Drawbacks of installing multiple anti-virus programs on PC

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April 22, 2012

People are usually of the opinion that more the security, better protected will be the computer and by this if it means installing 2 or even 3 anti-virus software together, to enhance your computer’s defence, then so be it.

Unfortunately, computer protection against viruses and malicious software doesn’t follow the same line of defence in the normal sense and installing multiple anti-virus programmes might do more harm than good to your computer and it certain cases might lead to a computer lock-up, from which it is difficult to restore the settings, without formatting the system files.

Anti-virus programmes are designed to detect malicious and harmful programmes and files on your computer. However, different anti-virus programmes do this using different process, which might not be in conformity to each other. Antivirus programmes have the capability to not only detect harmful programmes and files, but also remove or modify them.

In the case of multiple anti-virus programmes, one program might detect the other as a potential threat, ensuing in a combat, which might prove harmful for the computer. Furthermore, these multiple anti-virus programmes are very competitive and might modify the firewall settings of the computer, doing more harm than good.

In addition, there is the matter of the speed of your system, which is slowed down drastically, since multiple anti-virus programmes will use up far more of your system’s resources compared to a single anti-virus programme.

You need only one good anti-virus programme to protect your computer, be it Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky, AVG, Avast or Microsoft security essentials. Installing two or more of these antivirus programmes at the same time would actually weaken your computer’s defences instead of strengthening it.

In the case of malware detectors or anti-spyware programmes, two or more can be run together at the same time, without tampering with the systems defences, and can actually add to it. Some anti-virus programmes like Norton, McAfee, MS essentials provide antivirus programmes as well as antispyware programmes hence, reducing your effort to have to separately install them.

However, anti spyware programmes are significantly different from antivirus programmes and can be installed along with your standard antivirus programmes, with or without inbuilt antispyware programmes. So you could install in addition to your antivirus, malware detectors and antispyware programmes like Spybot. Most of the standard antivirus programmes like McAfee and windows MS essentials download updates by themselves with very little interaction with the user.

Therefore, as we see, the pros of multiple antivirus programmes are far less compared to the cons and will become a headache once you do install two or more of them on your system thinking you are boosting its defences.

The multiple antivirus programmes are not only harmful for your computers health often, deleting important system files; they are also very difficult to manage together.

So if you currently have two or more antivirus programmes running in your system, keep the one you think suits your needs best and uninstall the other at once. While in the case of antispyware, you may install two at once, but anything more will actually be more intrusive and lead to exasperating consequences.

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  • Rajeev Singh

    Ive been practising installing couple of antivirus before. But it just causes my pc performance to work slow. Instead, I just use one alone. I am using ESET Antivirus now. And my PC performance just improved compared before.