Free & light antivirus for an oldie PC

Should I even bother installing an antivirus?

  • Yes, you must

    Votes: 35 70.0%
  • No, everything is gonna slow it down even more

    Votes: 15 30.0%

  • Total voters
    50

RoboMan

Level 32
Verified
Content Creator
Malware Tester
Jun 24, 2016
2,122
Hello everybody :)

I'm 1 on 1 with an old desktop PC which was my grandma's, and now it's gonna be my father's. This means, it's an old crappy PC that a 60 year old man is gonna use as news feed, mail, youtube. It has Windows 7 and because of stability issues, it's keeping it.

I've already patched all security updates, automated software updates, installed a light browser. Now I'm in search for a really light and free security solution for it, something that doesn't demand me activating licenses every year since I don't live in the same country. And it has to be light enough to not slow it down further than it already is.

Specs:

  • Windows 7 SP1
  • 1GB RAM
  • 120GB HDD
  • Intel Celeron CPU G465 1.90Hz
Thanks in advance for all advice :)
 

roger_m

Level 31
Verified
Content Creator
Dec 4, 2014
2,094
I would highly recommend adding more RAM. Windows Update sometimes uses several gigs of RAM. Even though soon there will be no more updates for Windows 7, even without Windows Update using all the RAM, 1GB is definitely not enough for anything other than XP these days. Despite the fairly slow processor, it's probably fast enough to run Windows 10 fairly well, if that's an option.

I would say that ESET would be a good choice for an antivirus, as it's so light that it should have very little impact on performance on that computer, despite the slow processor. There are some other extremely light antiviruses such as Panda and Tencent, but I would stay away from them.
 

sirius777

Level 1
Oct 24, 2019
45
Hello everybody :)

I'm 1 on 1 with an old desktop PC which was my grandma's, and now it's gonna be my father's. This means, it's an old crappy PC that a 60 year old man is gonna use as news feed, mail, youtube. It has Windows 7 and because of stability issues, it's keeping it.

I've already patched all security updates, automated software updates, installed a light browser. Now I'm in search for a really light and free security solution for it, something that doesn't demand me activating licenses every year since I don't live in the same country. And it has to be light enough to not slow it down further than it already is.

Specs:
  • Windows 7 SP1
  • 1GB RAM
  • 120GB HDD
  • Intel Celeron CPU G465 1.90Hz
Thanks in advance for all advice :)

If he's only using it for that, then I would install Linux on that PC. Linux Mint (Mate or Xfce), Ubuntu Mate, Lubuntu, Linux Lite, Manjaro (Xfce), MX Linux, Peppermint OS, Bodhi linux, or another light-weight Linux distro.
 
Last edited:

roger_m

Level 31
Verified
Content Creator
Dec 4, 2014
2,094

DDE_Server

Level 21
Verified
Sep 5, 2017
1,086

TairikuOkami

Level 30
Verified
Content Creator
May 13, 2017
1,907
This means, it's an old crappy PC that a 60 year old man is gonna use as news feed, mail, youtube.
Forget AV and focus on protecting the browser/email. I did the same with mom's computer, any AV was slowing it down beyond reason.
Pick a safe DNS, extensions blocking malware links and you can use a download manager with AV scanner, updated via a scheduled task.
Cleanbrowsing Security is the best, but UltraDNS Threat will do as well. Extensions like Bitdefender TrafficLight or Emsisoft Browser Security.
It would be good to clean browser's cache at closing the browser or shutting down PC, eg with CCleaner's shortcut to clean possible infections.

Disable WSH and lets not forget the good old utilities for Windows 7 to close some security holes.
Code:
reg add "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Script Host\Settings" /v "Enabled" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f
reg add "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Script Host\Settings" /v "Enabled" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f
reg add "HKLM\Software\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Script Host\Settings" /v "Enabled" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f
I would highly recommend adding more RAM.
CPU is going to be bottleneck anyway. Mom's laptop has AMD quadcore and 6GB RAM and yet the cold browser's start takes 30-45 seconds.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 42
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Apr 24, 2016
3,126
If Linux is no problem I would go with Zorin Lite on that computer.
 
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