7 best antivirus with low resource/CPU usage/small footprint

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Concerned about PC resources or CPU usage, but at the same time, you're looking for an antivirus?
  • No worries, there are quite a few options for you and we're listing them in this article.
  • If you're looking for similar guidelines, visit our Optimization Guides & Tools Section.
  • We've extensively covered all there is to know about online security in the larger Antivirus Hub so make sure to take a look at it as well.
best antivirus with low resource/CPU usage

Some antivirus software is known to slow down devices while scanning or undergoing other activities on the system. They eat a lot of resources. This issue has been a great concern with many antivirus software users.

However, there are some very good antivirus programs that require little resources, lead to low CPU usage and don’t slow down the speed of your PC.

They also offer maximum protection against viruses and malware.  In this post, we have compiled a list of antivirus software that falls into this category.

Which antivirus has low CPU usage and needs few resources?

bullguard antivirus CPU resources

At first use, Bullguard might seem a little too over-protective, having the tendency to throw false positives that can get in the way of legitimate activities.

But overall, BullGuard continually scans code for signature and all kinds of anomalies that are associated with malware and provides you intelligent triple layer protection.

Any detected malware is quarantined and then neutralized before the infection can even begin.

Further features include:

  • Recognition of trusted applications and sites.
  • Home network scanning.
  • Improved firewall with added layers of heavy-duty protection against intruders and malware, to block unauthorized attempts to connect a device to the Internet.
  • Continuous vulnerability scanning to notify you whenever a device needs updating.
  • Easy installation; 24/7 free expert support.
BullGuard Antivirus

BullGuard Antivirus

With BullGuard, you keep your web traffic protected and your device working at optimal speed.

$23.99/year Visit website

Read our BullGuard Product Review

 

smadav antivirus few resources

This Indonesian antivirus security software is good for slow computers and compatible with the Windows OS.  It is a low resource antivirus.

Smadav uses only a small part of your computer’s resources. This software offers additional Protection for your PC and compatible with other antivirus products.

Pros:

  • It detects and cleans viruses, thereby improving security in your PC.
  • It offers protection for USB Flashdisk
  • It also helps to clean USB Flashdisk and restore infected files in the USB Flashdisk.

Cons:

  • Password protection is disabled in the free version.
  • Free version does not have auto-update.
  • Genuine files are eliminated sometimes.
  • In the free version, the exception list is disabled.

Download Smadav

F-Secure antivirus for low CPU usageThis security software is the best for browser protection and also has one of the best antiviruses for Windows. F-Secure is utilizes only a small part of your computer’s resources.

In addition, F-Secure can protect your devices from ransomware, Trojans, and viruses and keeps all your banking connection secured.

Pros:

  • Instant notification immediately viruses are detected.
  • Device finder to locate, lock or erase missing device.
  • It effectively manages users and devices.

Cons:

  • Unable to scan USB-connected devices or drives.
  • In the F-Secure portal, there is no remote configuration control.
  • The components of Windows suite have an uneven quality.

30 years of experience
f-secure official logo website
  • Winner of AV‑TEST Best Protection award 2018 
  • Ransomware protection
  • Healthy boundaries for kids’ device use

Avast antivirus low resources

Another antivirus with low resource utilization. This antivirus software is very good for your PC and other devices. In addition, it is free antivirus software.

It offers great protection against online threats and is very good for slow computers.

Pros:

  • It is very light on the system.
  • Modern and neat GUI.
  • It has a customizable installer: features can be selected for installation.
  • It includes SafeZone, Avast’s Chromium-based safe browser that’s specifically designed to be hard to hijack.
  • Avast also has a password manager, which allows you to synchronize credentials on multiple devices, as long as they’re all connected to your Avast account.

Cons:

  • It does not usually run quietly in the background. Too many ads and pop-ups.
  • Signatures for real-world protection are not good enough.
  • Improvement is needed in HIPS module and UI settings.
  • An anti-ransome
Avast Internet Security
truly free antivirus
  • Do Not Disturb Mode (NEW)
  • SandBox protection
  • CyberCapture
  • Smart Scan

panda antivirus low resourcesThe Panda antivirus software is compatible with Windows OS an is, again, a low resource antivirus.

