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The 5 Best Lightweight Antivirus for Your PC or Laptop [October 2020]

The 5 Best Lightweight Antivirus for Your PC or Laptop [October 2020]

When it comes to protecting your computer, a good antivirus is a must-have, no matter whether you’re running Windows 10 or MacOS. Though both operating systems have really stepped up their security in recent years, neither are able to protect you from all outside threats. If there’s one thing you need to know about your computer, it’s that you can’t do too little to help protect your PC. You’ve probably heard of countless antivirus solutions, like Kapersky Antivirus or Nod32. Like most security suites, they protect your system from invading forces and harmful intruders, keeping your data from getting corrupted. If you don’t secure your system, well, you’re prone to attacks that can cause you a lot of trouble.

These antivirus programs are reliable and have a good reputation, but they also eat up a lot of your system’s resources. This can hamper your device’s performance, eat up your RAM, and cause everything to run slower. On top of everything else, they can often cost a pretty penny. If you already shelled out to get a new PC, you probably don’t want to drop another $100 on protecting it.

Luckily, there are various reputable antivirus programs that are much lighter. Most of them are completely free and good enough to keep your home or small business network completely secured. This article will list the top five antivirus programs that will protect your computer without slowing it down.

Our Recommendation

AVG Antivirus

AVG Antivirus

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AVG is a free antivirus program that provides all the necessary solutions for your personal devices. You can install it on your personal computer, and there is a smartphone version as well. If you want to secure a larger group of computers such as a business network, you will have to buy a premium version.

This program will provide all the essential protection in its free version. It protects from viruses, malware, and spyware. It will check your downloads and warn you if any file is corrupted or infected with malicious software. If you try to visit any unsafe link, AVG will block it and notify you about the risks. You can also perform a thorough computer scan at any time.

The best thing about this antivirus is that the updates are regular and automatic. So, once you activate it and install it, you won’t have to worry about the outdated definition database. It is so lightweight that you won’t notice it while working on the computer.

avg

Runner Up

Avira

Avira

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When talking about system performance, Avira is one of the best. The free version of this software resembles the previous two on this list. You get essential protection that prevents all the threats and suspicious files from infecting your system. You can also secure your passwords and browser and block suspicious links and downloads.

What is different from other programs is the Tune-up option. Not only is Avira lightweight and resource-saving but it also helps boost your system’s performance thanks to the built-in system acceleration tool. This feature alone makes it one of the best lightweight antivirus programs around.

avira

Everyone Else

Panda Security

Panda Security

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Panda Security has a free lightweight version. As with most light antivirus programs today, the bulk of the work is done in the cloud, so it will not take up a lot of your system’s memory. It will provide great virus protection with frequent automatic updates performed quietly in the background.

You can schedule scans whenever you want. If you have resting time when you don’t use your device as much, you can schedule a thorough scan and feel safer. The built-in ‘Multimedia mode’ feature will disable all the notifications and pop-ups. Therefore, it will not interrupt you while gaming, listening to music, or streaming a video in full screen.

For home-based security, Panda offers everything you need. It is light, unnoticeable, and dependable.Panda Security

ClamAV

ClamAV

Download Now

Let’s get this out of the way—ClamAV won’t be for everyone, especially considering the app is still continuing to grow as it’s added to this list. Still, if you’re looking for a lightweight antivirus, ClamAV offers just what you’re looking for in an open-source package.

Available for MacOS, Windows, and Linux, ClamAV is built from the ground up to be a safe and secure way to keep your computer protected without having to deal with the extra bloat and price included by the big names in antivirus software. It holds a number of features, including command-line scanners, access to a virus database updated multiple times per day, and support for file types like document formats and archived files, helping to keep your PC safe one day at a time.

