As it often happens, people install more than one antivirus or security program in a computer because they believe security strength is proportional to the number of antiviruses installed on a machine. Wrong! This is the usual case with the newest computer users because they have somehow learned about the myths how computer viruses can destroy their hard earned investment and they should install plenty of antivirus programs to make it impossible to kill.
Reality is actually the opposite, because when many security programs are installed at once they would most probably block out each other and the computer will be left vulnerable to threats, more than ever.
Reasons to not use Multiple Antivirus Programs
Every antivirus programs are built with some sort of prevention mechanism to prevent viruses from operating, and they require extensive access to the deepest core of system files. When multiple antivirus programs are installed on a computer system, all the programs would want access to this deepest core and eventually mark each other as a virus.
Why? Because only malwares would try to get deeper access to any file system and manipulate the system so that it can spread without any trouble. In a nutshell, malwares and anti-malwares, both sort of programs would access similar accesses. When there are two antivirus or antimalware programs installed on a system, both these antivirus would mark the other one as a harmful program because it had been trying to get access to the core. Two antivirus programs will be installed on a computer without any effectiveness at all.
Not just that, there could be several conflicts between these antivirus programs. They may be relying on the same system files and while attempting to fetch the same file from the system, they could end up in corrupted files, system settings, startup failure at worst etc. In any of such cases, none of the antivirus programs would really work and end up keeping the system vulnerable to malware attacks.
Security Software Options
Always keep only one security program in a computer. If you don’t want to spend additional money for a security program, you could use one that Microsoft Windows provides. From Windows 8 and onwards, Microsoft has added Windows Defender which is essentially the built-in Antivirus program for Microsoft Windows running computers. And if you believe you need higher level of protection, you could get the Microsoft Security Essentials as well, it’s free. It runs in the background just like any other antivirus program. Here’s a list of few other free alternatives:
- Avast! Free Antivirus: Avast! is highly popular because it has a very effective free version, which even works cross platform. For a little amount, users can upgrade to the paid Internet Security version as well.
- Avira: Avira received the rating for being the best free Antivirus for quite a long time. Like Avast, they have a paid version as well.
- Norton: Surprisingly, even Norton has a basic antivirus module that comes for free. However, for added security we’d recommend the paid version.
Having more than one antivirus is more harmful than having no antivirus program at all. If your computer runs multiple security programs, decide which one you want to keep and delete the rest of them.