9 votes

Do antiviruses still slow your computer down?

10 comments

  1. [7]
    babypuncher
    Link
    TLDR: CPU usage of anitmalware software is minimal. Anything that hits storage though can see a much more noticeable drop in performance. I think the biggest argument against third party antivirus...

    TLDR: CPU usage of anitmalware software is minimal. Anything that hits storage though can see a much more noticeable drop in performance.

    I think the biggest argument against third party antivirus software is that it just isn't necessary anymore, so why pay for it? Windows' built in protection is "good enough", and the OS as a whole is much more secure than it was in the '90s. You aren't likely to get infected just by opening a suspicious email from grandma.

    15 votes
    1. [6]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      (This is a devil's advocate arguement, and I have no idea how realistic this actually is.) The reason why Windows Defender is so effective, though, is that it relies on the work of security...

      (This is a devil's advocate arguement, and I have no idea how realistic this actually is.)

      The reason why Windows Defender is so effective, though, is that it relies on the work of security researchers who are largely paid by antivirus subscriptions. If we get rid of third party antivirus, we also stop being able to see where the vulnerabilities are. Given the opaqueness that is Windows, they are especially important.

      3 votes
      1. [5]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        The attitude of a single user will have nearly zero effect on that scenario.

        The attitude of a single user will have nearly zero effect on that scenario.

        1. [4]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          Except Windows Defender is now standard in all Windows installations and essentially all new computers that are not made by Apple. This is exactly how Microsoft killed the market for web browsers.

          Except Windows Defender is now standard in all Windows installations and essentially all new computers that are not made by Apple. This is exactly how Microsoft killed the market for web browsers.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            mrbig
            Link Parent
            I don’t think you’re answering to the objection I posed. I was referring to the minimal relevance of the choices made by a single user. Microsoft is a major corporation, not a single user.

            I don’t think you’re answering to the objection I posed. I was referring to the minimal relevance of the choices made by a single user. Microsoft is a major corporation, not a single user.

            1. [2]
              Akir
              Link Parent
              What I'm implying is that they are deliberately creating a world in which the majority of people make the choice not to subscribe to third-party antivirus programs.

              What I'm implying is that they are deliberately creating a world in which the majority of people make the choice not to subscribe to third-party antivirus programs.

              5 votes
  2. [3]
    Keegan
    Link
    How exactly did they test this? I always see them making claims about their stats but I don't know if this is just the results of one test per category or if they did a hundred tests and took an...

    How exactly did they test this? I always see them making claims about their stats but I don't know if this is just the results of one test per category or if they did a hundred tests and took an average.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I couldn't find anything specific on the LTT forums, but the site they mentioned as being a good place to see specific performance indicators for all the antiviruses out there has their...

      I couldn't find anything specific on the LTT forums, but the site they mentioned as being a good place to see specific performance indicators for all the antiviruses out there has their methodology published, and I would assume LTT tried to do similar given their shoutout to the site: https://www.av-test.org/en/about-the-institute/test-procedures/test-modules-under-windows-performance/

      But besides that, based purely on how LTT have previously handled most other tests they have done on the show, this is more or less what I would expect from them: They probably ran the same benchmark tests for each AV several times (def. not hundreds though), on identical systems (probably even the same one reformatted using disk images between tests), eliminating as many other elements as they could identify beforehand which could potentially skew the results, then tossing out the fastest+slowest ones to get rid of aberrant results, before averaging out the remaining for the final determination.

      LTT aren't exactly known for being particularly rigorous or completely scientific in their methodology, but they never really claim to be lab quality benchmarkers either, and IMO they do seem to at least try their best given their time constraints, budget, and the intended depth they aim for on the subjects (which isn't super deep, but not just superficial either). So I wouldn't take their results as gospel... but they are typically decent enough indicators IMO.

      4 votes
      1. Keegan
        Link Parent
        Ah at least they did more than just do it once then. Thanks. And yeah they aren't really scientific but for the usage of a typical user their data is sufficient from the looks of it. I'd have been...

        Ah at least they did more than just do it once then. Thanks. And yeah they aren't really scientific but for the usage of a typical user their data is sufficient from the looks of it.

        def. not hundreds though

        I'd have been shocked if it was.

        1 vote