Running Windows without anti-virus software

I’ve been frustrated with anti-virus software for a while. At a client last year, I had to fight with Symantec to get a proper ASP development environment up and running. At home, I’ve used AVG, avast, McAfee, and others. Far from the feeling of being protected from the “scary world out there”, I started to view the scanning, listening, warning, and even “calling home” “features” of anti-virus software as hindrance to my daily digital life. Granted, anti-virus software probably needs to do those kind of things, but it needs to get out of the way!

After reading similar complaints on, I decided to follow a few others and started running Windows XP and Windows 7 without any anti-virus software. I’ve run a virus-free and anti-virus-free Windows XP machine for close to a year now, in addition to a few virtual XP machines. Also, the home Windows 7 machine has also been running naked for a few weeks now without issues.

Here are a few things I do or don’t do:
1. Browser: I use Firefox and Chrome. When running Firefox, I use adblock plus plug-in;
2. When installing software, I always pick custom installation, and I uncheck all un-necessary features;
3. Exercise good judgement.

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One response to “Running Windows without anti-virus software”

  1. And never follow links promising free pornography. (That was the last nasty infestation I had to trim for someone.)

    I like the Avira AntiVir if for no other reason it is free.


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