Of course, because of its open-source nature, everything you might expect to be bad about the service appears here. The app is primarily focused on scanning documents and incoming mail formats, which might not be enough for many users. Likewise, the interface is about on par with most other open-source apps—that is to say, not good. Also, there’s limited support options if something breaks. Still, it’s worth a look depending on your needs; in face, for some users, it might be just what the doctor ordered.

Bitdefender

Bitdefender

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Bitdefender has over 500 million users worldwide and while it isn’t perfect, it’s often looked at as one of the lighter programs you can grab today. The free version comes with all the necessary features to fully protect your home-based network and system. It will scan your active apps around the clock and remove anything malicious right away.

It offers great web-browsing security. When you browse, you will not have to worry about phishing websites because Bitdefender blocks them by default. Also, the system will detect all scam websites and will alert you about any possible fraud.

You can run a scan of your device in the background and not even notice it while you are doing your usual thing. It doesn’t crowd you with ads or scare you with sudden notifications and pop-ups. It is silent, light, and reliable.bitdefender

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30 thoughts on “The 5 Best Lightweight Antivirus for Your PC or Laptop [October 2020]”

Nabil says:
Bitdefender is not lightweight. Currently on my system it is taking above 400mb memory approx.
Tejas Kamble says:
The article is very good but
Toooo many ads are their please remove and only put 2-3 ads as it is too much irritating
Dheeraka says:
Is ClamAV good?. Is it lightweight and does it offer good protection?
Ollie says:
I haven’t used an antivirus on pc in 10 years and never got a virus. The whole industry is a scam. You will not get any virus from the internet if you don’t click on weird stuff. It just will never happen and all these “scans” that the antivirus does are all magic illusions. Honestly, using Chrome plus Windows built in antivirus is enough. It’s sad that the antivirus industry still has users.
Justin says:
“I haven’t used an antivirus on pc in 10 years and never got a virus.” “Honestly, using Chrome plus Windows built in antivirus is enough.” Then you’re using antivirus software.

“You will not get any virus from the internet if you don’t click on weird stuff.” Categorically untrue. Recent history is rife with examples of malware exploiting vulnerabilities present on the endpoint as a vector, without user interaction.

Please don’t make these sorts of statements in an area that you aren’t qualified to speak on.

dylan says:
windows has built in antivirus and its gotten pretty good over the years. you don’t really need anything more these days.
Ollie says:
I haven’t used an antivirus on pc in 10 years and never got a virus. The whole industry is a scam. You will not get any virus from the internet if you don’t click on weird stuff. It just will never happen and all these “scans” that the antivirus does are all magic illusions. Honestly, using Chrome plus Windows built in antivirus is enough. It’s sad that the antivirus industry still has users.
Justin says:
“I haven’t used an antivirus on pc in 10 years and never got a virus.” “Honestly, using Chrome plus Windows built in antivirus is enough.” Then you’re using antivirus software.

“You will not get any virus from the internet if you don’t click on weird stuff.” Categorically untrue. Recent history is rife with examples of malware exploiting vulnerabilities present on the endpoint as a vector, without user interaction.

Please don’t make these sorts of statements in an area that you aren’t qualified to speak on.

