum is the best of both worlds.
BTW-I just installed Avast on another friend's machine after removing Norton.
2003 Win XP SP3, Pent4 2.4 GHz, OE, 1 GB RAM, 80GB HD, comodo firewall
2008 Windows 7 32 bit, 1,8 GHZ, 4 GB RAM,,Windows Defender, windows firewall
(all Machines Avast 8.01483, MBAM, SAS, Firefox 20.01 and IE 8