One or two anti-malware programs?

A lot of experts will warn you that running two antivirus programs could cause problems

A reader asked if it's really a good idea to supplement your regular antivirus program with something like SuperAntiSpyware or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. I've recommended doing just that in the past.

Good question. A lot of experts will warn you that running two such antivirus programs could cause problems. And they're right, provided the two programs are both resident. Resident programs remain running in the background, and resident antivirus programs check every file that comes into your PC or that you open. Having two programs constantly doing this is asking for trouble, or at least for a very slow PC.

(Some quick terminology: Modern antivirus programs don't just look for viruses, which are technically obsolete, anyway. They look for all kinds of malware. For historical reasons, always-on, resident malware protection programs are often called antivirus programs. For more on the confusing use of that term, see Is It a Virus?)

Every Windows PC should have one, and only one, antivirus program running constantly in the background checking for malware. I never recommended otherwise.

What I have recommended several times was that people scan their hard drive with another, non-resident anti-malware program once a week, and also if they suspect foul play. When the scan is done, you close the program and it goes away, without staying in memory. SUPERAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware are still my favorite choices.

Why do I recommend this procedure? Because no program is perfect, and it's good to get a second opinion.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lincoln Spector

PC World (US online)
Topics: security
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?