A Bristol Geek

No trees were harmed in the creation of this blog; however, a significant number of electrons were slightly inconvenienced.

Getting a new Computer, just a thought

AntiVirus Software

AntiVirus Software

As my previous post mentioned I have just bought a new laptop, I have also had several friends ask me about sourcing new laptops for them. As you can imagine the laptop I have purchased for myself is somewhat more powerful that those I would suggest for a standard user. There are of course minimum specifications that people should look for, memory, processor, etc. I try to encourage people to find a laptop within their price range and then to compare it to the next model up. If you can afford the next model up then you should go for it, you won’t regret it in the future.

I have been entertaining a theory for a while regarding the impact of security software on a machine over time. As I have a little spare time over the holidays I thought I would do a tiny bit of research on the topic. So whilst I sit and half watch Terminator 2, I have been googling some historical figures regarding memory usage of Antivirus programs.

Memory use is just one of the factors that would affect your computer; it is however the easiest to measure and as such is the one that I have started with. One of the most popular Antivirus programs is AVG by Grisoft, back in 2009 it used a tiny 14.7Mb of memory (on average) raising to 29.6Mb in the 2011 iteration of the software. It is understandable that AV software has to improve as time goes on as the threats become more complex so must the detection mechanisms. Alongside the increase in memory use the installation footprint has increased substantially from 188Mb in 2009 to a whopping 482Mb. The same can be seen in the industry level Antivirus solution ESet NOD that has increased from 44Mb to 66Mb of memory in the same time period.

I see this “security drain” in practice every time I spring clean someone’s machine, just by updating the security software you start to notice a decline in system performance. Unfortunately there is no real trade off between security and performance, without a working security suite your machine will get slower as you start to become affected by malicious software. This is where the “up-sourcing” I mentioned earlier becomes important, when you look at a new machine don’t just look for one that ticks all the boxes now, look for one that is slightly better than what you need. Perhaps another GB of Memory, or a few more digits on the processor speed, you won’t regret it later.

Oh and when you do go looking for new computers be sure to check out TopCashBack first, I received over £50 cash back on my new laptop on top of the discounts I managed to find! And if anyone wants any advice on their new machine feel free to ask!

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