I have been searching for the past years for the best antivirus of them all. However, with technology accelerating fast, almost every year antivirus companies makes a new iteration of their product. Some claims they have the best full protection package and other claims they have the fastest 0-day antivirus update. However, with all of those features, we cannot say that a single antivirus can one handedly become a champion on all of the products on the market. Yes, some would be better but at some point, they too have weaknesses. Well, I am not gonna discuss anything about antivirus features here. I am just gonna point out that some antiviruses pick the real ones fast and the others, well, they just make those viruses go under the radar. Admit it, no one antivirus is the best. I bet you are thinking now that you should you use two products at the same time. Well, I don’t blame you if you think like that. I was like that when I was too naïve about how bad it is until I actually tried it. Want to know why? Well, here is a list of my personal opinions:
- Two antiviruses at the same time could eat your computer’s memory (RAM). Seriously, would you want more resources for your antivirus and less for your productivity or gaming? Of course not.
- Running two antiviruses could slow your computer start up. Computers generally open up your Operating System and then loads all the necessaries and other not so useful programs that was set on startup before you can use it (well not technically). Of course, antiviruses are one of those things that we need to automatically open up when our computer starts so that it can protect our PC immediately. Most of the time, they open up slow since they have many features to enable. If one antivirus takes time to finish starting up, imagine if you have two.
- Conflicts everywhere. There might be a chance that your two antiviruses residing on your computer would fire bullets on each other while they’re on your turf. Truth is, I haven’t encountered this but there might be a possibility. So imagine if your antiviruses fight off each other, virus protection would be secondary for them. Also, if both was configured to make an automatic scan of a file or a thumb drive, they could really slow your system which takes us the bullet point number 1.
These are my main reasons why I hate using two antiviruses. I want to optimize my RAM usage for my most commonly used applications like Photoshop, Firefox and other essentials. I also don’t want to have a very slow starting pc which takes like 5 minutes to get itself ready. However, as much as I hate some antiviruses out there, (since most of the time they are resource hogs) I opt to use an antivirus – the one that I can trust with free lifetime protection. I am not talking about free antiviruses out there that features crappy detection rates and slow scanning rate. I am talking about the best protection possible without the “not so useful” features as possible. In short, I want it vanilla. No toppings please.
However, as far as I can see in the market, more and more antiviruses are incorporating add-ons to their products. Virtual keyboards, phishing protection and others. Most of the people need it (yes because they go to sites that without even checking if its legit or not), but for me, I don’t really care about these. I can identify threats on the internet on my own and I just want an antivirus. A simple yet potent one. Unfortunately, nothing in the market is really that potent yet.
As I am writing this paragraph that you are reading, I am thinking, the article is looking like a rant now so I am gonna stop. What I really want to point out here is that:
- No antivirus is perfect and;
- Running two antiviruses at the same time is not advisable.
So what are we gonna do now? Stick to only one antivirus? The answer is partly yes and partly no. It is yes in a case where you install only one antivirus and no that we only use one antivirus. Kinda hard to process right? Well let me explain it to you. This is what we should do.
- We should install one antivirus that we trust and are most comfortable most on our PC’s.
- We should “consult” other antiviruses for their opinions.
Notice that I used the word “consult”. It means that we use their engines and database to allow us to find 2nd opinions on a specific file that we suspect. So how do we do that? The answer is VirusTotal. (I know, it sounded like an advertisement but its not. Trust me.)
VirusTotal is a website which specifically focuses on scanning files that you think has viruses in it. It features an upload form for users to upload the file and present the results from different antivirus companies in a single web page. VirusTotal is a good way in getting a 2nd opinion on a suspicious file. They also feature hash checking which make checking the file faster (you won’t have to upload the file if someone uploaded it already). And also, my favorite feature, is that they have an installer for us PC users. Meaning we could upload files even without opening our browsers. We just have to right click the file and send in to VirusTotal. Easy, right?
You can download their installer here which also features the step-by-step instructions to get it going.
You can visit VirusTotal website if you want to know more about them. In the meantime, I will cook my dinner. Sorry for my antivirus related rants. See ya!