What are the least system-resource-intensive antiviruses? [2022]

While antivirus software is essential to protect your computer against viruses and other malware , some of them can also consume a lot of system resources. To find out which antivirus software is the least greedy in terms of CPU usage and memory consumption, I offer you this study carried out by AV-Comparatives.

Summary
  1. Who is AV-Comparatives?
  2. How does AV-Comparatives’ testing methodology work?
  3. What are the best antivirus software in terms of performance?
  4. Ranking of the least system-resource-intensive antiviruses
  5. Conclusion

Who is AV-Comparatives?

AV-Comparatives is an independent organization that verifies and compares security software , such as PC and Mac antivirus products. The organization then publishes its results in annual reports, which are available online.

These reports contain detailed information about how each program performs in terms of protection, speed, and usability. They also include side-by-side comparisons of different programs such as Avast, Avira, Bitdefender, ESET, Kaspersky, McAfee or even Malwarebytes.

How does AV-Comparatives’ testing methodology work?

First, the organization selects a set of malware samples representative of the latest threats. Then, it tests each program’s ability to detect these samples using static and dynamic analysis methods. Finally, it rates the usability of each program based on factors such as ease of use and false positives (i.e. when a legitimate file is mistakenly flagged as malicious).

Additionally, to compare antivirus performance , AV-Comparatives installs each product on a test computer and then runs a series of real-world tasks that simulate typical user activity. These tasks include opening and closing applications, copying files, browsing the Internet or downloading files. The amount of system resources used by each product is then measured to determine which consumes the least amount of resources. But then, what is the antivirus that consumes the least? Hint: it’s not Microsoft Defender .

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What are the best antivirus software in terms of performance?

The study conducted by AV-Comparatives in April 2022 , revealed that the 5 antivirus programs that use the least system resources  are  K7 Total Security , Panda Free Antivirus , ESET Internet Security , G Data Total Security and NortonLifeLock Norton 360 Deluxe .

To establish its ranking, AV-Comparatives used a Windows 10 21H2 64-bit PC equipped with an Intel Core i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM and solid-state drives. The organization then performed a battery of tests such as copying files, archiving/unarchiving, installing and uninstalling applications, launching applications, downloading files, browsing websites or yet another test suite with Mark 10 PC software.

Following this, AV-Comparatives assigns a system performance impact score. The lower the score, the less the antivirus uses your PC’s resources. In this little game, K7 came in first place with a score of 1.6. It is closely followed by Panda with 2.5 and ESET with 3.4. The last places are occupied by Total Defense (27.4), Microsoft Defender (24.6) and Malwarebytes (19.2).

Be careful, we are talking about antiviruses that have an impact on the performance of your computer. This does not in any way reveal that these antiviruses are not reliable in terms of detecting malware. To discover the ranking of the best antiviruses in terms of protection against malware , I invite you to read this report.

Ranking of the least system-resource-intensive antiviruses
Credits: AV-Comparatives

Ranking of the least system-resource-intensive antiviruses

1K7 Internet Security1.6
2Panda Antivirus Free2.5
3ESET Internet Security3.4
4G Data Total Security3.6
5NortonLifeLock Norton 360 Deluxe6.8
6McAfee Total Protection7.2
7Bitdefender Internet Security7.7
8Avast Free Antivirus8.3
9AVG Free Antivirus8.5
10Kaspersky Internet Security13
11VIPRE Advanced Security13.9
12Trend Micro Internet Security14.3
13TotalAV Antivirus Pro14.8
14Malwarebytes Premium14.9
15Avira Prime19.2
16Microsoft Defender24.6
17Total Defense Essential27.4

Conclusion

Overall, the AV-Comparatives study provides an excellent overview of how different antivirus programs perform against each other. This is a valuable resource for anyone looking to choose an antivirus program that uses very little system resources. In addition, these studies help maintain a certain competitiveness in the antivirus sector so that companies strive to improve the performance of their products.

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