Does antivirus software slow down PCs?

  stevethetester 17:39 23 Apr 2015


For all those interested in this issue-and who isn't?- the very latest results from AVTest are available- click here interesting reading and well worth a look.

Happy reading,



  wee eddie 18:37 23 Apr 2015

As for stating the bleeding obvious. That takes the biscuit.

Many AV's allow one to chose what proportion of your processors available cycles you want it to take while it is checking your drive

  stevethetester 18:10 27 Apr 2015

Not just about processor cycles whilst checking the drive; it's about the overall usability and impact on your PC balanced against how effective the a/v solution is in everyday use-no use having a very light solution -adjusted or not for the processor cycles- if the a/v solution is sub standard. It's all about the balancing act of minimal performance impact combined with the very best detection;that's what this is about and should be used in conjunction with other independent tests. Surely that's what most users want-but I suppose THAT is stating the the b...d..g obvious.

  Secret-Squirrel 09:26 28 Apr 2015

Steve, I found your article interesting - thanks for posting it.

  stevethetester 17:33 28 Apr 2015


Thanks Secret-Squirral, I have spent several years (and continue to do so) testing various a/v solutions; I currently hold full and valid licences for: Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, McAfee Total Security 2015,Bitdefender Total Security 2015 and ESET 2015. I regularly swap around to test these solutions subjectively along with trial versions from other vendors and can confirm that (in my humble opinion) Kaspersky does provide the best balance as per the vast majority of the independent reviews.Whilst Bitdefender has improved over the past 2/3 years they still have several issues that need sorting out-for example media streaming to my smart tv or blue ray player is at best hit and miss but generally speaking a no no; ESET despite the blurb slows down the boot up and general performance more than they would like to admit and McAfee whilst having the potential to be good is still outclassed by the above. Norton 2015 is very good but I feel that they have lost their way a little bit by streamlining (their words) their line up. Where as you could buy a licence for 3 pc's for about £24 they seam to be hell bent on pushing a multi solution which not all of us want; you usually find that what may be good on a computer is not always the best at protecting android phones and tablets. You only have to look at how hard it is to purchase the 2015 lineup these days compared to everyone previously selling the 2014 versions etc-even WH Smith's have swapped to Kaspersaky now.

Sorry to be long winded but I hope this helps some of our regular posters,


  john bunyan 18:25 28 Apr 2015

Whilst paid for AV is desirable, I have a couple of grand children (20 & 23) who are "poor" undergrads. They were using AVG free, but now have standardised on free Avast plus a lifetime licence for Malawrebytes premium (bought for £10 per PC). The problem seems to be when these are running automatic scans. On my own PC I scan manually, but for the younger ones, I suspect they would not do this, so they do complain that the PC slows during scanning. Would more RAM help, when next updating?

  Secret-Squirrel 09:37 29 Apr 2015

"The problem seems to be when these are running automatic scans...........they do complain that the PC slows during scanning."

It's not necessary to run regular scans because Avast and Malwarebytes' Premium both have real-time protection which means they'll zap any threats as soon as they arrive. If any pests do sneak in unnoticed then they'll be detected and removed as soon as they become active. It is of course important to do initial scans to ensure the PC is malware free. So my advice is to disable automatic regular scanning.

"Would more RAM help, when next updating?"

It's primarily the constant disk-access activity that's slowing them down so I doubt that a RAM upgrade would make much difference.

  john bunyan 10:17 29 Apr 2015


Thanks for the steer.


Any views on Avast ?

  stevethetester 17:30 29 Apr 2015

Hi, Agree that if the real time protection is working as it should then no nasties should sneak through although I feel that it's generally a good idea to do a regular "deep" scan on a manual basis-I usually do this at either night time or when I go out (although I don't have much of a slow down on my PC) so maybe this combined with disabling the automatic scan or setting it up for scanning when the PC is not in use or during the night may be the answer; I agree that upgrading the RAM may have minimal improvement although it's always a good idea to have as much good quality RAM as you can; I recently upgraded from 4GB to 12Gb and have noticed a slight overall improvement on everyday use.It's very much a case of diminishing returns after about 6GB....

Regarding AVAST, I think that it is very good if a little resource hungry with good detection rates and is definitely an excellent choice.Other excellent solutions include Qihoo 360 and Avira;all of these will provide rock solid protection when used in conjunction with sensible surfing habits and Malwarebytes as a back up solution.Please see here: click here good way to check out the effectiveness is to go to- click here and run the checks on a regular basis.

Hope this is of further interest,

Happy surfing,



  stevethetester 17:24 30 Apr 2015


Just an override on the above-looks like Qihoo have been cheating so would like to retract recommendation for this product (to be fair I have found it to be good) have a read at- click here you wonder.....



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