The internet is a lot of things; a wealth of information, a social platform for sharing parts of our lives with others and a place to make and spend money. But like most great things, the propensity for a seedy underbelly to arise is present and that is just what has happened. Enter viruses, digital worms and Trojan Horses waiting on the side lines, jumping at any opportunity to infect your computer. Luckily for us, there are a host of security software programs that can fend of the threats that many of these malicious attackers present. However, if you rely on your computer for a high performance output or competitive online gaming, having the best security software installed does not always translate to having the best performance.
For those of us who rely on both our system and internet connectivity to supply us with the best possible ping rate, latency and connection, having the highest end security programs installed can often mean a serious amount of your CPU function being sucked up. This then translates over to screen tears, lag and poor performance. On top of that, some protection software can minimize screens, prompting you to update the program and in the process, disrupt whatever was happening before then.
If you’re an avid gamer and are suffering at the hands from a system intensive virus protection suite, consider switching over to one of the following.
ESET NOD 32- free trial; $39.99 thereafter
ESET had a few protection software lines before the NOD 32 that were met with varying reviews, but up until recently there have been no new developments on their front. That was until the release of their internet security suite ESET NOD32.
NOD32 works great for gamers due to its low impact on your system’s performance. Unlike other security programs, ESET NOD32 runs smoothly in the background, allowing whatever program that is currently open and running to take precedence. One thing that I felt to be really helpful about ESET was the pop up elimination. I am by no mean a professional gamer, but there were a few times when the screen was minimized during a crucial moment, presenting me with a small box with news a file was scanned or an update was available.
ESET removes all of that and presents you with a great security suite that won’t interrupt gaming. ESET also installs in such a way that it will only update during off-hours.
Reviews from some of the big names in the security and gaming industry such as PC Gamer and C-Net have it ranking fairly high and frequently recommended it as one of the best anti-virus programs a gamer can use.
Check it out for yourself, with a free trial you’ve got nothing to lose.
AVG- free or paid versions
AVG went through a few hiccups in their previous installments and ended up turning quite a few people away from their services with a clunky interface and an installation process that took an obnoxious amount of time to install.
All that seems to have changed in their last update. The newest version is able to be downloaded and installed in under five minutes.
The latest update also gets major kudos from gamers due to its lighter load on your system. This need to use less of your processor equals less time complaining about system lag, speed ups and slow downs.
AVG will probably always garner some of the top praise from tech review sites and magazines. The level of security it gives you, coupled with its price-point is simply too good to pass up. Plus that money you saved can be spent elsewhere, like on monthly gaming subscriptions or new hardware.
Trend Micro Titanium Internet- free trial~ paid versions starting at $35.00
Trend’s latest security suite comes onto the market with three different options, all which will cater to different users who are doing different things with their machines. For the gamers, TrendMicro has covered all of the security issues that a gamer could encounter over the course of their gameplay.
While the higher end products Trend offers will generally be a little more coverage than your average gamer will need, their entry level in the Titanium series is perfect. Like some of the other great security software, Trend’s protection program runs in the background, not simultaneously with other programs, ensuring that the most CPU available is given to the game that is running.
What I found to be a particularly nice about Trend’s version is their e-guide to online gaming (available on their site). While some of the information found there is a no-brainer, I was surprised by some of the findings reported there.
As far as leading tech reviews on the service go, Trend picked up a little bit of criticism for making all of its core features available in their entry level software. However, as a consumer, this move is great, making their product a viable competitor to some of the free products that are out on the market.
The verdict? Well, its not quite that easy. Everyone has different needs for their security. Even gamers. Depending on if you stream your gameplay, live chat or have a blog about your play, different security measures will need to be in place. The good news? Most, if not all, of these services offer a trial period so you can take each one for a spin and see which product is perfect for you and your computer.
Kaito Mori is a father of three rambunctious children that are constantly testing his ability to keep their home computer safe and secure among the plethora of uses it is subjected to each day. When not being the raddest dad alive, Kaito also works with Trend Micro in an effort to keep other family’s online adventures as safe as his.