Looking for an anti-virus software free or commercial that minimizes the impact on the user when the anti virus is performing a real time scan or when doing a full system scan.

Background: At work we are encouraged to switch our computers off at the end of the day but once a week IT still want to perform a full anti virus scan of our computers (they wanted to run it more often but I got them down to one). They have the scan scheduled at lunch time but sometimes I still want to work but the whole machine grinds to crawl. There is an option to pause the scan but you still need to find an hour and half at some point to run the scan and not be able to work.

We currently use EST NOD32.

EDIT: Found this question which gives a list of free anti virus software, but I'm after something a little more specific. It must minimize the impact on the user doing real time scans and once a week full scans. (I've clarified the above question to indicate this)

closed as off-topic by slhck Apr 24 '14 at 8:24

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Nod32 in my opinion has been going down hill recently but it is still fast and good. As you have (hopefully) already paid for licences, I would not bother to switch at this point.

When you have finished your conract and are looking for a new AV, I have been using Microsoft Morro http://www.microsoft.com/security%5Fessentials/ and am VERY impressed by its footprint and speed, however to my knowledge, it has no central management.

For paid, enterprise AV, I think NOD32 is still very good, I just hope they don't go down the Norton / Symantec route and start to take the money out of advertising and back in to development!

Edit - Someone else just posted a link, did not know it was openly available now.


That would be ClamWin. It only scans when you tell it to, and when you use emails.

  • 1
    This is definitely the very least disruptive anti-virus. – The How-To Geek Aug 3 '09 at 4:12
  • 1
    But to weak if you have a real virus. – D'Arvit Sep 12 '09 at 19:32

Microsoft Security Essentials (currently in beta) is awesome.

  • Except they "are not accepting additional participants at this time". – Sasha Chedygov Aug 2 '09 at 19:42
  • some one well versed in how to use google can find the download link :-) – Omar Shahine Aug 3 '09 at 16:49


Background scanning goes quickly, but without too much of an impact on what the user is doing.

Disclaimer: This is not on a machine I use for development

Note: I've found recent versions of AVG don't upgrade properly, leaving installations that are subtly broken. Observed across four different machines (two mine, two not; three XP, one Vista), and in each case the auto-updates were broken. Failing a solution, have switched all four to Avast! with good results. Of course, YMMV. ;-)


I really like AVG (Free Edition). It is pretty unobtrusive, nice to system resources, and of course, free.


An alternative could be to schedule the virus scan at night or early morning. Having the computer start up on a schedule, then run the scan when no one is using it. I have a bios setting that will make the computer turn on at a certain time, I'm sure there are programs that would do that as well.


I have Norton Antivirus on my work notebook, and I have not noticed and adverse effects from the on-access scan (and the machine is 4 years old). The full scan starts only when you're not doing any active work (I think when neither mouse nor keybord are being used) and pauses automatically as soon as you start doing anything.