Anti-Virus Settings

Posted on 2011-05-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-22
So, I'm really tired of my computers running like snails.  It seems that the culpret is usually Real-Time antivirus checking everything I do.  I think I'm going to disable any Real-Time settings and then each night have it scan the system.

Is this what anyone else is doing?  I'm open to any suggestions.
Question by:hrolsons
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    To me, the answer to that depends on what is on your pc?

    -Is it backed up and can easily restore?
    -Is there banking info, personal info that you wouldn't want compromised?
    -Are there important files that are hard to reproduce if not backed up?

    If yes to any of the above then it might be worth the slow down..otherwise it might not matter.

    It is possible you are using a product that is a memory and system hog...what anti-virus software do you use?
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    What are you using for antivirus software?  Also, what are the basic specs on one of these computers?  Some virus protectors are MUCH better than others in terms of performance.
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    What specific antivirus are you running, what kind of machines (OS/vintage/RAM), and what sort of apps are these machines running?

    I had a problem with antivirus causing my application developers' machines to fail to compile. I was able to exclude only the directories where the source code lived and the temp files that the compiler used and the machines were back to running normally.

    I wouldn't disable the realtime portion if these are client machines where users can check email or if people are using them with USB devices (portable drives, et al). If they are kiosk machines or non-networked, I would consider it. Any sort of network connectivity can be considered a threat. Any machines that are running in a non-realtime state can theoretically be infecting your network for quite some time before the scanner runs.

    I'm not fond of scare tactics, but because of what we learned about long patch cycles and "isolated machines" from the Stuxnet worm, I would advise not turning off a major component of the antivirus protection. See below.

    Once inside a company, Stuxnet used the MS08-067 exploit only if it knew that the target was part of a SCADA network. "There's no logging in most SCADA networks, and they have limited security and very, very slow patch cycles," Schouwenberg explained, making the long-patched MS08-067 exploit perfect for the job.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
    It really depends on your system and the product you are using.  Microsoft Security Essentials (free from MS) does NOT slow down the system at all.  ESET's NOD32 (AV) or Smart Security 4 although they do on access scanning are very configurable and the definitions downloads are more frequent but much, much, much smaller (a couple of k per download) so they don't slow down the system either.  Overall I have both MSE and ESET to be excellent products that have virtually no impact on system performance.

    You really need on access scanning if you don't have a separate firewall (not the windows firewall).  Comodo has a good firewall product.  WinPatrol does not do on access scanning but it is good to have to monitor changes to your hosts file and your startup items.

    Also if you can try beefing up your RAM.  You didn't specify an OS.  If you have a 64bit system you can go very high with the RAM and virtually eliminate your paging file (once you get above 10gb of RAM).  If you are working with Windows 7 - all the better!
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    da3ve makes a good point - don't turn off the realtime protection.  Another reason is that if you do get infected, most of the time a virus will attack your antivirus, or embed itself so part of the infection survives the scan and regenerates.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Some variation of this question gets posted a lot here on EE.
    I wrote the following Article to save myself lots of typing.
    Give it a read and let me know what you think. (MALWARE - "An Ounce of Prevention...")
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
    younghv's article is excellent and it won't do anybody any harm to follow his advice (in fact, it can only help).

    Author Comment

    I use Vipre on 1 machine and ESET NOD32 on the rest.

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