Do I need anti virus? If yes which one for older computer?

Ok so I have this older notebook computer I got for free, its a Duron 900mhz 256megs 20gig system, its pretty old and slow. But since its all I have right now I will have to live with it. I just did a fresh XP pro install on it and I am trying to descide which Virus software I should use that uses very little of my limited resources. I have used Norton before and whoile it works fine on newer faster computers it seems to really slow down older slower machines so I would like to stay away from Norton on this notebook.

So anyways, my real question is, do I really even need virus software?? I dont ever download from unknown sittes and only open emails from known senders. I surf the net with Foxfire so spyware isnt that bnig a problem as it is with IE. Also I dont have anything important on this computer that I would worry about losing to a virus infection. I have a Linksys router that should have a built in hard firewall, correct?? SO can I get away without the antivirus?

I run Spybot and CCleaner to keep my computer free from spyware and junk. Do I need any other programs to keep things running smoothly?? DO I even need Spybot if im using Firefox?? And If I do need to run a Virus program, which will slow down the computer the least which uses the least of my limited resources?? I liked Fsecures EZvirus it seemed to slow things down far less than Nortons. Any others you wanna reccomend??
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More about anti virus older computer
  1. Just have the antivirus run when you are hooked up to the net and a little after. Now if your always hooked up then I would have one running all the time. Might check out some of the free anti-virus programs like AVG.
  2. I recommend Avast Anti-Virus Home Edition (Free), its not a resource hog at all, and I've ran it on a 400mhz PII running 98 with no noticeable slow downs.
  3. I also recommend Avast 4 Home. It keeps all the PC's I maintain safe new and old.

    Turn off the Avast's Web Shield if you are also using the free version of Zone Alarm as there is a conflict between them on some PCs.
  4. Dont use ZA, it sucks. Its a big time resource hog.
    Switch to Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall.
  5. Not true, Zone Alarm works great on every system I service, ... unless its running P2P software.

    Zone Alarm does becomes a resource hog when you are doing a lot of heavy file sharing, but you can just turn it off when you fire up the P2P.

    Mostly a software firewall is good for keeping an eye on programs when windows starts up and when installing, running programs for the first time.

    My 2nd best PC is on the net 24x7 running P2P software and I just turn ZA off before starting the P2P. Though I could just as well leave it on since it doesn't slow the P2P sofware down, ZA just makes windows sluggish.

    You can also run into serious slowdowns if you have more than one app trying to act like a firewall, which is why you need Avast's Web Sheild off when running Zone Alarm.
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