Here's my suggestion for AV + some others
Go here first: AV-Test.org
I resorted the results (Protection, Performance, Usability) and turned up 360 Internet Security as a really good free option. What I also like is that they list the default Windows AV option as 'the baseline'.
VLC - don't get the Windows 8 version (it's still too crappy) - go for the classic.
I'd also recommend WinDirStat for finding what's taking up all the room on your disk. And Auslogics DiskDefrag (but none of their other stuff).
The other tool I always have is XVI32 - best freaking hex editor out there.