Do we really need antivirus software?

Forgive me if I’m missing some basic point here, but something I truly wonder over is if we actually need antivirus software. I mean, no matter the name of the operating system, isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with it if has got security holes that allows one to infest your computer in such a way that it becomes unusable?

Firewalls I buy. Naturally no one should get unapproved access to your computer. Same thing if you download some installation package from a dodgy web site: you’ve got yourself to blame.

But, in the case of Windows at least, you need to have some antivirus software running all the time that eats a lot of performance from your computer, and writing/downloading files to the hard drive takes forever since every file has to be scanned, it needs to constantly update its definitions etc.

Out of curiosity, I’ve unplugged the network cable on some computers and just tried doing some basic tasks and also transferring files over USB from an external hard drive. The performance experience is staggering!

And part of me starts to wonder if all these antivirus software vendors are riding the wave of people’s fears, that their product will be bought just out of “better safe than sorry”-panic. Sure, certain operating systems have some serious flaws, but shouldn’t those be fixed by the operating system vendor before the system is released to begin with?

Sure, of course there can be some glitches in a product, but none should be as serious as to threaten your computer in the ways it is now possible.


PS. If anyone knows of any good light-weight antivirus program for Windows (free would be great :-)), then I’m all ears. DS.

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