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.

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

Avatar Nightfall says:
Malwarebytes is the best
Avatar Jens says:
malwarebytes is only for malware thats it
Avatar 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.
Avatar 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.
Avatar 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!
Avatar 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.
Avatar 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.
Avatar Joey says:
Use Eset Nod 32 it is the best light AV
Avatar Mohd says:
How about Clean Master for PC..
Avatar 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.
Avatar Sean says:
How could you know that Avast is “selling” data to third parties?
Avatar 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…
Avatar NL says:
When installing Avast, you must use custom install and uncheck all the “extras”
Avatar Paul says:
what specifically are these “extras”?
Avatar Paul Vincent says:
can you specify the “extras”?
Avatar Luis Sanchez says:
What about SMADAV?
I know it works in other layer than common ones, but it helps so much.
Avatar Sean says:
It is lightweight but SMADAV works as a second layer of protection and not to be used as your main antivirus.
Avatar Matthew W. I. Dunn says:
Avast is a complete and total resource hog.
Avatar antivirus for small business says:
Yes, If you’re looking for the lightest antivirus on the market today.
Avatar Diaolos says:
Avast a lightweight antivirus? Seriously. I had to uninstall it because it would constantly take up a big chunk of my cpu.
Avatar 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
Avatar 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
Avatar Albin Foro says:
Others are right about BitDefender – I still use it on a more powerful desktop, but a few years ago a new version dramatically increased its resource demands I moved to Windows Defender (which probably should be on this list after recent improvements) on a little Acer netbook. I’d look at Avira again – it used to be very light and well-ranked by labs, but required a “hack” to get rid of a ridiculous nagware pop-ups on the free version. No software changes as much year to year as a/v, some get larded with half-baked add-ons, others improve so brand loyalty is never warranted. But bad experiences stick in mind – there are users who still hate Symantec years after it got rid of its uninstall prevention sabotage.
Avatar Sajjauddin Kagji says:
AVG and Avast same now only look difference
Avatar emz says:
Damn it guys, I’ve used free version of Avira, Avast and Bitdefender.
All cause pain and lag to my PC. Avira is somewhat better between these.
The aren’t even close to what lightweight is. I had to uninstall Paid BitDefender Total Security Antivirus just to run my PC smoothly.
Avatar Jimbo Smokie says:
Dily Dily! Bit Defender is awful in the latest version I bought. It is FAR from light! I love that AV, but this year it is just atrocious. I know they recently had an update, but it is too early to see much difference. I Will know in a few weeks. I just do not use all of my PC’s much. I have too many.
Avatar Glenn says:
How did you get on?
Avatar Spyros says:
You are probably joking about Bitdefender as a light antivirus…
Avatar Heru says:
I tried Avast and Avira, they both not as light as they said. Every article about lightweight antivirus mention them as lightweight, but maybe the writer never using (testing) the antivirus for days (without reboot) and see how much ram they consume.
Avatar elise says:
Yes, that’s right. However, the Free version is lighter, even lighter than Avast.
Avatar DanK says:
Avast and AVG are owned by the same company. They look and act almost the same.

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