Is your free AV tool a ‘resource pig?’


Fred langa
By Fred Langa

A reader’s complaint about Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) spurred head-to-head comparison tests of AV-software resource usage.

I put six popular, free antivirus tools through their paces and measured their impact on startup and shutdown times, disk space, and RAM use.

Normally, reader letters appear in the LangaList Plus section of this newsletter. But sometimes, one comes along that warrants treatment in greater detail.

One such letter is this one, from subscriber Bill Garfield:

  • “Occasionally you either recommend or suggest Microsoft Security Essentials as a viable free alternative to commercial anti-malware programs without mentioning the also-free competing products such as AVG and Avast, to name just two.

    This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.

    Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.



    Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 460,000 subscribers!

    Enter your email above to receive messages about offerings by Penton, its brands, affiliates and/or third-party partners, consistent with Penton's Privacy Policy.
    The Windows 7, Vol 3 (Excerpt)

    Subscribe and get our monthly bonuses - free!

    The Windows 7 Guide, Volume 3: Advanced maintenance and troubleshooting provides advanced tools for keeping Microsoft's premier operating system up and running smoothly. Get this excerpt and other 4 bonuses if you subscribe FREE now!

= Paid content

All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2012-02-16:

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.