Most everyone realizes that antivirus and firewalls are must-have protection. But when protection interferes with online gaming, it can be sorely tempting to disable that protection in favor of uninterrupted play. These antivirus scanners tackle the unique problems of gamers so you can play without sacrificing performance or protection. In addition to being game friendly, each of the scanners below (or the engine they use) has performed above average in the 2Q10 Windows 7 tests performed by AV-Test.org.
Gamers will appreciate sensors that detect full screen mode in conjunction with gaming - suppressing non-essential alerts while still offering full protection in the background. Symantec Norton Internet Security 2010 scored a 5.5 out of a possible 6.0 in AV-Test usability analysis. The small footprint and low false positive rating combines with the highest protection rate (94%) against new malware delivered via the Web and email. Norton Internet Security 2010 also scored well in overall prevention (5.5/6.0) as well as its ability to detect and remove existing malware (earning a 5.0 out of possible 6.0).
Eset Smart Security 4.0 boasts customized gamer controls to streamline file scanning, eliminate pop-up warnings, and postpone updates to off hours. With a 5.0 score in overall usability and performance, Eset Smart Security 4.0 has the smaller system footprint critical to a successful gaming experience.
ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2010 offers Game Mode, a simple right click option on the system tray icon that will put ZoneAlarm in 'auto pilot' so it will silently make most decisions and you can play uninterrupted. The small trade-off in performance is a bit of extra protection. In addition to the standard fare of antivirus, firewall, and spyware protection, ZoneAlarm Extreme Security 2010 uses the Kaspersky antivirus engine which performed well on each category of the AV-Test 2Q10 analysis. For details on those test results, view the AV-Test report on Kaspersky (link below).