PC Pro magazine (March 2013, issue 221) has reviewed 16 security suites. Is speaks glowingly of Avast! free (version 7) which turns in a performance little inferior to BitDefender and Trend Micro Platinum but is a free product. It speaks far from glowingly about AVG free 2013 and contrasts the dim performance of AVG 2013 against AVG 2012 which it recommended in 2012.
Of particular note is the performance of Avast! in preventing damage by zero day threats. It scores 98% in comparison with 100% for both BitDefender and Trend Micro Platinum. Avast!'s Behaviour Shield is coming into its own.
MSE was found to be a tail-end Charlie with respect to protection performance.