When Microsoft Security Essentials first came out, it was an improvement in antivirus performance. Now, it’s middle of the pack, according to PC Magazine. That’s great. Vendors are finally taking performance seriously.
What that means is that by replacing MSE with F-Secure Anti-Virus 2013, Kaspersky Anti-Virus (2013), Sophos Anti-Virus 10.2, ESET NOD32 Antivirus 6, Norton Antivirus (2013), Avast Free Antivirus 8, or Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2013, you can speed up your computer. Considering Norton Antivirus was once bottom-of-the-barrel in the performance arena, I see this as a good thing.
Of the bunch, Avast is the only freebie. Though if your ISP offers one of the others as part of your subscription, or you don’t mind paying for antivirus, the others are an option. But maybe, just maybe, if I replace Microsoft Security Essentials with Avast, Peggy will quit calling me at dinnertime and telling me my computer is slow. But I doubt it.
One thing MSE has going for it is the lack of nags and lack of expiration. I can put up with Avast’s nags, but for relatives, I think I’ll stick with MSE plus Bitdefender 60-second as a secondary. Some people get suspicious when they hear anything from their antivirus, so in some instances, MSE’s quiet, out-of-the-way operation is an advantage, lowest common denominator or not. Better protection and performance don’t help much if users train themselves to ignore it or, worse yet, uninstall it to shut it up. (Yes, I’ve seen people do that.)
But if you like high performance, and if you’ve been reading me for a while, there’s a chance you do, you can gain some performance for yourself by switching to Avast as your primary and running Bitdefender as your secondary.