'A Free' Security Suite
This will be composed of any number of the free firewalls, free antivirus scanners and free spyware removers. If money is tight or not available for buying a suite (or individual security applications), there are a number of free products available in each of these categories.
Advantages for the free products:
The biggie, FREE!
Most do a good job, although there are some who feel that 'free' is not as good as 'paid'. (In fact, some of the free products may be better than some of the paid products. Hard to determine which is best as the 'reviews' are often 'paid' by the product manufacturers.)
More control over what is running on your computer.
Some disadvantages of the free programs:
Regular maintenance of free programs, getting updates, scheduling the scans, etc. While firewalls generally do not require such maintenance, some but not all, of the free antivirus and spyware scanners generally do require manual updating and scanning.
There could be conflict issues with the free programs. While not likely to occur, due to the fact that these programs have to 'dig' into the inner workings of Windows because that's where the malware is located, there could be conflicts
Every individual has their own preferences for programs and security programs are no different. My advice is to use what works for you. Most of the 'paid' suites have free trials, so you can try them out and make your choices based on how they work on your computer.
Whatever you decide, paid for programs or free, just be sure you do it! Your safety online and the safety of every other computer user depends on preventing malware from being installed on your computer and turning it into 'a zombie computer'!