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When Webroot approached us several years ago about a nimble security product that existed almost entirely in the cloud, we couldn’t help but roll our eyes. It takes up just a few megabytes of disk space and uses about 5MB of RAM when idle.

The level of hype that followed felt like a marketing schtick—here was this new AV program that was supposed to install in under 10 seconds and barely help itself to RAM or storage, yet provide adequate protection on the level of much bigger security suites. During an active scan, Task Manager shows Secure Anywhere using around 50MB of RAM and less than 15 percent CPU utilization, yet takes just a couple of minutes to scan 150GB of data spread across two SSDs.

It did pick up a few false positives, but not enough to ding Bitdefender’s Usability score.

And it’s passed 32 straight VB100 comparative tests by Virus Bulletin dating back to October 2010. If you want to take a proactive approach to security, Bitdefender can scan for vulnerabilities such as out of date software.

It differs from the regular version in that it offers a system optimizer tool to “analyze your devices and the operating systems to detect system issues, wipe away all traces of online activity, and make deleted files unrecoverable.” In practice, we only saw it delete temporary files to free up some disk space.

Secure Anywhere also politely stays in the background so you’re not bothered by updates or added lag when playing games.

Even on the rare occasions we’ve run into problems, they’ve been relatively minor.

Most users will find Kaspersky’s default settings adequate, but if it’s fine grain control you’re after, you’ll find plenty of it within the many submenus. For example, in settings you can dive into the antivirus menu for file scanning and choose a security level (low, medium, or high), or dig even deeper by clicking on Advanced Settings to bring up more options. The downside is that it can take several clicks to dig your way to a specific setting, but it’s better than having no control at all. Secure Anywhere was and still is a remarkable outlier in AV.It doesn’t get more lightweight than this, not unless you take your chance without any AV software.Webroot makes a special version of Secure Anywhere for gamers.One reason we like Kaspersky because it consistently performs among the best AV programs, both in terms of identifying and blocking malware, and having a minimal impact on system performance.That’s not to say it’s perfect—we recall one particularly annoying incident where Kaspersky had let a potentially unwanted program (PUP) lock our mouse cursor in a box.Among the additional grab bag of goodies is a file shredder that overwrites deleted files so they’re near impossible to restore, the ability to create encrypted folders to keep sensitive files from prying eyes, password syncing among multiple devices, and PC clean-up tools, to name just a few.