I have a 256 MB of RAM system. Whatever anti-virus I install, the system is
terribly slowed down. Can you suggest an anti-virus that is compatible with 256
MB of RAM? I’ve tried almost all the anti-virus softwares, the latest being
Avira but even that slows down my computer a lot. Can you help?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #62, I look at an old machine struggling to run current
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Anti-virus in an underpowered machine
Probably not, unfortunately. 256 MB used to be a pretty big system – not
anymore. I don’t know what version of Windows you’re running, but even Windows
XP will struggle (without any anti-virus software!) on that kind of a
Need more RAM
So about the only thing that I can recommend (and recommend strongly) is that you
increase the amount of RAM in that machine if it’s at all possible.
If it is not, then I really don’t have any good alternatives for you short
of finding a new machine. The fact is 256 MB is not sufficient to run any of
the current operating systems. It just isn’t and that means that you’re in a
If you can’t upgrade the RAM, you may need to consider upgrading the
Next from Answercast 62 – My machine is slow and unstable. What do I do?
5 comments on “Can you recommend an anti-virus tool that will work in a 256MB system?”
If upgrading the RAM or buying a new computer is not an option and you are still worried about staying secure, I would install Lubuntu linux to that machine and get on with browsing safely. It uses low resources, has good hardware support, and will be up to date and very secure from viruses and malware.
Clamwin at http://www.clamwin.com/ will still probably work on lower grade systems but it doesn’t have a real time scanner. So you would need to get into the habit of scanning your system and downloads manually.
There’s an OS out there – DSL – that’s available and capable on small machines:
One can download the .iso file and run it off a CD before deciding to use it.
There are a number of Linux distros that will work well with 256mb. Lubuntu, Puppy Linux, etc. Great systems that use few resources.
mkstallings1, it bothers me when people say that this particular Linux distribution (or Linux itself) is secure from viruses (or malware).
The fact is that I don’t know of any OS that is secure from viruses, unless they have a bullet-proof scanner built in.
The better phrasing would be “not a target for viruses.” The virus and malware makers target particular OS’s because of the number of people/ease of infecting the system. That’s why most are aimed at Windows OS. More are starting to target Macs now that Mac is getting a respectable toe-hold. I’m sure that in a few years time, they’ll be aiming at Linux.
We shouldn’t get lazy and think that Linux is secure from them, so that when they do come after Linux, we’ll be prepared.