AVG Anti-Virus Memory Usage Review

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I am undertaking an anti-virus review and firewall review after my current solution started having various system issues and errors that constantly caused them to stop working.

My first test is AVG Anti-Virus which has both a free download version for home users and for pay upgrades to "professional" versions. I started with it because it comes highly recommended among the user community, at least among those who still consider anti-virus software necessary.  There is apparently a growing number of people who question their need, although as a writer who does a lot of articles about various software and utilities that I download from around the Internet (not always from the most friendly of websites), I still feel more comfortable knowing that someone is at least doing a double-check of my computer.

All brand-name virus scanners, and all of the top-rated free anti-virus utilities do a pretty solid job of detecting and eliminating most viruses. The effectiveness tests that often accompany most anti-virus reviews or comparisons generally involve the ability of the software to catch unusual or brand-new viruses. While this is certainly important, for my purposes, an anti-virus program that catches a virus 2 days later than another is good enough.

With that being said, my primary criteria in evaluating both anti-virus and firewall software are ease of use, and most importantly, system resource usage. I have my PC finely tuned to run as fast as possible. I don’t take kindly to system resource hogs. If it bogs down my computer it is gone.

AVG Memory Used Amount

Although imperfect as raw data, the RAM used as "Private Bytes" as shown in Process Explorer from Sysinternals is good enough for comparisons of one program to another. How much memory does AVG use?

I’m not too concerned with how much resources my anti-virus utility uses when running a virus-scan. Generally, I do full scans or even partial scans when I’m not actively using my computer, so I want them to finish as quickly as possible; I don’t care how much RAM or CPU is used.

However, I don’t want my virus software hogging my memory or CPU while I’m trying to get work done with my computer. So, I monitor to see what kind of resources are used by the processes that are "always on" in the background.

That works out to something like 15,000 K to 18,000 K of RAM.  How does that compare to other anti-virus software? I’ll find out as I try them out going forward.

I have all of AVG’s bells and whistles disabled, as well as any Internet scanning or phishing protection not running. Real-time active virus detection is running. Under these conditions, AVG keeps three processes running continuously by default.

  1. AVG Watchdog Service
  2. AVG Resident Shield Service
  3. AVG Tray Monitor

Under normal use on my PC, that is Internet connection on, web browsers open, and maybe something running in the background like a download manager or uTorrent, these processes use the following amounts of RAM memory as measured in private bytes.

  • AVG Watchdog uses about 4,500 K of private bytes.
  • AVG Resident Shield Services uses between 9,500K and 12,500 K of private bytes
  • AVG Tray Monitor uses about 850 K of private bytes.

Keep an eye out for more comprehensive anti-virus reviews of system usage, or save yourself the trouble and grab the Best Hubris RSS Feed.



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3 thoughts on “AVG Anti-Virus Memory Usage Review”

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  3. antivirus review says:

    I think 15,000 to 18,000K of RAM sounds pretty good especially if you are running with 3gb of RAM on you computer. I suppose it depends what kind of other programs you are running. If you are not online and are using multiple software like photoshop, illustrator and something like Dreamweaver then temporarily disabling it may help a bit.

    1. WGHubris says:

      The amount of memory used by any single program always “sounds good” when you look at it in isolation. The point is that there are many more programs and services running on your computer at any given time, and the amount they all take up together is the issue. 3 GB of RAM sounds like a lot of room until you open Word, Firefox, an enhanced Windows Clipboard manager, a monitor calibration tray tool…

      You get the picture. The fact of the matter is that anitvirus is an important function, but different programs do it with different levels of efficiency. You want the non-bloated ones 🙂

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