Does Antivirus Software Slow Down My Computer?
If you want to stay protected online, you need good antivirus software. But does this protection come at the cost of your computer’s performance? Read on to find out!
Historically, even the best antivirus software would slow down a computer’s speed and performance to nearly 50 percent of its usual speed. However, most people still chose to use antivirus anyway because the threat of losing private data or being hacked was more serious than less-than-perfect computer performance.
Yet, many antivirus systems have figured out how to detect and protect computer viruses without inhibiting a computer’s speed and performance, making slow speeds a thing of the past. But, because nothing works perfectly, there may be some effects from installing antivirus software on your computer.
While you may be tempted to switch to a different antivirus provider the moment you notice any change to your computer’s performance, you should try a few tricks to see if you can optimize your computer’s speed first. For example, you could try reinstalling your antivirus to see if the reset helps, or you could turn off automatic updates.
It’s important to keep in mind that a slower computer that’s protected is much better than a slightly faster computer which has no virus protection.
How Does Antivirus Affect Computer Performance?
Like all computer apps, antivirus software uses processing power. Every time your antivirus scans for hidden computer viruses and malware, it uses some of your computer’s resources. In fact, it can use quite a bit of your computer’s function because each time the antivirus completes a scan, it has to compare your current computer processes and network to its list of behaviors and signs of computer viruses.
Naturally, this constant process can take a lot of performance away from other computer functions. And, the list of malware behaviors and signs is becoming increasingly long. However, most of the top antivirus companies have figured out that this was causing problems for their users and started to craft solutions. Instead of using the customer’s computer to run the scans, the provider’s system is used to scan for viruses.
Nowadays, it is likely your antivirus is not impacting computer performance, but instead, it is more likely a combination of issues, such as a full hard drive or lack of updates.
Does An Antivirus Slow Down Internet Speed?
In most cases, antivirus software will not slow down the internet speed. However, since your antivirus is operating in the background of your computer and continuously making scans to detect computer viruses, your browsing speed can be impacted.
It is commonly known that firewalls negatively affect internet speed, so an antivirus that has a firewall may be more likely to slow down your internet. Additionally, using some VPNs can make your internet or browsing speed slower since connecting to different servers can take more time.
But again, this will all depend on the antivirus that you choose, as not all antivirus software will affect your internet speed and browsing speed. When shopping for your antivirus software, make sure to look at reviews and see what current and past customers have said about their internet speed. Or better yet, check out our expert guides to get the full review of the best antivirus.
Can You Run Two Antivirus Apps at Once?
In short, you can have two antivirus software running at once, and this can double up on protection. However, using two separate systems can sometimes make your computer processes run slower. Most of the time, one antivirus software will work perfectly to detect all computer viruses and malware.
Will An Antivirus Slow Down Gaming?
The best antivirus programs will have gaming modes that have less of an impact on gaming performance. One of the few times that your antivirus will impact gaming performance is when the system decides to do an in-depth scan for viruses as you power up your game. While an antivirus can slow down gaming performance, most companies have become dedicated to creating systems that are perfectly tailored to gamers. Norton, for example, has a specific package for gamers.
What Should I Look for In a Fast Antivirus?
When you are searching for the best antivirus software, there are a few factors that you should look for, such as:
- Cloud processing. With cloud processing, your antivirus will use your provider’s server to scan for antivirus and not your own. That way, the antivirus won’t use any of your computer’s resources to look for viruses.
- Behavioral-based detection. Because there are so many new malware and computer viruses, it’s best to look for an antivirus that detects potential threats by how they impact your computer. While signature-based programs do work, more viruses are being created that can evade this feature, making signature detection ill-equipped to protect your computer.
- Low RAM Use. You want an antivirus that takes up little space on your device (RAM) because the amount of RAM a program uses directly impacts the speed of your computer.
- Short installation times. If an antivirus program takes hours to download, odds are it has a lot of features that will impact your computer. When shopping for antivirus, always look for short installation times over long installation times.
How Do I Speed Up My Computer?
Luckily, there are some easy ways to speed up your computer’s performance if you believe your antivirus is slowing down your computer.