dylan says:
windows has built in antivirus and its gotten pretty good over the years. you don’t really need anything more these days.
Nightfall says:
Malwarebytes is the best
Jens says:
malwarebytes is only for malware thats it
Nightfall says:
Malwarebytes is the best
Jens says:
malwarebytes is only for malware thats it
chris says:
This seems like an arbitrary list as many of these I know to consume higher resources and others have become far less effective. Techjunkie just lost cred with this article. Please do more objective research next time because it seems like your getting paid to advertise for these companies or something.
Charles FV says:
100% agree. The only good one on the list is Avira, but it is rather heavy in terms of resources. Everything else is useless and a joke.
chris says:
This seems like an arbitrary list as many of these I know to consume higher resources and others have become far less effective. Techjunkie just lost cred with this article. Please do more objective research next time because it seems like your getting paid to advertise for these companies or something.
Charles FV says:
100% agree. The only good one on the list is Avira, but it is rather heavy in terms of resources. Everything else is useless and a joke.
Carlos Almeida says:
I don’t agree with this list.
ClamAV has extremely weak detection.
Bitdefender provides a great securety but it is not a light solution.
Panda has a lot of false-positives.
AVG/Avast are a bad joke!
The lighest AV is the Windows AV.
Eset also is also light, not so much as Windows AV.
I used Eset for a long time, it is a good AV, however the detection rate is not so good as used be. Now I am only using the Windows AV and it is working very well.
Windows AV is much better now, I don’t see any necessity to use a thirdy AV.
Windows AV together with good habits is more than enough, always keep your OS and softwares updated and you will have zero problem.
And of course, don’t use cracks to active pirate softwares. You can use any AV, if you use cracks will get a lot of malwares, period!
Irfan Shehzad says:
I am tackling with viruses since 1993, I am very amazed reading your prospect, According to my humble knowledge you are extremely correct. But pardon me you just ignored two antivirus. Kasoersky and Avira.
Kaspersky was proven effective in past but afterwards it become havier. Avira still exists today but how it works I can’t say anything.
ESET Nod32 wrting in assembly Language is really Light Weight and effective.
Pardon me for my poor english.
Salute and regards.
Carlos Almeida says:
I don’t agree with this list.
ClamAV has extremely weak detection.
Bitdefender provides a great securety but it is not a light solution.
Panda has a lot of false-positives.
AVG/Avast are a bad joke!
The lighest AV is the Windows AV.
Eset also is also light, not so much as Windows AV.
I used Eset for a long time, it is a good AV, however the detection rate is not so good as used be. Now I am only using the Windows AV and it is working very well.
Windows AV is much better now, I don’t see any necessity to use a thirdy AV.
Windows AV together with good habits is more than enough, always keep your OS and softwares updated and you will have zero problem.
And of course, don’t use cracks to active pirate softwares. You can use any AV, if you use cracks will get a lot of malwares, period!
Irfan Shehzad says:
I am tackling with viruses since 1993, I am very amazed reading your prospect, According to my humble knowledge you are extremely correct. But pardon me you just ignored two antivirus. Kasoersky and Avira.
Kaspersky was proven effective in past but afterwards it become havier. Avira still exists today but how it works I can’t say anything.
ESET Nod32 wrting in assembly Language is really Light Weight and effective.
Pardon me for my poor english.
Salute and regards.
Michelle says:
I just came here looking for an alternative to Avast. I feel like whoever reviewed this hasn’t actually used it recently. Avast WAS the lightweight alternative to Norton and Kaspersky. It’s so damned feature heavy these days it’s not worth using. It’s using 98% of my CPU with nothing else running. I can’t use my browser these days without it just sitting and stalling all the time while Avast runs something in the background.
Joey says:
Use Eset Nod 32 it is the best light AV
Michelle says:
I just came here looking for an alternative to Avast. I feel like whoever reviewed this hasn’t actually used it recently. Avast WAS the lightweight alternative to Norton and Kaspersky. It’s so damned feature heavy these days it’s not worth using. It’s using 98% of my CPU with nothing else running. I can’t use my browser these days without it just sitting and stalling all the time while Avast runs something in the background.
Joey says:
Use Eset Nod 32 it is the best light AV
Mohd says:
How about Clean Master for PC..
Mohd says:
How about Clean Master for PC..
Brian says:
