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There are some excellent free antivirus programs, but a common mistake is to install that freebie without removing the old one. Some users also think they'll be more secure if they install a second antivirus package.

In most cases, having more than one antivirus program running on your computer is bad news. Antivirus programs consume memory and processing power, as they scan the stream of data, emails, web pages and downloads that enter your computer. So it makes sense that having more than one antivirus scanner will slow down your computer.

But there's another potential problem... Sometimes antivirus programs can fight with each other, since they both want to be the final arbiter is good and evil on your computer. One might even think the other *is* a virus, and attempt to quarantine it. You may see slowdowns, lockups or experience random restarts.

My advice is to pick ONE antivirus tool and stick with it, at least until you decide to replace it with another. I've compiled a list of some excellent Free Antivirus Programs, which I use and recommend over the paid-for security suites on the market. If you want to study them further, the independent reports at AV Comparatives will show you how various antivirus programs compare in terms of effectiveness