It was a long time coming, and I’m a little sad about it. But it was clear that we were not satisfying each others needs. It needed way more computing resources than I could provide, and I needed something to catch me in the case that I should slip and get an infection, but, otherwise, to stay out of my way.
A while back, I shut off most of its services, because I didn’t need it checking every single email that was coming in (I don’t run attachments on email that are potentially infected, and my mail client’s configuration makes it rather clear where the incoming threats are), nor did I need it checking every web page I loaded for viral content, or doing full system scans daily. I posted about this on my FB at the time, because it was slogging my system down to the point it was virtually unusable, and turning those services off helped a lot.
Well, yesterday, it installed an update, and I came home to find it nagging me to reboot my machine so it could finish the installation. Rebooting my system brings a high probability that my wireless card will not turn on, so I avoided this nagging pretty effectively, but soon found that my system was running suspiciously slow (it took 30 minutes to be able to scroll down on a web-page I was trying to read, while I did my best to identify the problem causing this slow-down). I checked Task Man, and found my antivirus program was running all of those services I had turned off, and, when I shut them down in Task Man, they would automatically restart.
This does not work for me. My computer belongs to me, not to my anti-virus software. If I want something turned off, it needs to stay off. I couldn’t get the user interface to load in less than 20 minutes, so, while it was trying to load that, I selected the “uninstall” option. It took some time to get it all done, and it took three reboots to get my wireless turned on again, but now it’s gone, and my performance is much higher again.
I don’t recommend uninstalling anti-virus software. I do recommend learning enough about your computer, your computing habits, and high-risk behaviors that put you at risk. For me, with my habits, and my awareness of security risks on computers, the anti-virus package I was using wasn’t worth the price, even though it was a free license (as in beer, not as in speech). As it was, I used anti-virus software for nearly two years on this machine, never once finding a virus or piece of malware running on my computer. That’s more than I have ever used a program like that, and I still have a pretty comprehensive firewall program running, and a good hardware firewall as well. I’m not being irresponsible — I’m being realistic.