Avast is heavy, it can slow down the PC like crazy. It even spies our files and passwords and sends them to their own server. They even track where you click all the time, slowing everything even more. Then it sells all that data to third parties. I uninstalled Avast. Now using Kaspersky, it’s very lightweight,fast and it’s worth the price. Premium is better than any free anti virus.
Sean says:
How could you know that Avast is “selling” data to third parties?
Brian says:
Avast is heavy, it can slow down the PC like crazy. It even spies our files and passwords and sends them to their own server. They even track where you click all the time, slowing everything even more. Then it sells all that data to third parties. I uninstalled Avast. Now using Kaspersky, it’s very lightweight,fast and it’s worth the price. Premium is better than any free anti virus.
Sean says:
How could you know that Avast is “selling” data to third parties?
Peter says:
I have used all these products (except Panda) in the past. And NONE of them can be described as “lightweight”. Quite the contrary. It is correct that Avira USED TO BE light – but not anymore. Maybe we demand the impossible. With all the different threats that are out there it may not be realistic to have a lightweight solution (?) I used to love the Open Source product “Immunet”. It had a very small impact on system resources. But since Cisco acquired Immunet it is not lightweight anymore. Sadly. Let’s keep looking…
Peter says:
I have used all these products (except Panda) in the past. And NONE of them can be described as “lightweight”. Quite the contrary. It is correct that Avira USED TO BE light – but not anymore. Maybe we demand the impossible. With all the different threats that are out there it may not be realistic to have a lightweight solution (?) I used to love the Open Source product “Immunet”. It had a very small impact on system resources. But since Cisco acquired Immunet it is not lightweight anymore. Sadly. Let’s keep looking…
NL says:
When installing Avast, you must use custom install and uncheck all the “extras”
Paul says:
what specifically are these “extras”?
Paul Vincent says:
can you specify the “extras”?
NL says:
When installing Avast, you must use custom install and uncheck all the “extras”
Paul says:
what specifically are these “extras”?
Paul Vincent says:
can you specify the “extras”?
Luis Sanchez says:
What about SMADAV?
I know it works in other layer than common ones, but it helps so much.
Sean says:
It is lightweight but SMADAV works as a second layer of protection and not to be used as your main antivirus.
Luis Sanchez says:
What about SMADAV?
I know it works in other layer than common ones, but it helps so much.
Sean says:
It is lightweight but SMADAV works as a second layer of protection and not to be used as your main antivirus.
Matthew W. I. Dunn says:
Avast is a complete and total resource hog.
Matthew W. I. Dunn says:
Avast is a complete and total resource hog.
antivirus for small business says:
Yes, If you’re looking for the lightest antivirus on the market today.
antivirus for small business says:
Yes, If you’re looking for the lightest antivirus on the market today.
Diaolos says:
Avast a lightweight antivirus? Seriously. I had to uninstall it because it would constantly take up a big chunk of my cpu.
theAnti says:
Not only it would take a lot of CPU, it slowed my disk usage. The startup time:
Without avast: 1 min
With avast: 4-5 min
Diaolos says:
Avast a lightweight antivirus? Seriously. I had to uninstall it because it would constantly take up a big chunk of my cpu.
theAnti says:
Not only it would take a lot of CPU, it slowed my disk usage. The startup time:
Without avast: 1 min
With avast: 4-5 min
Jorge says:
AVG really? I’ve been using it since before they split it into the free version for workstations and the paid version for servers, so, in IT-years, for eons.
So I am obviously ok with its power. But performance-wise? It is a freaking pain the ass. Not only it hogs down resources whenever I do anything from opening a file to accesing a new url, but it keeps bombarding the user with offers to go to the paid version.
I’ve taken to disabling it completely whenever I need to do something intense on older computers.
So, no, it is NOT lightweight.
Neither are Bitdefender, Avira or Avast. Next update these should be removed
Jorge says:
AVG really? I’ve been using it since before they split it into the free version for workstations and the paid version for servers, so, in IT-years, for eons.
So I am obviously ok with its power. But performance-wise? It is a freaking pain the ass. Not only it hogs down resources whenever I do anything from opening a file to accesing a new url, but it keeps bombarding the user with offers to go to the paid version.
I’ve taken to disabling it completely whenever I need to do something intense on older computers.
So, no, it is NOT lightweight.
Neither are Bitdefender, Avira or Avast. Next update these should be removed

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