I'm sure that Norton AV, firewall, etc does give good protection, but when I've seen it running on relatively old PCs (eg Pentium II 300MHz 192Mbyte memory) it does seem to slow them to a crawl. These older PCs are, however, capable of running quite quickly without a security suite when running things that aren't too demanding, eg, Word 2000 and not games.
I wondered if anyone has any advice on other AV, firewall and spyware programmes (low cost or free) which will run fine on older PCs without slowing them down too much.
I have an old machine (233mhz) which runs fine with the Avast Antivirus Prog. This is a FREE program and can be programmed to check Web, e-mail or downloaded items but will leave the internal running programs alone if desired. Sygate Personal Firewall also runs fine on an old machine.
At what point does an AV programme 'jump in'. I know it does when you're receiving or sending emails, or when you do a virus scan on your hard disk. I assume it does when you open a document in Word. Does AV software take up resources at other times?
Yes, good AV software with heuristics is always on the look out for virus type activity, just in case it's a new one that hasn't been in the updated signatures yet. avast! has 7 on access providers for e-mail, internet, P2P etc that can be tweaked or turned off if you want. I don't use instant messaging, Outlook or P2P so those componants are disabled on mine.
I recently formatted and loaded XP on a Pentium II 333MHz for someone. click here and upped its memory from a laughable 64MB SDRAM to 512MB. To my surprise appears to be running the usually suspects [AVG, Ad-Aware, SpywareBlaster, Spybot SD, a-squared, ewidow] without too much penalty. In fact, the owner is delighted by the performance jump over its previous incarnation.