I use free security software on my laptop. If Your money is tight then I would recommend that you use free security programs. Also, I do not like to depend on one program to 'do it all'. I think that you are just as secure with free security software as you are with the paid.
I think that you can get a 60 day free trial of Norton 360 that you can try to see if you still want to get it.
Out of the free ware I have used (and using):
Anti-virus: AVG free 8.5 (my current one), Avast, and Avira. You can have only one on your PC at any one time.
Anti-spy: Spy-bot, Superantispyware, Malwarebytes', and spywareblaster ( A preventive program not a scanner like the others).
Firewall: Comodo (My current one), and Zone alarm. You can only have one firewall on at a time.
Out of the paid I have used:
Mcafee and Norton 'all-in-one-box'; The last time I have use them was about eight years ago.
I am in the process of updating my securtity software and considering buying Norton 360.
I have seen alot of posts and blogs on cnet that recommend different free and paid software and I am wondering if it's better to cobble together a bunch of free software or just shell out the bucks for Norton (which claims to do it all, I think). This would primarily be for a home use but I do use my laptop for telecommuting to work periodically.