I have an older windows machine and I'm looking for a free antivirus program which uses the least amount of RAM for their background monitoring process. I'm not concerned with their consumption when running a virus scan, but their background processes which watch for a virus being run.

I could install each of these programs (avg/antivir/avast/etc...), check my free RAM, uninstall it, and install the next one, but I was wondering if anyone already knew what the RAM usage was for each of the major free antivirus programs. Thanks.

  • 1
    I haven't run tests like yours, but I had Panda Cloud installed on an old laptop and it has a very small footprint
    – Tymric
    Nov 9, 2014 at 3:12
  • Try Avast Free Antivirus 10. It uses only 20-25 MB RAM for its background monitoring process. Nov 9, 2014 at 7:24
  • @David Have you considered a free security suite such as agnitum.com/outpost-security-suite-free.php or do you only want the standalone antivirus ?
    – Simon
    Nov 11, 2014 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


first, The free versions are generally just fine for virus protection. The more expensive 'complete protection' suites contain additional protection against browser hacks, scanning of email, etc.

Second, ALL virus protection uses a lot of memory due to the shear number of virus signatures they must keep in memory.

You can use Avast along with Malwarebytes and Comodo Firewall that is free, but got great results in defending your PC. And u can configure it to your satisfaction with ease

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