Panda utilizes cloud processing to protect  PC thereby removing the need for heavy software updates and demanding scans.

The AV-Test records offered Panda a 98% score for zero-day attacks and 100% for established threats.

Features:

  • A process monitor allows you to see active processes and if they are using a secure connection.
  • It also contains a handy vaccination tool that checks attached USB drives for malicious software.
  • If PCs get locked by a malicious program, Panda can immediately create an emergency rescue USB drive which enables you to scan the affected machine.

Cons:

  • It has removal issues.
  • It is dependent on an Internet connection.
  • Scanning is usually slow.
Recommended antivirus
panda dome
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Personal firewall
  • Device management
  • USB Protection

eset nod32

ESET is a PC protection company that has been in operation for about two decades now.

The ESET NOD32 is an antivirus software compatible with the Windows OS and uses very little of your computer’s resources.

Features/Pros:

  • The interface has very easy to understand navigation features.
  • It offers comprehensive protection against spyware, viruses, worms, adware, and rootkits.
  • Protection for removable media such as external hard drives and USB flash drives.
  • Thorough scanning is just for about fifteen minutes, after which a report of the status of your PC’s security is provided.
  • Gaming mode blocks unwanted pop-ups and intrusions during gaming activities.
  • A snapshot of system changes is captured by the SysInspector to track system changes and for tech support use.
  • Online safety tool educates new users on how to stay safe online.
  • Tech support consists of video tutorials, email, forums, as well as phone support and live chat.

2020 Edition Software
eset website logo
  • Protects you across multiple platforms
  • Uninterrupted gaming and videos
  • Masterful in the stealthiest threats

trend micro antivirus for low resources

This security software is the best choice for families who need to protect various devices. Besides being a low-resource antivirus, it enables offline update.

Features/Pros:

  • It has ransomware protection, social media privacy scanner, and does not utilize a lot of resources.
  • It comes with individual programs for each operating system, to avoid downloading useless programs.

Cons:

  • It lacks online backup and firewall.
  • It has limited parental control.

Download TrendMicro

360 antivirus low resources360 Total Security is an ideal antivirus with low resource devices and well as for older systems running on Windows OS, Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1,10.

It makes use of several engines to provide the best protection against trojans, viruses, and rootkits.

Features:

  • It has a great interface.
  • It is very easy to use.
  • Comes with four predefined settings: performance, security, balanced, and custom.
  • The interface is simple and easy to use.
  • It offers protection for three main sections: Internet browsing, privacy, and system vulnerabilities.
  • Great browser protection, full scan, and check module
  • It scans multiple potentially vulnerable areas such as the main applications, system’s settings, the running processes, the startup items, and the system’s critical files.
  • Wi-Fi security checker detects if Wi-Fi network is secure.

Cons:

  • 360 Total Security is entirely free but comes with various ads running in the app.
  • Weak real-time protection.
Ultimate in Virus detection
360 Total Security website logo
  •  Frees your disk space 
  • WiFi Security Check
  • Latest patches and security updates available

Conclusion

All the antivirus software listed here are reliable and are easy to find, install, and manage. They use very few resources and offer maximum protection against viruses and malware.

Which one do you prefer? Tell us in the comments section below.


FAQ: Read more about efficient antivirus tool

  • Which antivirus slows down the computer the least?

Antivirus developers have made a lot of progress in the past years to address clients that use the less performant system, so you’ve got quite a good list to choose from.

  • What is the best free antivirus?

Depending on what features you’re interested in, the list of today’s top antivirus programs varies slightly from one year to another.

  • Does antivirus improve performance?

The antivirus is used to prevent, detect, and eliminate malware so that programs and apps run smoothly. Some antivirus programs come with specific features that improve your device’s performance as well.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2018 and was revamped and updated in June 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.