Question from Oliver P.: I need some advice for choosing an antivirus app for an older computer.
I have a Dell desktop PC with Windows 7 on it. This machine came with a pair of 2GB RAM sticks installed for a total of 4GB of RAM.
One of the RAM sticks went bad so I removed it.
I not going to replace the bad RAM stick because I’m planning to just use this computer as an Internet-only machine until Microsoft stops supporting Windows 7 next year.
By that time I hope to have saved enough money to buy a new computer.
This machine still runs just fine but I’ve noticed that runs quite a bit slower that it did with 4GB of RAM.
I removed several programs and that made it run a little faster. Then I removed Norton antivirus and it helped a lot.
I like the faster speed I get without Norton but I don’t want to use the PC without some kind of antivirus software on it.
Can you recommend a good antivirus app that’s free and really lightweight, but will still be effective at keeping viruses off my computer?
Rick’s answer: Your plan sounds like a good one to me, Oliver. I think you’re very wise to save your money towards the purchase of a new PC instead of replacing that bad RAM stick.
To answer your question, there are several really light (and therefore fast) antivirus products out there, but the one I recommend that you try first is Panda Free Antivirus.
Panda Free Antivirus is a cloud-based antivirus product that’s extremely lightweight. I’ve used it on several under-powered Windows PCs with excellent results.
If for some reason you aren’t pleased with the Panda solution I recommend you give Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition a try.
Bitdefender’s free antivirus app is a no-frills, slimmed down version of their full antivirus program.
Like Panda Antivirus Free, this awesome app from Bitdefender should do a good job at keeping your low-RAM PC malware-free.
Bonus tip #1: Since you’re planning to use this PC only for Internet use, you actually have another fantastic option available to you: You can ditch Windows 7 right now and replace it with Linux!
This post explains why Linux is an excellent operating system for replacing a slow and outdated version of Windows, especially on older and under-powered hardware!
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