We can all sympathize with you, but we probably can’t help you out as much as you would like. You might get a more satisfactory response to an exact problem you’re having.
It sounds to me like you’re frustrated that your computer is slowing down and you’re not confident all the stuff you loaded on is protecting you. I know the feeling. I’m a techie, I used for design computers in the 90s. I avoided all these virus scanning programs myself for years and years because they slowed my computer down so much. However the viruses finally got smarter than I was, so I caved in and tried AVG.
For me, AVG (paid and free) did not work well at all with my hardware (XP). It would constantly hang the computer and it was slow. I emailed for support, never heard a peep back from AVG. Will never use them again. I tried the trial version of Norton and was happy enough with it, that I bought in from Amazon.
ALL virus programs are going to significantly slow down a 1 core CPU, there’s no way around it. Norton has gotten better over the years, but I still see it slowing down my computer. If the slowness of your system is what is really eating at you, then a new computer with multiple cores will make you FEEL a LOT better. Not only are the CPUs MUCH faster now than a couple of years ago, they typically have multiple cores in them. With multiple CPU cores, the anti virus software can run on one core while your applications run on the other cores.
For the cost of technical support you can practically buy a new machine.
If you want to keep your old hardware and try to speed it up, hardware is probably more effective than wasting money on more software. You can install more RAM if you’re low. That can make a significant improvement in your old hardware for a modest cost. You can buy more RAM from online stores like Newegg and TigerDirect. A new video card will also speed up you system by off loading work from the CPU to the video card. On old hardware, I would never spend more than about $50 in total to upgrade though. If you need to spend more than $50, bite the bullet and buy a new machine. Again NewEgg and TigerDirect are good places to get low cost new machines.
We hate to see you wasting time with your computer when you could be working your bees!