Those of us at my day job that have company laptops have a pile of security software on them.  I do not dispute the necessity of such software, only the software chosen for the job.  All of our laptops are still running Windows XP.  

We have PGPDesktop whole disk encryption.  This keeps the Hard Drive encrypted.  A correct password must be entered before windows will boot.  

Then for AV and typical security suite features we use eEye Digital Secuirty.

The combination of these two applications have caused endless pain for many laptop users.  My laptop hard drive gets corrupted every 6 months.  Either windows blue screens on boot or other odd behavior that prevents windows from running normally.

Other users experience very poor performance, for example, typing an email with only Outlook 2007 running will result in a 5-15 second delay in characters appearing on the screen.  Boot times exceed 15 minutes.  The action of Sending an email in outlook can take over 2 minutes.

Reinstalling a machine with a fresh windows installation shows little to no benifit.

To help resolve these continuous problems, I was asked to take some performance metrics from 3 machines (same model/cpu/memory) running 3 different security suites.  PGP Desktop remained in place on all 3 machines.

The products we tested are:
  • Symantec
  • eEye Blink
  • ESET
Blink is by far the worst.  In some cases Blink took twice as long as ESET.  Symantec is nearly as fast as ESET.  Either Symantec or ESET would be acceptable options.  

If you are looking for security software, avoid eEye until they can get their performance issues fixed.  I prefer ESET over Symantec because it is a bit faster and I like the interface.

AuthorSam Butterworth