Lightest Free Antivirus 2009 Review
It was two years after my first article about the lightest antivirus and there are hundreds of hits to it. I believe it means that there are so many people who are quite pissed with their antivirus who are consuming their RAMs mercilessly (allright, I know I exaggerate it..). But eventhough the RAM price is amazingly cheap right now, we still never be satisfied with antivirus who take too much free memory.
Besides, for those of you who already use Windows Vista, you know how hungry this little baby from Microsoft is right? So you don’t want any more hungry application such as the anti virus to consume your free RAMs further.
This time I only review the free anti virus because I believe, for personal use, they are very much enough to do the job. Not that I’m against any paid anti virus, but trust me, preventing virus is actually 80% of habits rather than the anti virus itself, such as regularly updating the virus definition, refrain opening suspicious email attachments, and taking precautions when downloading from internet.
I use AVG 7.5 as the baseline because it was the winner from my previous review.
For scanning speed test, I use my 256 USB flash disk that contains mixes of files, compressed, images, documents, music, videos, anything.
Baseline: AVG 7.5
This is the lightest antivirus I tested two years ago. It has a standard user interface uncluttered with many graphics, which can be one of the reasons of its light memory footprint. I retested the software once again this time as the base line as to which the other antiviruses are tested.
Idle: 1,060 K
Scanning: 56,492 K – 62,492 K
Scanning time: medium
1. AVG 8.0
The AVG 8.0 has great looks and interface compared to the AVG 7.5. However, this time it consumes a few more memory that AVG 7.5. The installer file size also greatly increased from 36.6 MB for AVG 7.5 to 57.2 MB.
My house PC that has only 192 MB RAM was installed with AVG 7.5 a year ago was automatically updated with AVG 8.0 when my brother connects to the internet. The PC was already pretty slow with AVG 7.5 and it was slower when the AVG was updated. I believe the AVG 8.0 has some improvements as well beside the user interface causing it to consumes more memory.
It is however still a good antivirus in that it still can accept offline update. Though internet connection is getting better and cheaper in Indonesia, I still like the idea of offline updates so much and AVG is kind enough to thought about this.
Idle: 6,548 K – 10,036 K
Scanning: ~86,568 K
Scanning speed: Medium
2. Avira Antivir 8.2 Personal
I admit I made a mistake. On my previous lightest antivirus post I included the Avira on the list, but I forgot to test it.
This time I tested it and I love it. I use it as my antivirus in my laptop for almost a year already and I have no bad experience with it.
Sometimes the service failed to start with reasons that I don’t know though.
When the software is not in use it is the lightest antivirus tested here. During scanning, however, it take up quite significant amount of memory. But since 95% of the time our antivirus software is idle, so it’s not a big problem.
One note about Antivir, once I got a virus that was totally undetected by AVG 7.5 in my thumbdrive, but Antivir successfully removed it.
It has no offline update and you must be connected to internet to keep the virus database updated. Though as far I remember, the Antivir 7.0 versions support offline update, but not in the 8.0 versions.
Idle: 14,464 K
Scanning: 63,364 K
Scanning time: very fast
3. Avast 4.8 Home Edition
This is the antivirus that is installed in my office PC. It is pretty good so far, no sudden increase in consumation of memory whatsoever. There are several processes I see running in the Task Manager that totalled about 57,900 KB, not so light though.
No offline update as well.
Idle: 57,900 K
Scanning: 98,600 K
Scanning speed: very fast
4. PCMAV 1.92 Build 3
This is the Indonesian made antivirus and I’m proud of it. 😀
It is a simple antivirus based on the open source ClamAV but with local virus database added.
This is actually my first AV in mind to clean up PCs infected with Indonesian made virus, since most of the time the other antivirus have not add the virus signature in their update. The maker is also very actively updated the database, so you can really rely on it.
It is a portable like application that you don’t need to install, just run it from the folder. Another plus.
It has a real time version that checks for virus activity on background, however it is still quite unstable until the latest version.
Just as ClamAV, the virus database file is only a vdb file placed in the same folder as the application. Downloading the latest vdb before running PCMAV means updating the virus database. So yeah, this antivirus supports offline update.
Idle: 23,280 K
Scanning: up to 31,600 K
Scanning speed: slow
5. ThreatFire 3.5
I never heard this AV before. In fact, just before I published my post I saw this antivirus adwords in filehippo.com and I was interested to test it first and put it in this lightest antivirus review.
It is the fastest antivirus during installation process, maybe around 5 – 10 seconds (including the quick next-next-next click already). It works right away, no fuss at all. It is indeed a perfect contender in this lightest antivirus review.
It’s idle memory consumption is second to AVG 7.5, but what amazed me further is its memory consumption during scanning. It even beats the AVG 7.5, sweet.
One funny thing about this antivirus is, why I can’t right click on my USB drive and find the “Scan with ThreatFire” while the option shows if I right click on any folder or file. Regardless, I will try to use this antivirus in my office PC for awhile and wait for more surprises from this light antivirus.
Oh yeah, no offline update for this ThreatFire.
Idle: 7,752 K
Scanning: 16,968 K
Scanning speed: fast
To be honest, there is really no significant technological advancements in antivirus software for the last two years (please correct me if I’m wrong.. :p). So there is also no really much difference between the antiviruses I tested now with what I tested two years ago.
For enterprise security, probably some new features can really help to make system administrator life easier. For personal PC however, nothing much can change.
I almost re-choose the AVG 8.5 as a winner this year till I tried the ThreatFire 3.5. So sorry AVG, please try again next year.
The winner is ThreatFire 3.5 this time, it’s just amazingly light at scanning, making it as my best lightest anti virus of the year 2009.
Give it a try, its interface is cool and simple enough, very interesting for those who want an light antivirus in easy 3 steps (1-install, 2-update, 3-relax). Though for those of you who wants more control and configurations, you won’t find much in ThreatFire.
So that’s it guys for this year djitz lightest antivirus review. I hope this review helps you in choosing the antivirus that suits you! 😀