- Scan for Viruses at Night
While most good antivirus software runs in the background, this can slow down some aspects of your computer’s performance. You could remove scanning completely, but that may inhibit the program’s ability to detect viruses. Instead, try running the scanner when you aren’t using your computer. That way, you can still detect viruses but it won’t impact your computer’s speed.
- Clean Your Hard Drive
It doesn’t matter how organized you are, every computer will have old files that are taking up space. Instead of keeping everything on your hard drive, try putting the important documents on an external hard drive or USB to free up space on your computer. Once you have removed everything that you no longer need, your computer may function at a faster pace.
- Update Your Systems
Typically, your operating system is the culprit for slow performance so try updating your systems to see if that fixes your computer’s performance. More often than not, a simple update can fix most of the problems you are experiencing with your computer, including processing speed.
- Choose the Best Antivirus for Computer Speed
Of course, some antivirus software are better than others so the best option for computer speed may be to switch to one of the best antivirus software for computer speed. While you could spend hours researching the best antivirus, check out our brief summaries below or use our expert guides for information on the best antivirus software.
What Is the Best Antivirus for Computer Speed?
Now that you know how antivirus affects the speed of your computer, it’s time to choose the best antivirus software for your needs. While there are many options available, it can be exhausting to research every single one.
So instead of spending hours on your computer looking at the different antivirus options, check out our quick summaries below for the best antivirus software for computer performance.
- Total AV
For top-notch protection that doesn’t impact your computer’s performance, choose Total AV for your antivirus software. With over 25 million users, you can feel safe knowing that Total AV truly is the best in the business when it comes to online protection. Not only does Total AV offer real-time antivirus scanning and protection, but the system is dedicated to identifying the reasons that your computer has started to slow down in performance. Total AV recognizes that as computers get older, they start to slow down. But instead of contributing to the slow down, they will find ways to enhance your computer’s performance.
As a leading brand in antivirus software, you can’t go wrong with Norton. Not only is Norton trusted by more than 50 million happy customers around the world, but it offers incredible protection for every computer function. Whether you need protection for surfing the web, downloading, or gaming, Norton has you covered. If you use Norton without any other antivirus software, your computer’s performance will actually increase. Norton antivirus software will work in the background to continuously scan for online threats. If you need online privacy, you can even opt into Norton’s VPN services for secure online activities.
With its high-quality anti-virus scanner and useful features for detecting online threats, Kaspersky antivirus software will protect you against all online threats. Kaspersky has incredible virus detection rates, so you can rest easy knowing this software will identify all threats online so that you can safely roam the web. In some cases, Kaspersky can slow down some of your computer activities. However, that just means you need to customize the built-in settings. After you change the settings by going to your account page, Kaspersky will work to protect you against online threats with minimal changes to your computer’s performance.
With over 19 years of protecting their customers against online threats, it’s safe to say that BullGuard will keep your computer safe from nasty computer viruses and malware. Not only do they currently protect over 120 million devices, but they offer a subscription model to protect all of your devices at once. As long as you opt to manually update BullGuard when the newest version is released, your computer will run smoothly. If you do opt for automatic updates, BullGuard will constantly look updates in the background which can slow down computer speeds. You can simply change this by going to your account settings and selecting the option for manual updates.
With McAfee’s total protection plan, your online activity will be safe from all computer viruses and malware. Because of its incredible virus protection for your home network, and performance optimization, you cannot go wrong with choosing McAfee. Similar to some other brands, McAfee will only slow down your computer if you have automatic scans constantly running in the background. Generally, this is only a problem if your system does not have enough memory or if your computer or laptop has a slow processor. Otherwise, you will likely not have any problems with slower speeds caused by McAfee.
To stay safe online, you need antivirus software. There are so many different computer viruses and malware lurking in the shadows of the internet, only the best antivirus systems can protect you from online threats.
But besides staying safe, you still need your computer, laptop, and mobile device to function at its optimal speed. By investing in a quality antivirus, you will be safe from online threats and will be able to surf the web, download, stream, and more without worrying about slow computer speeds. While the above summaries are a great introduction to the best companies, make sure to read our full editor’s reviews to learn about the best antivirus apps before you make your decision.