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New scanning concepts are now on the market that do not heavily rely on an updated text file list of definitions. In my own opinion Hardware Security smokes software but it can be a bit costly. I would suggest bench marking all of the anti virus (software) packages available and make your own decisions based on your specific needs, for defense.
Most people can avoid infection just by tweaking their default Windows/Linux/Mac settings. Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat are a prime example.
You can not depend just on a single piece of software to protect you from infections. That's a fact and every time I fix a laptop, netbook or harden someone's server - I tell them this same thing over and over again. It start's with the end user.
I agree with many of them thet avast is very best.Free program,just send e-mail and you have activation for one year, it does not take a lot of resources of computers and I use it very long time, and never have problem whit virus of any kinde...!!