Everyone running Windows needs an anti-virus program, but not everyone wants an entire Internet Security Suite running in the background and monitoring every website they visit and every email that they receive for fraud and spam. As good as some internet security packages are, they can get too intrusive for some people.
If you don’t want a full security suite slowing down your machine, but still want an effective malware barrier present, then PC Tools’ Spyware Doctor with Anti-Virus – priced £10 lower than it’s beefier cousin and a little lighter on the resources front – may be a good option.
PC Tools’ Anti Virus program is very similar to their Internet Security package in almost every way, meaning that it brings over all the good things from the program, but also brings over some bad “features” too. The same, ugly, custom user interface is still there, which doesn’t do it any favours – admittedly, other programs such as BitDefender and Norton use custom interfaces as well, but they are much more subtle and look like they were designed in this century. The layout of the window is actually well thought out, but the theme it’s coupled with is unbearable at best.
The main screen of the program is identical to the Internet Security main screen, except it doesn’t have entries for ‘Anti-Spam’ and ‘Firewall’. You get the same ‘Scan now’ and ‘IntelliGuard’ options as you do in the more expensive version, so you aren’t compromising on safety by choosing the Anti Virus over the security suite.
Speaking of scanning, running an intelli-scan of my hard drive took just over five minutes, the same as the security suite, and found four items even though it was the first scan I’d ran since installing Windows ten minutes earlier. I guess those websites really get you with the tracking cookies – maybe the security suite is a good option to have…
Although there are lots of other options on the market when it comes to security – many free such as Microsoft’s Security Essentials – PC Tools’ security programs are really lightweight and can be run on any PC that you’d buy in the shops today without slowing it down. Even though other vendors such as Symantec have improved their footprint on your system, I’ve never seen a security product as light as Spyware Doctor with Anti Virus.
If you want to try it out for yourself, you can get a copy for under a tenner at Amazon, which is an absolute steal.