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Is your anti-virus slowing down your computer?

The first thing I install on any computer is security software. An unprotected computer online can get a virus in under a minute, which is a scary thought. Security software can also protect you from phishing emails, malicious sites and more.

However, as you've probably noticed, security software does cause your computer's performance to take a hit. The software is constantly scanning your Web traffic, email, file transfers and more for threats, which is inevitably going to slow things down. The question is how much?

The researchers at AV-TEST decided to find out and put 23 popular security programs to the test for 14 months on a mix of Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 PCs. The tests including downloading files from the Internet, launching websites, installing programs, opening programs and files, and copying files.

The researchers assigned points for how much a program slowed down the computer during a task. And it turns out that some brands and titles of anti-virus software do slow down a computer much more than others.

Next page: Find out what security programs were best and worst
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