Gaming laptops, like any other laptop and desktop PC, are susceptible to various types of malware, viruses and attacks. So in short: YES, gaming laptops do need an antivirus.
But there are a few more things that you need to understand.
Myth: Running An Antivirus On My Gaming Laptop Will Slow It Down
Many old computers and laptops came with malfunctioning antivirus, instead of protecting the laptop, your antivirus would basically slow down your machine, this created a huge misconception that anti viruses will slow down your laptop.
Antiviruses exist solely to protect your laptop from unwanted guests such as malware, viruses, ransomware , phishing attacks and scams.
The majority of this can be prevented with a good antivirus.
New antivirus software such as Mcaffee , avast and even windows defender not only protect your computer from viruses but also consume a negligible amount of resources to keep it from slowing down. Anyone who tells you that an antivirus is useless has probably never experienced a good antivirus program.
But Chief, Why Do I Need An Antivirus When I Already Have Windows Defender?
Very good question, windows defender is a built in software in your Microsoft operating system that acts as a shield against viruses and attacks.
But there are some things that even windows defender itself can’t protect you against, such as ransomware and phishing attacks, in some cases, even a hacking attempt.
A good anti virus will provide all in one protection against any kind of threat, enhancing the capabilites of windows defender and providing a double shield for your gaming laptop.
How Can An Antivirus Help You?
- Protection Against Unwanted Entities: A good antivirus software will protect your gaming laptop from suspicious hacking attempts, ransomware attacks and scams. The last thing you want is encrypted data on your laptop.
Furthermore, it will also help you browse safely by blocking any malicious software that may infect your laptop.
- Protecting Your Identity: Many antivirus programs nowadays come with a VPN to protect your location and identity, it’s very easy to access your location through the internet and using a VPN will make sure that your identity and information is hidden.
- Gaming Boost: Old anti virus programs used to affect performance of a laptop drastically, but new ones are usually cloud based and put minimum load on your laptop hardware, making your gaming sessions super smooth and free of lag.
- Clean Up Your Laptop: Antiviruses nowadays are completely automated. By hardly utilizing 1-2% of your CPU, they’re constantly making sure that the files on your laptop are safe from malware and viruses, and if they do detect one then the file is quarantined immediately for you take further action.
- Reducing Ping: Some anti virus software in 2022 even have an option of changing the game servers to provide the safest possible servers and the lowest in game latency.
These are some of the main advantages of using an antivirus for your gaming laptop.
How An Antivirus Can Help You Game Safely
The main purpose of an antivirus is to keep your gaming laptop protected against malware, spam, phishing attempts or viruses.
A good antivirus will not only do that but also make sure that you’re getting the most out of your laptop while gaming, it will automatically choose the best game servers for you and will terminate connection as soon as something fishy starts to happen.
Many gamers have been victim of hacking and ransomware attacks, that’s because they had a very good laptop, but not such a good antivirus program. Don’t get me wrong, you can survive without an antivirus, but a good one will definitely keep your gaming laptop safe and future proof.
Antivirus Has A Direct Affect On Game Performance
Your antivirus has a direct impact on your game. How?
Ideally, a good antivirus will boost your gaming performance and limit the amount of unnecessary background programs, leading to more FPS( frames per second).
And if it’s an Esports game, then your antivirus program will make sure that you’re playing over safe servers and that nothing fishy is going on around your internet packets.
The Best Antivirus Program For Gaming Laptops
Although there are many good antivirus programs for gaming laptops, but I would recommend McAfee. Here’s Why:
- Firewall And Antivirus: McAfee has it’s own firewall and an award-winning antivirus architecture, it works around the clock to ensure that your gaming laptop is free from any kind of virus/malware and that the packets received are clean.
- Secure VPN: McAfee let’s you choose the perfect VPN server to hide your identity and keep your privacy in check.
- Network Analyzer: As a gamer, you’ll need to know whether the internet you’re playing on is safe or not, and McAfee’s Network Analyzer does that for you and informs you if something fishy is going on with your internet.
- Game Optimizer: This is the real deal, it’s why McAfee is the best antivirus for gaming laptops, basically, when you enable this feature, McAfee shuts down all unnecessary programs and optimizes your gaming laptop for maximum output.
There are a lot of other cool features about this antivirus, read them here.
Is It Safe To Use A Laptop Without An Antivirus?
Yes, for the most part, it’s completely safe to use your laptop without an antivirus, but if you’re interacting with a lot of people online, if you’re gaming on it too much, or if you’re downloading a lot of stuff.
Basically, if you’re interacting with the internet frequently, then you need an antivirus software, especially if you’re a gamer, you’re probably going to be downloading a lot of games, trainers, and you’ll also be interacting with a lot of online gamers.
A VPN would come very handy for this type of stuff so as a gamer, you definitely need an antivirus for your laptop, it’s not safe without it.
However, if you don’t have a lot of interaction with the internet, i.e your only work is to use microsoft office, downloading stuff from trusted websites , and basic browsing then you don’t need an antivirus.
Here’s What Can Happen If You Don’t Use An Antivirus For Your Gaming Laptop
In a worst case scenario, your laptop could get ransomware attacked and you’ll lose all of your data.
And the only way to fix that would be to reinstall your operating system , no one wants that, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Should You Turn Off Your Antivirus While Gaming?
Yes, you can do that, although i wouldn’t advise it, but you can do that, or better yet, you could even limit some features of the antivirus if you think that it’s slowing down your gaming laptop.
Or if you’re low on battery, but only turn it off if you need to.
Does Running An Antivirus Affect FPS?
Latest antivirus programs run on the cloud, meaning that all the operations take place on virtual servers, not your gaming laptop, so it doesn’t put any kind of load on your laptop hardware, so nowadays, running an antivirus will not have a negative impact on FPS.
It might boost the FPS, but it definitely won’t reduce it.
Best Free Antivirus Software For Gaming Laptops
Here are a few other antivirus programs apart from McAfee that are really good.
- Avira Antivirus
- AVG Antivirus
Yes, having an antivirus on a gaming laptop would definitely give you an edge as a gamer by boosting gaming performance and protecting your laptop at the same time, putting minimal load on your laptop hardware.