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Anupam 04. Nov 2014 09:02 AM

Antivirus choices for an old offline computer
I have with me old computers having old hardware, like P-IV, with 512 MB or 1 GB of DDR/DDR2 RAM. These computers belong to families I know.

Also, these computer do not have access to internet.

I have been meaning to install an antivirus on these computers... and I am finding that there are very little choices when it comes to computers like these.

These computers have Windows XP on them, and therefore, I cannot install MSE on these, as it requires Windows Vista or higher.

Comodo Antivirus is out of the question, because it's not suitable for general users, and would be bulky too, and it involves use of internet a lot. It does not offer offline definition update too... major drawback.

Panda Cloud Antivirus is also out of question, since a major part of it relies on internet I guess, which is not accessible.

Won't install AVG, as it's a resource hog, and I have always not liked it anyways.

I remember installing Avira on an older PC of mine, and it causing slowdown. It can also be a bit difficult to operate, and add exclusions, and so, I am avoiding it for now. But, it does remain a choice.

Most probably, I will install Avast on both these computers. I already installed it on one PC, but the problem is that this one has only 512 MB of RAM, and so, it's causing a system slow down. The computer boots up slower, and the operations are specially slow on a folder full of exe files.

I was thinking of installing BitDefender Antivirus free on the systems, as it might be lighter. But, there are some problems with this.

First, I think it requires registration, and like Avast, there is no way of performing an offline registration with a license key. If I remember correctly, it involves making an account with BitDefender, which I am not willing to do on behalf of the people having these PCs.

Also, there is doubt about offline definition update with BD AV free. Offline update is available, but it's not clear whether it will work with the free edition or not. Moreover, the download of the definition itself is more than 100 MB.

So, there seems to be a lack of choices for such older offline computers. If anyone has a suggestion for a free AV for these systems, please post.

Or, I might just decide to go without an antivirus for the system with low RAM, since Avast is definitely causing a major slowdown, and although, it will keep the safe, but will interfere with normal working, and cause problem for the users.

Since Avast is causing slowdown, Avira will cause slowdown too. I might give it a try.

Anupam 04. Nov 2014 09:07 AM

Another solution which just occurred to me, is to just install MCShield on the computer.

It's a special kind of antivirus for protection from malware from pen drives. It has a nice interface, and should work well.

Since these computers don't have access to internet, so the only major threat will be from pen drives, and having only MCShield should work fine.

However, the protection will depend on how good MCShield is, and of that I do not have any solid idea. But, looking at the program, it does seem like it should offer sufficient protection.

I think I will go with this option for the PC with low RAM.

I will ask them though, if they want a good antivirus protection, and can handle slowdown of the computer.

Remah 04. Nov 2014 09:43 AM

Command-line scanners are also useful because they have no graphical user interface, use less memory, and only use memory when you run them:
Section 3.7 on page 3 of the best free security list

They usually don't have in-memory detection of malware which only came with memory-resident versions that were always active. I'm not up with the latest versions so this might have changed.

Anupam 04. Nov 2014 10:10 AM

Thanks Remah, but that's on-demand scanning, and I was looking for real-time protection.

Joe A.TT 04. Nov 2014 02:14 PM

Hi Anupam, I also thought of MCShield. And yes, there isn't much to be found on how good it is. The only thing of interest I found was this thread at MalwareTips. It was started by a member of the developing team. You may want to have a read.

Anupam 04. Nov 2014 03:29 PM

Thanks Joe, had a look at that thread, and there wasn't much which would tell about its detection and other capabilities, apart from what is shared by the team member himself, who is on this forum too. Still, from what I read, and feel, MCShield does seem like a good software for protection from malware in pen drives. Such a software was really needed.

Would be good if some independent test results were there, but then again, there might be only a few products of such type to have such tests. Would have been good if some user stories were there of successful protection.

I have installed it on my cousin's laptop, but haven't heard any stories from her. She might not have noticed it anyway.

I was also thinking of what might happen, in case a malware was detected by MCShield and resident antivirus both.

torres-no-tan-magnifico 04. Nov 2014 03:57 PM

Would something like this be appropriate? You can protect the PC and any USB drives:

torres-no-tan-magnifico 04. Nov 2014 04:00 PM

FYI the latest version can be downloaded here:

garth 04. Nov 2014 04:26 PM


Originally Posted by torres-no-tan-magnifico (Post 104467)
FYI the latest version can be downloaded here:

I too was gonna suggest USB Vaccine, had it on my old desktop for a long time and also my laptop.

Anupam 04. Nov 2014 04:37 PM

What I am looking for is real time protection.

While Panda USB Vaccine is helpful in the case that it will disable autorun on the computer, and on the pen drives that you want, but other than that, it does not offer any real time protection, in the sense that it won't scan the pen drives.

MCShield is an anti-malware specially for pen drives, and it offers real time protection, which is the main requirement.

There are two other software, which do that, namely, MX One Antivirus, and Ninja Pendisk, covered in this thread, but I have used both of them, and they are not good.

MCShield is better than both by miles.

In absence of a full time antivirus, I am sure that MCShield will offer sufficient protection from atleast pen drives.

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