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By Paul Vaccarelli

Before you purchase or renew an anti-virus program from one of the big companies, like Norton or McAfee, there are some things to consider.

These programs have become very sophisticated over the years. They had to. Virus programmers have become very clever in by-passing these programs and even disabling them. The more popular the anti-virus program, the more likely they are considered when producing the virus. As a result, the anti-virus programs are constantly monitoring your computer and, at the same time, looking for updates to them.

If you have a computer that is about two years old or younger, this will not affect performance too much. They are designed to handle the more recent versions of windows that require added processing power and can handle the extra load of the more sophisticated security programs. But if your machine is five years old or older, newer versions of Norton or McAfee could render it almost useless. Most of the processing power of the machine will be dedicated to anti-virus. There is little left to do anything else. You may find your computer slow to boot, and then run slow for an extended period until the security program does its housekeeping.

Every year, when you renew the licenses of Norton, McAfee, or any other main stream product, their programs are updated to handle the complex attacks you may be subject to. Your computer, however, is not being upgraded and therefore may slow down. There are other programs that are lighter on the computer, but as a trade-off, not as sophisticated. Keep this in mind when it is time to renew your security program.

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